Harry made his way towards his first of many detentions for this year
Harry made his way towards his first of many detentions for this year. Ostensibly, they were for fighting with Draco, or blowing up his cauldron, or any other minuscule excuse that Snape could contrive for giving Harry detention. At this point in time, Harry was pretty sure that he was close to breaking the record for the most detentions received in a year. Even the twins were pretty impressed, or so they said in their last letter to him.
Ron, on the other hand, was probably still in the dorm ranting about how completely unfair Snape was. Hermione seemed of a split mind, she was sure that Harry must have deserved the detentions, and just how could he blow up every cauldron this week? Plus, some of those detentions were probably just a cover for more Occlumency lesson, and how was Harry doing on those lessons?
Harry's mind started to spin at the rapid fire questions coming from Hermione and the ranting of Ron's fury. Sometimes, he was amazed that he preferred the quiet company of Draco. Slowly, as the demands of school were starting to build, not helped by the classes he had missed in his grief over Hagrid, they had been forced to cut their time short. Tonight would in fact be the first night in three days they had gotten together. And this would be in the presence of Snape.
Harry had dressed for a trip into the Forbidden Forest. He really wasn't sure what to expect tonight, but Draco had assured him that Snape intended to take them off the grounds of Hogwarts. Probably deep enough into the forest to ensure they would have privacy.
Harry followed behind Snape and Draco. They were moving at a fairly fast pace and Harry trailed behind, his face set to a sullen half-glare. The link between he and Draco was quiet, the two afraid to speak for fear that they would be distracted enough to speak out loud.
Before long, the three had made their way to the edge of the forest. The closer they got to the edge, the more Harry could sense nervousness from Draco. As they slipped into the forest, the nervousness started to change to fear, bordering on terror. Harry grabbed Draco and stopped, pulling the other boy to a stop with him.
"Sir?" Harry said quietly, still fearful of the famous Snape temper and of startling Draco who was now clinging to Harry.
"What?" Snape asked, just a hint of snarl in his voice as he turned around.
"Give us a moment please sir?" Harry asked, as he tried to get Draco to look at him. The other boy had his face buried in Harry's neck, shudders racing through him.
"Draco?" Harry lifted a hand and carded it through Draco's soft hair. Gently, he lifted the boy's head until their eyes met.
"Is it what happened First Year?" Harry asked, suspecting that it was part of the problem, but remembering the vocal protestations, not believing it to be the whole problem.
"Partly," Draco confirmed, a shudder tearing through him. 'Partly because of my father. He...He would leave me outside, in the woods and he told me these stories and...'
"Sir," Harry noticed that Snape had moved closer to them, and hovered behind Draco, looking at Harry as if for permission to sooth the frightened boy in his arms. Harry contemplated for a moment before shaking his head no. "His father," he explained quietly.
Harry watched as Snape's eyes darkened in fury, he nodded in understanding. Not needing to hear anything further. "Very well, we will have to find another spot to work on the tandem casting. I don't believe that we can make it to the spot I have in mind with him already like this," Snape said, his voice soft and surprisingly gentle, in contrast with the anger that was causing him to almost shake.
Harry's mind raced, his first thought was the Shrieking Shack, but realized that it was probably, to some extent, watched by Dumbledore, plus, Snape probably wouldn't have the best of memories of that place. The only other place nearby that Harry could think of was, the new place that the twins had bought in Hogsmead. He had gotten a letter from them this week telling him about the house they had bought and the large basement that was perfect for the testing of new products.
The problem was, how could he show up with Snape and Draco and ask to borrow their explosion worthy basement? He couldn't. Not without explaining things to him. But, the twins, they were good at keeping secrets. They hadn't given a single hint to anyone about where the money for the joke products had come from.
He made up his mind. Slowly, having felt the tremors slowing from Draco, he pulled the other boy away from him.
'Stay with Snape for a moment, besides, I think he is beside himself, not being able to help. I have an idea, but if I just show up with you two I think...well, I have to secure the location myself,' Harry explained to Draco.
