"How'd we get back, Severus?" Lily whispered after their professor and his mate left the room.
"I brought us back." Severus would never admit it aloud, but he was immensely proud of himself for saving both himself and Lily.
"Oh," Lily whispered then turned to look at Sirius. "Siri, do you know anything about the man we found?"
"Hm?" Sirius mumbled. His thoughts were on the beautiful man he'd carried back from the forest. He had been able to overhear some of the conversation Professor Riddle and Gabriel had with the man. All he knew was his name was Harry, and he was apparently some kind of traveler. He shared this information with Lily and Severus.
"I bet there's more to it than him just passing through." Lily was intent on finding out as much as she could about the man. He looked way too much like James Potter for his being here to be a simple coincidence.
"Lils," Severus began with a soft sigh only to be interrupted by an unknown voice.
"You do realize that I can hear you perfectly well, correct?"
Lily jumped in surprise and stared at her two friends in astonishment. With wide eyes and a pounding heart, the redhead climbed off of the bed and slowly made her way to the curtained off area where the mystery man lay.
"Um, sorry," Lily said sheepishly as she peeked her head around the curtains. "May I come in?"
Harry smiled welcomingly at the petite redhead. "Of course, Lily." He barely withheld the smirk that tried to bloom on his face when he saw his future mother's eyes go as wide as a house-elf's eyes. He could see the questions forming in her mind. He figured he may as well tell her the whole truth. He had already irrevokably changed Time. As things were, he was unsure how he would still be born. It was obvious to him, by the lack of visits, that James Potter and Lily Evans were not together. He supposed they could end up together before the year was out, but having heard the way Lily spoke to Sirius and Severus, Harry seriously doubted it. Her words dripped with love when she addressed the other two men.
"H-how did you know my name?" Lily asked in awe.
"Perhaps I am a time traveler from the future. I may even be your future child. Severus is my potions professor. Sirius is my godfather. James Potter, well, he's my dad." Harry watched as Lily struggled with the information he'd just given her. For some reason, his inner marauder wanted out to play, and he said, "Or, perhaps, I simply heard you talking to your friends."
Lily blushed when Harry finished his explanation. She had honestly believed him at first. Her heart had been pounding so hard her chest hurt. When he finished with "I heard you talking to your friends", Lily was mortified. How could she have fallen for such a fantastic story? She was the smartest witch of her age. She shook her head to clear away the embarrassment.
"Oh." Lily whispered softly. "May I ask you some questions?"
Harry's smile widened. 'Guess I got my curiosity from my mother,' he thought. "Of course, Ms. Evans."
"What's your name?"
"Your friend, Sirius I believe, told you that. My name is Harry."
"No, I mean, what's your last name?" Lily asked.
"Ah, well you see, I'm not really sure which name to give you," Harry began with a thoughtful look on his face. He knew he couldn't tell her his name was Potter. The poor girl would probably faint dead away. He nibbled his lower lip in thought. "I am known as Lord Harry Slytherin."
A slight giggle was heard from across the room. "He's got to be kidding right? Hairy Slytherin?" Sirius whispered to Severus, who was having a hard time containing his own mirth.
"I can still hear you," Harry singsonged to the boys. "Why don't you both come join Lily and I?" Harry smirked when he heard an embarrassed gasp. That had to have been his godfather.
Harry and Lily halted their conversation until they were sheepishly joined by Sirius and Severus. Harry was stunned speechless when he saw the two teens breach the curtained barricade around his bed. He opened and closed his mouth several times before giving up and just shutting it. They were stunning! Both of the young men had long dark hair that just brushed their shoulder blades. Sirius' blue eyes were the color of the ocean at its deepest depths. Severus' eyes were as dark as a black hole and just as fathomless. Harry's breath caught in his throat as those eyes seemed to stare into his soul.
"So, um, Lord Slytherin," Lily began again, "Where are you from?"
Harry tore his gaze away from the soul searching stare of his future potions professor and looked at Lily. "I grew up in Surrey." He watched as the surprise flickered across the three young faces. 'What had they expected him to say? That he was an alien?'
