Finally a new chapter! I know it has been way too long...again... But thank you for your patience and support!
Chapter eighteen: Back to School He Goes
When Harry awoke the next morning he found himself wrapped in Buraki's coils. He also saw that Riddle was sitting up beside them on the large bed, glaring at the overprotective anaconda. Though when the man noticed he was awake his gaze seemed to soften. They prepared themselves for the day and headed off to breakfast.
Before leaving to catch the train that morning, with Snape and Greyback as his escort, Riddle had pulled him aside and pressed a kiss to his forehead, "I will write... and I'll expect a response promptly." Harry smiled at him. They said their goodbyes and Harry left with the werewolf and his professor.
Fenrir wore a minor glamour to avoid recognition as they entered King's Cross; even though the crowd they were currently in mostly consisted of muggles. He and Severus walked about an arms length behind the boy. He glanced over at the potions master who seemed very intent on keeping is gaze set dead ahead of him; most likely wishing to get away from the wolf as soon as possible. In fact, he had even decided to board with the teen just to avoid a trip back to the manor with him. Fenrir frowned; alright, perhaps blackmail was not the best approach in wooing his intended mate. However, the scent of the other had driven him wild; he couldn't hold back anymore. What else was he supposed to do? He highly doubted the snarky man would've been partial to flowers...unless they made for a decent potion ingredient. It didn't help that Severus had a particular dislike for werewolves due to a bad experience in the past.
As they approached the platform he moved closer to Severus, who tensed at the change in proximity. They passed through the barrier quickly with out a word. Harry could sense the tension in the air, making him equally eager to get on the train. Harry spotted the Weasleys and was about to greet them before he saw Ron and Ginny. He hesitated; he was going back to his beloved school and didn't really want Ronald's newly acquired hatred for him to spoil things. Nor did he feel like suffering through Ginny's stalkerish attentions. So instead, he decided to just make his way to the train. He raised an eyebrow as Snape stormed past him, fuming. Had he been paying attention to his escorts a few moments before, he would've seen Greyback give the man a surprise kiss goodbye. He did however see the red hand print on the goofily grinning wolf's face as he waved them off.
No one noticed a pair of luminescent violet eyes leering at the little lord among the midst of the busy crowd.
Harry chose to stay in the same compartment as Snape since he was still anxious about facing his friends. He heard Snape speak to him, "Dumbledore is surely going to inquire about your experience at the Dark Lord's manor."
"Yes, I hope I haven't worried him to much."
"He was very... unsure of what to do when he heard you had refused to escape. I assured him that you were in good health, however I don't believed that pacified him much."
"Great." Harry placed his head on his hand as he stared at the scenery that passed by the window. He reached up, intending to pet the snake around his shoulders with his other hand. Instead, he met empty air. He looked around to find his familiar missing. "Crap, I think Buraki went off to explore the train."
Snape smirked, "Oh I do hope he reaches the first years."
Harry rolled his eyes and sighed, "I should probably go find him before someone jumps off the train screaming." He left the compartment to search for his wayward familiar. He checked the next few compartments, asking students if they had seen the black snake. He received many fearful head shakes and continued his search further up the train.
Harry opened the next compartment door, "Has anyone seen a black snake with a red spike on it's tail slinking around?"
"Get the fuck out Potter...wait, what the bloody hell happened to you?"
"Great to see you too Malfoy, seriously though, anyone seen him?"
A dark skinned boy answered, "I thought I saw something long and black moving up the hallway."
"Blaise, don't help him!" The snobby little blonde folded his arms in protest.
Harry smiled brightly, "Thank you Zabini!" He closed the compartment door and hurried down the hall, his serpentine eyes scanning the ground for Buraki. He jumped when a feminine scream emitted from the compartment three doors down.
Meanwhile, Snape was smirking evilly in his own compartment when he heard the scream, and turned to the next page of the book he was reading.
Harry rushed to the compartment and threw open the door.
:HARRY HELP ME!:
Said teen found himself gaping at the scene in front of him. His familiar appeared to be trapped in a suffocating bear hug by one Hermione Granger, "He's so adorable! Look at these scales; there gorgeous! And he's got a cute little spike on his tail; I've never heard of that before."
:I am not cute!:
Harry placed a hand over his mouth to try and muffle his laughter.
"Oh -haha- Good lord Mione- haha- put him down, he's- ha- properly scared of you now."
The wavy-haired witch dropped the snake in shock. :Ow!:
"H-Harry?" she said amazed. After a moment of staring she slapped his shoulder. "Ow!" Then Harry found himself wrapped in his own bone crushing hug. "Where have you been?!"
