Read Warnings before you proceed to understand the context and universe of this fic.
Pairings: Severus Snape x Lucius Malfoy x Narcissa Malfoy and later, Draco M. x Harry P.
I do not own any Harry Potter anything. That belongs to J.K. Rowling. I just like playing with Harry in my own little world of storyville. I make no money by writing this fanfiction. All original characters are my own.
M – Not suitable for children or teens below the age of 16.
WARNINGS: VERY AU : Mature themes. Contains mentions and moments of slash(m/m) and femmeslash (f/f). Scenes are not explicit as per FF guidelines. There will be obvious scenes and mentions of a Dominant/Submissive dynamic. Severus is the Alpha, Lucius is a Beta and Narcissa is their Bearer. Angst. Fluff. Mentions of CP in future chapters. Creature Instincts. Possessive Veela. Other warnings will be added as I see fit.
PREVIOUSLY: The Malfoys are taking care of Harry, when Albus realizes that he can no longer sense Harry at Privet Drive. He orders Snape to check on Harry and then decides to accompany him as well...
They arrived via floo, courtesy of an Arabella Figg.
Severus found himself somewhat repulsed by the squib woman, but only because she reminded him of something that he could not yet place. It was not a pleasant feeling to accumulate yet another mental puzzle, but he shoved it aside for later thought. If it was important, it would come to the forefront again—somehow. He followed Albus obediently through the old, dimly-lit house and then across to the other house, 4 Privet Drive.
Albus knocked thrice on the door and waited.
No one came to open it.
Severus cast a quick look around. He didn't see a vehicle in the drive and everything seemed a bit too perfect. He shifted, uneasily, on the front porch, silently grateful that he'd thought to cast a disillusionment charm. There was something slightly off about the neighborhood that didn't sit well with his wizard self or his Veela nature.
"I don't think they're home, Albus." He said, coolly. Personally, he rather hoped that they weren't. He did not want to meet a certain horse-faced muggle by the name of Petunia Evans. Formerly Evans, if he was to be informed. Apparently Lily's rude sister had married and spawned a child of her own. He stifled a shudder at the thought of encountering either of them.
Everything he knew of Petunia had never sat well with him and he did not think he would appreciate meeting any child or husband of hers either. He resisted the urge to shift his weight, knowing it was from impatience and would only convey his annoyance, something he did not wish to be broadcasting. Albus did not need to read anything from him today. He wanted to have a weekend free to do as he pleased with his triad and son. "The car is not in the garage." He continued.
"Perhaps you are right." Albus said, smoothly. He waved his wand and with a quick alomahora, the door swung inward and the two wizards entered. The inside of the house was just as pristine and picture perfect as the outside.
"I'll check downstairs." Severus offered, immediately heading towards the kitchen, wand drawn. It was probably easier for him to search the upper level, but he was ticked off enough to make the older man climb the stairs. The sooner the old man was satisfied the better it would be for him.
Albus grunted in answer and glided up the stairs, his own wand held in one twitching, wrinkled hand.
The mental probe came in at the very moment that Severus cast a spell to reveal the contents within the muggle kitchen. A door beside his head banged open with the sudden spike in magical energy. He flinched and then cursed himself for doing so. His defenses were to remain that—defensive—and the mental intrusion was not particularly welcome as usual.
He was running on more emotion than he'd realized. The weekend couldn't possibly begin fast enough. The simple kiss he'd shared with Lucius had stirred some of his creature nature to the surface and it subtly wound its way through him, seeking to influence in whatever way it could, to be helpful.
Not now, Lucius. He sent back, swiftly. The tentative nature of the interruption could be ignored for now. Scowling to himself, the Potions Master continued his methodical searching and cataloguing. There was something horribly off about this house and he couldn't place it yet. It niggled in the back of his mind—just like the puzzle of stepping into Arabella's home. He didn't particularly care to be puzzling over it just yet either. Never mind how off things seemed.
Severus! Relief filtered through the bond. Have you left yet? Something's happened and-
Severus did not deign to answer that. He needed to focus and concentrate on the task at hand and Lucius was definitely not helping. His magic had begun to yank him in several different directions at once and he was not sure he liked what it was telling him. With a huff, the dark-haired man continued on with his inspection. He could pinpoint the problem now. It was a fickle bubble of magic—elusive enough that he could not place it exactly—but now, it was close enough that he could actively sense it.
