Child of Mine
As Harry followed Draco to the desk he tried his best to get a hold of the depression and hurt that seemed to overwhelm him. Why was Draco acting... nice all of a sudden? Harry was sure Draco didn't like him. He was always sneering or trying to ignore him... and all of a sudden he'd just turned around and offered Harry... comfort? Help?
Harry wasn't sure why, but if it meant that Draco was going to stop being so mean, he'd latch onto the chance to get to know him better.
Another confusing man in his life was his father. He was so nice when Harry had been younger... but then when he started getting older papa had started becoming distant. Something was bothering his papa, and Harry just couldn't understand what or why. Harry knew that his father still loved him. Whenever he thought Harry was asleep, right before settling himself into bed, papa would go into Harry's room and make sure Harry was covered properly. And with either a gentle smoothing of his hair, or on the rare but cherished occasion, a kiss on his forehead, he'd leave, shutting the door softly behind him.
So why was he suddenly so mad? Harry hadn't colored in any of his books, or chased the chick- er phoenix. He'd not set the curtains on fire in ages (which in reality had only been two days before)- - or helped him with his potions, whenever he helped it always seemed to go really wrong. He'd behaved himself and hadn't even turned Moony into a woman. Though he could barely recall the event. He was still a bit disappointed Moony had become a male again. Maybe Sirius wouldn't mind being turned into a mother. He'd ask Fred and George later if they still had the cookies. He even was taking care of Krr'Shar instead of sneaking out into the castle halls to play with him (they'd been 'stalking' students... rather unsuccessfully, Harry was not the greatest at stealth).
Poking his eggs on the plate before him he sighed. He had a chance at befriending Draco even better now... but it seemed that in place of a friend, his father was moving further away from him. The past years (which once again, in reality had only been a couple of months) had been filled with love and warmth, despite Harry's mistakes.. Now it felt as if it had all turned around. How was he to make it better?
Snape scowled at his unfinished plate of food and stood, he wasn't going to get anywhere sulking and wandering through his depression. He never had been this bad at controlling himself. He was really becoming upset with himself. It was as if he were a woman! Going from one extreme to the next... But he could hardly help it. Harry was growing up. And in effect, soon he would grow AWAY from him.
How dare that child make him love him. How dare he overturn the world Severus had mentally prepared himself for and had lived in, for his whole life.
How dare Harry make him care only to know that Snape would soon be unworthy of even the amount of love Harry had offered him. Harry would be his bratty, self- centered self again- - and would be horrified. Disgusted. Revolted...
If Harry had never loved him (for he was not so foolish or blind to not see that Harry indeed loved him) and he had only cared for Harry, it would not be so bad. He would have kept the emotion to himself. No one would have known. And when he would have lost Harry, none but he would have been the wiser.
But no. Harry had loved him. Did love him. And the moment he would stop loving Snape would be a humiliating day indeed. For it would prove, that only those ignorant of him could love him. Not worthy of love. Not even from a child that had called him (HIM) 'daddy'.
He had no proof this would happen, only the sure knowledge that it probably would.
Harry was becoming more of himself. Not the small child who was taking in everything like a sponge. Now Harry was developing opinions that he could formulate into speech. Thoughts that proved himself to irrefutably be, Harry Potter. Nothing large or excessive. But like a small seed that you knew would grow very soon into a plant.
He wasn't sure if Harry would forget all that had transpired during the potion and return to that cocky brat he'd had to teach for the past five... well, four, (Harry hadn't really been around much for this fifth year) years. Those green eyes that had been so trusting and showing so much love and adoration, for someone like him... Looking at him in disgust and hate. Snape closed his eyes tightly.
He was not going to let it destroy him. James had done his fair share of tormenting him throughout his school years. He would not allow the last Potter to do so again.
Perhaps... just this once he could selfishly reach out and take what Harry offered. And when Harry was fifteen again, memories intact (aside from those gained during the potion, more than likely), he would act as if nothing had happened. Harry would hear rumors of course, though the likelihood of him believing them would be slight. Harry would scoff at them and leave Snape be. And Severus would return to life as it had been. Himself and his work. The two things that had ever been constant.
