Title: Shattered Paradise
Pairing: Harry/Draco, Draco/Severus, Harry/Severus, Harry/Draco/Severus
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Non-con, angst, threesome
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Angst
Summary: One hundred and eighty-three days and everything has changed.
Disclaimer: Characters are the property of JK Rowling, et al. This was created for fun, not for profit.
Author's notes: Written for the HDS-Beltane exchange for Juwel who requested Harry's humiliation, revelation, secrets. The dynamic of H/D/S. To have them completely change the way they think about each other. Dealing with post traumatic stress disorder. Harry and Draco are both 17 at the beginning of this story. This story was written to Pink Floyd and is best read to such music. Thanks so my betas, tehrin, oootheitooo, and megyal you are all so amazing and helpful. And thanks to the mod, who put up with me through this fest. This version is edited. Go to winnettfics at livejournal for the unedited version. (though it isn't edited much.)


One hundred and eighty-three days until:

It was Samhain and the city was burning.

Screams saturated the air and all he could feel was the heat from the flames. Burning. It was all burning.


Someone yelled his name. Desperation tainted everything: the words, his hearing, the beating of his heart. Harry ran blindly, stumbling under his exhaustion and fear, pulling people away from the scorched buildings, from under the falling rubble. Bleeding. Everywhere there was blood.

Then, out of the smoke, their enemies loomed.

One hundred and eighty-one days until:

The sound of steel scraping on steel. An echo of water dripping in the background. The sharp stench of mildew and urine. Dim light haloing everything in a cold glow. The ache in his skin and bones. A mouth full of cotton and day-old vomit. Those were the first things he noticed when he awoke in his cage.

The second was that he was not alone.

In a corner cowered Draco Malfoy.

"Wha—" His attempt to speak became nothing but pitiful squeaking through his dry, raw throat. Malfoy, facing the corner, turned in slow motion towards him. His blond hair was the color of sludge and fell across his face in stringy lengths that failed to hide the bruises forming over his left eye and bridge of his nose.

He was huddled in the corner, huddled with his back turned and his shoulders hunched, and he was dirty and stripped bare.

Harry looked down at himself and noticed he, too, was naked. Filthy and naked like a war zone refugee, but then, that is what he was, wasn't it? A refugee in a shattered world. A casualty of war.

"Slop time, boys," came cruel words that boomed against Harry's tender ears. Why did his ears ring so much? What had happened? How long had he been here? Everything was hazy, a fog of memory flashes, sometimes sounds, sometimes smells and sights. All he remembered was burning and bleeding and screaming. That was all he remembered until this moment.

Malfoy quickly shifted back to face the corner, curling into an even tighter ball as metal scraped against metal and a rusty hinge squealed. The air was thick and damp.

"Here you go, maggots. Enjoy." Laughter and that metal screech and then boot steps receding. Too many sounds, all mixed up, just flashes of the external world.

Harry groaned and tried to roll over, but pain spiked through his upper arm at the motion and the odor of the food sure as hell wasn't enough of a temptation for him to put forth the effort to rise. The smell was terrible, like something found in the bottom of a pig slop that'd had a month of hot sun and humidity to ripen. It smelled, literally, worse than shit.

"Eat up, Potter," Malfoy said in a quiet, urgent voice, and there was more scraping and then the loud slurping of a starving beast trying to consume as quickly as possible before larger scavengers chased him away.

"Potter." Malfoy reached out and pressed against his arm and Harry screamed, the sound ripping through his already raw throat and the flashes of this painful, cruel, external world slipped away.

One hundred and seventy-nine days until:

He awoke, or surfaced, since he didn't feel like he'd actually slept, to the sounds of rhythmic squeaking that faded into grunting and low guttural sounds, which might have been words had Harry an immediate sense of language.

Grunting and whimpering and, as his fog cleared, words of "Open up for me" and "Fucking tight, so tight" and "Take it all, little slut" and Harry longed to retreat again. This couldn't be happening.

For the first time, he felt panic.

The noises continued and Harry tried to will himself to unconsciousness and he organized in his head all of the Quidditch games he'd played and thought about potions for headaches and tried with all his might to wish himself elsewhere and then the noises stopped. He held himself stiff, holding his breath even as he heard a zip, then stomping of boots and the slap of bare feet on stone.

His back was to the exit of the cage so he didn't see the door wrenched open and something thrown inside. Something that quickly scrambled to the far corner then became silent and invisible.

"Shall we take Potter?" a voice asked. A voice that was husky and harsh and Harry knew he'd heard it before but his brain was frantically searching for oblivion.

"No," said another voice, one that Harry did not recognize, "not yet. He needs his strength or the power of your cock might just kill him, Greyback."

Harry's heart stopped. Literally. Stopped and refused to beat and his eyes, caked with gunk, ripped open and he stared at the back of his cage, at the metal bars surrounding him highlighted by the single Muggle light bulb that hung from a long cord above their cage. Then his heart beat again, strong and it hurt in his chest as it raced to keep him alive, alive without the benefit of hope.

Greyback laughed. "Hasn't killed that girly boy yet, Rowle. Lucius' failure's my own reward. I like my little pet. But I'm ready to try the new one. He killed our Lord and pay he will. And so young. So tender. I could just eat 'em up."

The two men continued to laugh as they walked away and then he heard, off in the distance, another door close and quiet descended on their intimate nightmare, broken only by the sharp drip of water.

One hundred and seventy-seven days until:

"Slop time," the Death Eater called Rowle said.

Two plates were slipped into the cage piled with moldy bread and rotting meat. Harry looked at Malfoy, who sniffed in feigned disdain, but ate his anyway.

Harry reached out and picked up the hunk of meat and bit in.

One hundred and seventy-six days until:

His reprieve hadn't lasted long and soon, without any finesse, he too was educated into the world of dehumanization, torture, and his own personal corner of Hell.

"Take it," Rowle grunted from behind Harry. "Good little slut. You like that, don't you."

Harry squeezed his eyes shut and tried to think himself to another land. Tried to take his thoughts to somewhere else, where he wasn't being raped by Death Eaters. Malfoy had told him to just relax, just think of other things, but the ripping of his anus and the jarring of his thighs against the rough metal of the table he was bent over kept his mind very, very present.

With a few shudders, the man came and then patted Harry's head like he would a dog. "Good boy," he drawled with mocking affection. And when he pulled out his cock, slick lines of pink and brown tinted slime slid out of Harry's arse along with it. "Back in your cage."

Rowle pulled up his trousers and grabbed Harry by the hair with his stubby fingers, dragging him to the eight by eight cell that he and Draco had shared for a week. Harry tried to get his feet under him, but Rowle kept tugging, forcing Harry off balance, and he just gave up and reached out to brace himself as he was tossed inside.

Malfoy had his back turned, facing the corner.

"Sorry, blondie, but today you'll have to go without. Greyback's busy, and I just know he's your favorite. Maybe I'll do you a favor and stop by tonight. How would you like that?"

Malfoy said nothing, just drew more into himself.

"How do you like that, lad? I asked you a question?" Rowle took a step inside the cell and Harry scooted out of the way, squeezing out come in his effort. He hated this feeling of leaking, of something being terribly wrong inside.

Rowle swung his leg and kicked Malfoy hard in the kidney. Malfoy cried out and looked up to Rowle, fear and betrayal blatant and screaming from his eyes, the twist of his mouth.

"You'd like me to stop by and have a go, right?" he asked, tapping the boot that he'd just kicked Malfoy with hard against the floor.

Malfoy nodded sharply, his eyes wide and full of dread.

"Tell me," Rowle sad.

Malfoy's eyes darted over to Harry, and Rowle kicked him again, right in the knee. Malfoy screamed and grabbed at his knee, tears welling up in his eyes. "Ye—Yes. I would like that." His voice cracked and he nodded in earnest.

"Good boy," Rowle said with a smile. "I might just come by tonight then. How 'bout that?" and he turned his back on them. The door closed, the rusty metal ringing through the silence, and he walked away.

Malfoy refused to meet Harry's eyes. Harry didn't try to meet his.

One hundred and seventy days until:

Had it only been a week? Two? The memory of the fires and being torn from Hermione and Ron had begun to turn surreal, like something he'd seen in a movie years before or maybe even a story he'd read in the back of a literary magazine. Something he didn't quite remember, but certain he'd seen it somewhere.

This place, his cage, had become eternal.

He no longer cried himself to sleep. He wasn't worth the tears.

One hundred and fifty days until:


"Potter, wake up."

He wasn't sleeping; he was just hiding from the world.

"Potter." Something in the urgency of Malfoy's words made him open his eyes and look up. They were both disgusting, filthy, and he hated the fact that he couldn't even smell his own stink anymore. The smell of shit and blood and semen was so prevalent on their bodies and in their cage, that he didn't even notice it.

"Are you cold?" Malfoy asked.

Of course he was cold. He was always cold. They were surrounded by stone in the open air of an animal cage and he was naked and scrawny. How could he not be fucking freezing?

"Yeah," Harry said. His body had long ago forgone shivering. Maybe it was trying to commit suicide. Maybe today was the day he wouldn't eat the crap they laid out for him. Maybe today he would just die.

"Can I…?" Malfoy leaned towards him, moving away from his corner. His eyes were wide, almost glowing in the light of the florescent bulb that was never shut off. Dismal eternal light. Squatting on his hands and feet, he took a tentative hand-step in Harry's direction.

"Can you what?" Harry asked, alarmed at the pitch of his own voice.

"Never mind." Malfoy immediately turned his back on Harry and faced into his corner, shivering.

Ah… Harry understood. Malfoy hadn't given up. Malfoy still wanted to live.

"Come here," Harry said. Like a timid mouse Malfoy looked over his shoulder at Harry, then slowly turned his whole body and crawled over on hands and knees. The two teenagers huddled back to back, laying one side on the cold, hard ground, arms wrapped around their middles. Malfoy was a little furnace and Harry was certain he won out on this deal.

"Warm," Harry mumbled and pressed closer to Malfoy.

"Yeah," Malfoy agreed.

Time had little meaning for Harry in his cage. There were moments where he was fed, moments where he took a dump in the corner they used as a toilet, moments where he was dragged out of the cage, bent over a table and fucked. Everything else was soft, mutable, but now here he was, touching another person and this simple act seemed to make this moment solid, more real. Harry didn't know whether to hate Malfoy forever for this, or thank him.

"How did they get you?" Harry finally asked. They hadn't talked at all, not really, since Harry had been brought here.

"They killed my father, said he had something to do with you killing the Dark Lord. Greyback had always had an eye on me and he took me. I struggled. I did," he said quietly, "But I didn't have my wand and… and you know how he is." Yes, Harry did. "And I've been here since. I've been here… since."

Did Malfoy know how long he'd been here? Harry knew he'd lost track of time.


"Me?" Harry stopped to think. "Hermione, Ron and I were trying to free some Muggles being tortured by Death Eaters. I had no idea there were so many of you…" he thought about that and then recanted, "them. I thought with Voldemort gone that they would all fall apart."

"Yeah. Me, too," Malfoy said, pressing closer to Harry's back. He was still shivering.

"Then there was this trap and Ron was almost captured but I revealed myself and they went after me instead. They set the whole town on fire. It's bad out there, Malfoy. Really fucking bad."

"Draco. Just… could you call me Draco?"

"Yeah, sure," Harry said. He began counting Draco's vertebrae as they pressed into his back. "And Harry, call me Harry." He felt Draco nod his head against the back of his own.

"But it isn't hopeless. It isn't like the Death Eaters will win. They don't have a leader and there are a lot of people fighting them. They'll find us in no time."

"No time," Draco repeated.


Their conversation stopped and Harry felt Draco breathing, slow and steady and thought he must have fallen asleep. He wondered again how much time had passed.

One hundred and forty-nine days until:

He woke up with Draco's arm around his waist and his sharp nose poking the back of his neck and realized just how cold he had been. Draco was warm, soft and a human being who wasn't hurting him. Tears started slipping down Harry's face and he began to quietly weep.

"Hey," Draco said, and propped himself up to look over at Harry. "Don't give up."

"I already did," Harry admitted, wiping away at the moisture, creating a clean patch on the back of his wrist. "I'd already given up, then you had to go and be nice to me. How fucking pitiful. Voldemort should have won." Harry rolled onto his stomach.

A tentative hand touched Harry's shoulder, and then awkwardly began rubbing his back. "Don't give up, Harry. Please… I'd thought about dying so many times, then you were brought here and I realized I'm not alone. Don't give up… I don't think I could do it alone." His words were quiet in his confession, small and so very fragile.

Draco continued rubbing and Harry sniffed his runny nose.

Finally, he rolled back over and looked up at Draco. "Fine. I'm not giving up. But… I can't do this very long. Not much longer."

Draco nodded.

One hundred and forty-three days until:

They lay together for warmth. The door to the outside, to freedom, Harry thought, opened; Draco scurried to his corner and Harry to his. They hid their faces and shrunk to as small a size as possible, hoping to be looked over, to be forgotten.

"Hello, lads." Greyback. Harry felt his bollocks scramble up inside his body.

"Which one wants to come play today?"

Neither of them moved.

"Pretty boy or hero boy…? It is so hard to choose," he chuckled. The lock on the cage door rattled and then from beyond Rowle called out.

"Greyback, get your arse back here. We have to go to York. Now!"

