A/N: Well, I've hit a bit of a wall, but I've managed to write this much. Enjoy ^^

Questions Concerning:

Harry's Search for Knowledge—It has been brought to my attention by several people (which is perfectly fine) that they feel Harry's self research is a bit beyond his years, so I felt I should address it. Perhaps I was a strange child, but when I was interested in something, I found books and movies about it to learn what I could. Because of this, I don't really find it all that odd to have Harry do this as well. Of course, understanding things one reads at that age is a different matter, and I will be going into that with Harry, but his age is immaterial to wanting to learn about a subject and searching for answers, in my opinion. Hope that explains my reasoning on the matter and reassures those with concerns about Harry's thirst for knowledge.

Harry's 'advanced' Ability in Parselmagic—There are very few parselmouths, and even fewer go into parselmagic, but those who do find healing very natural. I will be going into this very soon, but for now, think of it as relying on instincts rather than medical knowledge alone.


Part 20: Motive

"So, he's going back to the Dursleys," Severus said.

It wasn't a question.

Dumbledore looked up from behind his desk. "He will not be remaining there all summer, Severus, I assure you, but that is the safest place for him, and the wards need to be refreshed by his presence."

Severus had to agree. Besides Hogwarts and a few other places, the wards at Number 4 provided the best protection for the boy — as long as he was in the house. Harry had to ensure those wards remained, Dursleys or no, at least for now.

"Pomona told me you had her inform Potter of the wards and the amount of time needed to re-strengthen them. Three weeks?" The Potions Master moved closer to the desk, but did not sit at the nearby chair.

"It is a conservative estimate, I admit, but as they are the only Blood Wards I have ever placed, I prefer to be cautious; besides, I need time to make the appropriate arrangements."

"You have decided where he will stay then?"

"I have a few ideas."

"But you're not going to tell me," Severus supplied simply. He had expected it.

"Not yet," Albus said.

"I see. Then he will not be going to the Longbottoms, I gather?" he asked, sort of shooting in the dark, searching for clues.

"No. Augusta has expressed her concerns with me. At this time, I feel it would be . . . unwise to suggest having Harry stay at the Longbottom Mansion this summer."

Severus' eyebrows rose. That did surprise him. He had always thought Augusta was made of sterner stuff. But then, he had only gotten to really know her after Neville's fifth year.

"Understandably, she is quite alarmed by what has happened. It saddens me to admit, but I believe she is frightened by young Harry, and what his proximity means for her grandson."

"She is not forbidding their friendship, is she?"

"No-no, she is stronger than that and would never dream of taking away her grandson's first friend, but I would not be surprised if she began giving subtle suggestions to the boy."

"Hmph, I doubt Longbottom will take kindly to that. He and Potter are as close as brothers."

"Yes," Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling brightly, "They are."

At that, Severus finally sat down. "Has the Ministry begun an investigation yet?" he asked, changing the subject.

Dumbledore became still. "Madam Bones has been quite an ally of justice. She's putting pressure on the Minister to go public with it and finally question Sirius Black under veritaserum." Dumbledore sighed. "I knew something was off about Sirius' conviction, but with all the evidence, the boy's own very vocal confession of 'I killed them', and everyone's emotions high right after Voldemort's fall. . . ."

"Then you believe Black is innocent of all counts now?" Severus asked, implanting some surprise and confusion into his voice.

"When Pomona showed me her memory in the pensieve, the mystery came together. I don't know without a doubt, of course, but as Peter has been alive all this time. . . . There is also what Remus revealed yesterday." Dumbledore shook his head in amazement. "Animagi."

Severus allowed himself to appear lost in thought. This could work well.

"Severus?"

"The youngest Weasley boy . . . he had misplaced a pet rat not long before Quirrell. . . ."

Dumbledore's eyes widened, quickly coming to the conclusion, or at least possibility, Severus wished him to.

"If you would excuse me, Severus, I believe I need to speak with the Weasleys," he said.

Severus gave him a soft nod before promptly leaving.