"Sir, I have an idea, but I need to go talk to someone for a bit. I...it'll mean explaining everything to someone else, but I think they can be trusted. I know they can be trusted. I'll...I'll be right back."
Harry ran quickly to where the twin's house was. He knew from their letter exactly where it was, about halfway between Hogwarts and Hogsmead, set back slightly from the path. His cloak was hastily thrown over himself as he ran.
He knocked on the door and waited while one of the twins threw it opened. He didn't even look surprised as he saw no one standing there.
"Imagine that! No one is knocking on our door George," Fred hollered back throwing the door wide open and stepping aside slightly before closing it.
"Must have been our imaginary friend," said George as he wandered into the room.
"Yeah, but what would he be doing out of school on a night like this?" asked Fred looking as Harry while he pulled off the cloak.
"I need a huge favor of you guys. Um, there is a long explanation, and I don't have time right now, but do you guys trust me?" Harry looked at the twins, his eye begging for help.
"Of course we do little brother." George slung an arm over Harry's shoulders. "Just tell us what you need and we shall supply it. But if you came here looking for joke products, I'm going to have to send a Howler." He warned sharply.
"Um, no. I need you guys to go and get SnapeandMalfoyfromtheedgeoftheforest" Harry blurted out.
"Okay, I think I heard what you said but I don't think I heard right," said Fred, shaking his head in disbelief. "Because if I heard what I thought I did,"
"Then you just asked us to get Snape and Malfoy who know you are sneaking out and aren't blowing your cover?" George completed his brother's sentence both in stunned disbelief.
"Yeah, that's about right," Harry nodded. "I promise you, we will explain but, it's a really long story and I really need you to get Draco, he's terrified where they are right now and please?"
He had felt the fear building up in Draco as he ran and just felt the urge to return to him and calm him.
The twins studied him for a moment. "Where did we get the money to buy the joke shop?" George asked.
"Tri-wizard Tournament. I gave you my winnings," Harry answered, confused at the random comment.
"Okay," they answered together. "We'll be right back. Where are they?"
Harry blinked in surprise. Quickly, he explained the location and before he had finished the two had popped from the room with a "We know where it is."
'Draco! Trust the twins!' he shot off.
He felt Draco's fear spike briefly and could only assume the twins had appeared there as suddenly as they left here. Moments later, there was another sound of Apparation as the twins reappeared, each accompanied by another.
"Care to explain Potter," asked Snape, his voice had gone dangerously soft.
"I know it's hard to believe, but they really can be trusted to keep the secret. They don't act like Ron and accidentally blurt things out when they get mad, or anything like that. They are very good with misdirection," Harry tried to explain his reasoning.
"And, they don't have much concern for the rules..."
Snape gave a snort of laughter that shocked everyone. "That's certainly the truth."
"No, we don't," said Fred, his voice uncommonly serious. "But when our little brother is involved with one Death Eater and one child of a Death Eater, we do want explanations."
Harry looked at the serious expressions that looked so out of place on the identical faces.
"I know, but it will take a little while, and we don't really have all the explanation," Harry said. Quickly, he tried to tell the twins everything about the spell that he and Draco had accidentally cast on themselves and how over the summer, they talked a lot and could sense each others emotions. Then the growing powers the two had. And what the book said about the spell.
"I believe I can explain a bit more about the spell," said Snape as Harry drifted off from his explanation. "I have not found much information about it, but I was able to find some references to it this week. The exact means of casting it has been lost through the ages, probably deliberately given its destructive nature. All that is known is it involves and act of passion, body and mind."
Harry bit his lip.
"We fought, passionately, I tried to use the Imperious, and the potion was a hair color changing potion, body," Draco spoke for the first time.
"Exactly," Snape seemed almost reluctant to confirm the theory. "However, I believe that it is best for all if we forget that combination."
Everyone nodded solemnly. Even the twins seemed to recognize the severity of the situation. Harry sat on the sofa in the room, tired of standing and tugged Draco down beside him. He listened as Snape continued his explanation.
