To Never Let Go

By BEWD Sorcerer

Disclaimer: Do you see this? Do you SEE THIS?! I don't own Harry Potter! I admit it! T-T

AN: Happy Singles Awareness Day! I managed to squeeze this chapter out just for today. Ah hah. C'mon. Somebody laugh?

2. Back at School (might as well be home)

The feeling pulled him down, down, down. Soft darkness enveloping him, clutched in his hands, filling his senses, Harry drifted, even as he vaguely realized that he was being carried by someone. There was a slight scent of smoke and flash of swallow skin, but he ignored it in favor of reveling in the feeling of safety like being held in a parent's arms - something he only barely remembered from when he was a baby. With this, he drifted off peacefully.

Before he was even fully awake, Harry knew he was in the Infirmary at Hogwarts. The smell of chemicals and the feel of starched sheets were enough, not to mention the blinding whiteness shining even through his shut eyelids.

Before he entered the Wizarding world, he had felt very odd when emotions that weren't his flowed through his body at odd times, having nothing to do with the present situation. Most of the time, they were too faint to affect him but ever since his first year at Hogwarts, the flashes had become more frequent and intense, such as now.

Agitation itched up his spine, along his skin. There had to be a change; the pressure on his mind had to be relieved. Not knowing what to do, he let go, allowing his magic to make the changes and then there was fire and pain, causing him to let out a piercing scream that was cut off as the darkness claimed him again.

Shift

Everything felt odd, especially since he had just dreamed about the little red string again. During the summer of his Fourth year, it had become more tangible, but he had hardly noticed it because of Voldemort's rebirth. The little red string that tied him to his soulmate...

Odd noises drew his attention away from the connection and he rose up to try to find what was making them. He vaguely recognized Dumbledore and Snape having a furious whispered conversation before he slipped off the bed gracefully, not even noticing how big everything looked.

Quietly he slithered over to where he could hear them but not be seen.

" - not going to be happy, Headmaster. You know as well as I do that he won't stand for any more of your machinations." Snape hissed at the calmly smiling old man.

"Then what do you propose?" Snape jerked back in response to the chill tone, eying the other warily. Both watched each other distrustfully until they were disturbed by a gasp.

"Mr. Potter, you shouldn't be out of bed," Madam Pomfrey clucked, scooping him up and carefully setting him back on the bed.

/What's going on?/ Harry hissed, belatedly realizing that he was speaking Parseltongue and no one in the room could understand him. When he finally came to the conclusion that he couldn't speak anything but the snake language, he noticed how strange his body was. Rearing up in shock, the fact that he was a snake making itself known.

"Mr. Potter, take this," Madam Pomfrey offered him a pipet full of a cloudy yellow potion. Having no choice but to open his mouth and allow the potion to be squirted into his mouth, Harry did so, grimacing as it burned going down his throat. The next few moments were spent thrashing in pain as the burn consumed his senses, hissing screams issuing from his mouth as his body was forced into the change. When it was finally over, Harry glared up at the three adults. Poppy was looking unsure of herself for the first time in front of a student, Snape appeared a bit disturbed even as he attempted to glare holes into Dumbledore, who was acting completely unconcerned.

"What wasss that about?!" Harry hissed, rearing back when realized how serpentine his speech still was. "What'ss going on?!"

"Harry, my boy - " Dumbledore started to say with a big smile. How dare he smile when even Madam Pomfrey seems unsure! What's wrong this time? What is he not telling me?

"Don't you 'Harry, my boy' me, Dumbledore! What the hell iss happening to me?" He snarled, earning a chiding from Madam Pomfrey and a calculating look from Snape.

"You've found your animagus form, Potter, not to mention you were nearly drowned by your uncle. Care to explain that?" Pursing his lips, the dark-haired teen seemed to crumple, pulling in on himself, face falling from pissed off to emotionless as he shook his head.

"Leave him be, Severus. The house elves will have re-arranged to allow his room by now. Once Madam Pomfrey has deemed him well enough to live the night, you can show him the way and help him settle in." With that, the Headmaster left, most likely to go have his next dose of lemony sugar, and that seemed to be the signal for the resident MediWitch to start casting her diagnostic spells for everything from broken bones to the Wizard Flu.

"Well, after a nutrition potion," she handed him a murky green concoction that tasted like spinach, "a potion to heal up that concussion," purple with black specks in it that tasted like medicinal licorice, " and another Dreamless Sleep Potion for tonight, you are free to be dragged off to the dungeons." A glance at Snape revealed nothing as Harry shakily got up and followed the sweeping form of his Potions teacher. Most of the walk was silent except for the sounds of their footsteps and rustle of their clothes. When they reached the Entrance Hall, Harry opened his mouth to say something - anything, but his professor beat him to it.

"The Headmaster has decided that you are to be in my care for the rest of the summer. First, you must remember that I am a busy man. Second, you must know that I have experience with abused students such as yourself, so do not hesitate to request counseling if needed. Do not take advantage of this privilege you have been allowed," the older wizard drawled, still sweeping along at a swift clip with Harry hurrying along after.

"Yes, sir," the mess-haired teen assured him quickly just before they stopped in front of what appeared to be a large picture of the night sky.

"Lumos maxima," Snape declared clearly for Harry's benefit, of course and the frame easily swung open, allowing them into a comfy (if darkly colored) living room. Striding ahead of the smaller wizard, Snape pointed out the two halls on opposite ends of the room.

"The hall on the right leads to my bedroom, potions lab, and study." Harry could see three doors in the hall, so he had no doubt that what he said was, in fact, truth. "This hall leads to your room. Each of the bedrooms have a connected bathroom. I will allow you to sleep in tomorrow morning, but after that if you aren't up by eight I will assume you are incapacitated and use you as a guinea pig for experimental potions, is that clear?" Turning to face his student when he didn't get an immediate response, Snape was surprised to see the boy nodding rapidly, obviously frightened of such a fate befalling him. He felt a headache coming on at the over dramatic response, so he ushered the Gryffindor to his room and left to work on the potion he had originally planned to work on that day.

Shift

Miles and miles away, a certain Dark Lord found the book he had been searching for and - after reading the paragraph that detailed the facts of such a bonding of souls, blood, and minds - screamed bloody murder.

AN: Kaylais Evenstar LIVES! #gape# I'm so friggin' happy! #heart#