Disclaimer: HP and Co. belong to J.K Rowling, not myself.
A/N: Terribly sorry for the long wait for updates you guys. I've been having major computer issues lately (hopefully all sorted now) so maybe things can get back to some version of normal. Anyway, hope you enjoy the chapter!
Once again thank you to my beta drnic!
Chapter 18: Zabini Manor
Severus watched the train pull out of Hogsmeade station, his heart pulling just slightly as he watched the train that bore his son and the other Slytherins away.
Silver was riding the train with Blaise to Kings Cross since Severus had to finish packing up his lab and securing his chambers before he headed to Zabini Manor for the summer. Also he didn't want to draw any unnecessary attention to himself or to Harry since he knew Albus was paying particularly close attention to his movements.
Allowing him the small pleasure of an annoyed sigh, Severus spun on his heel and turned to walk back down the path that lead back towards Hogwarts. He knew Silver would have much more fun on the train with Blaise and the others, however Severus was selfish and he wanted to have his son with him as much as possible. Shaking his head from the morose thoughts, he walked through the gates, feeling the wards that surrounded the school settle in around him as he continued on his rapid journey back to the dungeons.
Silver was curled up contently on Blaise's lap as the train pulled out of the station, the gleaming scarlet engine heading through the countryside at the perfect pace to lull the kitten to sleep. He wasn't able to turn back into Harry yet, not until he and Severus were safely encased in Zabini Manor. Blaise had said his Mother wouldn't be there for a few days, which was a good thing since it gave both Harry and Severus time to settle in before meeting the imposing Zabini Lady.
"Ready to be home?" Draco asked as he settled into a seat next to Blaise, Pansy and Theo were sitting opposite the pair.
"Yes" Blaise breathed, rubbing behind Silver's ears and turning the kitten further into a pile of content, purring goo. "I can't wait to have a summer with Harry, not worrying about Dumbledore or him having to hide himself. It will be pleasant."
"Indeed, I am looking forward to being home" Draco said with a grin, "You must invite me over one day though, I would like to get to know Harry a bit better myself" the blond said, glancing down at the small kitten in Blaise's lap. The Italian nodded in agreement, he would love for his best friend to get to know his boyfriend better, for all of his friends to get to know Harry better.
Lapsing into silence the group all drifted off into their own activities. Draco reading a potions manual, of all things. Pansy and Theo a chess game and Blaise staring out the window watching the green countryside pass him by with a purring kitten in his lap. If someone had told him at the beginning of the year he would be Harry Potter's boyfriend and said boyfriend was an animagus and the adopted son of Severus Snape, he would have had them committed, possibly would have had himself committed for listening to such nonsense, however now? Now he couldn't imagine his life any differently.
As the train pulled into Kings Cross station, Blaise picked up the still sleepy kitten and slipped him into a special pocket he had had a house elf sew into his casual robes. Making sure Silver was comfortable, he gathered his belongings and followed his friends out of the compartment, like many students they didn't worry about their trunks, knowing a family house elf would take care of that.
"See you in a few weeks" Draco said, clapping Blaise gently on the shoulder as he walked past him to where his Father was standing nearby. Pansy and Theo also bid him farewell before heading off with their own family members. Blaise sighed and headed towards the back wall of the hidden platform where dozens of large fireplaces were situated. Unlike his friends, he had no one meeting him at the platform beyond a house elf who had come to gather his belongings, he would have to floo home, it wasn't a surprise to Blaise however, he had been flooing home by himself since his third year.
Stepping into the green flames, he called out the name of the Manor, feeling the slight pinch of the wards as they recognized him and allowed him to enter the house instead of rejecting him and sending him back to Kings Cross.
Stepping out of the fire and into the private sitting room that only members of the Zabini family could floo into, anyone else was sent to the greeting room fire, he let out a small, happy sigh. Blaise may not have the best relationship with his Mother nor did he see her often, but he absolutely loved being home.
A small mewing noise drew his attention as Silver's head poked out of his robes. The kitten yawned hugely and continued to battle his way free of the robes before finally scrambling up to sit on Blaise's shoulders and take everything in.