Instead of hurting Harry and using him as the outlet of his fears... he could cherish the last bit of time he would have with his son and... when it was over, store it inside him and if he ever felt as if he were turning to ice, huddle around the memories for warmth the way one would bring themselves near to a fire. It might be so hot it burned... but to feel that instead of the cold...
Why do you radiate hurt? A furry head brushed against his hand, Snape looked down. There under his desk was Krr'Shar. Once in a while the Rau'Mron would stay in his class (hidden in the shadows of his desk) and slowly soak in the magic around him when he wasn't able to be near Harry. Severus wasn't quite sure exactly why the clan leader had such an avid interest in his surrogate son, but Harry was never one to have normal companions.
I am thinking. How could I have let Harry into my heart like this?
Krr'Shar's eyes stared into his own. He is your cub, as such, you cherish him.
If only it were that simple. He is not my cub, I am just his guardian temporarily.
It matters not, he is life. All cubs are life. We as guardians and parents, watch over them because should they die, we go with them. Each cub is different, with it's own strengths and weaknesses, flaws and beauty. Like the very earth around us. Cubs show us life, we show them how to live it, and when the time comes, we show them death as well. For they then pass down these lessons to their cubs when we are gone. And through that knowledge, though the memories of us along with our names may be gone, we will still live on. Krr'Shar's head was now on his knee, warm eyes soothing the ache in Severus' chest. It takes a pack to raise a cub, you have a whole... Krr'Shar hesitated, trying to remember the word, School. And as your cub grows, you can not but help feeling pride and love for all that they do and learn. If you did not feel this love, you would not be a healthy guardian for him. Do not regret your love. For without it, no cub can grow to be healthy and strong. Your love is his strength and his world. Do not belittle yourself or your worth, for he will take the memories of you with him when he matures. Even if he does not know it.
Snape's throat tightened and he nodded. Leave it to a cat to tell a human about the mechanics of life.
There was a gentle growl, I am not a cat.
Draco watched Harry leave his side once they entered the great hall. He made sure Harry joined the Gryffindor's safely for lunch before he went to the Slytherin table. A conflict in interests. That's what he was having. He hated Harry Potter, if only for turning down his hand amongst a few other embarrassing moments in his life, and of course Harry stood against everything that his father had raised him as. But Potter had strength, and sanity. Which, he sneered to himself, was a good half step above the dark lord. He'd never dare say it to his father, for fear of punishment but the Dark Lords sanity didn't seem to be at it's best. His father had returned practically sick on his feet from one of the meetings during the summer. By an overdose of the cruciatus.
Draco steeled himself away from such treacherous thoughts. The Dark Lord had power and plans for how to better the wizarding world. Which was more than Potter had. He would not be caught in the middle. One or the other. And his decision was clear, insane or not, the Dark Lord had the ability to cleanse the mudbloods from their society. And then only the purebloods would be left. Nevermind the fact that there wouldn't be many purebloods, or how they intended to procreate without inbreeding, Draco learned very early to never ask such questions, his father believed Voldemort was right. And he loved his father. He would listen to him.
An owl screeched and swept down to land before him. It was his fathers owl. He removed the envelope and fed the owl a piece of meat from the table. It was a special letter from his father. Magically protected. Draco glanced around before opening it. It's contents brought a wave of nausea and fear.
No. He would do this.
He would prove he was an adult to his father, he could handle something so simple.
That evening Harry was in the care of his 'mum' Remus, and his perhaps someday mum, Sirius, but for the time, Godfather. Krr'Shar was curled around him and even his mate was with him (Sirius did look a bit nervous with such large cats in the room), her tummy no bigger then normal, but Harry couldn't wait till she gave birth. The idea of baby kittens absolutely thrilled him. Harry leaned over and scratched the top of her head and after a moment, eyes closed in bliss, a deep rumbling purr was heard.
"So Harry, is there anything you'd like to talk about? Perhaps about things that happened today?" Remus asked.
Harry frowned and continued petting Mi'Ara, he could even feel the power she drew from him, like having your hand in the tub while it was being drained. The sensation stopped as did her purring. She'd fallen asleep. Krr'Shar scooted to him and head butted him, You're power is helping her keep her strength, I thank you, little one.