"Oh," Lily whispered, "why were you in the Forbidden Forest in the middle of a blizzard?"
"I could ask you the same thing," Harry teased. He had no problem with telling them the truth, but he honestly had no idea why he'd ended up in the forest. The last thing he remembered was speaking with Galadriel and Tavissale about his heritage. He'd been in the elven city of Eirenthal and then he was waking up in the hospital wing at Hogwarts. "I will tell you everything you wish to know, but you have to understand that some of it even I do not understand just yet."
"Are you saying that you have no idea how you ended up in the Forbidden Forest in a blizzard just on the other side of the wards of Hogwarts?" Severus asked suspiciously. His narrowed eyes bore into Harry's own.
"No, Severus. I am saying that I don't remember what happened before I ended up in the forest during a blizzard." Harry found himself becoming exasperated with the teens. He decided to just be blunt and get it all out there. But first, "Before I tell you anything more, please fetch James Potter. He has every right to hear this story as well."
"Potter?" Sirius asked in disbelief. "Why would we get Potter? What does he have to do with anything?"
"Siri, have you not looked at this man?" Severus asked with a shake of his head. "He looks just like Potter. Well, better than Potter actually." Severus blushed at his admission causing Sirius and Lily to laugh at his embarrassment.
"So, will you go fetch him?" Harry asked politely. He wanted to get this done and over with. It was obvious to him that no matter what story he told, he couldn't do any more damage to the timeline than what he'd already accomplished. The fact that Tom never made a horcrux was the one point in time that changed everything.
"Of course," Lily said and hurried from the room.
The three men watched the beautiful redhead walk away. "She is something else," Harry murmured.
"Yes, she is, and you would do well to stay clear of her," Severus growled.
Harry couldn't prevent the chuckle that bubbled up in his chest at Severus' jealous warning. "Oh, Severus, you have nothing to fear from me when it comes to the beautiful Ms. Evans."
"Why? What's wrong with her?" Sirius asked angrily.
"Nothing is wrong with her. Let's just say that she doesn't quite have what I'm interested in, shall we?" Harry cocked an eyebrow at the boys. He could see when the realization dawned on them that Harry batted for the other team. Severus smirked and Sirius gulped.
Lily rushed through the corridors in search of James Potter. She hadn't bothered with changing out of the hospital gown before running out of the infirmary. Now, as she walked as quickly as she could, she found that she really didn't care that her pale legs were being flashed about at anyone who took care to notice.
When she reached the portrait of the fat lady guarding Gryffindor Tower, Lily whispered the password, "Gruffinclaw", and entered when it swung open. She still shook her head at the silly password that Gabriel had set for the tower.
Upon entering the common room, Lily let her gaze scan for Potter. It was just after lunchtime, and she hoped that he had a free period. She really didn't want to try to explain to a professor why she needed the cocky teen to be let out of class. With a sigh, she realized that Potter wasn't in the common room. She decided that she should check the boy's dorms before looking elsewhere and headed up the stairs on the left.
"Oi, Evans!" a male voice shouted at her. "Where do you think you're going? Girls aren't allowed up there!"
"It's okay, Frank. I'm just looking for Potter." Lily blushed slightly when it occurred to her how that would sound to the other teen. And she knew that Frank Longbottom's smirk said that he had thought the exact same thing.
"Well, he's not up there," Frank said with a smirk. "He's out on the pitch. They're having a pick up game with some Slytherins."
"Oh, okay," Lily stammered in embarrassment. She just knew that the rumors would be flying by the time she'd fetched Potter from the quidditch pitch. A castle full of teenagers really had nothing better to do than gossip. Lily ran back down the stairs and out of the common room.
"What on this earth would make you think that I could love you any less for what you are?" Tom asked exasperatedly.
"I don't know," Gabriel mumbled. He felt like a complete idiot for having kept such important information from his mate.
"You do realize who Harry is?" Tom asked quietly. He wasn't sure if it had actually hit Gabriel that Harry was a relative.