"Welcome to Zabini Manor" Blaise told his boyfriend turned kitten, a relaxed grin on his features that Silver very rarely got to see. Chirping in what Blaise thought was approval the Zabini heir continued on the impromptu tour of the Manor, though it was only a small portion as he was just heading to his own bedroom which was also near the guest rooms.
Severus finished securing his lab and stood with a sigh.
"Off for the summer then Severus?" A voice sounded from the doorway causing Severus to stiffen slightly as he turned.
"Just finishing securing my lab Headmaster" Severus said with a sneer.
"And Silver has left with Zabini, is that wise Severus?"
"They are just visiting, safer for him to be with Blaise then mucking about in here while I secure the lab" Severus responded quickly, "But I must be off Albus, I need to collect my son so that we may begin our own vacation."
"Ah, well do keep me informed of things Severus, you know how important Harry is to the war effort, it would not do for him to disappear."
Severus just barely resisted the urge to curse the man with every foul hex he knew, inclining his head sharply, he gathered up a few items and hastily shoved them in his nearby bag. Most of his other personal items had been sent ahead. Albus watched Severus for a moment before turning and walking out of the classroom, leaving the man to think that things were fine. He would get Harry back, he had had him placed with Severus because never, in a hundred years, had he thought that Severus would develop such parental feelings for the boy. He needed Harry healthy yes, and Severus had done that, but he also needed Harry alone, angry, angry enough to fight the Voldemort, as long as Harry had Severus, Blaise and the damn mind healer he would never face Voldemort and that was not an option.
Severus watched the Headmaster leave thoughts racing through his mind as he finished gathering his things. Finally he stepped out of the lab, sealing it behind him lest someone come in mess things up.
Clearing his mind, Severus swept down the hallway and up into the courtyard, walking briskly but not frantically as he headed for the nearest apperation point, just on the other side of the wards. He was apperating back to his own home (Spinners End) and from there would be flooing to Zabini Manor, most would call him paranoid but Severus knew that being paranoid was what had kept him alive for the majority of his adult life.
"You've never been swimming before?" Blaise asked Harry incredulously as he stared down at his boyfriend who was staring awe-struck at the ocean. Zabini Manor was located on the Mediterranean Coast, Harry wasn't sure where exactly, having never been to Italy before, but it was gorgeous.
"Well, there was that one time in the tri-wizard tournament, but I don't really count that as having gone swimming."
"No I don't imagine it would count" Blaise said, wrinkling his nose at the memory, he couldn't imagine going swimming in the Black Lake, especially not in frigid temperatures no-less.
"Well I suppose I must teach you" Blaise said dramatically, scooping Harry into his arms, ignoring the small squeak the shorter teen let out as he was pressed against Blaise's bare, firm chest. "We'll start slow," the Italian teen said as Harry's arms wounded around his neck and Blaise begin to wade into the warm, clear water.
Severus was sitting on the beach nearby, his own skinny chest bare and a pair of black swim shorts adorning his lower half. He would, of course, deny this to his dying day, but he was rather enjoying himself, especially since Harry seemed to be relaxed.
Shaking his head, he turned his attention back to the potions manual he had brought outside to read with him while the boys horsed around. Lady Zabini was supposed to be returning tonight and Severus wasn't sure if her arrival would affect the tranquil atmosphere he and Blaise had fought to create so that Harry might enjoy himself.
Glancing up as he heard happy shrieking, Severus grinned as he saw Blaise wading into the water, Harry firmly clutched in his arms. The Zabini Manor was located on a cliff bluff with a large amount of private land surrounding the Manor not to mention a winding, rocky staircase which lead down to the a secluded, hidden beach which also belonged to the Zabini family. The extensive wards that protected the area fascinated Severus and assured him that Harry would be kept safe here.
Watching the boys, he smirked as he saw Blaise lowering Harry into the water, the smaller teen shrieking in glee. Severus knew that this was Harry's first time on a beach and the first vacation that he had ever had and Severus was going to make sure he damn well enjoyed it.