"What?" the feral man growled. "I'm busy."

"Put it in your pants. We have to go."

"Fucking shite. You boys just hang on. I'll be back soon." Heavy stomping lead away and Harry heard Draco whimper as he released his own breath.

"That was close," Harry whispered after he heard the door click. He looked over to Draco, who was shivering again, his arms wrapped around his legs as the bones of his spine poked out like a little headstones from a graveyard.


Draco looked over at him, pale and scared and Harry, due to some unrecognizable emotion, crawled over to him.

"It's okay," Harry said. He opened his arms and Draco's wide eyes stared at him, skittish and wary. Harry didn't move and finally, like a frightened child, Draco leaned into Harry's chest. Stiffly, Harry wrapped his arm around him and held on. They didn't touch like this unless they were sleeping and Harry wasn't sure if he was overstepping boundaries or breaking undefined rules, but then, they were trapped in a cage; there weren't rules for this. He relaxed and ran a soft caress down Draco's back, over and over.

"I don't want him. I don't want him to take me again," Draco confessed to Harry's chest. "He hurts me. He tries to hurt me."

The light bulb overhead sputtered, flickered just a bit, but came back to full brightness. Harry looked up at it, and wished upon it like a star.

Please, he pleaded to the star, help us. Get us out of here. We don't deserve this.

After, Draco seemed calmer and he pulled away from Harry's arms and gave him a tentative smile.

"Thanks," he said with a vain attempt at his formal haughtiness. "Sorry I broke down there, Harry." Draco looked away; his downcast eyes were sunken in his starving frame, highlighted by his long lashes. Something in those eyes tugged at Harry's heart and he made a decision.

"No problem, Draco," he said.

Draco moved back to his corner and Harry sat in his with his back to the metal bars that leached out his heat. He continued to stare at that little star, their only source of light, and he wished and wished and wished.

"I'm back, boys. Aren't you happy?" The words sent a shiver down Harry's spine. Sitting, directly facing the door, he looked over at Draco, who had resumed his beaten position hiding in the corner.

Greyback stepped forward out of the darkness and smiled at Harry when he saw he wasn't cowering. "You?" he asked surprised. "Ready for a little romp?" He jangled the key and opened the door. The squeak harmonized with the thudding of Harry's heart.

"Why don't you use any spells?" Harry asked, trying to add steel to his voice, but it cracked nonetheless.

The werewolf laughed. "What? You can't feel it, boy? The place is a null. Ain't no magic working here."

The door stood open. Greyback looked over at Draco, ogling his scrawny arse, and licked his lips.

"Isn't it my turn?" Harry said, pushing himself to his feet and stepping forward. "He gets all the fun." His bladder felt weak. He took another step forward, his heart racing to escape his chest and escape his stupid decisions and escape this fucking Hell.

"Ah, Rowle not enough for ya, huh? Always knew the little hero was a pansy-arsed slut. Get over here slut." He reached for Harry and tugged him out of the cage. Harry glanced over his shoulder as he was dragged to his fate and saw Draco staring after him with open mouthed shock.

"Over you go," Greyback growled as he pushed Harry over the table and kicked open his legs. There was never any preparation, never any lubrication, just rough, violent sex and as Greyback thrust into him, tearing open his forever sore and injured anus, as he growled things like "Take it, all of it," and "Fucking greedy slut," Harry closed his eyes and imagined the horror in Draco's eyes when he thought Greyback would take him again. Imagined Draco and tried to forget the nightmare of existence in here.

The slam of the door echoed through the open room and Draco crawled over to Harry, all legs and arms as he kept low to the ground.

"You didn't… didn't have to do that for me," he said quickly, like he was afraid now that the words were said, it would be Draco's turn with Greyback.

Harry was sore, but his bleeding was less than it had been and he was sickened that his body was getting used to this. With a shrug he brushed off Draco's apology, not looking up at him.

"I can take it," he said.

"I'll take Rowle next," Draco offered and Harry nodded to his feet. He didn't want to give up Rowle in exchange for Greyback and then he hated himself for feeling like he wanted any of it. He didn't!

"Did you hear Greyback?" Harry asked, changing the subject. "No magic."

"Yeah, I did. I guess they felt it necessary, being the wizarding hero and everything. Master of wandless magic." Draco chuckled and the sound was so alien he stopped after only a few ha-has, letting it die in the empty air.

"I can't, you know. Do wandless magic. I'm pants at nonverbal."

"Me, too." A pregnant pause filled the air and Harry jumped as a hand landed on his shoulder. "Harry?" Draco's questioning tone probed him to look up and he gave into it.

"Yeah?" He returned Draco's gaze.

"Thanks." Something about Draco seemed lighter; he looked less sunken, less like the walking dead.

"No problem," Harry said with a frown; his lips quivered. He wouldn't cry. He wouldn't cry. But then Draco hugged him, nothing tentative or shy, he reached out and wrapped him up in his arms and held him and Harry let his anguish escape, all the fear and self-loathing, and his pain flooded out through his eyes and nose and his split, chapped lips.

One hundred and forty-two days to one hundred and twenty-nine days until:

Things happened on a regular schedule. Harry tried to get Greyback to take him out of the cage and use him instead of Draco, and Draco would step up when Rowle showed up. Greyback was never as bad to Harry as he was to Draco, but he wasn't as easy as Rowle was, either. Food, fucking, shitting, being held by Draco. It became dependable, steady.

One hundred and twenty-eight days until:

"Happy Christmas, boys," Rowle said and threw in their plates. Next to a pile of mashed potatoes tinged pink was a small lump of mince-meat pie, its brown innards oozing out from under the crust.

One hundred and twenty-six days until:

It was one of those days Greyback had insisted on his 'girly boy,' and it took Harry forever to get Draco to come back out of his shell and talk to him again.

"We have to get out of here," Harry said, petting at Draco's hair. Long strands of it began to come out and tangle in Harry's fingers, so he stopped. He couldn't handle the idea of Draco losing his hair.

"Yeah?" Draco said, his voice hollow. Harry wasn't sure if he was questioning Harry's opinion or agreeing that it was a good idea.

"Yeah." He decided he'd just agree.


That was the real question. Harry knew they couldn't overpower either of the men, and nobody else had ever come into their room. The space between the bars was too thin to squeeze through, even in their emaciated state. They couldn't perform magic. They had no weapons.

"We'll think of something," Harry said, already losing that brief spark of anger, of determination. He pulled Draco to him and held him tight. They'd gotten used to using each other for comfort in ways that would have shamed him in the world out there, though he wasn't sure if that place even existed anymore. Out there.

Looking up at the bulb he made his wish again. Please. Get us out of here. It flickered.

The far door clicked open and the two prisoners split apart, moving to their respective corners. Harry didn't know who it was, so he kept his head down, his back to the cage door. Greyback had just had Draco; a direct return would be an aberration to the man's behavior.

Soft steps—not Greyback's usual stomping nor the quick clacking of Rowle's hard boots—approached the cell in a slow, measured pace. Then the same outer door slammed open.

"You can't be in here…" Greyback protested to the new arrival.

"I merely wanted to see what pets you had trapped down here, werewolf," came a rasping voice that seemed oddly familiar. If it was smoother and louder, he would have said it sounded like Professor Snape. Same cadence, same tone, same condescension. But that man was dead.

He chanced it and snuck a peak over his shoulder. And gasped.

"Pro… Professor?" Harry said in awe. Movement to his right alerted him that Draco had also turned and looked up at the ghost.

But this ghost looked solid.

The man stood tall, as tall as Harry remembered him, and his long, black hair hung greasy around his face. He wore his usual black robes, but wrapped around his throat was a long length of white, silk cloth.

Briefly, for the sharpest moment, Harry was certain he saw sorrow in those eyes, but it flittered away in such a way that Harry was certain he would see promise in Death himself walking through that door.

"Ah. I understand now. These are the little pets you and Rowle have been talking about. Taking your pleasure with naked, teenage boys beaten into submission is quite manly of you." He turned his back on the cage so swiftly his robes billowed around his calves, and Harry's throat closed around itself as he wanted to reach out, to beg Snape to get them out of there, to save them.

"Shut yer mouth…" Greyback began, but did not finish as Shape drew a sword from under the folds of his robe and cleanly lopped off Greyback's head. The wound sizzled.

Harry and Draco stared in awe.

He wiped off his sword then bent down and came back up with the keys in one hand and a wand in the other. He efficiently unlocked the cage, none of that rattling Greyback always affected, and swung the door open. The captives made no move.

"Stop gawking and get out here," he hissed. "Filthy brats. We've been looking for you for weeks now; the least you could do is show some aptitude at self-preservation and follow me out of this room."

He turned his back and strode towards the door.

Eagerly, Harry limped after and then noticed Draco was not by his side.

"Draco!" Harry whispered urgently. "Come on."

"But… But they'll see. They'll see us… they'll know," Draco said hesitantly and for the first time since Harry had found him here in the cage, he tried to cover himself.

Harry lurched up to him, his muscles protesting for the lack of use, and gripped Draco's upper arm, the same arm branded by the Dark Mark.

"Come. Now." Harry ordered and dragged Draco after Snape, who they found waiting by the phantom exit they'd heard open and close for weeks now but had never set eyes on. The door to freedom.

"Here." Snape handed Harry his robe. Gratefully, Harry grabbed for it and wrapped it around himself and Draco. Then he held out Greyback's wand. Harry took it. "Now, you miscreants, follow me."

There was something comforting and grounding in having Snape insult them at a time like this. With his arm around Draco's waist, the two teenagers followed Snape through a long series of hallways, passing closed doors. Eventually they passed beyond the null and the magic within the wand Harry held tingled along his dulled senses. A few times they had to duck into an empty room to avoid a passer-by, but finally Snape led them to a long hallway tiled in brown with a single door at the end.

"Both of you stay behind me. The room at the end of the hallway is the Apparition Chamber and we can escape through there. However, it is guarded. Can you fight?" Snape asked in his choked whisper. Now that he was closer, Harry could see white scar tissue peaking beyond the edge of the silk scarf.

Draco seemed three steps away from fainting and was leaning heavily on Harry, so Harry said, "I can, sir. Draco's a bit run down."

Snape examined Draco then thrust his wand into his hand. "Do what you can with that."

"But, sir!" Draco exclaimed in shock, his gaze reverent on the wand. Harry, never in a million years, could ever imagine Snape handing over his wand to anybody.

"I have my sword and we need all three combatants. Ready, Potter? Draco?" he asked, florescent lighting glinted off the silver blade of his brandished sword.

Harry hitched Draco up more solidly against his side. "Yes, sir," he said with as much strength as he could muster. Draco nodded, holding out the wand.

"Good, then, here we go."

They walked down the hallway, slowly and with care. Harry had Greyback's wand at the ready, and Draco seemed to have found enough energy to walk on his own. They reached the door and Snape looked at them each in turn and they nodded. With a twist of the knob and they burst through the door.

In a flash Snape's sword, glittering sliver in the bright light of the room, came down across one man's raised wand arm, cutting clean through it. Then he turned to cut down the next and Harry, stunned, marveled at such skill he didn't notice another man to the side aiming his wand at him and Draco.

"Harry!" Draco called, pulling his attention to the threat, and Harry lifted his wand and without any thought cast out: "Avada Kadavra!" The man fell dead.

"This way," Snape said, his clothing covered in blood, and they followed him onto a circular marking on the floor. He reached out and Draco handed him his wand. Then, with Snape's arms wrapped around them, they Disapparated.

One hundred and twenty-five days until:

They were free.

Within the last twenty-four hours they'd popped from one location to the next, constantly on the move and Harry was exhausted. At intermissions, they caught naps, and then Snape would rouse them in his rough voice and encircle them both in his arms and side-along Apparate them to another location. It was wearing on them all.

Finally, they landed in a copse of bare deciduous trees on the edge of a clearing. Snape cast a few spells and seemed satisfied enough to walk into the snow-dusted valley, and then he disappeared.

"What?" Harry cried out in panic. He couldn't leave them. He couldn't leave them here! Draco was so comatose that he blindly followed Harry's every direction and wouldn't be any help if they needed to defend themselves. They had no clothing and Harry thought his feet were frost bitten even with his attempts at warming charms. Greyback's wand did not like him.

It was too much for him and he fell to the ground with Draco, the cloak slipping over his bare shoulder. He began to cry.

Then Harry spotted a ripple through the air and Snape reappeared. "If you would rather stay out here in the elements, by all means do so. However, if you would gather your wits about you and follow me through the wards, you would find more civilized conditions."

He didn't say more civilized than what, but anything would be a palace to Harry at this point. Numbly he nodded and rose to his feet, dragging Draco up with him. With most of Draco's weight, plus his own, he trudged through the shimmering magical field, and with Snape by his side, he finally saw the tiny cottage by the edge of a glistening lake.

The cottage had a thatched roof dusted with dry snow and a little brick chimney. The robin's egg blue paint was peeling near a rectangular window and a small garden full of dead weeds and a bush full of twigs greeted them at the red door. It was the most beautiful sight Harry had ever seen and the tears began flowing freely down his face, leaving tracks through the grime.

He didn't care that Snape was watching him. He didn't care that he was naked and sharing a single robe with another nude wizard. He didn't care that he hadn't bathed in as far back as memory existed for him. He was free and this was beautiful and he would never, ever go back to that again.

