月下珠 发表于 2009-7-20 16:55:49

Blood Tides (end) by Eriador117

Author: Eriador117
Website:http://eriador117.insanejournal.com
Email:[email protected]
Permission:
Yes, you can have permission to repost the stories on your board if you want. :)

take care,
Annette
(Eriador117)


Summary: Harry/Snape. Something happened to five year old Harry Potter that will affect his life forever. Warnings: AU, vampire fic, angst, violence, child abuse, non-con, attempted sucicide. This is for Lothirielwen who wanted vampire!Harry :-), for Accioslash who wanted "Harry to help with Snape's emotional and sexual insecurities" and for Jill Suzanne who wanted attempted suicide and Harry helping Snape face his demons. All things Harry Potter related belong to JK Rowling, I'm just borrowing them.
Characters: Harry, Severus, Harry/Severus
Genres: Angst/Tragedy, Romance, Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Alternate Universe, Horror/Supernatural
Rating: M+
Warnings: Violence, Adult Language, Sexual Situations, Chan, Non-con (rape), Character Death, OOC-ness, Under 18




Chapter 1: Blood Tides

Part 1

The Muggles were always so oblivious to those of his kind. Didn't they know? Couldn't they even sense the danger they were in? They had myths about his race, but not one of them had ever figured out the whole truth yet. They had guessed some of it, but not all and it amused him no end to read the books the Muggle writers had written.

One thing they got totally wrong was the fact that they couldn't walk about in daylight. He could walk about fine in daylight, but his eyes were very sensitive and he had to wear dark glasses even in the depths of winter when there was hardly any sun to be had. It amused him to be so close to his prey and them not even aware of it.

He'd been watching the boy for a few weeks now, he seemed to be the weakest child in the playground and also one of the smallest. He liked them small, the small ones were a lot easier to subdue. He wasn't one of those who delighted in the chase or of terrifying his victims beforehand, he would much rather strike up a friendship and gain their trust before they finally realised what he was. The shock on their faces was like nectar to him, just like their blood would be.

It was cold today, a sheen of sparkling frost on the ground, but the boy had no coat. He was dressed in a pair of knee length shorts, one wool sock right to his knee, the other bunched around his ankle. He was shivering with cold and had his arms wrapped around himself in a vain attempt to keep himself warm. A few of the other children were playing games of tag and football, but everyone seemed to be either ignoring the raven haired boy or taunting him.

A whale of a child who waddled rather than walked, pushed the smaller boy over and laughed at the boy's scraped knees. If ever he needed a cue, that was it. He marched into the playground and showed his ID card to the teacher in charge. "What can I do for you, Detective?" she asked, sniffling with cold. He removed the photo from his pocket, one he'd taken himself a few weeks previously.

"I'm looking for Stephen Harper, he was abducted a few weeks ago."

"I'm sorry, we don't have a boy at school of that name," she said.

"Maybe if you look at the photo?" he thrust it into her hands before she could protest.

"That's Harry. Harry Potter," she said. "Not Stephen Harper."

"And has he been at the school long?" he asked, knowing the answer full well, he only chose the younger children, those who'd just started school recently, otherwise his ploy wouldn't work.

"Just a few weeks ago," said the teacher, her face paling. "Oh, God, I thought there was something odd. The people who enrolled him, the Dursleys, didn't seem to care about him and his clothes never fitted him. It all makes sense now. Oh, that poor boy. He's never spoken about it, he never mentions his parents at all."

"My guess is, they threatened to hurt him if he tells anyone. I'll have to take him down to the police station and the hospital, make sure he's all right before he can be sent back home. His parents are frantic with worry. Just pretend he's still Harry, we don't want to worry the child."

"Of course," she replied and called Harry over. The boy blinked up at the adults, wide green eyes magnified behind large ugly, glasses. "Harry, this man is a policeman and you have to go with him for a little while."

The boy's eyes filled up with tears. "It wasn't me," he sobbed. "I didn't kill Mrs Figg's cat, I promise!"

"You're not in trouble, Harry, we just want to ask you a few questions. Is that all right?"

Harry looked at his teacher, who nodded and smiled at the boy. Really, it was getting too easy, as soon as they thought he was a policeman, they handed the children over to him with barely a blink of protest. Did no one pay attention to stranger danger anymore? "This way, Harry," he said, taking the boy's hand and walking him to the car. The boy's hands were rough and calloused, not like a child's hand at all, but more like those of a manual labourer.

"What age are you, Harry?" he asked once he'd strapped the boy in the booster seat in the back.

"Five and then next year I'll be six," Harry smiled proudly at him but he knew the boy would not live to reach his next birthday. His short life would soon be over, but from what he'd seen so far, he would be doing the boy a favour.

It didn't take long to drive to his house, one on the outskirts of town with no neighbours for miles. The house was well warded with privacy and silencing charms of course, but he preferred to hide from prying eyes in the first place. As soon as the car stopped, Harry warily fingered his seatbelt and made no move to get out of the car.

"I don't think this is the police station, sir," he said, still polite, even in his fear. He could smell the fear on the boy, he always could.

"No, it isn't. I just thought you might want to have some fun before we go there."

"Fun?" queried Harry, as though the concept was alien to him.

"You know, toys and games, like you play with at home?"

"I - I'm not allowed to play with toys," he shook his head. "You'd better take me home or my aunt and uncle will be really angry if they find out."

"I won't tell them if you won't, Harry," he smiled then, trying to put the boy at ease, it would make things easier later. He didn't want Harry terrified of him. Yet.

"So you'll let me play but you won't tell them? Ever, ever?"

"That's right, Harry. It'll just be our secret."

"I like secrets," the boy grinned and fumbled with the catch on his seatbelt, but he hadn't quite got the dexterity to unbuckle it. He bent down and opened the clasp for Harry and they made their way inside.

For the next few hours he just watched Harry as he played with all the toys, even played a few games with him, both of them sitting cross legged on the floor. He made Harry cheese sandwiches, which the boy wolfed down as if he'd never eaten anything so good in his life before, maybe he hadn't. The boy looked half starved.

"Right, Harry. Time for your bath," he said standing up and offering his hand.

"My - my bath? But I'm not dirty!" he protested with a pout, oh he was adorable all right. Such innocence, such purity and now because of him it would never be soiled. Harry would be pure forever.

"You've been messing about on the floor all day, Harry. Of course you're dirty. I won't hurt you, I just want to get you clean. You don't want to go and see your parents all dirty now, do you?"

"Mum and Dad? They're alive?" he gasped in surprise. Oops, the Dursleys weren't his parents then? He hadn't factored that into the equation.

"Of course they are, Harry," he lied smoothly. "We'll give you a bath and then you can go and see them, all right?"

Harry nodded and stood up. He scooped the boy up in his arms and carried him upstairs to the bathroom, where every bathing toy a little boy could ever want or need was there. Boats, buckets, rubber ducks all lined the shelf running alongside the bath and Harry stared round at everything in amazement. "It's so big!" he exclaimed, pointing at the large claw footed tub.

"Right, let's get you undressed and in," he said, reaching for Harry's overly large jumper. The boy yanked himself away and backed into the far wall.

"No! I'm not allowed! No-one is allowed to see!"

"Harry, you can't get into the bath with your clothes on, now can you?" he tried to be reasonable but his patience was wearing thin. He had the boy in his clutches for over five hours now and he wanted his reward. He deserved his reward.

Harry stubbornly shook his head. "No, I'm not allowed," he said again, his voice a lot more subdued.

"You do want to see your parents again, don't you?"

Harry's face crumpled but he didn't cry. "Yes, sir," he whispered.

"Then you will have to take off your clothes and get in or I'll tell them you were being a bad boy. Do you want that, Harry? Do you want me to tell your parents you were being a bad boy?"

***

Harry shook his head, he wanted to see his parents again, but the man was scaring him and what would happen if the Dursleys found out he'd let someone else see what they'd done to him? Maybe he wouldn't have to live with the Dursleys if he saw his parents again? But why hadn't they come to see him before? Maybe they didn't want him? Maybe they never wanted him? He started to cry and he wanted to go home, even if home was the Dursleys. He at least knew what they did, he didn't know what this man was going to do to him.

"I want to go home," he said, sniffling a little.

"After your bath, Harry."

"No, now, please. I want to go home!"

The man marched towards him and pulled Harry's jumper roughly over his head. "You are getting into that bath and you are getting into it now! I don't have time for your defiance!" The man threw the jumper on the floor and shook Harry so hard that his glasses fell to the floor and he could hardly see a thing. Now the man was just a scary blob of features and Harry so wanted to be locked in his cupboard right about now.

The man pulled down his shorts and his y-fronts, then removed his socks as Harry tried to hide himself, tried to cover himself there with his hands. Before he could say or do anything, the man scooped him up in his arms again and set him down in the bath that had already been filled. Harry hadn't seen him turn on the taps, how could the bath be filled already?

The bath was a little on the cold side and Harry's teeth began to chatter. The man was staring at Harry's body, at the bruises covering it but he never mentioned them. He took up a sponge and began to wash Harry's back. Harry was kneeling in the tub, resting his head on his knees, his hands clasped around his knees, crying silently. Something was wrong, he didn't know what, but something was wrong and he was more scared here than he had been of his uncle's belt.

He didn't like the way the man was washing him, the way his touch lingered on his neck and shoulders, Harry could feel the man's fingers there, not the sponge. Harry tried to stand up, to get out, but the man was much stronger than him and held him down with a firm grip on his shoulders.

"Don't be scared, Harry. I'm going to make you feel good, don't you want that?"

"No, please! I want to go home!" Harry sobbed. He didn't care how many meals he missed at the Dursleys or if he never saw a toy again, he just wanted to go home and back to his cupboard. The man forced Harry down so that he was lying in the bath and Harry completely panicked, he was terrified of water and he thrashed about trying to get up. "Let me up! Let me up!" he begged, but the man wasn't listening to him, ignoring all of Harry's pleas.

"Let me up! Let me up!" Harry screamed and found himself on all fours in the large room at Malfoy Manor, where he'd been held for the past few weeks. He retched, dry heaves as they hadn't fed him anything for about three days, but he wasn't exactly sure of the time frame.

"Who is he?" demanded Voldemort as he did every time he gained access to that particular memory in Harry's mind, but Harry had no idea who it was. The memory had been repressed for so long that it was almost like watching a film, it had happened to someone else, another boy called Harry. Not to him. It hadn't happened to him, those hands, those touches. He took a shuddering breath. Not to him.

Lucius Malfoy kicked Harry's feet from under him so that Harry fell flat on his face.

"Answer your Lord and Master, Potter!" snarled Lucius.

"He's not my master," spat Harry defiantly.

"No? And yet here you are prostrate on the floor in front of him, like any good minion."

"Who is he? Why do you hide that memory from me? Why that one and not the others? How can you block me so successfully, Potter? Even Dumbledore cannot hide his thoughts from me. No one can!" Voldemort prowled the floor as Malfoy pressed his boot heel on Harry's back, keeping him to the floor. He refused to groan, refused to give them the satisfaction of knowing he was hurt.

Harry didn't know how many Death Eaters there were or who they were, only Voldemort and Lucius were unmasked. All he knew was that they watched everything done to him, every humiliation at Voldemort's hands.

"So you will not speak?" hissed Voldemort. "I know something that might loosen your tongue. Lucius, bring in the other prisoner."

Another Death Eater took Malfoy's place holding Harry to the floor, but whereas before Lucius had Harry face down, this Death Eater tilted his chin up so that Harry could see very well who Lucius brought in.

Robes torn, face and hair blood splattered, Lucius threw the prisoner roughly in the middle of the floor and spat on him, before kicking him in the ribs.

The man curled up to try and protect himself and Harry at last saw his face.

"Traitor!" all the Death Eaters roared as Harry looked on in horror at the bloodied, mangled face of his professor, Severus Snape.


TBC





Chapter 2: Blood Tides

Part 2

"Shall I show you what happens to traitors discovered in my service, Harry? Would you like to watch?" Voldemort asked, smiling as if he was inviting Harry on an exciting outing. No, Harry didn't want to watch, he wanted to get both of them out of here.

How had they caught Snape in the first place? How had they known that Snape was the spy? It was all Harry's fault, all of it. If he hadn't been so foolish as to go wandering off to the Forbidden Forest on his own, late at night, without telling anyone, neither he nor Snape would be in this current predicament. The wards on Hogwarts only extended a little way into the Forest and as soon as Harry had gone beyond them, he'd been caught by two Death Eaters, as though Voldemort had stationed his followers there, just in case he ever ventured outside the protection of Hogwarts.

"McNair, get our young friend up, he won't want to miss any of this," ordered Voldemort. So that's who'd been holding Harry down, Buckbeak's would-be executioner. As soon as Mcnair hauled Harry up from the floor, Voldemort cast the binding spell that not only held Harry immobile, it prevented him from doing any wandless magic. Voldemort was no fool, he knew or at least suspected that Harry could cast spells without a wand. Harry's own wand had been taken the night he'd been captured and he had no idea where it was now.

The binding spell held him completely still, he couldn't even blink or close his eyes like he so wanted to do. Voldemort stalked across the wooden floor, his scarlet robes swishing along the ground around him and dredging up dust in his wake. "Well, Severus, who shall I allow to destroy you first? To whom shall I grant that privilege? It won't really matter in the end, everyone will get their turn to break you. I'm a generous master to those who are loyal after all."

Harry could only see Voldemort's back now and Snape's swollen face as it lay on the floor. Voldemort was silent, but Snape shook his head and Harry knew the man was fighting Voldemort's legilimency. Voldemort cackled, the voice high and grating. "Well, well, Severus, who would have guessed it? Such a rich fantasy life you have. But the guilt, oh the guilt! Wonderful! Never mind, you'll die knowing that you never acted on your baser instincts. Pity," said Voldemort leaning down and whispering something Harry couldn't catch. Snape's face, always on the pale side, turned completely white.

"Leave him alone you bastard!" Snape yelled.

"Aw, Harry, your teacher's worried for your virtue, isn't that sweet?" came a sing song voice that Harry would know anywhere, despite the mask. Bellatrix Lestrange, his godfather's murderer. Voldemort stood up and smiled in the direction of that voice.

"Why worry about the boy's virtue, Severus? He no longer has it to lose," laughed Voldemort.

"What did you do to him?" Snape screamed. "I'll kill you! I'll kill you!"

"Oh, not me. I know you're so good at Occlumency, Severus, why not go into the boy's mind and find out?"

"No!"

"No? You think to defy me? Your life is in my hands, Severus. Your life. And death. Imperio!! Now, look!"

Harry felt the touch of his professor's mind against his own, they were both struggling against the invasion, but Voldemort's curse was too strong and Snape managed to get past Harry's defences, he was so weak from his captivity and near starvation that Harry barely had strength to stand never mind defend against magic. A few moments later Snape's mind withdrew and he looked sadly at Harry. Harry wanted to look away from the pity in that gaze, but he couldn't.

Bella giggled like a school girl and simpered at her master.

"Ah, Bella, I think I'll allow you to have the first honours. Never been raped by a woman before, have you, Severus?"

Harry didn't understand; how could a woman rape a man? As Voldemort's words echoed round his head, he wondered, did Voldemort mean that Snape had been raped before? Barely a few moments later, Harry discovered that it was in fact possible for a woman to rape a man, especially when that woman was as deranged as Bellatrix Lestrange. She used a spell to strip Snape naked and Harry wanted to close his eyes, to look away, but both were impossible. He had no choice but to stare at the professor's nakedness, at the cuts and scars covering his body. Many a time Harry had dreamed, had fantasised about seeing the man, but not like this. Never like this. Harry counted the scars, anything to distract himself from witnessing what was about to happen. Twenty three scars decorated the man's chest.

Oh, God, how must it feel to Snape to have one of his students witness this? Harry didn't want to, but he knew neither of them had a choice in the matter.

Bella said another spell, it must have been some sort of engorgement charm and much to both Snape's and Harry's horror, Snape's prick filled with blood as he struggled against the invisible bonds holding him. "Crucio!!" screeched Bella and Harry couldn't shut his ears to the man's screams.

The binding spell on Snape didn't render him incapable of moving, just of escaping what was about to happen.

"Get away from me, you bitch!" yelled Snape s he fought the spell, his body arched like a human bridge, trying to get away from the woman now hovering above him. She didn't undress, just hoisted up her robes and Harry could see a flash of brown hair at the top of her thighs before she sank down on Snape's prick and rode him as if he were a horse. She flicked her wand in the air and cuts appeared on Snape's skin every time she did it, the man biting his lip to stop himself from crying out, Harry guessed.

Harry couldn't perform any magic, but he and Snape had discovered as a side effect to their Occlumency lessons that they could in fact talk mind to mind. It was a rare skill, not really magic based and so Harry was still capable of it, despite the binding spell.

Professor Snape? Can you hear me? It's Harry. You'll be all right.

It was a while before the man answered in his mind. Did they hurt you? asked Snape, worried for Harry's welfare even as he was being attacked by Bella.

I'm fine, sir. I'm worried about you.

"Rodolphus," drawled Voldemort. "Help your wife, won't you? Show him no mercy." Another one of the Death Eaters removed his mask, left the circle and strode to the tableau in the middle. Bella stood up for a moment, as she did, she squeezed Snape's prick so hard that the man's eyes watered and he couldn't stop a small cry of pain from escaping. The Lestranges rolled Snape onto his side, Bella settled herself down facing him and mounted him again just before her husband lay down behind him and shoved up his own robes and he thrust into Snape's arse.

"Crabbe, Goyle. I feel he needs something in his mouth, don't you?"

Harry could hardly bear to watch as the two large men took out their meaty pricks and began stuffing them in Snape's mouth. Screams bubbled in his chest but because of they binding they could go no further.

"McNair, now you," said Voldemort as Rodolphus shuddered and pulled out. Harry saw the blood on Snape's thighs and as McNair moved away from him, the binding spell holding Harry flickered and disappeared. He stayed completely still for a few moments, not wanting to alert the Death Eaters or Voldemort to that fact.

As McNair reached Snape, everyone's attention were on the centre of the room, not on Harry. Harry was livid at what they had done to Snape and he felt a growl low down in his throat, which he quickly denied. It was surprise he needed, not to give them a warning. When Voldemort's attention was fixed firmly on Snape and the rapists, Harry pounced.

He aimed for Voldemort's neck, biting the scaly skin, Voldemort and the Death Eaters screamed in agony. The blood was black and bitter on his tongue, Harry spat it out but kept sucking at Voldemort's neck until the creature was drained dry and dropped to the floor, nothing more than a husk. Harry cast a wandless Avada Kedavra just to make sure and the wizard disappeared in a shower of ashes. All the Death Eaters were unconscious except for Snape, his Mark had been removed a few weeks previously.

"Professor!" Harry cried and bent down to help Snape up, but the days of hunger had taken their toll and Harry collapsed to the floor.

***

When Harry came to, he was lying on a bed in Hogwarts infirmary and he could hear Snape protesting that he was fine.

"I am perfectly capable of tending to a few cuts and bruises, Poppy! Get away from me, woman!" he growled.

Harry turned his head towards the voice and saw Snape standing arguing with the medi-witch, the man didn't look far from collapse himself, but he was determined not to let the medi-witch anywhere near him.

Harry's head was throbbing and his throat raw from the screams he'd been unable to utter as he'd watched Snape being raped. He guessed that was the reason Snape didn't want to be examined, he didn't want anyone to know. Harry coughed, bringing Madam Pomfrey's attention to him and Snape used the opportunity to sneak away.

"Harry, dear! You're awake! The Aurors would like to speak to you about how you defeated Voldemort."

"The other Death Eaters?"

"Captured by the Aurors, Professor Snape alerted the Order as soon as he brought you back. They are all awaiting trial in Azkaban as we speak."

"There's going to be a trial?"

"Yes. How are you feeling now, Harry? Do you feel up to talking to them?"

"Not yet, ma'am," said Harry, feeling his stomach drop as if he'd fallen from his broomstick. A trial, that would mean people would find out what Snape had endured and Harry knew the man was so proud that he would never want that and he certainly wouldn't want their pity. "I have a headache and I feel sick."

"Here, take a few drops of this," said Madam Pomfrey handing him a glass of clear potion. "It'll help with both the headache and the nausea."

Harry didn't argue, but downed it at once, feeling better and very sleepy.

"Rest now, Harry. Now, Severus - where is that man?" Madam Pomfrey fretted as she walked away from Harry.

His eyes drifted shut and he just hoped Snape was right, that he could in fact tend to his own wounds.

Harry didn't want to think what would happen if he couldn't.


TBC





Chapter 3: Blood Tides

Part 3

Severus made it back to his dungeons, glaring at every student who dared try and speak to him and managed to hide how hurt he was until he was safely inside the sanctuary of his rooms. Once he'd locked and warded the door to his quarters, he leaned against it and let out a scream that if anyone could manage to hear past his silencing charms, they would have been shocked out of their skins to hear it. There was such raw anguish in that sound that no one who heard it would doubt that it was from someone in severe pain.

There wasn't a part of Severus' body that didn't ache, the nerve endings still so raw after so many crucios cast upon him. He knew he had to get to his potions, but the effort of just moving into the bathroom was almost too much. He closed his eyes, but all he could see behind them was his rapists and Severus snapped them open quickly again.

What was almost worse than the rapes was that Harry had been there, Harry had witnessed his humiliation, his degradation at their hands. Bile rose in his throat, but there was no way he was going to make it to the bathroom in time. Severus sank to his knees, throwing up all over the floor and the edge of his blood spattered robes. He cast a cleaning charm and he just stayed there on his knees, staring at the far wall of his living room.

Severus didn't know how long he sat there, thinking about what had happened to him. He couldn't get it out of his head. He was filthy, disgusting, letting them do that to him. Even Dumbledore wouldn't be able to forgive him this. To have let Harry seen what a whore he'd become. Maybe if he just stayed here long enough he'd die from his injuries.

A few months ago, Severus Snape had come to the conclusion that he was in love with Harry Potter, but how could Harry ever want him now after what had happened? He was so soiled, so used. Harry would never want someone like that. Never mind that he didn't even know whether the boy was gay or not. No, it was best if Severus died, that way no one would have to know what had happened, he wouldn't dirty anyone else with his filth.

Yes, that would be best. It wasn't as if anyone would miss him anyway. Severus stood up on shaky legs and made his way to the bathroom. Just the right combination of Potions and he could fall asleep, never to wake up. He toyed with the idea of a razor, but he hated the sight of blood, especially his own. No, potions were his best bet. He could make it quick and painless. He'd had enough of pain.

"Harry!" he moaned as if willing the boy to him, to stop him, but he shook his head at his reflection. No one would stop him. No one would care enough to stop him, to miss him and much to his horror, Severus felt tears trickle down his cheeks. He, who'd never cried since the day he'd been Marked as Voldemort's man, wept a torrent, crying so much that he had to sit down on the edge of the bath before he fell to the floor.

***

Harry wasn't sure when his feelings for the Potions master had changed, it was more of a gradual realisation as he spent more and more of his time in the man's company. Ever since the beginning of Harry's sixth year, after he'd apologised about the pensieve incident, they had formed a wary truce. Dumbledore wanted Snape to train Harry in Occlumency and duelling to prepare him for facing the Dark Lord, but neither had helped him in the end. Harry didn't know why he'd felt the urge to bite the creature, he sort of sensed that it would be enough to kill him, but it was very odd.

It was during one of their duelling lessons that they'd had The Moment, as Harry had taken to calling it. Harry had been tired and very distracted that day as it was the first time he'd seen Snape without his teaching robes, the man was dressed almost casually for him in a crisp white shirt and very well fitting black trousers. Harry wasn't concentrating on the lesson, more on the teacher. Snape had cast a very painful hex, sending Harry five feet in the air and slamming against the floor. Harry lay there, stunned and dazed as he watched Snape stalk over to him. The worry in the man's dark eyes had Harry falter for breath. What was that look, that concern? It was almost as if the man had some feelings for him, something other than the loathing Harry usually associated with the man.

Harry had always been obsessed with the man, first because the man seemed to hate him for no reason but lately his obsession had become rather sexual in nature, if the dreams and fantasies he'd been having were any indication. But it wasn't just sexual, Harry had worried about the man every time he'd been called to a meeting, every time he saw the shadows under the man's eyes, every time he barely ate at meals. Harry wanted to protect him, look after him, but he knew that Snape, such the proud man that he was would never allow it. Harry was in love with a man who'd just been violently raped and Harry vowed to himself that he would make them pay. He would make all of them pay.

Azkaban wouldn't save any of them from his wrath.

Snape had just been raped and Harry had been abused as a child. The timing couldn't have been worse if they'd tried. Harry sensed something in the back of his mind, as if Snape was calling him.

Professor? he sat up, staring around the darkness of the infirmary. How long had he been asleep? There was no answer forthcoming from his teacher and Harry worried even more. What if the man had fainted or something down in the dungeons and couldn't get any help? Knowing that the man would refuse the medi-witch's help, Harry knew it was up to him. He wished he had his invisibility cloak with him, he would have to be very careful to sneak out without Madam Pomfrey seeing him.

