"You did not attend dinner," Severus said, sounding concerned, leaning against the doorway, watching Harry closely, "I must admit I am curious as to why you chose to come here of all places," Harry was sitting on the floor in the middle of the bare room looking a hundred miles away.
"I just wanted to be alone," Harry admitted, "Nobody comes this far up, why are these rooms not used?" every other nook and cranny of the Castle were used; he had yet to see an unused room here until now that is.
"These rooms have not been used permanently since my Great-Great-Grandmothers day as Lady Consort," Severus told him, "In the old practice, they had their own quarters, most even after they were married, and they shared a bed but slept apart. My Grandmother who's courting was very brief stayed in these rooms for three months. Originally I had intended to give you these rooms when I heard you hadn't consented to the handfasting, but I couldn't quite go through with it, I wanted you close, the thought of being so far away from you at night was…unacceptable." the rooms while completely bare, were cleaned regularly, by the House-Elves.
"I noticed the portraits, they're all male and female," Harry said, "Has there ever been a same-sex relationship in the Prince family line?"
"Just the one," Severus revealed honestly, "Six generations ago, I believe."
"The potion didn't exist then," Harry said, looking up at Severus, feeling nervous again, the urge to kiss him was strong, there was no doubt he was attracted to him, especially given how his body reacted to his touch.
"No, it did not," Severus said wryly, "The Prince Consort agreed to use a surrogate to give the Lord Vampire an heir; the consort stipulated that it be of his blood. They chose his sister; she gave birth to a boy."
"Why isn't there a portrait of them up?" Harry queried.
"There is," Severus informed him sounding amused. "He much like yourself had long hair, you'd need to look very closely to spot him." he had been very short and lithe. "He had a very androgynous look." he too hadn't spotted it first, but after he learned more of his vast heritage he had gone looking again. There was evidently something on Harry's mind, he was doing his best to change the subject, and unfortunately, he could tell that whatever he was thinking had a greater grip than his curiosity. Fortunately for him, he knew what Harry was thinking so heavily about.
"Has Remus told you?" Harry asked quietly, after a few moments of silence.
"I knew before Remus turned back into human form, my…our people heard the conversation between them. Regardless, he did inform me once he was conscious." Severus revealed, moving away from the doorway, he sat down in the middle of the room next to Harry.
"Is there really a potion that can do that?" Harry asked his stomach lurching at the thought. "To the extent that they would just ignore someone's existence just because they were told?" he knew it was true he just didn't want it to be.
"That and much worse," Severus didn't hesitate, "Like magic, potions are capable of the most precious of things, putting a stopper in death, creating life, but it can also end life and destroy people. Yes, there are many potions out there, illegally made, that can and will rob someone of their own free will. As much as I dislike Black, not even he deserved that, although my vampire side is still reeling over the fact he had his bond mate torn so callously from him." he couldn't conceive how it must feel and was not going to pretend he could.
"How do you stop the hate?" Harry asked, his tone forlorn, he hated being dragged down by so much hatred, he hated that it was hurting the people he loved most. Remus would have chosen him in a heartbeat, even if it meant never being with his soul mate. He hadn't contemplated letting him, not even for a second, but he was tired, tired of the anger, the hatred, the rage he kept locked up inside of him until he couldn't control it anymore.
"For Black or Dumbledore?" Severus asked, wondering if it was actually both he was referring to, shifting slightly, wishing his mate had found somewhere more comfortable. If he was uncomfortable he didn't want to imagine how painful this was for Harry as human as he was at the moment.
"I'm just so tired of it," Harry said, shaking his head slowly as if to emphasize his exhaustion. "Of Dumbledore, of Black, Dumbledore's schemes, being angry all the time, now I find that my anger at Black was misplaced, I'm still angry with him though…even if I know the truth…"
"That anger won't disappear overnight," Severus sighed softly, unable to help himself, he reached over his fingers trailing down Harry's face, placing his hair behind his ear. "You've carried it with you for such a long time; you need to let it out, every single little thing you've held onto at him for six years. Then talk, about everything, anything, I do believe that will help with your feelings towards Black."
Harry closed his eyes and pressed his face against the touch, somehow having Severus to talk to was helping. Or maybe it was just having someone, not emotionally invested in it giving him advice. Either way, he found himself grateful, maybe that was part of having a mate?
