Killing me softly
Think this is another Harry creature fic? Bit of angst and drama, then a romantic mate and creature union? - Think again. The Dark lord is rising, his powers grow ever stronger, Harry's time is coming, but his power alone isn't enough. Can his inheritance help him? Prepare for sacrifice.
Takes place in his last year
SS/HP + hints of DM-HP pairing – if you don't like that pairing then this likely isn't the fic for you. Don't like it – don't read it.
Disclaimer – I don't own anything HP, DM or sadly even SS – Though I wish I did!
Harry jerked awake, and promptly groaned. This wizarding cold was a killer! Ever since his birthday Harry had thought he had felt off... Until eventually his feelings of 'off' had progressed sufficiently for him to feel woozy, and finally down right under the weather-
A warm hand suddenly clasped tightly around his wrist, Harry struggled weakly.
Snape sneered, and squeezed Harry's wrist harder.
" The grip too painful Potter? Let me assure you that had I allowed you to add those dragonfly wings to that pitiful concoction, you're classmates would have been scraping you off the floor"
Snape pulled Harry's trapped wrist away from the caldron, his black eyes were bright with the intent of unleashing a truly scathing remark, when he had a sudden sickening moment of total weakness, and he suddenly stumbled forwards, his free hand clutching onto Harry's desk. Sniggers through the Gryffindors were quietly murmured at their Potion Master's uncharacteristic clumsiness.
Snape tried to tug the hand that had been holding Harry's wrist, but Harry had intertwined their fingers and seemed to be in no hurry of letting go/
"Potter, let go-"
A stronger wave of dizziness hit Snape, and this time though his white-knuckled free hand gripped the wooden desk for all he was worth, he crashed to his knees. Now no one was laughing, panicked screams from the Slytherins of 'professor' slowly erupted through the room. And even a few Gryffindors, including Hermione, looked on worryingly.
"Sit down! Once Mr Potter can finally permit himself-"
That sickening feeling stole the rest of Snape's words, and Snape looked straight into Harry's emerald eyes in shock. Harry had come back to Hogwarts with a despicable cold. For weeks now he had gradually began to resemble a member of the un-dead. His face had been pasty, with deep, purple shadows under his eyes...now he was the image of good health! But judging by the open shock and confusion present in Harry's expressive eyes, he knew as much about his miracle recovery as Snape knew – nothing! Nevertheless, it suddenly occurred to Snape, that this strange sensation had only begun with Harry's touch, clueless as the boy was, he was causing this! Snape tried to pull away, but he was drained.
"You're doing this Potter!"
Snape felt Harry's smaller palm tense against his own, he appeared to be struggling, then a truly deep sickening drain sent Snape spiralling over the edge and his head hit the floor with a loud bang. The students screamed, and Harry's let go of Snape's hand in shock.
"Harry! What have you done?"
Hermione squealed at him, as a flood of Slytherins ran from the Potions lab in a great black and green mass, a hand suddenly roughly landed on his shoulder and shoved him back.
"I'll get you for this Potter!"
Malfoy snarled, his grey eyes were sparkling with rage, but colour seemed to drain from Malfoy's face when he took proper look at Harry, and saw Snape now faintly suffering Harry's previous symptoms. Malfoy looked back to Harry in obvious fear, and no little digust.
"What the bloodly hell are you Potter?"
His voice came out as little other than a squeak, but before Harry could even attempt to defend himself, Professor Dumbledore in all his brilliance, in a florish of robes strode into the room.
"I am sure Professor Snape would not welcome such a commotion. If everyone would kindly go to their common rooms, someone will be there to explain shortly."
Dumbledore smiled charmingly, and his eyes twinkled pleasantly, but nobody was fooled. However nicely worded, it was an order, and one to be met. And under his gaze, everyone, including Malfoy began to file out.
"Not you Harry"
Dumbledore said with a barest hint of a smile, and Harry moved away from the rest of the students with a bitter smile on his face. For not the first time, and he suspected, not the last, he wished not everything seemed to happen to him.
"We'll see you later, Harry"
Hermione whispered as she passed by, smiling apologetically,
"Yeah see ya later mate"
Ron muttered and the pair obediently left, leaving Harry alone with Dumbledore and an unconscious Snape. Dumbledore promptly conjured a stretcher and carefully, Harry would even say tenderly, levitating Snape onto it.
"I need to you to tell me exactly what happened here Harry"
"I've never seen anything like it!"
"For this to just happen! Out of the blue! His heart rate has completely slowed down! He's icy to the touch! If I didn't know better I'd say he was suffering from Hypothermia!"
"Will he be alright Poppy?"
Dumbledore enquired kindly, keeping his voice very calm and silently suggesting Promfrey do the same.
"He's in a stable condition, he seems to have suffered a sudden and heavy energy drain, but he's gradually getting stronger."
Dumbledore smiled, and relief was evident in his blue eyes.
"Thank you Poppy"
Sensing her dismissal, Madame Promfrey left, leaving Harry and Dumbledore in Snape's private ward. Dumbledore took one of Snape's icy long hands into his own, and looking at it, spoke gravely to Harry.
