Harry was trapped in the darkness and no matter how he tried he couldn't free himself. The darkness would randomly fade on occasions only to be replaced by a fog of agony. He was forced to move and every time his body would scream in protest.
'Damn it old man, he is my son! Tell me where he is!' Severus had finally lost what little patience he had with the headmaster and was actually yelling at the old man.
'Now, now Severus,' Albus replied maddeningly calm, 'I have sent Harry someplace safe to recover. Once all the remaining Death Eaters have been caught I will send for him,' he replied as he popped another lemon drop.
'I will find him, you can't keep my son from me forever,' Severus stormed out of the office before Albus could reply.
Lucius dropped into the chair closest to the fire in Severus Snape's chambers. His own son was in bad shape and his brother had all but lost his son. A door banged open somewhere and Lucius watched in mild amusement as Severus immediately went to his bar and poured himself a tumbler of scotch which he downed in one go before he leaned heavily on the bar hanging his head.
'Albus still not cooperating?' Lucius asked though he really didn't need to.
'I will find my son.' Severus replied pouring out 2 tumblers of scotch, a warmth pressed itself against his back. He leaned back into the heat relishing it.
'We will find our son.' Remus re-affirmed as he stole Severus' glass to have a mouthful of the amber liquid.
Remus pulled Severus to the couch after Lucius had received his drink and Severus burrowed into the smaller man only to bolt upright as his door banged open again.
'There really should be a protective charm on that door.' Lucius muttered.
Remus grinned, 'There is,' Severus swatted at Remus.
'Severus! Remus!' Charlie Weasley barrelled into the room only to stop short as he caught sight of Lucius, 'Mr Malfoy,' he added awkwardly as he stared at the man with a mix of joy and embarrassment. Severus thought it made for an odd mix and if the bizarre snort cough thing that came from Remus was any indication then so did he.
'Mr. Weasley,' Severus broke the silence which caused Charlie to start and nearly drop the bag he was holding. He looked if possible even more embarrassed as Severus looked at him expectantly.
'What?' Charlie asked having clearly forgotten why he'd come barrelling into Snape's private chambers.
"Why exactly have you come barging in here at this unforsaken hour?' Really it was only 7:30 and dinner had only just ended but Severus just wanted to cuddle with his wolf, not that he would ever admit that to anyone other than said wolf.
'Oh right,' Charlie blushed an even brighter shade of fuchsia then any of the others thought possible as he held up the sac he was carrying. 'They hatched,' he announced much like a first time father would about the birth of his child, ''all four of them, and they have weird markings.' He shook his head as if to clear it. He pulled out a wooden box and held it out to Severus. Who reverently took the box and sat down back on the couch before Remus realized he was on the floor, he stared at it like it was the second coming of Merlin. He gently lifted the lid to find the cracked remains of 4 Antipodean Opaleye eggs. Severus gently slapped Remus' hand away when he tried to pick up a piece but then he picked one up himself. The outside of the shell was a pale grey while the inside was iridescent having no fixed colour. Charlie looked rather smug, he had never seen the Potion Master so in awe of anything before. It wasn't uncommon to find the egg shells around Australia and New Zealand but to find a whole egg let alone four... well it was any potions master's wet dream.
Suddenly Severus pulled Remus up off the couch and into his lab. Lucius watched it all with amusement curving his lip. "You think they'll shag then brew the potion or brew the potion then shag?' Lucius asked watching the Dragon Handler, because really that's what the man was, you don't tame a dragon and you certainly don't keep a dragon. You merely handle it as gently as possible and hope it doesn't eat you.
'Probably shagging while they brew the potion.' He replied with a grimace.
Suddenly Lucius surprised both himself and Charlie as he engulfed the younger wizard in a fierce embrace. 'Thank you,' he whispered hoarsely, trying to keep his emotions at bay. Charlie was stunned for a moment before he returned the hug.
'Anything for you,' he replied burying his face in the silver mane. The eggs, well really the potion only called for one, was for a potion for Draco. He had been hit with a spell then poisoned with venom from a rare breed or snake. They had been able to keep the venom at bay for a while but it was starting to win. Now though with the shell they could brew an antidote.
Neither man knew how long they stood there in each other's arm and neither really cared, they just relished in the presence of the other.
Harry just wanted the pain to go away. His whole body throbbed with pain, he compared it to a Crutiatus curse that never ended. He just wanted to let go but something was keeping him here. Something Harry wanted to hold onto but couldn't quite grasp. All through the pain they made him work and when he didn't they gave him more pain.
Harry just wanted out.
