It took less then a second for Kakashi to withdraw, moving to stand solidly at the corner of Harry's unnecessarily large bed. Frozen for a moment by the loss of such delicious and addictive warmth, Harry too moved to face the intruder in his home.

With long blond hair brawn back into a low ponytail and slender silver eyes narrowed, Lucius stood ramrod straight – an unexpected yet decidedly grim looking Dumbledore by his side. Harry felt a shiver of dark anticipation run down his spine, causing him to grip the rumpled blankets beneath him with an iron grip as an evil feeling silence stretched. The more primal side of Harry was reared and ready to fight, his muscles tensed and his eyes darting slowly between the faces of his 'guests'.

"Mr. Hatake, I would have expected better of you – considering your sizable fee." Dumbledore finally broke the unsteady silence. His voice was the same as ever and yet the words seemed wrong, as if this was not Dumbledore but simply some evil wearing a mask of him.

Kakashi tensed violently, every toned muscles in his body jumping into action suddenly. He was – Harry thought, rather detached – every bit the glorious creature his unconscious mind had assured. The silver haired man was tall and well muscled, every detail from his scarred face to the way his fingertips were moving ever so gently with every slow but steady breath screamed of a deadly hidden force.

Lucius shifted his grip on his snake headed cane softly, moving it just enough to cause a slight sound and draw Harry's attention.

"It would seem," the blond started slowly, his words spoken with no small amount of pride. "that Mr. Potter can not be trusted to follow the rules of our study. This means, of course, that he must be taken to the Department of Magical Creatures and held in the animal cages to prevent interference in our studies of him again." Lucius had turned to Dumbledore, as if speaking to the slowly nodding man, but his harsh silver eyes remained on Harry's own.

Dumbledore said nothing, simply nodded and made a lazy gesture over his shoulder. Two Ministry workers – both bearing the seal of the Magical Creatures department – entered, cuffs swinging noisily at their hips. The two men, both quite large, made a beeline for Harry with blank expressions and wands drawn. Glancing quickly between the two men and Harry, Kakashi made to block them but froze at a look from Dumbledore.

"Now Mr. Hatake," the elderly man spoke, "you've already gotten yourself in quite enough trouble. Do not interfere – the law states that if any magical creature should refuse to be studied properly in their own homes they must be detained."

Kakashi glared, but stopped none the less – his mismatched eyes pointedly avoiding Harry's own. Thick metal shackles were placed at Harry's wrists and ankles before he had chance to utter a word. A quickly muttered spell from the shorter of the two ministry workers sealed Harry's lips and together the two men lifted his small frame up by the arms. He struggled, twisting and turning wildly but to little avail. Harry twisted around as much as he could as he was slowly marched away, hoping to catch the silver haired man's eye. Kakashi stood still and straight in the same spot, his dark mask already drawn up again and his eyes watching a random spot on the wall somewhere to Harry's far left with a blank look in his single exposed eye. Again the small demon struggled, making as much noise as he could to try and draw the ninja's eye. Kakashi did not look. He simply continued to stare at the wall, arms hanging limply and no expression to be found on his face.

"A wise decision Hatake," Lucius noted as Harry squirmed more violently, kicking and grunting loudly until he could no longer see the blank silver haired man. Something inside him hurt wildly, pulsing through his chest with more pain then Harry had ever felt and slowly he conceded.

Harry settled down, his struggles nothing more than an occasional halfhearted jerk as the two men walked him out into his dark living room and from there apparated away. They arrived in a small, stark white room. In the corner there was a small metal table and next to it was a cot with worn leather straps hanging down the sides at regular intervals. He was thrown none too gently onto the cot, then bound by the straps before the two men went to stand against the plain wall across from him. Harry was violently reminded of Crabbe and Goyle, always flanking Draco in his younger days with the same bare expressions and steely appearance and he wouldn't have surprised if it was, in fact, them. He never knew their faces well, but this sort of job would have been perfect for them considering that all Harry had ever observed them particularly excelling at was grunt work such as this.

All was eerily silent in the tiny little room for a moment, the two men watching him with unreadable expressions as Harry stared in horrified fascination at his bindings. The leather was old and worn to the point of cracking in the surface layer, but a quick and violent jerk proved that Harry would still be suitably imprisoned by them none the less.

Harry suddenly remembered his magic and was absently disappointed with himself. Even after nearly a decade of living in this magical world, his mind still forgot magic in fight or flight situations. Green eyes focused on the restraints, his magic jumping to answer but blocked from escape.

"It won't do you much good; those shackles bind your magic," a new occupant in the little room announced as she entered and shut the door behind herself.

Harry glanced at the thick metal shackles covered partly by the leather straps and then to the new entrant. She was a plain woman with rather monochromatic coloring and a foul smirk. In her hands she held a thin metal tray, laden with various bottles and a wicked looking needle.

