Please Read AN: Hello again! :) I ask you to give this one a chance, as the premise is a little strange. It does have a planned out serious plot though, and I hope to make it as plausible as possible for those of us who live in the Wizarding world. Starts in the summer after 6th year, and the Astronomy tower mess didn't happen. It will be updated about once a week, and this is NOT a romance story. This is a gen fic/brother relationship with a happy ending.
Ch 1 - Heroic Consequences
Dumbledore died two weeks before Harry's seventeenth birthday. He'd left a series of complicated encoded directions to different Order members, which meant that Harry had followed the plan and stayed at the Dursley's until almost the end of July.
Snape, who'd disappeared the night that Draco failed to kill the headmaster, had not confirmed whether or not he'd told the Death Eaters the wrong date for Harry's escape to the Burrow.
And so on the morning of the thirtieth, at five am, Harry was more than a little skittish as he undid the latch on the kitchen door and slipped out into the garden. He didn't flinch when a fast-walking Bill Weasley joined him out of the shadows though, and together they kept a good pace as they walked towards the Little Whinging Rail Station.
The sickly sweet smell of the flowers from the perfect gardens he passed made Harry's nose twitch and his stomach feel a bit nauseous.
"Why can't we apparate?" Harry whispered, shifting his stride. His pack was itchy on his shoulder, stuffed to the brim with his clothing and his books and wand. His broomstick had been stored in a water bottle that Hermione had spelled with a space-enhancing charm and clipped to his backpack.
"You have the trace, Harry. Ron said you were smart, you know," Bill teased, holding his wand against his trouser leg as he walked.
"Dumbledore apparated with me last year," Harry answered, as they turned the corner onto Station Approach road. There was a muggle there already, waiting for the five-twenty train to London.
"Dumbledore is a law unto himself."
It was a damp morning for July, and the stars could still be seen through the breaks in the clouds. One of the street lamps illuminating the posted train schedule board was flickering, and they walked toward it like moths to a flame. A thin wisp of air pulsed across the lane as they entered the drop-off circle, and made the hairs on the back of Harry's neck stand up. He thought he saw a shadow behind some trees to his left, but flashes of light to his right distracted him. Bill nodded up towards the upper floors of the train station, where a maintenance worker had started turning on lights in the offices.
"Relax. It'll be fine," Bill said, pulling Harry towards the automated ticket machine. Harry knew that there were several Order members around the station, watching carefully for any signs of Voldemort or the Death Eaters, but he still couldn't wait to get on the train and get out of the open.
His relatives had left the day before, turning their noses up at Harry as they walked out without a good bye. Harry would likely miss the town, but not his family.
"Look, the train is coming in," Harry said, pointing down the track at the approaching bright light.
"Good," Bill said, seeming more at ease now that the train was in view. The lone muggle that had been waiting seemed to perk up as well upon seeing the train, and Harry could hear other cars approaching from a distance.
Harry did one more sweep of the train station and locked eyes with what seemed to be an animal crouched by the post box a few parking spots away. The eyes flashed at him, and a dark, imposing voice commanded the word run to flash across his mind. Harry slowly backed away from the train as it pulled in and came to a gentle stop with the doors very close to him and Bill.
A jet of air was released as they opened, and Bill was hit immediately by the cruciatus curse. Harry dove out of range of the door, noticing the muggle get hit by a flash of green and slump to the ground. There were Death Eaters in almost every carriage doorway, firing off curses at him as Harry ran towards the parking lot of the station.
Order members appeared from their hiding spots and began a counter attack, hastily thrown up wards keeping whatever muggle travellers away from the station as the battle formed. Harry crouched behind a car and watched as Voldemort exited the train.
Death Eaters stormed about like Dementors, cursing and hexing the Order members that were apparating in. Voldemort walked unaffected down the platform, headed west towards where Harry was hiding. Kingsley had appeared to help Bill, and through the shouting Harry figured that they were trying to figure out where to apparate him.