His footsteps carried him forward and he found himself standing in front of a strange white rectangle—a door, he realized, belatedly—set beneath the staircase leading up to the second story. The magical pull was strongest here. Severus pointed his wand and whispered the spell to open it. He stared at the tiny cupboard beneath the stairs and the cramped cot that lay there for all to see.
The scent of blood and sickness reeked from within, spilling out into the pristine house. Severus physically recoiled from the powerful wave of magic that rippled out from within it. Charms, he realized, belatedly. Ones that would keep him from altering what meager items were housed within—a few broken plastic toy soldiers, a child's drawing in black crayon and a slightly shiny rock.
His inner Veela practically screamed in rage, understanding that a child had been kept here. Besides their bonded mates, Veela were protective of their young next. The sight that lay before him was almost too much of a trigger. Unable to help himself, Severus stretched a hand towards the tiny shadowy square. He braced himself inward and out for the rush of magic that was sure to come.
He was entirely unprepared for the various images that came hurtling through his mind immediately afterward.
"There's nothing here." Albus entered the kitchen to find Severus staring out into the hallway as if there were something wrong. He looked from his Potions Master to the small cupboard beneath the stairs that currently had the younger wizard transfixed. "In fact, there wasn't much of anything upstairs and—Severus, are you alright?"
He reached for the younger wizard only to be forcefully flung back and down the hall with the sheer force of the magic that repelled him. For a moment, Albus Dumbledore, Supreme Mugwump and all that was frightened by the pure rage that burned in those obsidian eyes as Severus Snape fixed that damning glare on his fallen form.
In the split-second that it had happened, it also stopped.
Albus blinked, unable to believe what he'd just seen as Severus blinked and the menacing aura vanished. His Potions Master wrinkled his large beak of a nose and cast a look of utter, complete disdain around himself as if he'd just remembered he was standing in a muggle residence.
"I cannot say that I have found anything of importance, either," the man in black drawled. "Though perhaps they did not leave in as much of a hurry as we thought."
"Severus?" Albus found his voice.
"It seems that they decided a vacation in the middle of the night was a very good idea." Severus' smile could have melted a cauldron. It was dark and wicked and everything that a Slytherin was known for. It smoothed and faded into one of the Potions Master's trademark looks as he smoothed down his teaching robes with meticulous motions. "I would wager they were frightened off for some inconceivable reason or the other and thought that making a run in the middle of the night was a good thing." He smirked. "I am sure that they will be easy to find."
"Yes, yes," Albus found himself growing slightly impatient. He didn't particularly care about the muggles at this point, he was more worried for the sake of the young magical child that should have been in their care. He'd been casting his magic liberally about upstairs and there wasn't even the faintest trace of a signature for little Harry anywhere. All magical children left a signature wherever they resided, it grew as they did and often reached out to their caregivers—the magical parent, if the family had a muggle parent, to touch the parental magic.
There would be dozens of subtle signs, but this one, the most obvious, bothered Albus the most. He'd considered this his duty for the sake of the greater good, but a sudden, dreadful thought had occurred to him. If he'd miscalculated horribly in some way or another—and really, what were the chances of that happening, anyway—then perhaps Harry had become a squib.
Voldemort's spell had rebounded enough to kill himself and spare Harry, but no matter what nonsense he spouted of Blood Wards, Albus knew it was truly only sheer luck and the truth of the prophecy that night that had spared that little life. Of course, there was the matter of the curse scar left behind, but he'd always wondered if there was anything else left inside of it that might have gnawed away on the boy's magical core.
They hadn't been able to spare much time after the Dark Lord's defeat, so he'd simply gathered up the little babe and bundled him off to his relatives until he could think of a better plan. Of course, after he'd settled down, that course of action seemed to have been the best, so Albus had never bothered to recalculate it. After all, having the child grow up with muggles would certainly help him to better appreciate the magical world and that seemed like an excellent side effect.
Not that he would ever mention that to anyone. If they were anything like the temper of a certain Minerva McGonagall and Pomona Sprout, then they would hex him bloody and be done with it. Then they'd start the torture. The duo could be impossible when it came to their students, fussing over them like parents over a single, spoiled child. Children should be properly cared for yes, he did agree, but certainly never coddled. Pomona, he could accept, after all, she was head of Hufflepuff for Merlin's sake and Minerva, well, she was a mother lion who cared for her cubs.
