Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling: She owns it all.
Warning: For the squeamish readers, the beginning contains an attempted rape scene.
Author's note: Canon through book 4 only.
Chapter 1: Rescue
Daphne glared at the man in front of her. He wasn't drunk, that much she could tell by the lack of alcohol in his breath, although she couldn't say the same for the men holding up her arms to the wall; they reeked of it.
The man chuckled. "My, my, what pretty eyes you have, my dear," he said, his thick, burly fingers tracing the length of her jaw. "I wonder what such a beautiful lady is doing out here, walking the dark roads of this city at such a time, hmm."
She hated to admit it, but she was afraid.
It was the middle of the night. All the shops were closed, and shadows were present in every corner and crevice of the alley. The only light came from the moon shining high above in the night sky, making it very difficult to identify her attackers. The possibility of someone coming to her rescue was near impossible, and the worst part was that she had nowhere to go should she somehow be able to escape from these men.
Her father was willing to put her through the same thing, only his way was legal.
So, she fled.
Except, this was Muggle London; she should have been paying attention, watching her surroundings instead of wallowing on her miserable excuse for a father, and because of that, she allowed these men to catch her off guard, appearing suddenly out of a dark alleyway and grabbing at her shoulders before pushing her into the alley—everything happening in a blink of an eye. Too fast for her to take out her wand from within the confines of her robes, Statue of Secrecy or not. And even if she had, the odds were against her, five to one.
She winced. The man's hand had moved to the waistband of her panties. Her heart throbbed in fear as his fingers dipped inside and began feeling along her inner folds. Her thighs quivered in an attempt to close her legs, but the two men pinning her arms to the wall also had her legs spread apart, holding them by the bends of her knees.
Tears of frustration leaked out of her eyes as she clenched her teeth in an attempt to bite back the bile threatening to come up her throat as the man began stroking the inside of her walls.
"How very tight you are, my dear," the man smirked, his already dark eyes taking on a sinister glint as he pressed his nose to her chest, moving upwards to lick at her throat.
She cringed in disgust.
"Perfect for what I have in mind."
Chuckles echoed through the alley as the rest of the men chuckled in agreement—the sick bastards.
The man stopped in his actions, taking his fingers out of her panties and stepping back. Relief flooded her system, thinking that something—anything — had made the man stop in his assault, but it was short-lived. He began unbuttoning his trousers and the men on each side of her tightened their grip on her. That relief turned into horror.
The man smirked and moved back in. "Don't worry, my dear. My wife tells me I'm very good at this," he whispered, entwining a finger around a lock of her hair.
She narrowed her eyes, disgust now pouring off of her in waves, wondering if this man's wife knew about the monster she had living in her house. The thought only added to her contempt at the possibility that this excuse for a man might even be a father.
"I hope your wife has enough sense, then," she said through gritted teeth, "to find another one to make up for your shortcomings."
Outrage colored the man's face, and he yanked her head back, eliciting a wince out of her.
"Why you little…!" the man began, but paused, taking a deep through his nostrils. "Don't worry, my dear. Soon, you'll be begging me for release," the man said, looking at her directly in the eye as he pushed aside her panties, "and then we'll see what you say about by shortcomings."
He used the tip to tease the outside of her folds, and she braced herself. She would not cry out; she would not give him the pleasure.
But then something dashed through and knocked one of the men behind him unconscious. A shout of terror rang through the alley and all of the men jerked backwards, even the one in front of her. He turned around just in time for him to see a big, black dog sink its teeth into the thigh of the second bloke.
"What in the—"
Whatever the man was about to say was cut off by a deep, rumbling growl that resonated throughout the alleyway. He whipped his head around as he frantically tried to identify the animal responsible, still aware of the painful cries coming from the one being mauled apart. The men pinning her arms also searched around, although their grip did not loosen up, leaving her just as defenseless against whatever animal hidden within the darkness of the alley as these beastly men.
None of them had to look for long, however, as out of the shadows of the inner alley stepped the largest cat she had ever seen. Its muscles rippled under its sleek black coat and his teeth glinted under the moonlight, but what caught her attention were its magnificent emerald, green eyes. They glowed like iridescent jewels.
It left her mesmerized.
The men around her did not share in her sentiments as the one in front of her began backing away in fear. The men that had been pinning her up let her go in shock and she hit the floor in her sudden liberation. They had begun reaching inside the large coats they had on, where their Muggle weapons where probably hiding, but they never had the chance to take them out as the cat lept into action. Quicker than she ever thought possible, it had all three men on the floor; its sleek muscles propelling itself forward from man to man as it struck each in the chest with its powerful claws.
It wasn't long before all the men were out cold.
Then, it was just her and the highly dangerous animal.
If anyone ever asked, Daphne would agree that what she did next was the most Gryffindor thing she had ever done.
Using the wall as support, she lifted herself off the floor and, ignoring the unsteadiness of her legs, she approached it. She stopped just as it turned around and its piercing, green eyes locked her in place.