Harry slid out of bed, forgoing shoes and tip toed out of the infirmary, making his way to the dungeons without incident. Snape's door was locked and warded, but Harry had been keyed to the wards earlier that year when they'd resumed Harry's Remedial Potions again. He pushed the door open and wandered in to Snape's living quarters, spying a sliver of light from underneath the bathroom door. Harry immediately rushed over to it and banged on the wood.

"Professor! Are you in there?" he demanded.

"Potter! Get out! Get away from me!"

"Not until you open this door! Open it or I break it down!"

"I'd like to see you try! You don't even have a wand!"

Harry didn't need a wand as Snape should well know, Harry cast a spell, the door splintered inward, just in time to see Snape tip a potion towards his throat. Harry knocked it from the man's hands and the phial shattered on the tiled floor. "What was it?" he hissed. "What were you trying to do?"

"What do you think?" spat Snape. "What do you care, anyway?"

"I never took you for a coward, Snape," sighed Harry. He so wanted to reach out to hug the man, to comfort him, but knew that after what had happened to him, touch might be the last thing he wanted.

"A coward? You think I'm a coward, Potter?" Snape asked angrily and Harry was secretly pleased. If he could make the man angry enough, he might be able to help him out of this dark hole he was determined to wallow in.

"Yes, I think you're scared to face up to what happened to you, so you're taking the easy way out."

"You think this is easy?" Snape bent down and began gathering up the glass shards from the floor. Harry watched him intently, ready to intervene if Snape made any move to use the glass for anything else. Snape straightened up and banished the shards with a wave of his wand.

"Yes, I do," said Harry. "Easier than facing Dumbledore, than facing the Aurors, than facing the bastards who did it to you."

"What would you know, Potter? You have no idea how I'm feeling, none! How could you, being the Gryffindor Golden Boy, Dumbledore's favourite and doted on by your relatives? You have no idea what it's like to be made to feel so worthless and dirty!"

"No idea? Is that what you think? That I lived some sort of charmed life with the Muggles? You couldn't be more wrong, Professor! You saw that memory in my mind, where did you think those bruises came from? Huh?"

"I - I thought you'd fallen or something."

"Well, yes, that's what the Dursleys told everyone who might have seen the bruises on me, that I was clumsy, that I fell. Yeah, I fell all right, right onto Vernon's fists and boots. You think I don't know what it was like to feel worthless, Professor? They abused me for years, just for being alive, because I was different, because I wasn't normal in their eyes. I was less than human to them. I lived in a cupboard for ten years, Professor. A locked cupboard unless they wanted me out to do chores. You think I don't know what it was like to feel dirty and despoiled? You're not the only one it ever happened to!"

Harry was appalled to find himself crying, he never thought he would tell anyone what had happened to him, but if it would help Snape, didn't he owe it to the man to say something? "You aren't the only one who was raped, Professor," Harry said softly, sniffling.

"That man? In your memory?"

"I don't know about him, I can't remember. I only know about Vernon. And Dudley."

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"Do you?" Harry countered. "I've been where you are, Severus. I know what it's like to feel that no one would ever understand, that you're not fit to be around people who are whole, that maybe they'd all be better off if you were dead." Harry rolled up the sleeve of his pyjamas and showed Snape the scars on his left wrist. "Aunt Petunia found me too soon and rushed me to the Muggle hospital, they had me locked up in a psychiatric ward for two weeks that summer, but since I refused to talk and didn't try it again, they let me out. I wanted to stay, no one abused me there and when I was back at the Dursleys', it happened over and over again until I really thought that I would rather be dead than endure any more of it. I tried pills the next time, but Petunia made me throw them back up and they didn't risk taking me to the hospital this time in case anyone discovered what had been happening to me." Harry choked back a sob as he finished. He felt sick and shaky at all his revelations.

"Why are you telling me all this?" asked Snape, his eyes dark and intent on Harry.

"I don't know," Harry admitted. "I've never told anyone that before. I don't want you to kill yourself, is that too much to understand?"

"What? You'll miss your greasy git of a teacher?" snarled Snape. "As if you care! As if anyone does! They'll all be glad to get rid of me so easily!"

"I do care!" sobbed Harry. "More than you know!"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Forget it," said Harry, wiping his eyes.

"No, you started it, Potter. What do you mean?"

"Haven't you guessed? Couldn't you tell?" but Snape just stared blankly at him. "I'm in love with you, you idiot!"

Oh dear God, he'd said it. He'd said it out loud and he waited for the damnation, to be berated but all that came out of the man's mouth was a hearty chuckle. The sound was so incongruous in the setting that Harry wasn't sure what he was hearing at first.

"In love with me? I'll give you an A for effort, Potter. A good way to get me to come to my senses at least. Were you hoping the shock might snap me out of it? There's no need to lie to me, Potter."

"I'm not lying," protested Harry. "I just want you to be well and happy."

"Happy? I don't think I quite know what that concept is, Mr. Potter."

"Not yet," agreed Harry, but he was determined that one day both of them would know exactly what it meant to be happy.


TBC





Chapter 4: Blood Tides

Part 4

Severus stared at the boy in front of him, reeling from Harry's revelations. Could it be true? Could he dare hope that Harry felt even a little bit of what Severus felt for Harry? It was such a long time since Severus Snape felt anything resembling hope. He'd been feeling depressed for so long, he couldn't just snap out of it just like that, but maybe with Harry's help he might one day be able to climb out from the mire.

His days had been nothing but darkness for so long that it made sense for him to be scared of the light. "Did you mean it, Harry? Or are you just saying all those things to try and stop me?"

Look in my mind, Severus, you know I told the truth. You always do. The boy had never called him by his given name before, not even when they shared this strange mindspeak and it was that more than anything that helped convince him. Harry was right, Severus always knew when Harry was lying. Everything he'd just confided in Severus was the truth, from the abuse to his declarations of love.

"May I fire-call Madam Pomfrey?"

"What for?" Severus asked suspiciously.

"To let her know where I am and that I'll be staying here tonight."

"No you won't!" Severus protested.

"It's either me staying here or you going to the infirmary, which is it to be, Severus?"

"You don't trust me?"

"Not at this moment in time, Severus, no."

"And you think you'd really be able to prevent me from doing myself in if I was so determined?"

"No, but it might make you think twice and it might help if you had someone to talk to you when you feel things are getting overwhelming."

"Are you offering to be that someone, Potter?"

"If you want." Severus was silent for a while, then reached into his bathroom cabinet and took out a vial of blue potion. "It's a pain killing potion," he felt the need to explain, feeling the boy's jade eyes boring into his back.

"Do you have any salve for your bruises as well?"

"I don't need to be nursed like a child, Potter! I am perfectly capable of looking after myself!" But even as he said it, a dizzy spell had him lumbering to the edge of the bath for support. Harry cast a levitation charm on him and floated him to the bedroom and set him down on the four poster. How did Harry know where his bedroom was?

"One, you do need looking after and I will do that looking. Two, you will stop all this Potter nonsense when we are alone. I'm not my father and every time you use that name, you're reminded of him. You will call me Harry and you will rest in that bed until you are recovered from your injuries. Now, where is that bruise salve?" The boy's tone left no room for argument.

"Bathroom cabinet, top shelf, third from the left," Severus sounded about as defeated as he felt. He was tired, so tired of fighting, of pretending that everything was okay. Tired of getting up in the mornings facing class after class of giggling, incompetent students. Tired of spying, of teaching, of living. He just wanted it all to stop.

***

Harry went to the fireplace in the living room and threw a handful of Floo powder in the flames. "The infirmary," he called out and a few seconds later, Madam Pomfrey's head appeared in the fire.

"Harry! There you are! You should be resting!"

"I'm sorry, Madam Pomfrey. I'm with Professor Snape, he won't go to the infirmary and he really needs someone to stay with him tonight. I don't think he should be alone."

"Was he badly injured?"

"Yes," but Harry refused to elaborate any more. It was Snape's secret to tell if he wanted to. Harry would not betray the man's confidence, not even to the medi-witch.

"Do you know what to do?"

"Yes, you taught me well, Madam Pomfrey. Thanks." Harry had also been learning plenty of healing spells from the matron as well as his lessons from Snape, anything they thought he might need when he went up against Voldemort.

"Very well then, just don't forget that you need to take it easy too. Please call me at once if you need anything."

"Thanks. I will," promised Harry and then they said their goodbyes. After his talk with Madam Pomfrey, Harry went to the bathroom to fetch the salve. When he returned to the bedroom, he saw that Snape was fast asleep. Harry accio'd a bowl of water and a washcloth from the bathroom and began to wipe away the blood and tears that stained the man's face. Snape didn't stir as Harry ministered to him, he knew the spells would keep him asleep for a few hours at least, but Harry did nothing more than wash Snape's face. He didn't undress him, just cast a cleaning spell over the man's robes to get rid of the worst of the blood. Harry knew how upset he would be if someone had undressed him when he didn't know about it.

His tasks completed, Harry took the bloodied bowl and cloth into the bathroom and rinsed them out. He stared at the pink water swirling down the drain, feeling a strange ache in the pit of his stomach. It wasn't queasiness, he'd never been bothered by the sight of blood, but he didn't quite know why he was feeling so strange on seeing the blood. Hunger gnawed at his insides and he realised he hadn't eaten anything since he'd been back.

Harry dried his hands and summoned a house elf when he returned to Snape's bedroom, ordering some sandwiches and pumpkin juice from the little creature who kept glancing nervously from Harry to Snape, as if afraid that Snape was suddenly going to wake up and attack him. A few moments later, the elf returned with enough sandwiches to see him through a small siege. Harry ate what he could manage, three cheese and one ham, before casting a preserving charm on the rest. Snape might be hungry when he finally woke.

Harry sat down on the armchair in the corner, feeling his own eyes drooping. He really needed to sleep, but he was afraid that if he did, he wouldn't be able to look after Snape or stop him from trying to take his own life again. Harry rubbed at the scar on his wrist wondering how on earth he was going to stop Snape from doing something that so many times Harry had wanted to do himself.

Snape gave a loud snore, then turned over onto his side, curling his whole body up into a ball as he hugged a spare pillow to him. Harry cast a monitoring spell to alert him if Snape woke and finally let sleep claim him.

***

Harry woke up abruptly, as if he'd been shaken awake, but the alarm hadn't gone off and Snape was still sleeping soundly. Then he heard it, someone was knocking on the outer door. Casting a scanning spell to see that Snape would still be okay for a while, Harry made his way to the door and discovered Dumbledore and two Aurors beside him.

"Harry, Madam Pomfrey said you'd be here," said Dumbledore. "You know Aurors Shacklebolt and Moody, of course?"

Harry nodded and stood back from the door so the three men could enter. He'd been dreading this, this talk with the Aurors. How could he adequately explain what happened without betraying Snape's trust?

"How is Professor Snape, Harry?" asked Dumbledore, his blue eyes no longer twinkling.

"He's sleeping at the moment, Professor. We shouldn't wake him yet."

"Wouldn't he be better off in the infirmary?" asked Moody.

"He won't go," said Harry. "I know some healing myself, I can look after him."

"No one is doubting your care, Harry, but Madam Pomfrey is more experienced," added Dumbledore. "Maybe you could persuade him?"

"He doesn't want to be persuaded," replied Harry as he sank down on the sofa and waited for the other three to seat themselves as well. Dumbledore sat next to him on the sofa while Moody and Shacklebolt each took an armchair.

They didn't give him Veritaserum, just asked him a few questions about Voldemort, would he recognise any of the Death Eaters again, that sort of thing. Harry was able to answer them all truthfully and felt relieved that they didn't think it at all strange that Harry had bitten Voldemort before casting the final Avada Kedavra. It wasn't as bad as he had been dreading. Until Moody's next words.

"Of course, you'll both be called as witnesses at the trial," said Moody, his magical eye swivelling around the walls. Harry wondered if he was checking up on Snape.

"Do we have to?" he protested, he didn't think Snape was up to that at all. To sit there in the courtroom, to face all those people who had raped him. It would be unbearable. Harry shuddered in sympathy.

"I'm afraid so. The trial is set for the 5th August," said Shacklebolt. "If that's all, Dumbledore, we have to get back to the Ministry."

"Yes, thank you, Alastor, Kingsley," replied Dumbledore leading them to the door before turning back to Harry and giving him a twinkling smile. "All ready and packed, Harry?"

"Packed?" queried Harry, confused.

"Yes, it's the last day of term, didn't you realise?"

No, Harry hadn't. He hadn't been aware how much time had passed since his capture nor how much school he'd missed. He'd be lucky if he was able to take his NEWTs next year at all. He shook his head at the headmaster.

"Well, I'm sure it won't take you long. Your last summer at Privet Drive, eh? You'll be of age soon."

"No," said Harry firmly.

"No what, Harry?"

"I'm not going back to Privet Drive."

"Harry, there are other supporters of Voldemort still at large. The protection of your mother's blood is your best defence if anything were to - "

"I said no, Professor. I am never going back to that house. To those people."

"Harry, you need to be protected. I know conditions with the Dursleys were not ideal..."

"Not ideal? Not ideal?" screeched Harry. "You have no idea! I am not going back there and that's final, I'll run away first!"

"Where will you stay where you'd be as protected as there, Harry?" asked Dumbledore just as the monitoring alarm went off. They both turned and saw Snape standing by the bedroom door, one arm holding the frame as if for support. His face was grey and haggard, as if even just getting out of bed and reaching the doorway was an enormous effort.

"He won't need to run away, headmaster. He will be staying with me at Snape Grange."

TBC








Chapter 5: Blood Tides

Part 5

Snape Grange, compared to Malfoy Manor, was a modest brick built house of three stories, dormer windows peeking out from the roofline and a few slates missing next to the chimneys. It was a house that had seen better times, it had an air of weariness about it, as if it had stood too long and wanted nothing better than to collapse in a heap of rubble and splintered wood. Much like its current owner.

"It's not much," said Snape next to Harry's elbow as he led them to the front door.

"It's lovely," said Harry. Anywhere that didn't have the Dursleys or Voldemort lurking in the building would be lovely to him.

"Put you hands on the door," said Snape. "Otherwise the house won't recognise you as a guest."

Harry did as he was told, the wood felt warm under his fingertips as the house accepted and absorbed some of his magic. Wizarding houses were protected by more than just locks and from what he knew of Snape, the man would be more paranoid than most and Harry guessed he would have found out about the wards in a rather painful way if Snape hadn't told him what he needed to do.

It had been three weeks since Snape's suicide attempt, they'd stayed at the school for a few weeks until they both recovered somewhat from their injuries, but it wasn't Snape's physical injuries Harry was worried about.

The house was situated on top of a small hill, there were views down the lawn to a small brook and a copse of trees at the end of the garden. What Harry noticed most of all was the sound of the birds overhead, it wasn't usual to hear birds anywhere near Privet Drive, too many cars and not enough trees.

The front door swung inwards, Snape stepped back to let Harry precede him into the hall. Snape followed a few seconds later, dropping the Portkey, a newspaper, into a box beside the coat rack by the front door.

"Callie!" called Snape and one small pop later, a house elf stood in front of them. She was dressed in what looked like a small girl's pink party dress, all ruffled frills and lace.

"Yes, Master Snape?" she said, bowing so low that her nose almost touched the floor.

"This is Harry Potter. He will be staying with me for the summer, please show him to one of the guest rooms. The Blue Room should suit, I think. Dinner is at seven in the dining room, Callie will show you where it is." With that, Snape turned and headed away to a second set of staircases, these ones leading down rather than up.

"What's down there?" asked Harry.

"That is Master's Snape's workroom, Master Harry. You is not to be going in there. Master Snape is not being disturbed when he is working."

It wasn't the work Harry was worried about. A workroom full of lethal potions ingredients was not where he felt comfortable having Snape be at the moment.

"This way, Master Harry," said the elf and led Harry upstairs and the first door on the right. The room was indeed blue, pale blue painted walls that so matched the hue of the sky outside that it would have been difficult to spot the window if its frame hadn't been painted white. The bedstead was a curlicued wrought iron affair painted white, large enough for about five people. A pale white bedspread dotted with embroidered blue flowers had pillowcases to match. The wardrobe and dressing table were both white with small blue flowers as well. In contrast, the carpet was dark blue with white flowers. There was a window seat with a peacock blue cushion and an open door led to his own bathroom.

Certainly from the look of the house on the outside, Harry had not been expecting such luxuries within.

"Is Master Harry needing anything else?" asked Callie with a small bow.

"No, thank you, Callie."

The elf nodded and disappeared and Harry was left to his own devices. He removed his shrunken trunk from his pocket and was about to resize it when he realised that now he was outside of school he couldn't do any magic until his birthday, so unpacking was out. The clothes he was wearing would have to do him for dinner until he could ask Snape to fix his trunk.

Hedwig was on her way to the Burrow and Hermione's, as Harry hadn't seen either of his friends since he'd been back at school. They'd already left for the train by the time he'd gone up to the Tower on the last day of term. He knew he couldn't explain everything in a letter, but he did his best. He could almost imagine Ron's shock at the news that Harry would be spending the summer with Snape. He didn't tell either of them why, he didn't think they needed to know.

Glancing at his watch, Harry saw it was just after half past six, he would have time for a quick wash before dinner, even if he didn't have clean clothes to change into. Harry walked into the bathroom, looked into the mirror and screamed.

***

Snape worked methodically, he was barely thinking, just going through the motions as he tried not to think about what he'd almost done a few weeks ago. Would he have gone through with it? Or would he have made sure to take the antidote? He wasn't entirely sure. He'd certainly felt the despair enough, but Harry had stopped him. Harry had talked to him, making him angry and hopeful in turns.

If he still felt enough emotion in his life to be angry and hopeful, was he really ready to leave it?

The scream from upstairs made Severus drop the vial of phoenix tears he was about to add to the calming draught he was making. What on earth had made the boy scream and made him ruin a perfectly good potion? For there was no way to retrieve the tears now, they dissolved into the stone, absorbed by the house and he grumbled angrily as he made his way upstairs to the guest room. It wasn't as if there were any ghosts or ghouls in the house that would suddenly pop out and surprise him.

Severus knocked on the door. "Potter? What's the matter with you?" At least there were no more screams from within.

"Pr- professor - keep away! You'd better keep away!" the boy sobbed.

What on earth was up with him? "I'm coming in," said Snape, turning the door handle and expecting it to be locked, it wasn't. He saw the slightly ajar bathroom door and Harry standing just inside the bathroom, facing the mirror.

"Keep away, Severus! Please! I'm a monster!"

Snape didn't listen but moved further towards Harry and he saw what had so upset him. The eyes of Snape's reflection met his own in the mirror, but of Harry's green eyes there were no sign. Harry had no reflection, or so it seemed from the angle Harry was looking into the mirror.

Snape did something then that he'd never done before, he wrapped his arms around Harry and hugged one of his students in order to give him some comfort. "Ssh, Harry. Look. Your reflection's still there, it's just your eyes becoming adjusted. Didn't you know you were a vampire?" Severus asked. The man who'd taken Harry as a child, he must have been the vampire, it made sense now. That's why Severus could see the man's memories in Harry's head, Harry had some of the man's blood at some stage, some of his magical essence. "He must have obliviated you after he'd infected you."

"So I am a monster?" sniffled Harry, but he didn't try and leave Severus' embrace. Severus wondered why he wasn't scared to touch Harry. Not that he was worried about the vampirism, but about what had happened to him.

"Harry, vampires aren't monsters, who told you that? Vampirism is a magical disease, only wizards can become vampires. That man who took you, he must have been a wizard."

"I don't remember dying," said Harry.

"You're not dead," insisted Severus.

"Undead then, whatever." Harry wrenched himself out of Severus' arms and went to sit on the window seat in the bedroom. Severus followed him, sitting down on the edge of the bed, facing the boy. Harry's face was streaked with tears that he couldn't seem to stop and Severus remembered only too well his own tears of the past weeks. What on earth were they doing? They were both so damaged, how on earth would they be able to help each other? Was it really such a wise move to have Harry here for the summer?

"You've been reading some Muggle literature, Harry. Not everything you've read is even remotely true. You are not dead, or even undead. Vampirism is an incurable disease, but it can be controlled, like Muggles with diabetes. They need insulin to survive, you need..."

"Blood," Harry supplied dully. "I have to kill people? Drink their blood?" he asked, sounding appalled.

"No, you don't have to kill people. Animal blood, or foods rich in iron like red meat, liver, spinach and such are perfectly capable of keeping your cravings under control, but human blood is best. The reason you will feel like you crave blood is because your own blood is no longer able to absorb iron and other nutrients it needs. It's similar to a woman craving non-food substances during pregnancy, it's called Pica. Your body craves blood because that is the easiest and fastest way for you to get iron, even though blood is not normally considered food. Vampirism is a rare type of anemia but it also has other symptoms.

"Your eyes will be more sensitive to sunlight, I can teach you a charm that will allow your glasses to darken if you need to go outside. Your skin is also thinner than most other people's, you should avoid too much sunlight unless you have a good sunblock charm in place, you are at more risk of getting skin cancer. You will also be more sensitive to certain foods, garlic and onions for example, you should avoid them if you can and you'll have to be careful if you're handling them in Potions classes, make sure to wear gloves."

"You said it was a disease, how did I get it?"

"There's only way to get it, you had to ingest infected blood."

Harry turned his face to the window and leaned his forehead against it. "I'm such a freak," he whispered almost to himself. "Why can't I just be normal?"

"Harry, you aren't a freak. You just have a medical condition and you can cope with it."

"If - if that man who took me was the vampire, how come I'm only starting to notice these symptoms now? I've never lost my reflection before or had this craving until recently."

"Vampirism only affects children very mildly, it's when you become fully grown that the symptoms start to get worse."

"Great," muttered Harry. "Lots to look forward to, yippee."

"Sarcasm doesn't suit you," said Severus. "You should leave it to the experts."

"I'm sorry, Severus. This is just a bit much to take in. I don't know how I'm supposed to react to this. Why do we learn how to defend against vampires in Defence if they don't attack people?"

"Some do, Harry, just like some humans do. There are some wizards who use the excuse that they are vampires to go on a murderous rampage, convincing themselves they are only doing it because they need to. That isn't true, the amount of blood you need each week will not require you to kill anyone at all. The truth is, they just wanted to kill anyway and used the excuse of their condition to do so."

"So I don't need human blood?" asked Harry warily.

"Human blood is best to help you, but you only need a few drops, if you feed regularly. The problem gets worse the longer you leave it and your craving might get so unbearable by that time that you get out of control when feeding and accidents have been known to happen when that is the case. Vampires are classed as magical creatures by the Ministry, Harry so you and your donor will need to be registered. If you don't, they could very well send you to Azkaban. There is still a lot of prejudice concerning vampires and people get scared."

"D - donor? You mean I have to ask someone to allow me to drink their blood?"

"Well, I was hoping you wouldn't need to ask. I was going to offer."


TBC






Chapter 6: Blood Tides

Part 6

Harry didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He was a vampire and now Snape was offering to be his dinner. Why couldn't he just be like everyone else? Wasn't it enough that he'd killed Voldemort for them? Now they wanted him tagged as a magical creature, a dangerous magical creature. "Why haven't I craved blood like this before?"

"As I said, it is very mild in children, you probably wouldn't have noticed anything different if you'd been getting enough iron in your food."

"I wasn't, Severus," Harry admitted softly. "The Dursleys starved me for weeks at a time and when they did feed me it was on scraps. They weren't that bothered about the nutritional value of anything they gave me. So shouldn't I have started craving blood earlier?"

"Um, probably not, Harry. There's something I haven't mentioned yet. The craving, the feeding, there's a sexual component to it."

"What?" squawked Harry.

"It's nature's way of ensuring your body gets the nutrients you need despite your illness. Drinking blood is considered distasteful usually, but you need it to survive. When you drink, you'll feel a sexual euphoria that will keep you coming back for more. Your donor will feel something similar so that it diminishes any pain they might feel from you feeding on them."

"And does everyone know about this?"

"Most wizards would know about the sexual element between a vampire and their donor, yes."

"Severus, I can't do this. I can't have people knowing about me, I can't put you through that."

"Put me through what, Harry?"

"If you register as my donor, they'll gossip about you."

"If you don't register, Harry, you could get sent to Azkaban. Maybe I hadn't been clear, you don't have to register with the British Ministry, just any magical Ministry will do. The New Zealand Ministry has a privacy code, if we register with them, no one here would need to know but it would still be a legal bond."

"A bond? Like marriage?"

"Yes, it's seen as more socially acceptable if the vampire only feeds on their bonded mate. A vampire and a donor have to become legally bonded, in effect I become your property. You will have to agree to look after me and not harm me from feeding."

Harry gaped at the man as if he'd gone mad. Maybe they both had.

"No, Severus, I can't bind you to me. You were the property of a Dark wizard before, do you really want to be nothing more than property? No, I can ask someone else to be my donor."

"Who? Weasley? Granger?" God, he couldn't ask Ron, Ron had already told Harry that he was fine with Harry being gay, but please could he be spared the details? No, he couldn't ask Ron, the sexual nature of the feeding would see to that, the same with Hermione. Somehow Harry didn't think Ron would be too pleased if Harry was feeding from his girlfriend. There was no one else he could ask if he wanted to keep his condition secret from the rest of the Hogwarts population.

He wasn't that close enough to anyone else. "Severus, how can we do this? How can I force you into something sexual after what happened to you?" Harry protested. "I don't want to be like Voldemort."