Her smirk twisted slightly, as if she was trying to flash a smile but was wholly incapable of such an expression. "I never expected to see you here Mr. Potter," she spoke, her attempted smile abandoned as she walked with a steady 'click-clack' to the table by him. "I wouldn't have thought Dumbledore would want his golden child in this place, but I suppose we all tire of our toys sooner or later." There was no answer, but the woman did not seem to mind. She set her tray down and immediately picked up the needle and ones of the bottles. Sticking the long tip into the bottle, the woman slowly drew a large amount of whatever the liquid was before pulling the needle out again. There was no warning or even a glance in his direction before she jabbed the thing into his exposed arm and forced the needle's contents into his body.

The response was instantaneous. Harry's magic, usually a thrumming force running through his veins like blood, stopped. It was as if whatever force made his magic move suddenly disappeared. Pain brushed at every part of his body in a sudden, violent wave. Every pore was screaming with the pressure of Harry's magic violently trying to escape, to circulate.

"Funny thing about magic," the woman commented, her voice just barely breaking through the deafening pounding of his pulse as Harry's heart tried to force his magic into moving. "It has to circulate, like blood does. If it stops moving, it starts to damage the tissue around it. Like an acid eating away at your body from the inside, isn't that fascinating?"

Harry bucked crazily, somehow sure that it would force the pain away. The restraints muffled his movements and he whipped his head rapidly from side to side, his long curly mess of hair following dramatically. A firm hand held his head still by the hair for a moment before the force disappeared and another needle plunged deep into his arm. The woman may have still been speaking, but Harry could not hear her above the sound of his own screaming pain – a loud high pitched ringing in his ears.

The firm strong hands of his guards gripped his upper arms, just beneath his armpits and lifted him up and away. They struggled to hold their grip on the wildly jerking Harry, lost to everything but the horrendous pain. Suddenly, it stopped.

Harry was leaning heavily against a firm warmth, his head pounding and his eyes closed tightly as he breathed heavily through his nose. The small demon felt the firm press of something with hard, sharp edges pressed into his palm and he gripped it more tightly in the search for some sort of lifeline.

The spell sealing his lips released, allowing Harry to draw quick gasping breaths. Ever so slowly, his pounding heart settled and his magic moved in the same complicated pattern as his blood. Harry blinked his eyes open, temporarily blinded by the sudden light. Slowly, the lap of one of his captors came into focus the man's thick thigh acting as a makeshift pillow. Withdrawing quickly, Harry drew back as much as he was allowed by a firm hand on his shoulder. He stared steadily at the suddenly expressive brown eyes of the man before him, absently noting that they were no longer in the white room but instead a dimly lit hallway lined with doors of every color and size. Harry's head pulsed and unoccupied hand snapped to press lightly as his temple. It drew back with a lock of dark hair caught between pale fingers. Harry stared at the thick lock of his own hair which he held, mind blank.

"She cut it," the second man, stationed behind the sitting Harry, supplied. He knelt down and ran a large hand through the now short, haphazardly cut hair.

"I think it just made it wilder," the first man added, a hint of amusement in his eyes.

Harry peeked at the first man again, curious as to this sudden change in behavior. The man smiled a rough, rarely used smile and reached for Harry's hair as well. He gently pulled at a particularly tight corkscrew and watched silent affection as it sprung back into shape when he released it.

"You and Draco were always so good for each other," the man in front of Harry muttered softly.

"He would be so angry to see what has been done to you," the second agreed, plopping down to sit at Harry's right.

The green eyed boy glanced between them, unsure of himself. "W-w-what?"

"It's us," the first answered, watching Harry carefully. "Crabbe and Goyle."

Harry would have laughed at his own precognitive thoughts had he not been so terribly confused.

"We had to help," the first, Crabbe – Harry guessed, added. "Draco wouldn't have liked it if we hadn't."

Goyle grunted, his legs crossed beneath him. "Would have become a ghost and tortured us to death," he agreed.

Bloodshot eyes darted from one man to the other rapidly, Harry's grip on the sharp item in his hand tightening nervously. "I d-d-don't u-n-n-nderstand-d-d."

"Your magic would have killed you, eaten you alive from the inside out." Goyle said rather harshly, his dark hair was cropped close to the scalp and gave him an even more severe look. "That woman injected you with hawthorn – it stopped your magic from circulating which caused it to start attacking your body."

Crabbe frowned, leaning back to rest on his arms. "It doesn't leave your body," he answered the demon's unasked question. "The only reason it's moving now is because of that." The larger man nodded towards Harry's clenched fist. He leaned forward and captured the slender wrist, pulling it forward until Harry found himself staring at his own tightly closed hand. Crabbe gently pulled Harry's hand open to reveal a large blood red gem, the size and shape of a large shark's tooth.

"It's garnet and it's stopping the hawthorn from attacking your magic," the large brunet pointed out and Crabbe closed Harry's hand around the gem again. "You have to maintain skin contact with that gem or the hawthorn will start attacking again." Goyle paused, glancing at a pocket watch he pulled from his navy robes before standing again. He pulled Harry up easily, as if the green eyed man weighed no more then a rag doll. The shackles, which apparently had been removed sometime during Harry's fit, were hung on Crabbe's hip before the two large men began to lead Harry further down the hallway.