Harry smiled and turned back to Remus, he'd not answered yet. "I wish papa would stop hurting. Because when he hurts, so do I."
Sirius' snort turned into a cough as Remus elbowed him solidly in the side. "Well that's how love goes, Harry. Your father is just confused, he'll figure things out soon enough." Remus smiled at Harry, ignoring the glare being directed at him via Sirius.
"And if he doesn't-" Sirius hesitated, full aware of the look his friend was sending him. Weighing his words carefully he continued with, "We'll make sure that he does." Lame, he thought to himself, Really lame. If Remus hadn't given him the look that was threatening him with the loss of near and vital organs, he would have said, 'then he doesn't deserve you, not that he ever did'. Which would have made Harry cry, now that he thought about it. Perhaps Remus was protecting him as much as Snape.
"Draco also said he was going to speak to papa, he said maybe he just needs some time to himself, he was gonna take me to the Hogs- - Hogsm-"
"Hogsmeade?" Remus supplied, though his eyes were wide in surprise. "Draco wants to take you to Hogsmeade?" Now he sounded a bit stunned.
"He said if I don't start spending time with people who are level-headed I might grow up like a gryffindork all over again." Harry repeated Draco's words, never once thinking them as the insult they were.
Sirius needless to say sputtered indignantly, "Why that no good dirty rotten little son of a-"
"Well Harry, I'm not so sure about that, perhaps he can accompany you with Hermione and Ron... And the adult that will be going as well." Remus added. "Because of the way things are it isn't exactly safe for you to go outside of Hogwarts, there are some very bad people out there, and we want to keep you as safe as possible."
Harry frowned, the 'Kitty Cat' as he sometimes dubbed Krr'Shar, growled.
If the Dark One tries to take you I will hunt him down and kill him. Krr'Shar's words sent a shiver of fear through Harry, who didn't understand at all what was going on. Who was this dark one? And what did it have to do with him?
The next day Draco found himself licking his dry lips. Surreptitiously he wiped the palms of his sweating hands on his robes and picked up the thin vile of bat blood and began to carefully measure out the portion. He'd ask him just as the last student left, that way he'd have a few moments before the next students came for class.
Harry wasn't in Snape's classes today, instead he was spending them in Flitwick's who was absolutely thrilled to baby sit the child for the day. Draco assumed Potter would be made to do the ridiculous tasks of delegating papers, and equipment meant for charming. Honestly, if Potter ever got back to normal, Draco hoped he remembered everything, he'd die of humiliation. Kissing up to all the students, trying to look so cute and adorable. As if it weren't clear as day he was a spoiled little brat who had practically all the teachers fawning over him!
Absolutely ridiculous! He'd even heard the runt call Dumbledore Grandpa! And, of course, he'd make sure to worm his way into the Gryffindor's head of house's heart. Grandma this and that! If he weren't such an obvious Gryffindor he'd be one hell of a Slytherin!
Although, when he was that little, well when Harry had looked around four and five... hell, admittedly from the moment Harry had regained the ability to sit up, he'd taken to those around him. Was it honestly innocence in its most basic and purest form? Draco grimaced, not because of distaste... although it was that, it was just that... had he ever been that innocent? That trusting? He couldn't remember a time in his life where he'd ever been that free to express himself, not even to his own parents. He'd been taught fine control over his emotions, from as soon as he could waddle. So the idea of Harry being that innocent... perhaps he was...
No. No one was ever that pure or good.
Potter probably remembered everything and was using them all to his own master crafted- -
Draco nearly laughed. Potter could barely find himself out of a maze without a damn port key, no, it may not have been a master plan, but there was no way that Potter wasn't in full command of his mind. It was obvious because Potter was being too innocent and... loving.
Honestly, didn't he have more pride?
Obviously not. Someone had to slam him down to the level he really belonged.
If Draco had any say in the matter, it would be him
"You want what?" Severus Snape could barely keep the disbelief from entering his question. Had hours of Harry harassing the hell out of him to be his friend finally done Malfoy's nut? "Are you quite sure you don't need to see Madame Pomfrey?"