"Harry, you're nothing like Voldemort. This is entirely different, I want to do this. I'll be doing this of my own free will, you aren't forcing me. We don't have to have sex, but when you feed, we'll both feel - um - aroused and may even climax during the feeding."

Harry blushed and hung his head. God, he was nowhere near ready for anything sexual and he guessed neither was Severus. It was like some sort of weird dream and he just wished he could wake up now. He tried pinching himself, but he knew that it was real.

"I don't know, Severus. I have to think about this." This was too strange, too sudden and Harry had no idea how he was going to do it. He'd bitten Voldemort, but he hadn't fed from him, he'd spat the blood out as it was so bitter, maybe because of how corrupted the creature was. The thought of actually biting Snape, drinking his blood was giving him butterflies in his stomach, but he wasn't sure whether it was from nausea or excitement. Bodily fluids were such taboos, he found it hard to reconcile himself to the knowledge that he would have to drink blood in order to survive.

"You don't have to decide straightaway, Harry. We'll have to wait until your birthday before we could bond anyway. Otherwise you'd need your guardians' consent."

Harry was not going to ask the Dursleys for anything, not even that.

"What happens if I don't feed from anyone?" asked Harry.

"You'll gradually get weaker and weaker and then you'll die."

"There's no potion or something I could take instead?"

"It has been tried, but the only thing that worked well was fresh human blood, taken directly from the source. Nothing else allowed the nutrients to be absorbed by the vampires. No one really knows why, but drinking human blood regularly is the only thing that will keep you healthy."

"And - and you'd have no problem with me drinking from you? Being bonded to me?"

"I can't imagine you feeding on anyone else. I don't want you feeding on anyone else. I think - I think the mind bond we already shared is making us feel as if we are already bonded, we just need to make it legal."

"Are you in love with me?" Harry asked softly.

"I don't know, Harry. I'm not sure that I've ever been in love."

That Snape hadn't suddenly started spouting declarations of undying love was what helped convince Harry that perhaps they could make a go of this. He'd been in love with the Potions master for so long, but for so long had convinced himself that the feelings would never be returned, that he had never given marriage or bonding much thought except in daydreams. He had never imagined that Snape might really one day want to bond with him.

"Severus, what happens if we bond, you become my donor and one day you decide you've had enough? Am I going to have to worry about you trying to kill yourself again?" For Harry wasn't sure he could bear that.

"Harry, I don't know how I'm going to feel in the future, I can't make any promises except one, I'll do my best not to hurt you."

"It would hurt me if you died, Severus and not just because of the blood. I hope you know that."

"I know, Harry. I know."

"If we do this, Severus, can you at least promise me that you'll talk to me? That you won't bottle things up?"

Snape laughed then. "We won't be able hide things from each other once we bond, Harry. If you thought we shared a lot of our minds now, wait until then."

Harry didn't really care what his friends would think, or what anyone else would think really. How it was too sudden, there was such an age difference, Snape was his teacher, an ex-Death Eater and all the rest of it. He knew in his heart that what he was doing was right. He just hoped Snape would one day feel as much for him as he felt for the man.

He wanted to love him, to protect him and if the bond allowed him to do that, then who was he to deny it?

"Severus, yes. I would be honoured to bond with you."

Harry slid down from the window seat and knelt in front of Severus. He reached up and caressed the man's cheek, relieved when he didn't flinch from Harry's touch. "I love you," said Harry.

The sentiment wasn't returned, but Severus took Harry's hand from his cheek and kissed the palm. It would do for now.

***

They didn't discuss it again that evening, they both went down to dinner, where Snape had a word with Callie and a few moments later, covered silver dishes appeared on the table. The dining room was a cavernous room, the house didn't look large enough on the outside to be so large inside, but Harry wasn't surprised. A lot of magical houses looked different from the outside than in.

"Why have you never fixed the outside?" asked Harry, knowing that things could be repaired quickly and magically.

"It keeps prying eyes away if they think the house is dilapidated."

"Oh."

There was a long mahogany table, polished so that it shone and Harry was relieved to see that his reflection had reappeared at least. Snape told him it was because his eyes were slightly different, sometimes he would be able to see himself, sometimes he wouldn't. The table held eight chairs, but only two were currently occupied.

Snape removed the lids from all the platters and Harry realised the man must have told the house elf to change the menu, for everything on there had clearly been cooked with Harry's condition in mind. Liver and gravy, spinach, steaks so rare that blood was still oozing from them. There was also a large bowl of mashed potatoes, wholemeal bread, a jug of orange juice for Harry and a bottle of red wine for Snape.

"I'm not really hungry," admitted Harry, looking at the food with some trepidation. He'd never even had steak before, never mind rare steak.

"Harry, you've got to eat, it'll only feel worse if you don't."

Harry took a couple of spoonfuls of mashed potato and a some spinach, but he couldn't face the meat. Not just yet.

"Harry," Snape said in a warning tone, so Harry reluctantly added a slice of liver and gravy to his plate and then proceeded to mutilate his food with his knife and fork for about fifteen minutes before he could actually eat anything. It was difficult to eat with someone's attention on him the whole time, but he managed to eat about half what he'd put on his plate.

"Please, I can't eat any more," said Harry, so unused to large portions from his time at the Dursleys'. He ate so much at Hogwarts sometimes, especially on his first night back, that more often than not he ended up being sick in the boys' bathroom before he could go back to the dorms.

Snape nodded. "Would you like some dessert?"

"No, thank you. I think - I think I'd just like to go to bed now."

"Okay, Harry. I'll see you in the morning. Good night."

"Good night, Severus. Sweet dreams."


TBC





Chapter 7: Blood Tides

Part 7

The weeks until Harry's birthday were spent getting to know each other better. Neither of them were under any illusions that being bonded was going to be easy. Not only were student/teacher relationships against all Hogwarts rules, Harry was going to have to hide his condition from his friends as well. Easier said than done. Hermione's brain was never inactive, if she'd figured out Lupin was a werewolf long before anyone else had, how long before she figured out what Harry was? He dreaded that happening, but he had no idea how to prevent it. Somehow she was bound to know. He just knew it.

During the day, Snape spent most of the time in his potions lab, which Harry still wasn't allowed to enter. Not that he really wanted to, potions were not his raison d'etre as they seemed to be for Snape. The man only came out for meals, all geared up with lots of iron rich food again to help Harry. After dinner, they would sit in one of the drawing rooms and conversed while they played chess. They both seemed to find it easier to talk if there were plates or a chessboard in front of them, as if they needed some distance between them.

The night before his birthday, Snape roundly trounced him for the third time in a row, the chess pieces cackling at Harry and giving him rude gestures with their small hands. Harry sighed and looked away from the board. It wasn't even quite dark yet, the summer evenings still long and he could just make out the shadow of the copse at the edge of the garden.

"Harry, you're very quiet tonight, is something wrong?" asked Severus as he packed the chess set away in their box, the pieces giving cries of dismay as he did so. The cries cut off abruptly as he shut the lid.

"Just thinking about tomorrow, I guess," said Harry. "I mean, it's not every day you get married, is it?"

"No, I suppose not. Are you regretting it, Harry? Have you changed your mind?"

"No, just a touch of pre-wedding jitters. Are you sure the New Zealand Ministry won't tell anyone, Severus? I don't want you getting fired over this."

"They won't tell anyone Harry and neither can we, it has to be a secret for both our sakes."

"I know, I won't tell anyone, Severus. I'm used to keeping secrets. I don't know though, doesn't it seem a bit - a bit sordid, sneaking off like this to get married?"

When Harry had thought of marriage and he had to admit it to himself, that yes indeed he had thought of it with Severus, his daydream scenarios had never gone like this. There had been friends there to give the happy couple their good wishes, Molly Weasley, Hermione, the female staff crying into handkerchiefs. There had been confetti and flowers, lanterns and fairies shimmering with light as he and Severus said their vows. Of course, he'd had these dreams long before he knew he was a vampire and what he would need to do to survive.

"Harry, I'm sorry it has to be like, but if you want to keep your condition secret..."

"I know and yes, I do want it to be secret, Severus. Sorry. I don't know what's up with me today. Ow!"

"What's wrong?"

"I bit my tongue," Harry opened his mouth and ran his finger along his left incisor, it was sharper and longer than it had been that morning. "I think it's starting," said Harry. Severus had already told him that if he wasn't getting enough iron, his fangs would appear to remind him that he needed to feed. They were retractable and eventually he would be able to control when they appeared, but what was he supposed to do in the meantime? Imagine if they appeared when he was in class or talking with his friends?

He and Severus had both decided that they would wait until after their bonding ceremony before Harry attempted to feed from him, as the bond would not allow Harry to harm him while feeding. Harry still wasn't sure he was going to be able to do it, his distaste at something so animalistic ingrained. Maybe he was the freak the Dursleys had accused him of being all along. Harry was feeling both disgusted and a little excited that he would get to feed from Severus, but that didn't mean he wasn't nervous about it. He hadn't the uncontrollable cravings yet, but now that his fangs were out, he knew it would only be a matter of time before he would. The teeth would not retract until he'd had blood this first time.

Severus stood up. "Harry, I am not very good with emotions, nor with giving or receiving comfort, I never received it growing up and I know now that neither did you, but would it upset you if I were to give you a hug?" Severus opened his arms and Harry bounded from the chair in his haste to be embraced in the arms of the man he loved. Still not very tall, Harry only reached mid-chest on Severus, so that's where he rested his head, feeling the thump thump of Severus' heart beneath his ears.

And hearing that sound, imagining the rush of blood as it coursed through the man's veins, had Harry salivating.

Maybe it wasn't going to be that difficult for him to feed from him after all.

***

It was the first time Harry hadn't stayed up till midnight to welcome in his lonely birthday, he'd been just too tired to keep his eyes open and he'd fallen asleep in the drawing room, curled up on Severus' lap as the man had stroked his hair. He woke to bright sunlight filtering into the blue bedroom, but he was lying fully dressed on the covers except for his shoes, something he was immensely grateful for. Severus had put him to bed but hadn't undressed him while he was unaware. Severus probably knew more than most how off-putting Harry would have found that.

Callie popped into the room laden with a full breakfast tray and set it down on the dressing table. "Happy birthday, Master Harry," she said. "Master Snape is to be saying that you can open your presents after breakfast. They is being in the main drawing room."

"Thank you, Callie," said Harry, although he was a little surprised. Severus had got him presents? Wasn't the fact that he'd consented to bind himself to Harry for the rest of his life gift enough? Severus was offering him his blood, there wasn't really anything that could top that, but Harry found himself curious about his presents anyway as he ate his breakfast. Thankfully it was light, just cornflakes and toast. They would be Apparating to New Zealand later that morning and it was best not to travel so far without having at least something in the stomach.

Harry dressed in a pair of jeans and an old sweatshirt of Dudley's, shuddering as he put the items on, as if he could almost feel their one time owner in the room with him.

You like that, don't you, Potter? Like having something shoved up you. Is that what they teach at that freaky school of yours?

One of the first things Harry wanted to do after they were bonded was to go on a shopping spree and get a whole new wardrobe, now that he was seventeen he would be able to get as much money out of his vault as he wanted and no one need ever know. Once a wizard reached seventeen, their keys were automatically given to them and the privacy mode went into operation.

Harry made his way to the main drawing room and gasped out loud at the mountain of presents sitting on the small tables dotted about the room, he'd never seen so many at once, not even on Dudley's birthdays.

"Professor!" he gasped. "You can't give me all these!"

"I can and I will and you will call me Severus unless we're in class," he smiled then, such a smile of pure joy that Harry felt a little sliver of guilt that he'd seemed ungrateful.

"Thank you, it's just so much. I never had so many presents before."

"Well, that's about to change. You deserve these and more, Harry. You will never want for anything again, I promise you that."

Harry was shocked to find his eyes filling up with tears and he turned away to try and hide them. Severus was at his side almost at once, wrapping his arms around Harry from behind and whispering soothing words in his ears until Harry calmed down. "I'm sorry, Harry. I did not mean to upset you."

"I'm okay," said Harry. "I just feel a bit fragile today. Nightmares."

"Oh," replied Severus. "I get them too sometimes, but we'll get through this, Harry. I know we will."

"You weren't so sure a few weeks ago," said Harry, turning to face him. "You wanted to end it. You wanted to leave me."

"I've since discovered that isn't the case."

"What do you mean?"

"I wasn't sure at first, but I'm sure now. After he - after he raped me, Lucius Malfoy put the Imperius curse on me, basically ordering me to kill myself."

"What? You mean you weren't suicidal at all?"

"It appears not, it did seem a little strange, why would I have wanted to kill myself then? I've had worse things happen to me, Harry and I did not feel the urge to take my own life. I suspected it was something like that when I began to feel angry at you that day. How could I feel angry? Shouldn't I have been feeling despair and nothing else? My potion confirmed it, I was under the Imperius and once I knew, I could end the curse. Malfoy's skills do not work so well over long distances."

"But why would he put you under Imperius? Why not just kill you himself? Any one of them could have killed you."

"Oh, they could, but they wouldn't. They didn't want to kill me, Harry, you saw them that day. They wanted to make me suffer for my betrayal. There was also the fact that Voldemort was watching and he didn't want me dead, at least not for a while. None of them would risk killing me in front of their master, but Lucius saw no harm in casting Imperius on me and me dying shortly afterwards by my own hand."

"So you're - you're okay?" asked Harry, looking deep into the man's obsidian eyes. It was like staring into two dark tunnels and he didn't want to escape.

"I don't think either of us are okay, Harry, but I'm not suicidal. Now, I think it's time you open some of your gifts."

Severus detached himself from Harry's arms and brought him over a squishy parcel wrapped in green and silver paper. Harry had to grin at the Slytherin colours, but as he glanced around the room, the predominant colour seemed to be blue and white, much like his bedroom at the Grange. "This one should come in very handy today," said Severus, presenting it to him with a flourish, bowing low like a courtier.

Harry removed the parcel from Severus and undid the ribbon, the paper melted away and Harry was staring at a shimmering turquoise silk dress robe, along with a pair of blue trousers and shirt to match.

"They're traditional wedding robes, Harry, magical, so they will size to fit you. You won't have to get dressed in anything those Muggles gave you ever again."

Harry's eyes were awash with tears once more and he just let them fall as he held the clothes in his trembling hands.

"Thank you, Severus," he sobbed. "Thank you."



TBC





Chapter 8: Blood Tides

Part 8

Like all Magical Ministries, the one in Wellington was situated underground beneath the city, so that the Muggles weren't aware of it. Severus held Harry's arm while they Apparated into the main lobby. The domed ceiling was painted with the night sky, stars and comets twinkling as they watched. Harry stumbled a little as they arrived, perhaps it was time for Harry to learn how to Apparate himself now that he was seventeen. Severus might suggest it later but at the moment they had an appointment in the Room of Records.

They were both dressed in wizarding marriage robes, Harry's the pale blue Severus had given him that morning and Severus in a navy so dark it almost looked black, he didn't think he suited pale colours but knew it wasn't really suitable to wear black to a wedding, especially his own. So when they arrived at the information desk, the guard wizard on duty took one look at them and pointed them to the third floor down, the Department of Records.

The lift didn't take long and the two of them stepped out into a well lit corridor. A brass plaque next on the wall just outside the lift announced, Department of Records. Registration of births, marriages, deaths (psuedo-deaths please go to the fourth floor, Spirits and Hauntings Department.) Animagi registration. Magical creatures registrations: Werewolves, Vampires, Incubi and Veela.

"It looks like we抮e in the right place," said Harry, and Severus could see his front incisors glint in the lantern light. The thought that Harry was soon going to use those teeth to bite him didn't frighten him as much as he thought they should. He couldn't deny the soft fluttering of excitement in the pit of his belly and lower still that Harry was going to bond with him and later was going to feed from him. The thought of Harry feeding from anyone else just couldn't be borne.

Harry reached out his hand and grasped his, the two of them walking towards the door at the end of the corridor. Severus knocked and a few moments later a witch emerged to usher them in. She had long black hair, tied back in two braids hanging over each shoulder and she was wearing a long flowing robe of white.

"Mr. Snape, Mr. Potter, come in, come in, I've been expecting you." She led them past an office which had a cluttered desk and an array of mis-matched chairs before opening another door. This room had been magically transformed to look like a forested glade. Garlands of flowers had been hung on the lower branches and fairies flitted to and fro, their lights twinkling as they passed. Severus had requested the glade, wanting Harry to see that just because no one knew of their marriage and bonding did not mean that it had to be sordid.

How could anything to do with Harry Potter be sordid? He was the Light personified, nothing sordid could come out of this. The witch waved her hand and conjured a desk, a pile of parchments sitting on top of it. "Right, we just have to get a bit of the paperwork out of the way and then we can perform the bonding ceremony. Mr. Potter, you are seventeen aren't you? You look a bit young."

"It's his birthday today," replied Severus.

"Right, and which one of you will be the donor? It's a vampire bonding, that's right, isn't it?"

"Yes," said Harry, trying not to open his mouth too much, he was still a little self-conscious about his teeth. "I'm the vampire, Severus is the donor."

"Fine," said the woman and scrawled something with her quill onto one of the parchments. She didn't seem at all fazed that Harry was a vampire. To her it was just another day at the office, maybe this would help Harry see that he was in fact normal and not something to be feared. Severus knew it wouldn't be so easy as that, there were still so many myths about vampires that it would be difficult for the general population to accept Harry as something other than a monster who would prey on them and their children.

The witch banished the paperwork and indicated that they should kneel on two green velvet cushions just conjured for that purpose. Severus helped Harry down and then lowered himself onto his knees. It wasn't the kneeling he was worried about, it was the getting up afterwards. His knees were not as young as they used to be.

Once Severus and Harry were settled on their cushions, the witch conjured another one and knelt down facing them.

"Take Harry's right hand in yours and then his left," she instructed. They both obeyed, their arms crisscrossed at the wrists. A ribbon appeared out of thin air and twined around both their joined hands, two intertwined colours, blue for the Potter family and yellow for the Snape.

"Do you Severus take Harry Potter unto you to be your one true bond-mate from this day forward? Do you promise never to harm him, neither directly nor indirectly? Do you promise to allow him the gift of your blood? Do you promise to be faithful to him and only to him?"

"I do," replied Severus.

"Do you Harry take Severus Snape unto you to be your one true bond-mate from this day forward? Do you promise never to harm him, neither directly nor indirectly? Do you promise to accept the gift of his blood? Do you promise to be faithful to him and only to him?"

"I do," said Harry, just as he finished speaking, the ribbons glowed silver and gold before disappearing entirely. The witch gave both of them a beaming smile. "Congratulations! Now, if you'd both like to sign the register, you can get started on the honeymoon," she winked then and Severus saw Harry flush crimson.

Harry stood up first, reaching out his hand to help Severus up. He stumbled a little as he reached his feet, his legs had gone to sleep, but this time Harry was there to catch him. Suddenly it dawned on him what this bonding meant. Harry would always be there to catch him. They would be there to catch each other.

***

"It's different to how I imagined it," said Harry once they were back at the Grange and he was sitting cross legged on the floor going through all his other presents. Ron had sent him a subscription to a new magazine, Broomstick Mistakes which was a funny look at Quidditch fouls and injuries over the years. Hermione had sent him a quill set and a blank notebook which Harry thought he might use as a journal, despite Hermione's letter which suggested he might like to use it as a homework diary.

"What do you mean?"

"The bonding, you said that you would belong to me, but it's more like we belong to each other now." Harry was so pleased at that, he'd always wanted to belong to someone. The Dursleys had never wanted him, their treatment of him over the years testament enough of that. He had his friends and the Weasleys of course, but he was not part of their family, he wasn't official. He and Severus were official and he grinned at his new husband.

"I suppose it is. You're pleased about that?"

"Of course! Aren't you? You don't - you don't regret marrying me?"

"I'll never regret that, Harry. Never." The man glanced at him, his dark eyes glimmering with something Harry had no name for, but it was the intensity of the stare he felt and his heart beat a frantic tattoo against his ribs.

The drawing room floor was covered in wrapping paper, ribbons and tissue paper, Harry began lifting some of the detritus from the floor and Severus grinned at him. "Harry, what day is it?"

"Our wedding day?" he supplied.

"And?"

"My birthday. Oh," replied Harry as he took out his wand and cleaned up the mess in no time at all. He'd forgotten he could do magic whenever he wanted to now.

"I've one last present for you, Harry," said Severus standing up and going to one of the side tables, where he gave Harry a small wrapped box. Undoing the ribbon caused the paper to melt away. "This is a wedding gift."

Harry opened the lid of the box and removed the item within, a silver bangle which had an etching of a snake all the way around. "It's charmed," said Severus. "It lets you know if people around you are dangerous or that you are in danger." Severus sat down on the sofa and wasn't looking at Harry.

"Thank you, Severus," said Harry, bending down to give him a small peck on the cheek, feeling relieved when Severus didn't flinch from his touch. He knew it was not going to be easy for either of them, but that sight had Harry believing that one day they would both be able to accept each other in all aspects of marriage, including the physical.

"Severus - um - if you want to talk about anything. About - about what happened to you, I can listen."

"Thank you, Harry, but I don't really feel up to discussing it just yet. Not tonight. It's our wedding night and no one else should have a place in our marital bed tonight, don't you agree?"

Harry nodded just as his stomach growled and Severus' eyes shot up to his. He stood up from the sofa and scooped Harry up in his arms.

"It's about time you started feeding, isn't it?"


TBC





Chapter 9: Blood Tides

Part 9


Severus Apparated them directly into the blue bedroom and lay Harry gently down on the bed. Harry sat up, his heart pounding like surf in his ears as he watched Severus remove his outer robe and began to undo the cuffs at his wrists. The man was flushed pink and he was breathing heavily. Could it be, was it arousing him? The thought of Harry feeding from him? Harry stifled a moan and sank back against the headboard and pillows.

God, he was half-hard already and he hadn't even begun feeding yet. His nostrils flared and it seemed like he could almost hear the pounding of his new husband's heart as it pumped the blood all through his body. Shirt cuffs undone, Severus continued unbuttoning the rest and tossed the shirt over a chair. Harry stared at the man's pale, muscled chest, noticing again the scars covering his upper torso.

Severus stood by the side of the bed and stared at Harry.

"W- where - " God, Harry's throat was so dry. "Where do you want me to bite you?"

"The neck," said Severus, flushing an even deeper shade of red. He pulled his hair back and tied it with a ribbon he'd conjured from thin air. Harry stared at the pale column revealed, seeing the small hint of blue from the veins beneath, Severus' skin was so thin there. The neck, he'd never even thought of the neck. He'd thought maybe on the wrist, or the inside of the elbow, he'd never even considered the neck. It seemed too intimate to suggest to the man, but if Severus had suggested it, did that mean he wanted it that way?

"Are you sure, Severus?" For Harry would do nothing that the man didn't want, feeding or not.

Severus nodded and climbed onto the bed, sitting up beside Harry and resting his back against the pillows and headboard. He opened his arms and it took a while for Harry to realise that the man wanted Harry to sit in his lap. It would probably be the best position, considering the disparity in their heights. Harry straddled Severus' legs, resting his legs either side of Severus. Severus looked up at him and Harry felt his breath hitch in his throat at how much trust the man was showing him. He would do his best not to betray it, despite the slow arousal burning his skin from the inside.

Severus was nowhere near ready for sex yet and despite his body's desire, Harry knew neither was he. It was a step they might take one day, but not tonight, not yet. When they were both ready, when the demons from the past had been exorcised, then they might consider it. He could feel Severus trembling beneath him, was he scared? Or was he too feeling desire as the moment drew closer? A few tears dripped from underneath Severus' closed lashes. Harry bent down and licked them off. "Ssh, Severus. It's okay. I'm only going to feed, nothing else, okay?"

Severus nodded and opened his eyes again, those dark pools drawing Harry in as Harry bent his head to the man's neck. He licked the skin, feeling the pulse flutter beneath his tongue and he couldn't help the groan at the thought of all that blood, just there for his taking. Harry opened his mouth wide and lowered his teeth, pricking the man's skin as effortlessly as if he'd been using a sharp knife. Two small spots of crimson welled up as he watched, the sight of so much red against the pale skin arousing him even further. Harry felt no distaste at all now as he lowered his head again, clamping his mouth over the wounds and sucked. Hard.

The blood was hot on his tongue, he hadn't expected that, sweet in his mouth as he sucked and sucked, drawing the sustenance from his husband. Severus was moaning and bucking beneath him, Harry could feel an echoing hardness against his own and he did his best not to thrust against that welcome pressure even as each time he swallowed blood his cock gave an answering throb in his trousers.

Severus' arms wrapped themselves around Harry's back, keeping him in place as Harry fed, his hips arching up. Suddenly Severus gave a hoarse cry of "Harry!" and came in his trousers, the wetness flooding against Harry's groin enough to set him off too as he came uncontrollably, still swallowing Severus' blood. Once the tremors had passed, he removed his teeth and licked the site of the puncture marks, Severus had told him his saliva would be able to heal his donor. Harry watched in awe as the wounds closed over and Severus skin was as unmarked as it had been before Harry had fed.

"Severus, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to come, I'm sorry."

"It's okay, Harry. I didn't mean to either, but I think the bond had other ideas."