Her mind told her she should have been afraid, should have feared more for her life than ever before. It was inches away. One swipe of its claws and she could bleed to death. But she couldn't bring herself to care. This animal had saved herself, and she would forever be grateful. If it wanted her, then so be it. She would rather be killed by this beautiful creature than have her body defiled by vile men.
Her vision began to dim, and she knew the shock was starting to kick in, but just before, she smiled at the beautiful creature.
"Thank you," she whispered softly. She knew it would not understand, but she felt she owed the creature for appearing as it did this night, in this specific alley where she had almost been raped.
Daphne felt her body begin to fall, and she thought she saw a flicker of concern flash through its eyes before her entire world fell into darkness.
The last thing she remembered were strong, warm arms wrapping around her body.
He took a deep breath. That had been way too close. Her robes where disheveled, but otherwise she appeared to be uninjured.
Harry internally breathed a sigh of relief. They had arrived just in time.
Dread had settled in his stomach when he had spotted the men surrounding the young woman. He and Sirius had been roaming the streets of London, as he acclimated to his animagus form. They had kept to the shadows of the back alleys as a safety precaution to avoid being seen by any late night wanderers— not a difficult task considering the color of their fur. It had been their usual routine for about two months now, ever since school let out. And it had been thanks to the highly keen eyesight of his animagus form that he had been able to see the attack taking place within the darkness of the alley.
But he had one look at her and his heart had skipped a beat.
Her eyes—they had gazed into his own with such clear, captivating emotion. The gratitude and utter joy at the sight of him had been vibrantly displayed for him to see.
And it had shocked him.
She had stood there, staring at him, without a single trace of fear—the most beautiful smile on her face—and thanked him. Him, as a murderous animal! What was wrong with her? The natural reaction would be to back away in fear—his friends sure did, even when they knew it was him. Yet, she hadn't; her eyes had displayed a completely opposite reaction: content.
She then even had the gall to suddenly flip a switch and faint.
He looked at her and chuckled. How cute, the smile hadn't left her face.
There was something his mind kept trying to tell him, as if he should know her from somewhere, but nothing immediate popped up. Deciding to leave it for later, he settled her more comfortably in his arms, wounding one arm around her midsection, and the other arm under her knees, before he stood and carried her over to where Sirius, having reverted back to his human form, was rounding up the five unconscious men.
"Alright there, Sirius?"
"Of course. Like these men ever had a chance against Padfoot," he smirked as he shot a quick Incarcerous. "We'll just leave them here for the Muggle authorities to take care of." Stowing his wand away, Sirius turned to face him, grinning broadly. "Is that her?" he asked, gesturing to his arms.
He nodded his head in answer. "Passed out before I could ask her anything, though."
"That's alright, pup," Sirius said. "I don't think it would have been a good idea to morph back in front her anyways. We might be close to the Leaky Cauldron, but we don't know if she's Muggle or not."
"I don't know, Sirius; she seems familiar."
"Still, pup, she's probably already in shock from the attack." A mischievous smirk came upon his face. "No need to surprise her with the absolute amazing honor of your presence."
He shook his head, rolling his eyes at his godfather. That had happened only one time. One time. "Let's just get her back to the manor."
Sirius laughed. "Whatever you say, oh savior."
And with a crack of Apparition, they were gone.
Daphne awoke feeling very warm and comfortable, her entire body feeling cocooned and safe as the bed shaped to every contour of her body. She burrowed further into the covers, not wanting to wake up.
That lasted for about two seconds, before her eyes jerked open. Fully awake now, she tried to sit up, but her whole body felt lethargic and slow, every movement feeling like she was pushing through water.
How long had she been asleep?
She finally sat upright and looked around and was immediately on guard.
Tall, open-shuttered windows filtered the light from outside, highlighting the light tans and whites of the room. There was a couch on the right wall of the room, right in front of one of the windows with a coffee table at the side and dresser in front of her.
It left Daphne stumped. None of this looked familiar. She tried backtracking through her memories, but the last thing she remembered was that cat.
Everything else...had her clenching the sheets in frustration. Her father, those men. Merlin, she was pathetic.
Daphne shook it off. She could worry about that later. First, she had to find out where the bloody hell she was.
Taking a deep breath, she took stock of her situation. She was in a comfortable bed in a bright, cozy room with the last thing she remembered was passing out from shock-was this shock? Digressing. Moving on. She removed the covers and saw she still had the same clothes on, although that wasn't a good indicator of anything other than these were still her clothes.
Maybe the room would deal more information.
Sliding her legs to the side of the bed, she tried to stand up. But as her legs attempted to take her weight, a massive sense of vertigo hit her, sending her vision in a whirl of colors. She tried to gain her bearings back, but her knees began to buckle. And just as she was about to hit the cold, hard wood floor, her hands grasped a warm, hard chest as a pair of arms wrapped around her waist, sending an sense of familiarity through her.
If that wasn't enough to send the odd alarm going, any words she had died in her throat as she looked into a pair of deep, familiar, emerald green eyes.