"Harry Potterrrr," Voldemort called, his lips curling in distaste on the last r. He had his wand raised, and was flicking away curses directed at him as if they were specks of dust landing on his shoulder.
Voldemort came closer and closer to the car, and Harry felt panic setting in as he tried to figure out how the hell he was going to escape. He knew he'd only survived by chance at the Ministry the year before, and sheer luck at the graveyard. He didn't have Dumbledore up his sleeve anymore, and Harry wanted to get out of there.
"Nothing to say to me, dear Harry?" Voldemort taunted, whipping the cruciatus curse at Harry. "I have a whole train ride's worth of conversation for you."
Harry shivered as the cruciatus hit the car, denting the metal framework. He brought up the strongest shield he could muster and peeked over the driver's window. Someone in black fell behind Voldemort, and Harry scrambled to think of what he could defend himself with when Voldemort raised his wand again.
Harry looked back towards the animal that had warned him, but only saw another wizard there fighting. Voldemort had his wand high, and a chilling smirk on his face.
"I think I shall just kill you now, and spare the dramatics," Voldemort said.
Harry desperately tried to think of his happiest memory, as that was the last thing he wanted to think of before he died. He was distracted by heavy footsteps running towards him, belonging to a tall lanky figure with a cloak that made the man look like batman.
"Expecto patronum!" Harry yelled, accidentally casting that instead of protego.
The silver stag shot forward, followed closely by a non-verbal spell the running man had cast. He crashed into Harry a second later, taking them both out of Voldemort's killing curse's range.
Harry had a sickening kaleidoscope of light flash in front of him as he was knocked to the ground, seeing curse flares, smoke, the flickering lamp, and headlights from approaching autos that couldn't get past hastily cast Order wards on the roads.
He hit the ground with a grunt, hand scraping up against the concrete and sharp bones covered in thick black cloth above from whoever had landed on him. Harry had enough time to flick his eyes towards where Voldemort had been standing, enough time to see the thick charcoal mist dissipating from where Voldemort had stood, before he felt his body ripple in pain.
The curse carried no light, but spread through his abdomen like wildfire as he groaned loudly. Going by the grunts of the man above him, who Harry knew but couldn't recognize for the pain creating starbursts in his vision, they had both been hit by whatever curse had been sent at them.
"Hold on," the man hoarsely commanded, and it was the same voice that had been in Harry's mind. There was a mind numbingly painful blink in time, in which Harry felt like his body was being ripped inside out.
They landed somewhere soft, in a dark room, and as it seemed devoid of Death Eaters and Voldemort, Harry began to fade in and out. He swore as his backpack was pulled off him, but couldn't focus enough to curse the person who'd done it.
He felt a strong ache of a pulled muscle that pulsed under his skin as his body shook uncontrollably. He felt cold as a fever flashed through him, and waves of nausea hit as two Order members ran around him. The last thing Harry thought before he passed out was that he was incredibly thirsty, and it was odd that battles felt so much like exercise.
"His liver's okay. They can share it."
Harry drifted into consciousness and was aware of two definite things. He was on a soft bed, away from the battlefield, and there was a large plant leaf covering his face.
He didn't recognize the female voice speaking, nor did he understand why his right side was much warmer than his left. He tried to move his head to the side to see what was going on, but it made breathing harder. He grimaced at the blurry light and gave up, turning his head back under the darkness. The plant leaf was soft and seemed to be stroking his cheek, which felt nice, so Harry went back to sleep.
Harry jolted himself awake, hearing different voices this time as he tried vainly to scratch at his side. His hands wouldn't move though, and he couldn't figure out why. His side was burning warm, itchy and covered by something uncomfortable that was pulling slightly at his skin.
"I've had to pin his hands, he keeps trying to pull at the stitches," a voice said, and Harry wanted to smile. Hermione was there, and surely she'd tell him what was going on and why he was getting a plant leaf facial.
"Herm," Harry croaked, his breath lifting the leaf a little. It was snatched off his face and Harry blinked at the bright light above him. It oddly seemed a bit harder to get fresh air all of a sudden.
