Gunning Down Romance
Rating: M for abuse, graphic descriptions of blood and gore, slash, and violence
A/N in this story Harry will be essentially Light and will try and fight the darkness growing in him. There will be some bashing of characters but no Hermione or Ginny bashing. This will be one story where the pairing will not immediately jump into bed together and I'm not going to say who he is paired with until the time is right. This is a Sevitus in that Severus Snape will be a mentor/father type figure to him but not his biologically.
Harry Potter, savior of the wizarding world, was dying. Not the violent death of battle, or the quiet death of time, no, this was the painful death of abuse. His body beaten black with shattered bones and split skin. The only wizard who could match both Dumbledore and Voldemort was slipping away.
He had been found in this state by one of the Order guards, after he had been dumped in the park. The Order member in question, one Mundungus Fletcher, was currently getting th metaphoric shit beat out of him for a.) not looking after Harry good enough and b.) being too drunk to give a positive id of Harry's attacker beyond being a big, beefy man.
The few members of the order not too frightened for Harry's continual existence to think about other matters wondered why Fletcher was allowed to guard again after the dementor incident the previous year. Only one of those managed to put the dementor incident together with the timing of the beating, the day after the students were sent home for the summer, and get the logical answer. Harry Potter was very nearly beaten to death by his own relatives, and if Madame Pomfrey didn't get him stabilized soon they would loose him.
The Hogwarts Medi-Witch had called in reinforcements from Saint Mungos as soon as the boy landed in her infirmary. He was too far gone by then to try to move him again. She was in charge of the situation at the moment and it seemed to her, and the others working on him, that there was only one thing left to try to help him heal. It was incredibly risky and had only been successfully done before a grand total of five times.
It took twelve (complete) hours from the time of his arrival to the time the Healer's plan was completed. All that was left to do was letting Harry sleep and hope his body and magic accepted the change(over) smoothly. He had managed to make it through the worst part, but he was not out of the woods yet.
It was one incredibly exhausted Madame Pomfrey that came out of the infirmary to face several anxiously pacing people, a few sitting and brooding, and one face stonily blank.
"How is he?" The haggard voice of Remus was the first to be heard.
"The procedure is complete, he survived. The rest is up to him and his magic. He is in a magically induced coma at the moment, he´ll wake up when he is ready." The unspoken if was heard louder than her actual words.
"What does the procedure actually do?" This was asked by Shakelbolt, since he had been questioning Fletcher when Pomfrey had told the others.
"Harry was badly hurt, if we had tried to heal him using potions or spells he would need such a high dose it would kill him. We had to vanish the shattered bones and remove the more injured portions of skin. To replace the missing parts, we gave him a potion that would slowly change him into his Animagus form. When the animal had taken over the missing portions, we had to use a spell to seal him into the half transformed is now a mix between human and animal." Madame Pomfrey explained.
"I thought the Animagus transformation only changed the current body, how can it replace the removed parts?" he asked logically.
"If you have a non-magical creature Animagus, you´d be right, but if your animagus is a magical creature it recreates all parts of itself during the transformation. That is why we have to seal him halfway transformed, if he reverted completely back to human he would still be missing those portions." Pomfrey explained.
"How many wizards have magical creature Animagus forms?" Shakelbolt inquired curiously.
"No more than about one in fifty, which is why this procedure is so rare. Remember, he could still reject the change, if he does he will revert back to his original state and the shock will kill him."
"So what is his Animagus?" Severus asked impatiently.
"Had he been allowed the full change he would have been a Nundu." She answered grimly.
"You have to be kidding? The Gryffindor Golden Brat has a Dark creature Animagus form." His voice definitely carried surprise.
A Nundu was something on the lines of a very large Jaguar with one distinct difference. The Nundu's breath was highly toxic, and the creatures themselves were far from docile. No single wizard could ever hope to subdue one and anyone foolish enough to try would die a very painful death.
"How much of him has changed?" Dumbledore asked, his face pale.
"His hands and wrists were crushed. I was able to salvage his wrists but he has Paws and I can guess claws. Also, his eyes had been damaged beyond repair as were his ears. Most of his spine and some of his dorsal ribs were broken and he is lucky his magic protected the spinal cord or he would definitely be paralyzed. The skin on his back was nearly flayed, in all honesty I did not have to remove much myself. His lower right leg was broken but I didn't have to remove it, as well as his collar bone and left check bone." Pomfrey answered clinically otherwise she would be in tears herself.
