My Dark Hunter
Severus was curious as to why Harmony was entering the dungeons. She was supposed to be in his and Hayden's old room. Sometimes he wished he'd had Hayden's speed, one of the most useful things being a vampire his husband often said, was his speed and he believed it especially now. Opening the door to the dungeons, he walked down and found the other one open and his daughter standing there.
"What are you doing down here?" Severus asked entering the room, staring at his daughter wryly. This dungeon was rarely used; in fact it used to be a holding cell once upon a time before he had it converted into a Potions lab. Hayden usually used this one, especially if he was busy brewing, not so much after he ended up pregnant of course.
"I want to brew a potion," Harmony confessed simply.
"What potion do you wish to brew?" he asked her curiously.
"Nothing," she said quickly cursing inwardly, way to go, "…Important, nothing important." she added hastily.
"Indeed?" Severus questioned wondering what she was up to; she'd never been a very good liar.
"It's just a potion," Harmony argued quietly.
"If it was just a potion, you should have no problem telling me," Severus said concerned she was doing a potion far beyond her abilities. He didn't want anything happening to her, it was purely in concern and the need to know everything - sheer neediness to know mostly thanks to his spying days. "Hand it over." he demanded.
"Why?" she asked defensively, "I can brew it."
"I can judge that for myself," he said his arm still extended.
"I brewed Poly-Juice potion in second year I think I can handle this!" she protested, biting her lip when she realized what she'd said. Instead of getting angry, she watched as a genuine smile spread across Severus' face, and was that pride in his eyes? Merlin that's all she'd never wanted from her parents, this kind of pride, but they'd never really been interested in magic. She knew why now though, they'd already known, this was her dad; if she couldn't confide in him who could she confide in? She just didn't want them to get their hopes up; she was trying to stop herself getting excited.
"Poly-Juice in your second year?" Severus repeated, amazed she had his genius at Potions, and even he hadn't attempted that potion at the age of twelve. Pride thrummed through him; at least this was something they could bond over. It was easier with Hadrian, he desired a family, Harmony was independent, had no need for parents at this stage of her life - not the way Hadrian needed it.
"Yes," Harmony murmured sheepishly.
"Well done," Severus said proudly, his black eyes twinkling in a way that would have put even Dumbledore's to shame. He had someone he could pass his knowledge on to, perhaps even help get their Mastery.
"Thank you," Harmony blushed, her entire body feeling as though it was floating on air. She'd just received approval from a man who didn't give it lightly or at all. Daughter or not it must have been well deserved, especially when it concerned potions. She realized she'd do anything to hear that approval again, her parents had been empty, as if they didn't truly care. No they weren't her parents, she had to stop it, and they had kidnapped her for Merlin's sake.
"The potion?" Severus once again asked.
"Can't I just do it please?" Harmony pleaded, she truly didn't want to get her father's hopes up only to be dashed if it didn't work.
"Harmony, if you wish to do this, then I want to see what you are doing. I will also tell you if all the ingredients you require are here." Severus said. Why was she so reluctant to tell him? He had a feeling he was probably missing something important. It was just a question of what at this stage, but he was positive he could get it out of her; he wasn't a man who gave in easily.
Harmony sighed before reluctantly handing over the potion formula written paper. It wasn't a published potion, so it's why Harmony was unsure if it would work. It was just her father's ideas, and she had no idea how good he was at potions, maybe she should have asked before even thinking about this. Maybe now was the best chance she'd have. "How good was father at Potions?"
Severus clutched the paper tightly in his hands; he knew that handwriting anywhere, the time gone mattered little. Severus didn't even comprehend the writing on the paper, too full of heartache just seeing something of his husbands. His daughter speaking brought him out of his depressing thoughts. "It's what first brought us together," Severus responded wistfully, "He was brilliant despite the fact he didn't have a Mastery in the subject. He was even better at defence; it's why he was recruited as an Unspeakable."
"An Unspeakable?" Harmony whispered in awe. Nothing was known about them, they could be compared to spies in the Muggle world. Nobody even knew where they worked in the Ministry, they were that reclusive.
"Indeed, just like his brother," Severus revealed his eyes darkening as he thought about Augustus Rookwood, how two brothers could be so different baffled him.
"I've always been curious about that, he works for Voldemort, but they take vows so they cannot discuss their work…what good is he to him anyway?" Harmony asked. So it had been an uncle who had cursed her, she wondered if he would have done anything if he knew the truth.