"Did I hurt you?" asked Harry, trailing his forefinger over the site where he'd fed from.

"No, I didn't feel any pain at all. I wanted you to keep doing it, I've never felt anything like it."

"Me neither," agreed Harry. "It was so - so - "

"Intense?" grinned Snape. "How did I taste?"

"Hot and sweet," said Harry. "Do you want to - do you want to taste it?"

Severus flushed again. "Would you mind?"

Harry shook his head. Before he'd done it, the thought of drinking human blood had sort of upset him, but now that he'd done it, it wasn't disgusting at all and Severus wanting to taste himself in Harry's mouth excited him, didn't disturb him either. Their first kiss, how many times had Harry imagined that? Too many to count, but tonight he would get the real thing.

Harry lowered his mouth to Severus' and pressed his lips gently against those of his bond-mate, gradually increasing in pressure as Severus tangled his hands in Harry's hair. It was a few moments later before Severus' tongue poked at his lips, sliding along them until Harry opened his mouth and Severus' tongue slid in. Severus sought out every corner of Harry's mouth, from his cheeks to his palate, to his teeth. Harry moaned, hard again, his trousers sticky and uncomfortable now but he didn't want to stop kissing long enough to do anything about it. Severus pulled away, panting harshly, his mouth stained with the blood from Harry's lips.

"I never thought I would find tasting my own blood arousing," said Severus, leaning up to claim Harry's mouth in a kiss once more. Harry had no objections to that, the man was a wonderful kisser, nipping, teasing, tasting and Harry knew that much more of this and he was going to make another mess in his trousers. He didn't know kissing could make him feel like this.

He'd never felt aroused when Cho had kissed him, he felt something more akin to panic anytime the girl's lips were suddenly near his own, but this, this was wonderful. Severus kissing him, caressing his hair, his back, Harry could get lost in these sensations, as if hundreds of ants were scurrying just beneath his skin. He felt alive, more alive than he'd felt in weeks. He was flying, soaring high and almost before he knew it Harry felt the telltale tingle in his balls and the pit of his stomach that warned him of his impending orgasm. He yanked his mouth away from Severus' and groaned.

It was too late to stop, he'd long passed the point of no return. Harry cried wordlessly as he spilled himself for the second time that night, still in his trousers. He lay panting against Severus' shoulder as the man rubbed his back while the after shocks rippled through Harry's body.

"Sorry," he mumbled, both from embarrassment and from fearing that he'd pushed things too far, that he'd pushed Severus into things that perhaps the man wasn't ready for.

"Hush, Harry. Don't apologise for being excited. It's wonderful that you can still feel desire after what they did to you. Don't ever be sorry for feeling pleasure. There's nothing wrong with feeling pleasure. I know we said we weren't going to rush into a physical relationship, but we can do things like this again if you want. Kissing, touching, would you like that?"

Harry removed his head from its hidden spot on Severus neck.

"I would, Severus. If it's okay with you."

"Good, just one condition though."

"Oh? What's that?"

"Next time, do you think we can get rid of the clothes first?"

Harry laughed and kissed his husband on the forehead. "I can't help it if I'm a bit quick off the mark, I had the sexiest man alive kissing me."

"You couldn't have had the sexiest man alive kissing you, Harry."

"I couldn't?"

"No, because he was kissing me," smiled Severus and drew Harry's head down for another lingering kiss.

Harry pulled away and grimaced before casting a cleansing spell on both of them. "There, that's better. Now you can kiss me all night if you want."

"Well, I think we'll have to get some sleep some time."

"Oh! I almost forgot," said Harry bounding from the bed and opening the drawer in the dressing table. "I got you a wedding present too." Harry handed Severus the wrapped parcel.

"When did you have time to get this? You've been at the Grange the whole time."

"Haven't you heard of mail order, Severus? I got it through Owl Post from Flourish and Blotts."

Severus unwrapped the paper and stared from the gift to Harry, then to the gift again. "You got this from Flourish and Blotts? That's impossible. This book has been out of print for years."

"They have a new special ordering department now, for those hard to find items. It took a while to find it."

"Harry, how long ago did you start looking for this? You didn't even know we were getting married until a few weeks ago."

"I - um - I started looking after I'd looked into your Pensieve in fifth year."

"You've been looking for this book, for me, for almost two years?"

"Um, yes. I was going to give it to you as an apology for what I'd done, which it is, but it's a wedding gift too."

"Harry, it's wonderful. No one has ever given me such a thoughtful gift before. Thank you, Harry. Thank you."

"You're welcome. I never knew you'd be so enthused about a mouldy old Potions book," Harry grinned as Severus perused the contents list of Ancient Potions of Britain and Ireland: From Celt to Saxon.

"Yes you did, that's why you got it for me."


TBC





Chapter 10: Blood Tides

Part 10

It had been almost twenty years since the last time Severus had been in the lower courtroom of the Wizengamot under the Ministry of Magic. That time he had been chained and dragged to the chairs like a criminal, until Albus Dumbledore had testified in his defence. Albus was here this time too, with a ready smile and a handshake as he and Harry were led to their seats at the front of the courtroom, but there was little time for talk.

This time it wasn't Severus' crimes the Court was interested in, but those of the Death Eaters who'd been rounded up shortly after Voldemort's demise at Harry's hands. Harry was shaking nervously and Severus had to consciously stop himself from reaching out his hand to comfort the boy.

Harry, it'll be okay. They were both finding it easier than ever to share thoughts now that they'd bonded and Harry had started feeding from him. He was just glad Harry was able to heal the wounds afterwards. Granted, Severus did normally wear high collars but they could only hide so much. He didn't fancy trying to explain what the marks on his neck were, despite the fact that he loved getting them.

Merlin, barely a week married and he felt as if he never wanted to leave Harry's side. How were they going to manage once they were back at school?

I'm fine, Severus. I'm just worried for you.

I'll be fine too, Harry, he replied in his mind, just as a gong announced the entrance of the judge and advocates. So far there had been no sign of the defendants. Had they confessed then? Maybe none of them would be in the courtroom at all. That would be a welcome relief.

The judge sat down at the desk, the two advocates bowing to him before taking their seats on the benches near to he and Harry. They were both wearing the bottle green robes of their profession, the defender's robes edged with white, the prosecutor's edged in black.

"Bring in the first prisoner," called the judge. One of the many stewards dotted about the courtroom opened the double doors wide and bellowed into the corridor beyond. "The Court calls Lucius Malfoy!"


Severus' heart beat a frantic tattoo against his ribs. A few moments later, Lucius Malfoy was escorted into the chamber, flanked by two Aurors, both his wrists and ankles chained. The prisoner was indeed Lucius Malfoy, but Malfoy as Severus had never seen him before. The normally impeccable man, he who would never condescend to wear anything unless it had been tailored only for him, had no choice but to wear the prison issued shapeless grey robes. The robes themselves were filthy and stank of stale blood and urine. Next to him, Severus heard Harry inhaling rapidly.

Harry? Are you all right?

The blood! It's made my teeth come out again!

Just try and concentrate, Harry. I don't think we'll be called to testify for a while yet.

Okay. I'll try.

Severus turned his attention back to the man at the front of the courtroom, still with half an eye on Harry too. Malfoy's hair was no longer shining in a sliver curtain, but hung loose in greasy, matted strands around his face and shoulders. His hair was so dirty it almost looked brown rather than blonde. His eyes were grey and empty, staring round the courtroom, but not really seeming to see it.

Before today, Severus had been scared. Frightened of going into that courtroom and seeing the Death Eaters who'd raped and humiliated him. He'd been frightened of this? Of this husk of a man? There was nothing left of the Lucius Malfoy who'd raped Severus so viciously, the Dementors had already started their work on Lucius Malfoy. One might almost feel sorry for the man. He didn't. Lucius Malfoy deserved everything the court was going to throw at him.

The Aurors ushered Malfoy towards the chair sitting next to the judge's table, but Lucius just stared at it as if not quite realising what chairs were for. He just stood wherever the Aurors had left him. The judge sighed, obviously not willing to wait around all day until Lucius finally figured out what his arse was for. He was an elderly man, as bald as an egg and a face as wizened and wrinkled as a prune.

"Prosecutor Jennings, you may begin. What are the charges brought against this man?"

The prosecutor stood up from the bench and walked towards the judge's table, unfurling and reading from a scroll as he went. "Lucius Malfoy you stand here accused of numerous counts of murder, rape and torture, both of Muggles and Magical folk. You are accused of using the Imperius curse, the Cruciatus curse and the Killing Curse many times while you were a follower of the Dark Lord, commonly called a Death Eater. Do you understand these charges?"

For the first time, something like life flickered in the man's grey eyes but it disappeared so quickly that Severus wasn't sure whether or not he'd really seen it. "I do," Malfoy said dully.

"Do you deny these charges?"

"No. I confess. I am guilty of them all."

"Do you know the penalty for your crimes?"

"I do."

"Father! No!" screamed a high pitched voice from the back of the room. Harry and Severus turned to see Draco Malfoy clambering over the other witches and wizards in his haste to reach his father. "Don't do it! Don't do it!" he begged as he reached the bottom tier and tried to cross the room. Two Aurors held him back and he twisted and flailed in their arms.

Merlin, what idiot had allowed the boy in to witness his father's trial? No child should have to see that. It wasn't Draco's fault his father was a Death Eater. The crimes were not the boy's.

"I'm sorry, Draco," said Lucius, before his eyes went blank once again.

The crowds chatter increased in pitch and volume as they watched the little family saga unfold below. "Don't leave me!" cried Draco.

The judge banged his gavel on the desk. "Silence! Or I will have everyone removed!"

The chatter ceased immediately, as if a switch had just been flicked. "Lucius Malfoy," began the judge. "You are hereby found guilty of all charges against you. In three days time you are sentenced to receive the Dementors' Kiss. Take him - "

"NOOOO!!!" shrieked Draco, struggling to get free of the Aurors' grasps. "You can't do this! It isn't fair! It's not fair!" Draco slumped against the arms holding him and that's when the Aurors made their mistake. They thought Draco had calmed down, he hadn't, it was a ruse and Severus knew it long before they loosened their grip enough to allow Draco to make his escape.

Draco dashed towards the bench were he and Harry were sitting, managing to punch Harry on the nose before the Aurors or Severus could prevent him. "It's your fault!" Draco screamed at Harry as the Aurors pulled him off Harry with their arms around his waist, as Draco kicked and screamed. "I'll get you for this! Just you wait, Potter! I'll get you for this!"

Harry's nose was bubbling red fluid and his face was growing paler by the second as Draco was led away and hopefully left to calm down by a short stint in the holding cells. Severus handed Harry a handkerchief, but the blood didn't seem to be stopping. He cast a spell, but that was having no effect either. Shit! Was this something to do with Harry's vampirism? The blood was still dripping, flowing in crimson torrents down Harry's mouth, chin and robes.

"Is there a Healer?" Severus cried out, just as Harry lurched forward and would have toppled from the bench if Severus hadn't wrapped his arms around his husband's waist, almost anticipating the very moment when he would faint.

Madam Pomfrey hurried to the front of the room and bent down to tend to Harry.

"Severus?" she gasped out. "How did this happen?" Her eyes glinted with knowledge. Oh, God, she knew.

"Not here, Poppy. Please."

"Very well, let's get him to one of the first aid rooms. With your permission, your honour?" she nodded to the judge after lifting Harry in her arms.

"Permission granted. This court is in recess for an hour."

Severus looked at the pale, bloodied face of his husband and knew that whatever he felt before he'd entered the courtroom was nothing in comparison to what he was feeling now. He'd thought he was scared before, he was absolutely terrified now.

He was terrified of losing Harry.



TBC





Chapter 11: Blood Tides

Part 11

Harry slowly came to awareness, hearing voices whispering above him, but he couldn't quite make out what they said. The voices dipped and rose in pitch, like the ebb and flow of a tide as he drifted towards consciousness and had to shut his eyes against the brightness of the room.

"Sev'rus?" he mumbled thickly, realising that one of the voices belonged to his husband and he struggled to sit up.

"Stay right where you are, Mr. Potter," came another voice, that of Madam Pomfrey, but glancing around the room, Harry knew they weren't at the Hogwarts infirmary. Had Madam Pomfrey been at the trial? He hadn't seen her, but then he'd been so worried about Severus that it wasn't surprising. "You're not to be getting up just yet."

The room was white, white floor, white walls, white bed linens with no windows or doors that Harry could see. It was a strange, dizzying sensation being amongst all that white. Severus and Madam Pomfrey, both dressed in black robes today looked like large crows standing on a snow drift.

"What happened?" asked Harry, wishing he could reach out and touch Severus, but he couldn't. Not with the medi-witch there. "I remember Draco Malfoy punching me on the nose."

"He did indeed," agreed Madam Pomfrey. "The bleeding took a while to stop and you fainted. Don't worry, Severus, nosebleeds always look worse than they actually are. Harry's fine for the moment. How often have you been feeding, Harry?" she asked him then, hovering over the bed and tapping her wand against her left palm.

"W - what?"

"Harry, I'm a qualified medi-witch, do you really think I don't know a case of vampirism when I see it? It's the reason your nosebleed took a while to stop, vampire blood doesn't clot so easily as non-vampire. You should have told me about this as soon as you started school, it should have been on your medical records. I can hardly bear to think of what might have happened to you because we weren't aware of your condition."

"He didn't know, Poppy. We only found out a little while ago."

"How did you not know that you'd bitten a vampire, Harry?"

"I was five," said Harry. "I don't remember all of it though, Se -Professor Snape thinks he must have obliviated me."

"Five?" she exclaimed, clucking her tongue. "Vampires are only supposed to feed on those who have consented to it, and only from older wizards. A five year old would not be strong enough to withstand the feeding. You're lucky you weren't killed!"

"Th - that's what he wanted to do," replied Harry softly.

"Who?"

"The - the man who took me, he wanted to kill me, but I don't remember all of it. You won't tell anyone, will you?"

"About what? You being vampire or you and Severus being bonded?" she grinned down at him. "Don't look so shocked, Harry. I've no intention of telling anyone anything. You and Severus are both adults and can do whatever you wish. It's no one else's business and I certainly am not in the habit of betraying the confidence of my patients."

It was true, Harry knew. The witch had never told anyone when he'd gone to her the first term back at the start of his fourth year, one of the many times Vernon and Dudley had raped him. He'd begged her not to tell anyone, too ashamed to let anyone else know, but he needed the medical attention. She'd kept her promise and Harry had no doubt she would keep these secrets too.

"How did you know we were bonded, Poppy? We told no one."

"Really, Severus, how long have I known you now? Almost thirty years, isn't it? It's the way you two look at each other when you think no one else is looking. I'd be careful of that, there is always someone looking. I suppose you're going to have to hide your marriage until Harry leaves school?"

Severus nodded and leaned down to squeeze Harry's hand. "Don't worry, Harry. It'll be okay. No one will separate us, I promise."

Harry wished he could let himself relax enough to believe him. A few more minutes of lying flat on his back and Madam Pomfrey allowed him to sit up. He was still a little light-headed, but after a glass of water was thrust into his hand he was feeling a lot better. Severus sat down on the side of the bed and traced the back of Harry's hands with his. They grinned at each other, hardly aware of the matron in the room with them. Harry just wanted to go home and curl up in Severus' arms.

He was glad that at least someone seemed happy for them and Madam Pomfrey did not seem at all worried that he was a vampire, she didn't seem scared of him at all. But would it be the same if his friends found out? Ron was always making jokes about how Snape must be a vampire, with his greasy hair, living in the dungeons and seeming to sneak up on people without them knowing. How would Ron react when he discovered that it wasn't Snape who was the vampire, but Harry himself?

"Here, drink this, Harry," said Madam Pomfrey, handing him a small vial of potion.

"What is it?"

"Blood replenishing solution, it will help you for the time being, but I recommend that you feed soon, tonight or tomorrow at the latest to keep your strength up. Severus, you ought to have some as well and I'd recommend you take some iron tablets too, just be on the safe side. Both of you need to remain healthy."

"Thanks," said Harry handing her back the glass as Severus nodded that he'd heard her instructions. Whether or not he was going to act on them was another matter, Harry knew how stubborn his husband could be. "This isn't hurting Severus, is it?" he asked worriedly. "I'm not making him sick, am I?"

"No, Harry. The human body can donate blood as long as not too much is taken at once and that there is a rest period in between so that the volume in the body can replenish itself. As long as you don't take too much, or too frequently, you and Severus will both be fine."

Someone knocked on the door, Madam Pomfrey went to answer it. A couple of moments later, she returned with the headmaster in tow. Severus shot off the bed so fast it was a wonder he didn't rupture something, but they couldn't very well let the headmaster see a professor and student be so intimate with one another, even if they were married.

Dumbledore was wearing flowing purple robes today, decorated with silver moons and stars, a pointed had perched crookedly on his head. He was the epitome of wizard today, how Harry imagined wizards would look before he actually discovered he was one.

"Albus, do they want us back in court?" asked Severus.

"No, the trial has been adjourned altogether. The other Death Eaters all confessed and have been sentenced to receive the Dementors' Kiss. There's no need for you and Harry to testify after all. And how are you, Harry my boy?" Dumbledore smiled at him, blue eyes twinkling over the rim of his glasses. "Quite a scare you gave us, there."

"Much better, thank you, sir. I don't - um - like the sight of blood," said Harry, wracking his brains for any excuse as to why he'd fainted in the first place. He hoped Dumbledore didn't realise he was lying, but it was very difficult to fool the headmaster at the best of times.

"Good, good."

"All of them confessed?" asked Severus. "Even the Lestranges?"

His husband's voice was steadier than Harry would have expected it. He knew that if Vernon and Dudley had been in the room, he would not have been able to be so calm. Even now, just thinking of them made his hands clammy and sticky. Harry rubbed them on the bedsheets, hoping no one noticed. How could Severus be so calm discussing his rapists?

"Ah, yes. Bellatrix and Rodolphus did indeed confess, but Bellatrix was the only one not sentenced to the Kiss. She's been sent to the high security wing at St. Jude's."

"St. Jude's? What's that?" Harry leant forward on the bed, looking from wizard to the other.

"St. Jude's is a high security prison and criminal psychiatric hospital, for those who aren't considered sane enough to be responsible for their actions but still pose a danger to wizarding society at large. So she is insane, then?"

"No doubt about it, Severus," replied Dumbledore. "The poor woman was ranting and raving as they took her away, they had to get one of the Healers from St. Mungo's to calm her, she was hysterical."

"What was she saying?" asked Poppy as she scanned Harry with her wand and nodded. "There, you're fine now, Harry."

"A load of nonsense mainly, not a lot of it made much sense."

"But some did?" persisted Severus.

"Well, I wouldn't say it made much sense exactly, but it was the only time she seemed fairly lucid. St. Jude's is probably the best place for her for now. They might transfer her to Azkaban afterwards, but she'll receive the best care now that they know."

"Know what, Professor?" asked Harry, hopping down from the bed.

"Well, it was the reason she wasn't sentenced to the Kiss," explained the headmaster. "She's six weeks pregnant."


TBC





Chapter 12: Blood Tides

Part 12

As soon as they Apparated home to the Grange, Severus locked himself away in his lab and hadn't said a word to Harry. He'd somehow turned off the mind bond they shared and although Harry tried to contact him this way, no answer was forthcoming from his husband. Harry was worried, more than worried. He asked Callie to remove any razors from the bathrooms, to get rid of any Potions dotted about and to make sure the knives were locked away.

Harry helped the little elf, feeling so frustrated that he couldn't do more to help. He had no idea if Severus was really going to do anything to harm himself, but if Severus wouldn't talk to him, how could he convince him otherwise?

"Will the Masters be wanting dinner, Master Harry?" asked Callie once they'd finished with their task of making the house at least a little bit safer.

"Yes," said Harry firmly, determined to get Severus out of that lab for a meal at least and it would give the elf something to do besides worry about her other master. "Do you need some help?"

"Oh, no, Master Harry. I is knowing what to do. You is going to rest and get strong. I is sending for you when dinner is being ready."

"Thank you, Callie," said Harry and wondered what on earth he could do to occupy his mind for the next few hours. His wanderings took him to the library, where he spent a while reading the first few pages of books before the worry washed over him again, as if he'd just been doused in ice cold water. He didn't understand why Severus was so upset, he wanted the man to confide in him, he needed to confide in someone, but Harry knew how hard that was. He wasn't exactly chatterbox of the year himself.

Half an hour before he judged Callie would have dinner ready, Harry made his way downstairs to the lab. Much to his surprise, the door was standing wide open and Severus was not brewing anything. All the fires were unlit, the cauldrons were still against the walls or hanging from hooks on the ceiling, all the ingredients were still on their shelves and all the worktables were empty. A stool wasn't, Severus sat perched on it next to the empty fireplace staring into nothing.

Harry almost sagged in relief. Severus was alive, not really okay, but alive.

"Severus," he said softly and his husband looked up at him, the relief in his voice clearly evident.

He blushed a little. "Sorry, Harry. I just needed some time to myself, I didn't mean to worry you."

"But you did," said Harry. It wasn't an accusation, but Harry needed the man to know. "I get worried when you don't talk to me. I was worried that you might - that you might try something again. I can't go on without you, Severus."

Severus stood up and wrapped Harry in a hug. "I am sorry, Harry. I didn't do this to hurt you, I just needed some time to get my head around it."

"Around what? What's bothering you, Severus?" asked Harry, pressing his head against Severus' chest, feeling soothed by the strong heartbeat beneath his ear. Severus wasn't dead, he was very much alive.

"You mean you don't know? Do you remember what happened six weeks ago, Harry?"

Harry nodded, of course, he'd been there, hadn't he? He'd been made to watch as the Death Eaters took their revenge on the traitor in their midst, one of them, Bellatrix Lestrange. "Merlin! The baby could be yours?"

"It's a distinct possibility, yes."

"What are you going to do?"

"I've no idea, Harry. Up until this, I thought my preferences would preclude children, now I find I might have a child by the woman who raped me. It's like some sick sort of cosmic joke. I don't know what I should do, what I ought to do. If she tells them who the father is, or if they do a paternity charm, I'll be sent to Azkaban for adultery."

"What? But the woman raped you!" protested Harry. "It wasn't your fault! They can't send you to Azkaban, they can't! I won't let them!"

"I'm afraid we may have no choice in the matter, Harry. Adultery is a criminal offence, it won't matter that she raped me, she was married therefore I am guilty of adultery, or at least that's how the Wizengamot will see it."

Harry could not believe he was hearing this. Could not believe that after everything Severus had been through that they could still imprison him. It was barbaric, that's what it was. "Do you really think they'd believe that a woman could rape a man, Harry? The Advocate will probably twist it around so that it was me who raped her."

"No, I was there. I know what happened, Severus. That woman raped you and I'll testify to that. Can't they use Veritaserum to get the truth out of her?"

"You can't use it on a pregnant woman and it's never used in trials, some people are strong willed enough to resist it, so you'd never be sure if you were getting the truth anyway."

"I thought it was fool proof," said Harry.

"It's not. Merlin, Harry, what are we going to do? This just seems like some nightmare and I just wish I could wake up soon."

"What'll happen to the baby once it's born?"

"I'm not sure, I suspect it will be put up for adoption, but since no prisoner has ever been pregnant before, I'm not entirely sure. What are you thinking?"

"Maybe - maybe we could adopt the baby once it's born?"

"You'd be willing to do that, Harry?"

"The baby's innocent, Severus. It wasn't the baby's fault it was created that way, was it? Are you saying you would hate it because of what happened? That you'd blame the child for its mother's crimes?" Harry stepped away from his husband, feeling anger swelling up from somewhere beneath his breastbone. "Like you blamed me? For all that my father and his friends did to you?"

"Harry, that's different."

"How? How is it different? I was innocent of what my father did to you, all the teasing, the humiliation but from the first day you treated me as if I was him! I am not him, Severus and this baby won't be Bellatrix Lestrange either! You can't go around blaming the children for what the parents did. Are you saying you wouldn't be able to love the child because of what its mother did?"

"It's not that, Harry. I don't know if I could stand to be reminded every day of what happened to me. Would I look at the child and see Bella, see all of them and what they'd done? I'm not strong like you, Harry. I don't know if I would be strong enough for this."

"You think I'm strong, Severus? I'm not. I still get nightmares all the time. How can I be strong when I can't face what happened to me when I was five? He may have obliviated me, but I'm hiding it from myself, aren't I? You've never seen that full memory and neither have I. I didn't want to know what he did to me. I can guess and that's enough."

"You are strong, Harry. What you said just proves it. Something terrible happened to you, but you didn't wallow in self-pity over it."

"Forgetting isn't the same as being strong, I don't know what sort of nervous wreck I'd be if I actually could remember all of it. Forget I said anything, we don't have to adopt the baby, even if it is yours."

Harry sat down on one of the other stools and tried to will back the tears but they would not be denied. The salt stung his eyes and he tried to wipe them before Severus saw. He shouldn't have said anything. How would Harry have felt if he'd been a girl and had been pregnant with Vernon or Dudley's child? There was no way he could ever pretend that what Vernon and Dudley had done had never happened. He knew he would not be able to cope, he was a fool to think that Severus would be able to handle it any better than he had. And what about Harry himself? Could he handle a baby, knowing that the baby would constantly remind his husband of all the terrible things that had happened to him?