"Can you tell me what made the injuries?" Kingsley asked gently. He had been writing down every injury she had listed off. If they caught the bastard that did this, they needed accurate reports.
"The damage to his spine, ribs, and leg appear to be from a muggle auto that hit him when his back was turned, he may have carried something heavy, like his school trunk, as the damage to his wrists was caused by a heavy weight dropping suddenly. I believe whiplash would be a similar cause. His hand appears to have been crushed by brute force, like someone much larger squeezing his hand and dragging him. The damage to his face and torso was caused by a fist, and probably a heavy boot for some of the deeper spots. He had to be on the ground because it was definitely a boot that split his ears into shreds. His eyes, well, they were burned by something small and round, I´d guess a cigarette. His back was whipped, but not with a whip, but something wider and softer, a damp leather belt probably." She barely managed to get out the whole report without choking up while tears were in her eyes.
"Dear Merlin, how could someone do that!" Remus growled.
"Whoever did it took their time, there are layers of bruising and injuries. I would say the beating lasted good 24 hours with some breaks thrown in, due to the age of the wounds." She told them dutifully, subtly wiping her eyes.
"Who could have done it?" Dumbledore asked almost rhetorically.
"You honestly can't put it together?" Severus responded acerbically.
"Severus, if it had been Death Eaters the wards would have warned us." Dumbledore announced dismissively.
"I am aware of that, Albus, which is why I ´ve already gotten past the Death Eaters. Now who would be close enough to Harry, with the motive and opportunity to kill him." Severus explained as if speaking to a very small child.
"No one. Harry got in the car with his relatives, several people witnessed this. Harry must have been kidnapped." Dumbledore tried to search for an explanation and came up lacking.
"With all due respect, you really are blind, aren't you? Potter was not kidnapped, nor was he missing in any way. There is only one person who meets the requirements and that's the boy's uncle. He is the one big enough to have drug Potter and beat him, he had the opportunity, because the boy was in his care and it wouldn't have looked odd for Harry to be home and not seen from what I saw in his mind last year. Oh,and the fact that the dementor attack, while blaming Potter for it, drove him over the edge. I can't figure out how he was hit by the car, but I can guess it was dark when they got home last night, and a little chilly. With windows closed and blinds drawn a neighbor would have difficulty seeing or hearing anything."
"It just can't be Severus, Harry's uncle is family. They may have had their difficulties, but I doubt the boys relatives could do that kind of damage."
Dumbledore's comment was met with a derisive snort from Severus. "You truly believe that family is incapable of hurting each other, and yet how many cases of abuse do I bring you from my Slytherin's alone."
"That's different," He started to defend himself.
"Why? Because they are the children of Death Eaters? Because they are not part of your precious Gryffindor house, their pain isn't as meaningful? I may not like Potter, but this is a classic case of abuse to me." He explained.
"I just refuse to believe it until I hear it from Harry himself." The Headmaster decided showing his love of second chances and seeing the good in anyone.
"That could be awhile, as the boy is now in a coma which you refuse to believe the cause." Severus got the last dig in.
"Albus, your refusal to believe him doesn't perhaps stem from the fact it was you who placed him there, and you again who gave Fletcher a second chance to guard Harry when he already nearly got him Kissed?" Minerva's voice came out as a hiss and her eyes narrowed.
"My dear Minerva, it is nothing of the sort. I simply don't think family is capable of hurting one another that much." Dumbledore tried to defend himself against the second attack.
It was only if you already knew where to look, you could see the cold impenetrable wall close over onyx eyes that for a split second held immense pain. It was only if you already knew where to look, only then, could you see.
"For that boy's sake, I hope you take off those rose colored glasses and see the real world." No one knew Minerva could be that down right mean to the Headmaster.
She was one of the few that could read Severus like an open book if she chose to. She had been the one to see him at his most vulnerable times, and it helped that she had watched him build the shields in his mind. She could tell the Headmaster's voice cut deep. She knew the cause boiled down to one name.
A/N This chapter has been beta read by FireCookie on 4/6/09
Gunning Down Romance