Chapter Six:

Chasing Rainbows

Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling all rights to the Harry Potter books and movies.

Green eyes stared absently in the direction of Number Four Privet Drive and frowned. His dislike for mornings hadn't dimmed in the least, instead it had grown to the point of him nearly injuring the unfortunate human that had been given the task of waking him up. He blinked slowly, lethargically pushing away his bangs only to have them hinder his vision seconds later.

A pause, and his eyes shifted.

He eyed the great yellow contraption with minute disdain and waited for it to open it's gaping maw to allow him entrance. A shake of his head, and he stepped foot on the bus, the smell of leather and the endless chatter of children making him sneer lightly.

Harry had the unfortunate luck of being transferred once more.

Granted, there was a perfectly reasonable explanation for that, and not for the sake of his beloved aunt this time around. He sniffed and made his way down the isle, brows furrowed as he searched for a seat, movements sluggish as the school bus moved. He didn't like public transportation, it was far too crowded for his liking, and the children on this bus always stared at him as soon as he was picked up.

It was as if they knew he'd been the one to burn down his old school.

He picked a seat near the middle and slid along the leather cushion until he could feel the cool metal through his clothing, he placed his bag on his lap and leaned his head against the back of the seat in front of him, eyes half mast and staring out the window. He'd watched the news report with a reticent smile, he recalled, Petunia's eyes on him the entire time with an almost disturbing intensity. He'd said almost because it was nigh impossible for him to feel something other than annoyance towards the woman.

He considered the school district lucky that he'd been nice enough to only burn alive the teachers and students foolish enough to stay behind after hours. He could feel his eyes drooping as the combined effect of his heated backpack and his own lack of sleep took their toll on him, causing him to yawn widely. He shifted his body towards the edge of his cushion and leaned his shoulder against the back of the seat, long lashes resting against creamy cheeks.

Perhaps he would have to stop playing so late at night during the week, it was starting to deprive him of-

"Hi, Harry," a cheerful voice chirped, causing him to stiffen, "mind if I sit here?"

Iridescent slivers of emerald locked onto the reflection of the child behind him in the window and he sneered.

Rosetta Andrews watched as the raven haired boy turned slowly, his hair obscuring the majority of his face and she couldn't help the feeling of heat rushing into her cheeks.

Watching her from behind a curtain of hair was an eye in the most gorgeous shade of green she had ever seen. Obsidian strands curled and curved over the pale peach white skin of his face and nape, giving him a startling magnetism that she couldn't help but be drawn to. The curve of his subtly pink lips dipped downward and she almost missed his soft worded answer in her observation.

"Yes," he began, visible eye narrowing even further, "I do mind."

"There aren't any other seats," Rosetta murmured, shaking herself of the daze the raven haired child always seemed to put her in.

"I don't care," he said quietly, voice almost unheard.

"I don't want to stand," she said, already claiming the empty space beside the small boy with a dignified huff.

"Don't bother me with pointless conversation, if you're not even going to listen to what I say," Harry said, an air of annoyance hovering about him.

She smiled at him and he looked away, back against the leather of the bus seat as he sat up straight. Rosetta knew he didn't like her, heck she'd even go so far as to say he hated her, but she just couldn't think of going back to the dull life she'd had before she met him a month ago. And besides, she knew they had one thing in common if anything.

"So…" she began, watching the way his hair curled and spilled over the fabric of his grey turtle neck, "I hear the Black Mamba struck again."

She was rewarded with a flash of brilliant green and furrowed eyebrows as he turned to her.

He was a strange one, but then again, so was she. Before she had met him, she was utterly bored with her life, looked down upon by her peers just because she liked a little mystery and suspense. She abhorred the dullness and normalcy of the girls and boys that were labeled as the 'in crowd' and instead took solace in horror and mystery novels.

She'd gone so long without a friend to talk to that she'd very nearly clung to him when he'd seemingly appeared out of nowhere. He of course, wanted nothing to do with her, what with his dashing good looks and charming voice. He'd declined several invitations to join a clique and instead sought solitude, much to the surprise and vexation of the popular people.

She'd merely smiled and tried again, her mother didn't call her stubborn for nothing.

"Oh?" He murmured, looking past her at something and narrowing his pretty green eyes.

"Yeah," Rosetta said, turning as well to see Anna Johansen, one of the 'in crowd' and smiled as she continued, "they say he sawed the arms off someone and carved out their insides."

