Title: Déguiser
Author: Batsutousai
Beta: Shara_Lunison
Rating: PG-13 for now
Pairings: HP/LV, SB/RL, Possible - HP/DM, Possible - NL/HG
Warnings: AU, an attempt to not copy the book, bit of Ron-bashing and some definite Dumbles-hate going on
Summary: When Albus Dumbledore leaves Harry Potter on the doorstep of the Dursleys, the last thing he expected was for an unknown relative to disappear with the boy for ten years. Enter Thomas Potter, a man who intends to change the past, the present, and the future.

Disclaim Her: It's in the first chapter.

A/N: I apologize for the long pause between updates, but the only idea I had for this chapter wasn't going very far. I was re-reading this fic and decided to write this, rather than continue to flip out about how I might not graduate this spring. (For any that care, this is no longer a concern as of last month. -sweatdrop- )

-0-0-0-
Chapter Thirteen – The Children's Hand
-0-0-0-

"I don't like this," Draco complained once their guardians had left the platform. The four children had gotten used to watching the group of adults apparating away together. The idea of them going separate ways was distressing to all of the children.

"Why can't they just get along?" Neville agreed, falling back into a seat. "We're still getting along just fine."

"Politics?" Draco suggested, shrugging helplessly.

"But they've been friends for years!" Hermione half-cried.

"Voldemort was cruel," Harry whispered in the silence following Hermione's cry. "He killed anyone who stood in his way and tortured those who didn't. That sort of horror isn't something you can just forget about."

"You..." Neville cleared his throat nervously. "You say that like you know."

"I...see things from Voldemort, sometimes. He dreams of...horrible things." Harry shuddered, then offered a smile when Hermione sat down next to him and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "Seeing those things... I can almost understand."

Draco sat down heavily. "Father said something like that, too. He said it was my Aunt Bella who..." He nodded to Neville, who offered him a grim smile. "Father says Madam Longbottom isn't likely to forget that anytime soon. Honestly, he's surprised they've gotten along so well up until this point."

"Thomas does that to people," Neville agreed. "I didn't think Gran would ever let me near a Death Eater, acquitted or not, but after Thomas spoke to her, she didn't seem to care anymore. It was creepy."

"He's not a Light wizard, and he's not a Dark wizard," Hermione mused, "and so he can relate to both sides. You said his mum was Dark?" she asked, pulling away from Harry enough to look at him.

Harry nodded. "Yeah. And the Light killed his friends. The Ministry, too."

"Why would the Ministry do that?" Neville asked, wide-eyed.

"His friends that the Ministry killed were a werewolf and a vampire," Harry clarified.

"And our Ministry is of the same breed," Draco murmured. "Remus is proof of that."

"I don't understand why anyone would do that," Hermione whispered. "Why treat them so cruelly?"

"Why does V-Voldemort hate muggle-borns? Why do the purebloods?" Neville replied. "It's the same, isn't it?"

"Uncle Thomas says that Voldemort hates muggles because his father was a muggle and left him to the not-so-tender mercies of a muggle orphanage. He hates muggle-borns, I think, because it serves his purpose, more than actually having a reason," Harry murmured.

"And you heard my father's reasoning," Draco muttered. "He's afraid they'll destroy our people."

"But, Thomas..." Hermione whispered helplessly.

"It's not so easy to change one's views. Not when they've held them their whole lives," Neville commented. "Something totally and horribly... 'out there,' would have to happen."

"Like your friends getting killed by the side you were on," Draco agreed, referring to Thomas.

"But, nothing like that happened to Lucius, and he accepted my parents and then me into his home. He protected Harry from Voldemort!"

"Thomas saved my life," Draco reminded the distraught muggle-born, "even though he appears and acts as a Light wizard. My family owes him. And the mere fact that a Light wizard was willing to save the offspring of a Dark wizard would have been enough to make Father review his image of the Light."

"That Uncle Thomas was openly Dark to Lucius had him thinking of things a little differently," Harry mentioned. When the others looked at him with surprise, Harry added, "he told me what he'd said to Lucius that made them such fast friends; he told Lucius that he agreed with Voldemort's basic principles, though not his method. Uncle Thomas said they spent a lot of time arguing various parts of Voldemort's principles."