"Yes, I know." Gabe was disheartened. He knew he would have to let Harry go now. There was no way that they could be together any longer. Not when Harry was a descendant of his brother, Galadriel. Granted, the distance between them in the family tree made the incest factor virtually non-existent, but Gabe knew Harry wouldn't see it that way.
"Love, has Harry put it together yet?" Tom asked quietly. He could see that Gabe was hurting, but he also knew that the vampire would get over it rather quickly. It seemed to him that Gabe and Harry had been drawn together, not because of a mate bond, but because of a blood bond.
"He knows, but he hasn't mentioned what we should do about it." Gabriel hung his head in his hands.
"You know that we have to release him from the bond, Love." Tom said gently. He loved Harry as well, but he had always felt as if Gabriel belonged only to him. He knew they would be alright without the time traveler.
"You've done a complete turnaround," Gabe stated sadly. "I remember when the thought of Harry being gone again would have torn you to pieces."
"It still does, Gabriel. But, I also know that you and I belong together. Harry was the catalyst that let us see that, but now, he has to move on. We have no idea how long he will be in this time with us. When will we see him next? Will it be another thirty years? Fifty? A hundred?" Tom sat down next to his vampire and wrapped him in his arms. "We can't keep putting our lives on hold for a man that may not be here tomorrow, Love."
"I know this, but," Gabriel sighed deeply, "I'm going to miss him."
"He isn't gone yet, Love. We will just spend what time we can with him as the friends we were meant to be. Just because we let him go as a lover doesn't mean that we can't keep him as a friend."
"Of course, Tom. You're right as usual." Gabriel smiled at his mate before gently kissing his lips.
Lily found James Potter on the quidditch pitch arguing with a tall blonde girl.
"You have got to be kidding me, Black!" James exclaimed in exasperation.
"No, Potter, I am not kidding you. I told you that my father was sending out invitations to prominent families for my hand." Narcissa Black huffed haughtily. She still didn't know what had prompted her father to put James Potter on the list of potential suiters, but she did know that Potter would not be happy about it.
"Well, he may as well consider his 'offer' to be rejected!" James shouted at the beautiful blonde girl. He would normally have no objections to an arranged marriage with someone as gorgeous as Narcissa, but he had given his heart to someone else a long time ago. It was just a matter of getting the girl to notice him.
"James," Narcissa began softly.
"Um, excuse me," Lily interrupted, "But I need Potter to come to the infirmary with me. He's been asked to be present for a meeting." Lily didn't understand why, but she had felt a surge of jealousy run through her veins when she'd heard what the Black girl and Potter had been discussing.
"We are having a conversation here, Evans," Narcissa responded haughtily. "James will be along when we are done."
"No, no, it's okay," James hurriedly answered. "I can come now. We're done." He looked pointedly at Narcissa. The elegant blonde huffed and strode away with her hips swinging.
James turned back to Lily and asked, "So, why am I needed in the infirmary?"
"Come on, I'll explain what I can on the way."
Sirius looked up from studying his hands when he heard Lily's voice just outside the doors to the infirmary. He turned to look at Severus and narrowed his eyes. The other teen was staring unashamedly at the man who claimed his name was Harry Slytherin. The thought of that name still made Sirius want to giggle a bit.
"Sir, I've brought Potter," Lily stated with a determined look on her face. "He told me some things on the way here." The way the girl narrowed her eyes, caused Harry to wince a bit. His father obviously knew more than Harry realized.
"Yes, well, come on in," Harry said recovering his composure. "This is a very long story, and I have no doubts that you will not believe me, but please hold your questions until I have finished."
"Okay," was mumbled by the four teens as they stared at Harry expectantly.
"I guess I will start at the beginning," Harry said with a sheepish smile. "My birth name is Harry James Potter. I am now known as Lord Harry James Potter Slytherin. I was born in July of 1980 to Lily and James Potter." Harry continued with his story until he was interrupted by Madame Pomfrey.