"Careful" Severus called, eyes crinkling in amusement, "Don't want to get scratched Blaise" he added with a chuckle. Harry stuck his tongue out at his Father figure, he would never scratch Blaise, plus he wasn't in cat form right now anyway.
"Let me down?" he begged Blaise, letting his arms fall from around his neck. Smiling, Blaise nodded, carefully setting Harry down, the water lapping gently at his waist.
"Do you know how to swim? I know you did in the lake but you had help, the gillyweed"
"I sort of know how," Harry said, letting his hands run through the water, grinning at the sensation. "But the gillyweed helped since it gave me webbed hands and feet. But that was my only time ever swimming" Harry said.
"Ah, well I shall have to teach you without the aid of Severus' ingredients" Blaise said with a grin, moving out into the water so it was now chest deep.
"Okay, don't let me drown though" Harry said, following after Blaise, completely enthralled by the feeling of weightlessness while he moved through the water. He hadn't had time to experience the water when he had been in the lake task so this was all new to him. He turned slightly, waving at Severus who was seated on the beach reading, the boring man. He beamed as his father figure returned his wave, albeit not as enthusiastically.
"Show me then" Harry commanded with a grin, he was much more relaxed here in Italy, even though he had only been there a few days. He didn't feel any of the stress he had at Hogwarts, he didn't have to look over his shoulder waiting for attacks, he didn't have to worry about Voldemort or Dumbledore, though he knew Severus could be summoned at a moments notice for a Death Eater meeting, despite that however, this was the first time Harry had ever felt this relaxed and he thoroughly enjoyed it.
"Alright" Blaise said, taking Harry's hands and leading him into slightly deeper water. Blaise could still touch but Harry couldn't. Supporting his boyfriend, he encouraged him to kick his legs as he moved through the water. He kept hold of Harry's hands, they'd incorporate that later.
The swimming lessons continued for a good hour before Severus summoned the boys out of the sea deciding that his son had had enough sun for one day, not to mentioned they needed to eat lunch.
"We can come back out after you eat" Severus promised as Blaise led them inside and Harry chatted animatedly about swimming and how much fun it was. He couldn't wait to continue the lesson later.
"After lunch" Blaise admonished playfully as they sat down in an informal sitting room, a house elf popping in with a tray of sandwiches and a pitcher of cold, fresh juice. There was also a tray of fruit and veggies, the perfect light lunch for a warm, summers day.
"Mmm" Harry mumbled appreciatively as he carefully placed various food items on a plate and poured himself a glass of juice.
"Looks delicious indeed" Severus said, serving himself before adding a few more slices of pineapple to Harry's plate. The teen hadn't had a lot of this type of fruit and Severus knew it was good for him. Snorting in amusement at Harry's expression, Severus just gestured for him to eat before beginning a conversation with Blaise about when his mother would be returning. Harry listened quietly as they spoke, not caring to interject as he nibbled on the stuff Severus had put on his plate. He had had pineapple before, but just the canned stuff and he wasn't overly fond of it. This however was fresh and amazing and he may have just found a new favourite food. Licking his sticky fingers, he grinned and continued to eat, having a better appetite here in Italy then he had had this last term at Hogwarts.
Lady Marina Zabini sighed in relief as she walked into the informal dining room she had had the house elves set up for this evening's meal. Her son, his lover and Severus Snape were waiting for her and she was very anxious to meet the young man dating her son. Oh she knew who he was, she wouldn't invite just anyone to seek solitude in her Manor, but she also figured there was another side to what was going on and Blaise did not care easily. Her fault of course, she and her...tendencies had forced Blaise to have a very cold heart lest he be hurt to often.
"Mother" Blaise greeted as she entered the room, her tall, handsome son was just rising to greet her, Severus Snape sat on her son's right and a small, dark-haired teen (Harry Potter) was sitting on Blaise's left, looking down at his plate.
"Blaise, Professor Snape" she greeted, inclining her head towards the dour looking man.