She giggled as she girl paled and turned away.

"Sounds gruesome…" he said, voice a near whisper as she caught sight of a barely there flush dusting his pale cheeks.

She made a noise in her throat to show her agreement, transfixed as this was one of the only times when he showed emotion, muted though it was. He focused on her and immediately the look was replaced with one of cool indifference, with only the slight dip of his lips to show he was displeased.

"Stop staring."

She smiled and turned away, humming softly.

"Hey, Harry," Rosetta began, sitting on the edge of her seat as she looked upon the crown of shimmering black strands that was the Potter child, "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Harry, for his part, said nothing, mind blank as he stared at his desk from within the confines of his arms, warm wool mussing up his already unruly hair.

"Well," she plowed on unhindered by his lack of an answer, grey eyes alight with excitement, "I want to be a detective!"

He remained unresponsive, left leg resting slightly against his backpack beneath his seat.

"My grandfather was a detective, you know?" She continued, eyes moving to her own desk in remembrance. "He was great."

Sniffling lightly, he inhaled, nose crinkling soon after when he picked up the stale scent of cleaning products.

"I want to be just like him, ya know?" Rosetta told him, fingers twirling around sandy yellow strands as she snuck another glance at the pile of hair that was Harry. "I want to solve all kinds of cases."

He sat up then, waves of obsidian framing his face in wild disarray, emerald greens wavering before dipping off to the side.


He leaned over and reached beneath his desk, fingers reaching for his bag.

"Since I want to solve the Black Mamba case."

He paused for the briefest of seconds before grasping the smooth darkened sports bottle from a side pocket and turned to her, eyes narrowing slightly.

"Sounds cool right?" She asked, voice lilting in it's excitement, "I want to be the one to catch him!"

"It does," he agreed with a casual sip of the bottle, "but who says he'll still be around by the time you're old enough to become a detective?"

She paused, obviously not having thought that far.

Another sip from the bottle and Harry placed his chin on a sweater covered hand, eyes alight beneath sooty lashes. "And besides," a smirk lit his lips, "to this day, not a trace of evidence has been found. How do you expect someone like you to solve it?"

Watching his lashes drag lightly against his bangs, Rosetta pursed her lips. "I'll do it," she began with conviction swimming in her eyes, "I'll be the one to bring the Black Mamba down."

Placing the nozzle of the bottle against his lips he watched her, brilliant emerald irises shifting and swirling before deepening to a sultry jade that made her breath hitch. She was frozen on the edge of her seat, yet somehow, she felt as though she was on the edge of a steep precipice cornered like an animal. His lips moved and he bit down on the plastic, causing her to swallow. He looked as if he were a predator who had cornered it's prey, if this was how it felt to be paid attention to by him…

She'd much rather be ignored.

A long sip extended the silence punctuated only by the chatter of the classroom before he spoke, voice low and sweetly inflected, "I wish you luck, Rosetta."

Rosetta blinked and Harry smiled loftily before tilting his head slightly, verdant irises focused on a point somewhere to her left as he sipped complacently from the sports bottle. She blinked again when he preceded to ignore her, stunned that the conversation had ended so abruptly with nothing happening. Frowning, she placed herself in his line of vision and felt an eye twitch when he merely looked off to her right.

Her wish to be ignored had been granted so swiftly that her adrenalin ridden mind was still catching up to it.

"Hey, Harry," she began, brows furrowed as she focused somewhere on his cheek since he refused to look directly at her, "do you think the Black Mamba plans his killings or are they random?"

He merely blinked as he continued to drink, eyes focused on seemingly thin air.

"Harry…" she trailed off, already reaching out for the baggy fabric of his sweater sleeve, determined to have him pay attention to her.

The moment her fingers came in contact he stilled, not even deigning to breathe as he froze unnaturally. Her eyes narrowed in confusion before he looked at her, his eyes swiveling to stare at her hand. Blinking swiftly, she paled at the look on his face, wishing ardently that she was once more beneath his notice.

His features seemed to be carved of smooth porcelain, so much that if she'd walked in she'd believe he was an expensive and beautiful doll. His overgrown bangs cast malevolent shadows over his pale skin and hid the rest of the halfway exposed lightening bolt scar that rested upon his brow. His eyes watched her skin pale, becoming chalk white when she realized that his pupils were dilated, leaving behind a thin ring of green.

