Stranger In The Lake

Abby Ebon

O.o.O.o.O.o.O

Disclaimer; …I do not own Harry Potter or Hellboy; if you try to pin me to a crime, I will claim insanity.

Note; this was the result of Abby liking the idea of Harry Potter kissing Abe while underwater far too much for her own good….-giggles-

O.o.O.o.O.o.O

Harry stood at the edge of the shore; water tickled the toes of his bare feet. He did not know why he stood here. Dusk was settling over the lake, even in summer the day did not last forever. The shimmering surface no longer glimmered like an unbroken ribbon of smoky blue; instead mist was settling over, once in a while Harry thought he saw something break the surface.

He could hear nothing. He did not move. There was certain tenseness about his shoulders, empathized with a tilt to his head that told a watcher by body language alone that he did not want to be disturbed. Perhaps that was why he still stood by the lake edge undisturbed.

Even if he had been asked outright what he thought he was doing, standing as he was, venerable, exposed…waiting…even so, he would not have had an answer. This was something he felt he had to do. To stand by the lake shore, waiting until dark for…for something. Harry let his eyes flicker to his empty hands. It was not that he felt threatened, which was something someone else might give credit to his actions.

His lips twisted, it was not a smile – neither was it was a sneer. It held bitterness. Yet there was something like comforting about it – a triumph – a hope he still held tightly to. It was the sort of expression he knew disturbed others. Their eyes slid from his face, disturbed, not yet knowing why they felt so uneasy and wary of him.

Harry knew that why; at least, it was people – adults, his peers…they had known him before there was a war. War changed people. People changed people. Harry knew that they did not like what the war had changed him into. They did not like what they had forced him to become. Yet in a twisted way, Harry was grateful to them. He had survived.

Certainly the war lingered like a bitter aftertaste to the people left behind. It was not often spoken of. Or, rather, only the victories and the heroes were easy to speak of. The losses, well, Harry reminded them of all that they had lost – and all that they had gained. Some blamed Harry that it seemed an unfair balance, yet…most were realistic; they knew that the seeds of ruin had been buried deep before Harry had yet been born, though it was a cruel fact. They grasped that Harry had done his best by them, and no one could have done better. No one claimed they could have.

Still, as a figurehead of morale, Harry knew they expected more of him. They had expected more – better – of them selves even in the long run. Such was their high expectations, and failings. Harry did not mind that he was seen as both a figurehead to dual success and shortcomings; things were changing with those realizations. For the better, Harry still hoped, even if it was a bitter hope. That was the cause of his expression, his not quite smile. He was already a hero.

He would only be their savior, in the end, if the changes shifted, if they started to go wrong. It was what kept Harry going – his determination to see what he had grown up fighting for put to rights, put back to how it was supposed to be. Some claimed that was not his right to determine, if things were right or wrong in the end – it was not his responsibility – for he was, in the end…just a boy.

That was what they had told him, the sky a bloody red above, the dead had been burned or buried; he had fulfilled a prophesy. They stuffed him into a room and paraded about as if they thought that things could go back to how it was before. Harry had started laughing. It was not a pleasant sort of laughter. They had stilled before him, looking at him as if one and all of them had never expected him to say anything to protest. They thought he had done his duty by them, they could toss him aside. In their eyes, he had been a pawn.

Harry had laughed. Then he had spoken in a voice whisper-rough.

"Fools. I am not your hero. You are disgusting, the white squirming worm eating at the rot inside out of the carcass of what you see crumbled before you. You stand in ruins. You think that you'll survive in the rot and scum of what was? You'll stave. Or do worse then what you've done before you flicker out like a candle flame….

Look at me, fools – you see success. You haven't won. You failed. Tom succeeded what he set out to do, you started bloating yourselves with power, with success, and not knowing it was killing all of us. From inside out. Ruined. You think I'll let you take us back to that. You think I'll let you finish us off? Tom must be snickering in his grave always said it'd be better if I joined him in making this death a quick one.