O o O o O

"You think you'll be able to visit this summer?" Neville asked.

"I'm not sure. I hope so," Harry answered.

"Don't forget you can come over to my house whenever you want. Father said he would get the Ministry to set up the floo network to your relatives if you wished," Draco put in. "All you have to do is owl me."

Draco was merely stopping in to Harry and Neville's compartment for part of the ride to the station. Vincent and Gregory were in a different compartment with some other Slytherins.

"Er—I'm not sure that would be a good idea. I'd love to come, don't get me wrong, but my relatives . . . they really, really don't like magic at all. So much so that I've convinced Dobby to stay and help the other house elves at Hogwarts for now. And even though Professor Snape spoke to the Dursleys before Hogwarts, setting up a floo. . . ."

"I see. Well, you don't have to come by floo, you know. There's always the Knight Bus."

"That's true," Harry said, wondering if he'd be able to visit during the weeks he was refreshing the wards.

"And we'll be corresponding by owl regularly, so scheduling a visit won't be difficult," Draco continued, before pausing. "Your relatives won't get too upset with that, will they?"

"I think anything I do in my room they will ignore, thanks to the Professor, which is more than I ever could have wished for before Hogwarts." Harry grew still, suddenly looking tired.

Draco and Neville could tell there was something more to that statement, but saw Harry would probably never say more.

"Wow, they must be pretty horrible. Stupid muggles," Draco spat. "Why must you stay with them? Surely Dumbledore could have found you a different place."

"Well, for right now, they're the safest place for me outside of Hogwarts. Professor Sprout said it has to do with my being related to my aunt through my mum."

Harry wasn't sure how much he should say. He hadn't been told to keep any of it a secret, but there was Draco's father to consider. . . . Was he being paranoid?

"I suppose that makes sense," Draco said before getting up. "Well, I should get back to Crabbe and Goyle. They promised not to eat all the candy, but they're pretty forgetful."

Harry and Neville smiled, amused.

"I'll owl you when I get to the Dursleys, Draco," Harry promised.

"Very good, Potter," Draco answered, before heading out and receiving a parting nod from Neville.

O o O o O

Sirius Black looked up, hearing something he rarely ever did.

The door to his cell opening.

He looked up, the deep coldness of the dementors having lessened somewhat.

"Stand up, Black. You're coming with us," the guard said gruffly.

He did as he was told, shakily standing. "Wha-what's going on?"

"Don't ask questions. Just do as we say."

Black, utterly confused, but so grateful to be away from the dementors to really care, was taken away.

He wasn't sure if the events that followed were real or not. He had imagined something like this happening soon after he had first been caught; however, with the dementors' constant presence, he had slowly lost all hope. He desperately hoped he would not wake from this hallucination.

O o O o O

Severus folded the Daily Prophet and put it aside.

So it was done. Madam Bones, determined to get to the truth, had done it.

It had taken her well over a week, but she had convinced the Minister and, thanks to Dumbledore, had arranged a trial to be done in front of the Wizengamot — a trial ten years overdue. Fudge was made out to be a man of justice, of course, and Black was the poor victim of circumstance in the past war.

Severus swirled the liquid in his glass as he sat down, the paper on the table falling open to display the front page once more.

SIRIUS BLACK CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES!

He wondered what would happen now.

The Healers, in examining Black, had ordered him to extended bed rest. For good or ill, the man would not be up and around for the rest of the summer. He had, understandably, some serious problems from his time in Azkaban. He would have to endure many hours with mind healers and other specialists. Part of Severus almost felt sorry for the mutt.

He shook his head.

He only hoped this would be a good thing for Harry in the long run. Last time, Black had 'recovered' on his own and had barely managed to keep himself near the definition of sane before getting killed in an ambush at the Ministry. That was soon before Voldemort took control and obliterated everything resembling good in the wizarding world.

Before Good truly began to lose.