"I need to know exactly what transpired today Harry..."
The seriousness of Dumbledore's voice made Harry begin to babble in panic.
"It wasn't my fault Professor I swear it! I wouldn't! I don't-"
Dumbledore rose his spare hand and his head, he looked upon Harry kindly and slightly contritely.
"Calm yourself Harry, I'm not accusing you of anything, I know you would never willingly harm anyone, I simply need you to tell me what happened."
Harry blushed slightly and forced his breathing to quieten, he looked at Snape unconscious in his hospital bed.
"I was making a sleeping Potion, I got... distracted and I almost added dragonfly wings to it, but i guess Professor Snape saw what I was going to do and he grasped my wrist to stop me..."
Dumbledore looked at Harry, his wrinkled forehead creased with extra thought.
"Go on Harry,"
"I felt better, this cold that I've had since I my birthday, I felt better. And his hand was so warm.... Then he stumbled, he just stumbled! I held his hand to try and steady him but I could feel all this... I don't know how to describe it exactly... all this energy I guess, seep through his hand and up my arm! He was making me feel better! I could feel his hand grow colder against mine and I tried to pull away I did! His face grew pasty like mine had been, and he was asking me to let go! I really wanted to Professor but I just couldn't!"
A look of cold comprehension coloured his blue eyes.
"Harry I must leave now, but I will return shortly... would I be asking too much If I requested that you stay with Professor Snape until I return? The information I have to give greatly affects you both."
Privately Harry thought he was been asked way too much, but at the obvious concern Dumbledore had shown for Snape's well being, and the additional factor that he would likely to be called back anyway, made him smile warmly.
"Of course not Professor"
Dumbledore smiled warmly,
"Thank you Harry, I will return shortly. Please if Snape should come round alert Madame Promfrey immediately."
Harry nodded and internally groaned.
Sat with nothing to do for what felt like hours, but had been really a few minutes, Snape's sudden cough made Harry jump in shock and he immediately came to Snape's side. Snape coughed again, and a grimace formed on his face as his obsidian eyes fluttered open.
Harry nodded, his expression carefully neutral, but then something caught his eye. Something gleamed in the light, and unthinkingly, Harry ran his fingers through Snape's oily hair, near the older man's left temple, in search of it. Snape shuddered in shock at Harry's gentle touch, and Harry finally found what had caught his eye... White. Four white hairs gleamed at him through Snape's fine raven locks.
"What are you doing Potter?"
Snape rasped, and as if suddenly only just aware of what he had done, Harry's hand shot away from Snape's scalp as if burnt.
"Where is Promfrey Potter?"
Irritation it seemed was evident, even when the man seemed half dead. But for once Harry was infinitely grateful for Snape's tongue. Sticking around with Snape recuperating and unconscious, hearing the rhythmic tones of his deep, even breaths had been strangely calming... But sticking around when the man was awake! He needed more than mere Gryffindor courage for that!
But sooner had Harry's escape arrived, it went as Promfrey immediately burst through the white doors, and in the clinical, cold white walls of Snape's ward.
"Oh thank god Severus you're awake! You had us all worried!"
Snape laughed, it wasn't a pleasant sound.
"Come now, you have a year supply of my potions, I'm sure a younger, friendlier more attractive modal could have been found."
Promfrey looked at Snape sternly.
"I don't know whether to hit you or hug you when you're like this"
"I would strongly advise neither"
Promfrey sighed long-sufferingly, and gave Snape a vial.
"Energy recuperation draught, yes funnily enough as a direct result of working with potions and brewing them, one finds one is suddenly brilliantly equipped when it comes to recognising them."
Promfrey's face looked pinched Harry thought.
"Well you're cynical, bitter, corrosive nature is certainly back to grate on us once more"
Snape inclined his head, and rose his vial.
With a look that kill a man at fifty paces, Promfrey stormed out, and Snape, apprantely unaffected, drank his draught in one. Harry looked at the older man lost.
"Why did you do that?"
Snape rose an eyebrow at Harry.
"I don't think I have to explain myself or actions to anyone – least of all you Potter"
"What is wrong with you!"
He cried out in frustration. Snape's eyes narrowed.
"Why you little insolent-"
"Gentleman please, this is a hospital not a play field. Severus, surely even you're.... prickly nature needs time to recover."
"Quite the contrary, it would seem my 'prickly' nature is quite recovered and needs no more time lying about in hospital-"
"Stay. Right. There Severus! You may labour under the impression that you are invulnerable, but the rest of us, I assure you, have no such misconception."
Colour flooded back into Snape's pale face, and he shot upright his back ram-rod straight.
"I am not some little, sick patient-"
"I believe that is for Poppy and I to determine Severus. I will not have members of staff leading a bad example to the students by leaving the hospital wing before they should."
Snape eyes were murderous.
"I've had my bedside quota for today, kindly take yourself and Potter out of my suite."
Dumbledore sighed, and he appeared quite tired and worn out.
