Title: The Art of Necromancy

Author: Artemis Luna Diana

E-Mail: artemislunadiana@yahoo.com

Rating: R

Pairing: Harry/Severus

Time: begins right after GoF

Summary: Harry returns to Hogwarts to spend the summer.  Out of sheer boredom, he scours the library for books to read and stumbles across a book that will change his life…

Disclaimer: I own not a thing.

Thanks to: snapeysnapesnape for the excellent beta

WARNING!!!!  THIS IS A SLASH STORY!!!!  IF YOU DON'T LIKE SLASH OR THIS PARTICULAR PAIRING… LEAVE NOW!!!!

Chapter Twenty: Sirius

Harry and Severus walked from their classroom up to the Headmaster's office.  Their small group of students had seemed disappointed that their class was being cut short, and Hermione and Ron had both seemed worried by Harry's miserable mood.  Despite his trepidation, Harry didn't hesitate to enter.  Severus was only a few steps behind him.

Harry and Severus were the last to enter the Headmaster's office.  Albus sat behind his desk; Minerva McGonagall, Remus Lupin, Arthur Weasley, Arabella Figg, and Sirius Black were sitting or standing in various areas of the room.  Sirius glanced up at them when they entered, but quickly looked away.  Remus gave them a slight smile before shooting a concerned look at Sirius.  Minerva already knew Harry was at Hogwarts so only gave them a passing glance before resuming her study of the Headmaster.  Arthur Weasley and Arabella Figg, however, had no idea Harry was at Hogwarts and both gave startled exclamations. 

Harry smiled at everyone, but Severus could feel the tension coming off of the Necromancer.  Harry really hadn't wanted to be there.  Harry's discomfort upset his bond-mate, so Severus' customary glare was more intense than usual.

"Now that we're all here," Albus said before Arthur or Arabella could begin grilling Harry on his whereabouts, "We can begin."

Arthur and Arabella tried to protest.

"All questions can be answered later," Albus said mildly.  "We are here to discuss the possible capture of the Dark Lord's Death Eaters.  Mundungus Fletcher and his team are in charge of getting Voldemort's victims out of harms way, and I have spoken with all of them already.  The four of you," he said meaning Remus, Arabella, Sirius, and Arthur, "have volunteered to attempt to capture some of Voldemort's minions."  He paused, waiting to see if anyone had changed their minds yet.

When no one objected, Albus continued. "Mundungus and his team will extract the intended victims and bring them to Hogwarts by portkey.  You all will join them and  portkey back to the attack site, where you will attempt to capture the attacking Death Eaters.  However, if all of you are not available, or if Harry feels there are too many Death Eaters to handle, then no attempt will be made to capture the Death Eaters."

"It doesn't seem like we'd have much of an impact on Voldemort then," Arabella pointed out.  "If we are only catching two or three Death Eaters every once in a while, that isn't going to matter to him.  At most, we might cause him a slight irritation."

"Every little bit helps, Arabella.  Every Death Eater we capture is one less guarding Voldemort.  Also, it might cause Voldemort to stop his raids," Albus explained.  "Though that might be a far stretch."

***

After the meeting, Sirius hightailed it out of the Headmaster's office.  Remus sent Harry an apologetic look and followed after him.  Arthur and Arabella pounced on Harry demanding to know what had happened to him and if he was okay.  Severus stopped them after a few minutes, sensing that his bond-mate was not feeling up to pretending everything was going great. 

He ushered the depressed Necromancer down to their rooms and then proceeded to drag him into the bathtub for a long hot soak.  They were in the tub for nearly half an hour before Harry began to relax.  When Severus realized that Harry was beginning to fall asleep, he forced Harry up out of the tub and into bed.  Harry was asleep almost the second his head hit the pillow.  Severus put out the lights and climbed in bed beside his mate.  Harry instinctively curled up next to him, entangling their legs together.  Severus placed a gentle kiss on Harry's lips, and Harry let out a contended sigh.  Severus lay awake for awhile longer, worrying, and listening to Harry breathe.  It was odd how comforting it was.

***

"Sirius."

"Don't, Moony."

"I really think we should talk about this."

"Well, I don't."

"Sirius, do you realize how hurt Harry is by your rejection?  Do you realize how hurt you are?"

"He has Snape.  He's fine."

"He is NOT fine!  You… you… DUMB-ASS!" Remus yelled.  "He mopes around the castle because of YOU!  Even when he is with Snape, he's not completely happy because he's worrying about YOU!"

Sirius was taken aback by this.  "What?  No, he's not!"

Remus let out a frustrated growl.  "Yes, he is.  Sirius!  You are one of the few links to his parents he has left!  AND!  You are his ONLY godfather!  You were one of the few people he trusted with himself before he disappeared.  Even after he came back, he trusted you.  He trusted that you loved him enough to forget about Snape and just be happy that he was happy!"

Sirius didn't know what to say.

Remus stared at him a moment, and then left the room.

Sirius sat there in silence; Remus' words going around and around in his mind.  Then images of Harry joined them.  The hurt look he'd given when he realized that Sirius wouldn't accept 'it'.  The blank looks he'd tried to project since then.  What had he done?

***

Harry and Severus sat at one of the tables in Severus' personal library.  Various books were spread out across the table.  Both were taking notes on spells, potions, and anything that looked remotely like it could be useful against Voldemort.  Harry had also brought a few books from the library's restricted section down, and Albus had lent some others from his own personal library.  A half-eaten sandwich rested near Harry's elbow along with a cold cup of tea.  Severus' plate was empty but his cup held cold tea as well. 

They needed to find that something, the one thing that would bring an end to it all.  The way to destroy Tom Riddle's soul.

***

TBC…

Hello all, sorry it's been so long since the last chapter.  I've been busy with RL and other projects and it's slowed me down.  I've also gotten slightly bored with the fic since it's nearing the end and it was my first HP fic and I look at it now and see all kinds of things I'd want to change.  I sort of feel like just starting over from the beginning and rewriting the fic, but am resisting until I'm done with it.  Then I'll just go back and edit it.

Thanks to everyone who has been harassing me to work on this fic, I really do appreciate your e-mails and concerns.  Thanks for all reviews and e-mails, they are much appreciated as well.

~Artemis Luna Diana~