"Let go." He said, voice a whispered thing that promised something she didn't want to know.

She let go.

He took a breath and stood, nostrils flaring as he knocked over his bottle. His eyes moved to hers and she swallowed, watching his pupils contract slowly until they were nearly swallowed by the emerald irises. He picked up his book bag and leaned towards her, so close she could feel his breath as it fanned across her face, carrying with it a scent that was distinctly metallic.

"Don't ever touch me again, Rosetta," Harry said in that whispery little voice that promised deathly things, "or I feel that you'll regret it."

He moved away then, his unnerving stare morphing into that of detachment as he made his way to the door, obviously cutting class. She watched him go, pale petal pink lips moving before the waves of glistening strands swayed so as to hide him from her vision. Ignoring the curious stares of her peers, she focused on the discarded sports bottle when the raven haired boy cleared the threshold, eyes widening.

Red liquid seeped steadily from the nozzle, a small puddle forming beneath it and she swallowed. This by all intents and purposes looked bad, a ten year old child drinking what she believed was blood from the smell of his breath. Was he a fledgling vampire sent to blend in with the human children-?

Rosetta closed her eyes and shook her head incredulously, cutting off that train of thought before it ran away with her. She could look at this logically, maybe he'd cut the inside of his mouth badly, perhaps that was why he'd left in such a hurry? Leaning over, she picked up the discarded bottle and pursed her lips, looking at the outer plastic without really seeing it.

It was warm.

He sat slumped in the corner furthest from the door in a vacant classroom, verdant eyes wide and staring. His bag lay open beside him, empty save for heating pads and school things, gaping and falling in on itself. Being near catatonic, he didn't move when silk like scales slid over the tips of revealed fingers.

Maeve curled and coiled around Harry, near blissful even though he was unresponsive to her inquiries, wanting to be as close as possible. He was exuding that wonderful musk again, but it was different this time, she concluded as she swayed drunkenly as it wrapped around her, caressing her and thoroughly sating whatever grievances she'd had today. There was a lot of it, near suffocating and yet she couldn't get enough of it, she wanted more.

She wanted to taste his bloodlust.

'Harry…' she whispered in a sultry little hiss as she rested against his angled torso, tongue flickering against the point of his chin, 'tell me why you are like this. What happened while I rested?'

He said nothing, his breathing so steady and even to the point that she had to check that he had not fallen asleep. Onyx eyes admired the way the thin beam of sunlight hit his eyes, causing them to lighten to a stunning and glassy lime as he stared unblinkingly at a desk leg, and tightened her coils. A low hiss tumbled forth, unintelligible, but the intent rang clear.

Someone was going to die soon, she only wondered who.

They stayed like that for a few minutes more, until Harry finally moved, eyes staring fixedly at the closed door of the classroom. His mouth parted slightly and Maeve watched as his pupils dilated steadily until once again the thin ring of green remained. He shifted and his right hand touched the side pocket of his bag only to find it empty.

A long low angry hiss disturbed the silence of the room.

'It's not here…' he whispered, eyes darting everywhere and narrowing dangerously when the item wasn't found. 'Why isn't it-? Where is it?'

A tongue flicked the against his cheek lightly and he turned just enough to look at the mamba curled around his torso. He stilled for a moment, and his pupils contracted slightly, as the emerald made itself more prominent. Raising herself up to his eye level, she allowed her tongue to flick once more against the skin of his cheek before speaking.

'What's missing, Harry?' She asked gently, voice a soothing croon of a hiss as she relished in his attention.

A moment of silence as his pupils seemed to expand and contract before they settled on a small amount of green visible once more before speaking, 'My bottle is missing.'

Maeve twisted slightly before allowing herself to rest against his neck, head just below his ear and flicked her tongue against raven strands. 'The container that you have been carrying filled with liquid?'

He nodded, eyes dimming as they were shaded by long lashes as the snake began to weave herself through his hair towards the crown of his head. 'I need it.'

'Why?' She questioned when she settled in comfortably, already moving the rest of her body to curl along his shoulders and chest.

'It…keeps me grounded you can say.' He murmured, raising a hand to trail along shifting coils as she slowly positioned herself.

'Oh?' She began, head rising slightly, 'what is in it?"

Harry turned to the door again and allowed a smile to grace his features when he heard a single pair of footsteps approaching.

'Human blood.'

