A New Place To Stay

Chapter 54


Severus stalked the halls his mind not really into scolding the students, his mind was cursing his son in million different ways, without much scorn to his consternation. Honestly he just wanted to put Harry over his knee and give him a red arse for wilfully disobeying him. He just had a feeling in his heart that something was going to happen. It's partly why he kept returning to the entrance hall every hour, but as the time continued to move on, and no teacher called for aid he calmed down slightly. He'd never admit he over reacted, but when it came to Harry's safety well, he realized he probably would always over react. It would soon be time for the students to return, relaxing marginally; he wouldn't completely until they were all back. Why Dumbledore insisted on allowing them to go during war baffled him completely. It was like painting a large target on the small town. Even worse that he wasn't in attendance, no the next one was what he was scheduled to attend. Minerva was a competent fighter, she would protect Harry, he knew that, or thought so anyway. She might not listen to him which was a surprise to him. He had thought the Gryffindor's worshiped the ground she walked on.

Flicking his wand he realized the time, nodding to himself curtly, he stalked towards the Great Hall, it was time for lunch. When he entered he noticed Albus wasn't there, strange what was the old fool up to now? Searching for another Horcrux? He didn't have anything planned Ministry wise, he always brought it up at Staff meetings, so Minerva was well informed so she could take over the running of the school until he returned.

Taking his seat, he didn't even look at the other teachers, merely began filling his plate and began to eat. Watching his younger Slytherins, who were talking animatedly with each other, something they did when none of the other students were there. The younger students liked to imitate the older ones, present a united front, possibly the prefect's ideas being drummed into them.

Arching an eyebrow stifling his amusement as Filch ran into the hall, and began racing up to the head table. Although any amusement he had faded fast when he noticed the squib heading straight for him. Concern began to churn in his stomach, making the food he just ate want to rebel dangerously. Despite this none of the emotion showed on his face, he turned to Filch demanding answers silently. It was ironic really that a man with no magical powers wasn't afraid of him or intimidated. They would never be friends, but he did respect Filch's backbone.

"Severus, your presence is requested in the Headmaster's office." said Filch panting as he tried to regain his breathe. He'd run from the Great Lake to the Hall, when he'd ran into Hagrid and Minerva who told him to fetch the wizard. Seeing their faces he hadn't grumbled about being a human owl for once, something big had gone down.

"Why?" Severus asked nonplussed.

"Minerva didn't say," replied Filch.

"Very well," said Severus, his robes whirling around him he swiftly left the Great Hall, exiting through the main entrance instead of the teacher's one. It would take him longer should he take the teachers exit; inwardly he rolled his eyes as the students all stared after him curiously. Yet as always, the younger students didn't stay curious long, merely went back to their meals. One of the few times Severus was grateful for their short attention span.

It took everything in Severus not to run towards the headmaster's office, but he did walk at a faster pace than usual. The students were all in the Great Hall so he didn't have to worry much. What had happened? Why was his presence being requested? The only explain was it involved one of his Slytherins, Draco immediately came to mind but dismissed it, surely the idiot boy wouldn't try anything stupid.

"Blood pops," sneered Severus as he stepped on the moving gargoyle, and waited impatiently for it to reach the top. Turning the handle he entered the room, and wanted to curse. Draco Malfoy was sitting on one of the chairs, beaten bloody yet looking unrepentant. This was going to be a long day, staring impassively at Minerva, arching an eyebrow knowing he would soon have all the details.

"I should get goin'" muttered Hagrid, "Cannie leave all the students emselfs."

"Of course, thank you Hagrid." said Minerva her attention wavering from Severus momentarily to speak to Hagrid.

"Severus," murmured Hagrid nodding his head before he departed from the Headmaster's office, his large head bending down just to get out the door.

"What happened?" asked Severus irritated, sounding as though he'd rather much be somewhere else other than here.

