Part seventeen

Dumbledore hurried along the corridor, taking all the short cuts known only to him. He had been called by a very scared looking James Potter. Dumbledore shook his head slightly. It had taken this accident to show him just how lucky there were to have Harry. James acted like a spoilt child, which in essence he was. James didn't have nearly as much strength as Harry. 'Not yet anyway' he thought sadly. By the time the show down with Voldemort came, James would be a pillar of steel. When you are handed a death sentence you are either strong or you go mad. Thank Merlin that James chose the prior option.

Before him he saw a beautiful black panther sitting atop a student. Dumbledore looked at the scene sadly. He placed a hand gently on the soft fur of the panther. It is alright Severus you can get off of him now. The panther moved slowly off of the boy. The animagus sat on its hind legs and quickly morphed back into the raven haired professor.

"Albus." He began but was cut off.

"Severus you don't need to explain, I know what has happened here." He turned to the boy lying motionless on the floor. "Blaise please stand up." His voice full of sorrow. The boy stood up, fine tremors running over his body. "Follow me." Albus moved off down the corridor with Blaise following silently behind.

Sev sat back against the wall. His knees pulled up to his chest. He slowly lowered his head to his hands and took a deep breath. He should have realised what Blaise was up to sooner, he was supposed to be their head of house. It didn't bear thinking about what would have happened if he hadn't got their in time. If James had died, his soulmate would never have existed and Voldemort would rule the world. And that would be a fate worse than death.

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"Blaise." Dumbledore started. The boy was sitting in front of him, the fine trembling still showing. "How could you think I would abandon you?" The boy's eyes flashed.

"I am a Slytherin." He said lifelessly as if that explained it all.

"My poor child. I care for all my students equally. Though there is one house I prefer above the others. But contrary to popular belief it is not Gryffindor. No, the house that holds a special place in my heart is my house, Slytherin." Blaise's eyes widened. "But even if that was not the case, I would never have turned you away. You are not the first child to have been orphaned while attending Hogwarts and I fear you will not be the last. We have ways of proving for then. Especially in a case like yours, where sending you to an orphanage would have been disastrous."

"But I am a Death Eater's child." He shouted. "I deserve Azkaban." Blaise stood only to fall to his knees sobbing. "Please. Please. Kill me, send me to Azkaban give me the Kiss. Please. I don't want. I can't. I want it to stop." Dumbledore knelt by the sobbing boy.

"Child. No one deserves the kiss, especially not a child."

"I do, I do." He screamed. "If I had killed potter they would have done it. If you don't have a soul you can't feel the pain." He ended in a whisper. Dumbledore took Blaise into his arms.

"Child what have they done to you. To make you long for the kiss."

"I can't serve Voldermort, I can't. I would rather die. But if I refuse him the things he will do are worse than death. I have seen what he has done to other Death Eater children. I was lucky I was raised by my gran until last year but Draco. Oh god. If they had done those things to me. I. I would have broken. But he is so strong. I only hope he is strong enough." Dumbledore sat back and looked at the boy. Clearly something very very bad had happened to the youngest Malfoy. But what to do about it? And what to do with the broken boy in front of him? There was no question of sending him to Azkaban. He needed help not punishment. If Harry was still here he could have helped but James was still to 'young' to deal with this situation. Draco was also of no use he was as much in need of healing as the Blaise. Ron would be out of the question, he was too judgemental. The only person he could think of was Hermione.

"Blaise I will not send you to Azkaban. You will stay here at Hogwarts. You never have to leave I ask nothing from you except that you 'talk' to someone. Miss Granger to be precise. Mr Potter and professor Snape will tell no one of what has happened and the only other person to know will be Hermione." Blaise looked unsure of this agreement. He had no desire to befriend a Gryffindor. But Dumbledore was promising to keep him safe without having to join his stupid little order. He looked at the man still kneeling at his side.

"ok." He whispered. Albus smiled internally, he hoped there was still hope for the boy.

"You had better go to bed you must be exhausted. I will tell the others that you are feeling unwell." The boy nodded and left the room.

As if on cue there was a knock on his door.

"Ah Minerva. I would like you to send Mr Potter and Severus to my office please. And could you send Miss Granger to see me in twenty minutes." The professor blinked at him slowly. She had long ago given up trying to fathom how the headmaster seemed to know everything. She just accepted it. She nodded curtly and left the room.

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Harry let himself into the Gryffindor common room trying to be as quiet as humanly possible. Not caring to answer any awkward questions. Unfortunately luck was not on his side.

"Hey Jamie. Where have you been?" Si asked bounding up behind him. Harry forced a smile at the question.

"Well." He started. "I don't think I should be telling you this." This was true he shouldn't be as it was a lie. "But Dumbledore has been making me take extra classes to help me deal with 'you know what'" Si nodded not asking any further. He did know what. Help him deal with being the Gryffindor heir.

"So you up for some marauder mischief?" Si asked grinning. A lightning fast change of subject to keep them away from sensitive issues. Harry Smiled.

"Always..."

Authors note: Man I'm sorry for the crapness of this chapter. I will try and do better next time. Hopefully getting on to map making. ( Just to let yas know I have started an email list thing to let people know when I update so if ya want to join it email me or click on the link on my profile page.

Luv Hunter.