"Well," Snape said and Harry looked up at his old professor who he'd seen die; whose memories he was intimately familiar with. What he saw caused the tears to flow even stronger, a tsunami he'd been holding within that cage of steel bars. With a wail the pain and the anguish he'd bricked behind crumbling walls now burst. With a look of mingled compassion and sorrow, Snape stepped forward and opened the door. "Come on Draco. Harry. Let's get you a bath."

He examined Severus; his desperate flutter of heart beats, his erratic breath calmed at the stern look. Severus was here. Severus: mean, snide, pessimistic. He was here and he would take care of Harry even as he realized he couldn't take care of himself.

Harry'd let Draco bathe first and while his old classmate was in the bathroom, Harry'd remained wrapped up in Snape's robe, suddenly suffocating in the humiliation of all that had happened to him. He now understood Draco's words as they were being sprung free. I don't want them to see.

He'd found he couldn't look Snape in the eye that whole day and when he had gotten his time in the bathroom he scrubbed his skin raw. He'd stayed in there for hours even after the water had gone cold. He didn't want to go out there. He didn't want to face them, anyone.


It was Snape, and that shook Harry from head to foot. He sounded like he cared. When had Snape ever cared?

Then, "You will extricate yourself from the washroom this instant; others need to use the facilities as well."

"Yes, sir," he mumbled. Snape snorted through the door, but said nothing else. It was a typical sound and it held no hurt for Harry. This devil of a man, dark and nasty with the most acrimonious disposition had saved Harry. When had his devils become angels?

Harry had taken one more look at himself in the mirror. His face was colored and cracked, he was scrawnier than he'd ever been, and his eyes… even to himself he looked haunted.

After he'd left, avoiding Snape's pointed scowl, he'd lain on a twin bed in a room that he was to share with Draco, one of only four rooms in the entire cottage. Clothes had been waiting in a neat pile on a small chest of drawers and he'd pulled them on as Draco looked away. The sleeves of the shirt hung past his fingertips. He tried to sleep, but he found he couldn't. The bed was too soft, the room too dark, the air too warm. He swore he could hear something, just… just beyond normal hearing. Someone was out there. Finally, after fitful tossing and turning, Draco'd gotten up and flicked on the light, then without a word, he crawled into bed next to Harry, back to back.

In time, Harry slept.

When he woke not long after, Draco had an arm across his chest and things seemed, not necessarily normal, but at least doable. He was free. Snape—alive—had saved them. They were hidden away, to the best of their ex-Professor's ability, and they were safe.

However, even with these thoughts in his head, Harry was still frightened, scared stiff and he wished he could just sink into the bed, hide away in a corner and never have anyone look at him again.

A soft knock ticked on their bedroom door. Then Snape's rough voice called through: "Breakfast. The day wastes."

The day wastes. As his last month had wasted. Last few months.

Neither he nor Draco stirred.

There wasn't a clock and the curtains were thick enough that, though light slipped through, daylight was still held at bay. He had no idea of the time. Time was an illusion anyway. Time didn't matter.

But his bladder wasn't an illusion and too soon he had to rouse Draco.

"I gotta piss, get off me," he said. Draco lifted his head and looked at him, his thinning hair clean but still dingy; his eyes flat as if all that haughty spark that had burned within him had been burned away.

"I have to go, too," he replied. Then he looked at the door. Something in the set of Draco's shoulder, or maybe it was the tone of his voice, affected Harry.

"Come on, then," he said, and Draco nodded and followed Harry out of the room.

They crossed the hall and entered the loo together. Draco went first, and Harry looked away, just as they had in their cage, then Harry faced the bowl and urinated in relief. As he was washing his hands, a luxury he fully intended to utilize, he caught Draco standing behind him reflected in the cabinet mirror. He and Draco, yin and yang, dark and light. Something about this image, of them standing together, survivors of the same horror, seemed heavy to Harry. Not a burden, but something else. He felt responsible for him.

And somehow, it didn't feel wrong.

They watched each other, their eyes meeting in the reflective surface. Harry smiled. It wasn't huge and it wasn't full of humor, but it was meant to reassure and in response Draco's lips twitched in a miniscule smile as well.

"We're out of there," Harry said. "We're free."

Draco nodded and something about his posture hummed.

"What?" Harry asked, wishing Draco would just come out and do or say what he wanted to.

Draco stepped close, his chest to Harry's back, and he tilted his head to rest his cheek on Harry's shoulder. He stared at the door, just leaning against Harry, drawing support that he willingly gave.

A knock on the bathroom door startled them both. Draco took a step away, focused on the door. "Lunch is ready if you two care to join me," Snape growled.

Again, in the mirror, their eyes met and in response to some signal in their own silent language, they went out to the small dining table.

On it were croissants, jam, fruits and a glass pitcher of pumpkin juice.

Food. Real food, not the travel rations Snape had fed them yesterday, nor the putrid mess they'd been eating in their captivity. Harry walked to the table, intending to sit, but he noticed Draco hadn't moved.

"Come on, Draco. Sit here." Harry held out a chair and Draco sat. Harry refused to look at Snape, knowing their every action was being monitored, distilled like the effects of a new ingredient in a potion.

He looked at the piles of food and didn't even remotely feel hungry. Looking at each item, he then thought of eating it and his stomach roiled. Even the fresh croissant odor didn't entice him. Instead he filled his glass with juice and took a small sip. It was so sweet it hurt his tongue.

Draco was watching him and Snape was watching Draco.

"Do you want something?" the man asked Draco.

"How is it?" Draco asked Harry.

Harry pondered. "Sweet." Draco nodded, like that was exactly what he thought, too.

"Sir, do you mind if I get some water?" Harry asked. Snape flapped his hand at him in dismissive annoyance. Harry got up and took his glass to the small kitchen that was part of the whole main room of the cabin.

"So, Draco," Snape began. "How are you feeling?"

Harry turned the faucet and filled his glass. The water was clear, he could see through to the other side of the glass, a world in curved distortion. He didn't hear Draco say anything so he turned to see the exchange. Draco was looking at Harry. Snape turned around in his chair and looked at Harry, too.

"Why are you looking at Potter, Draco?" Snape asked. Though his voice had that harsh rasp—from severed vocal cords from Nagini's bite Harry'd assumed—it still held power and Harry knew he would be hard pressed to refuse Snape an answer.

Slightly panicked, Draco looked to Snape, then back up to Harry. Harry quickly crossed the room to him and Draco reached out and gripped his arm.

"It's okay, Draco," Harry said. "Snape saved us. We can trust him. You can talk to him." At least, Harry assumed they could trust Snape. He had gotten them out of there, but why weren't they taken to Hermione and Ron, or to other Order members? Why were they stuck out here in the middle of nowhere with nobody to rely upon other than the very man who brought them here? It was still a cage, even if a much nicer one.

"Draco. How are you feeling?" Snape tried again.

"Fine, Severus," Draco said, casting quick glances to Harry, his eyes returning to Severus each time.

"Did you want to eat something?" the older man asked.

"Nothing sounds good," he explained and then released his grip on Harry's arm and placed his hands folded in his lap.

"What would sound good?" His lip curled as he studied them down the slope of his long nose.

Harry and Draco shared a look. What did sound good? Crackers, simple crackers. And the water was refreshing and in reflex he handed Draco his glass who took a long drink.

"Something simple, sir. We haven't eaten… well for a while." He didn't want to tell Snape that they'd eaten food that their captors had probably pissed in. Even if, he figured, Snape probably knew.

Snape stood and went to a cupboard that contained simple bread and soda crackers, along with boxes and cans of other foodstuffs. It went back so far, it surely must have been enchanted wizard-space. He pulled out the bread and placed a few slices on a plate, then pushed the rich food aside to set the plate in the center of the table. Draco looked at Harry and then reached out to take a slice and shyly bit into it.

"Good?" Harry asked. Draco nodded, so Harry grabbed himself a slice and took a bite.

It tasted so… clean. So unadorned and pure, like the food was broken down to its base element, not overly processed or embellished. Harry smiled.

Draco smiled, too.

One hundred and twenty-two days until:

He flicked the wand hard, angrily shaking it until finally it glowed with a weak, pitiful light.

Draco snorted and Harry scowled at him.

"Fine, you try it," Harry said, roughly shoving the wand at Draco. Draco flinched away, shaking his head.

"No. I'm not touching that filthy thing."

Suddenly, Harry felt contrite and dropped his hand holding the wand to his lap. "Sorry… didn't think." Draco shrugged.

The wand definitely didn't like him.

Snape entered from the outside, brushing off a dusting of snow as he stomped his shoes on the woven mat. He scrutinized the two boys sitting inches away from the fire on the worn, wool rug. Greyback's wand slowly dimmed until it went dark, leaving the fire as their only light source.

"That wand will never consider you its master," Snape said with his typical sneer.

"I know," Harry spat out, annoyed and defensive. "But I'm tired of not being able to do anything." He missed magic.

The sneer suffered, losing its bite, and Snape nodded his head once, a slow exaggerated motion. Harry looked away.

The man passed them going to the refrigerator and sink; he lit a lamp and began pulling things out for dinner. In rushed decisiveness, Harry jumped to his feet and moved to stand by Snape. The man's fingers were digging into the leaves of a head of lettuce. "I'll help," he said. Even if he couldn't do magic, he still needed to do something.

"Thank you." Snape handed him a knife and the lettuce and Harry began chopping. More vegetables were piled before him: tomatoes, an onion, a green pepper and some celery.

"Hey, Draco!" Harry called.

"Don't look at me, I'm not a house-elf," Draco said, watching the two men preparing dinner. A large pot sat over a coil burner on the stove and Snape was adding meat and spices to it. Looked like stew and salad tonight. Harry's stomach rumbled; all food was good food and their shrunken bodies were filling out with each meal.

"Prat," Harry scolded with little venom. "Entertain us, then."


"I don't know. Do something funny. Impersonate a ferret," Harry said with a laugh as he looked over his shoulder at Draco. Draco stood back lit by the fire, a fist anchored on each of his hips. Harry quickly faced forward, examining the pile of chopped greenery. Oops.

"I have something better in mind," Draco said, his voice low and threatening. Harry swallowed. Beside him Snape snorted, but continued to add spices to the pot.

"There once was a man from Nantucket," Draco said in cadence.

"What?" Harry asked.

"Whose dick was so long he could suck it." Harry dropped the knife. He turned around and looked at Draco, looked at him. Dirty jokes?

The blond man sneered, and then winked. Harry didn't know what to think.

"While wiping his chin; He said with a grin; 'If my ear were a cunt, I would fuck it.'"

So shocked his jaw dropped. Snape released a single, loud snort as Draco smirked in triumph.

Unfortunately, that was not the only dirty limerick Draco knew and he regaled them endlessly as the two men in the kitchen completed dinner.

"Draco, where in Merlin's name did you learn all those?" Harry finally had to ask, after he'd given up being affronted. It wasn't like he'd never told dirty jokes before.

"Oh, please Potter," Draco said in mock distress, "Clearly your Quidditch afters were as safe as baby daycare. Not like Slytherin's."

"I can only imagine," Snape murmured. The stew was almost done and the salads were nicely arranged on three plates.

"But none of us could compete with Hufflepuff's," Draco continued with all seriousness. He was lounging on a wooden chair, lording over his kitchen staff.

"Huh?" Harry asked, leaning against the counter. Had he really been that out of the loop? Well, there was that whole Dark Lord thing to deal with; it did account for a few missed parties and coming of age milestones.

"Oh yes, their parties were the best. You should have seen Smith performing Karaoke with Abbot's panties on his head. It became a regular occurrence. No self respecting Slytherin would have been caught doing any of that, of course it was entertaining to watch."

"Oh, the things I missed out on…" Harry said in false woe. Snape shook his head.

"I clearly was remiss in my inattention towards those badgers," he said, and Harry and Draco burst out laughing.

They were laughing. Less than a week ago Harry had been living in Hell.

They set the table together with Harry and Draco on one side, Snape on the other. A four-armed, brass candelabra was their only light source, other than the ever blazing fire. Each had a bowl of stew, a chunk of bread, some salad and a glass of red wine. Harry looked at the wine, then at Snape. He'd never given them wine before.

"Happy New Year," he said.

Oh. The New Year? He hadn't even had a clue. He lifted the glass with a grin and tinked it with the other two men's. "Happy New Year."

One hundred and twelve days until:

After nearly two weeks of fumbling, cursing, and throwing the damned stick against the wall, Harry nearly snapped Greyback's wand in two in a petulant rage.

Snape stalked up and plucked it from his fingers. "None of that." He stowed the wand away in a box that he placed on the mantle. "We might have need of it, eventually."

Then, with an open palm, he offered his own wand to Harry. "Try this."

Ninety days until:

"Time for breakfast," Snape said from the other side of the door.

Harry'd been awake for a while. Something was different today. Something seemed… hopeful.

He chided himself on this stupid optimism, but he'd been with Snape in the cabin for two months now and the world hadn't exploded. Nobody had come to take him away. Finally, he could get a full night's sleep without being woken up by nightmares of metal screeching or Greyback's gruff voice.

Draco's arm, as usual, was lying across Harry, a solid, comforting weight. Only this time Draco was calmly rubbing him, slow circles over his T-shirt clad chest. He'd been doing it for a half hour. While new, and therefore odd, it was nice and Harry didn't want to get up because it would mean Draco would stop and Harry didn't think he was ready for that.

