A sharp rapping interrupted a tall, sallow-faced, dark-haired man from the bubbling cauldron before him. Grumbling to himself about nothing having respect for the delicate nature of potions and about people who had nothing better to do on a full moon then to change into a wolf and attack everything in sight, meaning he had to make another delicate potion just for someone else to interrupt in a delicate stage, he stormed to the window. He stopped in surprise when he saw the pure white snowy owl tapping at the window. He knew that owl. He quickly opened the window and removed the parchment from its leg. The owl then flew towards the owlery, as if she were going to sleep there. Shaking his head in resignation, he opened the letter.
I know you don't like me, and have no reason to trust or believe me, but I have some things I need to tell you and I can't risk writing them down. I also need you to GET ME OUT OF HERE or there will be three muggles dead by my hand, and I will make Voldemort look like a schoolyard bully in comparison.
I am sorry I disobeyed you when you were teaching me Occulmancy and I know I was wrong in looking into the pensieve. I apologise to you most sincerely for my behaviour towards you in the past five years. I know you will not believe me when I say these things, so I am willing to make an unbreakable to respect you at all times and to allow you to dose me with veritaserum, legilamency and pensieve my thoughts for you to view.
If you accept this apology, please get me out of here. I wrote this before the train left Hogwarts and Hedwig wouldn't deliver this to you unless I was in desperate need of saving.
Blinking, Severus Snape lowered the letter. Looking at it suspiciously, he pointed his wand at the parchment and muttered two spells. When both spells reacted positively, he walked back to his potions lab, collected the healer's bag all Potions Masters carry on themselves for emergencies and, with a crack, disappeared from the building.
The next moment, the Professor was at the front door of the house of one Harry James Potter – and it was not what he had expected. After he had gotten it past his brain that the Boy-Who-Lived lived in this plain, boring neighbourhood, his ears noticed yelling.
"… Touch me you foul, blubbering piece of rat shit! You cowardly piece of whale lard! Get these off me and then face me, instead of chaining me like a …"
This was followed by the sound of leather hitting flesh and a muffled curse, like someone talking through clenched teeth.
Running into the house and up the stairs, he stopped at the doorway; shocked to the core at what was I front of him. A large, beefy man was standing in front of a thin boy of around 15 or 16, who was chained face-first to the wall. Out of the boy's mouth flew obscenities, aimed at the behemoth behind him. Once again, the sound of leather hitting flesh filled the room, followed by a pain-filled hiss.
The man stepped forwards and the sound of ripping fabric, followed by more obscenities, filled the room.
"Shut your filthy mouth, Boy! That headmaster at that Freak School of yours has finally admitted what we've been telling you all this time. You're nothing but a useless freak. First you get your parents killed, they you get that other freak killed, followed by that Godfather of yours and yet you still failed to get yourself killed in the process. He was right to give us full disciplinarian rights for a delinquent like you." More fabric was torn, or cut, out of Severus' sight.
"Now I'll show you what the only thing you are good for, Freak. And guess what? No-one is going to help you, because no-one wants a freak like you around." With that he pushed his dry fingers deeply into the boy's anal passage, making the Raven-haired youth scream.
The screaming snapped Severus out of his horrified stupor. Raising his wand, he pointed it at the man and said, "Stupefy!" He dragged the heavy-set man out of the room, trying to ignore the whimpering coming from the boy on the wall.
Walking back into the room, Severus got a closer look at Harry and swore. Talking softly, as if to a flighty animal, he wrapped one of his arms around the boy's waist and held him up as he released the chains. Once freed of them, he apparated back to the house he shared with the werewolf who called this boy kin, cursing the fact that the old man had sent him on a mission that would last another week.
Back in his own house, Severus was yelling out orders to his house-elves. Telling them to bring him clean cloths, warm soapy water and a clean, soft drying cloth, he placed Harry onto a bed in one of his guest rooms before running to get potions for malnutrition, dreamless sleep and skelegro, as well as balms for the boys back, wrists, neck and ankles.
