"I told him to wait!" Severus hissed out, looking back down at the both of them.
"You must go Severus, protect the children." Dumbledore stood, shaking off Rosemeta's hand, his face grave.
Harry waited until he trusted his voice. "Severus?" it still came out as a pitiful squeak. He was engulfed in arms, despite the sharp breath Rosmerta inhaled.
"There is something for you, hidden in my desk. The password is 'redemption.'" Severus pulled away, but not before Harry saw the wince in his eyes.
"You're being told to help." Harry guessed, the mark in the sky still ominous.
Severus nodded, his eyes not leaving his face. "Forgive me," he mouthed, pushing him gently towards Dumbledore. "I must go." Transfiguring a nearby rock into a broom, he mounted it, took another long glance at Harry and left.
"I'm afraid I do not have the strength for transfiguration, have you by chance learnt that particular branch of magic yet?"
"What? Transfigure something into a broomstick? I'm afraid not sir." Harry answered absentmindedly, his eyes staring into the darkness. His heart was beating painfully, his hands aching from the fists they were in. Forgive me? What does Severus mean?
"My dear? Would you be so kind as to lend us your broomstick?" Dumbledore was asking Rosmerta. "I need to get back to Hogwarts; it is too far for me to walk like this." Dumbledore was breathing heavily.
The witch waited a few moments, not doubt a question directed at Harry, but the sounds from the castle, explosions and screams made her mind up for her.
Harry flew carefully, Dumbledore's hands pressed to his middle, the black one making Harry's stomach squirm.
"Go to the Astronomy tower please Harry that is where the mark is hovering."
"Sir, you need help, you can't fight Voldemort like this." As Harry got closer, he felt the galleon in his pocket heating. The DA had been alerted. "I need to keep you safe." Harry shouted over the wind whipping around them. They could now see spell colours flashing against the darkness. His stomach lurched as he saw a few of them were green.
"The Astronomy tower Harry," Dumbledore's voice was firm.
Harry gripped the broom handle tighter, anchoring him to it as he fought the urge to leap down into the battle ensuring. He could just about see them, the white masks of the Death Eaters. Where's Severus? Is he safe? His head swung as he watched the fighting.
Shaking his head, he looked towards the sky, were the mark was growing bigger as he approached it. The mist from it seemed to entice him, beckoning him to its dangerous mouth.
"It is only a mark; it does not have the power to hurt you."
"I know, but it's a little intimating seeing it so close."
They touched down softly in the tower, Harry waiting until Dumbledore was standing before he took up his wand, ready to charge.
"I'm afraid not Harry." Dumbledore smiled sadly at him, waving his hand over his body.
He couldn't move.
And he was invisible.
Harry heard his screams sound in his head, trying to use his magic to expel Dumbledore's grip on him. What was the old man doing? His friends were down there, Severus was down there.
There was a noise, footsteps coming up the stairs.
Harry knew it! Knew it with every fibre with his being. Malfoy had been up to something, he had done this! Had Severus helped? Was that why he had been so concerned about Harry hating him? Bringing the Death Eaters to Hogwarts was dangerous, but Severus had told him Dumbledore knew about this plan, the castle wouldn't have been unprotected.
"Draco, you don't need to do this," Dumbledore was telling him
"I have to!" Blond hair was a mess, his cheeks grazed with impacts from the floor. Harry could only watch as the boy moved closer, wand outstretched. Harry had never seen Malfoy look this way, grey eyes burning but unfocused.
"Don't you understand? If I don't they'll destroy my family…my mother," Malfoy's voice cracked, his wand lowered a little.
"But killing Draco? You don't need to do this, to destroy your soul like this. I can help you," Dumbledore stretched his hand out.
With clarity Harry understood why Dumbledore had insisted that Harry see all the memories. Standing before them was a boy who could easily turn out like Voldemort, he just needed to make the choice not to. Just like Harry could make the choice to be good, to love Severus.
"Help me? You didn't even know your precious school was under attack. I brought the Death Eaters right to your doors, and you didn't even notice."
"Yes, I've been wondering how you managed to do that."
Dumbledore closed his eyes and nodded slowly.