Buraki climbed back around Harry's shoulders. "Harry, this one is insane, let's escape while we can!"
Hermione blinked, "He can talk?"
Harry chuckled, "Hermione, this is my new companion, Buraki. Buraki, this is my best friend, Hermione."
The bookworm of a girl grinned and stretched out her hand, "How do you do?" Buraki eyed her suspiciously before wrapping his tail around her hand and lightly shaking it.
"Hermione, I didn't realize you liked snakes so much."
The girl shrugged, "I've been keeping it to myself but they're actually my favorite animal... What happened to you? You have scales under you're eyes...they're actually kinda pretty. Where have you been all summer?! Did Voldemort really kidnap you?! How did you get away?! How did-"
"Mione relax! I'll tell you all about it; but first take a breath because I'm worried you're gonna turn blue any moment." The brunette witch complied by taking in a calming breath.
"...Um, we're here too by the way." Harry looked over to the seats and saw Neville and Luna there watching them. Neville was waving nervously. Harry smiled and moved to give them hugs, "Hey guys."
So the ravenette took a seat and explained to his friends the events of the summer; from his time in Brazil to his time spent in Riddle's manor. "Tom was actually pretty nice to me."
Hermione raised an eyebrow at him, "Tom?"
Harry flushed a bit, "Er...well...He's not that bad; we actually got along pretty well." His mind replayed the memory of their kiss in the garden. The three others in the compartment looked at him oddly. Just as Hermione was about to take hold of his shoulder to shake him out of his thoughts, the compartment door slid open. "Oh bloody brilliant he's back." Said a sarcastic voice teeming with aggression. Ronald Weasley stood in the entrance with his arms crossed, glaring at the shorter ravenette.
"Hello Fag, I see you decided to show your true slimy Slytherin colors. Look at yourself! You've become some disgusting snake hybrid just like You-Know-Who! How long before you lose your nose? You even have one of those little monsters with you! I always knew you were bad news."
Harry only gave him a bored glance.
"Oi, I'm talking to you Queer!" The youngest Weasley male raised his fist and made to grab Harry's collar. Buraki hissed at the redhead, ready to bite, before his target was pulled away by the brown-haired witch. "Ronald Weasley, stop this nonsense!" She demanded.
"Hmph, your right Mione. This little shite isn't worth our time!"
The bookworm was fuming with anger. To the surprise of everyone the normally well behaved witch gave the Weasley boy a great shove, knocking him to his buttocks on the floor of the train's hallway, "Don't talk about Harry that way! He is our friend, Ron! How can you say such hurtful things? Merlin you are such a...an arse-hat!"
Ron pushed himself off from the floor, "Mione what are you talking about? This snake almost got us killed at the ministry! Now come on, we should leave, if Nev and Luna are smart they will too; I don't want my girl anywhere near this queer freak."
He tried to grab Hermione's arm, but the witch evaded his reach and snarled at him, "I am NOT your girl, and after seeing how you treat my friend I will never be your girl!" She pointed her wand threateningly at the ginger boy's face. "Now you will leave this compartment before I do something I probably won't regret!" Her shouting had garnered the attention of a few curious students from neighboring compartments.
With a pure look of shock and betrayal, Ronald scrambled to his feet and fled further up the train. Hermione sighed, "I can tell this year is just going to be loads of fun isn't it Harry?"
Harry subconsciously started fiddling with the black stone on his necklace. "Yeah, probably."
The four students sat and shared their summer stories with each other for a little while before the train suddenly lurched. Harry, Buraki, and Hermione found themselves hurled out of their seats forward into Neville and Luna's side of the compartment. The train was coming to a loud screeching halt. Cries of alarm could be heard sounding throughout the length of the train all shouting the same questions or similar ones:
"What's going on?!"
"Why'd we stop?!"
"Is it You-Know-Who?! Is he attacking the train?!"
Everyone gathered up to the windows trying to spot any activity outside the Hogwarts Express. All of them keeping eyes on the sky, searching for the tell-tale black wisps that meant death eaters were approaching. To their alarm and great confusion they found these wisps; but instead of the usual black, they were blue. Harry and Buraki also saw these blues smoke trails and cursed. These were Zerin's men! Harry drew his thorn-covered wand, ignoring the stares from his friends and ran out of the compartment with Buraki. Hermione Neville and Luna followed him with their own wands at the ready.
Harry was heading for the compartment he had left Snape in when his path was blocked by two of the blue robed men, "There he is, take him! Lord Zerin wants him alive!" As they charged Harry sent a stunner at the first, and Buraki smacked the second on the back of his head with the blunt part of his spiked tail.
