Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter

HELLO MY WONDERFUL READERS! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR THE LOVERLY REVIEWS! I'M REALLY SORRY BUT IT SEEMS LIKE THE PROBLEM WITH THE REVIEWING BUTTON IS BECAUSE I REARRANGED SOME OF THE CHAPTERS AND I DELETED THE CONTENTS. SO EVEN THOUGH IT'S A NEW CHAPTER IT WON'T LET SOMEONE WHO HAS ALREADY REVIEWED THE 'OLD' CHAPTER REVIEW AGAIN. IF THAT IS YOU PLEASE JUST SEND ME AN ANONYMOUS REVIEW BUT MAKE SURE TO REMEMBER TO SIGN THE END OF IT WITH YOUR PEN NAME SO I KNOW WHO SENT IT TO ME AND WHO TO THANK! SORRY FOR THE WEIRD REVIEWING BUT HOPEFULLY THE CHAPTER WILL BE JUST THAT GOOD THAT IT WON'T EVEN BOTHER YOU! – A PERSON CAN DREAM RIGHT? :p ANYWAY ON WITH THE STORY!


I could see it.

My magical core was distressed and furious, my minds arrival greeted by distraught and confused emotions. But it was there.

A small, thin thread of my magic was being diverted from the core feeding another source like a magical battery.


"AHHH!" I screamed my throat burning under the strain of the intensity of my illogical rage, I threw my arm out trying to find something to grip onto in the physical world which would stabilise my mental one. The lamp on my bedside table fell to the floor, shattering the glass into millions of pieces. "My MAP!"


The eccentric elf stared into my eyes and I felt as if my intrinsic worth was being measured on a scale I would never be able to comprehend but then the elf nodded with a gentle smile and a knowing, awed gleam in his eye.

"Dobby will take Mr Harry Potter sir where he wants to go..." his spindly, bandaged hand grabbed mine, "...the fates demand it..."


I turned menacing eyes alight with desperation and barely concealed fear and panic on the annoying portrait and found...calculating eyes totally unconnected with the whiny, idiotic voice of before.

"Ah," The voice was cultured and powerful, "Now I understand." His jewel green eyes were alight with knowledge and smug satisfaction, "You may go in." He stated imperiously before turning his back on me. The door swung open and I didn't give the strange words another thought before I rushed headlong through the portrait hole.


"Potter, there isn't time!" Snape shouted.

"What is she keeping from me?!" I roared back.


LIZZY'S POV

You don't know who all the players are...

What the fuck? Angrily, I gritted my teeth together and stifled my moan of pain by shoving my head in the pillow. How in Salazar's name had that shank found the words that would unsettle me the most?!

I clutched my head between my hands laying down on my four poster bed and climbing in under the heavy silk sheets and fur covers hoping they would muffle the noise drifting up from the Common room. Before I could think better of it I groaned miserably and violently flinched, curling tighter in on myself.

It was dark in the cacoon I made for myself. My heavy breaths quickly heated the small space and soon I was sweating. My lungs were begging me to pull back the only protection I had in order to get a deep breath but I didn't dare. I laid there, silent and unmoving, except for the increasingly frequent tremors that wracked my body, silently willing, begging, my magic to hold on.

I was scared. Terrified.

I gulped back a sob knowing that it would only heighten the agony, I wasn't even granted that release.

Dear Gods,

I could feel another seizure coming, building. My muscles tensed and cramped, contracting painfully and this time I couldn't hold my body relatively still once it took over, it was too powerful. I cried out when the uncontrollable shaking threw me to the stone floor.

No, no, no, no, no!

My head hit the stone.

...My eyes opened impossibly wide...

Pain exploded.

I screamed.

I screamed long and gut wrenching.

Absently, I noted warm liquid running down my temple and knew it was blood but at this point I didn't care, I couldn't comprehended anything beyond the bottomless agony.

I gasped; gulping huge lung full's of air, tears streaming down my cheeks wetting the cold stone beneath me.

Harry.

I felt my magic stir but I didn't care.

Harry.

I wanted him here with me.

"Harry." I whispered brokenly.