"I'm sorry, Severus, I shouldn't have said anything." Harry stood up to leave, but Severus' arm on his wrist held him back.

"Harry, wait," Severus whispered, pulling Harry back into his arms. "You shouldn't be worrying about this, about me."

"I can't help it, Severus. I love you, that's why I worry about you."

Severus stroked his hair, his back and whispered soothing nonsense words in his ear until Harry's weeping gradually eased. "No one's ever worried about me before," said Severus softly. "I - I like it," he admitted.

They stood for a while not speaking, just breathing the other in before Callie called them for dinner. They ate in silence for the most part with the occasional request to pass the salt or the jug of water, but neither of them discussed what had been on their minds for the past hour. Should they adopt the baby? Could they adopt the baby? And would Severus really get sent to prison for something that he hadn't even done?

Harry pushed his steak away, his appetite fled as the thoughts churned his head and stomach. Severus didn't mention it, maybe he wasn't feeling hungry either for his plate was still half full as well when he'd finished. They both headed to the blue bedroom and Harry wondered why Severus never took them to the master bedroom in the house but always the guest room but it was just another thing that he never asked about.

Harry almost fainted as he undressed, Severus wrapped his arms around him and carried him to the bed. "You need to feed," he said and unbuttoned his shirt, lowering it half way down his chest. Harry growled as his teeth extended and pushed Severus back down on the bed, straddling the man's waist. His feeding that night was frenzied, mindless, he was barely aware of the man beneath him, only of the hot scarlet liquid soothing his mouth and throat as he drank more and more and more and still it wasn't enough. He bit again, deeper this time as he sucked and sucked, the life blood filling him, making him fly.

"Harry, stop," protested Severus weakly. "T - too much."

Harry reluctantly pulled his mouth away from the second wound, it wasn't enough. He still wasn't sated, could feel the need still uncoiling in his belly and he was about to lower his head again when he caught sight of himself in the dresser mirror. His fangs were bared in a feral grimace, blood dripping from his mouth and down his chin, staining his shirt. There was a glint of want in his eyes that he had never seen before and he recoiled from the image and from his damaged husband, scooting across the floor and resting against it, his hands tucked around his knees as he sat there, trembling, but whether from fear or want he wasn't sure.

Severus moaned from the bed and Harry realised he hadn't healed the man's wounds. He made his way back and licked them clean, resisting the temptation just to open them again and suck and suck. The wounds healed in a matter of moments but Severus was still looking rather pale. Harry went into the bathroom and got some blood replenishing solution from the cabinet, Madam Pomfrey had given them a small supply until they were back at school.

Severus drank it gratefully and sank back down amongst the pillows. "Harry? Aren't you coming to bed?"

"Weren't you scared of me? I almost killed you!"

"But you didn't, you heard me when I said stop."

"What if I don't hear you the next time? What if I can't stop? Oh, God, Severus! I hate feeling like this! I want to be in control of this, not have it control me! I don't want to hurt you, I don't want to hurt anyone."

Severus opened his arms and Harry let himself accept the offer of that comfort. He'd had so little comfort growing up and he craved it almost as much as he craved the blood. The connection, the safety, the idea that he wasn't alone.

"I don't want to be alone, Severus," he whispered.

"You won't be, Harry. Never," replied Severus as he kissed his hair.


TBC






Chapter 13: Blood Tides

Part 13

"Lemon drop?" asked Dumbledore, waving the little crystal dish of candies in Severus' face. He shook his head, the headmaster knew full well that he had no patience for either the man's sweets or his small talk. Severus just wished the man would get on with it. It was the same every year after all. The day before the Autumn term, Dumbledore would summon Severus to his office and eventually tell him the oh so delightful new of which incompetent he'd hired this year to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts.

"I suppose you're wondering why I sent for you," said Dumbledore, his hands steepled in front of his face. These words too were the same, words he'd heard every year, far too many years to count and Severus didn't even bother to reply. He didn't feel the least bit curious anymore, he just wanted the interview over with so that he could get back to Harry, the last time they'd be able to be alone for a while. Hogwarts would not be as welcoming of their marriage if it was ever discovered.

Harry had gone to see Madam Pomfrey as soon as they'd returned to school, he was still worried about the night he'd lost control, even though it hadn't happened since. Severus hoped Harry was okay, he would be going down to the dungeons after his visit to Madam Pomfrey. The headmaster of course thought that tonight Harry would be safely tucked up in his dormitory bed before the other children arrived tomorrow. He would indeed be tucked up in bed tonight, but it would be a bed with Severus in it and his groin tightened in anticipation. Severus shifted in his chair, grateful that his teaching robes were so concealing.

"I wanted to offer you the Defence position," said Dumbledore. It took a few moments for his brain to process the words.

"I'm sorry, headmaster, I thought you just said you wanted to offer me the Defence position."

"I certainly did, Severus. You are certainly the most qualified, you know I couldn't offer it to you while you were still in Voldemort's circle, he would have expected too much of you. It would have been all to easy to hex Harry in DADA classes and claim it was an accident, something Voldemort might have requested from you."

This was indeed true and it was the reason Dumbledore had given him every year when Severus had applied for the position, again, that was on Voldemort's orders for exactly the reasons the headmaster described. It had come to be something of a routine for them now, Severus would apply, Dumbledore would turn him down. This year was the only year he'd never applied for the position, he wasn't beholden to Voldemort any more and he wasn't entirely sure that he still wanted the job.

"You can't really expect to me to accept the position on the day before term starts! What about preparations, lesson plans? What about Potions? It's impossible headmaster, it cannot be done."

"It could if you had a teaching assistant, either for Potions or Defence, or maybe both. Your first DADA class isn't until Thursday, plenty of time to prepare. There's no reason for you not to be able to do both if you want, Severus."

"Teaching assistant?" he queried, his mind immediately going to Harry. If Harry was one of his teaching assistants, he would have plenty of time to spend with him legitimately, going over lesson plans and such. He wouldn't have to resort to giving him detentions or the ruse of Remedial Potions this time.

"I thought perhaps Miss Granger for Potions and Harry Potter for Defence," suggested Dumbledore. "They are both top in their class in those subjects and of course it's always something that will look well on their job or university applications, it's just a pity we don't have enough teachers to let every student become a teaching assistant. You and Harry both got on well over the Summer, did you?"

"It was ... tolerable," said Severus carefully, no point in seeming too eager to have Harry as his assistant if they were trying to keep things secret. "He is not bad company when he hasn't got a crazy megalomaniac out for his blood. If you think they would be the best candidates, headmaster, I'll accept your suggestions."

"I do, excellent, excellent. So that means you accept the post as well?"

"I suppose it does." Severus could hardly wait to get out of the office and share the good news with Harry. "Will that be all, Albus?"

"Yes, yes, off you go," Albus waved his hand absently, already engrossed in a scroll on his desk. Fawkes gave a little squawk goodbye as Severus departed.

He found Harry already in bed, propped up against three very fluffy looking pillows, he must have charmed them to be like that because all of Severus pillows were a lot firmer to support his neck. Harry was wearing a light blue t-shirt, which seemed a little tight across the chest but Severus had been informed that it was the fashion to wear them tight like that, it accentuated the chest. It did indeed do that and Severus found his gaze drawn there again and again as he watched Harry read his Potions textbook.

Harry looked up and the smile he bestowed on Severus had his heart jumping into his throat. It was as if he'd suddenly seen the sun after decades of nothing but ice and snow. Harry looked as if he'd never belonged anywhere else but in Severus' bed. How could either of them give this up? Ever?

"You might want to have a look at your Defence book next," said Severus with a small quirk of his lips.

"Oh? You know who our new DADA teacher is this term?"

"You could say that," replied Severus. "You're looking at him."

Harry squealed in delight, tossing his book aside and scrambling from under the blankets to launch himself into Severus' arms and pepper his face with tiny kisses. "Severus! That's wonderful! You must be so pleased."

"I am, but that's not all, Harry. The headmaster thinks teaching assistants will help me spread the load to do Potions and Defence. I was going to ask Miss Granger if she'd like to be my assistant for Potions. Do you think she'd be interested?"

"Interested? She'd take your arm off," Harry chuckled. "She's great at Potions, she'll be a great help for you."

"The headmaster also suggested I take on an assistant for Defence. He suggested you, would you be interested?"

"Does it mean I get to spend more time with you? Officially?"

"It does indeed," drawled Snape as he bent down to lick Harry's neck, feeling the boy shudder against him. "Of course, after work, I'm sure we might find some time for ... play," Severus nipped his shoulder gently, careful not to break the skin. "If you'd like to."

"I'd love to, Severus!" exclaimed Harry. "Count me in!" He wrapped his arms around Severus' neck and pulled him down for a long, lingering kiss.

"How did your visit with Madam Pomfrey go?" asked Severus once they'd both surfaced for air again. "Does she have any ideas why you couldn't seem to control it that night?"

"Um, yes, Severus. It was because you'd closed off your bond to me, we were both so upset about Bella and the baby and everything, I wasn't connected to you that night. Normally I can sense your moods, your health, the bond helps me to control the feeding, I'm as aware of you as I am of myself."

"I'm so sorry, Harry. I had no idea the bond worked in that way."

"Neither did I until Madam Pomfrey told me about it, it's one of the reasons they recommend vampires and their donors are bonded."

"So I see. I won't close it again," said Severus. "Harry, how are you? Do you need to feed tonight?"

"No, I'm fine for another few days."

"Oh," Severus tried hard to hide his disappointment, he'd been looking forward to it, feeling Harry's mouth on him, suckling from him, but maybe that was part of the bond a donor shared with their vampire.

"But - um - Severus, I was wondering if we could - you know, do some things even if I'm not feeding. Um, touching and kissing. Only if you want," he added quickly.

Severus pulled back a little so that he could gaze into Harry's face. Harry had never suggested it before, in fact their only intimacies besides the odd kiss or two only happened when Harry was feeding. There wasn't a lot of choice there, it was a natural reaction to the vampire bond, but this, Harry was asking for something shared that didn't come from feeding.

"Do you really want to, Harry? I don't want you to feel you have to do certain things, there's no rush."

"I know, I just thought you might like to. I - I'd like to."

There, just what Severus had been waiting for, he wouldn't have considered doing anything if Harry hadn't wanted it too.

"I think we're both a tad overdressed, don't you?" said Severus, grinning as he said a charm which had them both naked in moments. Harry gasped and looked up at him, eyes wide behind his glasses. Severus wrapped his arms around Harry's waist and toppled him to the bed, so he landed lying almost the full length of him and began kissing him. Slowly at first, but gradually becoming more heated. He felt Harry's cock burgeon against his thigh as the two of them kissed and kissed, tangling their legs with each other as they caressed skin to skin for the first time. They'd never been completely naked with each other before and Severus wondered why they'd never tried it before.

His whole body was one large nerve, feeling everything at once, the sparse hairs on Harry's legs tickling him, the damp trail of precome from both of them sliding over skin, the smoothness of Harry's face against his own bristles, the low moans from both of them, the sweat trickling down his back, Harry's hands clawing at his back, tugging him closer and closer to his own body.

Severus left off kissing Harry's lips to trail a small necklace of kisses along his neck and throat and was gratified to hear the long moans coming from his husband's mouth. Harry was enjoying this, eyes closed, dark lashes brushing his cheeks, which were flushed with arousal, bucking up on the bed. When Severus turned his attention to Harry's nipples, he arched almost completely off the bed and would probably have succeeded if Severus hadn't been holding his hips.

Severus skimmed Harry's stomach, pressing his index finger in and out of his navel, loving the little mewling sounds emerging from his throat. Harry's prick was almost sticking vertically up from the thatch of dark hair at his groin, his hands fisted the bed clothes as he humped the air. Severus lowered his hand, taking Harry's erection in a firm grip and rubbing up and down. Harry howled, "Severus!" and his eyes snapped open, orbs of emerald almost completely obscured by the dilated pupils.

Severus bent his head and licked the tip, Harry tasted how he'd always imagined, sweet with a tang of innocence despite all that had happened to him. "Is this okay? Would you like me to?" Severus asked, careful not to push too far tonight.

"Please," said Harry breathlessly and Severus bent once again to his task. He'd no idea if Harry had ever done this before or had it done to him, so he took his time, licking all around the base, then from root to tip before swallowing the head of Harry's cock and sucking. His own cock twitched in time with the sucking motions he was bestowing upon Harry and from the way Harry hardened in his mouth, he knew the boy was not going to last too long.

"Severus! Oh God, Severus! Don't stop! Please don't stop!" begged Harry as his hips writhed on the bed. Severus sucked harder, wanting to feel all of him, wanting to taste all of him. He relaxed the back of his throat and let Harry's prick touch the back of his throat. Harry wailed wordlessly, his cock seeming to expand to twice its normal size as he spent himself in Severus' mouth. Severus kept sucking, kept swallowing as if the semen was nectar and he was Zeus himself accepting offerings from his mortals.

Harry's hands relinquished their death grip on the bedclothes and came down to pet Severus' hair instead. "Oh God, Severus, that was wonderful. I've never done that before."

Severus had guessed as much from the short time it had taken Harry to come. "Is this how you feel when I feed from you?"

"Maybe," agreed Severus. He licked around Harry's cock, getting all the loose threads of ejaculate and was amused to find Harry quickening once again at his attentions. Severus slid up the bed and paused a moment or two before kissing Harry, if he'd never done this before, maybe he didn't want to be kissed until Severus had brushed his teeth or rinsed out his mouth, but Harry decided for him, tugging Severus' face and claiming his mouth in an eager kiss. Harry groaned and bucked up towards Severus, wrapping his limbs around him, his arms around Severus' neck and his legs wrapped around his waist as he rutted against his husband's body.

Harry's eager rubbing soon had Severus rubbing equally frenzied against him and it was barely no time at all before they made their stomachs sticky. Severus pressed a passionate kiss on Harry's lips as he felt the first tremors of his orgasm, kept on kissing him until he was fully spent and could barely breathe. It didn't matter, he could breathe Harry from now on, he didn't need air. His lungs seemed to think otherwise and they parted, resting their foreheads against one another.

"I wish I didn't have to sleep in the dorms," sighed Harry. "I want to stay here with you."

"You can for tonight, Harry."

It wasn't enough, they both knew it, but it was only practical once the school was full with staff and students. It would be hard enough to keep their relationship secret without Harry's friends wondering where he disappeared to at night. News of that nature would not stay out of the headmaster's ears for long.

Severus accio'd a nightshirt from the drawer but Harry took it out of his hand and dropped it on the floor beside the bed. "Oops," chuckled Harry. "I guess that means we'll have to sleep naked tonight."

Severus had no objections to that.


TBC





Chapter 14: Blood Tides

Part 14

"You look well, Harry," commented Hermione as she helped herself to some more mashed potato. "Did you have a good summer?"

"Er, yeah. It was fine."

"Fine? Rather you than me mate," said Ron. "Imagine! A whole two months with Snape! Why did you have to stay with him anyway? You never did say."

Harry just shrugged, he couldn't think of anything to say that wasn't an outright lie. "Professor Snape isn't too bad once you get to know him," said Hermione. "He was spying all those years, Ron, he had to pretend to be like that so that the Death Eaters' children wouldn't realise he was. He's asked me to be a teaching assistant this year for Potions."

"Me too," smiled Harry, eager to share at least some honest news with his two best friends.

"Er, Harry, you Potions marks haven't been the best lately..."

"I know, not for Potions. For Defence."

"What?" gaped Ron. "You don't mean Dumbledore's gone and given the greasy git the Defence position after all this time? I thought I'd got rid of him now that I'm not taking Potions anymore."

Harry bristled inwardly at his husband being called a greasy git by Ron. "He's not greasy, Ron," Harry muttered. "It's all those Potions fumes make his hair like that." He earned a bemused stare from Ron.

"Not greasy? Are you blind, Harry? Look at him, go on look," insisted Ron when Harry made no move to obey him. "His hair's so greasy you could fry an egg in it, mind you that might be an improvement. God, he's an ugly bastard, isn't he?"

"Ron! You shouldn't talk about your teachers like that," scolded Hermione, but Ron had only just started on his tirade against Snape. "God, that nose, you can't miss it, can you? You'd think he'd do something to fix it, him being a wizard and all. Have you seen his teeth? They're disgusting, all yellow and crooked. God, imagine someone having to kiss that. His hands are always dirty too, they're all stained, I bet he never even washes and - "

"Ron," protested Hermione again. Harry had to physically restrain himself from reaching across the table and punching Ron's lights out.

"Ron, shut the fuck up!" roared Harry beyond endurance at hearing his husband, the man he loved, belittled in such a way. "You haven't a clue what you're talking about! You have no idea what that man went through spying for our side, none! So don't just sit there and complain about what he looks like!" With that, Harry clambered over the bench and left the Great Hall, a terrible silence in his wake. His outburst had been witnessed by the whole school, including Snape and the other staff.

Good one, Harry. What was that about keeping things secret?

Shut up! Harry said to himself and stalked angrily back to the now empty Gryffindor Tower. He'd miss dessert and Dumbledore's speeches, but at the moment he didn't care. He just couldn't stay there next to Ron any longer. Severus had been through hell and back due to his work for the light and Ron was still so childish, despite being a few months older than Harry, that he couldn't see beyond the persona they'd invented for Snape in their first year. That of greasy git and overgrown bat, the ugly duckling of Hogwarts. In Harry's mind, somewhere along the line Snape had turned from ugly duckling into swan.

Harry flopped down on his bed, not even bothering to remove his shoes. There was no denying that yes, sometimes the man's hair was greasy, due to all the Potion fumes when he spent most days teaching ungrateful little sods like Ron. Yes his nose was large and hooked, as if it had been broken so many times that it was unable to be fixed properly even with magic. Having seen in visions what Voldemort did to his followers and prisoners, Harry didn't doubt that may well have been the case. His teeth were indeed yellow and crooked, his fingers stained from handling so many Potions ingredients over the years. Taken separately, all these elements could indeed become things of disgust or ridicule, but together they made a whole. They made Severus and Harry found nothing disgusting about his husband.

Harry thought the man was beautiful because he could see into the man's heart and soul, into his mind too due to the bond. Physical beauty faded anyway, it never lasted. Harry remembered the Veela at the Quidditch World Cup and how they turned ugly when they didn't get their way. Voldemort in his earlier incarnation had been a handsome man, but hid such an evil soul. Severus' inner beauty would never fade no matter how he aged. It had been a long time since Harry had thought the man ugly.

Yes, when he'd been younger, he'd agreed with Ron on the man's appearance but he'd grown up a lot in the past few years, he had no choice. His childhood had disappeared when he was eleven and Voldemort had tried to kill him in the Forest. Ron's words about Snape had hurt him, deep down in his chest and stomach, for they were so reminiscent of the horrible things the Dursleys had always said about Harry. Normally just before he got a good thrashing.

He and Severus had intended to announce their bonding as soon as Harry was no longer a student, but is this what they would have to put up with? Everyone berating his choice of partner? Not accepting that he could find love and happiness with an ex-Death Eater? An ugly ex-Death Eater so much older than him? It was not going to be easy.

Harry heard footsteps on the stairs to the boys' dormitory and yanked his hangings shut.

***

Severus had been expecting Harry after dinner to go over their lesson plans for the first Defence class, what he hadn't expected was for Harry to arrive a few minutes to midnight, well beyond curfew beneath his invisibility cloak and crying so hard that he was barely coherent. Severus could make out a few words. Ron, argument and Dursleys but by that time Harry was sobbing so hard that he could barely keep his feet. Severus scooped his husband up on his arms and settled them both on the sofa.

Harry wept against his shoulder, Severus could feel the trickle of Harry's tears against the collar of his robes. He wrapped both hands around Harry and rocked him until he calmed, just mumbling a few soothing whispers every now and then. Harry's hands gripped the front of Severus' robe, as if he was afraid the man might suddenly disappear if he wasn't holding on to him.

"Harry? Do you want to talk about it?" Severus asked when Harry's crying had stopped for a while.

"I - I had an argument with Ron earlier," said Harry.

"I know, I think the whole school heard that one."

"When Ron came back to the dorms he still wanted to argue, wanting to know why I'd defended you and he said - he said he wished I'd gone back to the Dursleys' instead. I never came back from there as if I was someone else. Someone he didn't like. Then - then when I went to sleep, I had a nightmare about them. About the Dursleys. I was back there and I couldn't escape. I couldn't get away, Severus. I'm sorry, I know we weren't supposed to see each other this late. I'll go." Harry made as if to move.

"Hush, Harry," Severus tightened his grip on Harry's waist. "You can come and see me anytime you have a nightmare, Harry. Please don't feel you have to bottle all these things up. You've never talked about it, have you?"

"About what?"

"The Dursleys. What they did to you?" He felt Harry tense in his arms and a few more tears trickled along his neck. "Ssh, Harry, I'm sorry. You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to."

"You - you would listen?" asked Harry, removing his head from Severus' shoulder and peering at him, Harry's tears magnified through his glasses.

"If you wanted me too," said Severus.

"Severus - I - I don't know, no one's ever asked me about it before. It's difficult to talk about."

"I know, Harry. There's no rush. It's late, we'd better get you to bed."

Harry's face seemed to crumple in on itself. "Please, Severus! Please don't make me go back to the dorm tonight!"

"I had no intention of it, Harry. I'll wake you early so you can get back before your dorm mates wake up."

Harry flung his arms around Severus neck and sobbed his thanks on his shoulder.

Severus carded his fingers through Harry's messy hair before carrying him to the bedroom. Harry was asleep almost before his head hit the pillow, exhausted from his nightmares and crying.

God, what had the Dursleys done to him that he was so grateful for even a little scrap of affection?

Severus was determined that one day he would find out.



TBC





Chapter 15: Blood Tides

Part 15

Harry sighed and put down the latest essay from the pile of third year Hufflepuffs. Yet another one who had no idea what vampires actually were. "Severus, we've got to get some different Defence textbooks, Lockhart's are hopeless and the rest are really outdated. They aren't learning anything useful."

In the past month and a half, Harry had really enjoyed being Severus' teaching assistant. He didn't do much classwork, as he had to go to his own NEWT classes, but he helped with the lesson plans, marking and at the weekends assisted Severus with the Duelling Club too. They were finding it more and more difficult to find any time alone together that didn't involve work of some sort and Harry was looking forward to the half-term break at Halloween, only two weeks away now.

"I couldn't agree more, unfortunately, it's the governors who decide on the curriculum. We can't ask the students to buy even more books now that terms started, those were expensive enough as it is."

"I know. Maybe I could use some of my inheritance to get us some new ones? At least for the fifth and seventh years, I can't believe any of us managed to pass our OWLs with some of the books we had to study."

"Harry it's not up to you to ensure that Hogwarts is equipped with all the latest textbooks. We'll manage, with your notes and Miss Granger's, the two of you could probably write a textbook yourselves."

"Really? You think my notes are that good?" asked Harry. He'd never given much thought to having his course notes published.

"I do, I wouldn't have mentioned it otherwise." A bell rung a few floors above them.

"Dinner," smiled Harry and began to disrobe.

***

Very flushed, but only a little late, they managed to make it to the Great Hall just as the main course was being served. No one batted an eyelid at he and Severus arriving together, they all knew that Harry was one of his teaching assistants. Some nights Snape arrived in the Hall with Hermione and no one paid any attention then either. Mind you, Harry didn't remember either of them being flushed pink when Hermione spent the evening with his husband.

Harry's limbs were still a little shaky after his feeding session. He could still taste the hot, metallic flavour of his husband's blood at the back of his throat. His groin twitched and Harry bit back a moan of desire. In the back of his mind, he could feel Severus' desire too as his husband prodded his food on the top table.

"Harry, can you pass the vegetables please?" asked Hermione.

"What?" Harry was miles away, remembering Severus' mouth on his cock after he'd finished feeding. God, he could almost feel that warm, wet mouth on him, sucking him. He was hard again, his erection pressing against the zip of his trousers.

"Vegetables?" prompted Hermione and Harry handed her the salt.

Ron snorted a few seats away. They still hadn't made up, but Harry was not going to be the one to apologise this time. It was about time Ron grew up.

"He's Confounded you, both of you," said Ron, his gaze raking over both Harry and Hermione. "Honestly, am I the only one to see him for what he is?"

"And what's that Ron?" demanded Hermione, her arms crossed over in front of her. "A good teacher? A great spy?"

"Hmph," snapped Ron. "A spy, yes he was a spy for You-Know-Who, wasn't he? Long before he was a spy for our side. He was a double agent, a traitor. He should be in Azkaban, wondered what he did to bribe the Aurors?"

"He didn't bribe anyone," said Harry slowly.

"No? How do you know?"

"Because in case you'd forgotten, Ron, I was there. Snape never spied for Voldemort. Voldemort wouldn't have..." Voldemort would never have ordered his Death Eaters to rape and torture Snape if there had been any doubt that he was a spy for the Light. Harry clambered over the bench, unwilling to argue any more with Ron. They just went over and over the same old ground and he was heartily sick of it. Nothing he said seemed to make much difference anyway. Ron's mind wouldn't change no matter what Harry said.