" I did have an ulterior motive for being here Severus-"
"Of course, Potter you have grown on my hospitality long enough, if you were waiting for a cue to leave – that was it"
Irritated beyond belief Harry shot up from his chair, but moved only a step from it when Dumbledore spoke again and ordered him back to his seat.
"This involves Harry just as much as you Severus, I'm afraid the situation is more grave then you both realise."
"Let me guess, a curse has befallen our 'favourite' golden boy and from now on he'll suck the life out of me like some gigantic leech like parasite."
Dumbledore took his glasses off and began to clean them uncomfortably, Harry stomach dropped to the floor.
"He's joking right?"
Harry asked nervously, Snape rolled his eyes, but when Dumbledore put his glasses back on and faced them , Harry knew Snape's stomach and plummeted also.
"Albus, it is positively cruel to play with us this way"
"You're not joking, not to an extent."
Snape blanched, and Harry felt his palms become pale and sweaty.
"To an extent? Intend to clarify?"
"A curse has not befallen Harry-"
"Oh brilliant! I don't think my weak heart could have taken it!"
Snape sneered, and for the first time Dumbledore looked irritated.
"There is no place for such an attitude in this situation Severus-"
"Well how would you like me to react? Shall I be calm and reasonable after a sarcastic quip about having the life sucked out of me by parasite Potter isn't rebuked? Or should I be a sobbing mess instead? Pray do tell Albus!"
Harry fought back a snort at the mind image of Snape crying, it seemed simply too surreal, his efforts earned him a choke, and one of Snape's knowing acidic glares.
"I'm so glad this turning out to be such a pleasure for you Potter!"
"Severus enough, this isn't pleasurable for anyone, it is entirely intolerable."
Snape's eyes were like black knifes.
" I really do wish you'd get on to talking about what this 'intolerable' situation actually is"
Dumbledore sighed, and like that his minor annoyance at Snape faded and died away, to replaced with sadness and deep regret.
"Harry's a Day walker Severus..."
For a long while Snape didn't react. His face frozen with the same bleak look on his face, Harry found he really didn't like seeing that expression on the man's face.
"Professors, what is a Day Walker exactly?"
Harry forced himself to ask, dreading the answer. Dumbledore made to answer but Snape beat him to it.
" My hair..."
Dumbledore looked at Snape perplexed, and a touch concerened.
"You're hair my boy?"
But Snape ignored Dumbledore, and turned to Harry. For once there was no hatred in those dark eyes, they looked different somehow.
"You were looking at my hair Potter, why?"
"Something uh caught my eye.."
Harry winced out poorly.
"What did Potter?"
Snape pressured, but with none of his usual exasperation, rather desperation.
"White hairs, I saw some white hairs by your left temple."
At Snape's stricken expression, Harry felt obligated to try and lessen the seeming blow.
"It was only four Professor! The rest is fine, I'm surely they're be easily hidden!"
"Idiot child! I am not concerned for my looks! I have long since given up such useless an endeavour! It's what they mean!"
Irritated that after being called an idiot he was promptly confused, but having no choice but ask, Harry gritted his teeth and turned to Dumbledore.
"No one would expect you to understand all this Harry, but nevertheless fate has given us little choice but to inform you in these matters."
Snape abruptly interrupted, and swung his legs out on to the side of his bed.
"Allow me to simplify, I've done such a good job for all these years... Day walkers are un-dead creatures, rare and exceedingly powerful. The cold you have been experiencing was in fact your body shutting down; every Day walker starts dying after their inheritance. Your cold got worse progressively as your life and energy levels have been gradually shutting down. You should have felt drawn to me, not that noticeably, but you should have felt very aware of my presence when I entered a room we shared, you should have known my proximity to you. Should we not have had our little incident this morning, your life levels would have dropped to such critical levels you would literally have thrown yourself at me and I would have suffered a worse drain that I did. I have white hairs now because a significant amount of my vitality, my life, has been taken by you. Eventually you shall take everything from me. My youth, my vitality, life and magic, doubtless this will enable you to defeat the Darklord"
Harry felt an icy numbness fill him, and he began to shake.
"Yes Potter, yes... You will have the you're ultimate revenge"
Rage overcame numbness and he glared at Snape harder than ever.
"How dare you say that to me! You can't seriously think I'd want any of this! Professor Dumbledore surely I can control how much I take! Surely I can learn-"
"You'd sooner stop your own heart beat. For every breath you breathe, I breathe one less. For every beat your heart makes, mine makes one less."
Harry looked at the two older man overwhelmed, and abruptly took off into a run out of there.
"I hope that satisfied you Severus, because that can surely be the only good thing that could come from that."
Snape shrugged unapologetically.
"So what Potter received a nasty shock? I'm the one who stands to lose everything; I will not have him be molly-coddled when he must know the full implications. You know as well as I, that I have not told him everything, and indeed I won't. Contrary to popular belief I'm not a cruel man."
Dumbledore placed a hand on Snape's shoulder.
"I've never thought you were."
Thanks to everyone who has read this chapter, am eagerly awaiting your views as always-
Lisi the slayer