Title: Delicious Soul

Side-Pairings: Ron/Hermione, Neville/Draco, Severus/Lucius, Past-Sirius/Remus, Sirius/Fred/George, Seamus/Dean

Warnings: Slash, Abusive!Dursleys, Threesome, AU, OOC, M-Preg. (Abuse includes verbal, mental, physical, and object penetration. You have been warned.)

Rating: M for extreme explicit abuse and future sexual implications

Disclaimer: I don't own. All belongs to J.K. Rowling.

Archives: Fanfiction

Posted Date: 3/25/14

Important A/N: Thank you so much for sticking around for this chapter! Hopefully I'll have more out soon as I have made a plan for this story and everything. There is expected to be around 24 chapters and an Epilogue. I have also decided Ginny's fate; the polls are closed, thanks to everyone who helped! I hope this story continues to live up to everyone's expectations. As of this chapter, I'll start privately replying to EVERY review I receive, and publically for those on anonymous. I would greatly appreciate it if you went back and reread this story if you're not new here; I have edited quite a few things, though the plot stays the same. Thanks again! Happy reading!

"Fine! Brace yourself, Harry!"

Chapter Four: Surprise!

Chapter Warnings: Slash, Language, Threesome, Creatures, Mentions of past abuse.

Harry tilted his head in confusion while the other occupants of the room groaned in exasperation. Brace myself? What does that mean? Memories flashed through him of his uncle and his eyes started to widen in fear. He couldn't help it; despite his attempts to brush off his anxieties, fear haunted him, even in the most mundane of situations. These were his friends, though, they wouldn't hurt him… he hoped.

"Really, Moony, you just had to give it away! Now it won't be a surprise!" Sirius grumbled, crossing his arms and pouting. This caused Harry to chuckle slightly – Sirius was one thing that would never change. He was as immature as ever, which was now intensified a bit by his two younger, mischievous lovers. Remus just rolled his eyes in mock exasperation, a smile teasing around the corners of his mouth. He eyed Harry subtly, trying to mask his concern, but finding it difficult. This was planning to be a lot for Harry to handle, especially after his whirlwind of a day.

"Padfoot, it's not like I committed a crime or something. Besides! You know I can't resist the puppy-dog eyes!" Sirius's response was cut off by the sound of the floo flaring several times in succession, and everyone in the room started bustling about at once. The air thrummed with barely contained excitement, and Remus was grinning at him as he made his way across the room. Harry couldn't help but notice Remus's smile lightened his whole look, making his amber eyes seem to sparkle and he walked with a slight bounce in his step.

Remus grabbed his wrist lightly, and Harry almost made to hold his hand but caught himself. Not yet! He let himself be dragged to the living room, where the others had disappeared to earlier, a smile already plastered across his face. The atmosphere was simply infectious and he found himself grinning in anticipation.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HARRY!" Harry jumped a foot in the air and let out a very unmanly shriek that he'd deny vehemently later. The entire Gryffindor Quidditch team, all of his friends from school, and all of the Hogwarts staff was gathered before him, even Snape. A blush heated up his cheeks at the attention and, to his mortification, he felt his eyes prickling with unshed tears. This was the happiest he'd ever been, he believed. Harry couldn't even begin to believe that his friends would do something like this for him. No one had ever done something like this before. In fact, his birthday was usually forgotten or made worse by the Dursleys. When he was younger he had always wanted a big birthday party like this, friends all around, happiness tangible in the air… And now he had it. His friends grinned at his reaction and rushed forward to hug him. Harry froze up as soon as they hugged him, and Remus quickly rescued him, but not before Harry could give them a quick hug.

"Come on, guys, give the birthday boy some space!" The group laughed and backed up, and Harry plastered a smile to his face despite his discomfort. Remus shot him a concerned look, and Harry gave a slight nod in his direction and a reassuring look. It was okay – he could make it through one day with all his friends here. He was just touched that they would all come here.

"Happy birthday, my boy!" Harry started in shock for a moment before turning to see Dumbledore, bright magenta robes and all. He hadn't noticed him coming up behind him. "How do you like being seventeen?" Dumbledore's eyes twinkled knowingly and Harry blushed crimson. Of course Dumbledore would know about Remus and him – he knew everything! In fact, Remus had probably told the headmaster himself; he was far too honorable not to.