He tilted the mirror shard he found while cleaning the attic so that the light from the street lamp reflected of the mirror. He had written to everyone everyday and no one had replied. He had done what they all wanted him to and now no one needed him. No one wanted him. No one cared. Draco didn't love him, no one did. His own father didn't even want him. He glanced at the clock with his one good eye.
"He has to at least see what he's doing, Vernon.'
'He has two eyes he only needs one.'
It would be his birthday in two minutes he could be free then. He had waited this long what was another two minutes.
At midnight the only thing that came in through the open window was a cool breeze. He angled the glass against his wrist and pushed.
'Severus?' Albus was clearly confused as to why Severus was sitting at his desk rifling through his papers so late.
'He's just a boy,' Severus replied not looking up from the papers he was shuffling through all in exceedingly messy scrawl that Severus was all too familiar with.
'Severus you have to understand...' Albus began.
'Understand what?' Severus cut him off. That you isolated him, orchestrated everything in his life for him to become your weapon. Alienated him from the people who cared about him. Rescued him from one hell only to send him to another. No Albus you've done enough. He is just a child. My child. And he needs his family now.'
'Severus whatever he has told you about the muggles he lives with are exaggerated tales of a spoiled boy.' Albus replied, his concern thinly veiled to the other wizard.
Severus was livid. 'Lies? He is almost 17 and he is shorter than the fourth years and he has been wearing clothes that are 5 sizes too big for I don't know how long. The glasses he had when he got here weren't even the proper prescription because his aunt couldn't be bothered to pay for something that wasn't necessary. So Albus, were is my son?'
Albus shook his head, 'It is for the good of the world, he is somewhere safe and...'
Albus suddenly found himself on the business end of Snape's wand. 'So help you if you do not tell me where my son is you will find out the exact nature of the majicks I know, your entrails will be used as ingredients and they will never find your body.'
'Then you will find yourself in Azkaban.' Albus replied his smirk unbecoming.
'And you will still be dead.' Severus gathered the letters from Harry and sneered at the Headmaster. 'Thank you Albus you have given me everything I need.' He swept from the room before Albus had time to recover.
'I know where he is,' Severus announced as he swept into the room. The three men waiting looked up at him expectantly. 'He will need medical treatment, Lucius, Remus get everything ready. Mr. Weasley come with me.' As he spoke he gathered several potions and a small black bag. 'We will stabilize him when we get there then we shall portkey him back here.' Everyone agreed and minutes later Severus and Charlie had flooed to the Leaky Cauldron so they could appearate as directly to Harry as they could. Lucius and Remus were preparing a second room to treat Harry before they gave him a bed next to Draco.
Severus and Charlie landed two houses down from 4 Privet Drive. The shadows seemed to hide them as they ran to the Dursley's house. All the windows were dark save for the ones that had bars on them.
With a whispered Alohamora they were quietly making their way up the stairs to the one room with a light on. Charlie absently noticed that the door under the stairs had several locks on it. They found that the door with the light on was the only opened door and that it too had several locks. A sickening crunch came from the room followed by a wet pathetic cry.
Severus and Charlie could only stare in horror at the scene that was in front of them. Harry was covered in blood and bruises and Merlin knew what else as Vernon pulled himself from the boys limp body. He laughed maliciously as he wiped himself off in Harry's hair. He gave Harry a brutal kick as he tucked himself back into his pants.
'Happy fucking birthday you freaky faggot,.' Vernon hoisted the boy up by his arm that was already at an odd angle and twisted it viciously. Charlie paled as he thought he heard something snap. He wanted to vomit.
Vernon dragged Harry over to the window that he shoved open, 'now get out!' he was about to shove the broken body out the window but he shifted and caught sight of the pair in the doorway.
'Get the fuck out of my house freaks!' he bellowed after he stared at them stupidly for a moment.
'Put him down muggle,'' he sneered the word as he levelled his wand at Vernon's neck.
'Or you'll what?' Vernon sneered though the effect wasn't as grand as it could of been because it was lost under his moustache and he looked slightly constipated.
'Turn you inside out and dance on your intestines while you watch.' Severus replied deceptively calm.
'Get Harry and give him this,' he had fished a potion out of the bag and handed it to Charlie without looking away from Vernon.
Charlie didn't even glanced at the vial that Severus gave him, he only registered what it was as he was giving it to him. Draught of the Living Death. It would knock him out for them to not only transport him without damaging him farther but it would allow them to work on his injuries without him waking.
Severus suddenly whipped around firing off two stunners. Dudley and Petunia now lay motionless in the hallway.
'Or perhaps your son would like ears as well.'
