Immortalis Umbra Tractatori
Harry rolled the ring around in his fingers, Veles was currently in a meeting with the Headmaster and that was all he knew and all the man would tell him. He was forbidden to ask questions. Harry was staring into the twirling ring of diamonds, there was a memory floating around in his mind but he had no idea what it meant or why it was there. In fact, he wasn't even sure that it was a memory; it could have been a dream or just his overactive imagination going crazy again.
This had something to do with Malfoy. Harry was able to figure that much. The blonde had given him this ring, had stirred up these images. If only he was left alone long enough to accost the blonde in one of the corridors, but Veles was very protective and wouldn't really allow him to go walking around Hogwarts by himself. If anyone saw Draco and himself together and somehow the word got back to Veles then Harry was sure that Malfoy would be dead by the end of the day, it was a close enough call in the toilets as it was.
But there was still something there. Just floating at the back of his mind, like a word that you can't remember when you're writing an essay. Harry gave the ring one more chance as he slid it onto his finger. It fit perfectly. But surely that was just the effectof a verygood re-sizing charm? And there was no doubt that this ring was magical, the way the magic thrummed through the inanimate object was enough to tell him that this ring was made with magic and was compatible with magic. What Harry didn't know was that particular ring was made to only fit one wearer and specific charm was laid into the very foundations of the silver that allowed magical compatibility with only one person.
Harry heard the portrait door open and with hurried movements he yanked the ring off dropped it back into the very bottom of his school bag.
"Harry." Veles walked into the bedroom, dropping his tie and robe onto the chair by the door, Harry sat up on his knees at the edge of the bed, waiting for Veles to come close enough to kiss him. And he did. His hand was gripping the back of Harry's neck, forcing Harry to tilt his head to one side so that he could take more from the kiss. Harry was running out of air, but the grip on the back of his neck was so tight that he couldn't pull away and there was no doubt that it would bruise by the next day.
Finally Veles pulled away, allowing Harry to pull in deep breaths of cool air. When Harry made contact with the other man he noticed the almost feral glint in his eyes and the grin upon his lips. Veles forced Harry back on the bed, and followed his retreat until his knees were at either side of Harry's thighs.
Throughout the rest of the night his body was in the bedroom but his mind was far away. All he could think of was platinum blonde hair and silver eyes.
Draco was pacing backwards and forewords in front of the stone gargoyle that guarded the entrance to the Headmasters office. His hair was a mess from his fingers constantly running through it as he waited for the headmaster to exit his office for dinner. He had tried to ask for the password from Snape but the man had refused to budge on the school rules.
It was in the middle on his tenth pace when the gargoyle came alive and moved out of the entrance way and the stairs that stood behind the statue began to move slowly. As soon as Draco saw the edge of Dumbledore's blue robes he jumped into life and stood right in the entrance so that the older man couldn't get past him without noticing him.
"Professor Dumbledore, I've been trying to talk to you all week."
"What ever could be the matter my dear boy?" Dumbledore replied, as he passed the Slytherin so that he could carry on down to the Great Hall.
"It's Harry, Sir, he's not himself. We think that he's under some kind of spell, all of his memories from this summer have been erased and he thinks that Vritra is his mate." Draco said all of this in a rush as he followed the Wizard down to the ground floor of the castle.
"Mr. Malfoy, how can we be sure that Mr. Vritra is not his mate?"
"Sir, I'm Harry's mate. We were bonded and married over the summer."
"Mr. Malfoy, a young Wizard is quick to jump to conclusions when trying to find their mate, why, it was just a few years ago that a young man came to my office claiming that another student was his mate just because they had some kind of 'fling'."
"No sir, this is nothing like that. Harry called out to me during his majority sir; I know that he's my mate. Not only that but what about his memories, I've talked to him and he doesn't remember anything!"
"Maybe Harry is just unwilling to talk about it, for all we know he may remember everything but he may not wish to talk to you about it."
"Fine then sir, if you're going to ignore all of that then how about Vritra taking advantage of Harry and hurting him, I've seen the bruises sir."
"Mr. Malfoy, as the dominant partner in a mating bond Mr. Vritra is legally allowed to treat Harry in any way he wishes and I believe that Harry would have told a member of staff if he was being treated wrongly."
"But that's the point; he's being brainwashed or something! He thinks that everything is right, he thinks that being abused is how a mated submissive is supposed to be treated!"
"Mr. Malfoy, I ask you kindly not to raise your voice at me. As it is, everything you have said to me today is nothing but a collection of assumptions on your part, you have nothing to back up your statements. Now please excuse me, the evening meal is about to start."