Two days later, Harry was lazing against his desk, a new sports bottle standing proudly on the corner of the smooth surface. His face was hidden within the confines of his arms and behind the curtain of his hair, obviously warning people to stay away and allow him peace.

However, Rosetta Andrews wasn't one who took those warnings to heart.

"Harry, did you see the report from last night's news?" She asked him, nearly bouncing on her toes from the morbid excitement that coursed through her.

He being who he was of course, deigned not to answer, and stared through thick lashes at the dark wood he rested on. He'd been in the room long enough for Petunia to stare at him in nearly unmasked horror at what was said by the news anchor, and left silently before one of the whales could notice he had indeed been there.

"Can you believe what the Mamba did to him?" She plowed on, unhindered by his lack of response, after all she was used to it. "Can you believe it was from our school?"

He could, since he'd been the one who'd done it.

"They said the boy was called Eric Farfield," she paused, not noticing that the normally lively noise of the classroom was now silent, "wasn't he that red head with the freckles from the next class over?"

He paused a moment of his perusal of the third swirling design on the desk. Did the boy have freckles? He honestly could not remember since he had been more focused on forcing the child to bleed.

She shrugged and continued, excitement flushing her cheeks a flattering red. "They say his skin was peeled away from his body, from the base of his scalp to the middle of his stomach. I can only imagine the scene when they first saw him…"

He felt himself frown and turned his head until he could see her through the curtain of curls and waves that he called his hair, and watched her from beneath hooded eyes.

Ignoring the now disgusted faces of her classmates, she continued, catching sight of shimmering emerald within a sea of glistening obsidian strands. "He was discovered with about a liter of blood missing and the su… superior bena caba cut and pulled through an incision in the chest cavity."

Harry sat up now, left elbow propped up on the desk as his hand supported the weight of his head, with a slight upturn of lips before speaking.

"You mean the superior vena cava, right?" He began, tilting his head so as to hide one of his eyes beneath his fringe. "If I didn't already know what that was, I'd be confused, like the rest of the class seems to be."

He ignored the sparse amount of glares at that statement.

Rosetta huffed, flushed cheeks puffing in slight annoyance. "Thanks, Mr. Smarty Pants." Pushing a lock of hair behind her ear, she continued, satisfied that he nor anyone else seemed to want to interrupt. "With the autopsy report, they found a large amount of mamba venom sitting inside the bottom of the left ventricle, he didn't stand a chance of surviving…"

Silence followed in the wake of her statement, the feeling that could only be described as awkwardness was seemingly made tangible, and many had turned away, faces pale or in some cases a faint green. Harry of course just watched her head on, his smile becoming more prominent as the silence drew on.

In a grand show of how unaffected he was, since he was the one who had indeed committed the act, he spoke in a clear voice and shattered the silence smoothly.

"Ah," it wasn't an overly extraordinary response, but for Rosetta, it was almost as if he'd said what amounted to tens of hundreds of words and she was content.

"I know… scary right?" She asked him absently, already digging in her bag for something since the conversation had ended. "This was one of the few schools in Surrey that hadn't been attacked yet… and now…" She paused as if to say something then shook her head as she turned to him, hand extended. "You left this in the classroom when you left a few days ago."

He watched as she placed the black plastic sports bottle upon the desk and allowed a blink. From the hollow sound it made against his desk, he deduced it was empty and he felt himself frown. She couldn't have drank it, no normal person would survive drinking what was usually inside it.

His eyes narrowed and went back to the girl slouching against her chair as she stared at the ceiling absently.

Grasping the purple plastic of the full container, he allowed himself a sip, a sickening sweetness splashing across his tongue as he saw the brief moment she looked to him. He bit the nozzle to hold the bottle in place and watched as the flush danced across her skin, already concluding that she knew something.

Another sip and he looked away, entire body shifting towards the direction of the window.

Logically, Harry knew she couldn't have drank it since the drink itself was a mix between human blood and Maeve's venom. He'd started taking doses of it with his food and drink three years ago, steadily increasing the dosage until the amount was around a fifth of whatever he was eating. Of course he'd hated it at first, what with the nausea and sickness it brought but he found it was worth it should Maeve ever find a reason to bite him.

He eyed the book bag beneath his desk a moment before looking elsewhere.

He knew she wouldn't bite him out of malice, but nothing could be said about what she would accidentally do when provided with enough excitement. Another sip and he hummed softly, the odd mix of iron and sweetness calming him enough to ignore his usual morning annoyance and focus once more on the problem at hand.