'What did you do?" Vernon roared going red again.
'They are only stunned they will unfortunately wake in an hour's time.' Severus replied, 'now give the boy to my colleague and tell me where his things are.'
Vernon looked rather smug as he sneered which definitely wasn't a good look for the man, 'burned it all. It wouldn't at first but I made him undo whatever it was that was keeping it from burning.'
'And the owl?' Severus was horrified and furious and wanted nothing more than to drop his wand and wrap his hand around that thick too short neck and throttle the pig-whale-man-whatever the hell he was, but he kept himself calm. For Harry. He repeated to himself.
'Burned it too,' Vernon looked far to satisfied. 'Ruddy bird was always making too much noise whenever the boy was punished.' Vernon however had no qualms about showing off his glee and it sickened Severus.
'Accio Harry Potter's possessions,' Charlie called. He was greeted by a small tattered bundle of objects that had come from underneath the bed. Charlie had fed the potion to Harry and handed the bundle to Severus. He gently picked the boy up and readied the portkey.
'If I were you Mr Dursley,' Severus began his voice was a silky, deadly calm. Dangerously calm, 'I'd watch my back. You never know who might take offense to being called a freak.' Severus sneer was far more effective then Dursley's ever could be. Severus reached out and activated the portkey that was sitting on Harry's chest.
Lucius and Remus immediately began to work on Harry as Severus kept the potions and whatever else they needed in easy reach while Charlie went to sit with Draco, he knew he would just be useless in there. His hands wouldn't stop shaking.
Four hours later found Remus and Severus curled up in bed, Severus fighting all the emotions that he'd felt since Harry had vanished from Hogsmeade all those weeks ago. Remus held the taller man tightly, 'He's safe, we have him and no one will ever hurt him again.' He whispered as finally, finally Severus sobbed he turned and buried himself in Remus' chest as he sobbed. Remus held him as he mumbled inconsequential things to his mate.
After he and Remus had finished healing Harry and Remus had taken Severus to bed Lucius had sat in front of the fire. He hadn't been sitting for very long when he thought he heard retching. He went to investigate and found Charlie hunched over the toilet.
'Mr Weasley?' he asked wetting a cloth to rub down Charlie's neck.
Charlie sobbed, 'How could he do that?'
'Oh Charlie,' Lucius pulled the younger man into his arms. Charlie was old enough to know what had happened during the first reign of Voldemort but hadn't had anything to do with it really. Now he was older he had heard some of the stories from the members of the order but because he hadn't really been part of any fighting he hadn't seen much. And hearing about something doesn't necessarily make it real. Not 4 hours ago he had just seen a victim of some of the worst violence Lucius had ever seen himself, and had seen some of it happen. Charlie maybe older then Draco and Harry but he'd seen far less than either of the much younger wizards. He gently soothed the distraught wizard, 'I don't know Charlie.' After a while he offered him some water and gently pulled him to the couch where they fell into light sleep.
Sometime during their sleep Lucius and Charlie had ended up curled around each other on the couch. That was the site that greeted Remus and Severus as they emerged from their room the next morning. 'They'll be good for each other.' Remus commented from his spot in Severus' arms.
Severus made a grunt of agreement, it was far too early for talk of any kind and he needed coffee.
Severus made the coffee as Remus went to check on Harry and Draco. What he found left him speechless.
'Severus, come here,' Remus called as loudly as he dared.
'Busy, coffee,' came the reply.
'Severus,' Remus tried again with a hint of warning.
'What?' Severus snapped and sighed at the same time and pouted as he came over to Remus finally.
'Look,' Remus pointed into the room. Draco had moved to Harry's bed and the two boys were wrapped up in each other. Or rather Draco was wrapped around Harry.
Harry slowly realized that his haze of pain was lifting and the darkness was slowly receding. He could feel warmth against him, it flowed through him and over him.
But sometimes the warmth wasn't there and the darkness came back. There would be screams and brutal violence. There would be flashes filled with blood and gore. He would be made to watch as men, women and children were brutally raped and viciously tortured. He would scream as he watched. He watched. He didn't want to, he wanted to help. He needed to help but all he could do was watch. And always there was a man who was more reptile than man who would watch with malicious glee.
He begged for it to end for the violence to stop. He wanted it to end.
Then the warmth would come back and everything would be gone and he could breathe again. Harry always welcomed the warmth, it often felt different but the warmth no matter who it came from washed away the darkness.
Draco had woken that night that Remus had found him in Harry's bed. He had made a quick recovery. He still had mild shakes but he was almost as good as new.
