Disclaimer: I own only the obvious, the rest belongs to JK Rowling.
Authors Notes: Um, no comment. Yeah, no comment. Blame the Plot Bunnies.
It was Christmas. The snow was falling, covering everything in white. Children were playing in the park, building snow-castles, snowmen, making snow-angels or having a snowball war. Christmas-songs were playing in the shops, and Santa's could be seen at almost every corner in red suits and white beard. People were out doing their last-minute shopping and chatting with each other on the street. Mothers were busy with the Christmas cooking, fathers could be seen decorating the Christmas tree through a window. All in all it was the perfect picture of Christmas spirit.
The Weasley residence was no exception. Hermione Weasley was happily keeping an eye at the dinner in the oven while at the same time cooking three other dishes. Ron Weasley, her husband, was busy decorating the magnificent tree in their living room with their two daughters. They were going to hold a get-together for old friends that afternoon, and everyone who were able were coming. There was Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, the rest of the Weasley clan, Draco Malfoy and his wife Ginny, and, of course, Harry Potter and Severus Snape.
"Mummy!" Hermione turned as one of her six year old daughters ran into the kitchen, quickly followed by the other one. "Minnie's pulling my hair again!" the little girl glared at her twin.
"Was not," the other replied. "We were arguing over what was best, short hair or long hair. I was just proving my point."
"How many times do I have to tell you?" Hermione said. "It doesn't matter any more if you have short or long hair, that time is over. Now, Minnie, apologise to your sister."
" 'm sorry." The short-haired girl replied, not sounding sorry at all.
"Assepted," the other replied. "When're Uncle Al. and the rest coming?"
"There is still an hour left," Hermione replied. "And it's 'accepted', not 'assepted'."
"Ah, there you two are," the brown-haired woman looked up and into the smiling face of her husband. "I was wondering where you went. Who wants to put the star on the top of the tree?" the two girls squealed and ran out of the kitchen and into the living room, throwing items around the room in their search to find the star. Ron chuckled and walked over to his wife, kissing her on the cheek. "And what about you Herm?"
"I would love to, but I've got to watch the dinner," she said, and kissed him in return. "Don't want to repeat the incident that happened last Christmas."
"Hey, that was Fred and George's fault, I had nothing to do with it."
"I didn't say you did." Hermione smiled and turned back to the stove.
"Daddy! We need help with the star!"
"Yeah, she's too short to reach the top!"
"Oh, as if you're any taller."
"I better go and break them up," Ron said grinning.
"Just watch out that they don't eat too many sweets," Hermione replied. "Dinner will be ready in forty-five minutes, and the guest will be arriving by then."
The doorbell rang, and Annie and Minnie nearly ran each other down trying to get to the front-door first. When they opened they found themselves looking up at Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, the former had hooked an arm around the werewolf, who was holding two bags with presents. The girls let the two men enter, hugged them and ran off with the presents.
"I swear Sirius, they've spent too much time with you." Sirius Black turned and was hugged by Hermione. "Good to see you Snuffles."
"Hey Ron, Hermione. How have you been?" the black-haired man greeted them.
"Very well thank you, what about you two?" Ron replied. "When are we going to hear wedding bells?"
Remus blushed slightly and Sirius grinned.
"If you have waited for four years, you can wait for another four." Sirius replied, Remus just rolled his honey-brown eyes and smiled.
Hermione laughed and led them into the nicely furnished living room. Minnie and Annie were counting the presents that stood under the Christmas tree, and were arranging them from biggest to smallest. Ron was sitting in the couch that stood beside the tree. He looked up when they entered, smiled and got up to greet them.
Less than half an hour later nearly everyone were present. Draco was talking to Sirius, and Ginny to Remus. Dumbledore and Ron were playing with the kids, while McGonagall and Hermione were engaged in a heated debate about transfiguring an airplane into a sugar lump, and vice versa. Suddenly the doorbell rang again, and Hermione went to open. She was scooped into a warm hug before she could even open her mouth. When she was released she stood face to face with Harry, his unnaturally green eyes twinkling as mischievously as ever. Behind him she could see that Severus was debating with Arthur Weasley. Molly was talking to Angelina, Alicia and Penelope, while Fred, George and Percy were busy watching the kids.