"In the room of requirement, I've been mending it."
"Let me guess, there is another, a twin cabinet," Dumbledore opened his eyes, clearly impressed.
"In Borgin and Burkes. It forms a passage," Malfoy had dropped his wand, talking to the headmaster as any normal student would.
That's right, stall for time. Harry willed anyone to find them, an Order member, the DA, Severus… anyone.
"And you brought the Death Eaters straight into the castle. Ingenious."
"It's time for you to die Dumbledore." The wand was up again.
"Let me help you Draco." Dumbledore took a step forward.
"No you can't! I have to kill you or he'll kill me!" Malfoy's eyes were wild, his voice almost pleading.
He won't do it, Harry concluded.
There was more noise from the stairs. Harry's heart stilled for a moment as he saw Bellatrix, his blood warmed, roaring in his ears.
There she was.
The rage he had felt when he watched his beloved Godfather fall through the vial had been encompassing. What he felt now was a pale imitation of that, he could never kill her; he didn't have it in him.
But how he wanted her dead.
"Come on Draco, do it. He's weak," She hissed out the last part, not doubt imitating her master.
Harry knew then that Voldemort was not attacking the school. This was a small rogue group of Death Eaters. If Voldemort had gotten in then the school would have been in ruins, Dumbledore dead.
Greyback shouldered past snarling at the headmaster, his wand pointing at Dumbledore's chest. "Then I'll do it."
Dumbledore barely looked at him, his eyes still boring in Malfoy.
His heart leaped at the sight of Severus shouldering his way into the room. If he had been able to move he would have sunk to his knees in relief.
Severus burst into the room, ordering Greyback to stand down. The Dark Lord needed Draco to do this, it was his task alone. The werewolf growled at him, teeth bared, fingers itching to rip him apart but he conceded.
Artemis snorted in dominance.
In the short time he was able to, Severus scanned the room for Harry. His mate had to be nearby; he would have needed to bring Albus with him. His eyes noticed only the one broom. He couldn't sense Harry's magic, only Albus'. He could only conclude Albus had come alone, and Harry was below fighting with his friends.
A sickening sense of relief flooded him. Harry would not have to bear witness to this.
He looked to Albus who nodded subtly.
"What are you waiting for Draco? Kill the old man and join our ranks as our master wants," Bellatrix was speaking, egging Draco on.
Draco had sweat beading at his forehead, his wand arm trembling.
His hand burnt with a fury, molten seeping into his veins strengthening itself around his heart, squeezing in warning. His life slowly began to leave him. He watched as Draco's arm fell, unable to do it as he knew he would.
His vision swam, his life force ebbing out from him.
Severus stepped forward wand raised, incantation on his lips. He needed to mean it for Albus to die, despite his reservations, his trust for the old man, his love for a mentor.
"I truly am sorry Severus. Look after Harry. Guard my students," Albus projected into his mind.
"I will do what is in my power to protect the innocents at Hogwarts," He meant it. He knew the students would need him, as Albus knew all along they would.
Artemis screamed as the old man fell, not a howl, a beastly version of a scream. Severus felt it, his bond from Harry snapping, a physical blow that he needed to sink to his knee to breathe through.
The Death Eaters turned to leave, running through the open door, ushering Draco with them.
Severus managed to quell the pain, feeling the tears drip from his cheeks at the loss. Breathing deeply, he finally managed to lift his head, straight into furious green eyes. As he stood he kept Harry, who was sprawled on the floor in equal amount of agony, in his sights.
Harry had seen.
Albus had hidden him.
Severus then knew with a certainty. Albus had tricked him, fully intending Harry to feel betrayed.
He won after all.
Burning, unfettered rage.
Harry stared at his former mate. Obsidian eyes stared back. Despite the pain spreading through his chest, Harry leapt to his feet, tearing after Severus. The man was faster, robes billowing as he outran him.
Adrenaline coursed through his veins, blinding him to anything but Severus' form. His wand was digging into his palm, blood from his nails running down his forearm. Curses ripped into his limbs, carving a path through his back, but he didn't stop.
He had to catch Dumbledore's murderer.