Working quickly yet gently, Severus administered the potions and started to clean the boy of what blood and dirt he could. He found, very much to his anger, that the bands around Harry's wrists, ankles and neck didn't respond to a simple unlocking charm, and on a closer inspection he discovered the presence of magic dampening spells in the metal. What was worse, in his mind, was that he could sense the presence of not one magical signature, but three – The headmasters, and those of Harry's two supposed best friends Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley.
Shaking slightly in rage, Severus turned his attention to healing his patient to the best of his ability. For every mark he healed, there were two he couldn't. The worst of these, to Severus' mind, were the multiple cuts to Harry's lower arms and thighs. They indicated to him that the treatment he had witnessed in that room had occurred before. Why hadn't anyone noticed?
Harry awoke from his faint while Severus was cleaning the dried blood from his eyes.
"Shh, Harry. Shh. It's all right. You're safe here. You're with me at Snape Manor. You are in one of my guest rooms. You have nothing but your owl here, which is why you are not dressed under the covers. I'm sorry, but I had to undress you to clean and tend to your wounds. I healed what I could, but there is a lot I cannot heal without time and proper nutrition. I can remover the bands ay your throat, wrists and ankles, but not until your body is well enough to handle the return of your magic, and not by myself. Do you understand?"
Harry nodded his understanding, and then playing with the band on his left wrist he asked, "Why did they do it, Professor? I thought they were my friends, but they betrayed me by taking away my only weapon. I know I cannot use magic out of school, but just the threat that I could lose my temper and have it escape my control scared the muggles enough for them to leave me alone."
"So did the threat of my 'murderous' godfather, who would be very upset if I didn't contact him at least once a week, but they took that away from me. My dear," Harry put so much sarcasm and bitterness into that one word that Severus was surprised the acid from it didn't burn Harry's throat, "friends and Headmaster told the Dursleys of Sirius' death, knowing of how I have always been treated there in the past."
Severus placed his hand on Harry's shoulder and then sat on the mattress next to him, noticing but ignoring the slightly hesitant way his touch and presence was received.
"I don't know why they did it Harry. I cannot tell you why they did what they did, but I will tell you right now that you will never, ever again go through that. You are safe here, and I will do everything I can to make sure you survive through this year. I do not need you to make an unbreakable, but I will take you up on the offer to get inside your head," he joked lightly.
Harry smiled thinly, and then grimaced as the welts that decorated his back rubbed against the sheet beneath him. Severus handed him a bottle of dreamless sleep potion.
"Drink all of it, Harry. You need all the rest you can get to aid your body in healing itself, but drink this one first." He handed him a potion that looked and smelt like cherry syrup. When Harry looked at him in surprise and asked why he needed a deep numbing potion with blood replenishing and heavy duty healing and nutrient potion elements, Severus' eyes widened in surprise. Harry grinned and downed the potions, one after the other.
"Sir?" Harry slurred as Severus headed for the door.
He stopped and turned. "Yes?"
"Can you make me an appointment to see Voldemort, please? I want to talk to him about something that has come to my attention. It concerns you too, Sir." Severus nodded once and walked out the door, hearing one last word before the boy fell asleep.
In his study, Severus looked deeply into the flames. Shaking his head, he started writing letters to the people he knew could help him.
When Harry woke from his potion-induced sleep, the first thing he did was search his surroundings with his eyes shut. He felt the movement of a body close to him and his body stiffened in response as he opened his eyes to glare at the person. He lost the glare as soon as he noticed it wasn't any of his family. None of them had Black hair to their shoulders.
Groggily, Harry reached out a hand to find his glasses. When he didn't find the, he croaked, "Sir?"
The black-haired man jumped at the sound and hurried to his patient's side. "How are you feeling today, Harry?"
Harry blinked slowly as he ran an observation on himself through his head. "I still have a dull ache on the inside, Sir, but everything on the surface feels normal." He hesitated, and then shakily he asked, "Sir?" At Severus' nod, he continued. "These bands? The ones disenabling my magic? When they are removed, does that mean I'll be able to eat without throwing up?"
Severus' eyebrows shot up into his hairline. "You cannot eat?" As Harry shook his head, Severus leant over and looked closer at the bands on Harry's wrist closer. After a few minutes, he stood and hurried to the door, cursing the Headmaster as he went.