"Come in," Hermione said while opening the door as much as possible. "You must be frozen!"
"Actually no," Harry replied pulling off his scarf. "The Heating charm Sev found is quite useful. So, what did we miss?"
"I doubt we missed much with your godfather here, Harry." Severus said as he hung his jacket on a coat hanger. Harry rolled his eyes.
"Can't you two lay off each others necks for once?" he asked. The whole thing was becoming really old. "It's Christmas!"
"Yeah, if you don't-" Fred began.
"-we'll make sure you do." George finished. "Come on love," he continued turning to Alicia, who had just sent their little boy off. "This room is filled with negative vibes and karma." He dragged her off.
"George Weasley! Will you ever grow up?"
"Let me see…nope!"
"Harry, Severus! How nice to see you again."
"Good to see you too Headmaster." Harry replied sitting down in the couch besides the old mage, Severus after him again.
"Oh, come now Harry. You of all people shouldn't have to call me that."
"Sorry, I forgot myself for a moment." Harry replied and leaned back into the couch. "So, what did we miss?" he asked.
"Nothing much, though I suspect that Remus and Sirius have an announcement to make." Albus replied. "But they won't say a word, no matter how hard I try to make them talk."
"Well, I think it might have something to do with churches and bells." Ron said looking up from the kids. "They bluntly refused to talk about that when me and Herm asked them, we even sent Minnie and Annie on mission to try to get it out of them, but not even they could get a word out of the two Marauders. And you know that Remus and Sirius can't refuse the puppy-faces."
"I'm sure they will tell us when the time is right." Severus said. "Arthur, about those artefacts that were found a couple of weeks ago. Has the Ministry done anything about that?" he asked turning to the man sitting opposite him.
The kids had been put to bed, and the grown ups were in the living room talking about anything and everything between heaven and hell. Harry was leaning his head on Severus' shoulder, the older man's arm around his torso. Sirius was in same position with Remus leaning on his shoulder. Dumbledore was talking quietly with Mrs and Mr Weasley, McGonagall was with Fred and George. She was interested in the twins' joke-shop. How had they come up with all the ideas? Were there any transfiguration involved? How did they make the fake wands? When was the new items coming out? and so on. Draco turned to Severus and Harry as the younger man yawned.
"You know, you two never told us how you hooked up," he said and everyone turned to the three of them. "I mean, I know that you are a vampire Severus and that they two of you saved the world, again if I might add. But you never told us how you met and ended up in the same bed." Harry nearly chocked on his drink.
"Yeah, I can remember at the end of the War when we got to the scene, you two came out of the fog like two ghosts, hand in hand." Hermione shuddered at the memory.
Harry and Severus shared a glance, then decided to tell the tale. Well, it was either tell the tale or being forced to swallow Veritaserum and then tell the tale. Sirius looked a bit disappointed at the fact that he wouldn't get to shove anything down Snape's throat today, but was soon distracted by Remus and forgot the whole thing.
"Well, it started when I came back from the spying-mission among the vampires," the Potion Master began.
"Yeah, I remember that time." Draco cut in. "You were half dead, no offence, by the time you had reached the HQ's, and it took me three hours just to heal your wounds. And trust me, it's hard enough on a normal vampire, but with a wizard-turned-vampire it's worse."
"How did you become a vampire in the first place, Severus?" Ginny asked. "I've never heard the tale."
"Lets just say that Voldemort was not pleased when he found out that I was spying for Albus. It was a Daylight vampire." The pale man had to repress a shudder as the memory resurfaced. He unconsciously hugged Harry closer. "Well, as I said. I had just returned from a mission with valuable information."
The night was dark, and there was no one out on the streets. Not tonight, or any other night for the last five years. After the Dark Lord had risen six years ago and had started his wave of terror, trying to achieve world dominance, even the Muggles had noticed that not everything was the same anymore. The dead, brown leaves danced in lazy patterns as a cold wind blew over the town. There were working streetlamps, but they were few and far between.
Severus staggered towards the old graveyard. There, his contact had told him, he would find a portkey to the Medical Ward in the HQ's, and it was only to be used in situations with no other way out. Well, if this didn't fit into that category then he had no idea what did. The sound of a trashcan overturning and a cat running alerted him that his pursuers were close by. Not that he hadn't known that fact before. He was a vampire, and could hear a whisper on the other side of the world if he wished to, but he hadn't known exactly where the others had been. Now he did.