"That would make Father like him," Draco agreed. "And Thomas is so open. Dark wizards are never open. Not like Thomas."

"But Thomas isn't open," Hermione pointed out. "He shares his past only at great duress. He's such a private person."

"He acts open," Draco decided.

"He acts Light," Neville corrected. "He acts happy and pranks people like a Light wizard, but he's got the mind-set – the views – of a Dark wizard. It makes him likable to a lot of people."

Hermione huffed. "Fine. Thomas is the entire reason all of our parents became friends. He's the entire reason Harry faced Voldemort without risk to his life. He's the entire reason one of Voldemort's top men welcomed two muggles into his home." She threw her hands up into the air. "He hasn't changed, so why has their friendship?"

"The world around them has changed," Harry suggested quietly, "and they're all trying to adapt. Even if it means turning their backs on the people who used to be friends."

"Too many secrets have come out into the open," Draco agreed. "Only Father knew that Thomas was Dark, but now everyone knows, so he's no longer the safe, neutral person."

"Your father should like him all the more, then," Hermione muttered.

"He doesn't know what to think," Draco replied with a slight sneer. "Thomas' suggestion that muggle-borns aren't really the problem has completely turned his world upside down. That Thomas is willing to protect your family and the Longbottoms, even if they don't like him..."

"It scared him," Harry whispered, eyes bright with understanding. "Protecting people who hate you – that's not something a Dark wizard would do. Not even if they're family. That's something only a Light wizard would do. Something which is inherently part of Uncle Thomas' character, but which Lucius could never comprehend."

Draco grimaced at the idea that his father feared something so simple, but nodded anyway.

"I wish there was something we could do about this. I don't like seeing them all so..." Hermione shook her head. "So... I don't know, separate."

"Maybe there is..." Harry said, thinking of something. "Neville, I assume your Gran never told Dumbledore?"

Neville shook his head. "She said, as much as she thinks he ought to know, his actions against us this past year – the Legilimency – make her uncertain whether she really wants to tell him."

Harry nodded. "Not all hope is lost, then. Perhaps it's time we gave our parents a little...push, in the right direction..."

The other three traded bemused looks, then leaned in to hear Harry's plan as the train started moving away from the platform.

-0-0-0-0-0-

"Wow. Fancy meeting you here," Sirius half-joked when Thomas actually came back to the house after work on the second. "I thought you'd go straight to the Dark Palace!"

"It's not a palace," Thomas grumbled for what must have been the sixth time in two weeks. Why Sirius insisted on calling Voldemort's base that, Thomas hadn't the faintest, but it was starting to get old.

Remus rolled his eyes at the two, then smiled at Thomas. "Sit, then, and out with it."

Thomas sat in his usual seat in the library with a groan. "Did you get letters this morning too?" he asked quietly, holding up a scroll of parchment.

"Yes," Sirius said, eyes dark. "I don't know what made them decide to do this..."

"They want us to be friends again," Remus said softly, as he had when they first got the letter from the four children, which stated that, until their guardians became friends again, they wouldn't send anymore letters home, even in the case of an emergency. "It's hard on them, their parents going from being best friends to refusing to talk."

"It's ridiculous!" Sirius snapped. "What do they mean, 'Not even if one of us is on the brink of death'?!"

"It's very Slytherin of them," Thomas commented calmly. "Though I'm not sure how well it will work in actually accomplishing what they really want."

"Well, you're taking this well," Sirius snapped, eyes glinting with anger. "And don't call it Slytherin! They're mostly Gryffindors!"

"It is a very Slytherin approach," Remus commented in a neutral tone. When Sirius looked betrayed, he laughed. "Oh, come on, Sirius! Having a touch of Slytherin in you isn't bad."

Sirius crossed his arms over his chest and looked away from the other two grumpily.

Remus looked back at Thomas with a frown. "What do you mean, 'what they want'?"

Thomas glanced down at his scroll with a frown. "One can act as a friend for the sake of appearances and not, in truth, be such. Blackmailing us may very well blow-up in their faces. Consider: Lucius works on the Board of Governors; he can get into the school at anytime. Also, the teachers and staff are duty-bound to report any danger to the students, though, admittedly, they often fail in that regard; telling us only after we've already found out from the children."

