Author's Notes: This story has become my run-away obsession. It's an AU to my AU. I know, I know, it's convoluted but…I have almost one hundred pages written, so I should be able to update regularly. I hope this finds an audience, I know it's based on two of my original characters, but Harry will soon be joining the cast, as will Remus. Let me know what you think! (Also, I've made updates to my profile regarding my other stories.)


"(Corbin) got a howler at breakfast yesterday, you missed it because you were in the Prefects meeting with Dumbledore. His parents were really mad to hear he was dating you." Owen Jones to Cassius Malfoy, Finding Love, Chapter 35

Corbin Hill couldn't look up. His father's voice was so loud, damning him for his perversions and every student in the Great Hall could hear it. His face was felt like it was burning and his stomach was threatening to cast back up the single piece of toast he'd eaten before the howler had arrived. His father had just drawn a loud breath when there was a loud crackling and then silence. Corbin risked a glance up through his lashes and saw a pale fist open in front of his face and shake bits of burnt parchment from its grasp. Corbin took a breath and stood, he had to get out of the hall, away from all the eyes that were staring at him. He could do this. He forced himself to walk, eyes on the door in front of him, trying to ignore the whispers that started up as soon as he passed. As soon as he was clear of the tall wooden doors, he broke into a run.

"Merlin's beard," Cassius gasped, leaning against the stone wall. "You can run fast."

Corbin didn't look up from where he sat, curled up, his head on his knees. He heard Cassius settle on the ground beside him, still breathing hard. The silence lengthened and his father's words echoed in his ears.

"Your father's a bloody hypocrite," Cassius said as his breathing slowed back to normal. Corbin didn't look up and he didn't trust his voice enough to speak. "Hates magic and then sends you a howler?" Corbin could hear the sneer in Cassius's voice, "And if he's so ashamed of you, why'd he want to broadcast it to the whole school?"

"Because," Corbin swallowed hard, "Because it's shameful, I —"

"What's shameful about love?" Cassius interrupted angrily.

Corbin looked up at Cassius, stunned, and then followed his gaze to his left palm which was red and burned and blistered. It looked terribly painful. Corbin gasped, reaching for his boyfriend's wrist. "What happened?"

"Spell burn. Howlers don't take kindly to being interrupted."

"Oh, Cassie, you should go to Madame Pomfrey."

"I had to make sure you were all right." Cassius winced as Corbin turned his hand to get a better look at the burns.

Corbin felt a flutter of intense love for Cassius and kissed him hard. "Those could be third degree burns. You should have just let it finish, it would have burnt itself up."

Cassius shook his head.

"Why not?"

"I knew if you listened to the whole thing you would have broken up with me," Cassius shrugged, not meeting Corbin's eyes. "I just knew it, like…a vision. And…I couldn't let that happen. Your parents already hated you anyway, even before they knew you liked boys. They'll never forget it and they'll never forgive you. Not even if you give it all up: me, magic, everything."

Corbin stared at Cassius, startled by the vehemence in his voice. "They—" But he couldn't deny it, they did hate him, he was everything they abhorred.

"We belong together," Cassius said softly.

"How do you know?"

"I just do."

Corbin tilted his head and looked at Cassius for a long moment. He felt as if he were balanced on the edge of something. He was sure Cassius loved him, although it'd never been explicitly said. He'd never felt the same thing from his parents, but he could try to change, he could find a nice girl, give up magic. He wondered what the rest of his father's message had been. He wondered if he could really give up Cassius and knew, suddenly, as green eyes shyly met his own, that he couldn't. He felt himself falling and a brand new path stretched out before him. He wrapped his arms around the other boy's neck and clung to him.