Severus caught up with Draco, pushing the boy ahead of him, screaming at him to run. The others had left long ago, leaving Hagrid's hut blazing into the night. Screams were still echoing, students injured, friends finding friends for dead. The Order had come as Severus had known they would.
He needed to get out of here.
Harry hadn't stopped, chasing him with a vengeance.
"Go ahead," Severus shoved Draco towards the gate. As he paused Harry caught him in a back with a spell.
Severus fell to the ground, writhing in pain. The Cruciatus. Ironic.
"Get up!" Harry barked at him.
Severus did as commanded, slowly.
His mate stood against a backdrop of scorching flames, his green eyes burning, and blood steaming down his face. He was injured, but nothing had stopped him.
"Harry, listen to me," Severus raised his hand, his heart tearing in two.
Another curse was fired, easily deflected.
"How could you!" Harry screamed his voice hoarse. "You killed Dumbledore! I trusted you!"
"Harry, I tried to tell you," Severus found himself pleading, his eyes watering. Harry was looking at him with such distrust, such anger, and loathing.
"You're a coward," Harry spat, crouching into his attack pose, one that Severus had corrected for him.
There was no other alternative.
"Petrificus Totalus," Severus was quicker than Harry, as he'd known he would be. He walked over to Harry, who was glaring furiously. "I've left your face free so you can speak. It is pointless to fire spells," Severus came to a stop in front of him. "Albus knew what was going to happen."
"You lie!" Harry spat, his head thrashing from side to side. "You're sick Snape, bedding a student just to get at Dumbledore! What did you do? Pretend I was Voldemort every time you shagged me?"
Severus took a step back, shaken by the venom in Harry's voice. He had never seen Harry like this. His mate was lost in a rage, a thirst for blood, his blood.
"I will never forgive you for this. Never." Harry spat at him, missing his face by inches.
He felt hollow inside, like someone had gutted him and ripped out his entrails. His nails dug into his wand, making grooves in the wood. I was under an unbreakable vow. Albus made me promise to kill him when Draco could not. I was meant to stay here at the castle, and you would hunt Horcruxes while hating me," his words were a whisper, barely heard above the flames behind them. His head dropped, gaze obscured by his dark hair. "I'm sorry." He turned to go.
"You warned me, that I would hate you." Harry whispered, struggling with his revenge haze.
"I did, and I knew you would."
"But killing? Why would Dumbledore want you to kill him?" Harry's voice caught.
"He was already dying Harry. The ring had put a curse on him that would have killed him by the end of the year. The only reason it didn't do so was because I halted it. Can I release you now?"
"I wouldn't if I were in your shoes." Harry closed his eyes thinking. "You tried to tell me, but I never thought you would kill him," he looked up, eyes trying to understand.
"If I had told you, I would have died." Severus moved closer, daring to place a hand on him, releasing the spell as he did so.
At the small touch Harry crumbled, fisting his robes, bellowing his torment. Severus could only hold him, his own tears leaking into Harry's hair. There would be no tears shed for Albus, who had tricked him even up until the end, but for them, who had everything ripped away from them.
Their bond was broken, but their magic still tied, as Albus intended. It was still possible to draw on each others, improving Harry's strength as needed.
"I have to go. The Dark Lord will be expecting me," Severus released Harry.
Harry stumbled, unaware that he had been released. He looked at his hands dumbfounded, unsure if he should be attacking the older man or not.
"Listen to me," Severus wiped away a tear with his thumb. "I will be gone three full moons; I will join with Greyback to keep you safe, and to learn whatever I can. The Dark Lord will favor me, and I will gather information as to possible Horcruxes, and then I will come and find you Harry. I promise." His fingers dug into Harry's shoulders.
The kiss was bruising, painful mirroring his emotions, but Harry didn't respond, pulling away in disgust.
Severus took a step back, physically wounded by the rejection.
"I don't know what I'm supposed to think." Harry sunk down, crouching on the ground.
"I will help you bring this tyranny to an end, whether you trust me or not." Severus knelt, placing his hand on Harry's head, relishing the feel of the silken hair, possibly for the last time. "I love you Harry Potter," He whispered against Harry's ear, before leaving him behind.
