A/N: Heh I'm glad you all liked the second chapter! Keedra made me giggle again. Listening to Shakira's Gypsy and Lindsey Stirling's Transcendence to write this one out. I know, I know, not very manly songs but I LIKE them... So, nyah. Other than that, enjoy the third installment and review!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the cast of FF VII; Namura better watch his character designs. Even if I wave my wand, I will never own the heart-felt cast J.K. Rowling made nearly two decades ago. Damn you for being so awesome...
WARNING: If this ever gets a review, my Muses will be having SEX in later chapters. That is if I can poke my smut Muse out of his deep rest... Dunno where he's gone. Maybe if I poke around with Masamune? Oh! There's sort-of dub-con? You'll see what I mean.
P.S. READ ME FIRST! Major time skip again. Forgive me?
"Hardly, Crescent. I happen to-I cannot believe I am about to say this-agree with you on Slughorn. That man hounds me like a dog on a scent, always asking about my Father and when can he contact him. I am thoroughly sick of having to watch my back. Will you help me get rid of him and install Master Gast as our teacher?"
"What'd you have in mind, Malfoy? We're all ears..."
Professor Gast swept through the classroom, neatly snatching the note that a pair of snickering boys were folding into a paper crane and straightening it.
"What is this? I teach Potions, not love notes. Let's see... Ah, this particularly embarrassing. 'Dear Sephiroth would you like to go with me to Hogsmeade this weekend to the Three Broomsticks? Your Love, Charlus Potter' Tsk, tsk Mr. Potter. I'm afraid you have detention for this little stunt." Sephiroth was standing over his finished Pain-Reliever potion, shaking with silent laughter at the dismay on Potter's face. Tom sneered at the open display, finishing his own potion with barely a glance. As soon as class ended, he couldn't himself; he let out a long peal of genuine laughter.
"Oh, Leviathan, his face...! Tombs, did you see?" Tom snickered as they exited the Potions classroom.
"The exact instant his face fell? Merlin, you have some weird Wizards crushing on you, Icarus..."
"Powerful crushes, actually, Riddle. He's supposed to be Lord Potter in a few months. Just like Amelia Bones."
"Malfoy." he murmured softly. They'd managed to drive Slughorn from the school with cleverly-worded promises and they'd stayed in touch ever since. "Anyone else I should be worried... about?" There were very familiar arms about his waist. He grinned before slapping the other teen with a wing absently and earning him an indignant yelp. "Besides Orion, of course. Why don't you ever say a proper good evening, Puppy?"
"Because! You do that... thing."
"What thing? Where's Eileen?"
"Eli's still talking to Dumbledore over some Transfiguration bit. You make this formal-looking face and flex your wings when someone gives you a 'proper' greeting. So, nyah." Sephiroth chuckled as Orion's tongue shot out in a childish manner. They strode into the entrance of the Great Hall and he stopped short, his 'sixth sense' snapping to attention.
"Ah, so good of you to join us, Mr. Crescent." The Headmaster said with a blinding smile. "There is an emissary from your Realm." Emissary? "I'd like to introduce you to-"
"Genesis Rhapsodos, Lord of the East."
"Tombs, he has absolutely no manners."
"Go ahead." Sephiroth grinned maliciously and snapped open all three pairs in a fierce display. Rhapsodos gasped, swallowing sharply and kneeling in front of him.
"Your Majesty... I had no idea."
"Get up. You'll blow my cover as it is. Flex your wings after you get up. They'll think it's a greeting."
"Yes, Milord." The exchange took under a minute, quieter than any Wizard not right next to them could hear, and Rhapsodos was on his feet again. A pair of dark wings similar to his own snapped open for only a few seconds. "Lord Crescent, may we speak privately?"
"Yes." He motioned for Orion to distract Malfoy and to grab Eileen some food before he ate any. "Tom comes with."
"Tom?" His best friend smirked and pointed oh-so-casually to himself. "Ah."
"Headmaster Dippet, is there such a room?"
"Indeed, Mr. Crescent. It is behind the Head Table. Come along."
He took the first seat and Tom stood there for a moment before perching on the arm of his chair. He tugged him down, casually wrapping a wing around Tom as he watched the other Lir'ar'adia settle gingerly into the loveseat.
"Are you Bonded?"