Malfoy scowled, "Of course I'm fine, but seeing as he's been following me around I might as well, right? Besides, Professor, I thought that you could use the break before you - - well, got more stressed out. Besides, his bloody friends would be tagging along making sure I wasn't selling him to the black market, right? And he's been spending time with me in the Slytherin dormitories and we still haven't hexed him."
There, all justifiable points for being allowed in the presence of the mighty Gryffindor.
Snape scowled, staring at him for far longer then Draco was sure was justifiable. With a flick of his wrist, the classroom door slammed shut. Draco winced but made no other movement.
"You do realize that I only take care of him because if anything happens to him my position here would be compromised, and I do what I must to secure my position. You will not bring personal harm to him or I will personally see to it your remaining years here at Hogwarts will become the most difficult experience of your young life."
Well, if that wasn't elusive. If Draco had only the mental capacity of Crabbe or Goyle he would have automatically assumed Snape meant the Dark Lord. But the way he spoke... was too... neutral.
"I will take care of him." 'Just not the way you're thinking of, Professor.'
"There will of course be an adult, children as young as you and those fellow Gryffindor's of Potter's can't be expected to take care of such a precocious child." A flick of his wand and the door opened, "Dismissed."
Draco turned and left.
Draco found himself that Saturday walking amidst a group he'd never hoped to sink so low as to be around. Potters friends.
Even the damned Weasley twins were in earshot. Ron Weasley was constantly shooting him glares when not staring at Potter. Granger, of course, was now and then biting her lip and looking worriedly between the Weasel, Potter, and himself. She'd even given him a very terse greeting. It was the most polite they'd ever been to each other. And beside the little munchkin was Flitwick, chatting cheerily to Potter about what Hogsmeade looked like when he'd been a student.
If Granger hadn't been so worried about why he was hanging around she probably would have been hanging on his every word. And just to really throw those idiots off he'd even allowed Potter to take his hand. Yes, humiliating as it was, it all had reason. His fellow Slytherin's wouldn't question his actions (they liked their health the way it was), but the other three houses... Draco hadn't known causing this much confusion and discord could be so amusing.
He'd been told what was going to happen, and how things would work out, and the closer it got, the more an odd feeling began building in his stomach. Perhaps there had been something wrong with his breakfast. That must be it, the blasted elves must have undercooked the eggs or sausage... that was why he was feeling as if he could be sick.
As the time drew closer and closer to the middle of the day, Draco found himself withdrawing into himself uncharacteristically, his mind beginning to feel as if something was off. Had he forgotten something? Perhaps that was why he felt this sudden weight.
Or maybe the strain of following the golden trio was beginning to wear on even his nerves of steel. He'd followed them into the sweets shop (Flitwick held onto Harry's hand in there, although admittedly, it had almost gotten both of them crushed), had walked into the Owl post where Harry had stared at the owls, then to the Pet shop where he'd talked (Draco still remembered feeling a shiver of unease course through him at the sinister language he'd spoken in, no matter how sweet Potter may have looked) to several snakes, and to the book shop where Hermione had finally parted from them, promising to catch up at the Three Broomsticks.
Finally, they'd stopped inside the very crowded tavern, it took ten minutes alone to find an empty table, and finally they found one. Potter, Flitwick and Ron setting their things on the table top.
Flitwick gave his order to Ron and excused himself so that he could use the restroom. An awkward silence settled over their table, despite the noise pulsing around them. Five minutes passed, but it seemed that no one had noticed them yet.
"I think we need to serve ourselves." Draco finally drawled.
"Not that you would know much about doing things on your own." Weasley snapped.
"Well, if you don't want to get the drinks I suppose I can." he said, a wicked smile growing on his face. He'd nearly slid off his chair when Weasley finally seemed to realize there were a number of things that could be done to open drinks.
"No. I'll get them. If you move from this spot and leave Harry, I'll kill you." he stood and begin winding his way through the tables and edging past the standing bodies.