I felt a prod at my magic but dismissed it. I wasn't going to last, my magical reserves were not deep enough.

I threw my head back, gasping loudly as I felt a surge of energy invade my body, flooding my severely depleted reserves with magic. Logically, I knew that this overwhelming feeling of energy was, in reality, evidence of exactly how exhausted my magical channels were because no matter how needed and thankful I was for the steady boost of energy, in actually, it wasn't a lot of magic being fed to me. That it could have such a profound effect on my physical body was not a promising sign.

It wasn't going to be enough.

I hadn't been laying there for more than fifteen minutes before the sporadic seizures were once again a constant. My nose was running but I couldn't control my shaking limbs enough to wipe away the liquid.

"H-harry..." I cried his name like a prayer through the silent torrent of my tears.

I'm so scared.

Those insidious whispers were gone, unable to be heard through the haze of pain in my mind and I realised that I wanted him here more than anything, more than anyone.

"Harry..." I whimpered pathetically, my strength finally failing.

I could feel it, my magic straining, with the last my energy, to hold on.

"Lizzy?" The nasally voice felt like knives being driven into my cranium and I jerked awkwardly to the side barely managing to swallow my sob, "Lizzy? Blaise says it's time for Astronomy and that he's downstairs waiting for you..." Pansy's voice increased in volume as she stomped over to my bed, the tremors her steps sent through the floor reverberating in my mind.

Through the agony of magical exhaustion and the parasitic potion I barely registered Pansy's horrified gasp as she caught sight of my weak and alarming body lying awkwardly on the floor beside my bed tangled in sweat drenched silk sheets.

"Draco! Blaise!...hurry quickly..." Unexpectedly, I felt my stomach lurch and churn, threatening to bring up the meagre food I had consumed today, the pain in my head too much for my body to bare any longer.

I shouldn't have kept it from him.

"Lizzy?!" Draco's voice, sharp and clear ringing with barely controlled panic elicited a strangled gasp from my throat in response.

"Shit..." He muttered and I saw his wand wave about skilfully before...

Ah! My tears began trailing down my cheeks again, the pain in my head, although not absent, had been halved in intensity. I felt as though I was underwater. All my senses were muffled and therefore my surroundings couldn't damage me so effectively. The spell allowed me, for the first time, to actually follow through a thought and it was then that I realised that the foreign magic lending me strength was coming from a crimson chord of light directly connected to my magical core.

My eyes widened.

Harry.

Somebody was scooping me into their arms holding me against a strong and muscled chest but the body didn't soothe my fear or panic, instead, I found myself clamping down on the now manageable pain as my cramping muscles were shifted awkwardly, sending fire through my limbs. I clenched my eyes shut. The physical pain I could handle, it was the all encompassing torture within my mind which was beyond any living creature.

Oh, Harry, I'm sorry. It wasn't enough.

My eyes flew open, impossibly wide and I arched my back straining against the mental weight.

Sweet Darkness, I am lost.

My walls collapsed.

Somewhere I knew I was screaming uncontrollably as I watched my walls crash down one after another with deafening resoluteness. Sending shockwave after shockwave of pain and offending matter battering against my mind's delicate core. Furiously, I realised that my own defences were now being used against me.

I had lost.

Disconnected from my body and the pain and suffering I feared and knew my physical body was being subjected to, I watched, as the pale blue fog of the insidious potion; which had just a moment ago been hovering outside my walls slowly chipping away, paused for just a moment, one moment, before surging forward with nothing to slow its destructive path to the core of my mind.

It would reach the centre, I knew, it was only a matter of time now before it quickly and mercilessly ripped apart my mind's natural defences and then it would reach my core. If they connected, even for a moment, then my mind would be destroyed and my sanity shattered.

Standing as I was in my mind, hidden beneath the folds of my memories, I smiled sadly.

Thank-you Harry, but I refuse to subject you to the same fate as myself...

Knowing that time was of the essence and that every moment we were connected Harry's mind was being contaminated I turned towards the crimson chord and, acting almost like a dam, I willed Harry's magic to pool before me. As soon as there was enough magic I swiftly directed it towards the connection with one order; sever it.