Refocusing, he wondered when Harry would be told about Black. Knowing Dumbledore, it would be as late as possible. Well, he supposed for right now there was no reason to tell Harry. It wasn't like Black was well enough for visitors anyway, and Harry as a distraction would no doubt hinder the man's recovery. Besides, they would be talking with Harry before too long anyway. In about two weeks, he would be relocated to wherever Dumbledore had deemed safe, and, in that time, they would also tell him about his slumbering status.

Severus glanced back at the paper before standing up. Well, time to get back with the other professors and continue improving the wards.

Merlin, he was grateful Albus had listened to his suggestions, especially the last one. Hopefully it would all turn out the way he was envisioning and the oldest Weasley would once again become a helpful ally.

O o O o O

Bill Weasley nervously followed his former Head of House toward the Great Hall. Apparently, his knowledge of ancient Egyptian wards had impressed at least one professor, and he had been recommended, by name, to help.

Bill was still trying to wrap his mind around it. Why had he, who had only just finished his apprenticeship, been asked to help lay new defensive wards around one of the most powerful castles in Europe? Shouldn't the Headmaster be asking a Ward Master to help? Why him, William Arthur Weasley — a young, inexperienced Curse Breaker?

And why had they sent for him now? It was well known that the work on the wards had commenced immediately after term had ended. And that was another thing. The wards had been vastly improved already. He had instantly felt the difference when he stepped foot on the grounds. It was amazing what they had done in two weeks.

Hogwarts had always felt powerful and inviting to welcomed visitors, but now it felt protective and bold. It was still inviting, at least to him, but there was an underlying feel to it all that almost bellowed 'Hurt those within my walls and you will be expelled.'

It was quite intimidating and impressive.

He wondered how the professors had created something like this. Nothing he had ever read made wards feel this way. Though, Hogwarts was very old and had hundreds of wards rooted to her foundation, all of which went toward protecting her inhabitants. Perhaps this newly unified purpose was the reason?

"Severus was quite adamant in sending for you. I do wonder what he believes you capable of," McGonagall said offhandedly as they came to the doors of the Great Hall.

Bill nearly fell. As it was, he stumbled forward and had to stop to keep his balance.

Severus Snape, the bat of the dungeons, the bane of the twins, the most feared and despised professor of Hogwarts, had called for him? !

This was reality, right?

"Mr. Weasley, I do hope you intend to follow me into the Great Hall. I would hate to inform the Headmaster and the other professors you were somehow indisposed out here."

Bill straightened, quickly gathering himself.

"Professor Snape was the one to request me?"

"Yes. Albus at first wanted to call for a Ward Master, but Severus would have none of that and managed to convince him of your abilities."

McGonagall stared at him with her keen eyes, clearly wondering herself what had possessed Severus to call for the young man before her, rather than an experienced Warder. Bill himself couldn't blame her.

"I see." Bill swallowed before following her into the Great Hall, McGonagall once again leading the way.

"Ah, Minerva," Albus said, standing up as she came up to the table before looking to Bill. "William, I'm glad you've agreed to help us."

"Er . . . no problem, though, honestly, sir, I feel this may be a bit beyond me at the moment," he said hesitantly.

"Nonsense, my boy. Severus is certain of your abilities, and I trust his judgment," Dumbledore continued, ignoring the glare sent his way from the potions master.

Bill nervously looked to the dark robed spy. "T-thank you for your vote of confidence, sir."

"You are capable, Weasley, and I saw no reason for this task to be given to any other," Severus stated tonelessly.

Bill blinked, not knowing what to say.

"Well then, let's get started, shall we?" Albus said happily.

"Professors, what exactly . . . I mean, what do you need me to do?" Bill asked. "I gather it has something to do with the wards?"

"Minerva didn't tell you?" Albus asked, actually appearing a bit baffled before turning to his Deputy.

"I decided it was best for you to tell him, Albus. You're the Headmaster, after all," she said.

Dumbledore gave a slight nod in thoughtful agreement before focusing back on Bill. "You're going to help us get rid of a little curse, William. As a Curse Breaker, I believe you are qualified?"

O o O o O

Harry sighed.