"Why do you ask?" he shot back, his fingers caressing through Tomb's thick black locks as a matter of habit.
"Only Bonded couples do what you're doing now, but they don't start until years later..." Sephiroth snorted before crooning softly as Tom returned the favor. "That, I know, doesn't start until they're Bound in public... I miss my Bonded."
"Where are they?"
"Setting up accommodations at the Three Broomsticks-'Geal!" Sephiroth watched as they touched wings and hands, clasping them together for a brief moment. The new arrival bowed slightly, a smile on the clearly more mature male's lips.
"Lord Angeal Hewley at your service, Milord. You may call me Angeal. I trust Genesis hasn't driven you off completely?" He liked this one.
"Not completely, no. What are you two doing here?"
"Our King... He has stayed in hibernation for a decade and a half. We fear he will remain eternally locked, Your Majesty."
"Ah. My Father that I know nothing of; the one that did not search for me when Mother ceased to exist."
"King Valentine is in mourning. He will not come out until he is finished, as it is with all our kind."
"Mother didn't die for another eight years."
"She left when their Bond was tenuous at best. We only Bond once unless... There are cases of royalty Bonding twice, though is not often and there are consequences of Bonding so soon after a Mate's death." Angeal looked sickened by what he was saying as though the thought of Bonding to another soon after Genesis died was completely abhorrent. "...We are here at the Steward's Request. Lord ShinRa has had to fight to keep his place and the Realm in peace as it is now. Might you return, assure his place amongst the Lir'ar'adians?" He flicked his gaze to Tom (who was dozing under his wing) before sighing heavily.
"My presence alone? Or will a letter do in my place?" he murmured as he continued to stare at his best mate and Bonded. "I cannot leave him. He has no one else save those we call friend here; his family is no longer here."
"'Geal! No separating them at a crucial stage. I have an... alternate arrangement. Perhaps you can stay for the summer? Rufus can defend the throne for a few more months, Angeal, with our support."
"Stay in the Realm for the summer? A welcome compromise, Rhapsodos. You are smarter than you appear to be." he commented lightly, gently shaking Tom awake.
"Mmm, what'd I miss?"
"We're staying in the Lir'ar'adian Realm this summer. You'll have to talk to Salazar, of course, but this is important."
"As in Salazar Slytherin? He was Bonded to Grimoire Valentine..."
"Yes. He happens to be my ancestor."
"Hello, Tom. Marvelous to... Well, if it isn't the spitting image of Gillian Hewley. Hello, young one."
"Consort Salazar. I am Angeal Hewley."
"I know. Tom may have been asleep, but I was not. Clearly your Bonded is your balance. Sephiroth, take him to bed. I will take over from here."
As soon as he had revealed his heredity the other two Lir'ar'adians treated him with a new respect. Genesis, the impetuous red-head, was a delightful distraction from his growing frustration. Sephiroth had refused to kiss him. They were Bonded almost as much as Angeal and Genesis yet the other teen, which he knew so well, denied him that simple pleasure.
"I don't understand what I've done wrong..." he admitted to Angeal one night in the Slytherin dorms.
"Done wrong? In your Mate's eyes? Far from it, Tom."
"Then why won't he kiss me?" the frustrated question slipped before he could control himself. "Never mind."
Angeal mulled it over, ebony brows furrowed in concentration, "He wants to but he's unsure as to how things will progress from there."
"Bloody idiot. I'm not going to push him away. We've been best mates since before Hogwarts. He was my only friend for a long time." he huffed, scraping his hair back absently. "I miss the way he used to be so comfortable around me..."
"Go bother Genesis, Hewley." Sephiroth drawled lazily from the doorway of their dorm. He snapped the door shut before casually placing Silencing and Warding spells. "I didn't know I'd done that. I'm sorry, Tombs." They met in the middle, Tom sighing into the warm, chaste kiss. It deepened as Sephiroth pinned him to his bed gently with his weight, his legs wrapped around Seph's hips. "I promise not to do it again." Cobalt locked with sincere and apologetic cat-slit green. "Do you want me to get off?"
"Mmm, no, I quite like you where you are." he murmured as he carded his fingers through familiar silver strands. "But you can unlock and undo the spells on the door. Malfoy's mind is dirty enough as it is, you know." Not a moment after Seph had undone the spells, Orion came bounding in.