The Potion Master clutched the valuable documents to his chest, ignoring the pain, and easily jumped over the wall to the cemetery. On the other side he landed smoothly and quietly, the mist that weaved through the gravestones and tombs surrounded him at once. He started to make his way among the headstones and towards the little, white, old church in the middle of the graveyard. It was clear as crystal that no one had been here for a long time.
Severus hurriedly entered the slightly decayed church, and headed towards the altar. Moss and grass had started to grow on the wooden seats that stood neatly in row, dried, dead leaves everywhere. Statures of beautiful angels were placed here and there, and in one corner the statue of Virgin Mary with the infant Christ in her arms. All this the vampire took in with one quickly look around. He didn't have time for more. As he came closer to the altar, Severus saw that the only thing that was left there was a wooden plate, with a magnificent, royal and mystical rune carved out on it.
Just as he reached for it the doors to the church flew open, and Severus whirled around. His pursuers were standing there, but only for a second. In the next the six vampires attacked. Severus just glared coldly at them, waited until they were no more than a couple of feet away from him, then grabbed hold of the wooden plate with the rune. As he disappeared in a flash of light, the vampires that had been attacking were set ablaze. With horrible, unnatural screams they melted into a black, oily puddle on the ground.
Severus on the other hand, appeared suddenly in the middle of the Medical Ward and stumbled forward. Before he could fall he was caught, and heard a voice yell out orders to other people and lots of shuffling and running. He took out the yellow folder from his jacket having long since abandoned robes, and handed it to a man he recognised from the Commanders office. Severus' head began to spin and his sight went in and out of focus, in the end disappearing completely as he lost consciousness.
Severus opened his eyes and closed them again at once, groaning. He knew were he was and he hated it. The room was pure white, with a window to the right, and a little table beside his bed. To the left there was the door, the wardrobe, and the button to push if he needed something and a nurse would appear seconds later. Severus had been here too many times for his own liking. Though he had to admit that it was fun to scare the young nurses that hadn't been around for too long. One glare and the woman, or man whatever the case might be, would either swoon over him, one of the drawbacks of being a vampire, or they would run out of the room nearly in panic.
He looked at the clock opposite the bed. It was precisely midday. Severus growled, got out of bed, found some new clothes in the wardrobe and got dressed. He had just pocketed his trusty wand, when a knock came at the door.
"Yes?" he snapped. All he wanted to do was get something to eat and then get out of here.
"Um, sir," a young, cute brunette stuck her head in. "Th-the Commander wants to talk to you, sir." Poor kid, was even more terrified of him than Longbottom had been when he was still teaching at Hogwarts. She had every right to be afraid of course, he was a vampire after all.
"Where does he want to meet?" Severus asked.
"H-he wants y-you to go t-to his o-office, sir." Her stammering was getting a bit annoying.
"Alright, I know the way so there's no need for you to lead me there." Severus snapped and the nurse paled a bit more. "Well, what are you waiting for? Beat it!" she was gone with a vampires speed, leaving the real vampire looking after her in amusement.
The office was filled with light when Severus entered, and it bothered him slightly. Three of the walls were covered with shelves upon shelves with files, books and Dark Arts Detectors. There was a majestic mahogany desk right opposite him, and behind the desk a tall window. A person stood right in front of the window. Slowly the man turned towards Snape, walked over to the comfortable leather chair that stood behind the desk, and sat down.
"Did you even have time to look through the file?" the voice was dangerous, like silk wrapped around a double-edged sword.
"No." Severus replied. He'd be damned if he called this mortal 'sir'.
"Well, you were lucky enough to pick the right file at least." The man in the chair said. "The Dark Lord isn't leading the Death Eaters anymore." Severus raised an eyebrow. This was new. "He died two years into the War, poisoned by one of his own lackeys."
"Who's running the Snakes now?" the vampire asked when it was clear that the other man wasn't going to continue anytime in the close future. The Death Eaters had been nicknamed 'Snakes' at the start of the War.
"A cunning ambitioned fellow named Lucius Malfoy. I believe you know him?"