Other than the library, there wasn't much for him to look forward to at the Dursleys, and unfortunately even his escape to the library was constrained. He wasn't allowed to be gone for more than an hour, and since the library was a twenty-five minute walk one way, it didn't give him much time to browse or peruse the shelves for books.

But he supposed it was for the best. With kids going missing lately, he figured he should do as his aunt said — even though her concern wasn't for him but what Professor Snape would do to them if anything happened to him.

The kidnappings were on the news almost every day.

So far, eight kids had been taken with no clues as to who the perpetrator, or perpetrators, was or why they were doing this. There were no ransom notes or demands, no witnesses, or disturbances. The other worrisome thing was that it didn't seem to matter if the child was in their home or not. There had been kids taken from their beds, backyards, and neighborhood playgrounds. It was actually pretty scary.

If Harry didn't know better, he would suspect magic, but why on earth would wizards do this? He didn't know a whole lot about the wizarding world yet, but had been able to gather that many wizards didn't feel muggles were even worth their time.

So why kidnap muggle kids?

Harry shook his head, going into the kitchen to fix a quick bit of lunch for himself before he would retreat back to his room and finish looking over the simple anatomy book the kind librarian had gotten for him. He would be going to the library later that afternoon to return the book and get another like he did every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. It had become quite a routine for him. He even left at the same hour. This was because of the Dursleys, of course. Supposedly, this stout routine prevented him from messing up any of their plans. Harry didn't see how that was, but at this point it was just better to go along with their demands. It wouldn't help anyone for him to point out that this routine actually forced them to schedule around him, rather than the other way around, but, whatever.

"The Creeveys called police early this morning when they found their youngest son, Dennis Creevey, age nine, was missing. Police have yet to make a statement, but it appears the Silent Kidnappers have struck again."

Dudley was in the living room with Aunt Petunia and the tv was on the news. Harry paused, curious.

"Like most of the other children, Dennis Creevey was last seen in his bed, after being tucked in last night. No sign of break in has been found and no ransom has been made."

Harry sighed. So now it was nine.

O o O o O

Madam Bones was having a slow day, that is, until a long time friend and co-worker, Kingsley Shacklebolt, gave her a disturbing bit of information.

By chance, he had learned about an odd series of kidnappings going on in the muggle world, as a niece of a friend was one of them. Thankfully, Kingsley had had the insight to look into the matter and discovered something even more troubling.

The children being taken . . . they were all muggleborns, between the ages of five and nine.

He had looked into the Magical Children Archive and learned they were all registered as future students of Hogwarts, to be notified upon their eleventh year with the letter of acceptance from Hogwarts. The Archive, which could only be viewed if one had clearance, not only showed their name, age, and appearance, but their address and other private information.

But this was not the worst of it.

The Archive had a logbook, showing when it had been opened and which files had been read, and who had viewed them. Mysteriously, where a name should have appeared in the logbook, there was none. Someone had confounded it.

However, there was a date. Someone, on June 20th, just two days before the first child had been kidnapped, had looked at the Archive, viewing thirty files — all of which were on young muggleborn. So far, eight of those thirty had been kidnapped.

"What should we do, Madam?" Kingsley asked her.

"I'm not sure yet, but I think we both agree that whoever is doing this is a very skilled wizard."

Kingsley nodded as Madam Bones paused in thought. He gave her a moment to think.

"Kingsley, I want you to look at the other logbooks of classified information. See if any of them have been viewed around the same day or if any of them have been confounded. If they can get into this information, they might have gotten into other sensitive material."

"You think there may be a connection to the Forbidden Library?" he asked.

"Dumbledore gave us the heads up there, and now someone is taking his future students. I wouldn't be surprised if there was somehow a connection," she said, her eyes meeting his. "Just hurry. There are twenty-two other children out there on this kidnapper's list. I will begin organizing a covert investigation while you check those logbooks."

"Yes, Madam."

Madam Bones gave a quiet sigh as Kingsley shut the door behind him. "Why would anyone want to take young muggleborns?"