"O-oh, it is going great, professor!" Harry stuttered, still blushing fiercely. "I do have one question, though," he said, dropping his voice to a whisper. "How were they all able to come here? Isn't it a secret headquarters?" Dumbledore nodded and chuckled merrily, an all-knowing grin on his face.

"Yes, excellent! Professor Flitwick came up with this ingenious little spell to make them forget the location after they left. They'll remember the party but won't be able to remember where it was held!" Harry blinked, not quite sure if he liked his friends being jinxed. But it was for the best, and it wouldn't cause any harm. It was worth it, having them all come here, even if they wouldn't remember the exact location.

As Dumbledore turned to speak to another Order member, the floodgates seemed to open, and suddenly Harry was being passed from person to person, each armed with birthday wishes and summer stories. He found himself laughing along with their antics and anecdotes, feeling more carefree than he had in months. He felt so… accepted. He belonged here, with these people, in this house, far away from the Dursleys. Warm, undiluted happiness rose up in him; he had finally found a place where he was home.

His friends all had different stories to tell about their summer, and he was more than happy to listen. Luna came and kept her distance, somehow understanding his desire for personal space. She had smiled dreamily, and given him the full story on how her and her father went exploring through South America, searching for wild Wumbles, creatures who were extreme environmentalists and only lived to save the forest. Harry listened and chimed in at the right points, playing his part well. He found he loved hearing the stories of her adventures. The world needed more imaginative optimists like Luna Lovegood.

"Oi, Harry! Happy Birthday!" Seamus and Dean came rushing up to him, gathering him in a bone-crushing hug before he had the chance to think. Harry squeaked in fear, already struggling to be released as they pressed on his sore ribs. He was quickly let go of and mustered up an enthusiastic smile, not noticing Remus blatantly observing him in case he needed help. The two boys in front of him had slightly hurt expressions; Harry didn't often deny their affections.

"I'm sorry, guys, I just recently hurt my ribs and I'm still a little sore…" Harry gave them an uneasy smile. He didn't necessary lie to them, he just… made it seem better than it was and omitted the causes, perhaps. They didn't need to know the details. His excuse seemed enough for them, though, as they were soon smiling brightly at him once more. Harry also didn't miss their interlocked hands. Grinning, Harry raised his eyebrows at the pair. "Well I see you two have been busy over the summer," he teased, laughing at the blush that stained their faces. It felt good to be so carefree, not a worry in the world.

"Oh, shut up, you git!" Seamus face was beat red, his freckles standing out even more, and Harry and Dean laughed at his reaction. "We were going to tell you soon, Harry, it just sort of… happened." Seamus stole shy glances over Dean, and Harry smiled at the two, proud of them. Everyone knew they'd get together eventually; they had been dancing around each other for months.

"Don't worry, guys, we all knew this would happen eventually. I just wish it had happened over last Christmas break – I would have won the betting pool." Harry winked at them, enticing another bout of laughter from the group. He had missed them, and found himself ecstatic they finally found each other. Of course, winning the betting pool would have been nice, if they had just hurried things along…

Harry, Seamus, and Dean caught up quickly, them retelling all their summer adventures while reminiscing the last school year with Harry. They were still howling with laughter over the prank they had played on Malfoy, dying his hair neon pink for a week and changing all his robes into similar colors, when Remus came over. He hadn't meant to intrude, just to spend a few minutes with his mate, but Harry quickly said bye to his friends to speak to him.

Harry gazed up at Remus with excited emerald eyes still sparkling with mirth, a grin etched across his face, nearly bouncing in his place. Rocking up on his toes, he launched himself into Remus's arms, hugging him tightly. Remus was knocked breathless, frozen for a second, merely staring at his mate in wonder. His arms wound around Harry and he hugged him back, only letting go when he caught Sirius giving them a confused glance. Harry smiled cheerfully up at him still, not perturbed in the slightest.