"Or your Sight," Remus commented.

Thomas opened his mouth to comment, then closed it and frowned. "I...do not think my Sight will....be of much help any longer."

"What does that mean?" Sirius snapped, a certain amount of panic in his voice.

Thomas sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "That means, my so-called 'Sight' is no longer valid." He stood abruptly and started stalking back and forth across the room. "It was only valid for so long as I didn't change too much. And I always feared it would still be useless for things, as I would mess them up – something I changed could always completely mess everything else up. Hell! What's to say my simply existing in this world didn't completely bollix everything up?"

"Thomas, Thomas!" Remus called, standing and stepping forward to grab a hold of the elder man. When Thomas looked at him helplessly, he swallowed, then asked, "What in Merlin's name are you on about?"

"Yeah, you're not making any sense," Sirius agreed from his seat.

Thomas tugged out of Remus' grasp and gave the two men serious looks. "What I am about to say is going to sound completely and hopelessly impossible, but it's the complete and utter truth, as I so swear," he warned them. Sirius and Remus traded raised eyebrows, but looked back at Thomas and nodded their understanding. "My birth mother was not Lisa Leland, but Lily Evans Potter, and my birth father was James Potter. The real Thomas Leland died when he was barely seven months from the flu."

Sirius was shaking his head vigorously, but Remus simply said, "That explains a lot."

"That it does," a sharp voice said from the doorway. All three heads turned to the open door of the library, and Thomas felt like he might be ill at the sight of Augusta Longbottom and Lucius Malfoy standing in the doorway.

Thomas fell back into his chair and covered his eyes. "Fuck it all sideways."

"That could be uncomfortable," Sirius said in a false-cheerful voice. No one smiled.

"If you're Harry Potter, then how..." Remus shook his head.

Thomas helplessly waved his hand and conjured two new seats for his other guests. "Sit," he ordered. Once everyone was seated, he gave all of them sharp looks, then said, "In my world – my past world – Harry grew up with his maternal aunt and uncle, who used him as their house elf. He came to Hogwarts at eleven, having just learned on that birthday that he was a wizard and that magic existed, and made a good friend in one Ron Weasley. Later that year, a troll got into the castle thanks to one Professor Quirrell, and he saved the life of Hermione Granger, making a life-long friend.

"The three students had their adventures and, in their fourth year, the TriWizard Tournament came to Hogwarts, which Harry was entered into by Barty Crouch Jr, who had taken the place of Mad-Eye Moody through the use of Polyjuice Potion. Harry managed the contest somehow, and in the end it transported him with another champion, Cedric Diggory, to a graveyard, where Cedric was killed and Voldemort was re-born. Harry and Voldemort duelled and Harry got away because their wands were brothers. When Dumbledore and Harry tried to tell the world that Voldemort had returned, they were scorned and an old hag in the Minister's office set a couple of dementors on Harry while at his muggle home over the summer. As a result, he was almost expelled.

"The next year, Harry heard a prophecy, which states that he must kill Voldemort, or be killed by him, and he lost his godfather at the same time. Voldemort was seen in the Ministry and they finally started to believe he was back. When Harry returned to school for his sixth year, he learned from Dumbledore about Horcruxes, which it turned out Voldemort had created to make himself immortal. He spent his seventh year hunting the world for them, believing Dumbledore to be dead and Hogwarts to be unsafe. He finished destroying Horcruxes, only to receive a vision from Voldemort showing that the prophecy that Dumbledore had shown him was a fake. Harry returned to Hogwarts, very confused.

"To complicate things, it turned out that Dumbledore hadn't died, he'd set the whole thing up to get Harry to destroy the damn Horcruxes while Dumbledore made his move against the Dark. When Harry found out that Dumbledore knew the prophecy to be fake, he threatened to go to Voldemort and join him. Dumbledore moved to kill him, but Harry's friends die in his stead and Harry finally escaped to Voldemort, wounded and friendless. Voldemort helped him heal and the two agreed to go after Dumbledore as allies. They did, and Voldemort died in the process, leaving Harry all alone in a world that had been ravaged and mostly destroyed during the war.