"Hi Harry," Hermione smiled, her head hovering above him. She fussed about with his wrists, and Harry realized that he could move them again.
"Harry mate, glad you're back with us," Ron said, sounding very relieved from wherever he was standing out of view. Harry felt his foot being patted, and he figured Ron was at the end of the bed.
Harry could hear thick concern in their voices, as well as the breathing of other people in the room and one person unusually close to his right side.
"You sound like you weren't sure I'd wake," Harry said feebly, attempting a joke.
There was silence in the room, and most of Harry's body tensed.
"Hermione…" Harry started, trying to lift his head.
"Stay still, Mr Potter," a female voice said, and hands cradled the side of his head. Harry wasn't sure, but he thought it was the same voice that spoke of livers earlier.
"You were cursed by a Death Eater yesterday morning," the woman continued, her tone soothing. "Necrosis organus."
Beside him Harry heard someone suck back air.
"Wonderful," a voice croaked, a voice that sounded disturbingly familiar.
Harry felt the bed shift and then grunted in pain as a muscle in his side was stretched uncomfortably. An echoing grunt followed his, and then panic set in as Harry realized that whomever was lying beside him was attached to him somehow. And that person sounded very much like Professor Snape.
Snape moved again, making the burning feeling worse.
"Agh!" Harry grimaced, clutching at his side. He was surprised to feel another set of hands grabbing at his skin.
"Harry! Don't move!" Hermione urged, pulling at his shoulder to get him to lay still.
"Potter!" Snape barked, his larger hands almost crushing Harry's as they both grabbed at the painful bandaged skin on their sides.
"Piss off, Snape! It's itchy," Harry winced, still trying to scratch it. He'd been trying to kick, too, but Ron was holding his feet down.
"Stop moving, you imbecile!"
"I'm not! You're poking me!"
"I'll try stabbing you in a moment," Snape hissed, slapping Harry's hands.
"Immobilus!" Hermione cast, stunning them both and stopping the struggle in the bed.
"You have to be careful, you're not fully healed yet," she hissed, giving Harry a glare. She looked over top of Harry, to his right, and he assumed that Snape was getting the glare as well.
Another woman came into view, the one that was talking earlier about sharing a liver.
"To explain, the curse ate away at your organs, and part of your flesh. The only way to stop it in time was to remove the affected parts and, well," she paused here and sounded uneasy. "Share what was left."
"Share what was left. As in, I'm literally stuck to Snape," Harry grunted, his tone sour.
"All because Potter was too stupid not to corner himself by a car," Snape muttered.
"I wasn't cornered! And what the hell were you trying to do by tackling me? You were protecting me!" Harry accused, his eyes burning up at the ceiling.
"Don't flatter yourself, I tripped on the kerb," Snape snarled, his voice loud in Harry's ear.
"Harry, Severus, enough!" Remus Lupin ordered, entering the room with heavy footsteps.
"For how long?" Snape growled, stuck staring at the ceiling.
"We don't know," the woman responded. She had thick red hair and a rounded face, and though not overly large, she was a fairly sturdy woman. "The spell hasn't been used in over two hundred years."
"Because it's dark magic and it's outlawed," Snape sneered. "And who the hell are you?"
"Hanna Prewett. Molly Weasley's cousin, and a certified Healer," the woman fired back, holding up a clipboard of notes.
"A pseudo-Weasley, fantastic," Snape said, his tone bitter.
"Finite incantatem," Hermione mumbled, freeing them.
If Harry didn't know any better, he'd think that Snape's biting tongue was covering up for fear.
"It's either me or St Mungo's, and maybe Azkaban. Your choice."
"So I am to be stuck to Potter, for as long as it takes to re-grow a liver," Snape commented, making it sound like a death sentence.
"Amongst other things. If we can grow them back," Hanna Prewett replied in a no-nonsense tone.
There was a very stale silence in the room, and Harry hated that he couldn't sit up and see who exactly was with them. From the amount of twitching Snape's fingers were doing against the bed, he figured that it made Snape even more anxious.