"Harry?" Draco asked, his warm breath puffing across Harry's throat.

"Yeah?" He spoke quietly so as not to disturb this perfect moment.

"Do you think…? What they did to us…" Draco stopped and Harry waited. It was the first time Draco had talked about back then… about their captivity, and Harry wanted to let him speak. Finally, he continued in a very tiny voice. "Do you think it twisted us?"

"What do you mean?" Harry asked, confused.

Draco stopped his petting and sat up. "Nothing," he said with a cheeky grin, and the sight of that grin lifted Harry's burdens. "Let's eat."

The two got out of bed and met Snape at the dining table.

"Good morning, sir," Draco said.

"Hey, Severus," Harry welcomed.

"Good morning, you miscreants. Sleep well?" Snape wore his usual sneer. Instinctively Harry still bristled, but it was only in reflex. This was just Snape, he was always snarky.

"Yes, thanks," Harry said as he piled his plate up with food. Draco did the same.

They ate companionably, chatting about inconsequential things as each of the men ate a full breakfast. Draco stood and mumbled about a shower leaving Harry and Snape alone.

"Severus," Harry began, then paused fumbling for the words he wanted to use. "What's going on out there?"

Snape's dark eyes drilled into Harry, but Harry simply stared back. Snape rarely made him squirm anymore.

"War, Harry. War is going on."


"Yes. There are many who are still searching for you. The Ministry and Order are winning, but it is still too dangerous to allow you the freedom I'm sure you yearn for."

Harry shook his head frantically when Snape suggested freedom was a desired choice. "No, I'm happy here. I don't want to be out there." He reached for his glass with a shaking hand, concentrating to steady it. He lifted the glass for a drink; it no longer shook. "I just wonder… How are Ron and Hermione? Hagrid? All of our friends?"

"I do not know. I've been hiding here as long as you have."

"How did you find us?"

"Are you ready for this conversation?" Snape asked, studying Harry.

"Yeah… I am. I don't think Draco is, yet."

"Agreed. I will tell you everything, then. Why don't you get dressed for the out of doors; we shall walk."

"I'll let Draco know," Harry said and left for the small bathroom as Snape cleaned up the table.

He knocked on the door, but there came no answer.

Draco'd been in the bathroom for a long time. Sometimes Harry could hear him crying and he would go in to hold Draco. He worried about his friend, what Greyback and Rowle did to him. He always seemed to be worrying.

"Draco?" No answer. "Draco, I'm coming in."

"Wait! No!" Harry heard, the words rushed and frantic. Certain something was wrong he opened the door and stepped in.

Draco was leaning against the sink, trousers around his ankles, one hand dropped from his cock and the other came from behind himself to hang by his hip. His skin flashed a deep red as he grabbed for his pants.

Harry stared, stunned.

Draco had been wanking and fingering himself. They gawked at each other, mouths wordlessly expressing a filibuster. Propriety said Harry should leave, but he couldn't take his eyes away from the sight.

Harry's only sexual experiences had been a few snogs and gropes with soft, friendly girls, and then rape. He hadn't even touched himself since their escape; hell his cock hadn't given one twitch since his capture. The idea was so farfetched, that it took him a moment to realize anyone would want sex.

"I'm so sorry," he blurted. He turned and pulled opened the door to slip out, knowing he'd dashed Draco's mood to the tiles.

"Is anything wrong?" Snape asked once Harry returned to the kitchen.

"No," Harry assured, his face burning. They stared at each other for a moment and Harry worried that Snape might press him further, or read his mind, so he said, "I haven't been out at all. I'm glad we're going walking together."

Snape's eyes narrowed, but he nodded his head slowly. "It is good to breathe fresh air. How is Draco?"

"Oh…fine. Just fine," Harry said quickly, avoiding Snape's searching gaze.

A heavy pause hovered between them until Snape said, "Take a robe, it's chilly out."

The two men bundled themselves and stepped out into the early afternoon sun.

It was wide open out there in the valley and a healthy amount of panic washed over Harry. His eyes darted around, seeking out any threat: a man lurking nearby, a flash of white Death Eater mask. It was vast and there was nowhere to hide. Instinctively he leaned close to Snape, touching sides with him.

"Are you quite alright, Mr. Potter? Do you need me to hold your hand?"

Harry's stomach fell and his heart stuttered, and he almost lurched back into the cottage, even with Draco wanking in there. Screw Snape, he didn't need this. He'd just go back and… But a hand grabbed his and held tight. Confused he looked up into Snape's face. He wore his sneer like armor. The surly man would never win people over with his personality. Finally, in that moment, Harry saw that it was his actions that defined him.

Shyly, Harry entwined his fingers with Snape's, his heart flipping for altogether other reasons, and together they stepped away from the safety of the solid blue walls.

"I'm scared, sir," he said quietly.

"Do not be. I am here. I dare say your shadow is the worse thing to afflict you right now."

Harry looked down at this shadow and released a strained laugh.

No, he would not hide from his shadow or live in fear. He was strong and though he almost gave up back in that cage, Draco had rescued his will and now Snape had rescued his courage. He felt odd walking hand in hand with Snape, but Harry appreciated his presence and sometimes when the grip of their now sweaty hands wasn't enough, Harry would lean against Snape's shoulder in the briefest of moments to assure himself he wasn't alone.

They spoke no words during their external tour, the stress of the open space enough for Harry, but tiny steps were still steps. And while Snape still sneered and jibed and condescended, he never scoffed at their ordeal and he never humiliated anymore. Perhaps he'd been changed as well.

When they returned, Draco was hiding in their room. Harry left Snape to organize or prepare or do whatever it was he did in their small cottage when Harry and Draco were locked away in their room. It was almost like they were in a privileged club. Harry wished he'd had no such mark of distinction.

"Draco," he called as he pushed open the door. Draco was laying face down in his bed, the blankets that had been straightened from that first night Draco had slept with him were mussed where Draco's body lay; a sure sign that he was horrified or pissed or something at Harry.

He crossed the room and sat on the edge; the mattress dipped and half his butt dangled off. With one hand he reached out to touch Draco, rub his back maybe, but inches from contact he pulled back, unsure. Draco was always the one who initiated contact; by ignoring Harry was he expressing a true desire to be alone?

The air seemed thicker, heavier as time inched by. He felt the need to squirm or leave, but now that he was here, he couldn't just run off.

Fuck it. He laid his hand between Draco's shoulder blades.

"How can you touch me?" The words were thick.

"What do you mean?" he asked, and then began to slowly rub his friend's back.

"How can you want to be near me after what you saw?" he whispered, as if voicing his fear would bring down Harry's hatred.

"Uh… Well…" There wasn't a clue in the world to help Harry know what to say to make Draco feel better. That being realized, he decided on the truth. "Well, I was shocked… I mean… I haven't even had a stiffy, and there you were…" He stopped speaking, feeling like a fool.

"I can't help it. I'm so dirty. They twisted me. I don't want them,fuck no, but… I… I want something and I feel like a part of me is missing. Why is a part of me missing?" Draco rolled over. He had a scrunched up face and red eyes. The Draco he knew, long ago, the unbroken version of this man, would never have let anyone see him cry.

He hated that Draco was crying. He gathered him up in his arms and held him and no worry of anything, embarrassment, pride, Snape walking in on them, would have stopped him.

"Draco, it's okay. So, you wank and do… other stuff. You're a guy. Guys do these things." But guys didn't normally cry to each other and hug, guys didn't stick their fingers up their arses, but he didn't mention that. He was certain neither of them would be a typical bloke ever again.

"Harry," Draco murmured against his neck and there was something to the sound of it. Needy, longing, sensual and Harry stiffened.

"Yes?" he asked, unsure if Draco really needed a reply.

Then Draco pulled back and looked hard in Harry's eyes. "Harry… Would you…? Could I…?"

Harry shook his head in confusion. "What Draco? Just tell me."

But instead of telling, Draco opted to show and he leaned forward and pressed his moist lips to Harry's. Firmly they remained there, neither one moving. A tear brushed against Harry's nose. It was nothing like the other kisses Harry had received which were all wet and full of movement and a little tongue. This was chaste, tentative and finally Draco pulled back, eyes wide in alarm.

"I'm sorry," he bumbled out in apology, but Harry shook his head again, this time smiling.

"Don't be," he said in a very small voice. "It's okay." Then, this time, he leaned forward and kissed Draco, no longer caught off guard, and as their lips touched, he opened them, just a bit and felt Draco respond in kind. Slowly, he moved his mouth, delighted that Draco kissed him back. When he pulled away Draco was grinning and Harry felt like the king of the world as he catalogued this away. Action Number 15 on how to make Draco smile: Kissing.

Eighty-eight until:

Soon kissing became his favorite thing to do.

They would snatch moments in bed, before sleep and after waking; they would steal moments behind Snape's back. They would seize precious, precious moments. Draco smiled more; Harry felt light inside, the huge weight of the past having eased its mighty hold. Facts such as Draco was a boy or that Harry still didn't get an erection were all inconsequential; they didn't matter in their cloistered little world. They both talked to Snape incessantly, asking him about life, his past, even potions. The man seemed willing and almost eager to share words with them. However, since that day he and Snape had talked alone outside, Harry avoided questioning what had been going on out there. He liked watching Draco smile and he knew Draco wasn't ready. Finally, the young man was looking forward to the future instead of being trapped in the past. It was delicate, this life they led.

Harry loved kissing him and nothing could darken his days--lighter and lighter as they raced towards spring.

Seventy-nine until:

Tuesday was Harry's cleaning day. He grabbed for Snape' wand, which now rested in a leather holster hanging near the door for any of them to use. It wasn't like his old Phoenix wand, but it was certainly better than that stick of Greyback's, and he flourished and swished as he dusted, straightened and sent the linens to wash.

Snape was out, he often got cabin fever, and Draco pranced into the room and kissed Harry with as much vigor and tongue as he could manage. It was heaven.

"Let's surprise Severus today," Draco suggested once they tore their lips apart. They had their arms wrapped around each other to support them as they leaned back to talk.

"What do you have in mind? Surprise party? Dancing girls?"

Draco rolled his eyes. "Oh come on, he'd probably hex the girls and hide from the party. No, I was thinking more along the lines of cake."

"Cake? You sure this is a surprise for Severus and not a treat for you?" Harry squeezed him playfully.

Draco scoffed. "Of course not! I'm only thinking of our dear protector. He deserves a treat."

"Fine, let's make him a cake, but it's gotta be lemon. He likes lemon best, not chocolate, Draco."

"Yes, yes. Lemon it is."

They broke apart with one final kiss and dug through their stores looking for flour, sugar and the other important ingredients. They were out of baking soda, so had to make do with powder, and they only had twelve dozen eggs left under the stasis charm.

"This could be our last cake, what with running out of stuff. I doubt if Severus would appreciate us using all the sugar for cakes," Draco said sadly. Harry wondered exactly what they would do once the food ran out.

When Snape returned it was to two boys yelling "Surprise!" quick hugs from each of them and a lopsided lemon concoction. He scowled delightedly, and ate the cake.

Fifty days until:

Snape had caught them kissing, and now they rarely bothered to hide it.

But innocent bliss and tender kisses could only last so long. Harry understood this as he was awakened to Draco's firm erection brushing up against his thigh. He didn't mind, and it wasn't the first time this happened, but the idea, the concept of someone's hard cock so close to him frayed his nerves. He resisted the urge to inch apart from Draco, to hide away, and instead gently brushed along Draco's forehead, trailing his fingers through his blond hair until he awoke.

His grey eyes, now bright and full of that defiance and vigor that Harry had thought had been lost forever, grew wide as he realized just exactly what he'd been doing. "Sorry," he mumbled pulling away from Harry.

"No, it's okay, Draco," he said quickly.

"It's not," Draco said, avoiding his eyes.

Reaching out, he grabbed Draco's shoulder and stopped him from rolling away. He waited patiently--they were both still so skittish--until Draco looked him in the eyes. "It is okay. You never, ever have to pull away from me." The worry line between Draco's eyes eased and a twitch to his lips put Harry at enough ease to do something that scared him shitless.

Slowly, keeping eye contact the entire time, Harry brought his hand under the covers and watched Draco's shocked expression as he tentatively touched the warm head of his penis through his thin boxers.

Draco let loose a soft gasp.

Swallowing hard, Harry danced his fingers over the fabric, up and down the length of Draco's hardness. It didn't seem so scary and as Draco's eyes practically rolled back, his mouth hung open in need, Harry snaked his fingers through the flap in the front.

"Oh, Merlin," Draco groaned.

"Yeah?" Harry asked, totally awed by Draco's reaction, completely flummoxed at what to do next.

"Hmm, Harry," Draco almost sobbed. "So good."

Urged by such bald praise, he began ghosting his fingers along Draco's shaft, amazed at the soft skin, the firmness of him. He was a bit longer than Harry remembered himself being, if perhaps not as thick. It'd been so long, an eon ago, since he'd rubbed himself hard.

Draco giggled, his eyes popping open, staring at Harry with such adoration Harry wondered if this was love. "Harder," he said breathlessly. "You're tickling."

"Oh! Sorry," Harry said with a grin and then wrapped his fingers around Draco and began one firm stroke after another.