Fool am I. You call me savior, yet I've not done any saving – I am, after all you can not deny it, the most powerful of our people still living and breathing. Your sums do not even match mine a lick. Take a good long look into my eyes; see the good, the bad – and the ugly. Now tell me you'll rot us into death. I tell you this. You will rebuild. You will start over. This is your only warning though, do it right this time…because if you do not – if you falter even once – I will be Savior in truth. I will start with you. I will be watching."

His little speech had been published, documented, and was unspoken law. Harry had told them he would only interfere if things started going wrong once more. He had, so far, kept his word. While some claimed he was off his rocker, or called for his imprisonment and subsequent death…many others, well, they accepted it. Were grateful to know that there was a line that could be crossed and that if it was crossed, there would be punishment.

They had learned swiftly that Harry was not a government, he was not bribed, or bargained with, or manipulated, or blackmailed. A handful had tired. A handful was all that had been left of them. Harry kept his distance. He did, though, have a plan in mind for what he wanted to see as an end result.

He wanted magical creatures accepted without reservation. He wanted magical children who had been born to a world they did not understand gathered up at birth and brought into their world so they would learn. Tom would be the last mistake. Tom, Harry knew, had seen what children born into the magical world were doing to it.

It was because of them that the prejudice of "light" and "dark", and "human" and "non-human" had stirred up so strongly. Pure bloods had realized too late that things needed to change; they had nearly died out – if not for taking in children born of non-magical parents, and taking to the beds of non-magical people that they had saved themselves from extinction.

They had been unprepared to face a different sort of extinction – it had been slow, but by the time Harry had stepped into the magical world…it could not be denied. Now, those biases and prejudices had been swept aside, the magical creatures taking pity on wizards and witches, remembering when their peoples had been intermingled and a true magical world unto itself with its own laws and rules and codes of honor. That world was not forgotten, it was shinning through the grit and dirt of the ruin Tom had left behind.

Harry breathed in the mist. It was moist and heavy, yet easing a weight within him. There was no one he was close to, no one that could be used against him. Harry was very much a solitary person, keeping to himself even when all these years later there was little need of such caution now, he was lonely some would still have the gull to claim.

Still, there was a truth to it. Harry felt the now dry mud flaking off as he shifted his toes restlessly. New slick mud, wet and chill, crept into place. Harry was lonely. Friends…peers, colleagues – even those he had admired – they did not recognize him as Harry Potter, boy wizard.

With his mocking laughter at the end of the war, he had claimed Harry Potter had died.

He told them to call him what he was – those words, some claimed at the time, would damn him and prove his egotistic nature – yet, even they did not argue the eerie truth to the title, to the nature…to the truth of choosing the name-title of Savior.

Only within his own mind did he mockingly refer to himself – to remember – his name. Yet outside his own head, no one called him "Harry". Still, this lake with the mist rolling over the surface and the dark closing in on him, Harry thought he had heard the whisper of his name. It drew him here.

He remembered coming over the lake as a first year, he remembered the second task of his fourth year. He remembered well the merpeople with their greyish skin, the wild kelp green-dark hair, sharp yellow eyes and broken teeth… most of all he remembered the glimmering silver fish-like tails that reminded him now of the mist.

Likely, this was a trick, someone tempting him into the open where he would be vulnerable. He mused on if they would kill him outright, while he wasn't exactly expecting it and he was unsure to where an attacker might strike. Or would the unlucky sod be convinced that it was time the eerie Savior be replaced or "relearn" his place…?

His musings teased at him, taunting - who would remember his name…? Who would have use for Harry...?

There was no answer, not even a stray mocking thought. Harry shook his head, hoping to clear it. This waiting for dark was foolishness. He was dressed in nothing but his jeans. There was no sinister robe blowing in the slight chilling breeze that brought the mist, only his bare feet in the mud, with water lapping at his toes. His glasses were perched on his nose, while tucked behind his ear was his wand. He was hardly threatening by appearance.