"There is always a way around that," Severus told her, "Never trust anyone just because they've taken an Oath or Vow." cautioned Severus he had been burned more than once.
Harmony nodded solemnly sensing the truth in her dad's words.
"Can this potion do what he suggested?" Harmony questioned holding her breath, which she could do for a long time but not forever, she was after all still half human.
Severus stared at her curiously before taking a deep breath, staring down at it he completely immersed himself in the potion and mentally brewing it in his head. Severus' breathing hitched as his mind caught up with what he was reading. He felt as if he was about to drown, unable to hold the hope at bay. "Why did you want to keep this a secret?" Severus rasped out confused.
"I didn't want everyone to get their hopes up," Harmony reasoned quietly, especially not Hadrian after all he'd been through. "I know you still miss him, and Harry would be so disappointed…he puts his heart into everything. Especially when it comes to family, which is what he wants more than anything else in the world."
Severus leaned forward, and awkwardly drew his daughter into a hug, Merlin he wasn't used to being close with anyone anymore. Relaxing he tightened his hold on her as he tried to rein in his emotions. "It isn't your place to worry about me Harmony," Severus said rubbing her back. "It's the parents job to do that, now why don't we prepare the workstation have lunch then brew this potion together?"
"Really? You want my help?" Harmony questioned perking up. Relishing in the contact, knowing her dad wasn't one for human contact. In all the years at Hogwarts she'd never seen him willingly touching another person, or actually touching someone full stop. Then again he had hugged them a few times since coming here; she realized belatedly, it just made her even more furious at what Dumbledore did.
"I do," Severus confessed, Poly-Juice potion at twelve, he had a new Potions Master in the family, and he was excited to see what she was capable of.
"Then let's go!" Harmony squealed excitedly, leaving the dungeons eager to get lunch out of the way.
Severus ate his lunch, he was still in a state of bliss and pride, his daughter was brilliant at potions. Brewing Poly-Juice Potion at the age of twelve! He had a future Potions Mistress on his hands, he was so happy, he could barely contain it and it just wasn't like him. He wasn't used to positive emotion; at least he hadn't been for the past fifteen years. It would take a very long time to get used to it, but for the sake of his kids he'd do it.
"Aren't you hungry Hadrian?" Severus asked, noticing his son picking at his food.
"Hmm, yes." Hadrian admitted shaking himself out of his thoughts. In the beginning he'd just wanted him and his dad and sister to leave. Start fresh somewhere, now that he knew he wasn't the Boy-Who-Lived and responsible for everyone's life. If the prophecy was even true, he was beginning to think not, it wouldn't surprise him. Everything else he'd known had been a pack of lies after all, why believe anything the old bastard told him? As time continued to tick, and the day turn to night he felt vengeance in his heart. He wanted to make Dumbledore pay with everything he had, his reputation, his job and ultimately his life. Perhaps it stemmed from the fact he was realizing what he missed out on in a way he couldn't have understood when it was first uncovered. He'd always loved Harmony, she had been his best friend, his confidant, but knowing she was his sister meant so much more. How could learning that piece of information change so much? Maybe it was because he had a father too?
"Something bothering you?" Harmony asked curiously, finishing off her vegetables.
"Could we remember when we were taken?" Hadrian murmured a frown marring his face.
Severus felt his stomach clench, well that certainly took care of his good mood. Putting his cutlery on the plate and pushing it away. Alright, time to figure out what child number two was planning. "Why?" Severus demanded to know, narrowing his eyes on his wayward son. He didn't even want to think on that, it had been one of the worst days of his life.
"Just curious," Hadrian shrugged.
Severus flash backed to Harmony doing basically the same thing, well using different words. He was definitely up to something, honestly, did his kids think he was dense? He was beginning to think that was the case. "Hadrian, I know when you are up to something." Severus told him, giving him a pointed look. He without realising it knew both his kids.
"I really am just curious," Hadrian insisted.
"Indeed?" Severus his voice exasperated, why did they insist on going through this entire charade before he got to the truth?
"Hadrian, we don't need to lie here," Harmony told her brother quietly, remembering her early encounter with her dad.
"I want Dumbledore to pay," Hadrian growled lowly, "I'm going to send my memory to Madam Bones, and she seemed very fair during my trial."