O o O o O

After taking a few last minute notes on what he found informative in the book, Harry was ready to head to the library. When he returned, he would write to Draco and Neville, and tell them a bit more about muggle libraries and what book he had borrowed this time.

He had yet to visit either of them for the summer, but it was barely three weeks into the break and, since he would be leaving the Durlseys soon, there was still plenty of time for visits. Or at least that's what he told himself. However, strangely, neither Draco nor Neville had asked about him coming to their homes. He supposed it was because they knew he would have to say no, though it still hurt a little for some reason.

Well, hopefully when the Headmaster found him a different place to stay, he could bring it up with them and visit them later in the summer.

"I'm going to the library, Aunt Petunia," Harry said, stepping into the living room to let her know. "I'll be back in an hour."

She simply huffed and waved him off.

With a shrug, he headed out, already savoring the peaceful walk even before he got off the Dursley's property. Any time out of that house was a blessing.

"It's so nice to be outside," Coral hissed from the safety and cover of his breast pocket, agreeing with his mood.

O o O o O

"What did you find, Kingsley?" Madam Bones asked, looking up from her papers to find her friend looking uneasy.

"We need to contact Dumbledore right away."

"What did you find?" she asked again as she stood, not liking the slight sharpness in his voice that she rarely ever heard from him. This was urgent.

She moved to the fireplace, already preparing to contact the old Headmaster.

"I found one other classified file viewed, and its logbook was confounded too. It was the file on Harry Potter and it was viewed on the same day as those in the Archive."

Understandably, Harry's file had been removed from the Archive a long time ago and placed in its own secure registry; though, it was now clear it was no longer 'secure'.

"Go to the boy's home right away. Go as a salesman or something, just make sure he remains in the house. We can't tip this guy off, whoever he is, and that's assuming he's working alone, which I doubt. I think we have just stumbled upon something big, Kingsley. We can't afford to mess this up."

"I understand. I'll go now," he said, already on his way out as Bones turned to the fireplace.

O o O o O

"Back again, I see," an elderly lady behind the counter said.

"Yes, ma'am," Harry answered, handing her the book he had hurriedly chosen to be checked out.

"Thinking about becoming a doctor?" she asked as she stamped the book's card after pausing slightly at the book's title — Clinically Oriented Anatomy, third edition.

"A little. My professors said I should read up on it, since I'm interested," Harry said as she handed him the book.

She smiled. "Enjoy."

Harry returned the smile as he thanked her and quickly headed out. He was pushing it to get back to the Dursleys in the allotted time. Just over twenty minutes left. He would need to jog part of the way to ensure he didn't get scolded by Aunt Petunia. . . .

He headed down a quiet street behind the library, cutting between two office buildings and quickening his pace as he went around a dumpster, the medical book under his arm.

-CRACK-

It was so loud, so close, and so quick, Harry's heart nearly leapt into his throat, but it had nothing on what happened next.

"Gotcha!" It was more of a growl than a voice.

Two powerful arms wrapped around him, and he felt Coral shift against his chest in his breast pocket to avoid from getting smashed by the muscular limbs as an unforgiving yank wrenched him to the side.

A portkey.

Arriving wherever this person had taken him, Harry didn't bother thinking about what he should do, but immediately began struggling with his captor.

"Let me go!" he shouted, kicking and trying to free his arms.

All he got in response was laughter from the man, who was now holding him by his right wrist. The library book fell and landed on the floor with a thud as he quickly became aware of others in the room and an all too familiar sense.

These people, every single one of them, were werewolves. In human form, of course, as it wasn't even night, but he knew they were werewolves. He could feel the curse thick in the room.

Harry froze, raising his eyes to look up at the man who was still tightly gripping his thin wrist. The man was massive and his eyes were entirely inhuman. This man had truly embraced the curse.

"What do you want?" Harry managed, despite his thundering heart.

The man grinned, his expression more feral than human. "More than I can say," the man stated, hoisting Harry's arm up and making Harry have to stand on his toes. "You're such a small thing, you know, but impressive, I admit. Too bad things weren't different. You would have made a good cub."