Draco would spend his days talking to Harry. Telling him about what was going on with whom, reading from textbooks anything. Remus, Severus, Lucius or Charlie would take over when Draco couldn't talk anymore. At night before bed he would make tearful promises to Harry if only he would wake up.
Harry heard voices and he wanted them to be quiet because he was trying to sleep. He wanted to tell them but he could quite get anything to co-operate and when he finally managed to speak all that came out was an elegant, 'Nyagh.'
The voices quieted as the lights, which were burning his eyes even through his eyelids was turned down.
'Come on Panda, I need to see those Emeralds of yours.' Draco coaxed as he gently stroked Harry's forehead, cheeks, neck, anything.
Harry's eyes fluttered open, 'That's it Cub.' Remus held Harry's hand gently as he offered the teen a cup of water. 'Slowly,' he urged, before Harry made himself sick by drinking too fast.
As everything began to take form around him and he could focus on things he looked first to Draco and his eyes widen in shock before he found Remus. He scrambled back on the bed and pressed himself against the headboard, making himself as small as possible.
'You're not real,' he croaked out, his voice hoarse from disuse and his eyes wild as they looked from Draco to Remus and back while trying to find a way out. 'You're dead. You're both dead, he killed you.'
Remus was pulled from his shock first, 'No Harry, we aren't dead,' he reached out to his cub but Harry pulled away.
'He made me watch.' He practically pleaded.
Draco sat next to him 'He didn't kill us. We've been here all along.'
'But I saw...' he trailed off, whatever voice he had was gone again as Draco gently cupped his face between his hands.
'HE is the only one that died, Panda.' Harry signed and leaned into the familiar warmth.
'Daddy?' Harry looked up as Remus sat next to the pair.
'Yeah Cub,' he pulled Harry's hand up to place in his own chest so Harry could feel his heart beat, after a minute Harry's hand fisted into Remus' shirt.
Draco pulled Harry onto his lap and Harry didn't let go of Remus, who chuckled slightly. 'Lie down Draco,' Remus said softly. The confused blonde followed Harry's arm to Remus shirt and laughed but lay down.
'Are you going to let go of Remus?' he asked softly.
'No.' Harry replied sleepily.
Remus and Draco fell asleep on either side of the smaller wizard who was already sleeping deeply.
Severus and Lucius had been out teaching. As much as they didn''t want to they knew they had to.
The pair went to check on their sons and were startled to find Remus in bed with them.
'He was awake for about 10 minutes or so before he fell asleep again. He thought they had been murdered.' Charlie explained, he had been grading papers in Severus study when he had heard them he hadn't revealed himself because he didn't know how Harry would receive him, seeing as almost his entire family had betrayed the Saviour.
Later that night Lucius and Severus sat in front of the fire each with a glass of scotch. Remus had managed to extract himself from Harry's death grip on his shirt and was now playing chess with Charlie. Draco was asleep with Harry.
Lucius was watching Charlie.
'You care about him,' Severus stated only loud enough for Lucius, though this close to the full moon he was sure Remus could here.
'I don't know.... I mean... he's...' Lucius foundered for something to say and Severus could only laugh at him. Lucius glared at him when Remus and Charlie looked over curious about what the Potions Master was laughing about.
'He would be good for you.'
'Check and mate.' Remus said loudly knocking over Charlie's king.
Charlie sat back and sighed, 'you know Remy one of these days I am going to beat you.'
'And until that day comes I am going to gloat.' Remus grinned as he finished his drink.
The peace that had come over the four men was broken by a distressed cry from the boy's room.
They all rushed into the room to find Draco awake holding a sobbing Harry.
'Prince.' Severus called softly as he sat next to the pair.
'Papa?' red rimmed, bloodshot, teary eyes peered up at him.
'Yes my Prince,' Severus replied carding a hand through Harry's hair. The young wizard launched himself at Severus who caught him and held on to Harry as fiercely as Harry held on to him.
'You're here,' Harry mumbled into Severus as Draco leaned into his own father.
'I'm here, we're all here.' He soothed, rubbing gentle circles on his back.
And they were. Remus, whose hand had joined Severus' was on Severus' other side and Lucius and Charlie were on Draco's other side. They were all there, his family. The warmth that kept away the darkness.
Now before anyone gets all huffy, because let's face it you're all going WTF?!?!? What kind of bad crack is she on? The next and probably last will reveal all. You'll find out what happened to Harry, Severus, Voldemort, Ron and everyone! So please be patient and before you know it you'll have the final part and a cookie!
The follow up to this story is the multi-chapter fic "Nightmare". So go read that one, it's not quite finished yet but it's getting there...