He tugged his robe tighter against himself, trying to hide his erection, it still hadn't diminished and he hoped to see Severus soon. Harry left the Great Hall and a few moments later, he heard footsteps behind him. He turned, his face flushing when he saw his husband's eyes glinting with hunger of a different sort. Neither of them had eaten much dinner.

They didn't make it back to the dungeons, Severus pulled him into an empty classroom on the ground floor, but he at least had the presence of mind to ward the door and cast silencing charms on the room. Severus shoved Harry back against the wood, pinning Harry's hands high above his head before proceeding to kiss him breathless. The kiss was frantic, hungry and Harry moaned deep in his throat as Severus pushed his tongue inside his mouth and licked Harry everywhere he could reach.

Severus rocked against Harry's hips and Harry could feel an echoing hardness against his own. "What did Ron say?" asked Snape as he pulled back a little from Harry's mouth, breathing heavily, his face flushed apple red.

"It doesn't matter. I don't want to talk about him. I want to feel you - oh!" Harry's words ended in a groan as Severus bent his head and began to suck at the hollow of Harry's throat, just above his shirt collar and loosened tie. "Please, Severus! Please!" pleaded Harry, his cock so hard and twitching that he was sure he was going to explode in his trousers at any minute.

"Is this what you want, Harry?" whispered Severus as he let go of Harry's hands and cupped Harry's cloth covered erection. Harry whimpered. "You want me to touch you, to suck you? You want to feel my mouth wrapped around your length, swallowing you whole? Is that what you want?"

"Yes, God, yes!" wailed Harry, arching against Severus' hands. Severus dropped to his knees and began to unzip Harry's school trousers, before yanking them down along with his underwear and they lay bunched up just above his ankles. Severus' hands reached up to begin unbuttoning Harry's shirt. "No, please! Just do it," Harry begged, banging his head back against the door. "I'm desperate."

Without another word, Severus wrapped his lips around Harry's prick, hollowing his cheeks and sucking as if Harry was the most delicious sweet in the world. God, Severus' mouth was so warm, so wet and Harry had to struggle not to thrust too hard into that welcome heat, he remembered only too well how this act had been forced upon Severus, but the man was moaning around Harry's cock, he was enjoying this too. Harry glanced down and saw that Severus was rubbing himself through his robes, his hand working at a frenzied pace.

The sight sent shockwaves through Harry's groin. All too soon Harry felt the tell tale signs, the delicious ache low down in his stomach and balls, his cock throbbing and getting even harder. He shrieked as Severus tore the orgasm from him, spurt after spurt of his seed splashing the man's tongue and throat. Severus let go of Harry's cock as it started to soften and pressed a hand against his own groin, moaning ecstatically as he brought himself off almost at once and Harry saw the spreading damp stain on the front of the man's robes.

Severus looked up at him. "Merlin, Harry. I felt you, in my head. I could feel everything you felt. Sorry," he gestured to his groin. "I couldn't wait. I haven't felt this out of control since I was a teenager." He flushed again. Harry knelt down a little awkwardly, his clothes still around his ankles and kissed Severus, long and hard. He knew he would have to go back to the dorm soon, but he didn't want to. He wanted to stay with Severus all night.

Severus knew what he was thinking, he wrapped his arms around Harry and rocked him as they continued to kiss for a while longer.

"I love you," said Harry once they came back up for air. Severus cast a cleaning charm over both of them.

"I love you too, Harry," he whispered and Harry could have danced for joy. He'd said it, Severus had finally said it. "You'd better get back."

"Don't want to," said Harry, stubbornly clinging to the man's waist. He wanted to lie wrapped up in the man's arms and forget that there was a world outside the two of them. "I want to stay with you."

"I know, Harry, but you know you can't keep disappearing from your dorm, people will begin to suspect something."

Harry nodded, determined he wouldn't cry. It was for the best, they both knew it, but it didn't make it any easier to bear to be parted from his bond-mate. Harry stood up on shaky legs and put his clothes to rights again before heading back to his dormitory. He didn't say goodnight, knowing that his voice would break if he did.

***

Ron couldn't sleep. He punched his pillows a few times, feeling righteous anger in his chest. It was so simple really, why hadn't he thought of it before? Hermione was very smart, so was Snape. Hermione was spending a lot of time with the professor now that she was his assistant. She spent more time now with Snape than she did with Ron and he was meant to be her boyfriend! He couldn't remember the last time they'd been alone together, although he remembered the outcome really well. He'd wanted to have sex, she didn't, saying she had too much work to do.

It wasn't a Confundus spell after all, it was something much worse.

Hermione was having an affair with Professor Snape and Ron was sure Dumbledore would like to know about it.


TBC





Chapter 16: Blood Tides

Part 16

Severus paused at the door to the Defence classroom, feeling a headache coming on. Seventh year Slytherin and Gryffindor. Why on earth did Albus insist on those two Houses sharing classes? Granted, Draco Malfoy seemed to have calmed down a little since Lucius had received the Kiss, but more often than not, he still caught both Houses trying to outdo the other with hexes and curses being thrown whenever his or Harry's back were turned. The seventh year class was the only one where Harry actually assisted within the classroom. He knew more than what was on the curriculum already, with all his secret training over the years.

"Who did it?" Severus heard Harry's voice demand. "Who did it?" he asked again, hissing his words.

Severus flung the door open, everyone in the room silenced themselves at once. Harry's jade gaze looked at his husband in alarm, as if he'd been a rabbit caught in a wand light. The whole room was silent, bating its breath. Severus' eyes were drawn to the front of the room and the chalk caricatures drawn on the blackboard.

The drawings were crudely rendered, but there was no mistaking what they were. Himself, being pounded into by various robed and hooded figures. Across the bottom of the pictures the words, Death Eater Whore were scrawled in yellow chalk. Severus didn't know how he remained so calm. He walked to the blackboard and lifted the eraser, before turning to face the class.

Every one of them looked guilty, even Harry, but Severus knew his husband's hands had been nowhere near this artwork. "It seems we might have to send some of you to a remedial English class," said Snape as he hefted the eraser for a few moments. He replaced it and lifted up a piece of chalk. "A whore, or prostitute is someone who accepts sexual favours for money. I see no money in this picture." Severus quickly drew in a few round coins at the edge of the drawing. "However, the artist lacks skill, edges are too rough and they have no idea of human anatomy whatsoever. Some of these positions aren't remotely possible. I'm afraid if I was marking this drawing, I would have to award a D for Dreadful."

The class behind giggled at the artist's expense, not at Severus. He rubbed the drawings away and turned to face Harry. "Mr. Potter, please hand out last week's homework assignments. We will be discussing the poor effort of this class in a moment. Yours and Miss Granger's essay were the only two to accurately describe the effects of the Cruciatus Curse in combination with the Imperius. It does not, Mr. Longbottom, render the recipient unable to feel the pain being inflicted upon them."

Harry lifted the stack of parchments and began to hand them out. When he reached Ron's desk, Severus heard Harry's former best friend mutter. "Arse licker." Severus gaped at them, before realising that Weasley was in fact talking to his seated companion, Hermione Granger and not to Harry at all. "I know why you're getting good marks, Hermione," Ron hissed, loud enough for the whole class to hear.

Harry moved on until everyone had received their essays back. Severus kept an eye on Weasley for the rest of the lesson. He could almost smell trouble. What did he think? That Hermione Granger was getting good grades because she was his assistant or had his sordid little mind come up with another idea? That something was going on between the two of them? It was only a small jump from there to wonder about Harry too, especially since the boy knew Harry was gay.

Severus resolved to keep an eye on Mr. Weasley.

***

Harry woke up slowly, it was the day after Halloween and Severus had allowed him to stay with him that evening after the feast as long as he could get back to the dorms before six. It was so good to wake up in his arms. They'd fallen asleep face to face, Harry's legs entwined with his husband's, their arms draped across each other's waist.

Severus looked so much younger when he was asleep, the worry lines on his face eased, all the cares washed away as he slept. Inky eyelashes dusted his cheeks and Harry wondered if he kissed the man's closed lid would he wake up? Harry glanced at the clock on the bedside table. It was nearing a quarter to six and he really had to go soon, no matter how much he wanted to stay.

Harry leant over and gave Severus a kiss on each eyelid, then his nose and finally a soft peck on his lips. Severus mumbled something, but he didn't wake up. Harry gently disentangled himself from his husband's embrace and got dressed as quickly as he could. He found a spare bit of parchment on Severus' desk and quickly drew three hearts and three kisses on it before leaving it on the pillow, signing All my love, H at the bottom. Severus would see it when he woke up.

Harry smiled as he donned his invisibility cloak and made his way back to the dorms. He was still reminiscing about their night together as he made his way up the stairs to the boys' dormitory. Even when he wasn't feeding, his cravings had settled down to about three times a week, they still enjoyed the kissing and the touching. Severus was really good at blow-jobs, but Harry had yet to try. Severus just seemed so big that it seemed a bit daunting, but he would try it one day. He wanted to make Severus feel as good as Severus made him.

Harry's grin faded when he entered the dorm and discovered Ron's bed was empty. Oh, shit! Had Ron followed him? Had he seen where he'd gone?

Severus! Harry called urgently in his mind, willing the man to wake up. This didn't bode well.

***

Severus didn't know whether it was Harry's frantic voice in his head or the pounding of his outer door which woke him up. But next thing he knew, he heard Minerva McGonagall's voice screeching outside.

"Severus Snape! Open this door at once!"

What the - ? Severus scrambled out of bed, pulling on some underwear and a dressing gown, he always slept naked when Harry was here. Thank goodness Harry was nowhere in evidence. He must have gone back to Gryffindor Tower already.

Severus opened the door and was confronted with the Head of Gryffindor House along with one of her charges.

Weasley. He might have known.

"Where is she, Severus?" demanded Minerva without preamble.

"Where is who, Minerva? Do you know what time it is?"

"Hermione Granger! She isn't in her dorm and Mr. Weasley thinks he knows where she is."

"Oh, do enlighten me," snapped Snape. "How would I know where she is?"

"In your quarters, sir," said Weasley, but it wasn't as a term of respect. Oh, this was too laughable for words.

"You think Hermione Granger is in my quarters?" Severus opened the door wide. "You are quite welcome to check if you wish, Minerva. This is ridiculous."

As McGonagall made to enter his chambers, Weasley made to follow her. "I did not invite you, Mr. Weasley. You have no business here."

"No business here?" spluttered Ron. "I have so if you're having an affair with my girlfriend!"

"Mr. Weasley," said Minerva calmly from inside Severus' living room. "What have I said to you about unfounded accusations?"

Ron just glared, but he was dealing with a master here and he soon quailed under the scrutiny of Severus. Severus closed the door and watched as Minerva took in his modest furniture and the open bedroom door. "May I?" she queried.

"You may," said Severus, confident in the knowledge that Hermione Granger was lurking nowhere in his rooms. She'd probably fallen asleep in the library over a book or something. He felt the relief again that Harry had already left. Minerva emerged with a piece of parchment clutched in her fist, tight-lipped, her face flushed purple.

"Well," she said.

"Well what?"

"I'm afraid I have no choice but to refer this matter to the headmaster, Severus. I must say I am very surprised at you, very surprised indeed. I thought you had more ethics than this. An affair with one of your students, Severus? And I really thought I knew you. Miss Granger's parents will have to be informed of course. The governors might be lenient considering how good a student she is and may let her continue her education up until her NEWTs."

"Minerva, how many times do I have to tell you? I am not, nor have I ever been having an affair with Miss Granger! Good God woman, how can you be so dense?"

"What's this then?" Minerva waved the parchment in front of his face. Red hearts and kisses, signed H. Harry must have left it before he went. But he couldn't very well say that, could he? "You have a lot of people leaving love notes on your pillow, do you?"

Minerva fire-called the headmaster, using his own Floo powder and a few moments later, Dumbledore stepped into Severus' quarters and looked from one to the other. "Mr. Weasley has made an allegation of misconduct against Severus," she began even before the greetings were over with.

"Misconduct? And where is Mr. Weasley?"

"Outside, shall I bring him in?" McGonagall was almost hopping in her excitement.

"Of course," said Dumbledore as he stared at Severus. Severus quickly Occluded his mind, but he had a feeling things were just about to get worse.

Weasley's face was red as he came in and it was clear that he thought he had one over on Severus now that the headmaster was here.

"Mr. Weasley, what is this about?"

"Ask him!" said Ron sullenly.

"Severus?"

"Headmaster, the boy is under the impression that I am having an illicit affair with Hermione Granger."

Albus chuckled. "Ron, dear boy, I think you are very much mistaken."

"In case you were not aware, Mr. Weasley, I do not seek out the company of women. Never have and never will."

"But Albus, there was a note," said Minerva showing it to him.

"And I have proof," said Ron, rummaging about in his robe pocket. He placed a small cube on the coffee table in front of Severus' fireplace.

Severus thought he might be sick. He knew what that cube was.



TBC






Chapter 17: Blood Tides

Part 17

"Where did you get that device, Mr. Weasley?" said McGonagall severely. "Their use is strictly controlled by the Ministry of Magic and they are banned altogether from Hogwarts."

Ron's face flushed so red that it almost rivalled his hair for colour, but he didn't reply, no doubt trying to protect the fool who'd given him the device in the first place. The cube itself resembled metal, a cobalt blue in colour, and each face was six inches in diameter. Severus had seen one before, when he'd been a previous guest at the Ministry himself.

It was a calumnia pensieve similar in intent to an ordinary pensieve, but whereas a pensieve recorded a person's thoughts and emotions, the calumnia recorded their actions, it was all very objective. It could penetrate any material, cloth, wood, metal or stone. Once it was encoded with the subject's magical signature, the device would record everything that person did no matter where it was or how far away from the device the subject was. It recorded until the person who'd cast the spell stopped it. Severus would never have believed that Ron Weasley knew what a calumnia was, never mind knew the spells to make it work.

"I'm waiting, Mr. Weasley," said McGonagall impatiently.

"I - I got it through mail order. From a magazine," he admitted.

"What magazine? Was this magazine also on the banned items list?"

"Yes, ma'am," sighed Ron, not looking any of them in the eye. "Play Wizard."

"Play Wizard? Well, you aren't the first boy who has sneaked that filth into the school, Weasley, but I am very disappointed in you, very disappointed indeed."

"What did you do with the cube?" asked Dumbledore calmly, but his eyes had lost their twinkle and he looked rather disappointed in the boy too.

"I - I set it to follow Hermione, to record what she did."

"You set this thing to spy on one of your fellow students?" exclaimed McGonagall, appalled. She turned to the headmaster. "Albus, we cannot in good conscience allow ourselves to watch what has been recorded, not without Miss Granger's permission or her presence."

"No!" yelled Ron. "Then she'll know I've been spying on her!"

"You should have thought of that before you spied on her," snarled Severus.

"I have to agree with Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape on this one, Mr. Weasley. You should not have been spying on Miss Granger in the first place. Minerva, please bring Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger to my office after breakfast while we sort this out. You too, Severus."

"Of course, headmaster," he replied as he ushered them all out of his chambers. Severus closed his eyes and sought out the presence of his husband in his mind.

Harry?

Severus? Are you okay? What happened? Ron wasn't here and I think he knows, Severus! He knows! Oh, God, what are we going to do?

Hush, Harry. It's all right. Mr. Weasley was indeed at my quarters this morning, along with Dumbledore and McGonagall. It seems he's got it into his head that I am having an affair with Hermione Granger. He set a calumnia on her.

He was spying on her? His own girlfriend?

So it appears. I have a meeting after breakfast along with both of them.

Hermione won't be able to forgive him this, she really values her privacy.

As do we all, Harry.

What do we do, Severus?

We just carry on as normal. You still need to feed, but we just have to be more careful in future.

Okay, Severus. Good luck, I love you.

Harry's mind left his and Severus felt strangely bereft. He took a quick shower, donned his clothes and headed to the Great Hall for breakfast, even though he wasn't remotely hungry. Trying not to let his gaze linger overlong at the Gryffindor table, he mutilated his toast rather than buttering it so there was nothing but crumbs left on his plate. Harry wasn't eating much either, but then he never did. Hermione was sitting next to him and her appetite seemed perfectly normal. Obviously she didn't know what the meeting was about yet. She soon would.

***

"You spied on me?" the girl was shaking with rage as Dumbledore turned the recording off when it was clear that it was about to show her having a bath. "How could you?!!!" she shrieked. "How could you?!!!"

"Hermione..."

"Don't you Hermione me, Ronald Weasley! I'm ashamed of you!"

"And you're not ashamed? Sleeping with him?" Ron jabbed a finger in Severus' direction.

"What? What planet are you on, Ron? I have never been with Professor Snape like that! I would never do that with a teacher! And your spying should have told you that already!"

It was true, there was nothing on the recording to indicate that Hermione Granger did anything more than mark essays or write lesson plans when she was with Severus of an evening.

"So where you last night then, eh?" demanded Ron. "You weren't in your dorm."

"For your information, Ronald Weasley, not that it's any of your business, I was in the infirmary!"

"What? Are you okay, Hermione?"

"Fat lot you care!" Hermione turned to her Head of House. "Professor McGonagall, may I go? I don't want to be late for Ancient Runes."

"Yes, thank you, Miss Granger. We'll have no more need of you today."

"Thank you. Good morning, Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape."

"Hermione..." but she ignored the red-head and left the office, Severus was quite impressed at her restraint.

"May I go, Professor?" Ron asked hesitantly.

"No, you may not, Mr. Weasley! Sit down!" barked Minerva. "I cannot believe that someone from my own House has done something so shameful! Not only have you violated that girl's privacy, you have cast aspersions both on her character and one of the teachers of this school. Do you know how much trouble you could get into for making unfounded allegations? Make no doubt about it, Mr. Weasley, if this had not been your NEWT year I would have no qualms expelling you!"

"Expelled?" the boy turned so pale his freckles disappeared.

"As it is, you are suspended from all extra curricular activates until further notice. No Quidditch, playing or spectating, no Hogsmeade visits. Your privileges as a prefect are also revoked, your badge please, Mr. Weasley," Minerva held out her hand. Ron unpinned his prefect badge and placed it in her upturned palm. "You will also receive two months detention with Mr. Filch, maybe that will help keep you out of trouble! I'm afraid I have no option but to remove a hundred points from Gryffindor and you Mr. Weasley will explain to your classmates why they have suddenly lost them, are we clear?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Very well, get to class," she snapped, unable to look at him any longer. Ron quickly departed without even saying goodbye to any of them.

"Oh, I'm sorry, headmaster, did you want to add anything to the punishments?"

"No, Minerva, you seem to have it well in hand."

"You were far too lenient on the boy," said Severus. "I would have expelled him."

"I will of course be writing to his mother," said Minerva with a small smile.

Severus returned it. Oh, not that lenient after all.

***

The Gryffindors had sent Ron to Coventry, no one was speaking to him after they discovered what he had done to Hermione, not to mention the loss of points. All the girls glared at him every time he walked past and they huddled round Hermione as though to protect her from Ron. The boys just ignored him completely.

Ron received not one, not two, but six Howlers. One from his parents, Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred and George, who didn't mince words about how awful he'd been to Hermione. Even Ginny was finding excuses to distance herself as much as possible from him.

Ron was hidden behind his bed curtains at night when Harry went to bed and he was always first up in the mornings so that he avoided the other seventh years. Unfortunately, it meant that Harry was finding it more and more difficult to sneak off, even with his invisibility cloak. It had been four days since the meeting and he needed to feed. His fangs had almost appeared during a Care of Magical Creatures lesson and Harry was desperate. He'd forgotten to use the darkening charm on his glasses and by the end of the lesson his eyes were red rimmed and streaming. He needed to see Severus and soon.

He deliberately caused an explosion in Potions, the last class of the day and almost sighed in relief when Severus glared at him.

"Stay behind, Potter. You will not leave this room until your mess is cleaned up, is that clear?"

"Yes, sir," he said, trying not to smile.

At long last the bell rang and the classroom emptied. Severus warded and locked the door, then Harry was yanked roughly from his seat, his torso crushed against Snape's as the man kissed him, hard, his tongue shoved so far in Harry's mouth it was almost in his throat. Harry groaned and clung to the man's neck. "Se - Severus - " he panted as their lips parted. "I have to feed."

"I know, I could sense it through the bond, here or in our rooms?"

"Here, everyone knows I have detention with you."

Severus sat down on one of the chairs and pulled Harry onto his lap. Harry straddled him and groaned again as their erections came into contact.

Severus nodded and began to undo the collar of his shirt, but Harry batted his hands away, he wanted to do it, to undress him, to tease him. He could hear Severus breathing rapidly as Harry finished undoing his shirt. He pushed the material away from his husband's neck, not bothering to remove it before allowing his fangs to emerge. Harry bent down and bit softly, his teeth going through the pale skin like a hot knife through butter. Severus moaned and wrapped his arms around Harry's waist, keeping him in place. He needn't have worried, Harry had no intention of going anywhere else.

The, hot sweet taste had him aching and even harder in moments. He rocked against Severus, feeling the blood warm in his mouth, in the back of his throat, the throbbing of Severus' heart against his chest. Once he'd finished feeding, Harry licked the wounds clean and then Severus was tugging his face down toward his, kissing and tasting himself on Harry's tongue. It didn't take long for either of them to come after that, trousers sticky and damp.

"Um, sorry," said Harry, glancing down at their stained groins. He always forgot how intense it was when he fed, that if they didn't undress beforehand, they would not feel like doing it in the middle of his feeding, the bond working its magic on both of them until they were sated.

"That's okay, feeling better now?" Severus asked, kissing Harry's forehead, although he was still breathing a bit heavily.

"Much, thanks." Harry cast a wandless cleaning charm over both of them, it would have been nice maybe to take a shower or bath together but he knew they didn't really have time for that. "I'd better get to dinner before I'm missed," he said, for Harry was sure that Ron still suspected Severus was up to something.

Severus stood up, Harry still clasped in his arms and set him on the floor.

"I'll see you later?" Harry asked hopefully.

"We'd better not, Harry. Not for another few days at least."

"Oh," he swallowed his disappointment, but he knew it was for the best. He reached up on tiptoes and gave Severus a soft kiss before leaving.

He could hardly wait for the day he graduated and the knowledge that they would never have to spend another night apart.


TBC








Chapter 18: Blood Tides

Part 18

As time wore on, Harry started to notice that his senses were becoming a lot sharper. He could see as well in the dark as he could in daylight, his hearing was now so acute that he could hear what was being said far away from him. It was like being tuned into lots of different radio stations at once and he had no idea how to switch them off.

His sense of smell had expanded way beyond the human range now. He could tell which people were already having sex, which couples hadn't but wanted to and who fancied who just by their scent. He could smell their desire. Neville had a crush on Lavender Brown, but she in turn fancied Dean Thomas and Harry's nose was proved right when Lavender and Dean announced their first 'official' date one Hogsmeade weekend.

His new sense of smell made Harry hyper aware of all the girls in the castle and when they had their periods. He tried to avoid them as much as possible during it, the smell of blood was playing havoc with his fangs and he had to consciously keep them retracted by sheer force of will. He knew all the seventh year Gryffindor girls' cycles after a while, which was rather disconcerting to say the least. Parvati was as regular as the moon, every twenty eight days; Lavender's varied from between thirty three to thirty five days. Hermione's was thirty days exactly, but ever since the day she discovered that Ron had been spying on her, she hadn't had one.

Harry didn't want to come right out and ask her if she was pregnant, but he suspected that might be the case. He watched her and noticed she was paler than normal these days except for the dark circles under her eyes. Hermione always seemed to be coming down later and later for breakfast, was she suffering from morning sickness?

Potions was the last class before the Christmas break and they were brewing a Calming Draught today, one of the main ingredients was aniseed and the scent was rather pungent. The class began with Severus taking twenty points from Slytherin because Malfoy hadn't turned up. Hermione turned a rather sickly shade of grey as she raised her hand and asked to be excused. Severus must have thought she looked awful too, for he let her go, normally he would not allow anyone to leave class until the bell rung.

Harry could hear Hermione's footsteps as she ran along the corridor outside the classroom, probably hurrying to get to a bathroom, then her footsteps slid to a halt.

"Well, well, if it isn't the little mudboold," Harry heard Malfoy drawl. "Where's your pet Weasel, these days, Granger?"

"Stop calling him that!"

"Oh, so the two lovebirds have made up, have they?"

"None of your business," said Hermione. "Get out of my way, Malfoy."

Harry could almost feel Hermione's distress just from her voice.

"Going somewhere, are you? Well, don't let me stop you."

Hermione's footsteps came again, a slightly different pattern and Harry realised she was walking upstairs. He turned back to his Potions, when he heard a thud and a loud scream from Hermione.

"Hermione!" yelled Harry, knocking over his stool in his haste to get up and yank the classroom door open.

"Mr. Potter!" Snape called after him and Harry had no choice but to answer in his mind.

It's Hermione, Severus. She's hurt!

He found Hermione lying in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the steps leading to the ground floor, Malfoy was standing half-way up, his arms folded and a smirk on his face. "Oh, look, Potter, your little mudblood tripped and fell."

"You pushed me!" said Hermione as she struggled to right herself.

"Stay still, Hermione, you might have broken something," said Harry.