"I know all of you worked to plan this, so thank you so much. I've never had anything like this; I'm having the time of my life…" Harry trailed off, eyes softening affectionately at his werewolf. "It means the world to me," he whispered, ducking his head as he blushed lightly. Harry could feel eyes on him from around the room and felt his cheeks heating up even more, not wanting to draw any more attention to himself. He started when he felt a hand ruffling his hair affectionately, and peaked up through his fringe at Remus, who's hand lingered a moment longer than necessary.

"It was a pleasure, Harry." Remus laughed as Harry's expression noticeably brightened, and Harry was radiating happiness. "Actually, do you have a moment to talk, privately?" Harry tilted his head slightly, confused at the request, but nodded his consent and followed Remus as he weaved through the crowd toward the stairwell. Nervous thoughts rushed through Harry's head. Remus wasn't regretting anything, was he? Did Harry do something wrong? What if Remus decided he didn't want Harry as his mate after all? Harry's terror kept mounting as they stood in an alcove off the hallway, Remus throwing up a privacy spell.

"Harry, calm down," Remus's voice barely penetrated the thick fog of fear clouding Harry's brain. He heard a sigh, and protective arms wound around him, pressing Harry against Remus's chest. Harry, shocked by the embrace, turned to stare up at Remus, who had concern etched into his face. Instinctively, Harry grabbed the fabric of Remus's shit and pressed his face into his chest, just breathing in his scent for a moment, trying to calm down. "I'm just trying to explain something about Malfoy to you; you have nothing to worry about, my mate. Now take a deep breath and relax." Harry felt Remus's breath tickle his ear as he spoke and nearly melted into the man. Taking a few moments to breathe, he rubbed his cheek affectionately against Remus's chest, who brought a hand up to pet Harry's hair in reply. Harry stepped away as he heard Neville and Ron making their way down to hallway, probably to Ron's room. Harry looked up, apologies on the tip of his tongue, but Remus held up his hand to silence him. "Hush, Harry, you're allowed to be insecure. One day you'll realize that you can do no wrong in my eyes." Remus smiled lovingly at him and Harry sighed in relief, smiling once again.

"Now that that's settled, I need to explain Draco Malfoy's situation to you." This caught Harry's attention and he nodded in response, alert. "He came into his inheritance this June, though not in the same fashion you did. It turns out that his blood was not as pure as we once thought; he has Veela blood. Not enough to make him a full Veela, but enough to give him some of their tendencies. Beautiful, able to use a compulsion to make people fall in love with me, and… he has a mate. Like werewolves, Veelas can also find their fated mate. He did find his mate, Neville, as you might have guessed, but… he is the dominant in the relationship." Harry's eyes had widened, not taking in what was being said. Remus sighed and went to cup Harry's cheek, and Harry leaned into the touch, eyes wide with confusion. "That means that he recognizes you're some creatures… submissive. When you accepted our bond, that marked you as mine in smell. Creatures can tell when you're mated, if it has been consummated, whether you're the submissive or dominant… Only other werewolves can tell exactly who they're bonded to, but Draco can most definitely tell it's to a werewolf and seeing as I'm the only werewolf you know and also carry the newly mated scent…" Harry felt the blood draining from his face despite Remus rubbing his thumb across his cheekbone, trying to keep him calm. He opened his mouth to speak, but nothing would come out. That would explain him dating Neville, now… he thought. Remus took pity on him and continued to speak, and Harry could feel the concern exuding off him in waves. "He won't try and steal you from me or harm you, as he understands the bond mates have, but… he will continue to strike some discomfort in you, maybe even fear. It's natural. Long ago, creatures used to try and steal each other's mates all the time, wanting a magically powerful one. It's no longer in practice, even outlawed, but the submissive in you recognizes you're the most magically powerful candidate in that room, and you haven't consummated your bond either. Malfoy won't harm you in any way, but you'll feel that fear until our bond is consummated, as in another time you would be very vulnerable to him now. You don't have to worry about it, but I didn't want you thinking too much into your wariness. He won't hurt you, I promise," Remus swore as Harry struggled to come to grasps. Malfoy, a Veela? It was insane, ludicrous, impossible… yet that perfectly explained the fear that had consumed him earlier, the need to be protected. Harry scanned Remus's eyes, looking for comfort, and he found it. Remus wouldn't lie to him; he truly believed Draco was harmless to him. Smiling tightly, Harry gave Remus a warm hug.