"Fuck! Merlin… fucking God." Draco cried out, thrusting his hips with each of Harry's strokes, and Harry worried that Snape would overhear, but even a Body-Bind Curse couldn't stop him now.

Impulsively, he leaned down and took Draco's earlobe into his mouth, alternating between sucking and murmuring honeyed words. "So gorgeous, Draco. Come for me," Harry whispered, and kissed and Draco cried with each thrust, pumping his hips into the air as Harry held on, pulling and tugging and wishing he'd thought of lube before Draco stiffened and emptied himself all over Harry's hand.

Panting, Draco stopped moving, a largely formless lump in Harry's arms. Harry pulled out his hand and studied the mess. The semen was grey in color and slimy-sticky. Draco cracked his eyes open and watched as Harry brought his palm up to his mouth and licked it.

Draco's eyes sprung wide at the sight. "You know," he said, his voice completely languid and deeper than normal. "You keep doing that and I might have to tackle you for another go."

Harry chuckled and wiped his hand on a pair of wool socks tossed on the floor. It didn't taste bad, just bitter. The flavor lingered on the back of his tongue.

"How you feeling?" Harry finally asked.

Draco smiled like a contented cat, and then stretched his long body. His blond hair was fanned out over the pillow that he lay on, blending in with the golden sheets. Harry realized then how happy he was that Draco's hair had grown back to its usual thickness.

"Fantastic," Draco said in a half purr. "Merlin, Harry. I needed that. You're fantastic!" He lunged at Harry and kissed him deeply, letting Harry know just how much he appreciated the shared wank.

"If you two are finished in there, breakfast is ready."

Heat blazed over Harry's face, blossoming down his chest and painting his ears. "Oh my God. Snape heard you," Harry said in a devastated whisper.

"Oh really, I can't be arsed to care. That was too good to worry about Mr. Starched Pants out there," he giggled and Harry's jaw dropped at the audacity. Action Number 25 on how to make Draco smile: Mocking Snape.

Forty-five days until:

Draco was insatiable, but Harry didn't mind. Well, usually. He only minded when he would try to take his flaccid penis in hand to try to coax some life into it, making Harry feel inadequate, and Draco soon learned there were other fields better tended. He loved kissing Harry all over, but especially his neck where Draco seemed to take some warped pleasure in leaving bruises dotting over his skin in a moderately accurate map of Hawaii.

Snape would never shy away from the obvious, either.

"If you two are done attempting to fornicate your way to death, please join me for lunch."

The teenagers laughed while dressing and Snape would eye the love bites with a certain sense of amusement. They all sat for lunch together, just like breakfast and dinner, and dug into their quiche, which was the culinary delight of the day: Snape really was a skilled cook.

That afternoon while Draco was showering, Snape conscripted Harry to find potion ingredients and to pad their food supplies from the fields surrounding their cottage. While Harry harvested mustard greens and collected nuts around the oak trees, Snape gathered mushrooms. Cumulonimbus clouds were building to the west as higher, round cirrus clouds breezed overhead, casting the collectors in and out of sunlight.

"Harry," Snape said after they'd finished and were sitting on a little hillock overlooking the lake. Harry chewed on a long grass stem, relishing the fresh, green taste. "We must speak about the war." His voice was barely above a whisper. A soft breeze blew through their valley and the rushing of the grasses seemed too simple, too peaceful compared to Snape's words.

It wasn't a conversation he really wanted to have. "Yes, sir?" he said, worried. Things had been so… safe.

"While you and Draco were enjoying a casual romp in the sack," he cocked an eyebrow and Harry thought he saw something other than Snape's usual stern amusement there, "I received a missive."

"What? Really? From who?" he asked eagerly, sitting up from his lounged position even as the stem dangled from his slack lips.

"From whom. And that would be Arthur Weasley."

"Did he say how Ron and Hermione are? Ginny? What's going on out there?" Even though he did enjoy this hollow existence, a very large part of him needed to know what was happening. Suddenly, he missed his friends.

"Your three hangers-on are fine, Harry." The use of Harry's name always eased Snape's harsh words. "Once I rescued you and Draco, I informed Mr. Weasley I was taking you two into hiding, but due to adverse events, have not been in contact since. Communiqué into and out of our safe location here is not a simple matter and I'm not precisely eager to chance discovery."

Months ago, Harry would have argued. Today, he just nodded. Somewhere between humiliation and pain, he'd learned to finally trust the older man. He blinked over at Snape and was surprised to see him studying Harry as well.

"What?" he asked, spitting out his grass.

"I said nothing." Snape's voice hissed at the force. "Now, listen brat; the Order and the Ministry are winning, but there are still enemies, supporters of the Dark Lord who feel he might rise again and those who want to pull together what straggling power there is left for themselves. I do not wish to leave, nor do I think either of you are ready. I am telling you this to prepare you. For you to prepare Draco. I am not sure when our time here will end."

Harry let it sink in. Voldemort's followers were still out there and soon Harry would have to leave and face them, face the world. Hadn't he already done his part? Pressure inflated in his chest and his breaths came quickly as he thought about his future. Short inhales and impatient exhales. His vision blackened and he thought about out there and he thought about people looking at him, knowing what happened, and he began to weakly shake his head.

"Harry?" Snape asked.

"No," Harry mumbled, low to not attract untoward attention. "There're people out there." Before, when his mind focused on his friends he couldn't wait to get to them, now he dreaded his reunion.

"Yes, and you need to let that settle into your thick skull. You will eventually have to return." He reached out and awkwardly placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. Harry flinched and stared over at Snape with wide, frightened eyes. Snape pulled his hand away.

He sighed and stood. "I'm going inside." Snape left Harry as the storm to the west grew.

Forty days until:

Thunder and lightening had kept Draco up the entire night and while Harry laid there with his eyes closed, Draco's shudders and whimpers denied him rest.

"Draco," Harry whispered, petting his thickening hair. "It's just a storm."

"I know," Draco said. He inched closer to Harry, radiating heat. A flash burst beyond the edges of the curtain and the light overhead flickered and went out. Draco stilled and the room festered in silence.

One. Two. Three. Four.


Draco jumped, crying out and Harry grabbed him, wrapped him up in his arms, consoling him as best he could, but his own whine, alien and surreal, did little to boost their courage.

One. Two. Three.

BANG! The flashes came quicker, impressing the darkness around them and the rumble echoed outside. So loud, yet he could barely hear it over the banging and thumping of his heart. He gripped onto Draco, taking and offering whatever support he could.

Their door swung open. Snape held his wand aloft, the tip glowing beautiful, soft light. Harry's eyes were drawn to the light. Draco burrowed his head into Harry's chest, avoiding the lightening, avoiding the darkness, avoiding the world.

Fat rain drops beat against the thatched roof.

"Come out of there and sit with me by the fire," Snape ordered.

It was an ordeal to extricate Draco from Harry. Together, Snape and Harry had to peel away each finger where it'd bonded with Harry's shirt. Then Snape swaddled him up in a quilt, thick and heavy and the two lead him through the bedroom door to the couch, his head hung low.

Together, they sat on the couch. Harry to Draco's left, with Draco clinging tight, and Snape on Draco's right, a solid wall against the storm. The thunder raged around them, rattling the windowpanes and beating on the roof, but eventually the storm died away as the morning light seeped through the small windows. The fire blazed cheerily, a contrast to the atmosphere charged with ozone and fear.

Draco'd fallen asleep between the two men somewhere in the night. He twitched and whined, but Harry held him, though his arm had long ago gone numb, and Snape sat unwaveringly close by. Subtly, dawn broke, a morning full of pastels.

With grace, Harry slipped out from under Draco. He lifted his arms high and stretched, groaning at his sore muscles. He had to piss something fierce and padded his way to the bathroom in his thick socks. After he'd urinated and washed his hands, he returned and his eyes lingered on Snape and Draco. Draco shifted and was now leaning on the older man, who seemed to be studying Draco down the length of his nose, his features soft.

Then he looked up and spotted Harry. They looked at each other and in the space of three breaths, Snape donned a frown like a full set of clothes, slowly, methodically, like he'd been shocked to find he wasn't sneering and forgot how to put it back on.

Harry felt like he'd just spied on some private moment and had annoyed the older man. He'd thought they were all friends now. He'd never thought he was… what, in the way? In four strides he was by the door. "I'm going out," he said with his back to the men on the couch, then he opened the door and stepped outside.

A light rain still sprinkled over their valley, leaving concentric circles blooming over the surface of the lake. The tall grass had been stomped flat by the storm. He took a few steps away from the cabin and looked up at the roof. There were thin patches in the thatch that would need to be repaired. He thought of Snape's wand and shook his head. He wished he'd had his wand to make short work of the patching, but he'd lost it to the Death Eaters a lifetime ago.

A bird called to the left, a single, solitary cry into the quiet air. Moments passed and then another cry returned. Harry couldn't help but smile. At least the birds had someone.

He stuffed his hands in his pockets, thinking about that look on Snape's face as she kicked stones and walked around the house. For some reason it made Harry feel strange to see the lack of a sneer on Snape's face, the compassion in his eyes. To know that he cared. He thought back to those memories of his, memories of his mother, and he knew Snape could love. A loving Snape was still just so foreign, like a belly-dancing Hagrid or McGonagall in a two-piece.

He looked up from the stone he'd been kicking and his breath caught at the sight. A double rainbow arched over the hills to the south, shimmering in the morning sun.

"Severus!" Harry called out. "Draco!" The rainbows traversed the sky; the multi-colored reflection doubling on the surface of the lake. It was spectacular. "Come here and look at this!"

He heard the door open then close and soft steps swished in the wet grass. He felt someone come up next to him.

"Isn't that amazing," Harry said with quiet awe.

"Yes, indeed," Snape's rough voice agreed. Harry twisted to look over his shoulder at Snape. He examined him, sharp eyes, beak of a nose, nasty hair. Harry smiled softly and Snape nodded in return, his own lips twitching just the slightest.

Maybe it was something he could become used to.

They stood together, watching the rainbow until it faded with the sprinkles. They were both damp, though Snape's wool kept him mostly dry. The water weight actually tamed Harry's hair.

"Shall we return and prepare breakfast?"

Harry nodded and they left the fresh, new world.

Thirty-nine days until:

He woke up alone. Panic juiced his heart with adrenaline and he jumped from his bed and tore through the door to the larger room. Draco and Snape were sitting on the couch together, watching the dancing flames in the fireplace.

They both turned to look over at him where he'd stopped in his tracks.

His heart turned from panic to breaking in a few short beats. He turned around and returned to bed.

A few minutes later the door cracked open. "Harry," Draco said softly, "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," he said into his pillow.

"You don't sound fine. Come on, just tell me."

As if it wasn't obvious. For an instant Harry was really pissed. "It's nothing."

A long pause. "Fine." The door shut.

That evening he joined the two men by the fire. They were playing a Muggle card came, trading off cards to each other and laying them down in piles. Draco had been laughing and Harry was tired of sitting in his room, alone. So he emerged and sat on the floor by the fire, not looking at them, not speaking to them, just sharing their space.

Thirty-eight days until:

Footsteps approached him from the behind, he could hear them pressing through the grass which had recuperated from the storm. They were intentional, gruff footprints, and Harry knew to whom they belonged. "Mr. Potter," Snape said. Harry flinched. "Are you finished with your pout?"

"I guess." He stared across the lake, down at his shoes. One shoelace was frayed on the end and his toe was almost poking through.

"Good. Please join us for lunch."

Thirty-seven days until:

It was with sadness that Harry watched Draco and Snape grow close. He felt no longer necessary. Since the storm he'd been so skittish and he went to Snape more often than Harry anymore.

He was chin deep in the tub, periodically lifting up his toe to turn the hot water nozzle, relaxing. He thought back to that day he'd walked in on Draco doing things… back there. He remembered being taken by those men and he didn't think the idea of anything back there was really appealing.

Draco hadn't wanted to kiss him for three days now; he only seemed to want comfort. Harry missed the kisses.

He drained the tub and refilled it once more, the water even hotter. He had put a new charm, with Snape's help, on the water tank. He had all the hot water he ever needed. He missed his wand, and while Snape was incredibly accommodating by sharing his, he really needed his own. He wished he could stop moping but his heart ached so much.

He had so much to think about.

Lunch time arrived and the expected knock on the bathroom door dragged Harry back to the living world. His toes and fingers were deeply wrinkled and they felt numb to the touch. He felt numb all over.

"Harry," Draco called happily from the kitchen table. "We're waiting for you." He lifted up a long pretzel stick and chomped into it. Harry tried to smile; instead he sat at one end of the table, far away from the two Slytherins. He stared out the open window, his chin resting in his hand. It looked like a nice day outside.

"Harry, why are you still moping?" Snape asked. The bastard sounded smug, almost upbeat. Harry rolled his eyes from the window to Snape and shrugged.

"Not moping, sir."

Draco hopped his chair three times, moving right next to Harry. "What's wrong?" he asked, placing his hand over Harry's. Harry stared at the two hands, not really feeling Draco's touch.

"Nothing, just tired." And he was. He didn't sleep much last night, with Draco covering him like a blanket. Covering him, but no kisses, no touching. Did he do something wrong? Was he getting kisses from Snape? He looked over at the man, then sighed heavily and managed a smile for Draco. "Sorry, I'll keep out of your way today so I don't bother you." Maybe they wanted more time for kisses.