The first attack was violent and shook my mindscape but I paid it no mind.

Once more and it would snap, I knew it.

My eyes hardened with determination and I dismissed my own terror at what this would mean for my sanity and launched the magic at the fraying chord with everything I had.

...You mean too much to me Harry.

####

"Damnit Potter, open up!" Draco yelled furiously beating his fists against the wooden door separating them but received no answer.

"Stand aside." Severus Snape's cool baritone voice commanded softly and Draco swiftly stepped away turning to watch his Godfather with hope mixed with impatience.

Severus Snape was a formidable wizard; extremely powerful and possessing a sharp intelligence the Potions Master was the equal of all of the inner circle Death Eaters possessing an intimidating knowledge of the Dark Arts. Severus sent his magic seeking, testing the wards strength and nature. His black eyes widened imperceptibly at what he found.

"What?" Draco demanded, his own impressive magic rearing outwards, "What is it?"

Severus knew better than to withhold the information from Draco. Malfoy's were notoriously imaginative and sadistic concerning retribution and even if Draco didn't hold the same views as his Father Severus had seen the evidence that those familial traits had bred true.

"I can't break these wards." Severus could hear the disbelief that he had failed to mask in his words.

"Why not?" Draco's question was relatively calm now that he knew Severus was going to answer his questions. He knew that he couldn't have forced his Godfather to answer, Severus was one of the most powerful wizards he had ever met, but he would be have raised hell on Earth before he walked away from this.

"I do not know what they are. I've never encountered wards such as these before." He murmured as he crossed the room to the fireplace.

"What are you doing?" Draco asked still reeling from the shock that the Professor had never seen Potter's wards before. Severus had been a Death Eater in both wars; there were not many aspects of magic he knew nothing about.

Snape's thin lips pursed in disgust "Requesting assistance...Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom."

Draco's mercury eyes widened a little before he turned his attention back on the door.

"If anything happens to her Potter, I will have your head." The blonde Slytherin murmured softly, his eyes deadly serious as he spoke his promise.

"Severus?" Lupin's voice sounded surprised as his head appeared in the fire, "Is anything the matter?" he asked peering at Malfoy curiously.

"You should come immediately...it concerns Potter." Snape sneered as he spoke the name and watched as the predictable worry and concern appeared on the werewolf's face.

"We'll be there momentarily." Lupin said quickly and disappeared from the fire.

We...Severus grimaced...he had a horrible feeling.

Two figures glided out of the fire gracefully only their expressions betraying their rising panic.

"Where's Harry? What's wrong?" Black demanded stiffly.

Severus bristled but before he could answer Malfoy intervened with a dangerous whisper.

"I'll tell you where your precious Potter is, warded in that room where he is making it impossible for us to prevent Lizzy from going insane!" his incensed magic lashed out and shattered the lamp next to him but it didn't look like the blonde noticed too busy glaring at the two Marauders.

Sirius's hackles rose, he did not appreciate it when people attacked those he considered family, seeing as how that only meant Remus and Harry he was very protective of them. He scowled at his cousin and opened his mouth to verbally cut down the amateur but stilled when Remus shot him an angry look.

"Care to explain that Severus?" Remus asked calmly but his brown eyes were flashing amber with his own awakened temper at the attack on his cub.

Snape sneered at the two before nodding. Draco should have known better, there was a reason why Black was so feared as a fugitive, he was every bit as powerful and clever as Severus was, but where Snape's spying had taught him caution Sirius's imprisonment had given him a dangerous and somewhat sadistic edge.

"Elizabeth was poisoned with a mind altering potion which, in the last hour, she has finally succumbed to, her magic absolutely exhausted. I administered the potion but it was too late, her mental defences had collapsed and the potions effect ran rampant in her mind. Potter, at that point, threw us from the room and warded the space with spells and runes I have no prior knowledge of. I need to get back in there if we hope to help Elizabeth in any small way." Snape's voice was business-like and terse but Remus noted the genuine worry and affection he held for Lizzy in his eyes.

Without another word Lupin stepped forward and began the same examination of the wards Severus had done previously.

"Why didn't Harry tell us?" Black's words were muttered to himself and not meant to be heard by the others but Draco answered anyway.