"That is what I am trying to find out," said Minerva throwing Draco an irritated look. "Unfortunately Draco Malfoy won't speak, Mr. Potter has gone to the toilet and will be back momentarily."

Just then the Floo network activated, Severus looked over expecting Dumbledore but found instead the small figure of Flitwick emerging. If the look on his face was anything to go by, his day was about to go into an infinite loop of becoming never ending.

"Ah, Filius, perhaps you can shed some light on what happened here?" asked Minerva.

"This wand was used to place the Imperius curse on Madam Rosmerta," said Filius staring at Draco Malfoy with disgust.

"It's not my wand," protested the Slytherin immediately.

"Does Rosmerta remember what happened?" asked Minerva concerned; she got on well with the barmaid.

"Unfortunately not," said Filius. "If the wand isn't yours Mr. Malfoy, I assume you have yours on hand to verify that?"

"Yes, Professor Flitwick," said Draco murmuring since he was in agony. Standing up he removed his wand from its holster, which thankfully hadn't gotten broken when Potter attacked him. The second wand he had unfortunately was now in Flitwick's possession. He'd gotten the wand from his aunt Bellatrix, when she'd been in Malfoy Manor teaching him Occlumency.

The three teachers stared at Draco, not believing him the slightest, but without proof they could do nothing. Rosmerta didn't remember who attacked her, and the wand wasn't conclusive poof that Draco had used the Imperious curse. Being underage meant they couldn't use Veritaserum on him, not without Ministry approval. They seriously doubted they would approve it, and so simply put they were stuck.

"Ah, what is going on here?" asked Albus coming out of the Floo network surprised to see three of his teachers in the office. With one bruising worse by the minute Draco Malfoy, who seemed to shrink upon seeing him.

Just then Harry remade his entrance into the Headmaster's office not showing any surprise at seeing Dumbledore there. He walked over to his seat and sat down, crossing his arms across his chest, staring broodingly at the floor. He didn't dare look up at Severus, he knew without a doubt he was disappointed and angry.

Minerva and Filius began updating the Headmaster on what exactly had gone on and what they suspected. Severus stood next to them completely impassive, but if one knew where to look they could tell he was extremely pissed off.

"Thank you Filius I'll take it from here," said Albus tiredly, Minerva and Severus would remain behind as their Head of house for the students.

"What should I do with this?" asked Filius gesturing towards the cursed box. "I suggest setting fire to it?"

"Good idea Filius," said Albus giving the Ravenclaw head of house permission to do whatever he wished with the cursed opal necklace.

Staring at both students from the top of his half moon glasses, disappointment the most prominent emotion within the blue eyes. Curious enough neither boy would meet his eyes, just continued to stare at the floor, Draco squirming slightly in discomfort. Walking around his desk, he sat down in his seat, letting the silence become almost unbearable. Waiting for one of the students to break and finally say something.

Draco's heart pounded away as if a sledgehammer was being hammered into it, he knew they would believe Potter. He was going to be sent to Azkaban, his mother would be killed for his failure. Merlin what was he going to do? Hopefully he'd get a chance to at least warn him mum, get her away from Malfoy Manor. He didn't think for a second Bellatrix would take pity on her own sister. She would kill anyone, she was mental, and every word that came out of her mouth was foul words and reverence at the Dark Lord. What if he told them the truth? No, he couldn't, maybe his godfather could help. He wanted to believe that, unfortunately he was a Death Eater as well. No doubt the Dark Lord would know the second this meeting ended.

"Mr. Potter, care to explain why you attacked Mr. Malfoy so grievously?" asked Dumbledore, aware that it would infuriate Harry, he knew the boy well enough. His anger always got the better of him, what happened to his office last year was proof of that.

Draco looked up at Potter, his blue eyes wild and terrified, begging his school nemesis not to say anything.

"He put the Imperious curse on Rosmerta," said Harry calmly, "Told her to put the curse on Luna and get her to take the box to you. I lost my temper and attacked him." ignoring the pleading eyes of the Slytherin, if it had been anyone else other than his best friend he maybe would have kept quiet.