Harry allowed himself a soft scoff, a hiss of breath pressing out of annoyed lips. He was wasting time with this foolishness. He started to turn around, out of the corner of his eyes he glimpsed the shadow of someone moving toward him. There was a low feminine chuckle; he quickly glanced to his other side.

A woman with blond hair and a sinister twist to her lips stood in plain view. Harry snatched the wand from behind his ear, fingers clenching about the narrow wood as narrowing his eyes Harry looked strait ahead, aware now that he was surrounded. A man in a long fine-fur coat and gloves stood in front of him. There were three of them, and Harry dressed in jeans, with his back to the lake. It was the worst sort of defensive standing.

"Mister Potter, I believe?" There was a richness to this mans voice that Harry knew was foreign. He could not place it. Harry shifted his weight, knowing his danger; the shadow in the Forbidden Forest had materialized into a man dressed in a uniform with a leather coat and gas mask, most importantly, he held two daggers and likely knew well how to use them.

"Only friends call me that." Harry murmured the words, soft and husky, stepping further into the lake water. The man clicked his tongue disapprovingly, tsking as if Harry was a misbehaving child. He grit his teeth, of these three he knew nothing – not even if they held magic (they did not have wands) – or were non-magical criminals. What would the likes of them want with him?

"You have no friends. No one will miss you. A tragedy, I'm sure. This ruin," with a nod of her head toward the solid and formidable fortress that was Hogwarts, woman spoke with a sneer, her words meant to be cutting – Harry looked to Hogwarts in the distance, standing proudly as it ever had – she saw what she was supposed to…

"Is your only home…pathetic? Very much so, yes…" With a dismissive twist of her hand, she stepped boldly closer – Harry stepped away, up to his ankles in lake water. Heavy mist would keep those who watched from the castle from taking in the sight of Harry being driven into these waters. As for the Forbidden Forest "help" from them might be a double-edged blade. Those within the lake did not pay much mind to the happenings of the surface and would not know of his danger until it was too late. Harry was rather that he stood alone against these strangers.

"Why seek me out then?" They were non-magical, yet to be here – to find him – they must know something, or many things, which they were not supposed to know. Harry was determined that he learn what it was they thought they knew – he had to know how much was truth and how much was falsity. Then he had to learn how they had learned or stumbled upon such things.

"Power, dear boy – you have it by grace of birth, we want it." So they thought they could steal magic. Or that they might force him to give them whatever they wanted by threats to bodily harm. Harry tapped his fingers against his wand, thoughtful. They might be after it. They might think that it was his only way to use magic. He held it up tapping it with his finger. It held their attention.

"How will you go about retrieving what is not yours?" Harry knew he could throw the wand into the waters, he had learned through the war that he did not need it to channel his magic, though it served as a proper conduit. If he wanted to, he could fling it away into the waters then return later retrieve it. Something in his eyes or expression must have given the thought away.

The mans fist clenched, as if he was gripping –reaching - for something, unexpectedly the wand jolted from Harry's loose grip, flinging itself into the mans hand. He smirked triumphantly. Harry glanced to his hand flexing his fingers as if puzzled, while he studied his hand and arm where the power had touched, his hair floated midair. He was not cold. That had been power – pure, raw magic. It was not this mans power, but he knew enough to use it from afar; a squib.

"Who are you?" Harry asked of him, though he looked at his hand still.

"At last, you ask the right questions Mister Potter, I am Rasputin – and he, Kroenen – the lady is the lovely Ilsa." Harry noticed only now were they giving him their names, so they knew there was power in naming. They had caught him that way, being wary of even giving him their names. It was not a good sign.

"Charmed…" Harry trailed off, his tone dry and sarcastic fading. With a tight smile, Ilsa had tauntingly shown him a crystalline skull, a serpent slithering forth from within its jaw. He had never seen the Morsmordrespell given such likeness.

"I'm sure." It chilled that reason alone, he was reacting, though he did not know what they thought they had – that he had reacted to it, in their eyes, gave it spoke smugly, satisfied with his reaction.

"How did you come by that…?" His last word fell into the serpent tongue; none of the three knew to flinch.