"She didn't want him to know."

Sirius's eyes narrowed, "then what was he doing down here?" he cast Snape a suspicious glance before fixing Malfoy with an intimidating stare.

Draco was reminded, while staring into those forbidding sapphire eyes, that this man was a Black and heir to one of the darkest and most gifted dark family's in the world. He had underestimated the man.

"I don't know." He clenched his fists tightly and looked to Lupin who turned back towards them wearing a perplexed look.

"Well Moony?" Sirius asked impatiently.

Remus shot the silent Snape a glance before speaking, "I've never actually seen wards like these...I mean...their existence has only ever been conjecture..." he trailed off.

Sirius looked wholly unimpressed but Severus's arms uncurled from where he had had them folded across his chest, his dark eyes alighting with genuine interest in learning something new.

"You know what they are?" Snape asked.

Remus nodded.

"Then take them down! Hurry!" Malfoy barked.

Lupin shook his head sadly, "I'm sorry Mr Malfoy but if what I have read about these wards is true, no one but the caster can take them down unless your magical strength is greater than the one who erected them."

.......

"...Fuck." Sirius swore looking at the simple looking wooden door angrily, as if this was all the inanimate objects fault. "So in other words, there is no fucking way we are getting through that door." Sirius glared at his friend.

Lupin shot the grim animagus an unimpressed look, "Without the profanity," he sighed dejectedly losing his steam, "...more or less." He said while looking at the door morosely.

"If Potter ever comes out of that room, I swear to the Gods, I will kill the son of a bitch then resurrect him so I can murder him all over again." Draco muttered under his breath.

Black snorted. "Yeah, good luck with that one blondie."

The four individuals were silent for several moments before Lupin spoke, "You do know that Harry would never do anything to hurt Lizzy don't you?"

Severus's face transformed into a furious scowl, "As much as I am loathe to admit it, it does appear as though Potter's usual passing fancy's with the opposite sex don't seem to hold with Elizabeth, however, Potter does not always possess the most logical decision making skills does he Lupin?" he snarled.

Remus rolled his eyes but Sirius glared at the Potions Professor, "Harry would never do anything to put Lizzy's safety in danger if he could prevent it Snape as you well know." He growled.

Before Severus could answer with the scathing reply that was on the tip of his tongue two knocks on his portrait wall sounded through the room.

Draco swung round fixing the door with a forbidding glare before stomping forward to answer it. Yanking it open he came face to face with Blaise's curious eyes.

"Draco, I didn't know you were here."

The blonde raised an unimpressed eyebrow; Blaise had seen him running out of the common room with Lizzy's screaming figure in his arms, he had had to stun the man to get him to stop following them. He stared at Blaise for a moment; Potter's warning running through his mind like it did every time he now saw his friend. "U-huh...was there something you wanted?"

Blasie frowned at the short, non-descript answer before continuing, his eyes taking on a contemplative gleam, "I checked the hospital wing for Elizabeth ... when I found it empty I thought that this would have been the place you would most likely have brought her."

"You're correct in your assumption." Draco said coldly, he didn't even bother changing his tone to a friendlier version; he had far more important things to be worrying about.

"How is she?" Blaise asked his eyes hardening.

Draco didn't answer right away just staring at his friend in silence, "...I don't know."

"Can I see her?" Blaise tried again.

Draco sighed, running a hand through his blonde hair in frustration, "Look Blaise, Lizzy's asleep right now just go to sleep it's late."

Draco narrowed his eyes suspiciously as he watched Blaise tense in anger and grasped his wand sensing the aggression coming from the other.

"Fine. I'll come back tomorrow." Blaise said slowly before turning and disappearing down the stone corridor.

Malfoy watched him go in silence before shaking his head and closing the portrait hole while muttering threats to Potter's health under his breath. He didn't notice the second figure hovering expertly within the shadows listening to every word the pair spoke.

###

And dove down into the black abyss.