"I researched ways to change it. By chance, I came across some records my grandfather had kept of a Lisa Leland, and went to the goblins of Gringotts to get some papers. With the goblins' help, I got everything I needed to become the illegitimate heir of the Potter family, then, also, a way to go back in time. The next thing I knew, I was performing a blood adoption ritual with Lisa Leland and became the elder brother of my own father. And now, here I am, my own uncle. And if you think it's confusing now, try living it."

"Dumbledore...tried to kill you...?" Augusta whispered, eyes wide with horror.

Thomas nodded with a sad look. "I was no longer useful to him. I knew too much, and I'd destroyed the Horcruxes, as he'd wanted. What better way to be rid a pawn then to destroy it yourself?"

"This isn't chess!" Sirius snapped. "It's people's lives!"

"Please," Thomas said in a sickly-sweet voice, "tell that to Albus Dumbledore. I don't think he got the memo."

Sirius gritted his teeth and snarled, "This isn't a joke, Thomas."

"Really?" Thomas replied evenly. "And here I thought it was just a simple story told to a couple of acquaintances. A story, I might add, that I've already lived through once."

"Sirius," Remus whispered, "he's not putting it down like it's nothing. He's doing the same thing you do every time I bring up Azkaban or Peter."

Sirius' jaw tightened and he looked away. "I don't want Harry hurt."

"And you think I do?" Thomas asked coldly.

"It's not like you've stopped anything from happening!"

Thomas stood, furious. "Sirius Orion Black, don't you dare assume! Because of me, Harry didn't live like a slave. Because of me, Harry had a peaceful second year. Because of me, you got out of Azkaban two years early. Because of me, Harry didn't have to fight Voldemort in the graveyard. Because of me, Harry didn't have to watch a fellow student die at the age of fourteen. No, I didn't stop him from facing Quirrell and Voldemort in his first year. No, I didn't kill Dumbledore on sight. No, I didn't stop Voldemort from using Harry to bring himself back to life. What more do you want from me?! I'm not a god!!"

Sirius and the others were left gaping as Thomas stalked angrily from the room and down the hall to the Floo, where he left for his mate.

"Masterfully played, Black," Lucius commented sarcastically after a long while.

"Sirius," Remus moaned, "I'm beginning to think I need to simply keep a permanent silencing spell on you. You spend more time making an idiot of yourself than you do redeeming your faults."

"Shut up, Moony," Sirius grumbled, looking rather like a petulant child.

"He has a point," Lucius pointed out cheerfully. "I wonder, sometimes, that Thomas hasn't rid himself of you yet."

"Oh, I don't know," Remus snapped back sarcastically. "Perhaps because Sirius is Thomas' godfather?"

"...Moony, that's a rather convoluted conclusion."

"That was an impressive use of vocabulary I wasn't aware you had," Lucius offered with a sneer, easily ignoring the returning growls from the two canines. He turned to Augusta. "What brings you here, Madam Longbottom, other than eavesdropping on private conversations?"

"Yeah, and who gave you two the right to do that, anyway?" Sirius snapped.

Augusta held up a roll of parchment. "And you?"

Lucius held up his own parchment. "I had expected a letter home to be with Draco's eagle, but I receive a letter from a school barn owl instead. The contents were... disturbing."

"Almost as disturbing as the deliverer," Augusta agreed, then turned to Sirius and Remus. "And you two?"

Remus grimaced and nodded. "We got one, so did Thomas. Thomas isn't sure this will work the way the children want it to, though."

"Oh?" Lucius inquired.

"He says that, just because we act as though we're friends again, doesn't mean that we, in fact, are," Remus offered. Next to him, Sirius nodded glumly.

"He has a point," Augusta replied. "But I think the children will be glad of even that, at this point. An act is certainly better than nothing."

"And an act will at least keep the children in contact," Lucius agreed. "But before we agree on anything, I believe we should gather the Grangers and bring them in, as well. It's only fair that we are all here to discuss this difficulty together, seeing as it involves all of our children."

"Impressively un-Death Eater of you, Malfoy," Augusta offered calmly.