"You don't send actual memories, you send copies. You must never give up your real memories of what happened. Do you understand? Without memories you don't have the emotions tied to it. That and the fact they can be tampered with." Severus lectured without his usual attitude, how much did his children not know about their own world? Merlin it baffled him completely. Hogwarts education was extremely lacking, he would have to set up some study time for his kids. They needed to learn, but that could wait until they were away from here. Which they would be, if the potion didn't work they'd leave right away. If it did work, they would do what they had to then leave. He was surprised Dumbledore hadn't found out yet, at least the public didn't know. He'd been keeping an eye on the Daily Prophet.
"Oh," Harry muttered nodding in understanding, "Okay."
"I have a book in the library you could use; it's called Pensives for everyone. It will tell you what you need to know," replied Severus, "If you would be willing to wait an hour or so, I shall show you myself."
"An hour or so?" Harry enquired after swallowing his chips.
"We are going to brew a potion, would you like to join us?" Harmony asked knowing Harry would love to spend some quality family time together.
"You'd let me near a potion?" Hadrian questioned grinning wryly.
"You aren't all that bad," Severus admitted instead of feeling amused he felt like a fucking arsehole. He'd bullied his own bloody flesh and blood, he'd sworn he would never become like his own father, Tobias, yet without meaning to he had become him. He didn't care if Harmony and Hadrian had forgiven him, he would never forgive himself.
"It's okay; I'll look for the book." Hadrian shook his head, watching his dad and sister getting up and leaving for the dungeons with quiet goodbyes. Instead of feeling left out, or even envious he felt happiness well up in him. They would be okay, they'd get through this, and even Harmony was spending time with their dad. Hadrian did admit he'd been worried that things wouldn't be easy between them, Harmony was so independent, the only time she'd mentioned her parents was at Christmas and birthdays the past few years. She'd been growing up, no longer needing them. Hadrian had wished he was more like her, but he'd still been so starved for affection and love to ever be truly independent. Then there was Dumbledore trying to make Hadrian totally dependant on him, but Hadrian had been rebelling against it, like any teenager would.
Hadrian made his way to the library, finding it after a few wrong turns; it was quite frankly an astonishingly large library. Harmony mustn't have been here yet otherwise they wouldn't have been able to get her out of it. Looking for the book his dad had told him about, with his improved sight he was able to quickly find the book he required.
The library was well stocked and was arranged alphabetically by subject. Similar to Hogwarts library, but the darker books which would be locked up in the restricted section at Hogwarts was freely available here. He wondered if they would be taking them when they went to live in America. Harmony would certainly try and fill her trunk with them. Chuckling wryly, he sat down with the book and began reading it. Finding the information useful, so his dad had been right - not that there was any doubt.
The book was extremely informative, apparently you could actually create false memories, but in a pensive they had blurriness to them. Identifying them as a fake, even if the person creating it was an expert Occlumens. Harry thought back, trying to remember the memory of that night, when he first heard the prophecy. Yet it was as if he'd been seeing it through murky eyes he just couldn't tell. He really had to read the book about vampires; he wanted to know why these things were happening to him. No doubt Harmony had already read it in probably only two hours. In fact he would just ask her, she'd love it.
Well he had the spells he needed to create the copy, he just needed a pensive, and he couldn't consciously remember what happened…but according to the book if he thought about it hard enough it should come forward. Traumatic memories liked to hide, to protect the mind and emotions. It was curious that his worst memory was the night Voldemort attacked and not when he was taken. Had he forgotten everything as a half human half vampire when Dumbledore took him? What if they were Obliviated? What if he would never remember? Swallowing thickly, feeling sick to his stomach, how did you find out if you had been Obliviated?
Standing up he began searching the room, he had to find out if it was possible. He certainly wouldn't put it past Dumbledore that's for sure. If he had, he needed the blocks removed and Dumbledore to pay. Where to start? Mind magic, it would be his best bet. There was so much here, it wasn't difficult to believe his father had been an Unspeakable - Which Harmony had taken great delight in telling him between bites of her lunch earlier. Neither had noticed or comprehended the writing on the birth certificate that told them both what he did for a job.
"Now put the Valerian root in," Severus instructed watching her, she had already grabbed the root before he finished. She knew what she was doing, she looked so comfortable and in her element.
"This reminds of the Draught of the living death." Harmony commented idly.
Severus' lips twitched, "Indeed, it is similar as you can tell by the ingredients, but with different instructions, which of course has different results."
"I know," she nodded, allowing the potion to simmer, which it had to for precisely ten minutes. "Where was father buried?"