As they continued onwards Harry began to realize that they had yet to come across any panicked students. He found a window and gasped at what he was seeing. Most of the students were outside, some still being forced from the train. The blue robed men surrounded them, holding them at wand point. Even Snape was out there, also detained. "What the hell are we gonna do now?" He groaned aloud.
Luna came up next to him and pointed, "Is that one there Zerin, the one you told us of? There, the one with the purple eyes." Ah, indeed it was the last person Harry ever wanted to see again. Zerin stood before his captive audience, his eyes passing over the student body in search of Harry.
The teen shivered and looked away from the demon to assess more of the situation. He spotted a pile of wands, which must have been confiscated from his fellow classmates. He noticed only two men guarded the pile, their backs to the train. "I need to go grab my cloak."
Zerin examined the crowd of young witches and wizards before him. He could not see one Harry Potter among them. Where did the little spitfire run off to now? He could sense that the little lord was near. Were his men to incompetent to pull him off this blasted train?
Two blue clad men were oblivious to whispered words uttered by the teen hidden under a certain special cloak. Harry was accioing the wands of the students who had been apart of DA as he knew that they could handle themselves in a fight. he couldn't take all of the wands or Zerin and his men would notice.
He crept past the guards toward the back of the hostages, quietly slipping the wands into the hands of their owners. Harry moved to Snape and gave him his wand. "Get ready for a fight." he told him quietly. The man tensed with surprise and nodded tightly. Then Harry slipped a few Slytherins their wands including Zabini's Parkinson's, Nott's, and even Malfoy's. Meanwhile Buraki hid in some nearby tall grass waiting for the right moment to strike.
Zerin stepped closer to the students. "Good evening boys and girls, My name is Lord Zerin." he told them politely with a smile. Most of the students stared at him as if he were bonkers. "Your most likely wondering why your journey to your beloved school has been...delayed. Well, I'm looking for someone; a mister Harry Potter."
"Fucking figures." Grumbled a disgruntled student. Zerin seemed to not appreciate the comment. With an annoyed expression the demon marched to the student, Cormac Mclaggen, and grabbed him by the throat. He hauled him to the front of the group with little effort. Zerin tsked, "It's impolite to interrupt your elders young wizard. I'm not sure such foul mouthed rudeness should go unpunished; unless you know where our dear Harry is?"
His grip tightened and Mclaggen whimpered, "N-No!"
Zerin frowned, "Then you are of no use to me." He threw the boy with inhuman strength towards one of his men. "Slit his throat." the chaos demon ordered nonchalantly. Under his father's cloak, Harry's eyes widened with alarm.
With a sadistic grin, Zerin's follower seized the struggling boy and raised his hand to reveal sharp black claws. Harry saw that his eyes were now completely black. He realized these men were all demons just like Zerin!
Acting quickly Harry let an arm slip out from under the cloak as he gave the signal for his friends still hidden on the train. Three spells were shot simultaneously at the ground only a few feet behind the blue robed demon poised to execute Mclaggen. The following explosion of soil startled Zerin and his followers into turning their backs on the hostages. As Harry saw his classmate scramble away from the demon that would've killed him, He threw off the cloak and yelled, "Now!"
The armed students fired a barrage of spells at the backs of their captors. Hermione, Neville and Luna left the train to use the dust cloud mustered by their previous explosive spells as a cover. The rest of the students took this chance to recover their own wands from the pile.
In the midst of the fight Harry found himself before Zerin, who was grinning like a mad man, "Very clever my Little Gem, However you'll find that my men are more than a match for children." Harry looked around and realized that more and more of the students were being overcome. The former DA members seemed to be holding their own but not by much. Even Snape was faced with multiple opponents at a time, struggling to block each constant attack. He had little time to wonder where Buraki was as he found Zerin was now directly in front of him. He was surprised by the suddenly angry expression on the bastard's face.
He lurched backwards, but the demon's hands seized him by his wrists. He felt them transferred to one hand and pulled high above his head, and the other hand gripped his collar and ripped the material away. There was an enraged snarl, "Who dares touch you besides myself!?" The shout had brought the surrounding battle to an uneasy halt and all eyes were on the pair.
Confused, Harry wondered how Zerin knew something like that. What was he glaring at...Oh son of a bitch! Harry blushed furiously, 'I can't believe...he actually...he did this on purpose, I know it!...And everyone can see!' Harry's teenage mind felt that it was about to die from embarrassment. How the hell was he going to explain the prominent hickey that marked his shoulder. 'Screw Tom and his gentle touches; I'm gonna kill him!'