That didn't sound good, but before Harry could even process anything further, his scar flared in pain and the sound of a door opening echoed in the room.

"You may put him down, Greyback. I daresay his shoulder is about to pop."

Harry's breath caught in his throat. He would recognize that voice anywhere, for it was the same one that had almost killed his best friend.

Greyback rotated about slowly, Harry's toes barely grazing the floor.

"Bring him to me, Greyback," Voldemort stated.

"The deal was that I would get to play before handing him over to you."

"Then by all means, play," Voldemort answered simply, as if he knew he would immensely enjoy what was to come, turning his eyes to Harry who was still dangling in the air.

He needed to get out of there! There was no time to think, no time to even be afraid. He needed to get away — and NOW!

"Fawkes' Base!" Harry bellowed, trusting in the emergency portkey Dumbledore had given him that was on the necklace around his neck.

The pull was violent, but whether that was because it was an emergency portkey or because Greyback had an unbreakable hold on his wrist, Harry didn't know. The only thing he did know was that Greyback was with him, and furious.

They landed on a hard floor, and the next thing Harry knew was that Greyback was on top of him, snarling.

He felt his wrist crack under the man's powerful grip, before he felt a blow of an open hand slash against his side, the man's nails as sharp as razor blades. Harry cried out as Coral launched up from his pocket, her small fangs sinking into the flesh of Greyback's nose, releasing as much venom as she could into him.

:Don't touch my Harry!:

Greyback lurched back with a howl, but he was not finished with Harry, batting Coral off his face with a merciless swipe.

Harry raised his arms and legs defensively, trying to protect his chest as Greyback brought his arms down once more.

He could feel the werewolf's angry, unforgiving magic pulsing within his mighty form as the man's hand came around his throat, the other coming down onto his raised arm.

Was he going to die?

No, he couldn't let himself die. Not here, not like this, and not now!

Harry snapped his eyes open, his previous flight response switching completely into fight.

"Get off!" Harry roared, adrenaline coursing through him as his magic responded just as strongly.

His eyes flashed white as his magic erupted.

It sounded as if a firecracker had gone off in a large can, followed by a dull roar. There was no bright flash of light or color; instead, it was as if there was a massive invisible ball of fire, creating a clear collection of layered waves in the air as Greyback was blasted back across the office. He was slammed back so hard that he broke the Headmaster's desk in two.

But Greyback had not given up, nor was he even all that hurt. Swiftly rising to his feet and calling his wand into his hand, a deep growl rumbling forth from his chest, Greyback stared back at Harry, who had barely managed to lift his head from the floor to stare back.

Harry was faintly aware of the portraits yelling, some in anger, others in horror as time seemed to slow.

It was in this moment Harry realized something. He couldn't win this fight. Greyback was stronger, bigger, and faster. Even with his unique magic, he was no match for Greyback.

Harry clenched his jaw, moving his hand to retrieve his wand even as Greyback advanced, all the while knowing he would be too late to produce any sort of defense or counter to the coming assault.

"I will devour you!" Greyback declared, blood dripping from the bite on his nose.

Greyback leapt forward, his wand above his head, ready to cast, as his mouth opened in a terrifying display of brute savagery.

He was in the air, his momentum more than enough to propel him the rest of the way to Harry, but he was . . . intercepted.

There was a flash of green by the fireplace, and Harry could only make out a flurry of colorful movement at the corner of his left eye as . . .

KUH-KUNG!

Greyback was ruthlessly bashed in the side of his chest by an invisible force, and it was soon followed by a head buzzing bonnnng and an echoing crack as two more spells mercilessly collided into his flying form.

The sudden attack vastly altered the werewolf's trajectory, forcing him directly into the side bookcase, which shattered on impact. Greyback landed with a thud, and he didn't move after that.

Harry quickly turned toward where the spells had come from and found Albus Dumbledore standing just in front of the fireplace, wand in hand and beyond livid. His eyes were the sharpest blue Harry had ever seen, and his magic was rippling in the air so strongly that is was practically visible.