Lucius frowned at her. "While I admit to being uncertain as to how I should proceed with the parents, I see no reason to dislike the children. They have done nothing wrong and are innocents in this discussion between us, as well as the war. Draco is my son, and his friends as good as family."

"Huh," Sirius offered intelligently. "...so, Moony can go get John and Elizabeth. Who's going to get Thomas?"

Lucius made a particular face. "I would not attempt to distract him if he is with the Dark Lord, Black. Thomas may like you, but I can assure you that the Dark Lord will not be so kind."

"So, you go get him."

"I like my soul attached to my body, thank you."

"Sirius, I think Thomas could do with some time to calm down, anyway," Remus soothed. "I'll go get the Grangers and, by the time he returns, we should have a plan that even he can agree to."

The other three nodded their agreement and Remus left to get the missing two.

-0-0-0-0-0-

"Why are you here, Thomas?" Voldemort asked once he'd closed the door to his bedroom behind himself. His mate was curled in a ball in the middle of the bed, staring out the window towards the sea below.

Thomas glanced over his shoulder, then shook his head. "I told Sirius and Remus," he said so quietly that Voldemort almost didn't hear. "Lucius and Augusta were listening in. So they all know."

Voldemort rolled his eyes and forced his way past unresisting barriers into his mate's mind. He viewed the entirety of the conversation, then pulled back out. "You're not a god, Harry," he said to the figure watching him from the bed, using his mate's birth name for, hopefully, a greater impact.

Thomas flinched and looked away.

"And the fool reacted more out of surprise than malice. You know this. Why are you here?"

"I can't spend time with my mate?"

"I was under the impression that you were going to stay at your home until you and your fellows had found a way to curb your nephew's sorrow."

Thomas flinched again. "I don't–"

"Get out."

Thomas looked up at Voldemort, hurt, but the gleaming red eyes didn't waver. "Tom–"

"No. You may return when you have finished your mission. I will not see you until then. Out."

Thomas suddenly found himself on the floor outside of the room he'd just been in, looking up at unmoving doors. He quickly stood and, ignoring the fact that there were two Death Eaters just down the hall who were staring at him, he began pounding on the doors. "Let me in, damn you!"

There was a flash of light and Thomas groaned as his back hit the wall on the other side of the hallway. Hurt formed an empty hole in his heart and Thomas furiously ripped a hole through his mate's anti-apparating wards and popped away.

One Death Eater stared on in abject horror while the other lay at his feet, fainted dead away.

-0-0-0-0-0-

Thomas stumbled back into his house four hours after having left Voldemort's base and half-fell up the stairs. The noise brought the six people in the library running and they stared at him in shock as he blinked dumbly at the stair digging in to his cheek.

"You've been drinking," Sirius commented, recalling the way he or James would look after a night out.

"So what?" Thomas grumbled, then struggled to push himself up.

"I thought you were Flooing to Voldemort's, not out to get drunk," Remus commented.

Thomas sneered and somehow found the strength to push himself up enough to lean on the stair banister. "Fuck. Him," he said coolly, then started pulling himself up the stairs.

The other six traded astounded looks – Thomas had explained mates to them after Remus and Sirius came out – and turned back to watch Thomas finish pulling himself up the stairs.

"So," Sirius said after Thomas managed to get to his room and slam the door behind himself, "any bets on what Voldemort said?"

"I'm more interested in how we can fix it," Remus commented quietly.

"As I said earlier," Lucius quipped, "I like my soul attached."

"I highly doubt this is something we can fix," Augusta agreed. "If it wasn't Voldemort Thomas was mated with, we might be able to help him, but as it is, we'll simply have to sit back and wait."

"...And maybe mention it to Harry," Remus commented, remembering Thomas' warning that Harry always knew what Voldemort was feeling. Perhaps he could figure out a way to, at the very least, find out what was wrong.

"Oh, yeah," Sirius agreed, eyes brightening. "We'll tell Harry!"

"Because that will help." Lucius sneered.

Sirius ignored him in favour of running for a quill and parchment.