"A gift, Mister Potter…" Rasputin's words seemed a signal for it was then that Ilsa threw the crystal skull and its serpent at him. Harry, for the first time in his life, cursed his early Seeker skills; instinct screamed for him to catch – and he fulfilled the demand. It felt strange in his hands, as if it was oiled – warm to the touch – Harry had a moment to wonder why his instincts told him now to drop the crystal, but it was too late.

He glanced to its eyes sockets, reptilian red eyes stared back at him. The skull seemed to be grinning up at him. Then he gasped without quite knowing why. Then he felt it, something had – by way of touch – slipped through his mind and now tangled like ivy thorns about his magic. He was being leached off of, his power swallowed down greedily by something that was connected to the skull, and thus to him – he was being stolen, magic – then, if that did not satisfy, soul.

A frantic thought fluttered through his mind to follow where his magic was going, to react – to defend – to attack to do something. Then he knew he could not, least he stop breathing. He was dying by inches. Harry was aware vaguely that his knees were wet. He had fallen– he never hit the ground. He was lifted, carried over the shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

Harry knew nothing else; save that the smell of old leather and decayed flesh had invaded his nose

O.o.O.o.O.o.O

Where am I? Musky old leather had been replaced with slick mossy fungus at his finger tips and cold metal clasp around his ankle – his only chain. Decayed flesh was not missed though the stench of rot and stone did not improve things much. Harry opened his eyes, his bones felt drilled into and splintered. He ached. Vague shadows outlined a tunnel – or well – and glancing upward proved that the mud beneath his feet was the bottom. Upward past slick walls and crumbling brick, was the only escape offered.

He was chained to the well wall, and there was water seeping up past his knees. Harry felt, faintly, the swirl of moving water. It was a clue. This was not a well. It was a prison cell; an execution. Harry choked on his laugher. It was the most noise he guessed he had made since being brought here. He should have been more careful – should have guessed they would be watching, or listening, for him. He should have, but Harry did not care. He was beyond caring. They were leaches, draining his life away – stealing what was not theirs. Magic had a will of its own, for once he wished it rebelled and caused this place and their plans to come crashing down about them.

"Mister Potter, I must warn you now, you are in a dire position, we hoped to have you wake without any magic to call upon, wholly drained, unfortunately, this would prove our flaw. You are gifted with more magic then I could ever have dreamed of. It will serve a good purpose, do not despair. Still, while it is easier to drain your living body, it would be no great trouble to drain your corpse. I trust you will cooperate, once your magic is ours, we will have no more use for you. We will let you go." Harry could not see Rasputin, but he could imagine the insufferable smugness, the calculating eyes. Harry could not help his dry chuckle which became a wet sufferable cough.

"Do you not believe me, Mister Potter? I am a man of my word. There is much I could do with your remains, bits and pieces that would be most productive as ingredients in certain potions and experiments. If you cooperate, I will see your body drowned under running water – it would then be useless to me. You would be free, after death." Harry had wondered why he was chained in the running water. It was meant to be a comfort, that his body would not be disfigured or dismembered after death. Harry knew that squibs would believe such nonsense, for their little power was always in flux, affected by elements that most of his own people would not even notice. However much Rasputin meant this to comfort him, Harry knew it for the lie that it was.

"Fool. You think you'll get away with this, Rasputin…you think I walk this world alone? Another fool thought. I am not the only one of my people – I am hardly the last of those with power in likeness to my own. They know me, Rasputin. They live and breathe this power you're coveting and leaching off me. They well know when the last of it leaves my body. They will know I die. They will seek revenge, Rasputin. You will the fool hunter that finds he is hunted in turn. My only regret…I will not see them tear you to sheds." Harry felt weak, he knew like any other wizard or witch that their bodies were both the vessel and the symbiotic to magic – none of them could live without it, though they might not use magic for years. His power fled from him like water, as if what he was using to reach for it was as useful as grains of sand. It thrilled though him, that he might be so weak as that his aim with magic was as in flux as a squib. It might already be too late.