Stumbling out of the fireplace at Malfoy Manor, Severus bellowed, "Lucius!" Almost at once a house-elf arrived at his side.
"What can Liccy do for Mr Snape, Sir?"
Severus blinked once in surprise before demanding, "I need to speak to Lucius. Right. This. Second!"
Before the elf could reply, a young voice floated down the stairs.
Looking up, Severus saw his godson, Draco, blinking at him in poorly contained surprise.
"Draco, I need to see your father immediately."
"He has visitors, Sev. Could you come back later?"
"I don't care if the Dark Lord himself is in there with him. This is important!"
Draco started at him in shock and surprise. Severus swore and marched to Lucius' study door, a dazed Draco following him. Once there, he rapped sharply on the door and pushed it forcefully open.
"What in the … Severus! What is the meaning of this?"
He stopped in mid-stride as he took in his friend of the last 20 odd years and the man before him. He bowed stiffly and murmured, "My Lord," before turning to Lucius.
"He's awake, and it's worse than I thought. The bands I described to you? They not only prevent him from using his magic, they are also keeping spells cast at him from wearing off, or being diagnosed." He slammed back the brandy, which Draco placed in his hand, and collapsed into a nearby chair. Slowly he looked up into Lucius' eyes.
"If we don't remove them today, he will die. I can sense there are spells at work, but I can't figure them out. He bought it to my attention when he woke. He asked…" Here he took a shuddering breath.
"He asked if when the bands are off, if he'll be able to eat without throwing up." He looked at Lucius and noticed his paler than normal complexion. He nodded slowly. "I believe he's been hit with that curse."
"No." The word was whispered so softly that Severus wasn't sure that he heard it.
He nodded, defeated.
"Yes. And there is only one person that has had contact with him to place it. One Albus Dumbledore."
"Severus? Lucius? What the hell are you talking about?"
Lucius turned to his Lord and shivered.
"It's the Potter boy, milord," Severus answered, succeeding – just – to keep his voice calm. He turned back to Lucius. "If we don't do something now, he will die."
"What!" Draco's voice made the three men jump. Turning to look at him, they saw him hurry from the room. Following him, they watched as he flooed into Severus' study. Severus and Lucius looked at each other in confusion.
"It seems that my appointment book is surprisingly clear at this point in time, gentlemen. I am … intrigued in what Mr Potter has to talk to me about." With that, Voldemort – the Dark Lord of the age – followed the Malfoy heir into the flames
The first thing Severus heard after stepping out of the flame was yelling. Fearing that the recipient of the anger was his godson, Severus hurried to the room Harry was in, only to find a white-faced, wide-eyed Draco waiting in front of the closed door. Sighing internally in relief, he opened the door – only to stop in the doorway.
Harry was wearing the robe he had left in the room when he'd hurried out. He was still in bed, but red-faced with anger and surrounded by house-elves holding plates of food.
"Listen to me. NO! I am not going to eat. I've told you, if I eat, I'll throw up. If you force me to eat and I throw up, then there is going to be trouble, because I can't just wave my wand and vanish it, because I can't use my magic, so …"
One of the house-elves saw an opportunity and took it. Grabbing the fork, it thrust a pile of potato into Harry's open mouth. As soon as the food touched his tongue, Harry turned an alarming shade of green and struggle to remove himself from the group of over-enthusiastic house-elves. He didn't make it.
Severus rolled his eyes and waved his wand to remove the mess. Harry looked up and glared at the man in the doorway.
"Professor!" he growled through clenched teeth. "If you don't stop these infernal pests from forcing food down my throat, I will personally see to it that they are made into leather shoes and that you will be neutered the way muggles do cats without pain-reducing potions and a scalpel that has been rusted for several years, before finding someone who will chain you to the wall via a ring through the head of your dick and slowly pull you backwards until it is long enough for you to FUCK YOURSELF WITH!"
Voldemort started to laugh as Severus went pasty-white and hurried to order the house-elves away from the boy. Everyone looked at him in surprise and all eyes widened as they saw tears streaming down his face.
Hearing a gurgle behind him, Severus turned sharply and watched as Harry threw up once again, but seeing spots of bright red mixed with the contents of his stomach, he yelled, "Lucius! Get in here now! We need to remove them!"