But the ferocity he had just displayed immediately melted, and if Harry had not witnessed it himself, he never would have thought the Headmaster capable of it.

"Harry," Dumbledore breathed, hurrying to kneel at his side as Coral slithered back to him and wrapped around his good wrist.

"Headmaster, he-he took me," Harry managed, for the moment ignoring his injuries. "But I got away. I used the portkey."

"Don't move, Harry. Poppy will be here soon," he said, gently placing his old hand on Harry's chest as he looked for injuries.

O o O

Albus had to fight down a surge of rage when he spotted blood speckling the side of Harry's slashed shirt. Lifting it, he found the cuts from Greyback, but was relieved to find they were shallow.

"Where did he take you, Harry? Tell me everything," he said, deciding to begin collecting information.

Harry closed his eyes before looking back up. Dumbledore felt his insides tense as he took in Harry's expression. What had happened?

"To Voldemort. We were in a large room. A chamber maybe. And there were others . . . werewolves. I felt them."

Albus was about to ask what had happened there, but was interrupted by Madam Pomfrey and Professor Snape running into the office.

"Albus, what's happened here? !" Pomfrey cried, kneeling by Harry's other side and casting a diagnostic charm.

The office was in shambles and the desk and bookshelf were in pieces, but her eyes quickly fell to Harry, who was on his back near the side entrance into the Headmaster's chambers.

Dumbledore forced himself to keep his voice steady as he looked up. "Madam Bones called me to her office to discuss something important, and just as I was leaving to return here, I was notified of the emergency portkey activating."

Pomfrey nodded, prompting him to continue, as she had been notified as well.

"I returned through the floo just as Greyback launched himself from the remains of my desk toward Harry. I intercepted him as swiftly as I could," Dumbledore said, before looking back down at Harry.

Harry didn't say anything, but looked grateful for the Headmaster's actions.

"Let's get you to the infirmary," Pomfrey said to Harry as she healed his wrist with a flick of her wand.

"Severus?" Albus asked, watching as his potions master approached Greyback's motionless form with his wand aimed, just in case.

"He's dead," Severus stated frankly.

Dumbledore frowned. "I didn't cast any lethal spells."

Severus shook his head and knelt down, getting a closer look. "Spells had nothing to do with it. I believe this is Coral's doing," he stated, before looking to Harry.

"I-" Harry began, about to apologize while defending Coral but stopped as Professor Snape moved beside Pomfrey. Coral didn't move, but it was not out of fear.

"Don't apologize, Potter," Severus stated. "Greyback was trying to kill you, and may have succeeded if Coral had not defended you, providing enough time for the Headmaster to arrive. Besides, I daresay Coral has done everyone a favor. Greyback has bitten more people than any other known werewolf. He is responsible for the suffering of many people. If I had been here, I would have done nothing less than what Coral has done."

Harry swallowed thickly, speechless.

"Severus, please notify the Aurors. I will join Poppy and Harry to the infirmary," Dumbledore stated, deciding to ignore the ruthlessness he had just heard from his spy.

Severus gave a short nod as Pomfrey levitated Harry up and followed Dumbledore to the infirmary.

O o O o O

Nicholas patted his wife's hand as they entered the classroom they had been directed by Minerva to wait for Albus in. They would not be meeting Albus in his office that night, as the place had yet to be repaired.

"I knew we should have insisted on him moving in with us immediately," Perenelle Flamel muttered to her husband.

"We can't do anything about it now, but at least the lad will be coming home with us once Madam Pomfrey clears him."

"How much did Albus tell you?"

"Only that he had made it in time to save Harry from Greyback. He briefly mentioned Harry had been injured, but it didn't sound serious. Honestly, I believe Albus is a bit more concerned with the boy's emotional state."

"Well, it's no wonder. The child has been attacked nearly continuously ever since he learned about magic."

Just then, the door opened and Albus entered.

O o O o O

Next part, Slumbering, is under construction.