"The spells seems to grow out of control the faster it is integrated. I believe that because we don't know how it works entirely and your unawareness of the spell for so long, the threat of losing control of it is minimal. However, I cannot be certain of it. It also appears to be a three part spell for the full use of it. The first part is irreversible. The two of you will be bound forever," at this part, Snape had moved to stand in front of where Harry and Draco sat on the couch, snuggled together, this time, Harry soothing Draco from the lingering fears induced by the forest.
Harry nodded his understanding as Snape pulled up an ottoman to sit in front of the two boys. He was watching them carefully, concern showing in his eyes.
"I think I understand, but its okay. I think if Draco were separated from me, at this point I would go insane," Harry didn't know how to explain. At first, the presence of Draco in his mind was disconcerting, but he could ignore it. Now, they had integrated so far, that not having the extra emotions and the person to speak to and knowing if Draco was injured, he didn't think he could survive having that torn from him. He felt Draco nodding.
"The second and third parts are the parts that can be reversed. They appear to integrate you more fully, and with it, again the powers grow exponentially. It is my theory that it is misuse of these that caused the devastations of the past. As it stands right now, you two have your own separate emotions, feelings, thoughts and memories. While you do share some of them, you can choose what to remember. The second and third parts of the spell are intended to be cast at the same time, and fully integrate these aspects. You are no longer two separate beings, but rather one body, one mind, one magic. You cannot function independently of each other during these aspects of the spell, not even to breathe independently. It would seem to me that it is this faze of the spell that the control is lost, when you can no longer identify whose memories belong to whom, cannot separate the emotions. It is the type of thing that can cause insanity," Snape spoke with a level of gravity that caused Harry to shudder.
He watched as Snape reached forward and took one of Harry's and Draco's hands into each of his. A small part of his wanted to laugh at the shocked look on Fred and George's faces, both at the tale they were hearing and the tender scene between the three most unlikely people.
"Is this..." Harry drew in a shuddering breath. "Is this the 'power the Dark Lord knows not'?" Harry asked, fearfully. His hand clutched around Snape's seeking reassurance.
"It may very well be. I cannot be sure, but I feel reasonably certain that the Dark Lord cannot possibly have a soul mate," Snape said, a flash of humor in his eyes. Harry felt the whoosh of air against his neck when Draco let out a snort of laughter, and he couldn't help a chuckle.
"I think we need to sit down," muttered the twins, followed immediately by their plopping down directly onto the floor. "I mean, this is too much to handle!" exclaimed George. "Snape having a sense of humor? How much can a mere mortal's heart take?"
Harry snickered. Snape shot them a withering glare. Harry felt Draco's shoulders shaking with silent laughter.
"How come we are still getting visions?" Harry asked.
"That is actually the easiest question to answer," Snape responded. "Once I knew what was happening, I was able to figure that part out fairly quickly. Two people cannot occupy another's mind at the same time. Draco has, so to speak, permanently taken up occupation in your mind. There is no room for another to press its way in. However, as you do function independently of each other, and you, Harry, share a link with the Dark Lord, you are able to enter his mind. There is no fear of false visions. I believe at this time, every vision you receive should be treated as valid and shared immediately."
"Wouldn't the Dark Lord be practicing Occlumancy?" Harry asked, curious.
"I believe that he is. However, from what I have witnessed of the two of you, I believe that the strength you possess is far greater than his ability to block," Snape answered.
Harry blinked in surprise. "Really?"
"I um, think we need to practice?" Harry glanced at the twins as Snape gave a very definitive nod.
"This is where you two come in," Harry said to Fred and George.
"You can use the basement any time you need," they were staring at Harry, and stealing glances at Snape and Draco, amazement filling their eyes. Harry was relived to not see a hint of fear in their eyes.
"Then I believe that we should be getting to it," said Snape, drawing away from the boys and standing up. He turned to the twins, "If you would be so kind as to lead us there, we should be able to get in a few minutes practice before it is time for us to return."