"Thank you for letting me know… I have to say, I was a little terrified when seeing him," Harry admitted, not mentioning his longing to be protected then. He trusted Remus, but he was never one to be vulnerable if he could help it. Harry felt warm lips press to his forehead and he sighed in content. He may not have expected this, but Remus filled him with happiness. He was glad they were mates, as new as it was.

"You never have to worry about things like that, Beloved; I'll always be here to protect you." Harry blushed at the endearment and held Remus tighter for a moment, feeling… special. For once in his life, he felt special. He knew it wouldn't last; he was a freak of nature, and soon Remus would see that as well. Remus pulled away, a concerned glint still in his eyes. Harry let himself be studied for a moment, knowing Remus had seen his flas of sadness, but the man dropped the matter and pulled them back into the hallway, cancelling the privacy spell. They had been gone too long as it was. "Come on, Harry, let's rejoin your party." Harry smiled in reply and followed his mate back downstairs.

Joining the crowd of people once more, it wasn't long before he was being pulled this way and that by his friends again.

"Come on, deary! I spent all yesterday working on this cake; I can't wait till you see it!" Mrs. Weasley came up and grabbed him by his arm, leading him toward the dining room. "Cake time, everyone!" she called out to the rest. The teens let out a loud whoop and rushed into the dining room. With a carefree laugh, Harry broke free of Mrs. Weasley's grasp and followed Ron in, who was already complaining about being hungry even though they had eaten breakfast barely an hour ago.

On the table was a huge cake in the shape of a golden snitch, probably enough to feed a small army. In crimson lettering it said 'Happy 17th Birthday, Harry!' Harry gasped at the sight before quickly turning to Mrs. Weasley.

"Mrs. Weasley, this is amazing, it's the best cake I've ever seen! You really shouldn't have gone to so much trouble, I would have been happy with anything! This is… Thank you so much!" Harry couldn't express how thankful he was, he'd never expected anything like this. His voice got caught in his throat again and he fought down his tears, though they shined in his eyes. Hell, he had expected to be dead for his birthday! Something this amazing… It was hard to grasp. He was a freak; things like this didn't happen to him. People didn't care about him, they didn't throw him huge parties, and they definitely did not bake him huge cakes. The whole situation was completely surreal.

Mrs. Weasley, sensing his gratitude, pulled him into one of her tight, motherly hugs. Harry was shocked but didn't protest; she was like a mother to him. "Harry, dear, don't you worry about a thing. I'm always happy to do things for you; you're like one of my own, minus the red hair, of course!" Mrs. Weasley laughed and Harry joined her, reaching up with a free hand to wipe away the stray tears before pulling away from the hug, absolutely beaming.

People gathered around and began singing an off-key rendition of happy birthday, but it was perfect to him. Nothing could darken his mood; he was floating on a cloud. Harry was overwhelmed with happiness. He had to be the luckiest man alive; he sure felt like that, at the moment. Never before had he felt this way at the Dursleys, and now he was free of them forever, free to be as happy as he wanted.

His friends let out a cheer at the end of the song, while Harry leaned forward to blow out the seventeen birthday candles perched upon his cake. One was never too old to make a wish, he supposed… It wasn't hard to think up a wish. I wish we could be happy for the rest of our lives.

Mrs. Weasley served everyone cake, and convivial conversation erupted throughout the room. Harry was given a large piece of cake and his eyes widened at the size; there was no way he'd be able to finish this! Glancing up at Remus in a panic, he was relieved when he saw the gentle smile and shake of his head. At least they knew he wouldn't be able to eat it all, it was far too much, he'd explode!

Conversation flowed easily between him and his friends. Ron and Hermione included him fully in their talk, not leaving him out like a third wheel as he had expected. They had each other now, why would they have a use for him? They didn't seem to care, though, and spent most of cake catching up with him, laughing and retelling stories. He was happy for them, ecstatic even, he just always worried they'd leave him someday. Harry needed them in his life; they were his constant companions, the people he could always count on. So far they hadn't left him, they had always accepted and included him, but he couldn't shake his lingering doubts. Any of them. He doubted anyone would stick around, even Sirius, Remus, the Weasleys… But they had. Against all the odds, the people he cared about most stayed with him, and that brought another blinding smile to his face. He really wasn't alone.