Draco pulled his hand away, sliding it across the table top and dropping it into his lap. He looked down. "You don't bother me, Harry."

Silence weighed heavy, suffocating the room.

Snape stood, scraping his chair across the wooden, plank floor. "Alright, Potter." Harry cringed. "What the hell is this about? Out with it!" Snape slapped his hand against he table, rattling the spoons and forks.

Harry couldn't meet his eyes. Draco began plucking at a finger nail.

With a deep breath Harry opened his mouth… then closed it. He realized how petulant he was acting and knew he couldn't tell them the truth. "I'm lonely," just wouldn't cut it. "You took Draco away from me," sounded even worse. "My cock has died; I carry around dead flesh," would only mortify him.

"I miss magic," he finally said. It was one of the many things bothering him. "I want a wand. My own wand."

Draco snapped his head from staring at Harry to looking at Snape.

"I know," Snape said, clearly sounding like he understood as he pinched the bridge of his nose. "I couldn't get your wands when I'd freed you. My only suggestion at our current predicament is to continue working with mine. I have no other options." Harry was happy the man hadn't offered Greyback's wand as an option. It showed he cared.

Harry nodded then returned his gaze out the window. Little yellow flowers were blooming across the field. They looked like stunted daisies.

That night he lay stiffly with Draco in their bed. One thin arm was stretched across his chest. Draco wasn't asleep either, Harry could feel the tension.

A canine howled far away, the sound only noticeable in the dead of the night.

"Should I leave or something?" Draco asked, his voice strained.

"No. Please don't." The words came quickly, too quick to pull them back.

Draco boosted himself up on his elbow and leaned forward to look at Harry's face. The overhead light that lit their room hiding nothing of his own anguish. Draco wanted to leave him.

"I don't want to leave, but you're really stressing me out. You won't say what's wrong."

Harry pulled his eyes away from Draco's and stared at the corner in the ceiling. A cobweb floated in non-existent wind.

He didn't know how to say that something had gone rotten inside. He was afraid that it'd almost seemed easier back in their cage. He didn't have to make these choices; he didn't have to feel passed over.


"Yeah?" He finally returned Draco's gaze. With a thick swallow, he said, "Don't leave."

A smile flashed across Draco's face, relieving some of the pointiness to his features. Something in those eyes boiled with anticipation and Harry's heart lurched. Those grey eyes opened a fraction wider and then he leaned down and kissed Harry.

Everything that'd been held tight within him was released, his muscles relaxed, the tension in his chest dissipated, his self-worth inched up a peg and he kissed back, fervidly, urgently. Draco moaned, moaned so seductively, so shamelessly that Harry had to have him, all of him. He had to make Draco his before anyone else did, before they went back to the world out there and Draco didn't need him anymore.

He pushed Draco back.

"Hey, what…" Draco asked, his lips red and wet.

"Get undressed," Harry ordered, already stripping his own shirt off and diving for the tie at his pants. They'd never been naked together before, not in a very long time. Not in a bed. Not like this.

Harry's blood roared in his ears and seemed to be filling ever portion of his body, except the portion he wanted filled. As Draco shucked off his own pants, Harry stared at this unmoving cock, lying there against his thigh like a deflated balloon.

"I'm… I'm sorry," Harry mumbled, turning away. His ardor subdued in the face of his dismal performance. A chuckle from behind only drew Harry in further. How could he face Draco now, one of the only people he felt he could face in light of his current trial?

"Harry," Draco said, his voice soft and warm. "It's okay." A warm palm rested on Harry's cheek and pulled his face around. "It's okay," he said again, and leaned down to brush his lips back and forth across Harry's. Draco licked his bottom lip and he gasped. His body tingled everywhere, from the tip of his ears to the soles of his feet. Then Draco plopped onto the bed, dragging Harry down with him.

He had Draco naked in his bed. He had Draco here with him. He wasn't off with Snape, he was with Harry and something about that make the world a more solid place.

Eagerly, he kissed back. Hungrily he dined on Draco, his tongue, his lips, the tender skin behind his ears. Against his side he could feel Draco's erection, firm and hard, leaking at the tip and he gripped it, running his thumb over the head just to hear Draco gasp.

"I love it when you touch me, Harry. Don't ever stop touching me."

"I won't, Draco. I won't ever." With a steady grip he rubbed Draco, continuously, endlessly and as Draco clutched onto him, his body undulating with each stroke and pull, as he cried out Harry's name over and over as his fluids pumped out of his body, Harry was happy.

With half-lidded eyes Draco glanced at Harry. A content and peaceful smile brought out Harry's own grin. "Good?" he asked, tingeing pink even as he asked.

"Merlin, yes," Draco gushed, then giggled and the boys lay there together, giggling and petting, as the crickets chirped into the night.

Thirty-six days until:

That morning Snape knocked and said, "Glad to hear you two made up. Will you please join me for breakfast?" Draco's face contorted as he tried to hold in a laugh.

Harry didn't give a rat's arse that Snape heard.

"Coming, sir," he called back, diving at Draco to nibble at his neck.

Thirty days until:

His cup was empty so he stood to fill it from the sink. Over the last few days things had fallen into a comfortable routine. After he got over his jealousy, constantly supported by Draco's ravenous sexual needs and affection, he backed off of his overly possessive feelings.

He didn't need to be possessive of Draco, not with Snape. When he really thought about it, though the man was old, there was something about him. He protected them. He nearly died for them. As his stiffness eased, Harry could see another side to Snape, though neither romantic nor overt, he could be tender and thoughtful and he could see why Draco would spend long hours with him, talking, sometimes leaning together. He saw that something was growing between them and even a week ago he would have felt his world was threatened, but now, after he'd put hours of thought into it, he found he didn't mind.

He could share as long as he was still a part of Draco's life. He realized, he could share.

That night in bed, Harry steeled himself and asked, "Do you find Snape attractive?"

Draco stopped trailing his fingers over Harry's chest. "Why?"

Harry chuckled, his chest vibrating with the sound. "I just want you to know, if there is something between you two, I'm okay with it."

Draco sat up at that. "What? After that jealous pout you went through?" He gave Harry a long look that called him out on the table.

"I know, I'm sorry. I was jealous. But…" he picked at the edge of the quilt, "I don't think that Snape would replace me. I think we could both be there for you." He finally looked up at Draco.

Draco's eyes were so open, his mouth quirked in a little 'o' of wonder. "Really?" Harry nodded.

Draco pounced and began kissing him silly. Action Number 32 on how to make Draco smile: Giving him what he wants.

Twenty-five days until:

The days were warm in early April, and the three had taken to sitting on the hill together in the high, green grass. Snape, or sometimes Harry—Draco never offered, apparently he was not a house-elf—would make them a lunch and together they would sit and eat sandwiches or baked goods. Their food stores were growing threateningly low and Snape's curses grew more frequent about the lack of some vital ingredient. They finished the last of the potatoes only two days ago and the carrots were next.

That morning Harry'd helped Snape with baked chicken, slathered with salt and rosemary, bread crumbs and nuts stuffed inside. Harry was the one who insisted on the salt, saying it would bake into a flavorful skin, soaking into the meat and really bringing out the flavor.

Snape had cocked an eyebrow at him, but unlike the past, he'd done what Harry suggested. At the result he'd said, "Quite passable, Harry," and Harry'd grinned for a good five minutes at the praise.

Snape now dressed in trousers and short sleeved shirts, his bite scar a pale ridge across his neck and the Dark Mark leering at Harry, but Harry overlooked that tattoo with casual ease. It meant nothing, not when Snape had loved Harry's mother; not when he took care of them both.

Sometimes, Snape would even smile.

And as he sat under the bright afternoon sun, only a light jacket he'd Transfigured with Snape's wand to ward against the brief but chilled wind, munching on a chicken breast and fresh carrots, he realized he felt content.

He'd been perched away from the others on his favorite rock facing the lake. Some mallards were puddling, tail ends turned up as they stirred up a feast. Behind him, he heard Draco chuckle. He turned and looked over at his two companions. They were leaning close, faces turned towards each other discussing something. Once in a while Draco would throw his head back and laugh and even Snape's perpetual scowl lightened; he looked like a man at peace.

Draco caught Harry's eyes and smiled and Snape, noticing Draco's action, looked up and nodded. Harry waved and turned back to the lake. Snape and Draco had grown closer after Harry's talk with him, but so had Harry with the older man in his own way. Sometimes he wondered if Snape could, or would, give Draco wanted in the sexual portion of their lives. He knew he could only give Draco so much, and he wanted Draco to have everything. He deserved everything.

In this cage of safety, he realized he had so little to worry about; it was all so miniscule in the grand scheme of things. He was so fucking happy just be alive.

He jumped to his feet and tossed off his jacket. Then he lifted the edge of his shirt and pulled it over his head, tossing his head to get his hair out of his eyes.

"Harry, what are you doing?"

He twisted at the waist and laughed at the two, staring at him on confusion. "I'm going for a dip!"

He grabbed for the button on his jeans.

"Harry, I do not have proper ingredients to infuse a warming potion. Potter! Put your pants back on!" Snape shouted and Draco laughed as Harry ran down to the lake buck naked, jumping over rocks on the path and then ending in a painful splash.

"Damn! Cold!" he screeched as he popped back up to the surface. The mallards set to the air, flying away in annoyance.

"Well, what did you expect?" Draco yelled over at him.

Harry dunked himself again and brushed his hair out of his eyes. He kept moving his arms and legs under the water, trying to acclimate to the cold.

"Not glacial temperatures!" he called back.

It was cold, but he felt cleaned by the temperature, somehow purified. He began swimming to the opposite side. Soon, he was no longer on the verge of hypothermia and the calm surface before him as he transversed the lake sparkled in the sun's light, little diamonds, like little fairies celebrating the joy of life.

Fifteen days until:

Their food supplies were so diminished that Snape began planning to leave their home to gather more. Harry wanted to tell him no, that he couldn't leave, he could get caught or someone could find them or any number of other excuses but he stopped himself. They had to eat.

That afternoon he'd taken Snape's wand and Transfigured a stick into a fishing pole. He'd seen fishing shows on the television at the Dursley's house; it couldn't be that hard. He dug up worms and impaled the wriggling things on a hook and tossed out his line.

He'd begun in the morning and it was now past high noon and his stomach rumbled as he waited for a stupid bite. He pulled out the hook for the hundredth time and saw his worm was missing. Again.

"Damn fish!" he yelled. "Quit stealing my worm, already." He tossed out his line again, this time from a large boulder and watched as fish came up to his hook and sucked off the worm. "Fuckers," he cursed.

Then he slapped his hand to his head. Lifting Snape's wand he cried, "Accio Fish," and one wriggling trout came flying up through the water into his palm. It flipped and beat him with his tail, expertly slipping from his grip and landing back into the water to tell his horrid tale to the next generation of fingerlings.

Harry jumped off the boulder and moved to stand over the marshy ground when he cast the spell again. This time the fish had nowhere to go when it slipped from his grip. He caught two more, pleased, and returned to the cabin excited to show them his catch. The lilac bush beside the door had tiny buds scattered all over it and he couldn't wait for it to burst into full bloom. The sun shone. It was a beautiful day.

He opened the door, fish floating behind him, and saw Snape and Draco entwined on the couch. Snape's long fingers were threaded through Draco's hair and Draco's head was thrown back as the older man licked along his chest.

It was the hottest thing he'd ever seen. The fish dropped to the ground with a wet slap.

Snape turned his head towards Harry and Draco looked up confused. They both went stiff; Snape's face revealed nothing, but Draco, Harry noticed, looked hopeful. He wondered if they'd planned this.

He didn't know what to do. Should he leave? He wouldn't mind staying to watch, but that might make them uncomfortable.

"Harry," Snape finally said.

"Yes," he replied. It was a very stupid conversation considering the circumstances.

"Would you like to join us?"

His entire body froze at the invitation. Draco smiled, that seductive smile with his eyes half-lidded, his lips swollen from kissing. He was fucking gorgeous and Harry dumbly nodded at Snape.

Snape held out his hand. "Come here then."

Seven days until:

Their intimate play together became a common occurrence.

Following a sparse meal they were in the living room with Snape sitting on the couch. Draco stood by the fire as Snape looked him up and down, an appraising look that made the blond squirm. His shirt was balled on the floor; his trousers hung low on his hips. Harry was sitting on a kitchen chair next to the couch where Snape sat, observing everything closely: Snape's eyes, Draco's reactions, the tension in the air making everything crisp.

He'd discovered he really liked watching.

"Drop your trousers, Draco," Snape said, his voice low and Harry realized, very sexy. He looked sharply at Snape, really examined him. His nose was long, his teeth yellowed and crooked. His hair was lank and his cheekbones far too sharp. But his eyes, when not full of disdain were full of a power that could engulf you and Harry finally saw him as a desirable man. He gasped softly in surprise.

While Harry was examining Snape, his eyes and the long scar coming up his chest, Draco had been busy with his trousers, which were now resting at his ankles, his long erection packed within the cotton of his pants. He looked nervous, anticipatory, excited.

Draco looked over at Harry, his eyes bright and then looked back at Snape, ready.

"Everything, Draco," Snape said, and Harry could see Draco shiver, a full-bodied wriggle and his eyes practically rolled back. In the next breath he hooked his fingers around the band of his underwear and tugged them down. His cock sprang forth.