Two days. That's how long had passed since they rescued the young woman. And frankly, Harry was starting to worry. Sirius said it was normal with shock, but still, he couldn't help it. There was just something about her that had his magic churning excitedly at the thought of her and those wide, expressive eyes. They were in the kitchen eating breakfast when the spell Sirius had put on the young woman's room told them she was finally awake.
Internally, Harry breathed a sigh of relief.
Giving Sirius a short, muttered response, he quickly hopped on the chance to see her, striding swiftly out of the kitchen and up the stairs.
Harry stopped in front of her door, suddenly nervous. She had almost been raped, so how would she react to seeing him? He winced. Putting on some Gryffindor courage, he opened the door. His plan had been to approach slowly, but was in time to see the young woman's legs begin to give out and had to chuck the plan.
He moved, quickly, crossing the room and catching her waist before she hit the floor. Hands gripped at his shirt as she stumbled, and he waited patiently, giving her time to right herself; but he prepared himself. She had been a victim, so he expected a hit, a reaction of terror, except he received neither. Instead she stayed.
Confused, he cocked his head towards her, and his eyes locked with a pair of ocean eyes.
They were the same as last night. Wide and shining brightly with emotion. They seemed to look directly at him. His vision narrowed down to those two, vibrant orbs, an intense silence settling between.
He was reluctant to break it-whatever it is this was-but he asked, "Are you alright?"
"Yes...I'm fine. Thank you," she answered softly, blinking as if shaken out of stupor.
"Can you stand on your own?"
A crease formed in her brow as she seemed to asses herself. "I think so."
Slowly, her grip loosened, lbut he left his hands on her waist, just in case. "Steady?"
The young woman looked back up at his eyes, a small smile on her face as she nodded. "Thank you, again. But…"
"What?" he asked, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion.
"I wonder if you always make it a habit of this, Potter."
He grimaced. Right, of course she knew who she was, which meant that she was definitely not a Muggle.
The young woman let out a small laugh in response to his reaction, her eyes lighting up with mirth. It was infectious, and he couldn't help but smile too.
"Don't look so worried," she said, bringing her left hand up to pat at his cheek. "Attacking you isn't on the top of my priority list."
He chuckled. "I see, but that leaves me at a disadvantage," he said bringing his right hand up to close over the hand on his cheek.
"Oh, and why it that?" she said with a tilt of her head.
"Because you know my name, but I don't know yours."
She tsked, a smile still on her face. "One would think that after spending six, soon to be seven, years in the same school together the boy would know the girl's name, Mr. Potter."
At his questioning glance, she continued.
"Daphne Greengrass, Slytherin, and soon to be seventh year at Hogwarts."
His eyes lit up with realization. Of course! That's why she seemed so familiar. She was the one who would sit at the far end of the Slytherin table, away from Draco and his cronies. The guys were always mentioning her in their talks in the Gryffindor common room.
"By that look in your eyes, it seems like you finally remember."
He had the decency to look sheepish. "Yeah, and now I feel like a total prat."
Daphne shook her head. "That's alright. It's to be expected."
At that, Harry gave her a confused look. "What do you mean?"
She opened her mouth to respond but was interrupted by a loud crack, making them both jump. Daphne stepped back, the lose of warmth momentarily surprising Harry. He hadn't even noticed the how close they'd actually been to each other.
"Master Harry Potter, sir! Sirius has sent Dobby to ask Master if everything is being alright."
"I'm fine Dobby. Go tell Sirius that I'll be down in a bit," he said calmly to the hyperactive house elf. "And would you please set up another plate for our guest here, Dobby?"
"Of course! Dobby will do anything for Master Harry Potter sir!" Dobby said nodding, his ears flopping up and down.
"Thank you, Dobby," he said before the house elf disappeared with a crack of Apparition.
He sighed. He'd probably been up here for a while if Sirius was sending Dobby.
"What's wrong, Potter?" Daphne asked
"Nothing, really. I just lost track of time," he said. "And call me Harry."
Daphne nodded in response. "Then, you can call me Daphne."
Harry was about to head out the door, but turned to look at Daphne, gaining a questioning look from the Slytherin. "Do you want to eat breakfast?"
"Shouldn't that have been your question before you asked your house elf to set up a plate for me?" Daphne gave him an amused look.
Harry smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, you don't have to come down if you don't want to."
But just as he finished, Daphne's stomach grumbled in protest, making Harry blink at the unexpected sound. "Does that answer your question?" Daphne smiled, a light dust of pink dancing across her cheeks.
"Loud and clear, Daphne," Harry chuckled. To find a Slytherin capable of such expression, he wondered if the surprises would ever stop with her.
"Oh, and Harry," Daphne began, looking at him with the same emotion-filled eyes as last night. "Thank you, for saving me. It was you, wasn't it?"
And he really couldn't help it; his chuckling turned into full blown laughter.
A/N: Sorry for any typos, strange sentences, and suspiciously missing phrases or words. Any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to leave it as a review or as a PM, whichever works best for you.
Thank you for reading! Until next time! :)