I'm not sure what I expected as I brutally thrust my way into Lizzy's mind. Chaos perhaps? A tangible threat I would be able to see and fight. After all...that is what experience had taught me. When I jump head long into a delicate and often dangerous situation there is immediate action, fatal attacks and the adrenaline takes over, everything always moves so quickly my brain doesn't have the chance to process exactly what's going on and figure out the most logical course of action, unfortunately, by that time I'm usually dodging half a dozen killing curses.

I didn't really know what to expect but I also didn't care, there was never a doubt in my mind as to what I would do and the lengths I was willing to go for this woman. What I was doing was different from Occlumency, I had sent my entire mind into Lizzy's so the reality was different. I was in her mindscape.

It was silent.

Eerie.

I noted the giant and horrifying tears that seemed to be everywhere. What was left of undoubtedly impressive walls around Lizzy's mind lay in ruins crushing faintly glowing swirls of white mist which I knew were her memories.

I looked around me my rage simmering.

Her mindscape looked like the aftermath of a war zone.

Balling my fists in determination I directed my magic to take me in further than her mind's outer defences.

It was so quiet.

It was strange. Logically, I knew I couldn't have been travelling any distance. This was her mind and the laws of nature did not apply here but still, my emerald magic, which had been floating out of me skimming the damage of Lizzy's mind almost...curiously, reacted instantly to my command and raced me deeper into the darkness.

Hurry.

I hissed at my magic urging it on, feeling it reach back to my physical body to call on more of my reserves.

Lizzy.

I hadn't meant to but my self-control slipped in a burst of fatigue and anger. The psychic call was propelled by my magic and I cursed as the aftermath of my unthinking action seemed to resonate and send a quake through the limitless space around me.

Distantly, I felt the touch of foreign magic against my own but dismissed it concentrating on falling deeper, faster.

The silence was so oppressive.

The thought of failure flittered across my thoughts as I continued to fall faster and faster against the strain but I swiftly silenced it. I would not fail. Not here.

Light!

In the distance I could just make out a multitude of swirling colours, dark and light blue, red and gold.

Beating back my fatigue I pushed my magic even further, gasping in pain at the burning that signalled the beginning of magical exhaustion.

I had no warning.

A piercing scream erupted from the darkness, the agonised cry was all too human and my fear and panic mounted as that tortured shriek echoed from every space with terrifying volume; scraping, with ghostly torture, at my exposed consciousness.

Lizzy.

My magic flashed.

Grasping a hold of my iron will, carved from necessity, I shoved the debilitating pain and damage that psychic scream had caused and thrust downwards, through sheer force of will, the small remaining distance separating me from my goal.

Lizzy!!

My fury drove my roaring call forwards into the giant swirls of warring colours and I didn't bother to leash my magic, I needed everything I had left.

LIZZY!!!

If I had been in my physical body my throat would have been damaged beyond repair.

I waited anxiously for a reply, just a hint of an answer...a feeling!

...

Nothing.

I pushed harder against my unbearable terror and searched frantically for a sign that she was still there. Still...sane.

The swirls of colour clashed against each other with deadly force and malevolent intent.

I recognised the fading gold as the colour of Lizzy's innate magic; it was dying unable to combat against the overwhelming strength of the potions poisonous effects.

Fine. I slammed my magic towards the gold watching in satisfaction as it glowed faintly before exploding in a fantastic brilliance of power combating against the insidious attacks with renewed vigour.

It still wasn't enough. I sagged feebly against the emerald cacoon my magic created around me, completely drained. I could keep pumping my magic into hers until my own magic was spent, a circumstance I knew wouldn't take very long. The gold was already losing its regained shine. Without Lizzy's stable and intact sanity to direct her magic and strategically mould the energy I supplied her with, my efforts would be for naught and the potions infectious nature would obliterate me with no magic or energy to fend it off.

I had to find her.

The burn was intense now, but I was no stranger to pain, and again, I buried it.

Lizzy...my call was weak; I had no magic left to spare, in order to power it.

Lizzy...

The gold was once again completely overwhelmed, the blues and red swarming around it like vultures and their chosen carcass.

...Lizzy...

Memories and images began rushing through my mind evoking emotions within me that I hadn't fully acknowledged yet.

"Lizzy." She whispered the firelight flickering across her long tresses, the flames dancing hypnotically within her eyes.