"We come together today to say goodbye to Albus Dumbledore." McGonagall stood at the head of the grave, eyes sweeping across the crowd as she spoke. "He was a great wizard, a champion for the light and protector to those at Hogwarts."
Harry stared at the marble grave, unable to listen anymore. Hermione and Ron pressed against either side. Everyone knew that Severus Snape had been the murderer. Harry had to endure a shocked Hermione, an almost smug Ron and a shell shocked McGonagall.
He had already tried explaining to his friends about Severus having a pact with Dumbledore, that this had all been part of a master plan, but even his explanation sounded weak. His body was filled with conflicting emotions his heart battling his head.
He couldn't defend the man when he wasn't sure if he believed the explanation or not.
He still loved Severus, but he had watched as the man coldly killed the headmaster. He watched Dumbledore falling to his death.
It wasn't something you could forget in a hurry.
McGonagall had finished her eyes boring into his. She wanted to talk to him, but Harry couldn't face that, not yet.
As the crowd moved away Harry came closer to the marble tomb, placing his hand on the cool stone. "I don't know how you could have asked him to do that," he whispered. "You must have known what it would do to us. I loved him, I mean love him." Harry hung his head. "You always intended that I would do this alone." His hand fisted on the stone, thumping it angrily. "Damn it! Why bind us if you had this in mind all along?"
Silence answered him.
"How am I supposed to trust him again after this?"
"Harry?" Hermione's soft whisper stopped him.
"Why did he do this?"
"Artemis isn't evil Harry. He had to do what he promised in the unbreakable vow, as you said, Dumbledore told him to do it." It was easy for Hermione to accept the explanation; she was on the outside, an observer looking in. Severus' reasoning made sense to her. She wasn't in love with a murderer.
"No not him, why did Dumbledore bind us together only to do this to us?"
"I don't know," Hermione looked down at her shoes.
"I need to be alone," Harry ignored the stares as he stalked away.
"Wait Harry, there's something I wanted to tell you," Hermione caught up, pulling his arm.
He tugged it away angrily.
"Remus is here."
Harry stopped in his tracks, turning to scan the crowd.
"Come with me." Hermione grasped his elbow, dragging him away from the funeral to the edge of the forest.
There he was, looking better than Harry had ever seen him.
"Harry, I'm so sorry," Remus opened his arms, expecting Harry to hug him.
"Did you know you're going to be a father?" Harry spat.
Arms lowered, eyes shifting away guiltily. "I've only just learnt, I will speak to Tonks after I've spoken to you," Brown eyes focused on him.
"Artemis isn't evil," Harry defended, already knowing what Remus was going to say.
"He murdered the head of the Order, a wizard that would have helped end the war." Remus folded his arms over his chest.
"Dumbledore was already dying; he made Artemis promise to do it if Malfoy couldn't."
"You believe what that monster told you?"
Harry hesitated, mirroring Remus' stance.
"Your hesitation tells me what I knew. You doubt him; he was not a mate worthy of you." Remus stepped closer.
This was not the Remus he knew, confident, easy to judge. Harry's wand came out. "How do I know you're the real Lupin? The Remus I know always sees the best in others."
Remus smiled, splaying his palms to show he meant no harm. "Your greatest fear is fear itself," He told Harry simply.
Harry lowered his wand. Besides Hermione and Ron no one knew that. "What happened to you?"
"I stopped fighting the beast. I embraced my werewolf instincts and I feel whole because of it. I speak the truth when I say Artemis is no good for you."
"Our bond has been broken… speaking of which, you need to get out of here. If you're found they'll kill you. You're breaking the law being an unbound werewolf."
"You are still bound to his magic. He still has a claim to you." Remus walked the short distance between them. "Come with me to my pack, we will help you win this war, rallying behind the name Apollo."
"And what would you want in exchange?"
Remus looked genuinely hurt. "Harry, I see you as my cub, family that needs protecting. Why would I ask you for anything?"