"Hiya-Oh. Uhh, did I interrupt anything important?"
"No, Puppy. Carry on." he laughed lowly, relishing in the closeness of his Lir'ar'adia as he had not in a long time.
Holding hands took on a new meaning as they became closer than before. Eileen was the first to correctly deduce that they were together and had quietly congratulated them. Orion shrugged and said he'd known for quite a while. Malfoy had given a small nod and an even smaller smile. Augusta and Minerva were the last to say something, though they insisted that they too had known. The Professors caught on when they'd snogged in the corridor, Sephiroth in the middle of making a particularly dark hickey that resisted Glamoure. He touched it absently in the only class he didn't have with Seph, which was Ancient Runes. Professor Vector gave him a dark look and he returned to reading the chapter he'd previewed earlier that weekend.
"Mr. Riddle, what is the Rune for protect?"
"Protection has several different meanings; therefore there are multiple Runes for protection. There is the Strength Rune, the Heal Rune-"
"Thank you that will be all from you." The Professor sneered as he interrupted the explanation. Tom raised an eyebrow at the behavior but listened as Vector dropped into lecture mode, writing quick, efficient short-hand notes. The class ended far too soon for his liking. He scowled as he packed up his quill and parchment rolls. "Mr. Riddle, stay behind."
"Tell me, Riddle, does that thing you hang around with have some sort of claim on you?" The man was uncomfortably close, touching his thigh in a manner he was very uncomfortable with.
"He is classified as a Magical Creature. Therefore, he is not qualified as human. I repeat has it made a claim?" The fingers dug into his thigh and he knocked it away while answering, putting a desk between them.
"Yes." he hissed, his normally cool temperature boiling due to Vector's attitude. "We're very much Bound." He carefully placed his satchel onto his shoulder, rose his chin and backed very slowly out of the room, wand brushing his fingertips.
"Protego!" Sephiroth was there in all his glory, wings hiked up and aggressive as a seven-foot nodachi appeared in his left hand. "How dare you. My Bonded is not for you. He was made specifically for me, for my heart."
"You turned your attentions upon the wrong man." The blade was at Vector's throat with a flick of Seph's wrist, the bloodwell turning bright red with the area over the man's collarbone pierced with the tip. "I am well within my rights to slay you where you stand."
"Rights? A beast has no rights, no feeling."
"Seph... Let's go." Cat-slit green flashed with an eldritch fire before the beautiful blade was cleaned and sheathed with a sharp movement before it disappeared in a flash of green light.
"Kikira! Kill him." A roar was the only response from his beloved familiar as she slammed through the wall and opened both eyes with murderous intent. The Professor died before the incantation was complete, the deadly light fading as the Wizard's soul left him. "Seph?"
"What did you say to her? You sounded like you-"
"I ordered her to kill him. Seph that was the Killing Curse! You would've died and... I can't. I can't let you die." He swallowed sharply, his wand hand shaking as he holstered it in the wrist sheath. "You're the only one who knows." Cat-slit green softened as Sephiroth wrapped him in his wings, crooning a Lir'ar'adian lullaby as Professor Dumbledore and Professor Gast looked at the destruction.
"What is the meaning of this?"
He stared at the Auror with his Slytherin mask in place, internally wanting nothing more than to stay sheltered by his Bonded's wings.
"Mr. Riddle, you have to give your memory." He drew a shuddering breath and pulled the memory from his mind, not looking at it as he backed away from the Pensieve. "You'll have to see it with us."
"No." his response was hoarse and he flinched when the man touched his shoulder. "I lived through it once; that's one time too many, Auror Prewitt."
"I'm afraid it's standard-"
"I honestly could care less, sir."
"You have to, son."
"I am not your son. Unless I take Seph with me, we'll be staying in this office for a long time."
"Granted." The fall was almost pleasant until he saw himself daydreaming about Seph's hickey. He laced his fingers with Sephiroth's as the memory continued up to the Professor touching him. After that he buried his face in Seph's shoulder, blocking out the sound with the beat of his Bonded's heart. "That... What did you say to the Basilisk? The Parseltongue wasn't like any I've heard before."
"I summoned my familiar from the Chamber and had her use her eyes. He was going to... kill Sephiroth." he answered in a monotone, frightened his voice would crack.