Lucius hurried over to the bed and cleaned up the mess with a wave of his wand.
"Draco! I need you to get two stomach potions, four nutrient potions and all the muscle relaxant potions you can find," Severus ordered, removing the top sheets off the bed. Removing the robe Harry was wearing, he added, "and the potion in the blue jar I tell you to never touch!"
Turning back to the boy in front of him, his mind vaguely registered that Harry had obtained a shirt and pair of pants from somewhere, but most of his attention was on the act of removing the metal bands from the boy.
Draco had only just walked back into the room when his father got the first – and weakest – band off. He watched in fascinated horror as each band broke and the magic level of the room grew til he could feel it pressing against his eardrums.
As Severus and his father rested before removing the last band, he heard himself ask, "Who made them, Sev? Do you know? And if you do, are they going to be punished?" 'And can I help?' he added silently.
"You bet your left testicle, they're going to be punished!" a hoarse voice croaked. "What say you, Master Malfoy? Do you wish to bond with a Potter over shared torture techniques?" In the silence that prevailed, Severus got Harry to drink one of the potions.
"Severus Snape! What in the blazes is going on here? And why is my foster godson laying on a bed in my clothes!" a normally soft-spoken voice yelled from behind Draco, who jumped. Unfortunately for the men beside the bed, so did Harry, who had just started to drink his next potion.
Draco tried – unsuccessfully, he admitted ruefully – to not laugh at his father and godfather as they sat in their seats, dripping with nutrient potion.
Harry, however, said, "Remus! I wondered when you'd get here, even though I'd have appreciated it if I had been told by you that you were fu…" he paused, then
changed the word he was going to use, "dating my potions professor. If you're wondering, I approve." He swallowed the next potion before saying to the gob-smacked man in the doorway, "don't worry, Remy. I'm not interested in him like that." He turned to Severus.
"No offence, Sir, but you're old enough to be my father, and you're not my type. I prefer blondes." He smiled half-heartedly. Once more, Voldemort roared with laughter.
"Oh! Tom, old boy! I didn't see you there! If you've come to kill me, please do so now. As you can see," Harry pulled up the sleeves of the shirt he was wearing to reveal his lower arms, "I tried making your job easier for you by doing it myself," Harry snarled in anger, not seeing the distress on Remus' face, nor the shock and surprise on everyone else's. "But it turns out that the old bastard hit me with a suicide prevention charm before he collared me."
He growled deep in his throat, but then grinned. "Draco and I are going to bond over his torture. Aren't we Draco?"
It was Lucius and Severus' turn to laugh. Harry just smiled.
"Don't you just love Veritaserum?" Everyone fell silent and looked at him. "What?" he asked defensively. "It was the only thing I could keep down." This instantly sobered everyone up.
"Remus, I'm glad you're here. Luc and I are going to need your help. Once we have the metal band off from around Harry's throat, pour this potion into his mouth and make sure he swallows it. Then move out of the way. All right, on three. One. Two. Three!"
He and Lucius removed the metal and at almost the same time, Remus administered the potion while Severus and Lucius removed the clothing from the now silent boy on the bed.
They heard a gurgling sound behind them and Severus hoped that Draco would make it to the bathroom in time. Instead of looking, he started drawing runes on Harry's chest while Lucius recited a lengthy magical formula and directed it at Harry. When the men had finished, Harry let out a whimper.
"It's okay, Harry," Severus soothed, "you can let the magic out now, it won't do any damage."
Harry whimpered in pain again and then the magic escaped his grasp. All the men in the room were flung backwards into the walls and Severus cursed as he felt all of the security spells around his Manor be over-whelmed. The only one that wasn't destroyed was his strongest, and even that one was severely weakened.
The men looked to see the magic rise from Harry in waves before he started to shake.
"SHIT! He's going into psychological and metaphysical shock!" Severus yelled, before running to Harry's side.
Something flew past him to land on Harry's chest. Severus swore when he noticed that it was the headmaster's phoenix, Fawkes. As the next wave of magic engulfed Harry, Fawkes absorbed it, triggering his burn mechanism. Before anyone could react, both the phoenix and Harry disappeared in flame.