"Oh my, I didn't realize you had company," the nurse said in a bit of surprise at seeing the four teenagers surrounding her patient's bed.
"We were just saying hello," Lily began but was interrupted by Harry.
"I asked them to be here. Is it dinner time?" Harry asked politely.
"Oh, um, yes. Yes, it is dinner time." Madame Pomfrey didn't often get flustered, but she also wasn't around anyone who could discomfit her like this man did so easily. Not even Professor Riddle or Gabriel had ever caused her to blush like a schoolgirl again, and those two were prime specimens of the opposite sex.
"May my guests join me here for dinner?" Harry asked and looked to the four around him in question.
"Yes, Madame Pomfrey, may we?" Lily asked excitedly. She had so many more questions now than ever. Harry had reached the point where he had time traveled to the 1940's and met Tom Riddle. Lily was absolutely fascinated by the story, and hoped to find out more about her professor as well.
Madame Pomfrey agreed to let them stay for dinner, but said they had to be gone before curfew. Just as she had finished speaking, five house-elves popped in with an overladen tray of food each. Harry shook his head at the amount of food presented to them. He would never understand how the little elves expected that they could eat so much. Then he thought about his old friends Godric and Ron. Those two cold most definitely have eaten everything in front of them and then some.
As they ate, Harry continued with his story. He could see Lily virtually vibrating with curiosity and questions. She reminded him of a combination of Ginny and Hermione. Lily had the same exuberance and mischevious nature as Ginny, but she also had the intelligence and thirst for knowledge for which Hermione was known. Her excitement was a bit contagious, and Harry found himself giving many more details of his experience than what he'd actually gone into with Tom and Gabe. He had barely finished with the last conversation he'd had with the vampire when Lily's questions started.
"So," she asked with wide eyes, "who sent the letter?"
Out of all of the questions she could have asked, Harry hadn't expected that one. Over the last couple of years, he hadn't given much thought to who might have sent the letter. It was odd that it hadn't crossed his mind.
"I don't know," Harry replied while somewhat still deep in thought. He was wracking his brain for who it could have been, but kept coming up short.
"Maybe it was Professor Riddle," Sirius suggested. "His first name starts with a T."
Harry thought on that for a moment, shook his head, and said, "No, it wasn't Tom," at the same time that Lily said, "No, I don't think so." Harry grinned at his future mother when she blushed prettily.
"What about that elf named Tiernan?" Severus tried with a thoughtful frown.
"I don't think so," Harry smiled wryly. "He didn't really care for me all that much."
"I would say not with how you kept teasing him," Lily scolded.
"Of course," Harry grinned. Yes, his mother was much like Hermione.
"I know!" Lily suddenly exclaimed. "It was Tavissale! It had to be! Galadriel would have told him everything!"
"It probably was Lord Tavissale. He's the one who came to me last year," James explained softly.
"What?" Harry's eyes widened in surprise. "You know about the Forgotten?"
"I don't think we should call them that anymore. After all, you and I are of their blood, and I don't really think I've been forgotten just yet." James smirked smugly. "We even have the same ears." With that, James removed the glamour he'd been wearing for the last year.
The three other teens just stared. Gone was the gawky underdeveloped teenager that they'd gone to school with for the last seven years. In his place stood a young man who resembled Lord Slytherin greatly.
"Oh Merlin!" Sirius gasped in horror. "You're like a- a- a clone or something!"
"I am not a clone!" Harry laughed so hard his stomach began to hurt.
"No, he has different eyes." Severus looked at Lily pointedly.
"And a different mouth," she replied as she glared back at Severus.
"Let's not forget his cheekbones," Severus murmured as his gaze fell on Sirius. "Actually, it's only his hair that looks anything like Potter."
"What exactly are you trying to get at by disecting my features?" Harry asked amused.
"They are saying that you carry a bit of all of them," answered a deep voice that only two of the people in the room recognized causing the others to jump in startlement.
"Why are you here?" Harry stared coldly at the Elder. His tone of voice could have frozen the sun.