Albus scowled. He hoped that the Dursleys had simply decided to take a vacation and took Harry along with them.
That could only lead to ruin.
"I meant about the boy." Albus tried to keep the anger from his voice. There were very few things that ruffled him like no other, but Severus Snape was one of those things—er—people. The man had a knack for slipping under your skin and making you want to hex him, no matter how inappropriate the time and place. Of course, the fact that he'd felt threatened by the same young wizard just moments before had absolutely nothing to do with the near irrational bout of temper that now surfaced in the wake of the sudden spike of adrenaline. Absolutely nothing at all.
"Potter's child?" Severus sneered. "It is obviously not here either."
Albus blinked. The sheer venom in that single utterance, not to mention the professor's use of 'it' settled his hackles quite comfortably. He had no worries to consider in the form of an enraged Severus, after all the man was completely selfish to his own self and devoted only to his potions. He did not care for any of the usual things like his other professors and since that night when he'd come to him bearing that hideous mark on his arm, Albus knew that he'd have a spy for life. Severus owed him far too much. It was quite a turn from his younger years where he'd hated him for favoring James Potter and his friends.
"…yes, well. Perhaps they are…out."
"Traveling?" Severus tucked his wand away and started towards the front door. "Perhaps. I sense nothing amiss here. Something else must have triggered the wards on the house. You said that was what alerted you?"
Albus quickly shifted to his feet, casting a few unwrinkling charms and a cleaning charm at his robes, lest they be soiled from touching the ground. "Yes, yes. The wards. I think something, ah, changed in them. Nothing to worry about."
"Good. I shall be busy for the foreseeable weekend." Severus huffed. "Do not disturb me or need me or somehow require my presence before Monday." He tossed his head, unable to quell the action. His Veela wanted out and now was definitely not the time nor the place for it. Only sheer power and will alone helped him to stay grounded as he was. "You might check with a muggle travel agency," he added, as an afterthought. "Perhaps they had reservations."
"No muggle means would disrupt a spell, Severus." Albus said, mildly. But he didn't want to think of what would. Something strong, for sure, and the only thing with that sort of strength was Voldemort. The older wizard frowned. He really did not like the way this was panning out. He'd have to make sure that he checked with his other spies in the underworld. Perhaps one of them had heard something that Severus hadn't.
"When was the last time you traveled the muggle way?" Severus shot back. He poked at a few things on the entry way table. "There are no signs of a forced entry, muggle or magical." He grimaced. "And everything is disgustingly neat."
"There is nothing wrong with cleanliness." Albus murmured, absently. "I suppose I should speak with Arabella again…" He forced a smile, before turning to face Severus. He couldn't very well say that his tracking spell had flickered and died out and most likely because something more powerful had overwritten or removed it. That would be absolute foolishness. He was mildly gratified to note that Severus wasn't paying the slightest attention to him, but rather was focused on the front door as if he would rather be back in his dungeons and busily brewing. "Left a potion running?" He inquired, politely.
Not that it mattered. A wizard was a wizard and there were stasis charms for a reason. Severus had no doubt become quite good at them, Albus was sure. He'd interrupted the sour man many times while brewing and though it often brought out the dark man's equally dark temper, Albus knew that it was nothing he couldn't handle, if he had a mind to.
It also helped to let him keep an eye on said professor. Sometimes, in moments like before, he had the strangest feeling that Severus wasn't all that he seemed. The elderly wizard shook his head to clear it. Nonsense and poppycock….he was imaging things, wasn't he? It must be the strange muggle air fresher in the house. Yes. Of course. That seems about right…blasted muggles…always causing his headaches…
A/N: As some of you may know, this fic was put on hold due to a rather nasty flame from an idiotic and insensitive reviewer who obviously had nothing better to do with their brains at the time they composed said flame. At that particular time, however, this fic was my very first and ONLY HP fic and their pointless display of immaturity and lack of tact did absolutely nothing to help my writing whatsoever.
It has taken me a while to even consider continuing this fic, much less starting and posting this new chapter and it is shorter than my previous ones. I apologize for the wait and I thank everyone who commented kindly and considerately, as well as those of you who encouraged me to keep writing. I almost deleted this fic. I'm glad I didn't. Your words were helpful and very much appreciated. The new updated warnings have been restated above, along with the necessary ratings and pairings, etc. Thank you kindly.