"You might not, but a whole pack would want something from this alliance." Harry could almost hear Severus in his ear, telling him to join with the pack for now, this was something they planned after all. "You want rights within the community?" he guessed.
Remus looked bewildered, and Harry understood the man actually wanted nothing but to protect him.
"I'm sorry, this whole…situation has distorted my perception," Harry whispered, he wanted to hurt everyone around him, just so he didn't have to be hurting by himself.
Remus' face changed, drawing Harry in a hug. "I'm sorry your mate has caused you this anguish, I know you had begun to love him, and I'll admit that even I am shocked that Severus could do something like this. I believed Artemis was never worthy of you, but I did not think he was lying in his intentions."
Harry buried his face in Remus' robes. It was easier to let the man believe that. "Speak to Tonks, stay with her until your child is born, then I will come with you to your pack."
Remus' eyes glistened. "I can't believe I'm going to be a father." He confided in Harry.
"I can't believe you destroyed your own bond."
"I cared for her, I really did, but for once in my life Harry I needed to be true to myself. I want to find an actual mate, not be forced into picking just anyone."
Harry nodded in understanding. "I'm going back to the castle; I just want to be alone for a while."
"Alright," Remus squeezed him. "I will find you again soon."
Harry ignored everyone as he stomped across the grounds into the castle, he was aware of McGonagall watching him go, and he had no desire to speak to her. He could almost hear her thoughts; I knew he was no good for you Harry. He couldn't listen to that line of thought anymore.
Ron had already received the lashing of his tongue in the infirmary. Harry had been in pain, wincing from the bandages and potions seeping into his lacerations. Hermione had been telling him that no one had been hurt, that the DA had seen Malfoy disappear.
It was Hermione that saw the Death Eaters first arrive, but she had no alerted the Order, no one laid claim to that. Harry knew who it was that had.
Silently he had seethed on the bed, almost waiting for Dumbledore to show up and offer some speech about growing up, or this was part of the plan all along.
But he never came.
So when Ron had begun a very timid version of 'I told you so,' well Harry had snapped, the beds around him blasting back a few inches.
His friends hadn't spoken about it since.
He stopped walking, looking at the door to their quarters…or was it his quarters now? He was livid with himself for coming here, almost seeking comfort from something that wasn't here.
He rested his forehead against the door.
He didn't know where else to go.
The quarters were just as they left them; work still on the desk, Harry's books on the floor. Harry turned his head towards the bedroom, his chest constricting in pain. It was only days ago they had last been intimate. It was just before they had left to get the locket, and Harry had been sleeping in the afterglow of pleasure.
He had woken to silence, and when he peeped into the living room, he saw that Severus had been writing something on a parchment. When the man sensed he was being watched, he pushed the parchment into his draw of his desk and smiled at Harry.
Severus had mentioned something being in his desk for him.
Gingerly he sat in the chair, breathing the deep familiar musky smell of Severus. He wanted to wrap himself in it, forgetting that all this had happened. "What am I supposed to do now?" Harry questioned the room. He knew what the plan was, find the remaining Horcruxes and destroy them.
Harry couldn't even think of moving, stuck in the sea of grief that he was. Even Remus mentioning the name Apollo was a stab in the gut, a reminder of something that perhaps shouldn't have been.
"Redemption." Harry tapped his wand to the desk.
There was a letter and beneath that was another sheaf of parchment and small Pensievebowl, a vial of shimmering liquid beside it.
Watch the memory first, shone in black ink on the letter.
He gently grasped the vial between thumb and forefinger, turning it to watch the mercury liquid seep along it. He was hesitant to view it, but it might give him the closure he needed.
He was inside Dumbledore's office. The headmaster was standing alive and well. Choking on a sob, Harry raised his hand, his fingers distorting the memory of the old man.
Severus entered the office, and all Harry felt was numbness, like sleeping on a limb for to long. He couldn't muster any feeling; he wouldn't allow himself to feel for the man.
"Ah Severus! What an unexpected surprise." Dumbledore moved, allowing Severus to enter. "I thought you would be teaching at this hour? Have I got it wrong?" Dumbledore was frowning, tilting his head to the side.