"As for Dumbledore," Severus chuckled smoothly, "I do believe attending his trial and seeing his downfall is all the closure you will need." testing the waters, Severus moved closer to his mate, wishing that he could touch him when he wasn't clearly distressed to some point. Although perhaps this way was good, Harry would realize he had someone he could rely on in both good and bad times.
Harry grinned savagely before it became almost sheepish as he nodded, yes, seeing Dumbledore's downfall would definitely be the highlight of his year. "I believe that too." letting his head fall against Severus' chest, the touches were different from his dad, werewolves were really hot while vampires were cool. He felt nothing but calmness from Severus whenever they did touch, was it his lack of heartbeat or did he just have that sort of presence with everyone? Perhaps it was the bond or magic itself?
"I know it's hard, but just remember that thinking of them, getting emotional over them…bluntly put they win. Drain the anger away, store what's happened as experience and live your life, do not let them win." Severus said, "I was given the same sort of advice just after I went through the change. It was quite an emotional phrase, especially seen as I should have already gone through it four years prior." Severus revealed another bit of information about himself.
"Alfred?" Harry guessed, a small fond smile appearing on his face, what could he say, he was growing on him, it was quite a good thing that Severus couldn't see him at the moment for he would have felt very possessive and jealous that Alfred could pull such a smile from Harry.
"Indeed," Severus replied wryly, he continued to touch Harry, surprised he was allowed to even after it was obviously he had calmed down immensely after his suggestion.
"Being put in Azkaban isn't enough, he deserves so much worse," Harry said his lips curling in disgust.
"Dumbledore is being hit where it hurts the most; he has spent eight decades building up the perfect image of himself. Champions of the Muggle-born's, the creatures, a genial older man who fought for the greater good of the magical world by risking it all to face Grindelwald. He did everything to project the image of a hero, he was extremely vain about his titles, each time he wrote missives, legislation and such he always used his full title, they will all be stripped away. He will be considered person non grata and forgotten over time." Severus said his tone smug and amused. "Killing him would be a mercy compared to stewing in Azkaban knowing his old life…everything he worked for was gone, forgotten."
"It almost sounds as if you hate Dumbledore just as much as I do...maybe even more," Harry murmured from where he was still burrowed in Severus, relishing in the contact between them. Eventually, he looked up to finish his sentence. "It's surely not solely because of the handfasting, you didn't like him before, you treated him with barely concealed disdain." they were so close Harry realized as Severus looked down to see him properly, all it would have taken was an infinitesimal move for their lips to touch. Gathering his courage he had just made up his mind when Severus began moving.
"Come, this is a long story, and I would rather do it somewhere where you will be comfortable, and where it's warm," Severus informed him after standing up, his hand out to encourage Harry to come with him. Once Harry took his hand, he hoisted the teen up, completely missing the pout and irritation at yet another missed opportunity.
Severus guided Harry back towards their living quarters, feeling extremely tense and anxious. What he was going to have to tell him wasn't good. He just hoped that Harry would not be disgusted with him enough that he wouldn't give the bonding a thought. "Take a seat, I'll be back momentarily," and just like that Severus was gone, using vampire speed for the first time.
Harry sat down, wondering just what he was going to be told that was a 'long story' it wouldn't surprise him if it wasn't just Remus, Black and himself who had been victims of Dumbledore's schemes. Though, surely, Severus would never have trusted Dumbledore with him even for a moment if it was something…bad? Or perhaps it was just information he had compiled that was damaging but not alarming?
"Would you like some wine?" Severus asked as he made his re-entrance, closing the door behind him so that their conversation would be completely private. He knew Harry preferred Butterbeer but the rate he was going through them they'd soon hit a drought. He'd gotten through a crate of sixty bottles, which had all been consumed in the past week unless his friends had been helping him. He had ordered them when he heard Harry was so fond of the drink. No matter, the House-elves had been informed to get more and to keep them topped up. "For your first try of wine, you'll find it a very pleasing taste." pouring his goblet full, waiting for Harry to answer, to his surprise Harry agreed. Filling the second goblet up he passed it over his own lips pursed as he stared at the fire wondering where the hell to start.
"You were correct; my dealings with Dumbledore were done with barely concealed scorn," Severus admitted, sipping his wine. "Has Remus told you everything about your father? More specifically how he was during his school years?" if Harry wasn't his mate…he would have had no problem telling Harry just what his father had been like, but he was his mate…it made everything different.