No fights broke out over cake, surprisingly, as there were so many different personalities in the room. Many eyes kept flicking to Snape and the Malfoys filled with distrust, but no one even tried anything. Harry was grateful for that; he didn't want any arguments on his birthday. The chaperoning adults played a big hand in this, though Harry was unaware of that. Anytime someone in their vicinity would get tense or angry, the teachers would go and calmly remind them to maintain their manners or leave, which usually stopped the fighting.

"I think it's time for gifts, my boy," Dumbledore said from behind him, eyes twinkling. Harry nearly jumped at his presence and blinked owlishly up at him.

"Gifts?" he asked, awe coloring his tone. Harry always received gifts on his birthday from his friends, though each year he was surprised. He was raised to believe he didn't deserve gifts, and simply expected his friends to just stop sending them one year. Everyone grew silent as the watched Harry and Dumbledore's exchange, excitement in the air. Mrs. Weasley tapped the table to clear away the dishes, and the gifts appeared. Harry gasped, eyes widening at the sheer amount. His eyes became wet with tears once more, and he swallowed them down.

"Thank you sir, but I can't-" Harry tried to say, being interrupted by Dumbledore, though.

"Ah, Harry, you haven't even received my gift yet, so you can't turn it down just yet! In fact, I doubt anyone would take back their gift, even if you asked. Your friends want to give you these things, dear boy, and I daresay they'll be successful. So just enjoy it," Dumbledore said softly, peering over his spectacles at Harry. When he didn't protest, Dumbledore smiled jubilantly.

"Excellent!" Dumbledore grabbed a small box for the table and handed it to Harry, who was still shocked over the turn of events. "This is from me, Harry. Go ahead, open it!" Dumbledore couldn't seem to hold in his excitement and Harry found himself smiling as well. He opened the box with care, and pulled out a silver, oval locket attached to a simple long chain. The locket was small enough, with only a simple design of lilies encircling it. Opening it, he found it was empty. "I have enchanted it to be similar to a pensieve. You can store a single memory in it, whichever you wish, and show it to those who have your permission. All you have to do is tap your wand to it to see the memory! When not being viewed, it will simply show a brief moment of the memory as just a regular wizarding photo." Dumbledore was twinkling down at him again and Harry found himself speechless. It was a priceless gift; it must have taken ages to charm! Not thinking about it, Harry reached out and gave Dumbledore a light hug.

"Thank you," Harry breathed, "so much. It means the world to me." He sat back down and smiled up at his mentor, moving to loop the necklace over his head. It came to rest on his chest and he placed it under his robes, concealed from view but so he could still feel its icy presence on his chest.

"Looks like it's my turn!" Sirius seemed to almost bounce over to Harry, a huge grin stretched across his face. It was infectious and soon Harry had a matching smile. "There's the spirit, Harry!" Laughing with his godfather, he watched as Sirius picked up another small box from the table. He seemed to sober while doing so, leaving just a small smile there.

"Now, Harry, it is traditional for the oldest male to receive their family ring on their seventeenth birthday, as it has been passed down through the generation. It carries your family crest and some heavy protection spells, usually." Sirius took a breath, seeming to struggle for a moment. Harry opened his mouth to help, but Sirius held up his hand. "No, let me finish. As your family ring was destroyed during the… attack… I am giving you the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black's family ring. You're my godson, and you will inherit the family fortune and title from me when I pass. This is another thing you deserve then." Harry's heart seemed to stop for a moment as Sirius revealed the treasure inside the box. It was a silver ring that truly stood up to its family's name, seeming to radiate power and nobility. The Black crest was there; two lions surrounding a shield that had a sword bordered by two stars on it. He didn't even have to touch it to feel the protection spells. Harry looked up at Sirius, about to protest, but his look was final. Reaching into the box, Harry slid the ring on his finger, gasping as it resized to fit him perfectly and the magic seemed to coat him. He turned and blessed Sirius with a tight hug as well, whispering his thanks a thousand times over. This meant the world to him, and he made sure Sirius knew it. He was part of a family now, Sirius's family, and that was a priceless gift.