"So you had your familiar do it in your place?" In truth, he'd seen red when he'd felt the magic movements for the curse. It was rather faint what he'd done after the high of battle had faded.
"I don't remember much after that command." he was honest, humming when Sephiroth snagged him around the waist by a wing.
"You honestly don't remember repairing the room, sending your familiar back to where it resided and passing out right afterwards?"
"Huh. You and your Bonded are done. The Professors can answer from here."
The Professor's death was quick to circulate the school. Many were outraged (at least those that understood the implications) that the man had tried what he had on a fellow student; a well-liked and adored one from the view of the student body. Professors Dippet, Dumbledore and Gast sat at the Head Table, looking more serious than they ever had. Dumbledore's usual cheerfulness was not present. Tom ignored it, shutting out the staring as he had since first year, what with the wing incident and all. Orion was trying to balance his spoon on his nose without magic and was failing miserably.
"Bloody spoon... It's against me, I swear."
"It is an inanimate object, Puppy. It can't be against you." An ebony brow rose as Orion attempted the trick again, pointing to the dancing spoon as it wriggled off of his nose. "Alright, someone's enchanted the spoon. Aren't you a Wizard?" he asked mildly, rolling his eyes as the Puppy whipped out his wand.
"Orion really is a puppy." Eileen snickered; flicking her wand to enchant the spoon after Orion had JUST canceled the spell.
"Hey! I just undid that! Why? You... You meanie..." Big blue Puppy eyes were used on the normally shy witch and she caved with a chagrined smile. "Yay!" Tom couldn't help himself; he cracked, laughing at Orion's optimism.
"Ah, what would we do without you Puppy?"
"Ummm, die of boredom? No, wait! Death by Potions discussion. Oh! What about..." Sephiroth slapped a hand to his face, sighing as Orion launched into the various methods.
"The Puppy has made you smile."
"Mmm, he's always good for a laugh." He was happy where he was, encircled by Seph's wing and not taking stock of the gossip that was all around them. "You've not said much tonight."
"Hn, didn't feel like it."
"That explains the nodachi too?"
"That is simply preparation." came the retort, the slender fingers tightening their grip on the magnificent blade.
"Ah." They sat in silence, watching as Orion loaded his (now unenchanted) spoon with mashed potatoes and aimed it at Charlus Potter at the Gryffindor table. "Orion, do not-" A wet splat sounded and everyone stopped talking to see Charlus Potter's eye twitch before he scooped some peas onto his spoon and flung them at Orion. "Duck." It was just in time to see Orion get a face full of peas, the sickly green dripping off of his face slowly. "Let's go before this explodes into an all-out war between Potter and our Puppy." Not long after they had escaped the Hall, there came sounds of a massive food-fight, several students ran out covered in mushed carrots, peas plus whatever else made a complete and total mess. Eileen was calmly walking with a Shield Bubble Charm around her, dispelling it when she had escaped the madness that happened to be the Great Hall at the moment.
"Puppy is seven kinds of a fool."
"Potter's face was worth the wasted food." Sephiroth murmured, a smile tugging on his lips.
-Five Months Later-
Sephiroth tried to reign in the 'protect Mate' instinct. Really, he did; it just reared its head at the oddest of moments. For instance, the incident a few months after Vector's death...
He strode by Tom's side laughing at something his Bonded had said. The next moment there was a clearly a very nervous third year Raven standing in front of them. They'd stopped, Tom indulging the brat's presence.
"Umm... Hi, Tom. Do-?" The pre-teen had blurted, both of them chuckling as they deciphered the jumble of words.
"Gideon... That's really sweet of you to offer. However, I have a boyfriend. Perhaps you might ask Ms. Clearwater?" The boy had flushed a bright red and then fled, clutching his books to his chest while crying.
It had only gotten more awkward as the older students had also approached Tom. By the Leviathan... Didn't they see the hickies? Tombs was his, dammit!
They'd been studying in the Library this time, buried in OWL preparations. Tom had opened his mouth to ask him a question when Jonathan McGonagall (a bloody seventh year) had dropped into the only seat remaining.
"So, Tom, wanna hang out sometime?" His Bonded had scowled fiercely as he ignored the older teen, his quill scratching at a much faster pace than usual. When McGonagall had reached out a hand to touch Tom, he'd rumbled a warning.
"Do not touch him."