"You mean if I know he was a bully? Then yes, I know, Remus never said much, just that he grew up a little when my mum got pregnant…but he still had some more growing up to do." Harry answered, "That is obvious considering the way the estate was left." he was often reminded that James and Lily hadn't intended to die for a long time, going into hiding should have kept them safe, if not for Peter Pettigrew. He should have made contingencies but they had thought it was full proof.
"I was one of their frequent victims when it came to their bullying ways, that is not to say I considered myself a victim, I gave as good as I got for the most part." Severus explained, "No matter how extreme it got, Dumbledore brushed away their actions as a 'little bit of fun' even the one that shaped the man I would become."
Harry listened and drank the wine, which was as Severus said very pleasant, it made him feel warm and relaxed. It reminded him of the effects of a calming draught. "Extreme?" Harry grimaced, wondering if he even wanted to hear this, knowing how immature his father was…it would be different to hear of it.
"The moment my life took a dark turn, I was in my sixth year at Hogwarts. Mostly it was Black to blame; your father did not have anything to do with it, nor your dad." Severus explained, "Black convinced me to go to the Shrieking Shack one night, unbeknown to me, it was the full moon."
Harry gasped, closing his eyes as realization dawned on him. Fuck Dumbledore! The bastard, good friends his ass.
"I was searching for something that would make them back off, to hold over them," Severus told Harry honestly, staring into the fire.
"Ever the Slytherin," Harry said wryly.
Severus continued on as if Harry hadn't spoken, "So like a thoughtless fool I went, having my doubts at the last minute, for good reason. I watched horror splash across Lupin's face as I opened the door, he was trying to tell me something, presumably get the hell out, but he was already transforming. Then the wolf advanced, I thought for sure I was about to be torn to pieces, it was close enough that I could see its razor-sharp teeth, smell the stench of its breath against my face. To my shame I was frozen in fear, I could barely think let alone act, then someone barrelled passed me, transforming into a stag, and was shoving the wolf back."
Harry winced, just imagining the entire scenario, "And from that moment on, regardless of whether my father intended to save your life or not, which was not, he just wanted to protect his friend, you owed him a life debt." he could just imagine Draco saving his life (not that the blonde would not even to save a friend he was a coward) and being indebted to him. It made him shiver in revulsion.
"I did," Severus agreed, "That night we were all secluded in the hospital wing for the night, Dumbledore came down before Lupin returned, awarded your father points for his bravery, then sent him back to Gryffindor tower, he then turned his attention onto me, and subtly threatened to see me removed from Hogwarts, expelled, and ensure I would find it difficult to get a job or apprenticeship if word got out about what happened that night." and Dumbledore would have done it too.
"Then used that incident to make sure I fell into his party line," Harry hissed through gritted teeth.
Severus turned to face Harry for the first time since he started talking, his eyes gleaming malevolently. "So it was Remus he threatened to get you to go through with the handfasting," he had his suspicions when he first heard; to have them confirmed did little to tame the fire burning in his heart.
Harry nodded, hearing no surprise in Severus' tone just anger.
"Dumbledore's threats and his blatant favoritism…and the loss of my friendship with your mother led me down a very dark path." Severus continued, knowing if he didn't say these things now he might never do so. He couldn't let Harry go through with the bonding and end up finding out…unfavourable things about him that would put the bond in jeopardy. "I became a Death Eater."
Harry snorted; "Voldemort was killed by one of his Death Eaters and a one-year-old kid?" the irony was just utterly amusing to him.
"I believed in many of the Dark Lord's aims, my father was a Muggle and he was a revolting one at that. I suspected that my father and your Un…Vernon would have gotten on splendidly in their bids to make us normal." Severus stated, revealing his past to someone other than his grandparents and Alfred, all of which had taken place fifteen years ago. "Muggles should not know about magic, wizards and witches should not be left with Muggles whether they are relatives or not. In the end, the things I did agree with the dark side didn't add up to the list of things I most definitely didn't agree with."
"You don't have the dark mark," Harry pointed out, "Did you find a way to remove it? It mustn't have been easy…I'm sure there were many Death Eaters who tried to after Voldemort's first downfall out of fear of being found out."
