This fic begins when Harry is 13. This is the summer before his third year should be beginning. Voldemort regained a great deal of his strength last year by attacking Virginia Weasley in the Chamber. He is nowhere near his full potential though.
Pairing: Lucius Malfoy / Harry Potter (after Harry is 17. Nothing before that—this will definitely not change). It will be quite a while before Lucius enters the story at all, much less as a mate.
Warnings: None, as yet. Might have a bit of a Dom/sub ship to it, but nothing nearly as drastic as in my Black Prince. This might be more of an alpha-mate and a subordinate mate.
Silver Wolf paced around the small clearing restlessly. Night was falling, the animals were all peaceful, and the stars were shining. He knew that he should head back to the den for the night, but something held him back. He wanted something…more. More than just curling up with the others for the night, more than a den full of warm bodies and soft fur waiting for him to join them.
He looked around once more before huffing quietly. He knew that he shouldn't risk it, but it was the perfect night for it…
Without another thought, he slid effortlessly from what he thought of as his natural form and into the strange form of a man.
Not one of his more enjoyable tricks, but useful none the less. He looked around warily, before bending down and picking up a few stray sticks. Yes, this was the perfect night to sit under the stars and enjoy a fire.
He looked around guiltily at the thought. He hated that he still had a few traces of weakness in him from his days as a man. He loathed the need for frivolous things like this orange and gold fire that he loved so much.
Another trick had the wood crackling merrily. He sat on his haunches as close to the golden flames as he could. It wasn't really all that big of a betrayal of his proper self, he reasoned. It wasn't as if he enjoyed being a man. It was just…nice, sometimes, listening to the flames, feeling the heat against his skin.
He heard something rustle behind him and he leapt to his feet, eyes scanning the dark forest nervously. A pair of heavy boots entered his line of sight, followed by the long legs that could belong to no creature but a man.
Silver Wolf growled low in his throat and immediately started to shift back into his proper form.
His form was wracked with pain as his body refused to cooperate. He tried again, and once more his body refused to undo the trick.
With a deeper, angrier growl he gave up his effort and turned to face this new threat.
SILVER WOLFSILVER WOLFSILVER WOLF
Dumbledore slumped low at his desk, barely retaining the energy to feign interest in the argument taking place before him.
Children, the lot of them.
He wanted desperately to simply tell the overgrown children in front of him precisely this, but he refrained. He knew that the time was soon coming in which he could no longer tolerate their behavior, but he prayed that he had a bit more time to spare.
War was approaching.
Oh yes, Albus was quite aware of this fact. He had been for nearly twelve years now. When the Potter boy had first banished Lord Voldemort from his current existence, Albus had been fully cognizant of the fact that the Dark Lord would one day return to them. He had never doubted it.
Now though, twelve years later, he was losing all hope.
Harry Potter had disappeared at some point unknown after he had been left in the care of his muggle aunt and uncle. All that Albus had been able to determine was that the boy was long gone by the time that the child should have been happily celebrating his sixth birthday.
He had looked for the boy. Oh, he had looked far and wide; high and low…damn it! everywhere for the child. He was simply not to be found.
Wherever Harry Potter was, he evidently did not wish to be located.
Of course, the alternative solution was that the boy had not lived within the bounds of any human civilization at all, which was simply preposterous. No child—a mere babe when he had been abandoned, evidently—no one of those tender years could survive without a proper guardian. It was simple common sense.
And Albus was nothing if not a rational man, so he had quickly discarded this notion and pursued instead a trail which ran through every known civilization in Great Britain.
And then onto the mainland and throughout Europe.
And then further, into Asia and Africa.
Finally the Americas.
He could find no hint of their savior.
"…all your fault!"
Albus cringed as he heard the childish fight continue in front of him. Merlin, why on earth did he always have to mediate in situations like this?
"Cornelius. Sirius," he said with a calm that belied his current irritation. "Please refrain from name calling and assigning blame. Young Harry Potter cannot be found, and I am afraid that there is nothing to be done about this fact. We are doing what we can to find him and bring him to Hogwarts."
Sirius grumbled irritably. Albus managed to catch a few words here and there, essentially complaining that they were not doing enough.
He didn't bother to stifle his sigh this time.
"Cornelius, thank you for visiting today. I will contact you as soon as I have an update on Harry Potter's location."
Fudge glared alternately at Sirius Black, Albus, and the other professors present in the room before silently declaring defeat and leaving via the large fireplace behind the Headmaster's desk.
"What are we going to do, Albus?" Minerva asked, her voice teary.
"I am afraid that there is nothing more we can do. I am at a loss as to what we should do next. We have searched everywhere for Harry and have not unearthed a single trace of the boy."
"Perhaps it is time to cut our losses and declare the boy dead," Severus said, with much less vitriol than one would have expected.
"Cut our losses? Cut our losses?" Sirius shrieked. "That is my godson! He is out there…in gods know where—"
"He didn't mean it like that," Remus soothed. "It's just…we've been looking for a long time."
"It'll never be too long. I'll never give up."
"Where could he be?" Filius Flitwick asked. "If he truly is alive…where is he?"
"Surely we could have missed someplace," Poppy said hesitantly. "We are only a few people, after all. We cannot have searched the world over as completely as we think we have. We must have missed him."
"If Harry was anywhere within fifty miles of any of us, at any point during our spellwork, we would have located him. He cannot have hidden from that," Albus reminded her.
"But what if we were wrong in our estimations?" Minerva asked hesitantly.
"Wrong?" Pomona asked.
"Well…we combined the known magical signatures of James and Lily." Minerva slowed even more. She almost didn't want to say the next words, but she didn't know how else to explain it. "What if we were…wrong?"
Sirius shot out of his seat as the words registered. "How dare you accuse Lily of that? She loved James! She never would have done that!"
"I am afraid that I must agree with Sirius," Albus said calmly. "I cannot imagine Lily Evans to have strayed to another man's bed. Not to mention that you saw the child as well as we all did. The babe was the spitting image of his father."
Minerva sighed. She knew that they were correct. "I know. I just don't know how else to explain it."
"I understand, Minerva," Albus replied. "We have all tried to work out a way in which we have failed over the years. Unfortunately, each theory seems to fall apart within moments."
"What are we to do?" Poppy asked quietly.
"I do not know my dear. I do not know."
The fire flickered green once more indicating that someone was flooing through, surprising the gathered professors.
"Who can that be?" Pomona asked, peering into the flames.
They all blinked in surprise when a head of fluorescent pink hair greeted them.
"My dear Nymphadora," Albus greeted cheerfully, once again regaining his usual even temper. He had always liked the awkward young Auror.
"Headmaster," she panted. "We found him."
"I beg your pardon? Found whom?"
"Harry Potter. The Boy Who Lived."