Even if Rosetta hadn't drank what was in the bottle, he was sure she'd seen the thickness of the liquid when she poured it out. The viscosity of blood was not something that could be attributed to fruit juice, no matter how aged it was. The smell wasn't something he could readily explain either, there was no conceivable way he could pass it off as an ordinary drink.

His eyes found their way back to her and he felt his lip curl.

She wasn't stupid, no matter how she behaved. He could say she was the smartest child in the classroom besides he himself of course. Another sip and he felt himself calm, already deciding that she would be his next donator.

He allowed himself a smile and opened his notebook, the black sports bottle already forgotten.

He was doing it again.

He was watching her intently with those eyes of his ever since she'd returned his bottle yesterday. He wasn't using it, but then, it was normal that people wanted to use new things when they acquired them. She eyed the shiny purple plastic peeking out of the side pocket of his rather worn book bag and looked towards the front of the classroom.

For some reason, she didn't want him looking at her.

Rosetta found this train of thought odd in itself, normally she'd attempt to do anything to gain his attention, move mountains so to speak. And yet, this time it felt as though something was starting, something she sincerely didn't want to begin. She hated to admit it, but it was there staring her in the face plain as day.

She was terrified of Harry Potter.

She didn't know why she was afraid of the boy, call it intuition or a deep buried instinct to fear what she could not comprehend. Whatever it was, she hoped it was wrong, there was no reason to fear him in her opinion. He was a nice person, albeit introverted and snarky, but still he'd never hurt anyone purposefully.

At least it's what she believed.

She placed her face in her hands and rescinded her last thought.

It was what she hoped from the bottom of her heart.

Dragging her hands slowly down her face, she allowed her fingers to pull along her eyelids and lips, tugging the skin slightly before balancing her chin upon her knuckles. She didn't like not being able to interact with him, the dreary dullness of her life before he'd appeared was not something she wanted to return to. Studying her desk quietly beneath her lashes for a moment, she chanced a glance towards the focus of her thoughts and stilled when grey eyes met green.

His eyes were a deep jade, almost black as he stared fixedly at her, overgrown bangs and sinuously long lashes hiding the majority of his face. Teasing bits of pale flesh seemed to glow beneath raven strands, ostensibly luminescent and soft looking. She swallowed and turned away, completely missing the way pale lips pulled back and bared teeth in a smile.

She ignored him the rest of the day.

He was livid.

Of course on the outside, his features were as impassive as a brick wall. He could have easily passed for a statue if not for the way his eyes glittered beneath his bangs, a shifting green that closely resembled black. Turning his head slightly, his eyes fell upon the annoyance of a girl a few seats away.

Sandy yellow strands draped over small shoulders, stray strands catching in the fibers of the baby blue sweater she donned. Her almost colorless grey eyes were focused ahead of her as she watched the streets pass with barely a change of expression, face relaxed as she remained deep in thought. Her bottom lip was worried between a row of white teeth, and he leaned his head against the cool leather of the seat before him.

A pause, and he pulled his hood over his head before settling his elbows on his knees comfortably.

A moment of almost silence, and he grinned wickedly.

The moment she stepped foot on the paved sidewalk she breathed a soft sigh of relief.

She'd been beyond nervous, what with the twitchy feeling of eyes fixated upon her person. She hadn't dared to turn around, fearful and wary of who had been staring, content in her decision to ignore him soundly. She walked a few steps away from the bus, a few children disembarking after her and glanced towards the bus.

When her eyes passed his usual haunt, she blinked at the back of the empty leather seat.

Rosetta blinked again when the sound of crunching gravel met her ears, pushing her to begin her way home. Still she stayed, staring blankly after the large vehicle as it made to turn a block away.

Harry wasn't on the bus.

She turned back to the bus stop and looked at the small crowd of children standing there, searching for something familiar. A moment of silence punctuated by the chattering of her school mates and she frowned.

She couldn't recall what the boy was wearing for the first time since meeting him.

Placing a suddenly shaky hand to her forehead, she eyed them closely for a moment until the group started to move, causing her to frown even deeper. He couldn't be one of them, she rationalized fervently, he doesn't like people. She turned away, ignoring the way one of the boys with the hooded sweatshirts started to turn towards her as she departed. She shook her head with a tiny smile ghosting her cherry pink lips, she was getting paranoid.

At least she hoped it was only paranoia.