"Maybe so, Mister Potter, maybe so, but by then it will be too late, far too late. Tell me, what do you know of the Ogdru Jahad…?" Harry closed his eyes, head bowing to the water when he opened them he saw a glimmer of the crystal skull with serpent tongue that was chained to his ankle. He thought it looked grim, gloomy – at least so much as his chances at life.

"I do not know what you think you are dealing with, but I will tell you a story, Rasputin, it begins with origin. Ogdru Jahad are ancient, numbered seven – but numbered with separate identities, or seven bodies of a hive minded, I do not know, if you want to know that - there are beings older. Watchers, spirits, elementals – call them what you will. Once, there was a war between these watchers and those beings called Ogdru Jahad. The watchers sealed them away, and cast them into the abyss. It cost them greatly. Wherever the watchers came from, afterwards, they were unable to return; immortal and wretchedly powerful, they linger on this Earth even in these modern times. Only, you see, they know what monsters they can create and breed, so they take their title of watcher and threw aside all other natures. Take this as your warning, if you cross them, there will be no saving grace – they will bid their time, waiting, watching – and if the Ogdru Jahad breech the abyss and reach to taint this world once more, what destruction may be caused will be brought about by the watchers and their renewed war with Ogdru Jahad. After that, both might well destroy worlds to bring death upon the immortal. It's a story of beginnings and endings, you see."

Like every story, Harry knew, it had certain truths about it. Harry wondered how much Rasputin thought was truth, or if he was fool enough to believe all of it.

"You are well learned, Mister Potter, I wish circumstances were otherwise, there is much we could learn from each other …" Harry shook his head, wet black hair stinging his eyes. He wiped them away then looked upward. There was no Rasputin visible from his vantage point, yet something told him he was being watched; his every action and reaction seen. Maybe it was a camera.

"I see you are confused, you see, that is to whom your magic is being fed to, my Masters, the Ogdru Jahad…" Harry felt a sick twist in his belly, almost enough to distract from the cold that had crept over his skin. He could not help his reaction, he took a step, reaching out blindly for the wall, wordlessly, and he paced it his chained ankle dragging at the bottom of the muck. It was wide enough that even laying down he would not each any of the nearest sides, it was rounded so there would be no corners to cling to or climb if –when – the water rose to drown him.

"Only, Mister Potter, after this war between watchers and Ogdru Jahad that brings about the end of the world…a new, perfect, world will raise from the gritty ashes of the old, brought about by them, the Ogdru Jahad." Harry knew that as far as Rasputin was concerned, that was the truth – Harry was acting as a battery for the Ogdru Jahad. Something like a recharger; it was a stupid way to die.

"Know this for fact, huh?" Harry asked, he thought his voice oddly echoing in the dark. He told himself he was not frightened, that he would get out of this scrape as he had always gotten out of such trouble. There had to be a way – there was always a way. He could not use his magic, for then they would let in all the water that was only trickling in – he would drown and still not accomplish anything. That left him with his ankle chained to a crystal skull with a snake slithering out of its mouth, water nearly up past his thighs, and slick wet stone surrounding him.

"I have seen it." Rasputin was as sure of that as any lunatic. Harry didn't bother to say anything more. At the rate his magic was being striped away, he had days left to live. He knew enough about this sort of magic to know if he only got away from the crystal skull he'd survive this. He also knew using magic would be idiotic, as it would only speed up the process. As he was, he stood a better chance waiting for help to come to him.

Harry had never been very fond of waiting.

O.o.O.o.O.o.O

Sleeping in water was impossible. It was moving like an underwater stream about his feet, chill – but not cold enough to numb him. He was half afraid of drowning. What kept him awake (though not quite as alert as he would have liked) was that he knew that his magic was bleeding out of him like a fatal wound. He was going to go into shock. Trying to delay it was like holding off the tide.

Instead he didn't sleep; he found the source of the moving water. A barred grate was all that kept him from freedom. Feeling with fingers and toes let him know it was just wide enough to slip out of – if the gate could be pried off. That venture left him with bruised knuckles and scraped fingers. It didn't seem to matter that magic made him harder to damage, not with that magic being drained out of him. Harry was not used to feeling so weak.