"No Albus, Filius is covering my lesson for me." Severus sat down at the headmaster's desk. "I have something I wish to discuss."
Harry moved closer to Dumbledore, sitting beside him, hoping despite logic telling him otherwise, that Dumbledore might offer him a word, a glance, something.
"I cannot go down the path you are asking me."
Harry's face turned from his mentor, taking in his former mate. A small spark of emotion flickered in his chest. "You can't be serious…" Harry dared to hope.
"I believe you deserve a chance to explain Severus."
Dumbledore's voice was cold, and Harry felt himself unconsciously drawing away from the man.
"I'm not betraying Harry by killing you. He deserves to know what is happening Albus. We both know that it will fall to me to fulfil the bond Narcissa placed on me, and unless Harry is informed why I am killing a man he thinks of as his grandfather, I will lose him."
Harry pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes, ramming his glasses into his nose. "You tried to tell me," he whispered to the memory. His skin felt clammy as he watched Severus fill a glass from the table.
"Not only that, I will not remain at Hogwarts while you send him on some wild goose chase for Horcruxes. He needs help to accomplish that, and you will tear him apart in separating us."
"When I die your bond will terminate."
He wanted to press his palms over his ears. This wasn't a side of Dumbledore he had seen, a clash of emotions were raging inside him. Grief and anger battling until it left him feeling sick, his stomach convulsing angrily.
"Just like you did with Lupin? Did you not think his child deserved better?"
"Tonks is with child?" Dumbledore pulled a glass toward him. "Why did Remus not inform me?"
"I do not believe he was aware of that fact when he sought your aid. Although why you bonded them in the first place and then undid it is beyond me." Severus reclined thoughtfully in his chair.
"What happens between me and Remus is of no concern of yours Severus."
Harry could only watch in horror at the coldness of Dumbledore's tone. Why hadn't he brought Remus back? Didn't the baby deserve that, didn't Tonks?
"Harry is aware of your age Albus. He has already asked me what will happen when you die."
"What did you tell him?"
"I told him the truth, when a couple becomes bonded an official record is made and…" Severus paused. "I informed him that very few couples in our world volunteer to have their magic bound together. He did not seem to mind, he was more concerned that we do not have an official record. It is something he wishes to look into."
Harry remembered that conversation, he left his spot on the floor, sitting closer to the memory form of Severus. His mate barked in laughter, watching Dumbledore's face.
Look at me, Harry willed.
"I will be honest with you Severus, as many few are. It was my intention when I let you bond that it would be for a limited amount of time. I believed that in this short amount of time you might both find love, but I never lose sight of my goal. It was not for love that I bound you. However, such feelings will help our side to win the war, just as I knew they would. Harry will do everything possible to keep you safe, just as you will do the same."
"Why are you trying to pull us apart?"
He warned me, Harry felt wretched, placing his hand on Severus' lap, keeping it hovering above the figment of the memory, pretending he was getting comfort from him.
Dumbledore regarded him, and folded his hands over his stomach. "You need to remain at Hogwarts Severus. The children will need your protection from Tom, and Harry will need your assistance from here."
"Minerva is not going to allow the Dark Lord to overthrow Hogwarts. She is your deputy after all."
"And how long will Hogwarts survive!" Harry jumped as the glass in Severus' hand broke. "You are the spy. You are the one he trusts. With you as headmaster the children will be safe a little longer. Tom will believe you are holding Hogwarts for him, his attention will turn else where."
"My concern is for Harry, not the students."
"Oh Severus haven't you learnt from your mistakes? You had no concern for others when you repeated that damn prophecy, and it is because of you we are in this position."
"I never knew it was about Lily," Severus growled, shaking the glass from his hand.
"No, you just thought you'd lead the Longbottoms to their death in a quest for dark glory."
Harry winced at the accusation.
Severus rose to his feet. "I will not be used as some mindless puppet in your game Albus. When you die I will take Harry to find the Horcruxes and we will destroy them and Voldemort."
"You will sacrifice everything for Harry?" Dumbledore spat at him. "You think he will trust you after my death? You will not allow yourself to die so that is your only option."
"You planned this all along."