With her house only being a scant four houses down, she allowed herself to sink into her thoughts once more. It wasn't an odd act in itself, since she was often seen as an air headed dreamer that often chased things she knew she'd never have, but she liked that about herself. She didn't want to grow into the dull type of adult that her parents were, the type that worked all day and sometimes nights, never putting aside time for their daughter-.

She sighed and focused her thoughts elsewhere.

She liked having dreams and wanting excitement from her life, she didn't want it to be monotone and simplistic. She wanted each day to be a new adventure, something new always catching her eye and bringing her along with it. Placing a lock of hair behind her ear, she stopped in front of her door, another sigh before beginning her search for her keys.

Harry was that excitement to her.

He was never one to follow trends and people, more like, he was popular without even attempting to be. She didn't know how that came to be, perhaps he had some hidden charisma; a magnetism that her peers couldn't seem to stray from. A tiny smile lit her lips as she grasped the cool metal of her keys and pulled it from her sweater pocket.

Placing the key in the lock, she turned until the tumblers gave way and allowed her entrance. Distracted by her thoughts, she only noticed the figure when she turned to close the door standing at the end of her walkway and felt herself give a little jump. She hadn't noticed anyone behind her at all, and she frowned, brow furrowing before the person shifted and continued on, dark green hood obscuring it's features.

Pursing her lips, she watched them go, before shaking her head and closing the door. Leaning against the polished wood, she stared in front of her a moment, thoughts swirling, before turning and staring at the door.

It couldn't be him… could it?

She sighed in utmost bliss as she relished the left over steam that clouded the bathroom after her shower, calm beyond belief. She pulled lightly on the towel draped about her shoulders, already satisfied with the way a second towel hugged her torso snugly, and reached for the door knob and opened it. Grey eyes watched the steam escape briefly before stepping outside into the cool hallway, feet sinking pleasantly into the plush carpet that lined the majority of the house.

She stopped when her cat, Cheshire, turned to look at her from his perch on the first stair that led downstairs.

He was an odd cat, since from the day he'd arrived he'd never seemed to still unless it was time to sleep or eat. He didn't like people, often prone to hissing at and clawing those who got too close, though sometimes he'd relent and allow a bit of a petting session until he was satisfied. She was the only one he'd allow to touch him, that she'd seen anyway, but still…

Amber eyes watched her a while longer before blinking languidly and turning away from her.

Rosetta eyed the mackerel tabby as he pricked his ears forward, glass-like eyes looking into the gloomy darkness that encompassed the whole first floor, and turned her head a little towards the stairs. There was nothing for a moment, save the dim sound of wind blowing beyond the walls, and then her eyes widened. The sound of carefully placed footsteps along with an even lighter sound of dragging floated up from the confines of the kitchen, effectively freezing her in place.

There was someone in her house.

She didn't even realize she'd somehow managed to sit on the floor until Cheshire was standing in front of her, far enough away that she couldn't touch him. His tail flicked idly as his ears managed to stay riveted on the soft sounds drifting from below. He watched her however, luminous eyes tracking the tears that silently spilled from her eyes.

A soft meow was given before he promptly turned and started making his way downstairs.

Her throat closed up as she saw the end of his striped tail turn the corner and she covered her mouth with her hands. Somewhere deep inside, she was appalled at herself. Where was her drive that swore that she would become a detective like in her most favored of favorite novels? Where was her determination to find out who had intruded in her home like many of the people who'd soon been turned into corpses when their curiosity grew too great?

It was then she found that her courage was a shallow and brittle thing bound to be easily shattered.

There was suddenly a great round of hissing coming from below and she finally allowed a sob to break through when her realizations took root. A yowl sounded soon after and was abruptly cut short, in turn ripping another unbidden sob from her throat. It was silent and she wanted to flee, she wanted her parents, she wanted-

A snake appeared at the space she'd last seen Cheshire and she froze even more, it's gun metal gray scales glinting as it's tongue flickered. Onyx eyes focused on her and it moved a scant few inches closer before stilling. A breath later, and it let out a long low hiss, body low to the ground, the thick carpet causing the majority of it to be obscured.

She blinked and suddenly there were two feet encompassed in a pair of horridly recognizable trainers on either side of the snake and she swallowed. Oversized tatty blue jeans met her gaze next, the hole on the upper thigh revealing a small yet creamy expanse of skin that she'd found herself staring at many a time. An overly large dark green hooded sweatshirt met her gaze last, the enormous hood obscuring all but the pale rose pink lips that were quirked into a sinfully alluring smile that would normally have caused her knees to buckle.