The silence in the room was absolute in the moments after both beast and boy vanished. Suddenly, a flame flared in the centre of the room. When the flame had disappeared, a young man stood in its place.
Draco's jaw dropped. The guy before them was gorgeous! Not to mention he was also naked. The mystery man stood two inches shorter then Draco himself. His body had the look of a professional dancer, with a washboard stomach and skin a golden brown colour. The man had shining ebony hair that brushed the nape of his neck. Dazzling green eyes burned with an internal fire as he looked at each man in the room before striding confidently towards Voldemort.
"I wish to form an alliance. I do not wish to fight you anymore. I haven't wanted to since half way through last year."
"Harry?" Remus asked shakily. The man nodded.
"Yes, dikos mou lykos. Have I changed that much?" As everyone nodded, a phoenix appeared and landed on Harry's shoulder. Severus forced himself to breathe as he noticed it was Fawkes, but that he'd changed. He was now the colour of sapphires, emeralds and onyx, with clear silver-green eyes that made you think of the ocean after a thunderstorm.
"This is the phoenix formally known as 'Fawkes'. He is now loyal to me and mine. His name is hereby changed to that of Thanatos, or Thanis."
The phoenix trilled in delight, causing everyone to smile. Lucius looked at Harry shrewdly.
"Calling a phoenix 'death'. Seems like a vast play on words – a pun, I believe the muggle term is."
Harry laughed. "You are right, Mr Malfoy, but it is a tribute to the deaths of the Harry Potter and Fawkes of the past, and since the new Harry is dedicated to the death of three certain individuals, it also symbolizes what path my newfound life will take, starting with a weaselby, a chipmunk disguised as a witch and a meddlesome, soon-to-be-ex-headmaster of Hogwarts."
As he talked, his eyes had glowed a deep AK green, scaring all in the room. He turned his gaze on Voldemort.
"I wish to join your ranks, milord," he stated. He glanced at Remus. "Remus too, wishes to join." He bowed deeply to the older man. "We are yours to mark as you will."
Lucius, Severus, Draco and Voldemort blinked in surprise. How could the boy be so calm and in control, even though he was wearing not one stitch of clothing? Remus chuckled softly.
"Don't you think, neogennito, that you should acquire some clothing first?"
Harry blinked and looked down, then laughed. "Do you have anything that will fit me?" Remus walked out of the room. Harry started when his stomach protested it's empty state. Startled, he looked down, and then slowly raised his eyes to meet those of Severus and Lucius. He bowed deeply to each of them.
"If either of you wish my life, you can have it," he said, sapphire flames linking the three of them in an unbreakable.
Remus walked back into the room with a set of wizarding robes, shirt, pants and boxers for Harry.
"Let's gather in the dining room, it is almost time for supper. Remus? Could you stay and show Harry the way?"
At Remus' nod, Severus, Lucius and Draco exited the room.
"We shall talk more about this revelation of yours after we have eaten, Mr Potter." With that, Voldemort swept from the room, leaving Harry to dress while Remus waited for him.
Stopping at the entrance of the dining room, Harry crossed his wrists, placed his fingertips to his shoulders and bowed, murmuring a prayer to the room. Walking to Voldemort, he bowed deeply, until his forehead touched the ground and murmured a blessing before sitting on his legs and looked the man in the eye.
"I am yours to mark, Lord. I do not trick you, neither am I a spy. I tire of the twinkle-eyed bastard's manipulations and no longer wish to be manipulated under the guise of being cared for. I swear loyalty to you." A flare of green light engulfed them.
"I swear loyalty to your cause." A blue light engulfed them.
"And I swear the deaths of one Albus Dumbledore, one Ronald Weasley and one Hermione Granger to be accomplished by my hand, with the aid of Draco if he wishes it." A golden glow surrounded them.
"This is my unbreakable to you, Lord – with these men as witnesses. So mote it be."
As a chorus of 'So Motes' echoed in the room, the golden glow expanded to surround them all.
After the glow had faded, Harry grinned as he got up. "Sir?" he asked Severus, "what's for supper?"
dikos mou lykos – My Wolf
neogennito - Cub