-0-0-0-0-0-

Voldemort was surprised when he felt Harry's mental touch at one point in the early morning. He'd been up all night, staring out at the sea with a glass of whiskey in one hand, which he'd yet to touch. He felt every bit as bad about his actions towards his mate as he was certain Thomas felt, but he had to put his foot down somewhere.

Harry's mental touch contained a brush of concern, as well as a question.

Voldemort opened his Occlumency walls a little further so he could properly decipher the question.

'Uncle Thomas. What done?' Harry's mental self managed to push through, though the question was not so much in words as it was in mental images and the feeling of love and self that Voldemort had quickly learned meant 'Thomas' in Harry's mind.

In response, Voldemort pushed back a quick image of Thomas' saddened expression and him pushing him from the room.

Harry's responding 'Why?' was loud and clear.

Voldemort struggled to find a way to say that Thomas had sworn to not return until Harry's wish in his owl had been fulfilled.

Harry must have gotten the idea, because he sent back a feeling like a chiding parent.

Voldemort scowled and offered a sneering feeling of disgust back.

Harry replied with the image of Thomas stumbling, drunk. It was clearly one that Harry had created himself and not one he'd really seen.

Voldemort snorted.

A quick image of a worried and hurried letter from the mutt Black smashed into his mind, with the words 'Thomas' and 'falling-down drunk' clearly highlighted.

A stab of full-blown horror and concern hit Voldemort from deep down in his blackened heart and he barely registered his untouched glass slipping from his fingers.

Harry slipped him a request, 'He. You. Please.'

Voldemort nodded in acknowledgement and hurried to the Floo.

-0-0-0-0-0-

The last thing Sirius had expected to happen when he sent his plea out to Harry, was for him to be stumbling out of his room and down the hall to the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning when Voldemort walked up the stairs. He blinked a couple of times at the most-wanted Dark Lord, then pinched himself, certain he was dreaming.

Voldemort did not look amused. "Where is Thomas?" he ordered.

Sirius pointed to Thomas' room wordlessly.

Voldemort pushed passed him and easily tore down the wards that Sirius hadn't even been able to consider touching in mere moments. Then the Dark Lord simply strolled into Thomas' room.

Sirius, curious as a cat, shuffled over and peeked into the doorway.

He needn't have bothered however, because Thomas had woken when his wards had fallen, and as soon as he saw Voldemort he shouted, "Get out! Out! Away, you bloody snake-bastard! I haven't even spoken to them! You don't want to see me!"

Remus came running out of the room he shared with Sirius, wand out, but at the sight of the wide-eyed Sirius looking into Thomas' open room, he calmed down, having a feeling he knew what was going on.

Voldemort let Thomas shout at him, then frowned. "You smell of alcohol and piss," he stated.

Thomas replied with a string of colourful curses that had Sirius blushing almost as bad as Remus, who had joined him in the doorway.

"Inventive, but highly implausible," Voldemort replied to one of Thomas' curses. "Now, if you're done, you need a bath."

"I'll curse you so bad if you come any closer!" Thomas threatened, waving his wand about warningly.

Voldemort cocked a hair-less eyebrow at him. "Will you, now?" he commented idly as he stepped up to the bed.

Thomas thrashed out with his legs at his mate, but Voldemort calmly dodged them, then grabbed Thomas' arms and forced him down on the bed, red eyes gleaming.

"You will calm down, Thomas."

"I'm not going to listen to some snake-faced, ugly-as-butt–"

"Harry Thomas James Justis Leland-Potter," Voldemort intoned.

Thomas' mouth snapped shut and he settled for glaring.

Voldemort nodded and let go of Thomas' arms. "Bath," he ordered.

"And why should I listen to a great bastard such as yourself?" Thomas responded, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Because I told you to," Voldemort replied matter-of-factly.

Thomas sneered. "I'm not one of your useless servants, Tom."

"I'll tell Harry again!" Sirius offered from the doorway, earning himself a smack from Remus.

Realization dawned. "Harry contacted you."

"He was...concerned," Voldemort agreed, face twisted with disgust at the mere idea.

"It's nice to know someone can get through to you," Thomas snapped back.

Voldemort shook his head. "Bath. Now."

"No!"

"You are acting like a child," the Dark Lord informed him.

