Disclaimer: Isn't mine folks...sad but true.
Warning: Slash, AU after 4th book, Time travel
Many thanks to breuddwydioxz who, once again, was fantastic.
"I am Salazar."
The boy blinked, his mouth falling open in a very unappealing manner.
"And you are?"
His fiance blinked again. Clearly this was going to take a while.
"I found you in a ditch. Would you be so kind as to inform me of your name?"
"A ditch? You found me in a ditch?" The boys voice went up an octave in surprise. Yet another unattractive trait Salazar would have to train out of him.
With a sigh Salazar tried again. This time he would use smaller words. "What is your name?"
There. He had used hand signals too. Now the boy would tell him his name. The spell's first requirement would finally be complete.
"Harry...Harry Potter. But a ditch? Seriously? How did I get there? Where is here?" Open panic could now be heard in his boy's...Harry's voice. The child's clenched fingers were cutting crescent moons into his own palm, and Salazar wrinkled his nose. Self-mutilation was never attractive.
For a moment longer Harry remained silent, lost in his own inner hysteria, then, "Oh God, you're one of them aren't you?"
"One of who?" This conversation was verging on inane.
"You're a Death Eater. One of his minions." Loathing could be heard now, strong and clear. Salazar thought he was rather cute like this- green eye's narrowed and blazing, cheeks flushed with anger, or maybe fever. It was hard to tell. Either way the boy made a lovely picture. If only he would stop saying such offensive things.
"I am no one's minion. Certainly not for anyone who calls himself a Death Eater. That name is asinine." Salazar delivered this strictly, but in a calm voice. His fiance didn't look like he could handle much more excitement.
"Oh." The boy's anger faded but his flush did not. Definitely fever then."That's good, I guess." Rubbing his eyes weakly Harry managed a murmured "I don't feel very good do I?" and Salazar could not stop the smile from tugging on his lips.
"In all probability no. Too much time in a ditch will do that." Without a thought Salazar smoothed down one of Harry's curls. "Sleep now. You need it."
Blurry green eyes blinked up at him. "Yeah. Sleep. Good."
A faint smile remained on Salazar's lips. Harry was rather sweet with a fever. Malleable and sweet. Salazar was loathed to prolong Harry's illness but it did make manipulating the boy much easier. Perhaps he could give him something to relieve the fever but not to cure it. Not, at least, until the final step was complete.
Salazar watched as Harry settled back into his sleeping roll, and drifted off. Quietly he rose, moving to the stones that surrounded his campsite, stopping by each to utter Harry's name.
He was so close now.
The first time Harry woke it was to a pounding headache and a voice insisting he drink. He opened his mouth without thought, only to regret it moments later. Whatever he had just imbibed was foul to a level Snape could only dream of reaching.
Only as he slid back into a gentle slumber did Harry noticed that his head didn't hurt quiet so much anymore.
The second time Harry regained consciousness only because there was no other choice. He really had to pee.
Harry didn't really want to get up. His eyes were gritty with sleep and the rest of him wasn't feeling too hot either. Unfortunately, all of that was quickly becoming irrelevant. Screw his brain, Harry's bladder was now the dominant organ.
More by feel than anything else Harry began to move forward. He was in a forest. There had to be a decent tree to piss behind. He'd know it when he ran into it.
This plan, labeled brilliant by Harry's fever addled mind, was doomed to failure. As soon as Harry reached the edge of the campsite he was halted. Something was stopping him from getting out. Something wasn't going to let him pee!
His hands went up, ready to beat the shitty little force field into submission if he had to, when something caught at his hand. Make that someone.
Harry whirled to face his captor. When he saw who it was he froze. Feverish though he was, Harry still remembered Salazar. He remembered that the guy had a nice smile and weird name and was sort of intrinsically creepy. He remembered that Salazar wasn't a Death Eater. So what the hell was with the force field?
"I must ask that you desist." Salazar's voice was smooth and pleasing, but Harry wasn't in the mood to be pleased. He really had to pee.
"What?" Harry scrubbed a gritty hand over his face. "Look, who the hell are you again? And why can't I get out? And where the bloody buggery am I suppose to pee?" With each question Harry's voice rose.
"You wish to relieve yourself?" The man looked faintly bemused. Before Harry could get too pissed off at that Salazar moved to support him, bracing his shoulders up and intertwining their arms.
"I will escort you to the lavatory. Although I'm afraid it is simply a pit."
Harry blinked and nodded dumbly while the man continued talking.
" I am, to reiterate, Salazar. I found you in a ditch." Salazar smiled a little at this, in a way that suggested being found in a ditch had been Harry's very unclever idea, one which Harry would not be repeating again.
Harry wasn't sure he liked that smile.
"And the shield around the camp is absolutely necessary. These are dangerous times, precautions are needed." Another small smile was launched at Harry. One he liked much better.
Salazar continued, "I for one don't want to die out here."
Still smiling Salazar stopped walking to gesture at freshly dug pit which had been carefully concealed behind a bush."I will leave you to this. I have supper ready if your interested and more willow bark to keep the fever down."
And with a graceful nod Salazar left Harry to pee.
Harry was warm. And he didn't mean that he was snug from the top of his head to the tips of his toes, though there certainly was that.
Harry felt warm.
He'd forgotten, as he always did after a long summer at the Dursleys, how nice it was to be in the company of someone kind. Someone who liked you. And Salazar, did seem to genuinely like Harry.
When Harry had finished... "relieving himself" Salazar had been there, ready with blankets and a cup of tea that made Harry feel almost human. Then Salazar gave him stew. Harry couldn't remember anything tasting quite so good.
And all the while Salazar talked, lightly and with ease, answering Harry's questions until he almost felt safe.
"Your parents named you Salazar?" Harry laughed a little but stopped when he caught the look on the strangers face; Salazar's face. He actually seemed quite offended.
Someday Harry was going to have to learn to think before he spoke.
"Sorry. I didn't mean it's a bad name or anything. Just, well, Salazar Slytherin and all, right? Not exactly the easiest guy to be named after."
Salazar blinked, and then said in a rather flat voice, "Quite."
Harry's warm feeling was ebbing away already. It figured that the moment Harry found someone who liked him, Harry would stick his foot in his mouth.
"I am sorry! Really-. " Harry paused trying to pull himself together. It was kind of weird how he was already groveling to get this guy to like him. But for some reason it was vitally important that he did.
"Ummm, maybe I could have more soup?" Harry flushed a little and held out his bowl. "It's really good."
Finally Salazar smiled "Of course."
Many thanks to all the readers and reviewers. I'm sorry I'm such a slow writer but I promise -I will finish this story.
The next update should come in around August. And my lovely beta has made me promise it will be longer! (You may want to thank her).