He knew he needed a leaver, something flat to pry the bars out of the grate – he could use the skull as leverage and his own desperate weight might be enough to budge the bars free. They were rusted and weak already, they only needed a little push. Pacing while using his bare feet to sift through the mud and gravel revealed nothing – there were no stray arm or leg bones of previous prisoners, no planks of wood lining the muddy gravel bottom.

For a moment, he despaired, brooding on his death – if the last words he heard might well be from Rasputin. Sickened, he looked up. Someone was watching him. Kroenen. Harry remembered the two blades he had seen in that mans hands; flat blades. A leaver, Harry almost smiled, but he kept his expression in check. He had only to make Kroenen so furious that he might to throw one of those deadly blades down into this watery pit and "kill" Harry. He had always had a gift for getting under peoples skin, he hoped this would be no harder.

"Kroenen, isn't it? I suppose they put you up there as a guard. Is that particularly hard for you? I'm in a watery pit, after all, isn't as if I can climb out is it? Rasputin I understand, he's got knowledge, if not a bit of power – and Ilsa…well she is pretty, isn't she? But you, you're the puzzle piece I just can't seem to fit. What are you supposed to do? Stand about and threaten? Are you Rasputin's killing hound? A dog…? Probably you'd keen to death if he didn't have some use for you…" Harry saw with a sort of savage glee that Kroenen had his hands clenched about his visible sword, the other tucked behind his back. It was an obvious threat – anyone else would have long ago shut up and hoped for pity. Harry was not just "anyone else" he wanted this man furious.

He wanted this man to not only think to kill him – but to attempt it.

His efforts were not in vein. The blade came from behind Kroenen's back, with a thick meaty sound, it bit savagely into his shoulder; in anger the strike had gone off mark. The mark, he had no doubt (for Kroenen wasn't the type to shed blood if it wasn't going to end in death) had been his throat. Harry inhaled, breathing in shallow, trying not to smell his own blood or to see the blade sticking out of his own flesh. He couldn't afford to go into shock. He made himself think that this was someone else – some poor sod with a blade through the shoulder, bleeding out magic – dying slow. It hurt to get the blade out, worse then it had hurt to get it thrown into his shoulder.

It felt heavy in his hands. He tried not to think of how much strength was failing him, or how quickly. He jammed the crystal skull beside the grate, shifting the blade so that it was behind the first bar. Then with a soft whimper of pain, he used his weight to pry the bar loose. Again, and again he did it. It seemed to take forever, a never-ending task, for there always seemed another bar in the way between him and freedom. He didn't notice the water rising all the while, that slips and each start over were caused by both blood loss and the water rushing in too quick.

It was when he had to swim upward (for he had been kneeling in the water to pry loose the bars) to get a breath, and the water was past his neck and drops of it stung his nose and throat – he coughed and sputtered until he thought he would die. He panted then, shallow breaths, his skin pale, his foot dragged to the bottom by that damned crystal skull.

He had come so close; it seemed tragic to die here. He took a last breath; water swept past his ears and then his face was submerged. Struggling, still bleeding and wary from the drain on his magic, he forced himself to sink to the bottom, picking the crystal skull from the grit at the bottom and shoving into the grate. Rushing water tried to shove him back into the pit, but Harry used the weight of the skull to his advantage so that it was buffeted by the stream of water, leaving Harry only to swim ahead. Once past the grate, it was easier. He wondered where he thought he was going, it could go no where, and he could die swimming through underwater channels.

Still, it was his last gamble, desperate as it was – luck was with him. He saw the tunnel widen ahead, and the water was lighter. There was a surface to this underwater maze. He sealed his lips, fighting the urge to breath. His lungs ached, he heard his heart thumping in his ears – his body was responding to the adrenaline even though every movement used up oxygen.