Remus walked up to him next and Harry quickly struggled to hide his blush that immediately heated up his face. Remus gave him a small smirk, before settling on one knee in front of Harry, holding a rectangular package. Not more jewelry, then… Harry deduced, his curiosity getting the better of him as his inspected the gift from afar. Knowing Remus, it was probably a book of some kind.

"I wanted to get you something to remind you of your parents, Harry. I know you wish to learn more about them and Padfoot and I haven't told you nearly enough stories yet. You were robbed of your time to get to know them. They were… wonderful people, Harry, and they'd be very proud of you." Remus seemed to struggle over his words, pain coloring his tone. Harry wanted to reach out and comfort him, but he couldn't here, not yet. Remus gave him a strained smile and handing the gift to him. Harry unwrapped it slowly, revealing a heavy, leather bound book. Flipping it up to the front page, his heart beat immediately quickened. It was a photo album, that much was clear. There were scribbles all over the front page, it four different styles of handwriting… The Marauders! Harry realized, eyes wide. "During our years in school, we put together a photo album, starting in our second year. I figured Sirius and I could go through it with you; we haven't looked through it in years, though we'd be happy to retell all the stories. I figured it would give you a chance to finally get to know your parents better…" Remus trailed off, almost nervously. Harry quickly hugged him tightly, holding on to him like a lifeline.

"I love it, Remus, thank you so much. It's perfect," Harry whispered, his voice scratchy with tears. Remus lingered for just a moment to long, not noticing Sirius's suspicious gaze, before pulling away and beaming at Harry. Harry was once again shocked at how beautiful Remus looked like this. He seemed younger, eyes bright and uplifting, a brilliant smile upon his face.

"I'm glad," Remus said to him, ruffling his hair affectionately again.

The festivities continued after that. Harry received far more gifts than he expected and tears were almost shed many more times. He received a book on famous Quidditch techniques from Ron, a book filled with advanced defense spells and dueling strategies from Hermione, and the Gryffindor Quidditch team pitched in to buy him a private practice snitch with his name engraved in the gold, which he cherished. He also got a joke bag from Fred and George's shop – no surprise there, new winter robes in flattering shades of blue and green from Ginny, a healing plant from Neville, a preserved flower crown from Luna to keep the Nargles away, and the Order gifted him with some Peruvian Darkness Powder, a handy defensive tool. This brought a small sense of dread with it, reminding Harry of the war he must eventually fight, the world he was meant to save… He couldn't think of it long, though, as soon everyone was making their way out.

Saying goodbye was a tedious affair, as there were so many people to thank, but Harry was just happy to have seen his friends again. Even Snape had said good bye to him, scowling while grounding out a, "Happy birthday, Potter." Harry had to keep his jaw from dropping in shock. Snape didn't say anything else as he turned to leave, but Harry had seen it in his eyes. This was Snape's form of… apologizing. Shaking his head, Harry knew he must have seen it all by now. Turning toward his mate, his eyes were still bright with joy.

"Thank you again, Remus, for everything. This was… perfect, an absolutely perfect party," Harry said, beaming up at Remus. The man came and engulfed him in a hug, and Harry nestled in his Remus's arms, comfortable. A wave of exhaustion crashed over him again and he let out a loud yawn, unable to keep it in. Remus chuckled in response.

"I knew you should have gotten more sleep. Come on, Lovely, let's take a nap before dinner, okay?" Harry smiled up at him drowsily, that plan sounding perfect to him. They went up the stairs together, Remus supporting a stumbling Harry. Harry followed Remus into his rooms without questioning it, and quickly joined him in bed. Remus wrapped an arm around him and Harry snuggled in close, immediately seeking his affection. Remus pulled the blankets over the pair of them and Harry fell asleep to the feeling of Remus running his fingers through Harry's hair.

Thank you so much for reading! I realize you have waited years for this chapter and I hope some of you still enjoy this, especially as it's a longer chapter. Please review!

Statistics: this is still my most popular story with 29,313 views (holy shit), 460 alerts (holy shIT), 308 favorites (holy SHIT), 12 communities (hoLY SHIT), and a solid 121 reviews (can I get a JFC HOLY SHIT)! Thank you all so much!

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