Harry could feel his head spinning with all the new information, tears running down his face as he watched his mentor do this to Severus.
"If you hadn't bonded I would have eventually lost you to the Ministry. Harry wouldn't have concentrated if he was pining after a werewolf. What choice did I have? Believe it or not Severus. I did hope you might have found some happiness in each other."
"You are crueller than I imagined Albus. Allowing two people to form feelings when you knew all along you were going to rip them apart." Severus stormed towards the door.
"Harry will die Severus. How could I not allow him some chance of love?"
He felt his tears dry, his magic whipping around him, distorting the memory. Harry stood, ready to destroy thePensieve. Pining after a werewolf, you played with my emotions so I would stop pining!
"HE WILL NOT DIE!" Severus whipped around, spittle flying in his rage.
Harry's magic was nullified, stopping in its tracks as he turned to watch Severus in wonder. It was then he knew.
Severus had been telling the truth.
He did love him.
"You two have had your allotted time together. I hope you both found something from it."
"It was my magic," Severus whispered.
"You stand there and lie to me about feelings and giving Harry and me a chance. Perhaps that was how you convinced yourself that this bonding was the right choice. Harry isn't strong enough. You are hoping my magic will pull some of his out."
Severus walked slowly to the desk, like a predator would circle its prey. "The night of our bonding you insisted our magic be bound. I had no objection for the law states it must be so, and Harry wouldn't have known any different."
Severus wrenched Albus from his chair by his robes. "What are you trying to do?"
Harry silently cheered Severus on, wishing this wasn't a memory and he could somehow change places with his mate.
A magical barrier came between them, forcing Severus to take a few steps back. "I never imagined you would fall in love. You have never been able to see past James' ghost. Harry needs your knowledge to conquer Tom. Already I hear his grades are improving. I needed Harry to keep you safe in case the Ministry found out about Artemis. When I am gone, it will be that neither of you require the other."
"I still need him!" Harry screamed at the man, flinging himself at the image.
"Did you plant the werewolf paw in the woods that night?"
"An unexpected development."
"That you took full advantage of." Severus spat and turned his back on his mentor once more. "We are finished talking Albus. Harry is mine to look after and I will not let him leave to chase around the British countryside. Find another way or all your plans will unravel before your eyes." Severus slammed the door behind him.
Harry pulled out of the memory gasping. "You were unable to find another way," Harry whispered sadly, wishing Severus was with him in this moment. "Oh Severus, I'm sorry." He lay his head down on the desk, softly crying. The parchment rustled against his arm.
If you are reading this then I know I was forced to complete my vow, and for that I am truly sorry. The only thing I can possibly say in my defense is that the plan was in motion before I even knew of your potential as a mate, and by then it was too late to stop the inevitable.
I have included a memory that I hope will explain the situation better than I ever could.
My only regret is that I never told you how I felt.
I beg for your forgiveness, but even if I am never granted it know that I love you, and I will endeavor to help you end this war, even if I never see you again. It is my wish that you can live in a free world, able to make your own choices about life.
Find Lupin's pack,
The letter disintegrated into ashes as he finished reading it.
There were a few moments silence before Harry threw his head back and screamed, the sound filled with rage, pain and loss. There was no need for magic, just bare physical strength had the room upside down in seconds, leaving Harry in the middle of carnage panting heavily.
His shoe rustled on paper, and blearily Harry looked down at it, remembering Severus had left him something else.
His eyes were blurry as he read it; a document for officially declaring a bonding at the ministry, underneath was a roughly scrawled note.
A possibility I hope one day we can achieve.
Harry pulled it to his chest. One day they would be officially bonded, Harry would see to it, Voldemort be damned, Dumbledore be damned.
The time for Apollo was now.
It's been a long road this story, and I'm proud to see the story finished. Thank you so much to all the loyal reviewers, to all those who wished me well when I got married, and those who congratulated me on the birth of my Daughter. It really does make a difference if people review, it motivates the writer knowing that people are waiting, and if it were for you guys then I might have given up a long while back.
I apologize for this taking so many years to write. Please do check out my blog, and I hope to see you again in 'The Rise of Apollo'.