He was close to the surface when it happened, when the crystal skull in his hands seemed to sense he was near death and taunted him by leaching more of his strength. Wizards and witches had a certain kind of magic that would keep their hearts pumping and their vital organs from failing, until that was bled out, there was hope of revival. Harry furious that he would die now – drowning, his magic and death bringing about the waking of the Ogdru Jahad, clung to the crystal skull with its serpent tongue.

With that little bit of magic that kept him alive, that might save him – he forced the crystal skull to the other side of the connection that was draining his magic him like cyclone. He had reversed the connection. His heart stopped. He thought he saw in the shadows of the water a tentacle reaching for him. He was sinking into the water, being pulled to the bottom. He knew he would die before he reached it.

Hands touched his shoulder; he wanted to scream as he was pulled up. His sight was dim but glossy black eyes glared into his own, daring him to die. The shape was humanoid, but the skin was the same color as the water. Shark like and streamline, this was the body that his was pulled against.

'Breath…!' It rung through his mind, a voice that Harry knew was not his own. Lips pressed possessively against his mouth, forcing him to submit, to open his mouth. It was not the worst way to die…webbed fingers pulled demandingly at his hair. He opened his mouth, a tongue licked the roof of his mouth, teasing. He sucked at that tongue, and was surprised when he could take a breath.

He was punched in the chest and cried out in surprise, but his heart beat as if in protest. He was living, for now. He closed his eyes, tangling his legs about the waist of his Savior. He felt a thick length press at his buttock, it was erotic, and he was dizzy with relief and arousal. Hands caressed him as if he were precious. Wanted, needed – desired. He wished he knew who was trying to save him…

'I am Abe…' The voice came again, just as strange and soothing as before.

Harry found he did not want to die, mourning this as a loss even as he wondered if this was normal – if everyone who died was kissed like he was being kissed. He wondered if it ever ended, because he didn't want it to end. Maybe this was death, to be entwined forever in an embrace such as this one.

Then he felt it – magic, like a pebble thrown into a calm surface, ripples –waves – a storm was oncoming. He would live. Magic, raw and pure and willful, filled him, overflowed within him. He realized vaguely that he was getting all the magic that had been stripped from him, all at once. It was a rush. As he broke the surface of the water, he gasped for breath and knew that he had been saved. He was still held, safe within the arms of the merfolk, as he let himself slip into unconsciousness.

O.o.O.o.O.o.O

'You're alright; I will let none of them harm you…' Those were the words Harry woke to hearing. His hand went to his shoulder, touching the neat stitches. He knew he had to be sore, but he was numb to the pain. Magic had quickened the healing. He opened his eyes, meeting the gleaming black that he remembered from before – this being had saved him. There was a debt to be settled between them.

"Abe…" It was not really a question Harry was asking, but the blue skinned head bobbed in a nod.

"Why…why save me?" Harry had never needed saving before; he had always been the one to save others. Magic fluttered beneath his skin like a second heartbeat. He noticed then the shine of his skin, its glow. Webbed fingers took his hand, caressing the skin, soothing him. It did not feel strange.

"It is what we do, Harry James Potter, only with you did we nearly get there too late. Rasputin has a certain obsession with the Ogdru Jahad. Unfortunate, though an unavoidable truth, he long ago made a pact with them. He will in his own way, live forever. Each time he dies, the Ogdru Jahad within him is brought forth from the abyss." There was a way that Abe said things that captivated Harry, he felt still that connection – this time it was almost magnetic, drawing them closer. By the time Abe finished speaking, his voice was husky, his breath against the wizards skin.

"Yeah, sucks to be him." Harry nearly jerked with surprise; he had not noticed that anyone else would be around. It was then that Harry noticed the "them" that Abe had first referred to. The one who had spoken had skin stained like red wine; Harry knew what he was looking at. Horns should have been growing from the skull, and while one arm looked normal, the other was stone. A slender tail swing absentmindedly from side to side. It was the fascinated amber eyes that gave way this beings nature – a demon, though one that was neither mindless nor bloodthirsty.