"Mr. Malfoy, please go and wait for me in the headmaster's office," said Severus as he rounded the corner and took in the tableau the three of them made. Malfoy grumbled under his breath, but he walked away, whether or not he would really go to Dumbledore's office, Harry didn't know. Severus shot something slivery out of his wand, before bending down and scanning Hermione with it. Harry had forgotten that Severus had medi-wizardry training in order to become a Potions Master.

"No broken bones, Miss Granger, but you have sprained your wrist," said Severus, though he made no move to heal the sprain.

"Sir - sir," she whispered desperately, glancing at Harry.

Harry moved away around the corner, but he could still hear what was being said anyway.

"Sir, the baby? Is it all right?"

"Did you know you were pregnant, Miss Granger?"

"Yes, sir."

"You should have let me know, some of the Potions ingredients can affect you or the baby. It does not seem any the worse for your fall, but you should let Madam Pomfrey check you over just in case."

"Yes, sir," said Hermione just as Harry heard the matron's footsteps going down the stairs. Severus turned the corner a few moments later and ran into Harry.

"Did you see what happened, Harry? Did she fall?"

"She said Malfoy pushed her down the stairs."

"Did you see him do it?"

"No, Hermione was already on the ground when I got there."

"And where was Malfoy?"

"Halfway up the steps."

"So it is a possibility that he pushed her? Why?"

"I don't know, sir," replied Harry, conscious of the fact that anyone could come along at any moment and would wonder why he might be calling his teacher Severus.

"Did you know she was pregnant? Had she confided in you?"

"No, but I suspected it. Um - I can tell when girls are having their period and I know she hasn't had one for a while."

"Hmm, that's not something you should advertise around the school, Harry. Can you look after the class? I have to see the headmaster about Draco. If he did push her, there may be no choice, he's going to be expelled."

"Make sure to take some Veritaserum," said Harry.

"I had no intention of going without," replied Severus.

***

The rumours were flying round the school less than an hour later, most of them completely false of course. Hermione had miscarried Draco's baby, then it was Snape's, then Professor Flitwick's and Draco had been expelled because he'd pushed her down the stairs. The last was in fact true, Draco had admitted it under Veritaserum to Severus and the headmaster as he told Harry later that evening. Hermione hadn't miscarried, but she was pregnant and all the Gryffindors knew in fact that the baby was Ron's.

He hadn't known about it, Hermione hadn't told him, but the shock seemed to have knocked some sense into him and he spent the rest of the day by Hermione's side in the infirmary before the carriages were due to take those students going home for the holidays. Ron was still there when Harry went to visit her.

"God, I'm sorry, Hermione, I've been such an idiot," Ron said to her, neither of them had seen Harry enter the ward yet. "Can you forgive me?"

"Ron, I'm going to have your baby, I think that might be able to be arranged, don't you?" Hermione smiled down at him and patted his head. "Harry!" she exclaimed when she saw him.

Ron looked up at Harry, got up from Hermione's bedside and wrapped Harry up in a firm hug. "Merlin, Harry! I've been a prat, can we be friends again?"

Harry had been so worried when he'd seen Hermione lying by those stairs, afraid that she had indeed miscarried and he guessed long ago that the baby had been Ron's, who else? He couldn't imagine how terrible such a loss like that might feel and he realised that life was far too short to bear grudges, who knew what was around the next corner? They may never get a second chance.

"Of course, Ron, but lay off on the Snape bashing, okay?"

"Done!" said Ron, smiling.

"Are you staying at Hogwarts over Christmas, Hermione?" asked Harry.

"No, Ron's parents have invited me to the Burrow, we thought it would be better if we told them together about the baby."

"Mum's going to kill me," said Ron. "She'll probably make us get married."

"And is there a problem with that, Ronald Weasley?"

"No, no, of course not!" he said quickly and Harry left them to it, smiling to himself. Ron and Hermione were back to normal

There were no other seventh years staying over the break, so he and Severus would be able to spend some time together and Harry now knew what gift he wanted to give his husband.

Life was too short to waste.


TBC






Chapter 19: Blood Tides

Part 19

Harry arranged the last garland of tinsel around the seven foot evergreen tree he'd conjured and stood back to admire his handiwork. He'd never seen a Christmas tree properly until he'd come to Hogwarts, only a brief glimpse of Aunt Petunia's ugly plastic affair, covered in even uglier baubles. He'd always wanted to have a normal family Christmas, even knowing when he was young that being locked in a cupboard by his relatives was not normal.

Harry swallowed his distress, he'd promised himself that he wouldn't think of them, not now when he was about to get his wish of a wonderful Christmas with his husband, with Severus, his family. "Harry, it's beautiful," breathed Severus from behind him. "Did you do all this?" For not only had Harry decorated the large tree in the corner; the baubles were all blown glass, etched with silver and gold winter scenes, but there wasn't an inch of the dungeon living room that wasn't draped in greenery; holly, mistletoe and poinsettias covered the walls and a garland of thick silver tinsel lay across the mantelpiece.

Small multicoloured lights dotted everywhere illuminated the room along with the fire, they wouldn't need torches or lanterns tonight. Harry removed the green and silver wrapped present from beneath the tree and handed it to Severus. It was the only one accented with silver, all the others were mostly red and green or white. Severus stared at the present in his hand, as though not quite sure what to do with it. "Open it, then," urged Harry, his heart fluttering as if a snitch had got lodged in his chest cavity.

Severus unwrapped the gift and stared at the bottle green jar in his hand. "Harry, what is this?"

"What does it look like? It's a gift from me to you."

"Christmas is tomorrow, Harry. "

"I know, but tonight I want to give you this."

Severus stared at the jar of lubricant for such a long time that Harry thought he'd made a terrible mistake. Maybe he was ready, but perhaps Severus wasn't and Harry had just made things worse by assuming.

"I'm sorry," said Harry, reaching out as if to take the jar back, but Severus held it out of his reach. "We don't have to. I just thought..."

"I haven't said no, Harry," said Severus, his fist closing on the jar. "Are you sure you want to do this? Are you really ready for this? For I don't want you thinking that we have to do certain things."

"I'm ready, Severus. I've been thinking about this for a while now. I - I don't want my memories of this act to be tainted by what they did to me any longer. I want some new memories, Severus. Memories of me and you. I want you to make love to me."

"We do make love, Harry."

"I know, Severus and everything we do is wonderful. I - I would like more, but only if you want it too."

Severus' answer wasn't verbal. He stood behind Harry, wrapping his arms around him and began kissing all along Harry's neck. Harry moaned, his knees threatening to give way beneath him. His hands grasped at air, even as he tried to breathe some in. "I've been waiting, Harry," Severus said softly, close to his ear, before licking the shell and Harry was almost writhing in the man's arms. "I've been waiting for you to come to me when you were ready."

Harry shivered with desire at the thought that his husband wanted this too. "Bed?" suggested Severus in a breathy whisper, Harry could feel the man's erection pressing into the small of his back.

"Can we - can we stay here?" asked Harry, angling his head round so that he was staring into the dark depths of his husband's eyes. How could Harry explain why he wanted to stay out here, with the fire, the lights, the tree? But Severus seemed to know already as his eyes took in all of Harry's decorations. "Of course," he peppered kisses along Harry's upturned jaw. "With a few additions," Severus waved his hand and a few moments later a pile of velvet cushions appeared in front of the fire along with an ebony sheepskin rug.

Another wave and Severus had conjured up plates of food for them, all small and light, things they could feed to each other. A bubbling pot of chocolate sauce had strawberries, marshmallows and grapes on skewers, ready to be dipped. There were small bite sized sandwiches, slices of apple and melon, oranges already peeled and divided into segments.

"I think we're a tad over dressed, don't you?" said Severus. "After all, we don't want to get chocolate sauce all over our clothes, now do we?"

"No," agreed Harry, smiling up at him. He stood on one foot, trying to undo the laces on his trainers, but his whole body was shaking so much that it was an impossible task. His cock was straining against the zip of his trousers and he groaned in frustration, much to Severus' delight, if his small chuckle was anything to go by.

"Calm down, Harry, there's no rush. We have all night," Severus smiled against his hair. Harry turned in his arms, standing on tip toe so that he could bestow a hungry kiss on Severus' mouth. Severus grabbed Harry by the waist and pulled him tight against his body as they devoured each other, strawberries and chocolate sauce forgotten for the moment.

There was a moan, but it was impossible to tell which one of them made it. Harry thrust his tongue into Severus' mouth, feeling as if he was flying when they connected. He was rocking against Severus now, his cock throbbing and eager for any friction it could get. His thighs were quivering, both from the desire coursing through his veins and from standing on tip toe for so long. Breathing was secondary to having Severus' mouth on his, Harry wrapped his arms around Severus' neck and carded his fingers through his husband's hair.

Still not breaking their kiss, Severus hoisted Harry up, Harry's legs wrapped around his waist and carried him over to the cushions and the fluffy rug. As he lowered him down, Harry realised that somewhere in the meantime, Severus had cast a silent spell and they were both naked. Severus broke the kiss and sat up. Harry whimpered at the loss of all that hard flesh leaving his body, but Severus soon returned, this time armed with a chocolate covered strawberry in his fingers, the sauce dripping down his arm.

He lowered the fruit to Harry's mouth, he opened eagerly, taking the strawberry and licking Severus' fingers free of the sauce, gratified to hear the hoarse moan from the man above him. Harry bit into the strawberry, the fruit exploding in a burst of flavour on his tongue, he quickly pulled Severus down on top of him, pushing the fruit into his husband's mouth, sharing the taste with him. They pushed the strawberry back and forth with their tongues, like some weird game of tongue football before there was no more left, but they continued kissing and stroking, savouring the taste of each other.

Severus' hands skimmed down Harry's sides, he was normally so ticklish there, but not tonight. Tonight he was too aroused to be ticklish and he arched up against the man above him, feeling his cock leave a damp trail along Severus' stomach. "Severus! Please!" gasped Harry once he'd finally moved his mouth away from their kiss. Severus glanced down at him, his eyes hungry and then he kissed his way down Harry's chest, stopping to play with his nipples, making them stand up in little peaks as his mouth continued its journey south.

A tongue darting in and out of his belly button, a frantic hint of what might be happening later and Harry howled, not sure whether he was feeling agony or ecstasy. Severus gave him a wicked grin before bypassing his cock altogether and pressing soft kisses along Harry's inner thighs. Harry's legs widened almost of their own accord as he succumbed to his husband's talented mouth. The kisses got closer and closer to his buttocks and Harry held his breath, feeling a strange sensation low down in his belly and even lower, he was twitching, yearning, wanting something to be touched there and a few moments later, his husband obliged, but not with his fingers. Thank God he'd already had a very thorough bath.

Severus pushed Harry's legs back towards his chest, exposing Harry to his hungry gaze, holding Harry underneath by his knees. When that tongue licked all along the crease of his arse, Harry howled, he'd never felt anything like it. The man seemed to be everywhere at once. The tongue teased softly around his entrance long before Severus made any move to penetrate him. Harry was bucking on the rug, clutching it so tightly in his fists that he yanked out a few ebony strands.

"Oh God! Severus!" he moaned and the man finally took pity on him, darting his tongue, that wonderful, wonderful tongue inside him as far as it would go. Harry thought he surely must have died, for nothing on earth could feel this good. Then the tongue moved and Harry screamed in bliss.

Severus licked and nibbled, nibbled and licked until Harry was nothing but a bundle of nerves feeling every movement of the man's tongue, every breath on him. His prick was so hard and he wondered would it be really bad etiquette if he touched it, just to try and ease the tension a little.

He didn't get the chance, someone knocked loudly on the door and Harry exploded all over his chest and stomach without even touching himself. "Oh fuck!" he shrieked as he spilled himself in ecstatic pulses, his whole body shuddering with release.

Severus gave him a final lick and kiss, then he looked from Harry to the door.

"I'll hide," said Harry, before Severus could suggest it. It felt easier than having Severus say it to him. Harry ducked into the bedroom, his legs still shaking, casting a cleaning charm on himself as he went and hid beneath his invisibility cloak. At least Severus was on the ball, a couple of spells and he had removed Harry's clothes along with the cushions, rug and food from the floor and he himself was fully dressed before he opened his chamber door.

"Ah, Severus, you are here," said McGonagall. "The staff were wondering if you'd like to join us for a light supper in the staff room."

"No, thank you, Minerva. I've already eaten." Harry had to stifle a giggle as he remembered the little bites his husband had given him.

"Well, you know you're always welcome if you change your mind."

"Goodnight, Minerva," said Severus, closing the door slightly so that she had no choice but to retreat.

"Goodnight, Severus," she said as the door was closed with a loud thud. Severus locked it, warded it, cast one of the strongest silencing charms on it Harry had ever seen. Severus turned, his eyes going unerringly to Harry hovering by the door of the bedroom, still hidden by the cloak.

"Now, where were we?"


TBC






Chapter 20: Blood Tides

Part 20

Severus wasn't sure how they managed to get from the bedroom door back to the cushions by the fire, but that's where they were now and he was enjoying himself just staring at Harry laid out so temptingly before him. The boy was a lot more tempting than any of the food he'd conjured earlier. His erection was back with a vengeance, after wilting somewhat when Minerva had been at the door.

Harry was covered in a light sheen of sweat, his skin sparkled as the lights caught on the moisture covering his body and Severus wanted to lick it all off, slowly and sweetly until he had Harry writhing and begging beneath him. He didn't have to wait for that, Harry was thrusting his hips into thin air, his cock angry and swollen as he moaned. "Severus! Please! Oh, please! Touch me!" begged Harry, his eyes glazed with lust as he stared at his husband.

"You want that, Harry? You want me to touch you? You want my hands on you, touching you everywhere? My mouth on your cock, sucking you, swallowing you? My fingers inside you, spreading you wide, getting you ready, so ready that you'll hardly know your own name when I shove my cock inside your arse? Is that what you want, Harry? Is it?" Severus was surprised his own words were so coherent, his cock was hard and aching with want. He wanted to be buried inside that tight heat, wanted Harry to come while he was inside him.

Severus knelt over Harry, straddling the boy's hips, which jerked against him, and kissed his neck. Harry's whimpered "yes" was all the permission Severus needed. He took Harry into his mouth, relishing the taste of precome already leaking from the tip, the hard length as he pressed his tongue against it. Harry's soft breathy moans and little mewling sounds were causing havoc with his own arousal and he yanked hard on his sac, staving off his orgasm for now.

Once he guessed Harry was more relaxed, he dipped his fingers in the lubricant and smeared it around Harry's puckered hole, still sucking Harry's cock. He pressed his index finger forward, he was met with a little resistance, he sucked harder on Harry's prick and felt the muscles give and his finger was sucked inside Harry's body. God, Harry was so tight, muscles clamping round the invader as Harry rocked backwards and forwards on it. "Severus!" wailed Harry as his hips thrusted frantically. Severus knew he was close, he added two more fingers stretching Harry as much as he could, there was no reason it should be painful if they were careful. Severus angled his fingers, searching for the little nub, ah, there, he pushed against it. Harry screamed and came in creamy spurts down Severus' throat. Severus could feel Harry's anal muscles clenching around his fingers and he groaned as he imagined how they would feel clasped around his cock.

He swallowed every drop of Harry's nectar, like a man dying of thirst draining a water bottle until Harry's cock softened in his mouth and he released it with a small pop.

"Severus! Oh God, Severus! In me, please!"

Severus glanced up at the flushed and eager face of his husband, his lover, and felt his heart clench uncomfortably in his chest. Harry wanted this, Harry enjoyed this and Severus knew from this moment that he would never be able to deny him anything. Harry's chest was heaving with unsteady breaths and he tangled his fingers in Severus hair, his hips still rocking on Severus' fingers. Severus slid up the rug until he was level with Harry's mouth and kissed him frantically, sharing a little of Harry's taste with him, his erection digging into Harry's hip. It would be so easy just to come like this, kissing Harry, rutting against him, but Severus wanted what Harry was offering. He gave Harry a deep kiss as he removed his fingers. Harry whined in protest when Severus removed his mouth, but he needed his concentration to enter him and kissing Harry did not do wonders for concentration. It was so easy to get lost in the swell of his lips, the taste of his tongue.

Severus moved one of the cushions and pushed it underneath Harry's hips, changing the angle slightly. Harry had his knees bent, his thighs wide as he waited, a few moans emerging as he saw Severus staring at him, so exposed, so wanton. After coating his cock in a liberal amount of the oil, Severus lined his body up with Harry's, holding his cock with his hand and aiming it correctly as he pressed forward. He felt Harry tense as Severus' cock first breached him, Severus trailed a finger around the entrance, teasing him and helping Harry to relax more. Harry bit his lip as Severus slowly pushed his way in until he was fully seated, his balls right up against Harry's arse.

"Okay, Harry?" asked Severus, breathing heavily as he struggled to absorb the fact that he was ensconced in the body of his husband. The boy nodded. Harry was so tight, that he was afraid to move, afraid both of hurting Harry and finishing before they'd even begun. He could feel sweat trickling down his back, his forehead. Harry's hand reached up to wipe the perspiration away from his brow, then he licked it from his fingers. Severus groaned and lowered his head to Harry's shoulder. Harry began kissing his neck and he could feel Harry's renewed erection against his stomach. Severus began to rock softly, thrusting in and out at a fairly steady pace. Harry's breath was hot against his neck and ear.

"Bite me," Severus whispered, the thought sending shockwaves straight to his groin.

"What?"

"Bite me. Feed from me while I'm inside you. Please," he begged, struggling to keep himself composed.

Harry growled low in his throat and Severus knew from the bond that Harry wanted that too. He felt the sharp nip of Harry's fangs as they slid into his neck and then Harry's mouth was clamped to the junction of neck and shoulder and he sucked. Hard. The blood loss and the lust was making him dizzy, Severus' hips plunged in and out of Harry faster and faster in a ragged rhythm of need as he felt the orgasm draw nearer and nearer. Harry was moaning as he was suckling Severus' blood from him, Severus could feel Harry's cock pulsing against his body as they both strived for the peak. The familiar ache low down in his belly and balls, Harry's muscles spasming around him as Harry shot his release over their chests and stomach and it was all Severus needed. Suddenly he was there, spilling himself deep inside Harry in ecstatic pulses as he came and came and came, his blood gushing out at the same time as his seed and he didn't want either of them to stop.

"Harry! Harry!" he screamed as he felt himself torn inside out with pleasure so severe it felt like pain. Harry's fangs were carefully removed from his shoulder and a few moments later, he felt the soothing motion of Harry's tongue healing the wounds with his saliva. Severus rolled off his husband before collapsing in a heap on the scattered cushions, they'd been so rough in their lovemaking that most of the cushions had migrated across the floor.

Severus lay panting heavily, the room still spinning as the aftershocks tore through him. Harry lay down next to him, placing his arm across Severus' chest and snuggling up to his neck. "Severus? Are you okay? Did I take too much blood?"

"No, Harry. I'm fine. Just a little out of breath after our exercises," Severus reached over and pushed a lock of Harry's hair out of his eyes. He smiled on seeing that Harry still had his glasses on, they'd given no thought to removing them.

"I think we could do with a shower, don't you?" smirked Severus, as his eyes raked over both their sticky bodies. "We shouldn't go to bed like this."

"Bed? You mean...?" The joy on Harry's face had Severus' breath hitching.

"Yes, Harry. I want you to spend the night."

***

Severus didn't know what woke him, but he'd always been a light sleeper ever since his days as a spy. Harry's side of the bed was empty and the sheets chilled. He'd been gone for some time. The bathroom door was shut fast but there was a small sliver of light edging into the bedroom from the living room door. Severus got up and draped a robe around him tying the sash as he pushed open the door.

Harry too was wearing one of Severus' bathrobes, the sleeves far too long for him, he hadn't used magic to resize them, just rolled the sleeves up a few times. The boy was sitting on the floor with his back resting against the sofa and hugging his knees, his eyes staring at the dying embers of the fire.

"Harry?" Severus called softly. "Are you all right?"

Harry turned and Severus saw the glimmer of tears beneath his glasses, reflected in the coloured lights in the room.

"I had a nightmare," said Harry hoarsely.

"You should have woken me."

"I didn't want to bother you," replied Harry, turning and staring at the fire once more.

"It wouldn't be a bother, Harry." Severus knelt down beside Harry but made no move to touch him. Not yet. He had a fair idea of what the nightmare had been about. Harry's uncle and his cousin. Had they rushed things tonight?

"Do you want to talk about it?" Severus asked him gently, giving Harry the choice of what he wanted to do.

Harry turned to face him, then burrowed his face in the folds of Severus' bathrobe, sobbing as if his heart was breaking, clutching at Severus' clothes as if they were the only thing keeping him sane. "Please, Severus," Harry wept. "Please don't be angry with me."

"Ssh, Harry," Severus stroked his back. "I'm not angry at you, Harry. Never at you. The nightmare was it about - was it about your uncle and your cousin?"

Harry's head nodded against his clothes and Harry finally looked up at him. His eyes were red rimmed, they must be so sore, how long had he been crying out here alone? Didn't he know that he never had to hide this? That he would never have to hide anything from Severus ever again?

Harry stood up, looking down at Severus, his face a little calmer, but his hands shook as he untied the sash holding the robe shut.

"This is just one of the things they did to me," said Harry as the robe dropped to the floor.



TBC




Chapter 21: Blood Tides

Part 21


Severus hadn't known that Harry had been using a glamour to hide his body, not once had he sensed it. Harry's magic must have been so powerful to keep the glamour undetected for so many years at a magical school. When Harry removed the glamour, Severus tried to keep his face impassive, to let Harry know without words that he wasn't being judged.

Oh, but those who'd done this to his Harry, they were being judged and found wanting. Harry's body was not smooth and unmarked as would be expected of a seventeen year old. Some of Harry's skin was puckered, burn scars that had not been healed properly. There were other scars too, from deep cuts, covering his torso, his legs, his back and his arms. At first Severus thought they were just random slashes but then he realised that the patterns on Harry's skin were forming words.

Severus stared at the word whore carved raggedly across his husband's lower belly. "Harry?" Severus asked hesitantly, unsure whether he really wanted to know the history behind it. "That was for the third time they caught me masturbating," Harry said in a dull voice. "Aunt Petunia had opened my cupboard to call me to make breakfast and she caught me with my hands down my shorts. She dragged me out, still dressed only in my underwear and shoved me into the kitchen, where Vernon was sitting, ready for his breakfast. 'Do you know what I caught this filthy freak doing, do you, Vernon?' said my aunt, she pushed me so hard I fell over." Harry shuddered as he finished speaking, but he hadn't finished his tale, not yet. "She was yelling at me, calling me every filthy name under the sun, I didn't even know what half of them were."

"How old were you?"

"Ten, I was ten years old, Severus and they made me feel as if what I'd been doing had been so wrong, so shameful. Petunia pulled down my underwear and took my hand, pressing it against my cock. 'Go on, do it, show your uncle what a dirty whore you are.'"

Harry cast a spell on him, but Severus had never taught it to Harry, he wondered briefly who had before he was whisked inside Harry's mind and was immersed in Harry's memories. It was like both watching a pensieve memory and actually being there at the same time.

Severus was standing in a kitchen, Harry was kneeling on all fours, dressed only in a pair of overlarge underpants which were slipping down the boy's waist even as he watched the memory Harry. 揤ernon!" Petunia shrieked loudly, even though the mountain of a man was already heaving himself out of his chair and glaring down at the prone form of his nephew. "Vernon, he was doing it again! I caught him, his hands stuffed down his underwear! Go on, show him, show him what a dirty whore you are!"

"What have we told you about that, boy?" demanded Vernon, his moustache quivering like a slug on his upper lip.

"That it's dirty, uncle Vernon." Harry hadn't moved from the floor and Severus wanted to go and lift Harry up, away from these people before they did what he knew they were going to do now. Severus could see the word "Freak" carved into Harry's back, the word "Pervert" along the back of his thigh. This was not the first time they had done this.

"Just like you. What are you, boy?"

"A dirty disgusting freak," said Harry, his voice catching on sobs.

"That's right," added Petunia, her nose in the air as if Harry was something she wouldn't want on the soles of her oh so pretty shoes. "And you still do it, even after the beatings Vernon gave you last time. Do you want him to beat you again? Well, do you?" Petunia kicked Harry's legs and he tried crawling away on all fours, but Vernon reached down and yanked him up by the waist. Harry was kicking and screaming, crying, sobbing as he struggled to get out of Vernon's grasp. The man was enormous and the small underfed boy had no chance against the man's bulk. Harry didn't know he could do magic yet.

Vernon was about to lay him down on the table when Petunia shook her head. "Not on the table, Vernon. We have to eat there. Put him on the floor like the filthy animal he is." Petunia hunted in some cupboards and emerged holding a dog collar and a leash, the word "Ripper" etched on the leather of the collar. Harry screamed as soon as he saw it, bucking and kicking, his heels drumming against the floor. Severus had the impression this was not the first time Harry had seen the collar, nor the first time that it would be placed around his neck.

Vernon held Harry steady while Petunia tied Harry's wrists together with parcel tape, before placing the collar over his neck and tying him up to one of the cupboard door handles. Harry's back was against the door, his wrists bound behind him, his legs stretched out in front of him. "Hold his legs, Petunia. I don't want the brat kicking me like last time."