A couple yards away, Snape gaped at the dark red love mark on the boy's person. When in the bloody hell did he get that?! Who gave it to him? Surely not...Severus suddenly realized that he was going to need to sit down very soon.
Zerin was seething. Who had touched his claim?! The little Serpent Lord's heart, body, and soul were to be his! Who was this...this rival? No, this pest! "Wait a tic..." Zerin's rage abruptly changed into amusement. "Ohoho...I see, it was him wasn't it?" Zerin leaned into Harry's ear and whispered, "Europe's dark lord." He pulled back and chuckled darkly. "Oh that's rich!"
Harry tried to pull away again, but the grip on him was still too strong. Zerin continued, despite his prey's discomfort. "That beastly thing desires you? Understandable,...you are indeed a rare beauty, Little Gem. It's too bad for him that you are already spoken for my dear, worry not, I'll make sure that creature never lays another finger on you."
Harry glared at the demon and, not knowing what possessed him to do it, he used the solid grip on his wrist to haul his lower body up. His knee slamming between his captor's legs. Like any other male, Zerin made a loud strangled sound and dropped the teen while sinking to the ground. Harry covered up his shoulder and tried to crawl away from the bastard, but was restrained by a quick hand that caught his ankle. "You shouldn't have done that, Little Gem." came a cruel drawl.
The ravenette turned and glared at the being, "Riddle is more of a man than you will ever be you damned monster!" The fury was back in those sharp violet eyes. A now clawed hand raised to strike the boy.
A flash of crimson cut through the air and Zerin snarled inhumanly in pain as his hand was severed from it's place. He clutched the bleeding stump to him. Harry suddenly found himself surrounded by the protective coils of Buraki. The great serpent's body was riddled with numerous, but minor injuries. Zerin glared murderously at the magical anaconda. "You and that damned spike have been a literal thorn in my side for far too long, Worm! I'll make sure your death is a slow one!" he held out the stump and let them watch a new hand rapidly grow back in it's place.
However, before the demon could act to retaliate, the thundering cracks of apparition surrounded his forces. The Order of the Phoenix had finally arrived. Flanked by Remus Lupin and Arthur Weasley, Albus Dumbledore quickly approached to where Harry was, wand aimed at Zerin. "I'll have to request that you stand down, Stranger." the old headmaster told him calmly, but with a clear underlying threat. Zerin looked around him, noticing that his men were being force back, some even retreating. He decided that it was time to leave.
He was well aware of the old man's powerful wand sparking threateningly in his direction. The irritating black Snake hissed at him; and the beautiful little Serpent lord was glaring at him again. Those emerald eyes deliciously fiery with anger. He grinned and told him "He will die; I will kill him, and you will be mine Little Gem." Harry didn't have to ask who the demon was talking about.
Buraki struck in an attempt to crush Zerin in his jaws, but he had already vanished along with the rest of his men. With the danger passed, Harry removed himself from the center of Buraki's coils. He soon found himself glomped by a tall body, his face pressed into a surprisingly soft gray beard. "Harry! Thank Merlin you're alright! I never would've forgiven myself if something had happened to you!" Harry awkwardly held the old man back, not used to this kind of contact with him. The headmaster pulled back and Harry never thought he would be so happy to see that little eye-twinkle again."Come my boy, let's get you and the other students back to Hogwarts! We have much to discuss, I'm sure." Harry nodded in agreement.
The elder glanced upwards, "Ah, and I see you've made a new friend." This was said cheerfully, as if it weren't unusual to see a sixty-foot long serpent. Harry grinned. "This is Buraki, my newest familiar."
"Familiar you say?" The old man blinked, "Good heavens my boy, how on earth did you get him on the train?"
In reply Buraki shrunk down enough to rest cozily around Harry's shoulders. Harry snickered as Dumbledore stared at the snake with fascination. "Truly astounding."
After checking his friends' conditions, Harry and the other students re-boarded the train. The Hogwarts Express continued on it's way, only this time with the entire Order as an escort. Harry laughed as he spotted Tonks following along outside on a broom, flying playful loops around Remus. A few hours later the exhausted teen felt encompassed with relief as the train's destination came into view.
Please Review! It makes me smile wider than a Cheshire cat!
I've just now noticed that I have Harry kicking guys in the crotch a lot in my stories...but come on, It's been pretty effective so far...and it's kinda funny.
Does anyone recall me saying that this was my "serious story"...yeah, forget I said that. The revamp will be more serious and hopefully more realistic.
Next Chapter: We find a familiar face in an unusual place...I won't be writing any poem fics any time soon.