"Madame Zabini thank you for allowing my son and I to stay here for the summer" The man said seating himself once she was settled in her usual chair, opposite Blaise.
"It wasn't a problem Professor Snape, Blaise wrote me and informed of how dire the situation was. I know my son doesn't care or trust lightly," she said, gesturing for an elf to begin serving the evening meal. "Also I know I am not home often, hopefully you and your son's presence helps alleviate Blaise from his usually summer boredom and loneliness"
"Severus, please call me Severus I am going to be living in your home"
"Then you and Mr. Potter must call me Marina" the gorgeous woman said with a grin, Severus felt his breath catch slightly in his throat. He now knew how so many men were captivated by this woman. Giving his head a shake to clear his thoughts he nodded towards the dark haired teen sitting next to Blaise.
"Marina I would like to introduce you to my son, you know him as Harry Potter" Severus said in his typical no-nonsense way.
"Ah yes young Mister Potter" Marina nodded, "You are welcome in my home" she said, turning her attention to the young man. Her eyes widened slightly as Harry's eyes rose from where they had firmly been glued to his plate.
"Please call me Harry," he said softly, the woman grinned as she observed her son's boyfriend. She had seen pictures of Harry Potter in newspapers but none had done him justice, the young teen was gorgeous.
"Nice to meet you Harry" she said with a small smile. "Now, please eat. We will have plenty of time to chat after our meal," She said as her and Severus started a light conversation on Hogwarts and Blaise captured his boyfriend's attention by pointing out various foods he thought Harry might like.
Silver lay sprawled on Severus' lap as the man rubbed him behind his ears. It had been a good dinner if a bit intimidating meeting Blaise's mother, but after tea, juice and coffee in yet another sitting room, Harry felt much more at ease around the woman. Now he and Severus were relaxing in their guest quarters, which boasted a shared washroom, two bedrooms and a small sitting area, while Blaise and his mother chatted, catching up since they hadn't seen one another since the fall.
Grabbing his book from earlier, Severus continued the tradition that he and Silver had started early on in their relationship.
"Salamanders blood has many different priorities when it comes to brewing potions. Used primarily in healing potions it can also be used in different types of poisons."
Blaise sat opposite his mother, his eyes calculating as he regarded her.
"So you and..." he sighed, "Whatever his name is are done? You're currently single?" Blaise asked, he couldn't even remember the name of his mother's last three conquests.
"Yes...done" Marina grinned, "You will find that our vaults have expanded once again however, the only positive in this tragedy"
Blaise rolled his eyes, he didn't want to know the details of his mother's...hobby.
"How long will you be here? Or are you going back to your place in France?" he asked her curiously.
"I will remain here for a few days, maybe a week. I do want to spend some time with you Blaise and I do want to get to know this young man you are so taken with" she grinned at the colour staining her son's cheeks.
"Please mother" Blaise said, "I'm sure you will get to know Harry over the next few days, he is very shy however" he cautioned her, he knew his mother could come on very strong.
"I'm not going to scare him away Blaise, I know you care for this boy," she said with a laugh, sipping her wine. "Don't you trust me?"
"No" Blaise said with a snort, "You aren't exactly trustworthy mother" he added with an arched eyebrow.
"Ah" she clutched her chest in mock injury, "You wound me Blaise, am I not your mother?" She said though she was smiling. Blaise and his mother had a tendency towards this sort of dramatic, playful behaviour when they were around one another. Ignoring her dramatics, Blaise sipped his mango juice, she had offered him a glass of wine but Blaise had no desire to drink this evening and settled in for a comfortable chat about the school year and what she had been up to.
A/N: So what did ya think? Sort of fluffy hey? But its the calm before the storm (Cue ominious music). Anyway, I have a question for you guys (You can answer in a review or add me on FB (BloodyRed Queen) to answer) Anyway my question is: Do you guys prefer the way I update currently? Sporadic updates but each time a different story. Or would you prefer that I focus all on one story (All my stories will get finished) but the updates for said story would be slightly more frequent.
Let me know!