*Disclaimer: I own nothing but my original characters and ideas….and the plot bunnies in the corner. Please don't sue, I'm a poor college student that has no life and way too many video games.*
"What's right is what's left if you do everything else wrong." – Robin Williams
Of Time Travel and Dimension Hopping
Harry awoke to the familiar and surprisingly pleasant experience of hot air surrounding him. Still propped upon the wing, he shifted slightly and glanced around. It was darker now, nearing sunset, and nothing in the glade had changed except the shadows. Yawning, he turned his head and found himself only inches away from the overly large dragon head.
His Professor was still soundly asleep, breathing deeply as his side expanded. Harry watched him in awe as he took in the form. The breed was definitely Hungarian Horntail, a dragon breed he was not soon to forget, but Snape was much larger than the one he had faced during the Tri-Wizard Tournament. He was nearly twice the length.
Examining the length of the dragon limbs, Harry concluded that if they were both to stand, he would maybe be halfway to the elbow joint, possibly less. Tilting his head allowed him to see the entirety of the wing and the hind legs. He had two talons, as opposed to the common one and six spines on the wing all ending in sharp points. His hind feet on the other hand had four toes and an opposable joint like a thumb almost. Further up the leg was another talon, similar to a dewclaw.
His scales were black, but not at the same time. When the light hit them just so, they appeared almost dark green, blue, and purple. It looked like oil on water, the colors shifting and dancing every time he moved. The tail had the common bronze horns going down it, only to end in a slightly curved bone point surrounded by spikes. Harry briefly remembered what Charlie had told Hagrid when the half giant had taken him to see the first challenge. "I don't envy the one who gets the Horntail. Vicious thing. Its back end's as dangerous as its front."
Pulling his mind back into the present, he continued in his observations. Merlin knew when he would get the chance again, because Snape would never allow it. Allowing himself several more minutes to just look, he turned his attention to himself. His clothes were ripped, torn, and bloody. His shirt was completely ruined, and his pants were no better.
Sighing, Harry briefly entertained transfiguring an outfit when he remembered that he no longer had a wand. Pulling away from the heat, Harry sat up straight to assess his wounds instead of lamenting on his destroyed companion. His ribs were still tender, but were healing nicely. His left arm was still broken, but his magic had at least aligned the bones and began to fuse them. It would be another week before it was completely healed, but at least now it didn't hurt so much.
During his self-assessment, Harry's right hand had been stroking the scaled appendage. The feel of it drew his attention away from his wounds and he was enthralled as fingers brushed over scales. They looked hard, were strong enough to resist most magic and probably even a bullet, but they felt soft almost. Like worn leather.
He let his fingers trail along the muscle of the arm before he turned to the wing itself. It was much thinner, and black, though not scaled like the rest of the body. He could feel the membrane underneath the thin stretch of skin, and the magic and heat emanating from the dragon left his hand tingling.
Harry felt :confusion, annoyance, fondness, irritation: just as a gust of hot air surrounded him. Turning slowly, he found himself face to nose with a very awake Dragon who was staring at him intently. He emitted a noise he would refuse till his dying day was a squeal, but at least this time he didn't scream.
Severus awoke to a strange feeling. It felt like something was stroking his arm, but different. Opening an obsidian eye slowly, he found the cause of his confusion and annoyance. The Brat-Who-Lived was petting his wing. Snape narrowed his eyes at the whelp, but didn't move to stop him. It felt oddly…nice.
The boy was still in the same position when he fell asleep, but now his fingers were dancing along his scales, with an enraptured and fascinated expression. Severus let him continue for a while longer, letting the teenager loose himself and forget about the situation that they were in, but then his hand shifted to the sensitive membrane of the wing and he discovered, quite uncomfortably, that it tickled.
He huffed a gust of air at the boy, and watched amused as the boy turned towards him and emitted the strangest sound. He felt :mortification, embarrassment: and a little :fear:. Shaking his head to rid himself of the feelings, Severus turned his attention elsewhere. Last night he had thought upon what exactly had transpired to put them in this situation, and the only logical conclusion he came up with was not one he liked.
As if sensing his dark mood, the boy interrupted his train of thought. "Professor Snape-"
"Don't," he interrupted, sneering. Foul mood in place he continued, "I'm not your Professor…not anymore." That he could no longer be anyone's Professor was left unsaid, but heard loud and clear.
Potter cleared his throat uncertainly before he tried again. "Sna-Severus?" The timid voice asked, :uncertainty, want, understanding, sorrow:,not quite sure how to address him anymore. Snape begrudgingly allowed it. "What is…what's going on?"