"He's buried upon these grounds, along with the rest of the Rookwoods." Severus revealed, it was a tradition and the wizarding world was traditionalists. It had been the hardest thing he'd ever had to do, bury his husband up to that point. After his kids were taken it was hard to breathe every day. It had actually been his brother who did the funeral arrangements; smug bastard had thought everything was his. When he'd found out he had gone nuts, the only thing that protected Severus other than his ability to duel was the fact Voldemort would have killed Augustus if he touched Severus. He was the only Potions Master he had after all, which had enabled Severus to quickly climb up the ranks faster than a speeding bullet. Merlin he prayed this worked, he would do anything for Hayden to return, to help him. He didn't know how the hell he would explain everything through. No, thought Severus, he was not going to get his hopes up. Damn it, he refused, he wouldn't think on it more until it was necessary.
"Do you think it will work?" Harmony wondered, her tone hopeful.
Severus found it discerning - and wondered if his daughter was a natural Legilimens. "While the Potion should do what it says, there is no guarantee it will work. Hayden has been gone for so long, his soul may have passed on." replied Severus quietly. Unable to give his daughter false hope, it would be the cruellest thing he could ever do. Souls didn't pass on, in affect it sounded like a Horcrux but not quite, nobody was going to have to die to save Hayden, well apart from the possibility of the Dementor who had kissed him. No, what the potion should do was awaken part of his soul, call/bring the rest of it back. The part that the Dementor had taken from him that ultimately killed him. Vampires weren't alive to remain a vegetable, so in essence the Dementors kiss had killed him which is what the Ministry had planned.
"I see," Harmony answered quietly.
"Can you tell me what other potion it reminds you off?" Severus challenged calculatingly.
"Wiggenweld Potion," Harmony replied immediately.
"Indeed, well done." Severus was very impressed.
Harmony grinned as she placed the Moondew drops in; the potion her father had created seemed to be a mixture of the draught of the living death and obviously the Wiggenweld Potion.
"What did you want to do with yourself after Hogwarts?" Severus asked his daughter praying it was potions related.
Harmony pursed her lips, "I had wanted to do something in the Ministry." she confessed, "I hated how everyone treated magical creatures, I was determined to change the world." bitterness coated her voice.
"Had wanted?" Severus questioned curiously.
"Yes, now I'm not so sure I want anything to do with the Magical world." Harmony admitted bitterly.
"Just because of the actions of one man?" he was saddened to hear that.
"Not just that...everything, how they treat people...treated Harry, it's not something I want to be part of." She added quietly. Beginning to gently add the ten lionfish spines not even screwing her face up at the distasteful smelly task.
"You do not have to be in the Ministry to change the world Harmony, anything you do changes the world in small ways." Severus replied firmly, he believed that. "Inventing a potion could change the future."
"I couldn't invent a potion," Harmony immediately dismissed the idea, she knew her own weaknesses.
"Why is that?" Severus wondered not believing it for a second. He added the unicorn horn, stirring it twenty five times allowing his daughter to rest for a few seconds.
"I follow instructions; I read things to make it happen...I'm not creative." Harmony confessed.
"It takes time, a lot of time to create potions, but I think you could do anything you put your mind to. You are smart, smarter than I was at your age," Severus revealed honestly.
"Book smart yes," Harmony agreed despite her protests she felt her heart warming at the fact her dad believed in her so much. He was so different from what she was used to, it was odd, getting used to it so quickly but she was. Until moments like this where she actually thought on it, and remembered it had only been one day in an hour or so.
Severus added the Wolfsbane last, allowing it to simmer, keeping the fire lit for only sixty seconds then extinguishing it.
"Perhaps that's part of the problem; you believe everything you read in books. You must remember the books were written by the victors, not always one hundred percent accurate or true. What if I told you I had during my sixth year at Hogwarts re-wrote a few of the potions to make them stronger than their original formula?" Severus added proudly, "Which I did, there is always room for improvement on everything."
"Would you show me?" Harmony asked excitedly, she even already had her sixth year books which wouldn't be getting used. She wasn't going back to Hogwarts after all, something she wouldn't have predicted in a million years.
"Of course," Severus nodded his agreement, anything to make up to how he'd treated them.
"Thank you!" Harmony exclaimed, the urge to read them already was strong, but she wanted to see if this potion would work.
Severus began to put the potion into the vials, despite the fact he only needed one. It was pure habit on his part, Harmony helped. Between the two of them it only took two minutes until they were all bottled and corked. The all important one was lifted by Severus, and for a few minutes they just stood there. It felt like the calm before the storm.
This was it the moment of truth.
There we go R&R please