"I see," Snape hissed. "So eager." Draco nodded. "Come here, lay across my lap." With wide eyes, Draco shuffled towards Snape, his trousers impeding his progress, preparing to lay down facing Harry.

"No," Snape said, right before Draco laid himself down. "The other way." Draco looked up at Harry, their eyes piercing each other, trying to swallow the heat from the other. He straightened and moved to the other side, lying down across Snape's lap with his arse facing Harry. His head was cradled over his crossed arms where they rested on a couch cushion.

Snape drew out his wand. Harry watched avidly as he placed the tip of his wand on the top of Draco's head and dragged it down along his spine all the way to his protruding tail bone. Then he tapped.

Draco gasped and trembled. Bobbing between his legs, Harry could see his full cock. Something in Harry stirred and he pressed his hand against his own dick, unmoving, but not lifeless. His balls ached.

Then Snape lifted his wand with maximum finesse, "Accio Oil. " The jar of cooking oil came flying through the air to land gently in his palm. He set aside his wand, unstoppered the oil and dabbed a bit onto his forefinger. He rubbed them together and hmmed to himself. "A tad too grainy, but it will have to do," he mused.

Then he lifted the oil and began pouring a thin stream over Draco's skin; a tiny river of the yellow tinted substance pooled in the arch of his back and then Snape brought the bottle back and dribbled it over one butt cheek then the other and finally all over Draco's crack. Then Snape reached down and opened Draco's cheeks, pouring more and more of the slick stuff over his anus.

"Merlin, Severus," Draco groaned out, gripping the cushion like a life raft. Like a rocking horse, his cock bobbed up and down, up and down.

Harry's heart beat hard as he watched the slick oil sliding over Draco's skin, Draco's pucker pulsing at the contact. Harry let loose an awed, "Oh."

Snape banished the bottle and his hard eyes captured Harry's. "Harry," he said, "Come closer."

Harry sprang from his chair and pulled it closer. He was sitting right by Draco's upturned arse, his tiny entrance right where Harry could see it. He found he couldn't look away. It was so pink. How could a dick really get up there? It seemed preposterous, though he had first hand experience it was possible and something in him wanted to try. Someday.

Harry reached out to the dip of Draco's back and pressed all five fingers into the pool of oil. The prone man twitched.

"What?" he said, his voice completely breathless and the question completely pointless.

"Draco?" Harry asked, questioning as he ran his fingers in a figure eight over his soft skin, coating them with the oil. He drew the eight wider and wide, encompassing each half of his arse. "This okay?"

"Yes, Harry. Oh, yes, yesyes." Draco pressed his arse back at Harry, then thrust forward experimentally and groaned.

"Draco. Do not move," Snape commanded. Commanded. And Harry looked up at Snape again as Draco stilled his movements. The man's face was firm, but Harry could see that he was smiling in his own way. He could see a flush to his cheeks and their eyes met and Snape nodded.

Not exactly sure what he was doing Harry ran his finger from the protuberance of Draco's tail bone down the crack between this arse-cheeks and then right to that tight pucker that pulsed and throbbed under his touch.

"Oh, Merlin," Draco groaned out, his body hummed with tension but he didn't thrust like he had before.

The feel of it was marvelous. Harry circled it, feeling the muscles jump and play under his finger. He was doing that, he was making Draco groan and twitch and beg.

"Please, Harry. In me. Please, Oh Fucking Merlin, Please." Each word a drawn out tune of pleasure and Harry couldn't even think of not doing what Draco asked.

He pressed in and Draco groaned out and as Harry's world faded to that one point, that one connection between them, Snape reached down and attended to him in his own way. Frantically, Draco's orgasm hit. It lasted forever.

As Draco finally slumped bonelessly over Snape's legs, Harry pulled his fingers out, surreptitiously wiping them on his pants. Draco moaned low and Snape leaned forward and kissed his cheek.

"Hmm, Severus, Harry, thank you." He lifted his arms and pressed himself up off of Snape's lap, staring at the grey mess he left all over the man's dark pants.

"Sorry," he said sheepishly.

"It certainly is not a problem, Draco," Snape said, then cast a Cleaning Charm on them both. Draco tugged up his pants and trousers, and then slumped onto the couch next to Severus. He practically glowed with a contented half-smile.

Harry watched in awe. He watched Draco smile and lean up against Snape, kissing the man. He could see the dance of their tongues and he looked down to the shape of Snape's erection as it remained, untouched, in his trousers.

"Severus," Harry asked guilelessly, "What about you?"

Draco's long lashes lifted as he opened his eyes. "Severus?" he asked. He looked down to Snape's crotch. Snape looked down, too. "Oh!" Draco said.

"Do not feel obliged…" Severus began gruffly, but Draco cut him off with a wicked chuckle.

"Oh no, sir," he said seductively as he slid his body to the floor and walked on his knees to stop before Snape's legs. "This isn't an obligation." He reached up, placing one hand on each of Snape's knees and gently pushed them apart.

Harry just watched. He wanted to do more, but he couldn't tear his eyes away as Draco took Snape in his mouth.

Snape groaned low, an animalistic tone of need and Harry pulled his eyes away to look up at his ex-Professor. His head was thrown back and his back was bent deep. He was gripping Draco's hair as he began to tilt his hips sharply.

It was so incredible. It was unimaginable.

Harry reached out, no longer appeased with watching, and brushed Snape's hair with his fingers, then ran the tips along his skin. With his other hand he pressed lightly against the back of Draco's head as it rose and fell. And in this gentle touch, he felt a part of it.

He leaned forward and ran his tongue up Snape's straining neck, up to his ear where he bit sharply on the lobe. The man tasted clean with a slight tinge of sweat and Harry began sucking rhythmically to Draco's bobbing head.

With a low sigh, Snape's body grew rigid and he cried out. Draco coughed and pulled away, getting sprayed over his face as Snape continued to pulse and gush in the longest orgasm Harry'd ever seen. Finally, with one last twitch, Snape fell back against the couch in a heap, sighing heavily.

"Hmm. I must say, it's been a while," Snape confessed and he opened his black eyes and smiled at them both. Harry couldn't resist, he kissed him softly on the lips. Snape hummed in pleasure.

"And you, Harry? Are you…?"

"I'm fine. Thanks, though," Harry said, delighted that Snape asked and also surprised that his own lack of participation didn't make him feel left out. Snape cleaned them up, then tucked himself away as Harry squirmed closer to his right side and Draco crawled up on the couch to his other. They sat together, watching the fire crackle and pop, listening to their combined breaths, combined beats of their hearts.

That night they all slept in Snape's room. They'd enlarged the bed and Draco forcibly chose the middle, though Harry wasn't about to argue with him for it. It dawned on him that being in bed with two of his adversaries might be strange, however, the most striking thing was that he hadn't felt this safe in as long as he could remember.

Six days to two days until:

These were the happiest moments of Harry's life. And he wished he could hide away with Draco and Snape until the end of all days.

One day until:

Snape insisted it was necessary. They all watched as a charmed sparrow fluttered off with a message to Arthur Weasley. Harry watched it with a kind of obscene fear, its tiny little wings flapping at a hundred beats per second, taking a message to the world out there. But they were almost out of food and Snape had always told him that they couldn't stay hidden forever.

"Harry, Draco. We may remain here indefinitely, however we do need supplies and perhaps they can even send wands." Harry didn't think Snape sounded so sure.

He turned and wrapped a comforting arm around each of them and turned around to face the cottage. It had become home to Harry, perhaps even replacing Hogwarts in his heart. The thatched roof, the light blue paint, the beautiful lake in the distance. He'd felt safe here and he wasn't ready to leave it.

That day:

A soft movement to his side roused him from a fleeting dream of flying and snidgets and his opened eyes revealed Draco straddling atop Snape. A thin sheet covered them both as they rocked like a ship at sea, eyes half closed, expressions a mixture of calm delight and fiery pleasure; like a storm building then blowing away, then building once more. Eventually, Draco noticed Harry and smiled at him.

"Do you want to join us?" Draco always offered. Snape ceased his offers, but Harry sensed that didn't mean the offer had been rescinded. At the thought of joining them his cock actually warmed up to the idea, though it still didn't rise like he'd hoped.

He nodded and rose to his knees beside Draco and pulled off the sheet. It fluttered as it slid off their swaying forms. As Draco rocked himself on Snape's erection, Harry lined Draco's shoulder with kisses and took quick tastes, reaching around to grab his untended cock to give it a few steady strokes.

"Ooh, Harry." Harry's name sounded like a benediction on Draco's lips and he felt powerful and cherished.

He shifted to lie down along side Snape and he ran his fingers across the man's chest, avoiding the livid scar tissue, white and twisted. Snape hmmed at the touch and Harry felt drawn to run his tongue along the outer edge of Snape's ear. He discovered the man had a thing for ear bites. Snape grunted in anticipation as his rocking sped up.

Harry waited, by now he knew the signs when each of them would orgasm, and as Snape began to go quiet, his actions twitchy and more sporadic, Harry bit down on the lobe and sucked hard.

"Gah!" Snape cried out as he gripped Draco's hips and pumped into him. Time was stretched thin and Harry lightly licked at the bite, easing the sting.

"I survived serving the Dark Lord, but it just might be the two of you who are the death of me," he managed to say as he pumped Draco's cock faster and faster. Harry looked up from Snape's neck, half buried in his hair as the tendons and veins in Draco's neck bulged out, his mouth opened in a silent scream of release. White streams of pearls pumped out of the head of his cock, all over Snape's chest. When he was finished, he let out the longest, most sultry sigh that Harry'd ever heard.

Harry propped himself up on one hand and leaned over Snape's chest and began lapping up Draco's semen. Snape groaned again and Harry giggled. It was bitter, but for some reason he loved it. Almost as much as he secretly loved them.

They lounged in bed for the better part of the morning until Snape roused them, saying they couldn't be laz-abouts all day and they got up and each took his shower.

Harry practiced with Snape's wand and Draco took his share as well. The place was always spotless. Even with non-stop sex they still had many hours in the day to kill.

"Do you realize," Draco said as they ate lunch, some sort of stew from root vegetables Snape had found growing by the boggy end of the lake, "that today is Beltane. The veil between the worlds is thin."

"What?" Harry asked; he'd long ago forgotten to take note of the passage of days. "Really? Should we do something? To celebrate?"

"Jump over a fire?" Draco suggested.

"Beltane is a fertility ritual, you know," Snape said with a raised eyebrow.

"Oh well, we've already celebrated then," Harry said and then burst out in laughter with Draco following. It amazed him to realize that it'd been six months since he had been caught by those Death Eaters, since he'd wished for death; and now he hoped things would never changed.

Suddenly, he became crisply aware that nothing ever stayed the same.

"Rummy!" Draco cried out and laid his cards down with a smug grin. Harry threw his at the stupid git's head. He was pants at the game.

He got up and threw himself on the couch staring into the flames. "Sometimes I wish we had a telly," Harry whined.

The other two looked at him, cards forgotten. Then Draco cleared his throat. "When we leave, wherever we end up, we can get you that Muggle waste of time."

Harry twisted to look back over at the other two where they sat at the dining table. "But, I don't want to leave," he whined some more.

"Harry," Snape began, but Draco interrupted him.

"Come on, even I know we can't stay here forever," he began jovially. "Say we get some food sent our way in the next few days, we still can't keep hiding here. There is a world out there and yes, I'm not quite ready to return either, but eventually we need to. You're already getting squirrelly being stuck here. I think," he looked over at Snape then back to Harry, "I think that we should move on soon, help with the war, so that…" he swallowed and examined his hands twisted in his lap, "so that what happened to us, doesn't happen to anyone else."

Snape reached out and covered Draco's hands with his own. Harry laughed weakly. "When did you get all mature and stuff on me?" Silence moved amongst them.

Finally, Snape stood. "Get up, brats. Let's go outside."

The three of them left their cottage and began their walk around the lake. The early evening was pleasant and a flock of large white birds flew overhead. More and more wildflowers colored the field in yellows, whites and purples; one wild rosebush grew in an untamed mess on the north end. Harry reached out and grabbed Draco's hand, who then grabbed Snape's and they strolled in silence, each thinking about what would happen once they left their sanctuary.

They reached the little hillock and sat on it, Harry perched on his rock, and they watched as Beltane slowly burned away, the sun long past its peak in the sky. The thing about not having a wand, or the telly, or even many books, it created a lot of time to think. And Harry realized, Draco was right, as much as he wanted to, he couldn't keep hidden away.

"I'm going to get some fruit," Draco said. "Any requests?"

"An apple, please," Snape said while Harry piped in, "Pear."

Draco left them for the cabin in the quiet of the early evening.

"He's right," Harry admitted. "I guess we'll have to leave this place."

"Yes, Harry. But we do not have to leave now." Harry nodded at Snape's reassurance, but then both men were startled by the cracking sound of Apparition echoing from inside the forest.

"What the hell?" Harry exclaimed as he jumped to his feet. Snape rose too and they looked towards the noise. Maybe it was Arthur Weasley, he wondered. He hoped.

But it wasn't Arthur, or Kingsley, or anyone else he would have been happy to see.

"How'd they find us?" Harry screeched, body frozen. His eyes had gone blind to everything, focused only on Rowle barking orders to a few other people as they emerged from the edge of the forest. His tormentor and his torment, vivid and all encompassing.