It was a good question. Even as he said it, Severus could feel the not his feelings. "Something very strange, Potter…Harry," he paused, turning to look at the boy. Harry was staring at him with rapt attention, and it made him shift uncomfortably. "I believe your magic reacted strangely with mine. We've…" trailing off, Severus searched for the proper word. "Bonded."
"I don't…what kind of bond?"
The way it was enunciated almost made it sound dirty. Snape allowed himself to chuckle lightly, but it came out more like a trill. "A familiar bond, Harry."
"You mean…" He could see the boy's adam's apple bob as he swallowed. "You're my familiar?"
There was a long uncomfortable pause, and silence filled the glade. The lay quietly for several minutes before :panic, pity, unwant, despair: and Snape sneered at the boy. "Don't look so disgusted, Potter," venom dripping from his tone.
"It's not…I didn't mean," :panic, despair, pain, sorrow:. "It's just, I meant—"
"Eloquent as always," Snape said softer this time. He could understand the boy's feelings, but that didn't mean it didn't hurt any less. He braced himself for rejection, preparing for the worst. To reject a familiar was unthinkable. The pain it would cause…it would be better to let him die.
A small hand stroking along his cheek drew his attention back. Opening onyx eyes he was unaware he had closed, Snape noticed that Potter was standing next to him, hand reaching up to dance along his scales under his eye. He let it calm him.
"To you, I meant," Potter whispered, emerald green eyes tearing up. "It's not fair to you."
Snape blinked slowly as understanding came to him. Potter wasn't upset because he was the boy's bonded, the boy was upset at the thought of servitude that followed. The child was angry for him.
Severus chuckled lightly, making that same strange trilling noise. "You foolish child," he mumbled, before he reared his head up and stood to his full height. He felt :indignation, inadequacy:, probably directed at the height difference. "You forget, I may be your Dragon," voice drawling as he glared at the boy. "But you are my wizard!"
Harry stumbled slightly as the words washed over him. It all made sense now, the feelings that weren't his, this need to be closer to the wizard turned Dragon. When Snape first told him of the bond, he felt like it was a trap. For so long he felt like a prisoner, food rationed, bars on his windows, lock on his doors. He didn't want to subject that to anyone.
He didn't want to own anybody. But the way that the Dragon stated that sentence made it very clear that Severus also owned him.
He smiled lightly as the other's feelings overcame him. He felt :possessiveness, want, acceptance, ownership, protective:. He had never before felt anything like it before, and he wondered if was what it felt like to have a parent. Basking in the feelings, he allowed himself to relax until :annoyance, fondness, impatience: overrode them.
Gazing up at his Dragon, Harry smiled softly at him. Snape looked away, sneering lightly, but even so it didn't stop the boy from being happy. "So what now?"
"Now," Snape mumbled, turning his back to the lake. "We walk."
The once human found it both annoying and amusing about how slow he had to move so the boy could keep up. It was awkward at first, getting his wings to cooperate in order to walk without tangling them. After a while the motion became fluid as Severus let instinct take over and stopped trying to analyze it. "Are we going to Hogsmeade? Because I can use a pair of new clothes."
The seemingly innocent question forced him to pause as he gazed at the teenager sadly. "No, we are going to Dufftown, it should be a half a day's walk," when it seemed like the Gryffindor was going to grate on his nerves with all of his pent up questions, Snape decided to cut him off. "There is no Hogsmeade, there never was."
"I don't understand," Harry panted as he jogged lightly to keep up with the Dragon's much larger stride. "Where are we then?"
"We haven't moved," the sneer was not present in his voice, and he tried to keep it that way. The news was already going to be hard to hear, no need to make it worse. "Behind us is the lake, over there was what you knew as the Forbidden Forest, and to your left was where Hogwarts was."
"But," Harry mumbled, :confusion:.
"This isn't our home," he continued softly, not daring to look at the boy. "Yes this is Scotland, and yes, this is still the UK. What it isn't though is home. Here there isn't a Hogwarts, and I suspect there never was. Look at the forest, it isn't Dark, and I can sense no other magical creatures. Whatever our Magic did, it took us somewhere safe…I don't think this is our reality anymore Harry, and probably not even the same time."
There was a long pause, it seemed to stretch for hours, but lasted only minutes. "But, that means…" :despair, confusion, sorrow, pain:.
Severus nodded his head solemnly as he stopped to gaze at the boy. "We are truly alone."