"Potter, I am going to kill you," Snape finally said, seeming to have reached a conclusion.
"No you won't, Severus," Remus answered, confusing Harry. He couldn't figure out exactly where Remus was standing. "Neither can live if the other dies."
Harry had no idea if Remus had been told the prophecy, but his wording was so eerily similar that it took his breath away. He felt tears prickling the sides of his eyes, and a very heavy feeling on his chest that had nothing to do with the healing potions they'd been given. Sometimes, when Harry had been pushed just a step over his breaking point, he closed his eyes and imagined he was a little boy again; whose only worry was the strange shadows in his cupboard.
"I want to sit up," Harry said, in a rough tone that was mistaken for anger.
"I don't…" Hanna started, but was interrupted by Snape.
"Sit us up!" Snape barked.
It took a few minutes of discussion and a two-person levitation spell to lift them off the bed enough that they could bend forward at the same time into a sitting position. As Ron and Hermione lowered them, Harry felt only a slight pull at his side. Sitting back against the pillowed headboard, Harry surveyed the room and saw an alarming amount of medical supplies on the dresser. On the nightstand beside him was his wand, and thirteen empty potion phials. At the end of the bed, Remus, Ron, Hermione, and the healer all stared at them with curious and worried glances.
"And I suppose it was just luck that Professor Snape and I had matching blood types or whatever?" Harry asked, feeling uncomfortable and refusing to turn his head to the right to look at Snape.
"You don't, mate," Ron answered. "That's why we've been feeding you twenty different potions a day."
"Imagine that, Mr Weasley now sees a use for potions," Snape scowled.
"No thanks to you," Ron muttered.
"It won't be forever, Harry," Hermione reassured, patting his foot. "And now that Voldemort's gone, we can concentrate fully on getting you better."
"Voldemort's gone?" Harry asked dumbly, feeling Snape's body tense beside him.
"That he is, Harry," Remus said, with a soft smile. "You both had excellent timing. The patronus you sent and Severus' curse…it was like he didn't stand a chance. Just burst into black mist and disappeared."
Remus sounded relieved and tired, and Harry wondered if any Order members had gotten hurt at the train station. He mentally reviewed what Remus said, and narrowed his eyes slightly at the wording.
"No one has found his body?" Harry asked.
"No," Ron answered, sounding happy. "He's gone."
"There's an Order of Merlin waiting for the both of you," Hermione eagerly offered, looking very proud. "Though you're still hidden away for the moment, until you're feeling better."
Snape was remaining very silent through the information overload, and Harry could almost hear the gears in his brain working.
"Just a temporary precaution," Remus explained. "Although the aurors did arrest eleven Death Eaters yesterday."
There was an awkward pause in the room before Snape spoke in a low and threatening tone.
"Get out, all of you."
"There's still a few things you need to know," Hanna said, arms on her hips and looking very much like her cousin Molly.
"Fine. Everyone except the bossy healer, get out."
Harry watched as Hermione, Ron, and a concerned looking Remus left the room. Ron gave a small wave on his way out, and wished Harry a happy birthday.
"Explain your role in the decision to join me to Potter and then leave," Snape demanded, in his detention tone.
Hanna didn't take too kindly to being ordered around, and spoke with pursed lips.
"You were hit with a flesh eating curse. It targeted your organs, so Harry; you're missing a kidney, part of your lung, and half of your intestines. We managed to stop the curse there. Professor Snape, you've got a damaged heart, your liver is only working at ten percent, your large intestine has been repaired, and your spleen is gone."
Harry blinked widely at the list, and felt Snape stiffen beside him. As much of a healer he was not, the damage remarkably pretty bad.
"You have slight external scarring, as if you'd been injured by a splinching incident. Given the problems, and the small amount of time to make a decision, we decided it best to have you share your functioning organs."
"You couldn't have just given us skelegrow?" Harry asked, reading phial labels and understanding now why his stomach felt like it had been kicked repeatedly.
"It's SKELEgrow, Potter, not ORGANgrow," Snape snapped, crossing his arms. They both winced as the skin at their sides pulled.