"Rosmerta said she doesn't remember who cast it Mr. Potter," said Dumbledore.

Harry's nostrils flared, grinding his teeth furiously when he realized what was going to happen before Dumbledore said anything. He was going to let Malfoy away with it, he couldn't believe it, but then again when had his word meant anything to anyone? "I heard him doing it," said Harry, his green eyes glittering furiously.

"Without Madam Rosmerta's word, there will not be any charges filed." said Dumbledore staring at Harry disappointed. "For fighting I think fifty points apiece will be removed from both your houses."

"Albus," said Minerva twitching slightly, her brown eyes shadowed and troubled by the Headmaster's actions.

"Mr. Malfoy, you will hand in your wand to your head of house, and will only be allowed it during class. You will be confined to your dorm immediately after dinner. Any breaking of these rules will result in your immediate expulsion." said Dumbledore seriously; he wanted to save the boy, to do that he would need to keep him within Hogwarts walls. Doing what was right wasn't always easy; no doubt this was pushing Harry further from his grasp.

"Yes sir," said Draco quietly, his gaze sliding to his godfather before staring at the floor again. He had to get out of here and let his mother know. Hopefully he would do that before the news reached the Dark Lord that he'd failed.

"Both of you will be serving detention with me until the end of the year," hissed Severus crossly, his black eyes flashing at them. "Starting right now, move."

Both Harry and Draco stood up and began to move out of the Headmasters' office.

"Wand." said Severus coldly.

Draco cringed but nonetheless removed his wand and reluctantly handed it to his godfather. Tail tucked proverbially under his legs he walked out. His mind whirling dangerously on how to get out of this, he didn't even look at Potter. Not that he had been looking at him much before, his godfather had been furious with him for what he did last summer. Since then life had gone from bad to worse.

The walk towards the Potions Classroom was extremely tense to say the least. When they did finally get there, the first words out of Severus was "Mr. Malfoy, my office. NOW!" causing Draco to jump and speed through to the office as if he was being whipped with an invisible implement. Considering how hurt he was, it was a miracle really.

"You, Mr. Potter begin scrubbing the tables, you know where the cleaning things are." said Severus coldly.

"Yes sir," said Harry not attempting to explain himself. Moving off towards the cupboard, dragging out the cloths scourers and scrubbing brushes. Taking them towards the sink and began filling it up with a tough soap that gets potion stains off things without too much difficulty. He felt awful, but he couldn't regret going, it had probably saved Luna from Azkaban for killing Dumbledore, if the old bastard had opened it. Merlin he was furious about that, Dumbledore had let Malfoy off with using an unforgivable.

"Sir I'm sorry," said Draco as soon as Severus entered the office and closed the door.

"Enough!" hissed Severus not even wanting to listen to his Slytherin's excuses. He dug him fingers into his palms; the urge to shake the boy was strong. The imperious curse?! What the hell was he trying to do to himself? Sixteen years old and trying to end up in Azkaban, he was throwing his life away and Severus could do nothing but watch, and it was killing him. "What the hell were you thinking you idiot boy?!"

"I don't know," whispered Draco truthfully, he'd done it out of sheer desperation, whether the Dark Lord was a half blood or not, his mother was in danger. He had to figure out a way to kill Dumbledore, just because his stupid father had gotten caught at the Ministry.

"Two unforgivable curses Draco?! Is Azkaban what you want to accomplish in your life?!" hissed Severus.

"HE'S GOT MY MOTHER!" roared Draco standing up, panting as fury thrummed through him. There was very little Draco loved enough to protect, but his mother was one of them. "IF I DON'T DO WHAT THEY WANT THEY WILL KILL HER!"

"Your mother is in no immediate danger Draco, she can look after herself." said Severus grimly.