Of course. There was nothing else to expect from a snake like the older Malfoy. Luckily the younger one had realised his mistake in time, and had fixed it. Mrs Malfoy had vanished into thin air.
"So Malfoy's the one who the Dark Supporters have nicknamed 'Son of Morning' after the devil." Severus said.
"Yes, apparently he acts like the devil too, if not worse." The other man replied. "The information we have gotten from our spies on the inside, along with this, tells us that Malfoy is planning something big. If it hadn't been for the fact that the idiot that calls himself Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, still held said position, older Mr Malfoy would've been behind bars years ago."
"What is he planning?" Severus asked, not sure he wanted to know the answer.
"That, unfortunately, we do not know. Yet." He did not like the 'yet'-part. It could only lead to something bad, well, that it bad for Severus. "I'm assigning you to find out what Malfoy's up to, and then to stop it if you can. You will have free reins on this, and an almost limitless access to supplies." Definitely not good.
"Am I supposed to work on this alone?"
"No, you're going to get help from one of the best agents we have." The man in the chair stood up, walked over to a shelf, found a folder and walked over to where Severus was standing while he was leafing through the folder. "Hmm, lets see. No, he's on a mission, she's pregnant, and he's dead. Aha! Here it is." The man gave the file to Severus. "That is your partner, I think you two know each other from before." He walked back to his desk and pushed a red and gold button. "He should arrive soon enough."
Severus looked at the name in front of the file, and then glared at the other man. This was bloody wonderful! Of all people in the world to be paired with, he had ended up with Harry 'Golden Boy' Potter!
"Look! It's Harry!"
"Harry is back!"
Those comments, and many more, sounded as Harry walked towards the Orphanage-and-teenage Centre. Kids stopped playing basketball on the court and ran over to meet him, younger children ran out of the building, and the men and women that worked in the orphanage followed the little children quickly. Harry grinned and scooped the little girl that reached him first into his arms, then he was surrounded by the rest and could hardly move.
"Where have you been?"
"Was it fun?"
"Come play basketball with us!"
"No, read a story!"
"No, tell a story!"
Harry just laughed at the children and made his way back to the orphanage. When he had moved here, the orphanage had been on the brink of closing down. Now that half the money he earned on his missions went to them, it was a wonderful sight. The playground around the white building was free of rusty nails, broken glass, old car-parts and planks. The once grey, sad-looking building where the paint had been chipping off, was now white and majestic, and stood proudly in between the two taller buildings on either side. Harry had spent a lot of time helping them fix the whole thing up, and thereby he had gotten to know them and they him.
"Kids, leave Harry alone for one moment will you?" a black, fat little woman that reminded him of Mrs Weasley, said. "Let the poor man catch his breath!"
"It doesn't matter, Momma Juji," Harry replied grinning. "So, what do you kids want to hear, hmm?"
"Tell a story about Hogwarts!"
"Yeah, with lots of action and evil bad guys."
"No, I want to hear a story about love."
"Women! I give up!"
"What do you say if I tell you a story that has both?" Harry asked and sat down on a log in the middle of the playground. The children settle around him, and Momma Juji took up her knitting and settled down on one of unoccupied chairs. "The whole thing began when Ron and Hermione were in their seventh and last year at Hogwarts. There were only a couple of weeks left of school, and the NEWT's were quickly approaching. Now, as I have told you, Hermione was of the studying type, actually she was a walking library, but that's another case." The children laughed. Harry proceeded to tell them how Ron had waited until the last day possible before proposing in the middle of the Great Hall. Then he told them about the three tries to get married, but every time the church had either began to burn, Death Eaters and Phoenix Agents stormed in at the middle of the ceremony, or either Ron or Hermione were called out on missions. In the end the two of them had gotten married at Hogwarts with Dumbledore acting as priest, and no part at all. It had been done between two missions, and Ron and Hermione didn't even get to experience the wedding night or the honeymoon.
"I don't know how you come up with all those stores, but the children love them." Momma Juji said when he was done and the kids had run off to play. "They even believe that the stories are true."
"Who said that they weren't?" Harry asked slyly. "By the way, where's Jamal? I haven't seen him around."
"I'm afraid that the boy is out of our reach." The woman replied. "He has joined the Skulls, even if that Tyler hates him."