I frowned in bewilderment, not understanding. Edwards just smiled.

"My name is...Lizzy."

I felt a grin stretch across my lips and my eyes alight with joy.

"Harry." I answered.

She understood me.

"All I meant Harry; was that the brooding... your guilt complex, explosive temper, at times sadistic nature and black humour as well as your uncanny ability to intimidate people with your looks, demeanour and power are not going to affect Miss Edwards here." Sirius indicated with a nod of his head in my direction, his arms folded across his chest portraying a deep thinking individual.

That wolfish grin was back on Black's face, his eyes directed at me in vicious glee. "You're going to have to work for this one Prongs junior if you wish to keep her. And that, can only ever be a good thing."

She accepted me.

"You punched me!"

She threw me a sardonic look from over her shoulder before gliding to one of the blood red leather chairs in front of the fire.

"Your deduction skills never cease to amaze Potter." She drawled, her eyes burning.

"Fuck..." I managed to get out, "I think you broke my nose!" I yelled at her. Was she insane?!

She clasped her hands together and smiled mockingly, "That was the plan, yes."

She captivated me.

My energy was gone. My magic spluttering uselessly, but I smiled.

With my emotions rather than my magic, I tried one last time.

...Lizzy...

...

H-harry?...

Her mind's voice sounded hoarse and it roused my exhausted rage, pushed to the limit today. For the pain to manifest in her mind's self the torture she must have been subjected to was beyond reasoning.

She sounded even weaker than him! What a pair they made.

Yes...it's me...I took a moment to order my thoughts and beat down my anger again before continuing the draining communication, ...Lizzy...the gold was almost gone! You need to help me. I know you're tired but I can't do this by myself. Fight.

With the last of my feeble strength I reached back towards my physical body, the distance seeming impossible to conquer, but I did, and drained my magic from the wards I had erected around the room. I took every last morsel of magic drenching those walls and door and shoved it along the psychic connection between Lizzy and myself.

She didn't have the strength to hide her agony from me as my energy reawakened her hidden consciousness and I flinched back from the guilt and self loathing that I was the one causing her pain.

I hardened my resolve.

This needed to be done.

Leave Harry. I'm not capable of destroying the potions effects with finesse right now. Leave, I don't want to hurt you.

If mindscapes were capable of giving such a physical reaction form, I would have chuckled weakly at her wasted words. I wasn't going anywhere.

Quickly! I yelled urgently to her, watching as her gold magic was finally destroyed and the blue and red light turned swiftly towards where I now knew Lizzy's unprotected mind was hiding.

They couldn't touch!

Her sanity would shatter!

It was like a concussion hit the darkness. No sound was heard but the swirling manifestation staggered backwards as if it had hit an impenetrable wall, then...

Sound exploded!

Agony beat at me, my mind subjected to the full brunt of the repercussions with no magic to soften the blow.

Harry!

Lizzy's consciousness swept me up in a mad race to get to our physical bodies before we were both damaged any further.

She had kept some of the energy so she could try and get me out! I wanted to yell and scream and rage at her Gryffindorish actions but the feeling of hot coals being dragged through my defenceless mind combined with the feelings of determination, confidence and strength I was forcing through our bond to her was already making my head feel like it was going to explode under the pressure!

Almost there, almost there...

Lizzy's chant in my mind was coated in pain and I forced myself beyond the limits to look up. We were heading towards her outer defences. I could already feel the pull at my mind from my physical body...just a bit further!

Her whole mindscape was collapsing in on itself behind us. At any moment it could all give way, trapping us within, at the mercy of the destruction we were madly trying to escape.

Come on Lizzy.

Nearly there!

The pain overcame her at the last second just before we reached the ruins of the walls.

I didn't hesitate.

Without really knowing what I was doing, but intimately aware of the consequences of the wave of destructive fury building in speed behind us, I pulled Lizzy's mind tightly against my own...

Need magic...

Lizzy's mind whispered to me before succumbing to the darkness of unconsciousness.

I just needed a little! Just a bit! And we would be safe.

I need magic.