"Bellatrix will kill her," said Draco his throat tightening as he thought about it. "She's just waiting on me failing and the order from the Dark Lord." it wasn't just her getting into his mind; he had gotten into the deranged witches mind a few times. He could barely believe his aunt was related to his mother, they may look similar but that's where it ended. Each word out of his traitorous mouth was a relief, despite everything somewhere deep inside he must trust his godfather otherwise he wouldn't consider this.

"What have you been ordered to do?" asked Severus, wondering if his godson would tell him the truth. How stupid did his godson think he was? He knew what the boy had been ordered to do, and he was reaching the end of his tether in keeping him and Harry safe.

Draco shook his head wildly, wincing when his head thumped with agony.

"I cannot help you if you do not answer," said Severus his eyes narrowed in frustration and growing anger.

Draco's bruised blue eyes met those of his godfathers; it was hard to believe a few years ago life had been so simple. He could trust his father, his godfather, life was good - his biggest worry was doing well enough to please his father in his exams. His mind drifted to the times he'd confided in his godfather over the years, he'd never said anything during those times. Not even telling his father about the time he used that spell on Potter. Could he really tell his godfather? He didn't know what else to do; this had been his last idea.

"He wants me to take out Albus Dumbledore." whispered Draco defeated.

Severus couldn't help but notice how he'd avoided the word 'kill' with that little sentence or 'murder' it was evident Draco wasn't going to be able to do it. Considering he had cursed others to do his dirty work, so like a Malfoy. Lucius wasn't in the Dark Lord's good graces, it seemed as if the Dark Lord wanted rid of them. No doubt when Draco failed, he would order Narcissa killed, Draco would be swiftly dealt with leaving Lucius a broken man but alive. He would need to keep him alive until the use of his manor was finished with then deal with him. Draco had always thought the sun rose out of his father's backside; he wondered how he felt about him now. Considering what his ideals had reduced his family to.

"I see," said Severus impassively.

"Please don't tell him," whispered Draco desperately.

"If I agree to that, I am going to need something in return from you Draco," said Severus seriously.

"Anything," croaked Draco, thinking maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't have to do this alone.

"Very well, send in Mr. Potter, both your detentions still stand, get cleaning." said Severus.

"Yes sir," said Draco quietly, barely able to keep his legs moving, they were shaking in relief but as any Slytherin would, he regained his composure and walked out the office with his head held high. "Professor Snape wants you." Draco told Harry, giving the teenager a wide berth. First Granger punched him like a common hooligan, now Potter? he couldn't fight like that, it wasn't fair.

Harry glared at Malfoy as he passed; surprised that nobody had healed him yet, slipping into the office. He had been surprised when he heard Malfoy shouting, it was almost as if Severus had wanted him to overhear. While he did feel slightly sorry for him, it was washed away for targeting his friend. Although the majority of his anger was focused on Dumbledore, not even scrubbing for twenty minutes helped his mood.

"Sit down," said Severus flicking his wand and casting a silencing spell around the room, confirming Harry's suspicions that he had wanted him to overhear their conversation.

"I know what you are thinking…" started Harry.

"Indeed?" asked Severus, "Do tell."

"I don't regret going, I can't, he targeted my best friend!" said Harry defensively.

"Yes, he did." agreed Severus, "There is nothing you wouldn't do for your friends isn't that correct?"

Harry narrowed his eyes, "Where is this going?" asked Harry a sinking feeling in his stomach.

"He is trying to protect his mother, while his actions are deplorable you have to remember he's desperate." replied Severus.

"Fine, he's desperate." said Harry, still wondering what he was up to.

"Bringing him in might save us a lot of hassle." said Severus, "And save his life, as well as his mothers."

"What? You are going to let him kill Dumbledore?" scoffed Harry.

"Of course not," said Severus deadpanned. He wasn't surprised his son had figured it out, after all Draco had been caught red-handed. No doubt everyone realized what Draco had been up to; no doubt Minerva was in the Headmasters office still grilling him. "I am sure between us we can come up with an idea or two on how best deal with the situation."