"Do you know where he's now?" Harry asked standing up.
"Down by the beach."
"Tanks." Harry said and walked off. He crossed the busy street and walked down to the beach. He looked around before he spotted a lone figure sitting close to the water. Harry stopped beside the teen and sat down, looking out over the sea. "Care to explain some things?" he asked.
"Harry!" the sixteen year old boy jumped. Harry looked at him. "It's not what you think. I've begun my own round of the Big Game!"
"And what is your goal?" Harry looked back to the sea.
"To get the drug-dealers off the street. The police knows all about it." Jamal replied.
"You had me scared for minute, I thought that you had gone off and lost your mind. Well, if you're doing it for that reason, I can understand. Why didn't you tell Momma Juji? She could've helped you out." Harry said. "And she's worried about you," he added.
"I was just thinking about the best way to tell her." Momma Juji was not someone to cross.
"I guess I'm half to blame since I told you about the Game in the first place. Come on, I'll take half the blame." Harry stood up and helped the teen to his feet. Then they both headed back to the orphanage.
Harry hurriedly got dressed, found his valet and keys then ran out of his apartment. He was late for the date with his boyfriend. Harry locked the door and ran down the stairs, nearly knocking over old Mrs Coretta. Yelling a quick 'sorry' over his shoulder he jumped into his black Jaguar and drove off.
'Fucking traffic! I just had to pick LA to live in, didn't I?' Harry growled to himself. It took him almost half an hour to reach the restaurant. He parked, and walked inside the building, quickly spotting his boyfriend in one corner by one of the windows. Mark Augustyn was Harry's height, with brown hair that fell into his brown eyes. He looked up as Harry approached, then back down to the menu. "Hi," Harry offered. "Sorry I'm late. Got stuck in traffic."
"Harry, where were you for the past week?" Mark's voice was deep and a bit rough. "You promised to help me take care of the vampires, but no! you didn't show up as usual. The goddamn best Slayer in the whole organisation didn't show up!" it was easy to hear that was trying to control his emotions and to keep his voice low. "Do you have another job or something?" it was said sarcastically.
'If you only knew.' Harry sighed. He was patient, but Mark had a trick for tearing down his defence. "I told you, I got sent away. Those vampires down in Transylvania are becoming-"
"Don't try it, don't even think about lying Harry," Mark cut him off. "I checked it with everyone in the whole fucking organisation, and no one, I repeat; no one, had any idea as to where you were!" Harry didn't like the way this was heading. "Harry, I'm sick and tired of waiting for you all the time, and I'm sick and tired of you disappearing at the oddest times."
"What are you saying?" Harry asked, trying to keep his own anger and emotions in check.
"I'm breaking up with you! It's over. Finito, finish, done! There's no more 'us'. We're officially through!"
Harry just sat there, looking after Mark's retreating back. He snapped back into attention as a waitress brought the bill. Trust that cheat to make him pay for his drink! Harry quickly drove home, barely containing his anger. He really wished that he could meet some Death Eaters or vampires and use them as punching bags. Instead he collapsed onto his bed, burying his head in his pillow, willing the tears back.
Harry had no idea how long he was lying there, but his peace was broken by an annoying little beeping from somewhere in the apartment. Harry growled, got up and walked into the living room, there a little, golden ball was floating in thin air. Harry took out his wand and tapped the ball once. Words appeared over the little golden device. Commanders office, Headquarters Order of the Phoenix. Harry growled again, and hurried off into the his bedroom. He found his Phoenix uniform and put it on, his wand went into the wand-holster at his hip, at the other side a dagger was hanging. Then he apparated out.
Harry ignored the calls after him as he walked down the corridor towards the Commanders office. This better be good! He stopped in front of the door, put on his expressionless mask, knocked twice and entered. The Commander was sitting in his chair behind the mahogany desk. Harry noted that there were two chairs in front of the desk. He choose to ignore it, and walked further into the room. The Commander looked up.
"Ah, Mr Potter, how nice of you to come." Harry didn't like the tone of the man's voice. "I've got a new mission for you, and this time you're not doing it alone." The man mentioned to someone behind Harry, who turned and nearly let his expressionless mask drop when he saw who exactly his partner was. "Potter, meet Severus Snape, your partner in crime."
Hope you liked it and please review.