"Is that all you have to say on the matter?" Severus questioned as if he was questioning Harry's sanity.
"You shot out a killing curse at Voldemort to try and save my life; you weren't to know his curse would be rebound." Harry said, shrugging his shoulders, "I don't care what you were, what you are that counts, you treat your people very fairly, you're a good man, you've never doubted my word, and you saved my dad, took in my family…you could have been the devil himself and I'd have still been grateful. Experiences shape us into who we are, who we will become, who knows what you would have been like if you hadn't been a Death Eater at one point?"
"That is very…succinctly,put." Severus replied, made him sound more exciting than he actually was. "Also extremely well worded," he would make a very good consort indeed. He glanced at the goblet in Harry's hand wondering if the alcohol had anything to do with Harry's agreeable mood or if it was truly how he felt.
"It's true, I would do anything for my family," Harry said, before changing the subject altogether. "Has there been any word on Dumbledore?"
"Nothing, but I am unsurprised, his trial will not be for at least a month yet," Severus allowed the change of subject with great relief, quite honestly he hadn't been sure how Harry would react, but he had believed it would not be in his favour. "Perhaps even two; in the mean time he will be confined to Azkaban, where it will be next to impossible for anyone to see him."
"Will there be new crimes uncovered as they investigate him or will they just investigate the crimes in front of them?" Harry asked, his own gaze meeting the flames in the fireplace. Oh, he wanted Dumbledore's entire life to crumble upon him.
"Exactly what are you suggesting?" Severus questioned, his gaze shrewd, yes; this was a Slytherin if there ever was one. Subtly suggesting that they should look into Dumbledore's life, see if there were any other potential crimes to uncover and ensure Dumbledore's maximum exposure.
"Me?" Harry asked turning to stare at Severus the picture of innocence, "I don't know what you mean."
"Of course not," Severus replied wryly, Slytherin indeed, only the upturning of Harry's lips gave him away, but Severus believed he allowed it. "I do not believe it is a bad idea,"
It became an outright shark grin, very pleased with himself.
"He messed with the wrong people," Harry said, he hoped they found something, because he really wanted to give Dumbledore the middle finger for daring to hurt his dad, for daring to meddle with his parents and manipulate them into joining his Order. For threatening Severus, for manipulating him, this was all a culmination of events that would see him utterly destroyed.
"Indeed," Severus replied, tipping his goblet to the side before drinking the remnants. "Another?" he questioned, extremely pleased with the fact he had been able to actually have a full conversation with Harry without being interrupted or the teen being quiet.
"Only if I can get something to eat," Harry said, his stomach rumbled in complaint.
"You need never ask," Severus said seriously, Harry had made allusions to the fact he had been starved his entire childhood, and his height had gave support to that testament, not that he had doubted him. "You know how to call the House-Elves, they will be more than happy to help you. In fact tomorrow you may choose one to take on as your personal House-Elf, who will gladly see to your needs."
So it was Severus called a House-elf to bring some food to them, while he refilled their goblets, and their conversation turned to something more pleasant. They got to know each other better; Dumbledore, The Dursley's James Potter, and Sirius Black, were not mentioned again for the rest of the night.
Slowly but surely Harry was beginning to heal, Severus was accomplishing something that Maria and Remus hadn't been able to. Regardless, Remus and Maria couldn't give Harry what Severus would, they were merely parental figures, they helped guide him when they could, but Severus was going to bring out Harry's Slytherin side in all its glory and heal him of past wounds so that the anger no longer festered in his heart.
That is not to say it would be an easy journey, who can say whether it would be worth it, but it's one they would traverse together despite their shaky start.
Dumbledore may have given Harry over uncaring about what harm befell the teenager, but it was not Harry's fate he should have disregarded so easily, but his own, for they had been intertwined since that moment where Dumbledore took law and fate into his own hands and placed Harry with magic hating relatives. He had been doomed long before he signed Harry over.
Harry would be thankfully for it, while Dumbledore would continue to curse Harry's existence until the day he died. Which he was already doing so from his cell within Azkaban prison, along with Sirius Black, Severus Snape, Amelia Bones, and Evan Doge as well as Fawkes who had not came to him when called.
This chapter is all new :) I hope you're enjoying it - me I am :) it's nice to have my muse back for this story but hopefully soon I can get back to my other stories and start updating them one at time! :D R&R please