Safe to say, she didn't know what to feel.

"H-Harry?" She ventured, no quite certain if it was truly that boy that caused her emotions to turn sideways.

The smile disappeared and hands were stuffed into the pockets of the tent-like jeans as he moved to place his weight on his left leg.

"Spot on, Rosetta." He murmured, head tilting to the side idly. "But I wonder…" he paused here a moment, unseen eyes surely focused on her, "why you deemed it necessary to ignore me today?"

Flushing brightly, she fought to continue looking at him, failing miserably when she realized the resistance of the rather small white towel wrapped around her torso. Scrambling, she attempted to stand only to freeze when the snake below Harry made it's presence known once more with a short hiss.

Squeezing her eyes shut, she breathed before focusing grey eyes on the person before her.

"Never mind that, why are you here, Harry?" She paused, another breath making it's way past her lips. "Actually, I want to know how you got in my house in the first place."

There was silence as he looked at her, a silence in which the snake even turned to look at him, nearly crawling up his leg in an effort to get closer to his face. She decided in that instant that something was terribly, horribly wrong.

This was not her Harry.

She moved to stand when suddenly she was pinned on her back, a lithe body swathed in too much fabric sitting atop her torso, a hand covered in an overlong sweater sleeve squeezing her windpipe until he gasped aloud. She could see his face now and her eyes bulged in fear and lack of air, her hands attempting to remove the vice around her neck that was stealing her air.

Black pupils were dilated to the point of swallowing the emerald of his iris fully, draining his face of all color. His lips were pulled back in a feral snarl and she was pretty sure he'd even snapped his teeth at her at some point and she wanted to scream in terror.

And then suddenly it stopped.

The hand was removed and she gulped air greedily in between the violent coughs that wracked her body to the point of shaking. She eyed him carefully in that moment and he stared back at her, face as blank and unmoving as stone. Again she was reminded that he was handsome yet beautiful, and again his face twisted into a horrible sneer.

She was reminded then that he was dangerous.

"Why?" He whispered in a voice that spoke of deathly things as he hovered above her. "Why did you ignore me?"

"Why did you choke me?" She retorted, her vision of Harry Potter shattered and crushed beneath a figurative boot. "You could have kill-!"

The feeling a cool metal gave her pause enough to swallow and curse her temper.

"Do not question me," he continued, the flat of the blade resting on her cheek, "I could kill you in the quickest way possible without you realizing it… but I digress." He sat up, eying her from beneath his lashes. "I will ask you one more time: Why did you ignore me?"

The itchiness that warned her of impending tears was building as she answered, eyes fixated on a curling lock of hair that had settled beneath his right eye. "I was scared." She began with a tight voice, tears threatening to spill. "You terrified me and I didn't know why. I wanted to figure it out before speaking to you about it…"

A soft snort followed her admission and she frowned.

"Approaching the source of your discomfort Is something only an idiot would do." He gave her a bright smile that didn't reach his eyes. "And besides… you were right to fear me."

She watched as he looked away, towards the side where the bathroom was.


Lightless eyes found hers again, and suddenly he was inches away from her face, nearly being sucked into those pits that resembled twin black holes. Their breath mingled and she'd barely begun to think he was going to kiss her before it fanned and she smelled a scent that was sweet and metallic. And more than ever, she didn't want him anywhere near her.

"I'm the Black Mamba."

And then there was darkness.

She awoke with a startled gasp and pulled roughly against restraints she hadn't known were there, causing her to wince and still. She lay back carefully, gaze upon the ceiling and tried to remember why she was here, bound but thankfully not gagged. A slight movement to her right had her turning and before she knew it her memories of her house landing slammed back into being causing her to let loose a strangled scream.

Harry turned.

"I'm the Black Mamba."

She screamed louder and pulled against the thick grey tape that held her captive.

"Now Rosetta," he tsked, annoyance lacing his voice as he watched her, "don't be cliché." He paused a moment, giving her a chance to be silent, but she only continued to screech. "Shut up or I'll cut out your tongue."

A blissful second later and the room was filled with hiccups and sobs, not complete silence but he'd take it.