"I give up, who –what – the hell are you and why aren't you the least bit disturbed by either of them?" It was a man who had spoken; he waved his hand between Abe and the red demon – a frown turning his lips. He was meaty, but it was not all fat – the resemblance to Vernon was passing, still, Harry found himself disturbed. Abe's grip on his hand tightened reassuringly, Harry knew that Abe had sensed his emotions – if not his thoughts themselves. Still, it was troubling to Harry to know that here was proof of another non-magical person who knew of demons and merfolk.

"I have seen stranger things." Harry stated simply, if they expected more of an answer then that they would have to earn it. The red skinned demon snickered, while Abe jutted his chin out almost proudly.

"Well, you're alright by me, kid, I'm Hellboy." Almost casually, the demon offered Harry his hand. There was a caution in his eyes at possible rejection. Even Abe was wary as if he did not know exactly what would happen now. Harry took the offered hand, understanding passing though his eyes. He might well have passed an unspoken test with the relief of tension that eased in the room.

"Potter…." Harry offered, finding then that there was a sense of belonging here. Abe pulled him carelessly into an embrace, nuzzling at his neck and nibbling at it teasingly. Harry knew what Abe was doing and let himself relax. Harry let out a soft encouraging sound, and Abe growled softly looking up at Hellboy with possessive eyes.

"Not a kid." Hellboy took the not-subtle hint, Harry was never more grateful when he found himself alone with Abe. It began with little nips and licks along his jaw, trailing down to his neck – absently, Harry noticed his jeans had been removed and all that he wore was a hospital gown.

Another hand was playing along his thigh only to tease at his belly, soft touches and fingertip brushes along his suddenly throbbing length. Harry was shivering, the intense feelings building up and spilling over, he had only to hold onto Abe and he was painfully aroused.

With light admiring touches he traced the powerful shoulders and slender waistline, it was a swimmers build but Harry couldn't focus enough to appreciate it. Abe was not to be distracted and with a tug at the knot holding his gown at his neck, it came undone. Abe pushed Harry onto his back in a sudden rough movement that had Harry panting and watching Abe touch him with smoldering green eyes. Unreadable black eyes seemed to approve, then Harry shivered as the gown was snatched away and he was laid out bare beneath the blue skinned male.

Powerful hands shifted his thighs into a position Abe liked, for spread out as Harry was he could see everything, it was a feast and Abe made a appreciative little groan, his hand reaching out to caress the cleft of Harry's ass. Already aroused, Harry found himself gasping at the bold touch. He felt then as if there was a coiled wire in his belly, being tugged on and teased to straitening. It did not feel like it hurt, only that it was good – overflowing into his body. He wanted only more of this feeling.

Fingers teased at his balls and played with his ass, torn the sensations Harry only twisted wantonly beneath Abe. Desire stirred in black eyes, swallowing Harry down. Harry could not protest as Abe ducked his head between Harry's thighs, licking the tip carefully, his mouth moving down the shaft, becoming more and surer of his actions from Harry's reactions. Harry had spread his thighs widely, thighs and hips trembling with the effort to keep still. His instinct screamed to thrust and grind into the hot mouth that hovered and licked at him.

Abe's fingers dug into his thighs, Harry knew he was close, teetering over the edge. He knew also that everything he felt, Abe was feeling – it gave him a giddy feeling, that by feeling pleasure, he was feeding Abe's own lust. Harry cried out, feeling the fullness overflow and overcome him – he thrust into Abe's mouth, his lips sealed around the shaft – Abe drank down his semen, Harry lay under him panting and spent. Abe kissed him then and it was salty and spicy and lingered in his mouth even though Abe had swallowed most of him.

Abe cried out then, his hands clenching onto Harry's upper arms, fingers digging into his skin – marking him with the bruises his would inevitably leave behind. Harry felt the wetness on his belly and thighs, though Abe had tangled their legs together and Harry did not want him to move.

O.o.O.o.O.o.O

Note; yay, smut! SEE!? I can so still write one-shots! ...also thanks much to inkstainz who pointed out the caress/carcass error...