And suddenly I was aware of foreign magic dancing temptingly at the rim of my thoughts; I lunged forward and grabbed it, my desperate, overwhelming will easily dominating and suppressing the resistance it put up.

My own mind was combating against unconsciousness, my vision blurring and becoming dark at the edges. The steady and increasing roar behind us made it easy for me to take that final step and ruthlessly drain the foreign magic, my own lapping and soaking it in with the same desperation dominating my thoughts and emotions.

I cried out in pain. The wave had reached us.

Tightening my hold on Lizzy, I threw us that final distance to safety, my vision darkening entirely before I knew if I my desperate, clumsy act had succeeded.

###

"What the hell was that?" Draco managed to gasp out using the table beside him to steady himself.

From out of nowhere it seemed, unidentified magic, reeking of panic and desperation, had battered against each of the men's magical auras with enough force to drive the wind out of their lungs.

Sirius was scowling darkly; unfamiliar situations always unsettled him the most. He'd rather know the face of his attacker and deal with it head on than have indecision and apprehension gnawing at his gut.

"I have no..." Lupin's hesitant reply trailed off as his head snapped towards the simple wooden door barring them from Harry and Lizzy.

"The wards are failing." Severus's astounded murmur reached all their ears but Sirius's sharp intelligence picked up what the other two had missed in their shock.

"Failing?" Black's voice echoed, his sapphire eyes frosty as they stared at Snape's figure, "They aren't being brought down?"

Snape stalked towards the door hurriedly again letting his magic analyse its magic, "That's what I said mutt, now shut your mouth so I can concentrate." He snapped.

Sirius bit his tongue to keep from retorting, his godson was much more important. "Moony?" he asked anxiously wanted a second opinion form a person he actually trusted. The werewolf nodded before closing his eyes and copying Snape's actions.

Almost immediately the pair's eyes flew open, shock and astonishment written on their faces for all to see before Severus quickly disciplined his expression.

"What?" Malfoy asked quietly.

They didn't answer him, instead, Severus stepped forward and without any resistance pushed down the brass handle and swung the door open.

Draco immediately pushed his way through, the others rushing in after him, and almost gagged at the overwhelmingly violent and frantic emotions saturating the room.

"The magic is carrying the aftermath of its master's emotions, control your reaction Draco, it is only an echo of what was here before." Snape said to the blonde before crossing the stone floor to the beds two occupants.

"What's wrong with him?" Sirius asked worriedly when he saw Snape turn Harry's unresponsive body over from where he had been laying awkwardly on top of Lizzy.

Remus laid a calming hand on his friends forearm and shook his head silently when Sirius looked at him impatiently.

"Idiot boy," Snape muttered under his breath his black eyes furious. "It seems that Potter has decided to try and 'save the day' once again and, like usual, he let his instincts rule his reason and jumped into something he knows nothing about." Severus snarled. He had known Elizabeth Edwards all her life, he was good friends with her parents and she meant as much to him as Draco did. That Potter and his foolish hero complex may have cost him everything, made his dangerous temper flare like the brat had never succeeded in doing before.

"Shut up Snape." Sirius growled softly, he would not stand by idle and listen to his Godson being verbally attacked.

"How's Lizzy?" Draco demanded looking the Potions Master expectantly.

Severus turned away from those piercing mercury eyes, his silence on the subject telling enough.

Draco didn't even get a chance to respond.

The air was suddenly oppressive, heavy, keeping everyone in their places, the emotions they were being bombarded with so desperate, so furious, and so utterly dark they all knew it was capable of doing anything.

The hand Severus had wrapped around the wrist of the Potter boy was burning. Snape gritted his teeth against the domineering and unrelenting force which was holding him in place and tried to jerk free. His black eyes opened impossibly wide when he felt the ruthless energy prodding at his magical core and threw his own purple magic at the offending emerald.

It didn't deter the foreign invasion in the least. Severus brought his Occlumency barriers to full power and watched, horrified, as it slide through them without slowing.

"NO!" Snape growled furiously as he felt his magic being siphoned away from him, feeding the attacking source rapidly. The emerald magic grew quickly, hastily soaking up as much of Severus's magic as it could while the Potion Master raged at being unable to defend himself.