"Now that wasn't so hard was it?" He asked, brilliant green irises glimmering dimly in the light of what she recognized as her basement. "Of course not, you're a smart girl…" he paused, the feeling of a hand ghosting along her cheek highly unwelcome, "a bit of an airhead… but you were the only one to date who felt it."

His eyes were too bright in his suddenly flushed face and she wanted nothing to do with him.

"You were the only one who knew I was dangerous before it was too late…" he continued to pet her, face serene and she barely refrained from spitting at him, "Well, almost."

He turned around, hand falling away and lingering slightly on her exposed skin before he moved to the corner closest to the table she was laying on. She knew she wasn't completely naked, but the feeling of a meager towel barely covering her torso was not something she enjoyed. His hair was wilder than normal and she wanted to attribute it to the fact that it had been trapped beneath a loose hood- but that didn't matter.

It didn't, not really.

"Almost?" She ventured, testing the strength of her bonds as subtly as possible.

He turned and looked at her again, seemingly confused for a moment before he focused on her with a stare full of dark intent. "Yes, almost." He glanced to the floor and hissed before kneeling. "You made a very small mistake that could have very well kept you alive."

She spluttered unbecomingly and glared at the curl of hair she could see.

"Kept me alive? What nonsense are you-?" Her voice left her as the snake from earlier watched her from it's nest in Harry's hair and hood, onyx eyes glittering.

He stood then, watching her, eyes fixated and unmoving. She swallowed thickly and he grinned.

"Yes, I am going to kill you, you know." He answered as though he were commenting on the weather, pausing before adding as an afterthought. "This is Maeve by the way, a very lovely black mamba.

The snake didn't move, merely keeping it's eyes situated on her face.

"Dull as a rock," he muttered before moving towards her, "but you see, I was at a loss of what to do but the cat gave me an idea." He lay his head against her chest, right over her heart and Maeve moved so that she hovered above his ear. "I'm going to skin you."

She lifted her head, her anger flaring as she snarled at the seemingly docile boy resting between her breasts. "You killed Cheshire?" She growled, spittle flying. "And skinned him?"

Harry was unmoved by her display, though the mamba reared back in annoyance.

"Yes." He smiled a smile that made him more beautiful than handsome, and reached out to pet her again. "I had to do something while you were unconscious." He retracted his hand when she attempted to bite him. "Cute, however rude, but cute."

"How could you?" She whispered, eyes filling with tears as he stood.

"Easy," he told her, face blank as he reached inside the pocket of his sweatshirt, "because I have no ties to you."

He pulled out his small bone saw and giggled lightly at the stricken look on her face.

"Don't worry, it'll be over soon." He promised, as he moved closer to Rosetta's head. "And besides, scalping is always fast.

"Wait! Please…" she whispered frantically, frightened out of her mind, "I meant nothing to you? Is that what you're saying?"

He positioned his weapon calmly and looked into her wide eyes.

"I knew you weren't stupid."

And that was the last thing she'd heard.

Harry sat with his back to the corner of the Dursley's living room that allowed sight of the television. He sucked absently on the nozzle of the bottle, waiting for the news anchor to report on criminal activity for tonight, they'd surely found her by now.

Surely after two days.

"And in recent news, the Black Mamba has struck again." He ignored the sharp glance from Petunia from across the room seated within the love seat. "Ten year old Rosetta Andrews was found taped down to a pool table in her basement, scalped and skinned from head to toe, as well as a liter of blood taken from her body. The black mamba venom was found pooled in one of her empty eye sockets-."

The telly was shut off and he blinked.

"Awh but mum!" Dudley whined as he turned to his relatively green in the face mother who was looking everywhere but at her nephew. "It was just getting to the cool part!"

Apparently, his cousin worshiped the Black Mamba, the fact made him snicker lightly.

"People killing one another is not 'cool', Dudums," Petunia scolded half heartedly, suddenly tired, "and besides it's bed time."

Amidst grumblings and stomping and tempers flaring, Harry left the living room, Vernon's beady little eyes following him as he made his way by. He was sure the whale wanted to trip him, but it didn't matter since he'd procured the sweetest tasting blood he'd had in a while and he was content.

It seemed Rosetta was indeed useful for something.

A hum and he shut his cupboard door behind him, the enveloping darkness welcome.

AN: Well, I will say that I had originally intended to post this on Christmas… but then I lost my muse, but then I found it again for my upcoming birthday. Reviews and suggestions are more than welcome, and if you want, you can do it for a birthday present! Woo!