"Tell him what you want, as long as I don't have to deal with him." said Harry.

"Harry," said Severus warningly.

"Alright, what do you want me to do?" asked Harry, unable to say no to Severus, knowing he cared deeply about Draco. It turned his stomach but he would do it. He refused to admit he was just jealous, which he was big time. The thought of sharing his dad with anyone in the only time he got with him made him feel like a two year old - temper tantrum incoming.

"Nothing but get back into that room and clean," said Severus.

"This isn't fair, it's not my fault." sighed Harry getting up.

"After everything I taught you, the first thing you do is fight like a common hooligan?" snapped Severus.

"But that's not why you are angry, it's because I went to Hogsmeade." said Harry defensively.

"I am angry, I told you not to go." said Severus, "You defied me, and that's that, end of discussion."

Harry turned away, walking towards the door, "I thought you understood," said Harry his voice changing to sadness.

Severus froze realizing Harry was actually upset. "Alright Harry, sit down, talk to me." said Severus softly. Going back to the man Harry was used to dealing with in Prince Manor when he had to talk about his feelings and past. Somewhere along the lines they had stopped communicating, something he had to stop immediately.

"I just want to be normal, to do normal things, forget I'm supposed to murder someone so everyone can live their pathetic little lives." said Harry bitterness crawling up his throat. "Hogsmeade is that one time, just being with friends and buying things." hell sneaking around and going just wasn't the same as going with them and coming back.

"You value going to Hogsmeade that much?" asked Severus surprised, he hadn't gotten that much enjoyment out of attending the village. Perhaps that's why Harry liked it; nodding in understanding he finally understood where Harry was coming from, and why he had gone despite his words.

"Yes," admitted Harry, "I'm sorry, I just…" he added but unable to finish or articulate himself.

"I understand Harry, but you still have detention, you aren't getting out of it." said Severus amused.

"Damn," said Harry.

"It's a good job you didn't take Zar with you today, he may have come out if he sensed how angry you were." said Severus.

Harry paled, "Yes, it is." said Harry feeling sick. The thought of anything happening to Zar was intolerable to him.

"Stop with the Muggle fighting Harry," said Severus, "Otherwise we will step up the training." which meant more time away from his friends, not something Harry would relish.

"Well I couldn't use the spells I know now could I? Not without everyone becoming suspicious!" replied Harry.

"You paused long enough to think?" asked Severus doubtfully.

"No," admitted Harry sheepishly.

"I thought as much, remember to come down after dinner," said Severus, he had a few new spells to teach Harry, which was getting more and more difficult as the days went by. He wasn't teaching him the Darkest arts, just the Dark Arts, enough to survive and win in a confrontation with the Dark Lord.

"Yes sir," said Harry.

"Did you have lunch?" enquired Severus as Harry stood up heading for the door.

"Yes," said Harry, mostly sweets but he wasn't about to admit that.

"Good" said Severus, sighing tiredly as he removed the spells on the door and slumped in his seat. Things were getting complicated, despite his desires he knew letting Draco in on everything wouldn't make it all go away. How the hell did he protect his son and godson when they were always at odds? When one was tasked in killing Albus bloody Dumbledore? A man he could barely tolerate. Mostly because of his actions against Harry, added with the Horcruxes it was a mess.

Okay my muse wouldnt let me put draco in azkaban :( boo but what can i do? too many ideas hinge on dumbledore and draco...will draco manage to gain harry's trust? perhaps being the one to find the diadem? will three of them work closely together or reluctantly together? will Harry give her permission to stay in one of his properties until the war is over or will she stay and keep up the pretence? will harry have a normal seventh year and defeat voldemort at the end of sixth year? or will we see it concluded at the end of seventh year? will severus be bitten by nagini? or will Zar come to his rescue? R&R PLEASE!