Chapter Six:

Disclaimer: NOT MINE! Harry Potter is not mine, the characters established in the Harry Potter series, not mine, the OC's you will definitely see are mine x)

Warning: WILL BE SLASH! SS/HP don't like then proceed no further!

A/N Another massive thanks to those following/ reviewing my fic =)

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Harry was sitting alone, in silence, in his living room, he wanted desperately to go to Hogwarts and see the Malfoy's, but he knew his duty was to stay here with Severus, he was no longer a student he was an Auror and unfortunately that meant that some duties came first.

He lifted a hand to his sore cheek, not that I want to protect the stupid git he sneered inwardly, wincing as his finger pressed to far into the bruise that was forming there.

Meanwhile Severus was still scribbling away frantically, so far the conclusions he had come up with were that either:

A. somebody wanted him to live with Potter, thus meaning the Ministry had a leak (possibly several), also, seeing as the Dark Mark had begun making it's presence known meant only one possibility, there was still a way for the Dark Lord to come back, this thought made him shiver uncontrollably (it was also the first idea he had drawn up, which, for Severus, meant that it was the most likely outcome),

B. this mystery villain that the Aurors had been trying to apprehend was little more than a rogue Death Eater, somebody rather easily dealt with, but that begged the question, who out of the inner circle, was intelligent enough to evade the ministry so effectively? Not to mention unlocking the bond that meant only You-Know-Who could activate the mark. Other than himself and Lucius Malfoy, probably nobody that was still alive.

These were the two conclusions he liked the least, a. was too terrifying (though he would never show it) to even consider and b. seemed too much like a fools hoping against the inevitable.

With a shuddering breath he stood from his desk, he knew that he may be wrong, but if he were right, and there was a way for him to return then he should share his thoughts with the appropriate people straight away, the first being Harry bloody Potter.

"Potter." He sneered walking into the living room (finding the idiot right where he left him).

Harry's head shot up and he glared at the older man.

"What do you want?" He asked sullenly.

"I have been going through the recent events that we have both experienced regarding this mystery man and the Dark Marks. I have come to a conclusion, a shaky one that I pray is wrong, but a conclusion non-the-less." Harry stopped glaring and nodded at the man, signalling him to continue, Severus suppressed a snort and continued,

"The first thing that draws my attention is the Dark Mark, it is a bond held between him and his servants," he spat the last word with venom and sighed when he got a blank look from Potter, "a bond, Mr. Potter, is severed when the castor is dead, thus the mark should have disappeared completely when he was defeated," he missed out the 'by you', not wanting to inflate the twits ego any further, "when he died we all felt the presence of the mark fade, also it disappeared not even leaving a scar, so how is it that it is still in place in the Malfoy's?" A look of dawning comprehension landed on Harry's face…

"He, h-he can come… back?" He all but choked out the sentence. A curt nod from Severus was the only reply he got, if Potter could come to the same conclusion then there must be some possibility. Harry marched over to the fire and called for the Aurors office.

Auror Creevey was currently at his desk going through the files of the recent Dementor migration from the north when the head of the source of his teenage obsession appeared in the fire-calling station. After picking his files up off the floor he managed to ask Harry what the problem was.

"I need to call an Auror meeting, now, whoever isn't engaged with another matter should come to the office immediately." Colin nodded.

"It will take about an hour, call through then." He affirmed. Harry's head disappeared from the fire.

"Why not just use those odd gadgets to contact the people directly?" Severus couldn't help but ask.

"Well I've been pretty much incommunicado since we got here, I don't know who's out on missions and who isn't so If I do a broadcast to all the gadgets then I could give several people away and maybe get them killed, I thought you would have guessed that." Harry smirked at the irritated look on Snapes face payback for that slap he laughed inwardly.

"Well seeing as I am of no more use," Snape began, "I shall retire to my office."

"Wait," Harry asked, "you said that the Dark Mark was the first thing that grabbed you attention, was there anything else I should know?" He questioned.

"Yes there was one more thing that I had to say, you may have a leak at the ministry, I believe that this mystery villain of your did indeed orchestrate the attack on myself, therefore whoever it was counted on me not being caught, otherwise Bellatrix would not have stalled by trying to trick me, the only reason I can think of for this is that this person counted on my being 'saved' by you"

Harry frowned "Why? What would that accomplish?" Severus merely shrugged and went back to his rooms.

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Lucius could not remember the last time he was in so much pain.

It was as though he was suffering the cruciatus a thousand times over, every minute of his torture was stretched as though it were an age… but the hardest thing for the former aristocrat, he had to watch his one and only child suffer the same agony all because of his failing.

The magical induced coma had not lasted for very long, it seemed that Voldemort had planned for this torture should he be destroyed (this though seemed alien to Lucius as the idea of Voldemort even insinuating his own downfall seemed ludicrous) and he would not want his servants to miss any of the delicious pain.

"Draco…d'you nee… anythin…" He managed to squeeze the barely formed sentence out through his teeth without screaming. He mentally berated himself for the poor use of the English language but his son's needs were more pressing than correct enunciation.

"Yeah… how 'bout… Sevrus's knock out…potion ARGH" Draco writhed as a new and stronger wave of pain rocked through him. He managed a lopsided grin at his son's apparent try at the good old Malfoy wit.

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A/N Well here it is the latest chapter! Sorry about the wait and the shortness of this, my life's been a little up and down recently but hopefully I'll be able to get this fic back on track ^_^