The smallest of the three remained silent for a long while before he finally worked up the courage to ask the questions clawing at his mind.

"W-w-w-ho -"

"Dumbledore," the two others answered in perfect synchronization.

Harry fell quiet, his head spinning slightly from the new development. The threesome stopped before a grand dark brown door, behind which Harry could hear the slight murmur of conversation. "W-w-w-why d-did you s-s-save me?" He whispered, not for fear of being overheard but for fear of the answer.

"It's what Draco would have wanted."

The answer Harry had expected and yet dreaded turned at his chest, twisting his heart painfully as he tried to stave the tears. He wiped irritably at the few escapees with his free hand, holding the garnet tight. Crabbe and Goyle pretended not to notice as they ushered Harry to a smaller light brown door just a few feet from the larger one.

"There's an entrance to a small passage behind the painting of Helga Hufflepuff – it'll lead you out of here." Crabbe provided, opening the door and gesturing Harry inside.

"And be quiet!" Goyle stressed just before the door closed.

Harry watched the plain door for a moment more, the strong edge of the garnet he held tickling his palm uncomfortably. Finally, he turned to face the well furnished but not recently used office. He spotted the portrait Crabbe had mentioned above a grand wooden desk, its subject watching him curiously but silently.

Climbing onto the desk, Harry considered the massive painting and then his hand, closed ever so tightly around his garnet. He frowned and glanced at the painting again before slipping his fingertips along the thick, gilded frame. It was a struggle but Harry eventually managed to pull the painting far enough away from the wall for him to slip into the small entrance without the use of clenched hand.

Moving about in the confined space was easy enough for one as small as him and before long Harry found himself at a fork in the path. To the far right he could see sunlight pouring in through a grated cover and to the left he could just barely catch a glimpse of dark wallpaper. He had very nearly made it to the grate and the freedom just beyond it, when a catch of a conversation reached him.

"This is all an unfortunate affair Mr. Hatake..."

Harry froze, looking over his shoulder at the distant wallpaper which had suddenly become such a tempting option. His mind screamed that he mustn't, that he could get caught and freedom was oh so sweetly close but Harry's body would not allow him to move any further away from where he now knew Kakashi to be. Harry turned around awkwardly, crawling on his hands and knees as quickly as he could to the other grate. He had to see Kakashi – at least one last time, his heart demanded it.

The grate offered a fair enough view of the room – from his position Harry could not see faces but he could hear everything being said well enough. Kakashi stood three or four feet before a seated Dumbledore, his body oddly tense. At Kakashi's feet sat Choyo, her numerous tails snapping around in obvious anger with Hedwig sat upon her strong shoulder.

"- Very unfortunate that it has come to this Mr. Hatake, but I am afraid that this mission can be labeled nothing other than a failure." Dumbledore said loftily, his hands folded under his chin. Harry leaned closer as quietly as he could, peering through the metalwork leaves of the grate. "You were expressly ordered no to allow Harry to know of your presence and you failed to do -" the elderly wizard stopped short when the door to the room opened and in walked Crabbe and Goyle. Goyle leaned down to whisper something in Dumbledore's ear before taking his leave with Crabbe.

The room became awkwardly silent, neither Dumbledore nor Kakashi speaking a word for several minutes.

"It would seem this has ended more badly than previously thought." The old man announced. "Due to your disregard for the conditions of your mission," Dumbledore continued, sounding harsh, "we had to remove Harry from your watch, which in turn resulted in him being under-protected." Dumbledore paused, as if expecting an answer but the silver haired ninja said nothing. "Harry has just been killed."

Kakashi's entire body jerked in surprise and Choyo froze. Stuffing his fist in his mouth the stop the loud gasp, Harry leaned close still the grate – the firm metal pressing against his forehead.

"You are solely responsible for this turn of events Kakashi Hatake, and as such I have no choice but to exact revenge for the death of the Savior of our World. Return to your village and inform then that as of this moment, the entire magical community is at war with Konoha."

Kakashi said nothing, nor did he move. He simply stood there, prostrated before Dumbledore with a restraining hand placed on Choyo's head. The fox's ears drooped, her tails dropping to tuck between her hind paws.

Without a word, Kakashi disappeared in a swirl of wind and leaves – taking Choyo and Hedwig with him.

A.N: Second to last chapter, and then the sequal will start up. Lol, much thanks to my new beta (I'm rocking the two beta! lol, I've got so much in the works I decided to use two betas so as not to bog either down too much.) Stalker who read through this chapter for me. There is, of course, still my yahoo group (which I have set as my homepage) for those of you who wanna join. Also... aren't I wonderfully evil! {insert evil laughter here} I have been so mean with my cliffhangers lately.