Abruptly, the merciless energy disappeared and the hold on all four men vanished.

"Severus?" Remus asked shakily, the Potions Master's face was contorted in rage while his body was shaking slightly, despite him controlling the worst of it, due to the brutal nature of the attack.

"Harry!" Sirius steadied his balance with some effort before carrying himself to the bed and his Godson hurriedly.

Both Harry and Lizzy's faces were covered in sweat, their once peaceful expressions now looking pained and pallid with severe exhaustion.

Sirius gasped in alarm as he felt the burning temperature of his Godson's forehead, "He's burning up! Moony, quickly, get some ice!" he yelled urgently and the werewolf immediately conjured a plastic bag full of it.

Sirius grabbed it swiftly and pressed it to Harry's forehead, using his free hand to test Edwards. Sirius gestured towards the girl, "Lizzy too Moony."

Remus went to put the bag of ice on her forehead put stopped when the ice was wrenched out of his hands by Malfoy who pressed it against her skin gently, "You just look after your saint Potter Lupin." He growled threateningly.

Remus backed up quickly knowing how to pick his fights while Severus recovered enough to bend over Edwards and examine her once again.

"Her mind is intact!" he stated with shock, seeming to freeze for only a moment the Potions Professor quickly began casting healing spells and shoving Potions down Elizabeth's throat trying to heal most of the damage the potion had done to her body before she became lost in her own mind.

Draco's eyes shone brilliantly at his Godfather's words and he crushed her much smaller body to his, the relief he felt obvious.

"I guess this means Harry's hero complex and 'save the day' thing worked out in the end after all Severus." Remus said, his brown eyes glinting slightly in amusement but his worry soon wiped out the emotion.

Snape glared at the Defence Professor but didn't answer.

"Why aren't they waking up?" Draco asked, finally letting go of his best friend.

"I would say that the ordeal must not have been easy," Snape drawled and Sirius snorted at the understatement that even he, who didn't know a lot about what had just happened, could identify. Severus glared at Black before continuing, "They will wake when their bodies have recovered enough to function. I would give it twenty four hours, give or take."

The blonde nodded before sighing, "Thank Merlin its Friday."

Severus then turned and glared at the two Gryffindors, "I will inform you as soon as he wakes." He said stiffly, basically ordering them to leave.

Sirius chuckled darkly before fixing the man with a wintry stare, "Just try kicking me out Snape, it should be humourous." Dark blue magic flashed ominously.

Severus gritted his teeth, the arrogance coating Black's words infuriating him, but he kept his cool and sent the wanted criminal a smirk.

"It would be my pleasure." He hissed silkily.

"While it is tempting to let the two of you battle each other into the ground, I believe, that for the sake of fairness, I must point out, Severus, that I also have no intention of leaving your quarters until Harry is awake." Remus said, his tone casual and polite but the hardness in his eyes let Draco know that his gentle Defence Professor was completely serious, "You haven't a hope of beating us both Severus." He said softly looking at the furious Slytherin calmly.

Sirius sniggered from his position beside Harry, an occasional muffled laugh escaping him.

"Fine." Snape snapped, "But I will be questioning Potter thoroughly as soon as he wakes. I know that whatever that energy was has something to do with him, it always does." He glared at Harry's unconscious form before sweeping from the room.

"Good on you Moony." Sirius laughed and grinned at his friend.

Remus shook his head at the predictable words but fixed Harry with a contemplative stare.

"He will have a lot of explaining to do." Lupin murmured while Draco listened quietly, the two having forgotten about his presence entirely.

Malfoy recalled icy emerald eyes, burning with an arctic flame of fury, holding a defenceless Severus Snape at Potter's mercy.

"What is she keeping from me?!"

"So will you Lizzy. So will you." He whispered softly into his best friend's ear.

Quiet chatter filled the room for the next hour or so creating a constant soft buzz of noise.

Still, none of the occupants noticed how Lizzy's hand suddenly twitched in the direction of the unmoving body next to hers. Nor did they see when Harry's wrist turned slightly, so that their fingers could intertwine. Only then, did both bodies once again relax becoming absolutely still.


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