"Precisely," Hanna confirmed, and she gave Harry a sympathetic look. "The bandage needs to stay on for another five hours."
She picked up some used linens and left, leaving them sitting on the bed in very loose muggle pajamas, pointedly not talking to each other.
The window to his left had been cracked open slightly, and Harry could hear the sounds of London in the summer. He stared up at the black ceiling above him, his eyes tracing the Elizabethan patterns carved into it. For mid-July, this had turned out to be the worst year he could remember yet.
Dumbledore had thwarted Malfoy's plans in the room of requirement, and allowed Snape to escape with Malfoy out of Hogwarts. Without facing any major catastrophe at the end of the year, Harry'd gone home to the Dursley's, to his dose of reality check. And three weeks later the headmaster had died from the curse in his hand.
Snape grunted beside Harry, pulling a little on their shared side. He had dozed off whilst reading the healing notes Hanna Prewett had made on them. Harry turned his head to look at him, take in the pale and relaxed skin around Snape's face. He looked a bit different, but it was hard to tell in the darkened room, and with the cut along Snape's jaw line. Curse scars couldn't be healed magically, and Harry was in no rush to see what additions he'd acquired.
Snape's arm started twitching against Harry's, and Harry wondered what the man dreamt of. Did Snape even dream? Or was he plagued by the same Voldemort-induced nightmares that Harry experienced?
Harry lifted up his arm and squinted at the muggle watch he wore, a gift left for him on his night table. It was hard to believe that he'd turned of age that morning, as he'd been unconscious and not had any visiting owls. What wasn't hard to believe was the level of destruction to the station in Little Whinging, where the Death Eaters had ambushed them.
A boy's shriek sounded through the window, and for a moment Harry felt a clench in his stomach. It was followed by a group of children laughing, and Harry allowed himself to relax back into the pillows. They smelled of starch and lemon, over-exuberant freshness in the heavy old house.
The door creaked open and Harry barely managed to lift his head high enough to see who had entered.
"Harry," Hermione whispered to him, tiptoeing beside the bed and sitting down on the edge.
"Any news on the other Death Eaters?" Harry whispered back, trying to sound strong. Ever the soldier. He blinked his eyes dry at her fond look.
"No. Ministry's in a bit of a disorganized euphoria right now. Too many people are out celebrating," she said, shaking her head in disbelief.
Harry didn't mention that the apparition of Voldemort he'd seen while falling to the ground reminded him of the thing that had escaped Quirrell's body in first year. There was silence between them and Hermione clasped his hand.
"It's almost over, Harry. We'll do everything to help heal you. But please go easy on Snape."
"Go easy? On Snape?" Harry hissed.
"Harry. The spell is illegal for a few reasons. I know you've not seen much, but you've essentially become conjoined twins."
Harry's brows knit together in confusion for a moment before he realized what she said.
"Oh no. I look like him?" Harry was aghast.
"No, you look like yourself. With one or two of his features," Hermione answered thoughtfully. "Not the nose."
"So why do I have to go easier on Snape?" Harry sulked.
"Because he lost more than you. You're both around the age of twenty-five now, so Snape lost a good thirteen years. Even if we can separate you both in a few months, he'll still look twenty-five. He has to re-experience those thirteen years."
Harry closed his eyes and swallowed hard. He was afraid to look in the mirror and see what the spell had done to him.
"I don't think 25 was all that easy on Snape the first time 'round," Hermione whispered.
Snape didn't say a word an hour later when they managed to sit up unaided. The spare bedroom into which they'd been placed had a large armoire across from the bed, and it allowed Snape and Harry their first look into a mirror. Snape had broken seven cups and saucers; along with letting loose a stream of repressed anger-magic destructive enough that Mrs Black's portrait had shut right up.
But he didn't say a word.
Harry hadn't been too disappointed upon looking in the mirror. His face had been lengthened a tiny bit (and Snape's shortened), his ears rounded a little at the tops, which made them look less like pointed elf ears. His chin had been sharpened a little to look more similar to Snape's, but his nose had been left the same. And he still had his mother's green eyes.