"You're just jealous that-"
"Tom is mine." With that snarled, he'd tilted his Bonded's chin up and had French kissed him. Tom moaned softly, fingers sliding into his feathers and gripping them as he kissed back.
"Mmm, wish you'd do that more often, Icarus... I just snapped out of my study-frenzy." Tom had murmured against his lips, taking a casual lick after McGonagall had choked out that he was leaving.
After the incident with the elder McGonagall, they seemed to realize that Tom was off limits. What he hadn't realized was that he was now the target of affections as well...
The first was a fellow Slytherin, same year as him. Alessandro Zabini had taken Tom's seat and was almost in his lap.
"Sephiroth, do you have a date for the Winter Solstice Dance? Someone as gorgeous as you must have one already, but perhaps you are immune to most. Would you care to be my-Cazzo!" He ignored the other teen, shoving him the next seat down when Tom showed up with a small bouquet of paperwhites. Alessandro cursed fluently in Italian, wrenching himself out of the seat and storming out of the Hall. "Figlio di putana..."
"What was that all about?"
"He wanted to know if I had a date for the Winter Solstice." Tom growled lowly and stormed after Zabini, a yelp the only sign that his Bonded had done anything.
"Bloody bastard... Seph's mine." the dark-haired teen muttered as he sat down.
"I fail to see-"
"He was flirting with you! Trying to get your attention..." He grinned, pulling his beloved onto his lap and wrapping the lowest pair of wings about Tom's waist.
"Really? Hmm, I didn't notice." Cobalt locked with warm cat-slit green as Sephiroth kissed him softly.
"PDA!" Orion whined, covering his face with his hands. "Too much PDA!"
"Shut up Puppy." he shot back, lazily feeding Tom lunch with his fork before taking a bite.
When the Family Night for the Solstice rolled around, he was accosted by eager Witches who happened to be much older than him.
"Hello, hello, hello, darling. Care to dance with me?" He made a sort of 'meep' noise (he would deny it if caught) as the red-haired woman literally sashayed over to his side. "Aren't you a handsome one? My name's Muriel... Muriel Prewitt." An internal shudder ran through him as he slowly backed away from her. "Where are you going?"
"Mmm, restroom?" he muttered, his eye twitching as he fled her predatory stance. But he was not to escape what seemed like dominatrix women, running into Orion's intended moments after escaping the red-head's clutches. "Ms. Black." he politely intoned.
"Oh, aren't you a doll? Where's your girl? I wouldn't leave you alone in this room."
"You mean where's my Bonded and he's late. You're betrothed to Orion." he snapped back, his wings drawn up as the crowd pressed closer. "Forget it." He snapped them up and out, creating a small boom with the force he'd done it with. "Oh, Shiva, that's better." Allowing them to relax made him feel much more comfortable. Tom finally arrived, fixing bent or ruffled feathers with a casual hand, slinging an arm about his waist protectively. "Tombs, where were you?"
"Icarus, don't even start. I was harassed by cougar Witches." came the muffled response.
"... So was I." he sighed into Tom's hair as he wrapped his wings around his Bonded.
"Who was it?"
"Some witch named-"
"Muriel? Ah. Disgustingly desperate, isn't she?"
"Indeed. The other was Orion's intended."
"Walburga, Seph's mine." Her grey eyes widened considerably before she took in Sephiroth's wings.
"I did not know you were the Lir'ar'adia. I apologize for my suggestive behavior." she demurely apologized as the rest of their friends showed up.
"Orion, control your intended. She flirted with Seph."
"I am sorry, Orion."
After his wings had been shown, there were more attempts to flirt with him than before Tom had roughly pulled him down into a kiss that made both of them out of breath.
"I am yours."
"As you are mine." The ritual response had the people around them silent as they realized what they'd been interfering with. "Mmm, they figured it out."
"About bloody time. I was about to hex someone."
"They were lingering on you as well. I was itching to use Masamune." he sighed as the family members were escorted from the castle. "Thank Shiva that's done."
Ending A/N: Okay, did not mean for the whole killing thing to happen... Blame Romeo Must Die for THAT scene! I was watching it with the fam and it was kind of mind vomit. Sorry? I also put in some humor to off-set the seriousness of the beginning part! As always, review!
Translations for the Italian used:
Figlio di putana- son of a bitch