Draco waited a moment until the mop of red hair was out of sight, and double checking that Flitwick was nowhere in sight he glanced at Potter. Who was sitting cross legged on his seat. For a moment Draco almost forgot that Potter wasn't a seven year old boy, on an outting with his caretakers. He sat there curiously looking about, his green shirt was a cotton button up shirt tucked into a pair of muggle jeans with a small pair of shoes on his feet. His hair, of course, brushed his shoulders, adorably so, longer then Draco had ever seen on the older version. It suited him... he was a small boy, almost girlish really. And completely innocent.
Draco scowled. No one was ever innocent. All who are born entered it through blood and pain. None are innocent. He cost his parents their lives. Wizards and witches had and would die for him... he was more guilty then any of those protesting they were fighting for the 'light'.
Harry turned, and those eyes were turned towards him, "Did you really like that snake?" Harry nodded, "Well Flitwick and We- Ron, are going to be a while, why don't we go buy it and come back to surprise them?" Harry smiled and nodded. Trusting idiot. "Come on." he held out his open hand and linked together Draco took them out the back door.
Harry smiled up at Draco as the door closed behind them. He watched Draco look left then right before reaching into his pocket, "Are we pretending to be like Mr. Bond?" he asked curiously. Draco looked down at him in confusion. Apparently Draco didn't watch the telly. Not that he really knew much, but for some reason it felt like that, even if Harry wasn't sure why.
Draco was holding in his hand a ring, between his index finger and thumb, and did something Harry thought only 'Mione did. He bit his lip. Harry frowned, "Draco, what's wrong? Aren't we going to go see the snake."
Draco's eyes changed then, Harry wasn't sure how he knew, but somehow he knew that something had changed once again inside his caretakers head, "Yes," Draco said, his voice an eerie sort of calm sound, "We are."
He brought his hand down towards the hand holding Harry's, and still clutching onto the smaller boy, he slid it on. And they vanished.
When you have managed to secure the boy, put on this ring, it will portkey you directly to where our Lord will be waiting. Should you succeed, he will summon those loyal to him. To watch as he makes an example of his enemy. Once you have handed him to them, it will be made to look as if you have been attacked, and to ensure your safety, you will be obliviated. You will be found injured on the outskirts of Hogsmeade with implanted memories that you were attacked.
The rest is none of your concern. Destroy this.
The letter hadn't even been signed.
A funny thing to be thinking about while flying through the magical stratosphere, but it was there just the same. Their final destination was a dark musty room, empty save for dust. A grimy window barely let the sunshine filter past. How obscene that it was so peaceful out there considering what was about to happen. He looked to Harry who was now kneeling on the floor holding his head. He blinked and looked up at Draco, his eyes wide, a hand pressing against his forehead... No. His Scar.
"My head hurts." Harry said, eyes beginning to well up, and in a small voice, that might have even struck pause into the heart of the Dark Lord himself, he asked, "Draco... what have you done?"
Author Notes: Don't Kill me.
I want to thank all of you for your reviews, even when most of them are ordering me to write more 'Or else'. The series is coming close to an end... I'm sure all of you are thankful for that as well. So many of you reviewed it would take a WHOOOLE long time and pages to thank you all so I'll just say thank you for your kind words, your corrections, and even constructive criticisms. I'm trying my best to get many characters into this, and despite JK's flaws, I can see how developing each character in just seven books can be so difficult. It takes a lot to try and get all of them. But that's why there's fanfiction. So we can develop them for her... in many different twisted ways. Thank you for reading. I just reactivated my child of mine account. So anyone who wishes to get emails for the days I actually DO update this story, send an email with 'Add Me To Update List' in the subject box, with the email you want added, and I'll do that. If you believe you were on the list and DIDN'T get an email, there are many emails my messages failed to get through, due to the fact the emails are old or defunct. If your email is not old or defunct, that means I need to add you, please send me an email. Thank you all.
The Address is a yahoo address and seeing as FFnet won't let us type links just know that its:
Child (insert underscore here)Of (Insert underscore here) Mine at yahoo. com
Except withoutthe spaces. Someone needs to really send in a complaint letter to FFNET and their lousy way of making it impossible for people to email. Rotten jerks. If you want to know why I just phonetically, it's because they won't let me write it out. No underscores or at signs or even the yahoo dot com. Know that I'm not happy. Ah well. Thanks for reading.