Snape's face had been filled out a little to look less sallow than it normally did, and his nose had been straightened. He'd lost a bit of length in his face, to better match Harry, and his very thin lips were no longer quite as thin. He'd lost a lot of the lines around his eyes and forehead, and looked a lot younger. Harry had wisely not mentioned that Snape looked more like the 15-year-old version of himself from his pensieve.
They didn't look identical, but they certainly looked like brothers.
"We're getting up, Potter," Snape suddenly announced. It was just three, and Harry was bored of the Daily Prophet.
"For what?" Harry grumbled, holding the papers still and glaring at Snape.
"Lupin mentioned an Order meeting in twenty minutes," Snape answered, grasping Harry's sleeve and pulling at him.
"Stop it," Harry said, slapping Snape's hand.
"I need a smoke before the meeting. Get up."
Harry dropped the newsprint and turned his head to stare at Snape.
Snape levitated and twisted them so his own legs hung over Harry's side of the bed and they could stand.
"You smoke now too," Snape said, with a grim smile on his face as he awkwardly walked Harry towards the window. Snape's clothing was somewhere in the house, as his cigarettes came when he summoned them with his wand.
Snape had been a lot calmer than Harry had expected upon waking and finding out he was stuck to his most hated student. Then again, it appeared that Snape was being dosed with calming draughts in his potion regime.
Harry ignored the smoke and squinted out the window, realizing one good thing about the conjoining spell. He had gained a bit in height, so that he was now only half an inch shorter than Snape.
The Order meeting was held in the kitchen of Grimmauld's. Almost all of the Order members were present, and openly staring as Snape and Harry made their way into the room. Walking was bloody difficult, as Harry was getting used to his longer legs and Snape sometimes kicked the back of Harry's right foot as they walked. Clothing had been a bit of a struggle as well, but after Snape had finished his cigarette they'd managed to put on regular trousers and made modifications to their shirts. Snape had spent ten minutes charming and fiddling with two robe cloaks for them to wear, which effectively hid the nine-inch strip of bandage where they were connected.
McGonagall had saved them two chairs by the fireplace, and people pointedly looked elsewhere as they fought with the chairs to get the right angle to sit down.
"Start the meeting," Snape growled, seeming uncomfortable with the attention and the itchy robe against their shared skin.
"Right," McGonagall said. "Happy birthday, Harry."
She smiled warmly at Harry, and he blushed under the congratulations from the other people in the room.
Most of the Weasleys were present, and Harry noted that both Fred and George were giving them a shrewd look. Ginny was at the table, avoiding Harry's gaze, and Hermione had a stack of notes next to her and Ron. Remus and Tonks were there as well, giving Harry a sympathetic look that he didn't have the stomach for. To Harry's left, an empty portrait sat propped up against a chair. Bill was missing from the group, but Harry figured he was at home recovering from the cruciatus.
"A quick summary of the battle," McGonagall started. "Two people killed, nine cursed. One Death Eater dead, and one in auror custody. Injuries…"
"Skip it," Snape commanded.
"Yes, well," Professor McGonagall flustered, pursing her lips as she narrowed her eyes at Snape. "An unexpected attack, but the outcome was well worth it. Congratulations to everyone, especially to Harry and Severus."
There were a few claps, though Snape's glaring cut those quickly.
"Just a temporary setback for you two, and then you can party with the rest of us," Tonks said, offering a mug of tea as a toast.
After fifteen minutes more discussion on the ministry, parties, and Dumbledore's machinations, the Order members finally left them alone; Harry to his cold tea and Snape to his misery. Harry shifted restlessly for a few moments on the hard chair to get comfortable, before he gave up and scratched at the bandage on their side. Grimmauld Place was eerily quiet, and he could smell whiskey on the table from where someone had spilled it the night before.
"Voldemort's not dead," Harry said quietly, tracing a gouge in the wooden table with his finger.
Snape paused in the Order notes he was reading but he didn't turn his head to look at Harry.