"I'll act like a child if I feel like it!"

"You are acting worse than Black."

That gave Thomas some pause and he turned his gaze to the doorway that he couldn't quite see and the blurry forms there. After a long moment of silence, during which Sirius rubbed his bruised arm – Remus could really punch – Voldemort tapped his foot impatiently and Remus considered going back to bed, Thomas finally got up and stumbled from his bed, out the door and down the hall to the bathroom. He almost fell onto Sirius when he passed the Animagus, but Remus' quick reflexes helped him by.

Once the door to the bathroom had closed gently, the two men in the doorway looked back in at Voldemort, who was making the bed and freshening the room with magic. When he felt eyes on him, the Dark Lord turned and glared at the two, sending them down the hall to their own room, where they took a moment to stare at each other in surprise. However, when Thomas started the shower, Sirius was suddenly reminded of the reason he'd been out of bed in the first place and made a mad dash downstairs to the other bathroom next to the kitchen, leaving Remus chortling behind him.

Voldemort, out in the hallway with a clean change of sleep robes, sneered at the mutt's quickly retreating back, then slipped into the bathroom to make sure Thomas didn't hurt himself on accident.

-0-0-0-0-0-

'My Dragon,
'It will please you and your fellows to know that we – your friends' parents, your father and I – are all meeting and talking through things. According to your father, Thomas let something slip which
may make things a little easier in the long run, though I, myself, am not privy to what this "something" is. From the look on her face this afternoon and the ease with which the talks went, I believe that whatever it was greatly affected Augusta, as her previous tendency to debate everything like a Light witch has mellowed quite a bit.
'It should reassure you – and especially Harry, in case he hasn't been informed – that Thomas is much better after his escapades last night. According to my crazy cousin, Thomas' mate popped by last night and got him back into shape, causing rather a lot of amusement for spectators. Regardless, Thomas was rather subdued today, though he at least didn't stalk off in a huff like he apparently did yesterday, and things always go smoother when he's around, as one might expect with his Grey nature.
'Looking forward to hearing from you again,
'Your anxious mother'

-0-0-0-0-0-

'Harry,
'I'm sorry I spooked you last night. I'm fine now, as you sent Tom to me to...ah...yell me back into shape. He does it quite well, I assure you. I may have to give up drinking, actually. The mere
idea of my being compared to your godfool was sobering at the time, thinking back on it, I think I'd rather it never came up again. (That being said, Sirius seems unable to stop mentioning it.)
'I'm sure someone else's parents have already owled you with the news that we're working on it; the whole being friends thing again, I mean. I told Sirius and Remus the truth and Augusta and Lucius happened to overhear. I don't think Narcissa knows – Lucius isn't the type to spread private matters around – and I know they didn't tell the Grangers.
'Love,
'Thomas'

-0-

-0-

A/N: I probably could have gotten more out, but I'm drawing a blank at this point, and I think you all would rather I get this up now, than sit on it for Merlin only knows how much longer. Ehehehe...
So, I got stuck while Thomas and Voldie were arguing. And I mentioned it to my sister and girlfriend. My sister said, "That's why you're the author." My girlfriend said, "Make them have steamy sex." And then I was told to quote that in here.
Clearly, there was no steamy sex, but there was a steamy bathroom, a naked Thomas and Voldie holding his clothing, so I suppose you may imagine to your heart's content what happened. -shifty eyes-

Spring semester starts for me tomorrow, and the beautiful Shara Lunison – aka, my girlfriend – has told me I WILL be doing my work this semester, so I'm gonna have to put that before fanfic. (Sorry, guys. Alternately, if I don't get anything written for too long, she might go spare and make me write something, since she reads my fics too... -winks- )

Sorry I still haven't gotten the timeline up, I keep forgetting when I'm in my dorm room and it's not at my girlfriend's apartment, so I can't use her scanner....
Does anyone really care if I get it up? Because if lots of people do, in fact, care, then I'll work on it. Else, I won't worry about it too much.

Leave me a review!!
~Bats

B/N: -points at Bats- Don't hold your breath, love. I will make you work even if it means not having anything remotely interesting to read for another six months. -_-;;