With that, Dumbledore strode off, leaving Draco staring after him with a murderous look in his eyes. He spun on his heel and began to walk in the opposite direction of the Headmaster, preferring to have a rant in his own rooms instead of in a public place where anyone could witness it.
As soon as he strode into the rooms that had been given to Harry and himself he turned to the nearest breakable thing and knocked it onto the floor. In this case it was a very old vase that Draco assumed would be pretty close to being priceless. The crash of the pottery on the stone floor brought Hermione and Pansy running into the main room brandishing their wands.
"Oh, Draco, it's only you. You almost gave me a heart attack." Pansy pressed her hand to her chest as she slipped her wand back into her pocket.
"How did it go with Dumbledore?" Hermione asked as she approached the distraught wizard.
"Completely ignored everything I have to say, apparently my relationship with Harry was simply a fling and now that Harry's found his true mate he doesn't want to talk to me so he's pretending to not remember our whole relationship." Draco dropped down onto the couch and put his head in his hands.
"He said that?" Hermione and Pansy rushed to sit at either side of him.
"Yeah pretty much, and apparently Vritra is well within his rights to abuse Harry because he's the dominant partner."
"I can't believe it." Hermione covered her mouth as she rubbed Draco's back, "He doesn't even care about one of his students being abused." Pansy rested her head on one of Draco's shoulders and stroked his hair to calm him down.
"I think Luna was right, Dumbledore's not going to help us. We have to do this ourselves. Hermione, what do we need to do?"
"Well we need to find out who or what Veles Vritra is and we need to find a way to get Harry's memories back."
"And how far have we come on either of those things."
"We have a few hints on what Vritra might be but nothing solid enough to be able to take him head on. As for Harry, we need to find out what Vritra did for Harry to forget everything, was it just a complicated Obliviate that locked away the real memories and replaced the old ones with reconstructed ones or did he do something more complicated."
"I guess we can only try out those things if we actually had Harry to test them on." Draco sat back and looked up at the ceiling, "What have you got on Vritra?"
"Apart from what we already know? Not much. The name didn't even exist before he turned up here. But Pansy and Blaise were able to follow Harry's footsteps that day in the library and we think we've managed to find the book that he used, the problem is that the languages are so jumbled that we're having trouble translating it."
"What do you mean?"
"Let me go grab it." Hermione disappeared for a few seconds before returning with the book in her hands, "Look." She placed it on his lap and opened it randomly.
"Well that's just French..."
"Yeah that bit is French," Hermione pointed to the few lines that he was looking at before pointing to a section below it, "that's Spanish... and that's Latin ... and that's Swahili. There are at least ten different languages per page, it's ridiculous."
"How the heck did Harry read it then?"
"We assume that he found the right page and got lucky with whichever part he was reading. The fact is, the only way we can translate this is with some serious translation spells and I only know the spells for Latin and French." Pansy said with a frown.
"What have you been able to get so far?"
"Well there's a lot of mindless drivel but one section did jump out at me... Here." Hermione turned a few pages and pointed to a passage in Latin.
"Immortalis Umbra Tractatori? Does that mean Immortal Shadow-?"
"Manipulator, yes it does. Then there's this bit down here... umbra, memoria flexibus et immortalitatem."
"Shadow, memory manipulation and immortality." Draco translated slowly, he thanked the extensive Latin lessons that he had tried to get out of every other day when he was a child.
"I don't know if this is describing Vritra, but if it is then we are in a lot of trouble." Hermione took the book away and dropped it onto the coffee table in front of them, "I managed to find reference to shadow in a number of other chapters actually, the word Umbra is used in many of the languages even though it's a Latin word. I think that's what they call him."
"How do we check to see if this is Vritra?"
"I have no idea; until we translate this we can't do anything, not unless Harry pulls through."
"I don't think that's going to happen." Draco was staring at the floor with a frown on his face. He didn't notice the shared glance between the two girls, so when the two of them jumped him on either side in order to squeeze him in a tight hug he was completely surprised, they even managed to coax a tiny smile out of him.
"Thank you, Hermione, Pansy."
"We will do everything within our power to help you Draco, Harry was my best friend too."
"Exactly," Pansy agreed, "And, we've got the brightest witch of our era on our side so it shouldn't take us too long to tackle this book."
"I just hope that we're not running out of time."
"We'll just have to work faster and harder than we've ever worked and then we have to pray that we've done enough." Hermione murmured, "We'll get him back Draco." Hermione repeated, she hated to admit it but this statement had become her daily mantra and she hoped that it was still as true now as she believed it to be when she first uttered it.
Draco wrapped his arms around the two girls and took comfort in their embrace as he closed his eyes and prayed, to whatever God that may or may not be out there, that his Harry would find his way.
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