"They can't see us unless they break the wards. Let's get back inside," Snape said calmly. Harry barely heard him through the base drum beating of his heart, the banging of his blood as it rushed through his ears. "Get inside now!" he repeated, this time with all the authority he ever held and it slapped Harry out of his stupor.

The intruders began repeating a spell over and over.

He burst through the door with Snape on his heels, babbling about Rowle and the others with him.

"Fucking fuck!" Draco cursed as he paced through the living area, his fingers twitching as he seemed to be plotting and strategizing some option, some plan. Harry knew he was scared, fuck, they were all scared, but he also knew that he could rely on Draco and Snape. They would protect him and he would protect them as well. If only they each had a wand. Harry glanced longingly at Snape's gripped firmly in the man's hand then turned to look at the box on the mantle.

"You two stay in here," Snape said, pressing the words through his torn throat with force, pinning them down with his gaze as if he could will obedience into them. "I will draw their fire; give you a chance to get into the forest and escape."

Harry's stomach fell away. "No! We are not leaving you, Severus. Don't even fucking…"

"Potter," Snape said and Harry shut his mouth, upset. "I have sent an emergency beacon to Arthur Weasley. Soon he will arrive and I will have aid. He knows that if he receives the beacon that something of dire concern has happened and that he should bring support immediately. As it is," his voice softened and he reached out to touch the side of Harry's face, then Draco's, "I've lived my life. You need this chance to live yours. Watch out for each other and stay together."

Harry looked over at Draco, whose eyes were wide trying to hold back tears. "I'll watch out for Draco, sir," Harry said. Then he threw himself at the man, kissing him full on the lips. "But please, try to not die. Please, come and find us. Please." He begged and begged and he felt Draco wrap his arms behind him and they clung onto Snape until he finally pushed them both away.

"Time has run short. I'll go out the front and you leave through the back window. Take Greyback's wand, it might be of use."

They nodded and he turned his back on them going for the door. Then, which jarring awareness, they felt the magic of the place shatter. The Death Eaters had broken through the wards. Harry snatched up the box and took out the useless wand, then turned to Draco and grabbed his hand. "Let's go." Draco nodded, his jaw flexing under his strained self-control.

They ran to the window right as they heard Snape throw open the door and cast his first Killing Curse. Harry pushed up the windowpane and then offered Draco his cupped hands. His shoe dug into Harry's palms and he easily lifted the lighter man, who tumbled through the window onto the ground outside. Harry leaped up and struggled through the window as explosions and screams from behind pulled at the frayed edges of his attention.

He landed with a thump to the ground, biting back a cry as he twisted his ankle and scrambled to his feet, ready to run with Draco. He hated abandoning Snape, hated it with every fiber of his being. What kind of a man would leave a friend like that… a friend and so much more? A sob bubbled through his panting breath.

"Hey there, boys," said a man Harry didn't recognize. His wand was trained right at Draco's heart, who stood with his hands raised, looking over at Harry fearful yet determined.

Harry thrust out Greyback's wand, attempting a stunner that completely fizzled and was punched soundly across his jaw. When would Arthur get there? Oh God, Harry's mind rattled off prayer after curse, demanding why exactly these things had to happen to him and the ones he loved.

Draco helped him back to his feet where he'd fallen under the assault. They stood next to each other, looking at the grinning man. Harry squeezed Draco's hand, quick—once, twice then sharply pushed his hand away.

Draco, taking the hint, dodged to the left as Harry lunged for their assailant, tackling him as his attention was drawn towards Draco's escape.

They struggled, rolling over the thick grass, but Harry had always been frightfully wiry and had ended up straddling his opponent. He curled his fingers into a fist and began pounding in his face. He punched him for his dead parents, he punched him for Voldemort, he punched him for every fucking rape he'd endured, and he now punched him for every time his heart stopped beating in fear and as he continued to bloody the man's face, breaking delicate facial bones, his tears fell freely and he screamed in frustration.

"Fucking leave us alone!" he yelled, pulled back his fist once more, but it was stalled by strong fingers wrapped around his wrist.

"Harry, stop. He's not moving anymore," Draco said, his voice oddly dull and flat. Harry relaxed his fingers; they ached he'd gripped them so hard, they ached with torn skin. He looked away from the mangled face of an unnamed ex-Death Eater up to another ex-Death Eater who meant so very much.

"We have to go," he said and Harry nodded. They did have to go. He had to get up right now. He had to get up and walk away and leave Severus behind. He had to survive and leave Severus behind.

"No," he finally said. "We have to go back for him."

Draco's shoulders relaxed and he released a sigh. "Damn right, Potter. Let's get moving." Harry grabbed the useless wand and tucked it into his waistband and then grabbed his opponent's wand and tossed it to Draco. Desperately he tried to scrub the gore off his hands onto his jeans as they pressed themselves to the wall of the house.

"I wish I hadn't yelled so much," Harry whispered and Draco shrugged.

"What's done is done. Let's go help him." Draco held out the wand, it was short and stiff and he looked dubiously at it. It wasn't hopeful, but it was better than nothing. Together they slid around the corner, Draco going first, to where they heard someone laughing and Severus' hoarse scream.

"Shit!" Draco ground the word out from between his clenched teeth. Quick as a snake, he peeked around the corner to the front of their cottage.

"What? What did you see?" Harry asked, urgency pressing him against Draco, closer to the edge so he could see, too.

"Stop, you'll push me out there," Draco said with a swat to Harry's head. "They've got Severus. Three of them surrounding him. Another down." He took a deep breath. "Rowle is there."

Harry nodded. "We need to get them off Severus. You take one; I'll take the other… Disarm them if you can, kill them if you must." Even after killing Voldemort, he still didn't like the idea of killing, even the man who'd abused him in the worst fashion. He wished he still had his cloak. "Maybe we can climb on the roof and jump on them?" he suggested.

Draco glanced up to the rim of the thatched roof. "Doubt it, we'd probably fall through."

He snorted, frustrated. "Fine."

"I'll take the far one, I'm faster than you," Draco whispered with a twist to his lips. Harry almost chuckled, would have if it weren't for the panic threatening to choke him dead. They looked at each other, then Draco nodded and they burst from the corner of the house.

It wasn't far, maybe twenty meters and Draco flicked a weak curse at his target even as he flew through the air, launching himself at the slight woman. He hit about the same time Harry rolled into the legs of the one closest, not even bothering using the wand he had. The Cruciatus Curse was cut short as more vitriolic cursing filled the air.

The man Harry had tripped to the ground rolled over on top of him pressing his wand against Harry's temple. Scrambling, Harry grabbed a rock from the dirt and with all his might he shifted his weight and slammed the fist-sized stone into the side of the man's head. Shock and adrenalin warred within him as the man fell on top of him like a bolt of cloth.

Screams and the definite sounds of a fight came from behind Harry but he couldn't see a thing. He knew Draco was out there alone, even Snape in full bastard mode couldn't recover that quickly; he couldn't stomach the idea of leaving Draco to face Rowle without him there. He twisted left and right, squirming out from under the dead weight but as he reached for this man's fallen wand, something hard hit him from behind, knocking him over.

Instinctively, he rolled away trying to put distance between him and the fight so he could get to his feet. He rolled to a squat and quickly leap-frogged to the left as a green flash sailed his direction.

The dainty woman was slamming her heel into Snape's side where he was curled up tightly and Rowle was leaning over Draco, who was sprawled across the man Harry'd brained. The bastard leered at Draco, leered at him, and Harry wouldn't put up with that. He said he would protect Draco with his last breath.

"Hey, you fucker!" Harry cried out, pointing Greyback's wand at Rowle. "Leave him alone!"

Rowle turned to look at Harry, positioning himself at an angle to take in both of his ex-prisoners, his wand steady on Draco. "Oh, look at you now. Savior have a bit of spit and vinegar, eh?" He flicked his wand and Draco fell to his knees, eyes wide and mouth twisted in fear, but he didn't run. He didn't do anything.

"Get up Draco! Fight it!" Harry screamed at him. The loose wand of the brained man was resting only five feet away. Five measly feet. Harry could dodge for it, grab it, kill fucking Rowle. No, Crucio the fucker until he stopped writhing to puke up his guts, literally. The man needed to pay, to fucking pay.

Harry dove for the wand.

His fingers wrapped around it and he rolled to his side, the ground where he rested seconds before was scorched black by a hex. He lifted the wand and screamed the Curse of Pain at Rowle, all of the energy and hatred and fear washing out through his arm into the wand and a ray of bright light flooded the man.

Rowle fell to the ground, gone stiff in a rictus of pain. Harry was so focused on flooding the man with his own anguish that he didn't noticed that Draco still did not move. He didn't notice the woman walking towards him. He didn't notice her wand, directed right at him.

"Crucio! " she screamed, and it was Harry's turn to drown in the torture of the Unforgivable.

But the curse didn't last long and he fell to the floor in a boneless lump, panting to catch his breath. A headache was building and he couldn't look at the sky, the dim evening was just too bright.

"You will not touch them, Fortier," Snape snarled, and Harry could hear the fight, the exchange of spells as he struggled to get up, to gain his bearings, because if he was recovering, surely Rowle was, too.

"Harry!" Snape hissed at him, and Harry opened his eyes a crack. Snape was standing by his side, his arm held out. "Take my hand. Do not release it." He sent another curse, a red blaze that burned a path at the woman, who returned the favor in full measure. The hex veered off and caught the edge of their cabin, the thatch catching like an inferno from the power of the curse. "Grab Draco," he gritted out between spells. "Now!" His attention was on battling his foe, not on Rowle pushing himself from the ground, not on Draco's stiff body.

Harry turned and reached out for Draco even as Rowle brought his wand pointing towards Snape. He reached for all he was worth, pulling against Snape's untiring grip; he stretched his arm and would have dislocated his shoulder if he could, but he couldn't make it, his reach came too short. Rowle incanted something, words and phrases that Harry couldn't quite hear. A flash of light and Snape shouted, yelled at Harry to get Draco, then began to cast some intricate spell even as the two Death Eaters were bringing down unknown nightmares upon them. With desperation he screamed out, "Draco!" but then his stomach roiled, everything shifted and he felt like he was hanging from the ceiling. Then an odd wrenching sensation like sinking into the earth. He lost solidity when a flash of light sailing through the air from Rowle encased them. Then Harry saw shadowy figures burst from the forest beyond the burning cabin. There was one man, then another… and a woman with bushy hair. Was that Arthur?

But he reached and reached and Draco looked over at him trapped in a pertification curse, unable to reach back, only able to scream his goodbye with his eyes as Harry slowly slipped from existence.

It was Beltane and his existence was burning.

When he was a kid he used to remember his Uncle watching old re-runs of this science fiction show called Star Trek. They had this platform where people could be Apparated from one spot to another, though they had this odd staticy appearance for a while. They called it Beaming, and that is exactly what Harry thought was happening to him right now.

Everything went soft, then thin, then it was all a world of static and noise. He could still feel Snape's solid grip on his arm but he couldn't seem to move. He was frozen in a hopeless lunge for Draco; Draco, who'd gotten left behind.

His lungs ached, his heart felt crushed, a flattened organ unwilling to pump blood. He wanted to scream and wail, but he couldn't do a thing.

Finally, the world grew more and more solid, clear. It was still their valley, with the lake and the forest. He saw the cabin, neat and whole and uncharred in any way. There was no Rowle, no limp body bleeding from the head. There were no heroes running from the forest and there wasn't any Draco waiting for him. Draco was gone.

Then something clicked, slid sideways just slightly and Harry could move again and his entire body went limp from the strain; Snape let his hand lose.

From behind him Harry could hear, "No. Damn, no." Harry turned and looked at Snape, eyes full of pain, a downward quiver of a lip. He turned back and looked at the spot where Draco was not standing. He knew exactly how the older man felt.

"What's happened?" he asked, his voice sounding like it came from outside of him. "What spell did you cast?"

Snape swallowed slowly and scanned the area, his wand still held in a fighting grip. Finally, he glanced at Harry. "I moved us, Harry. It was a Sanctuary Spell. I moved us out of harm."

"How? What spell? Where did everyone go?"

"They didn't go, we did. And I'm afraid—" Snape's shoulders slumped and his wand arm fell lifelessly to his side. A breeze kicked up and lifted his long hair. It didn't seem as lank to Harry as it once had and he wondered if the hair had changed or he did.

Snape lifted his wand and began pacing around the pristine ground. There was no sign of a battle; the cabin had never been aflame. Finally he circumnavigated the grounds, his face warped in fury.

"That bastard Rowle. He sabotaged my spell. My Sanctuary Spell was compromised. We should have been moved to a pocket of safety until I ended the spell. This is an entirely different world," he growled, stomping around the perimeter of their cottage once more, vicious detection charms hurled out into the air.

"What do you mean?" Harry called after him.

"It means that we are not in our own dimension and that I'm not entirely sure how to return us."

Time stalled. Harry's heart stalled. His mind stalled and everything, everything that mattered came to a screeching halt.

"We aren't in our own dimension?" he asked weakly. Suddenly his mouth filled with the metallic taste of bile. How would they ever get home? Get back to Draco? In a wash of disbelief he sought out the flames, he scanned for his enemies, and finally he fell to his knees, sobbing over a future that might forever be lost.