Petunia did as she was bid, kneeling down and holding onto Harry's legs. He struggled, oh, how he struggled but Petunia was stronger than she looked and Harry could barely lift his feet an inch off the floor. Vernon knelt down, a knife in his hand, Harry screamed again and renewed his efforts to get free. Vernon backhanded him with his left hand. "Shut the fuck up! You ungrateful brat! This is your own fault, all of it!" Vernon tugged Harry's underpants down below his waist, but didn't expose his genitals, just the lower tummy and Severus knew what word he was going to carve into Harry's belly, for he'd seen the scar already.

Severus couldn't look, he didn't want to look, but he had no choice, whatever spell Harry had cast he could only look at what was happening to Harry. If he looked away, he would be greeted with the scene again, Harry screaming, Harry bleeding, Vernon shouting abuse even as he cut into the boy's skin.

Then as suddenly as he was in Harry's mind, he was out of it, staring at the young man in front of him who'd been that abused young boy. "Harry, oh God, Harry. I'm so sorry." Severus opened his arms, surprised but relieved when Harry ran into them, his tears had long since dried but he was still shaking, still trembling.

"I - I was twelve when Dudley first raped me," Harry whispered to Severus?chest and Severus listened to the young man's tale, holding him, rocking him as Harry relived the horror of what had happened to him. He'd been in bed after the fiasco with Dobby and the dessert over Mrs. Mason, Harry's door was locked on the outside, he couldn't lock it from inside. Only the Dursleys could let him in or out.

Dudley had come in, gloating that Harry was going to be in for the worst hiding ever the next day, his parents were livid over what had happened with the Masons. Dudley bounced up and down on Harry's bed, grinning madly and getting more and more excited at the thought of Harry being punished. "I know what you do at that freaky school," Dudley had whispered in his ear. "You take it up the arse, don't you? Sick pervert! I bet you like that, don't you? Having something shoved up there? I bet it hurts. I bet you scream like a girl when they fuck you."

Dudley obviously had some of his parents' genes, for he tied Harry up before he did anything, stuffing Harry's socks in his mouth to stop him screaming out loud. Harry didn't know how long he endured his cousin raping him before the door was flung open and his uncle Vernon entered the room.

"I thought I was saved. I thought he was going to stop Dudley, but he just waited there, watching while Dudley finished before taking his turn with me. He was so heavy, I thought I was going to die, I could hardly breathe and I just wanted it all to stop. I wanted it to stop!" Harry was crying again now, great wracking sobs that had his whole body shaking and he was barely able to keep himself upright. Severus scooped Harry up in his arms and sat down on the sofa, conjuring a blanket to drape over Harry's bare form.

"It happened every summer after that," said Harry. "Both of them would take turns. I'd started using a glamour to hide the scars at school, but I couldn't at the Dursleys' in case I was expelled. Dudley saw the scars and he wanted to cut me too. Vernon let him. Vernon watched while Dudley cut me," Harry twisted his shoulder and showed Severus the scar, "Homo" along his left side. "Vernon watched and he - and he - touched himself and came all over me while Dudley was cutting me."

Harry rested his head against Severus' shoulder, as if he couldn't go on any further. But he hadn't finished, not by a long way. Severus heard of how Harry was kept in a cupboard until he was eleven; the whippings and beatings he would receive just for being Harry; how they starved him; the mental cruelty they inflicted upon him; the rape and sexual abuse; the cuttings; the deliberate scalding when he was first starting to cook. "Severus," Harry whispered hoarsely. "I'm so sorry I let them do that to me."

"Harry, stop right there. You did not let them do anything. They were your relatives, your caretakers. They were supposed to look after you and they betrayed your trust. You are not to blame for any of this. If I sound angry, it's because I am, but not at you. At them and for all they've put you through over the years. I am not angry with you, Harry. Never."

Severus had been raped, but he had almost expected it, he knew what happened to traitors in Voldemort's service, but what Harry had endured, that seemed much worse to Severus, for it was the people who should have kept Harry safe were the ones who had done such terrible things to him. How had Harry endured it year after year and not told anyone? How did he remain sane?

He saw the words, "I must not tell lies," etched on Harry's right hand. "Did they do that too?"

"No, that was Umbridge," said Harry bitterly and Severus remembered how wild, how angry Harry had been that year. It made a lot more sense now. What Umbridge had been doing to him was so reminiscent of the abuse he had suffered at the Dursleys' hands. No wonder he had been so upset.

Harry was quiet now, too quiet. Severus glanced down at him and realised Harry had fallen asleep, curled up on his chest, looking so much younger than he actually was. The blame for that lay squarely at the Dursleys' door. If Harry hadn't been so mistreated, he probably would have grown to his full potential. He was like a sun worshipping plant that had its growth stunted by being left in the dark.

Severus carried Harry to bed and vowed that the Dursleys would pay for what they had done. He would not let them get away with it.


TBC






Chapter 22: Blood Tides

Part 22


Draco rolled over, tugging the blankets over his head, but the house elf was having none of that and he whipped the bedclothes completely off the bed, squealing madly that if Master Draco did not get up Lindy would be punished. Draco growled down at the creature, what did he care if the elf got punished? If it didn't get out of his room, he'd show it what punishment really meant.

His mother was going to visit Aunt Bella again in that madhouse and this time she wanted Draco to come along. It was another two weeks before he started Durmstrang to complete his NEWTs and she wanted him to do something productive with his time. Hmph! As of going to visit Aunt Bella was productive, the mad bitch probably wouldn't even know they were there. He rubbed his head, remembering the slap he'd received the day before when saying that out loud in his mother's hearing. His mother would not allow anyone to say one word against her sister.

Thinking about his enforced free time, turned Draco's thoughts to Hogwarts and to Severus Snape, the traitor. Draco couldn't care less about Voldemort's betrayal, no, it was the betrayal of him; that rankled. How could Severus Snape, a man who was like an uncle in all but blood betray him? Just stand there and let Dumbledore expel him? Over a fucking mud-blood? Severus hadn't spoken one word in Draco's defence, just went on and on how disappointed he was in Draco before leading him to the gates.

Draco was not going to let him get away with it. He would have the perfect revenge, both against Severus and Potter. Did they think they could just condemn his father to the Dementors and he would forget about it? It was an idea that had been in the back of his mind for a while now, but it was the Weasley brat who'd originally done something about it. Draco almost jumped from the bed in his haste to find parchment and quill.

***

The postman stared at the ruined castle in front of him and then again at the address on the front of the letter. A long white one with a little clear plastic window at the front. It was official whatever it was, but there was no return address. Typed, the address was visible through the window, Hogwarts Castle. A graffitied sign indicated that the ruin was unsafe, but there on a fallen tower was a small sign from Scottish Heritage proclaiming that yes, this was indeed Hogwarts Castle.

He'd never heard of it, nor even seen it before, but what was more disconcerting was the small red box standing on a pillar, painted with curlicued lettering, Letters which had a slot in the top. This box, unlike the rest of the ruin looked in perfect condition and as if it was still in use. Was there a hermit up here or something? You got all sorts up in the mountains.

He shook his head and deposited the letter in its slot before making his way back down to the road. The van was parked on the verge where he left it. He was whistling out of tune by the time he drove off and a few moments later he'd forgotten he'd ever been anywhere near a place called Hogwarts.

***

Harry lay almost horizontal on the broom as he turned the Firebolt into a dive, his arm outstretched, feeling the wind whip past his face. It was the middle of February, the air crisp with threatened snow and the sky almost black. Harry could see perfectly well in the dim light, even with his glasses darkened. His hand grabbed the Snitch and the Gryffindor stands erupted into cheers and applause as his fingers curled around the little golden ball, the wings fluttering uselessly against his gloved palm.

Ron clapped him on the back as the two of them flew down, both of them being giving hearty handshakes and back slaps by the rest of the team. Ron had only let in two goals during the whole match. Hermione came over to them, giving Ron a peck on the check and Harry a hug before waddling back to the castle. She was getting big now and was a little self-conscious, even though most people had been very supportive. She and Ron were getting married once out of school and after the baby was born.

It started snowing as they made their way to the changing rooms, but Harry barely felt it. He didn't notice the cold anymore, but his eyes were still very sensitive to sunlight, no matter how muted.

"Harry, how can you see with that spell?" asked Ron, jabbing his thumb towards Harry's eyes and the darkened glasses. "It's almost dark and you're going about as if it's the height of summer!"

"You've seen what my eyes are like when I forget to do it, Ron," said Harry. The streaming, the redness, the itchiness that just couldn't be relieved until he could curl up in a dark corner somewhere.

"I know, but why are you eyes like that?"

"I don't know, maybe I have an infection or something," Harry lied.

"Maybe," agreed Ron and seemed satisfied at that.

***

Harry made his way back to the common room after his shower, he wasn't really feeling hungry for food and decided to skip dinner so that he could catch up on some of his homework. He'd been with Severus for detention the night before and still hadn't caught up. There was a lot more work now that the exams were drawing nearer and he and Severus had decided that it was best if Harry only came to him when he needed to feed. They'd tried cutting the feeding down from three times to once a week, but that wasn't enough. Harry fainting in Potions had Severus almost ordering him to come down twice a week. Mondays and Thursdays were feeding days and every day in between was Harry wanking and thinking about how much nicer it was to have someone to cuddle up to afterwards. Not that it stopped him doing it, especially when Severus was in his mind every night talking him through it and jerking himself off at the same time Harry was.

God, the thought of it was getting him hard again and Harry willed his erection away as he tried to concentrate on his Transfiguration essay. He seemed to be in a state of permanent arousal these days and it was driving him up the wall. Was there something wrong with his hormones or something? But he couldn't very well imagine asking Madam Pomfrey about this! He'd searched through all the books on vampires in the library, even got Severus to give him a pass to the Restricted Section, but there was nothing in there about vampire arousals except about when they fed.

The common room started to fill up again after dinner and Harry still hadn't written more than a sentence or two and the noise did little to help his concentration. Professor McGonagall entered the portrait hole after Ron and her eyes raked the room, falling on Harry at once. "Potter, the headmaster wishes to see you."

"Now, ma'am?"

"Yes, now. Leave those," said McGonagall as Harry was trying to tidy his books back into his bag and she held the portrait open for him. McGonagall抯 tone was curt with him, almost clipped and Harry wondered what he'd done to bring down the wrath of both his Head of House and the headmaster.

She whispered the password to the gargoyle and Harry stepped onto the moving staircase, feeling rather faint. There was only one thing he could think of that he'd done wrong. They knew. They knew about him and Snape. Oh, God. He was going to be expelled. Snape was going to be fired and get sent to Azkaban. Spots danced in front of his eyes and he clawed the walls, trying to breathe, but it was no use. There was no air, he was going to die here, right on the staircase in front of McGonagall. The world around him swayed and went black.

"Harry? Harry, are you all right, dear boy?" asked the headmaster. Harry was lying supported on two chairs in the man's office, Fawkes squawking as Harry struggled to sit up. He was still a little dizzy, a glass of potion was thrust into his hand by Madam Pomfrey and he felt his heart constrict, feeling the panic well up again. There were two other men in the room, one dressed in the scarlet robes of an Auror, the other in a simple blue robe.

"Harry, this is Mr. Marchbanks," said Dumbledore, indicating the man in the blue robe. "He's a school governor. And you know Auror Shacklebolt of course."

A governor! They knew! They knew!

"Harry, a complaint has been made about you and Professor Snape," said Mr. Marchbanks. "This is the second complaint of this nature that has been levelled against him."

"Where is Professor Snape?" asked Harry, feeling queasy. Severus wasn't here to defend himself and he would never utter a thing against the man. They could dose him with Veriteraserum and still he wouldn't talk. He promised it to himself.

"Under the circumstances we thought it best that Professor Snape be suspended from duties until the allegations are investigated." The headmaster's voice was grave, but he did not reveal Severus' whereabouts. Harry looked desperately towards Madam Pomfrey. Harry would need to feed again soon. "Harry, you are not yet eighteen, a legal adult in the eyes of the Muggle world."

"I don't understand," protested Harry. What had Muggle law got to do with any of it?

"In the Muggle world, you are not considered an adult until you are eighteen and the Dursleys have every right to remove you from the school if they so desire."

"What?" gasped Harry, sitting up so fast the floor spun again.

"It was the Dursleys who made the compliant, Harry," said Dumbledore, lifting an envelope from his desk and waving it at them. "Through a lawyer. They are threatening to sue the school if you are not removed from here and Severus' undue influences."

Undue influences? Severus was an undue influence? That was rich, coming from them. "You are still under their guardianship until you are eighteen, Harry," said Dumbledore sadly.

But he was married to Severus! How could he still be sent back to the Dursleys'? It was unthinkable, undoable and Harry was not going to do it.

"No! I won't go!" screamed Harry. "You can't make me go back there!"

"It's only for a few weeks, Harry, while the investigation takes place."

"Albus, I cannot allow this. I will not countenance Harry being sent back to those people. He is a patient under my care and he won't get the treatment he needs from Muggles."

"Harry? What's wrong?" asked Shacklebolt, the only one besides Madam Pomfrey who seemed concerned for his welfare.

"That is between Harry and myself," sniffed Madam Pomfrey.

"Poppy? What are you suggesting?" asked Dumbledore.

"I have some time owing to me, if you can get a replacement, I will look after him for those few weeks. There is no need for him to go back to that house."

Harry wondered how much the matron knew about what had happened at number four, Privet Drive.

"Very well," sighed Dumbledore. "Harry, you will be staying with Madam Pomfrey for the next two weeks, you are suspended from school until everything is cleared up. The governors will talk to you at Madam Pomfrey's cottage tomorrow."

"Thank you, sir," said Harry as he tried not to look any of them in the eye.

He made it to the door before he almost fainted again.


TBC








Chapter 23: Blood Tides

Part 23

Severus paced the small living room of Madam Pomfrey's cottage in Hogsmeade, feeling as if his whole world was about to shatter into a million tiny pieces. He didn't care if they fired him, it was only a job after all, but what if they sent him to Azkaban? Wizards had been imprisoned for less. Harry needed to feed regularly and a vampire could only have one bonded mate. Harry would die if Severus spent an extended time away from him. Merlin, how had it come to this?

Who had betrayed them? Or had they betrayed themselves? A glance too long or lingering? A touch when there should have been none? Was it their eyes? Were their feelings written on their faces for everyone to see? He thought they'd been so careful. Who had watched? Who had noticed? Who had accused?

Dumbledore hadn't told him, just suggested that Severus remove himself from Hogwarts until the investigations were concluded. He had not been suspended over the Granger incident and the only reason he could think of for his suspension now was unlike with Hermione Granger, Dumbledore suspected these allegations were true.

His thoughts were interrupted as the Floo flared into life, out popped Madam Pomfrey clutching a pale Harry by her side. Harry looked like a wraith, his skin almost so translucent that he could see the veins and bones underneath. As soon as he saw his husband, Harry was out of Poppy's arms and info his, sobbing his relief onto his chest.

"Severus! You're okay! You're okay!"

"I'm fine, Harry," said Severus, not caring that Poppy could see the two of them. She knew they were married, was she really going to complain about him comforting Harry? "How are you, Harry?"

Harry mumbled something, but Severus could only hear something about Muggles.

"The Dursleys threatened to sue the school if Harry is not returned to their guardianship," explained Poppy.

Severus' hands tightened on Harry's waist. "Harry, I promise you, you will never have to see those people again."

"Um, Severus," began Poppy, glancing at Harry as if unsure to continue with Harry in the room.

"Harry, why don't you go and have a lie down?" suggested Severus, knowing even before he'd finished speaking the words that Harry would never agree to it.

"No! I'm not a child! I'm not going to hide while you discuss this behind my back! It affects me and just because I'm not eighteen, the Dursleys think I have no choice, no right to decide!" Harry removed himself from Severus' embrace and stood in front of both of them, his hands folded over his chest. There were no hint of the earlier tears and Severus felt a shiver of pride that Harry felt strong enough to do this. "I'm married to Severus, they can't make me go back there," said Harry defiantly.

"Harry, Muggles don't accept same sex marriages as legally binding. There is also the fact that you were married to Severus before you were eighteen without their consent. They are perfectly within their legal rights to separate you two if they wish."

"And what about their rights and responsibilities towards me? They were supposed to look after me, they were supposed to love me. But they didn't. If a child was betrayed by those he trusted, if he received cruelty rather than food, would they still expect that child to return? Is that child expected to put up with anything just because some piece of paper says they are the child's guardians?"

Poppy paled, her face even whiter than Harry's now as she clasped a hand over her mouth in distress. "Harry, oh, Merlin, Harry. What did they do to you?"

Harry glanced towards Severus, his face remarkably free from tears and Severus nodded that it was okay, that Poppy could be trusted with this. Harry tugged the robe from his shoulders and unbuttoned his shirt, removing the glamour from his body. Poppy gasped. "Harry, there is now way in hell anyone will make you go back there after this. You should take them to court. Show the world what they did."

"I can't," said Harry. "I can't do that. I don't want everyone to know what they did. How I couldn't stand up to them."

"Harry, you have nothing to be ashamed of. The Dursleys abused you, you were a child entrusted to their care and they abused that trust time and time again. Do you want them to get away with it? They'd go to prison for something like this and Muggle prisons are not the best place for child abusers."

"What do you mean?" asked Harry.

"Even other criminals will be against them, Harry. It would not be easy for them in prison."

"Prison?" mused Harry. "And the courtcase would be in the papers, wouldn't it? They'd hate that, all their neighbours knowing what they've done."

Severus nodded, in one way it would be the perfect revenge against the Dursleys, but it would only be the start. Being in a Muggle prison would not protect them from Severus. Metal bars and cages were no deterrent for a determined wizard and Severus was nothing if not determined.

"But what about me and Severus? What if they use Veritaserum?" continued Harry.

"It wouldn't matter, Harry," replied Poppy. "You are a vampire and Severus is your bonded mate. The bond will not allow either of you to harm the other. If you have to lie to protect the other, the bond will allow it to happen, no matter how much Veritaserum you might be dosed with. The bond will not allow harm to come to you from the other, it doesn't work like that."

"So I can lie if it protects Severus?"

"Yes, and he can do the same for you. This will all blow over, Harry and all you two need to do is be more careful until June. Do you think you can both manage that?"

Severus and Harry both nodded. "I'd like to know who complained to the governors in the first place," said Harry. "It couldn't have been the Dursleys first of all, they wouldn't even know who the governors were."

"No," agreed Severus, but he knew of a person who would know exactly who the remaining governors were. After all, his father had been one for years. Draco Malfoy.

***

Later that night, Harry fed frantically from Severus and tried not to worry about the questioning tomorrow. Madam Pomfrey's words had eased his mind somewhat, but he was still afraid that he would give something away, that he would get Severus into trouble and that was the last thing he wanted. He sucked one last time, his orgasm making him dizzy. Harry closed the wounds on Severus' neck and tried to ignore the thought that they would be separated. Severus hadn't come, he wasn't even hard. Harry reached down and tried to touch him with his hands, but Severus pushed him away. "Sorry, Harry. I'm not in the mood."

Harry stopped, unwilling to push.

"Where are you supposed to be?" asked Harry, knowing that the two of them were not expected to be both staying at Madam Pomfrey's cottage.

"I have a room booked at the Three Broomsticks, I'll have to go soon, Harry, in case they check up."

Harry nodded, knowing that it was a distinct possibility but he didn't want Severus to leave him. Four more months. That's what they had to keep telling themselves. They could keep it secret for four more months and then it didn't matter if the whole world knew. It would be a shame to get caught now just because Harry was being selfish.

"I'm not going back to the Dursleys'," said Harry. "Ever."

"I know, Harry and no one is going to make you. We'll run away together first."

"You'd do that? Run away with me?" Harry sat up, propping one hand underneath his chin as he stared down at his husband.

"If you wanted me to. We might have to do it one day."

"Maybe," sighed Harry. "Severus, I don't know what to do."

"Just talk to the governors tomorrow and take each day as it comes. It's all we can do." Severus got up, hunting for his clothes. Harry stood up and kissed him, hard, desperately, fearing that it was the last time they'd ever be allowed to do it. He couldn't find his voice to say goodbye when Severus Apparated away.

***

"Can I get you anything to drink, Mr. Marchbanks?" asked Madam Pomfrey, hovering by the kitchen door.

"Oh, a cup of tea would be lovely, thank you," he said with a smile as he turned back to Harry. "Now, Harry, I want to assure you that you aren't in trouble. If Professor Snape did something to you, it was not your fault. You were a student and as such you were supposed to be under his protection. Now, can you tell me how you and Professor Snape get on?"

"Um," Harry wondered how lucky it could get. The man hadn't even attempted to give him any Veritaserum. "Well, when I first started school, not too good really. He didn't get on with my father and was taking it out on me."

"So he was unfair on you? Bullying you?"

"I thought so at the time, but I now realise he was protecting me."

"Protecting you? How?"

"Did you know he was spying for our side against Voldemort?"

The governor's body trembled at hearing the name, but he nodded. "Yes, indeed. We all know that now."

"Well, there were children of Death Eaters at school and he had to pretend to be nasty to me so that tales weren't told to Voldemort of how nice he was being to me. He couldn't be nice or his cover would be blown."

"I see, I suppose that does make a bit of sense. And after you defeated You-Know-Who? He became friendlier?"

"I wouldn't say we were friends," said Harry and it wasn't a lie. They were husbands, lovers, not exactly friends. "But he wasn't so unfair on me in class and I'm even one of his teaching assistants."

Mr. Marchbanks glanced at the file on his lap. "Indeed. And, Harry, had Professor Snape acted in any way that you considered inappropriate? That made you uncomfortable?"

"No, sir," replied Harry, for it wasn't inappropriate for his husband to touch him in any way.

Madam Pomfrey returned with a tray of tea and biscuits.

"Well, Harry, between you and me, I think this whole thing is a hoax, designed to undermine Professor Snape's authority at the school. As you've said, he was spying for Professor Dumbledore and there are some people still at large who are not pleased at this as you can imagine. My colleague is talking to Professor Snape as we speak, but I think it won't be too long before both of you are back at school. Might I suggest that you always have another student or member of staff with you when you are helping out Professor Snape in the evenings so that these unfounded accusations will not be levelled again? Gossip breeds in schools, even when there is not an inkling of truth to it."

"Thank you, sir, I will."

Mr. Marchbanks sipped his tea and munched on one of the chocolate biscuits, smiling at both of them. Harry felt for the first time in months that perhaps things were going to work out after all.

"I've always had a soft spot for Professor Snape," said Mr. Marchbanks. "His work on the Wolfsbane Potion is amazing, I've never been much good at Potions, but I always try and keep up with his work in the journals. Did you know he turned down the Gosford Prize?" He asked the room at large.

"No, what's that, sir?"

"Just the wizarding equivalent of the Nobel Prize, Harry! Given to those wizards who have made a magical contribution to wizarding society. It was for his work on Veriteraserum, you do know Professor Snape invented that?"

Harry shook his head. There were so many thinks he hadn't known about Severus and it was interesting to see how he was considered by someone outside of Harry's circle. Mr. Marchbanks truly seemed to like him and Harry was pleased on Severus' behalf.

Mr. Marchbanks set his tea cup down on the coffee table. "Thanks very much, Madam Pomfrey. Now I really must be off. You'll receive the results of our enquiries in about two weeks, Harry, but I shouldn't worry. You'll be back at school before you know it."

"Thank you," said Harry as Madam Pomfrey led him to the door.

His hands were shaking with relief. That seemed to have gone well, he just hoped whoever was questioning Severus was as nice as Mr. Marchbanks had been to him.


TBC




Chapter 24: Blood Tides

Part 24

Almost two weeks to the day when they'd been suspended, both Severus and Harry were back at school, along with an apologetic note from Mr. Marchbanks and the rest of the governors. They were both in Dumbledore's office, Harry feeling decidedly guilty, for he knew that what they'd been accused of was actually true.

"Severus, you may begin teaching classes again as soon as you can, Harry you may return to school but I must ask that if you continue to be one of Professor Snape's teaching assistants that you are chaperoned, either by another student or by one of the teachers if they are free. Accusations like this damage the reputation of the school, whether or not they are unfounded." He paused and Harry felt his heart battering his chest. Dumbledore knew, he must know and his next words confirmed it.

"I don't know what it is you said to the governors to have them believing that nothing is going on between you two, but you have not fooled me for an instant. Did you really think I wouldn't know? I am old, not senile. I know everything that goes on in this castle. I must insist that you do not continue an intimate relationship with each other until school ends. After that, I don't care and neither should anyone else. What was so urgent that it couldn't waited until you've left school, eh, Harry? I know you sometimes rush into things but this is ridiculous, even for you."

"Sir, I'm sorry," said Harry. "But we can't do as you've asked, we have to be together."

"Have to be? You're young and passionate, Harry, it just seems like that now. Four months will fly by."

We have to tell him, Severus, what I am.

Yes, we do.

"Headmaster," said Severus formally. "The reason we have been together is simple. Harry is a vampire and I am his bonded mate. If he cannot feed regularly he will die, it is as simple as that. You know what the bond entails, the intimacy required for it to continue working."

"Bonded? Legally bonded?" he asked, staring from one to the other. Harry didn't know whether he wanted to flee from the room, curl up to hide somewhere or to fling himself in Severus' arms.

"Yes, on Harry's seventeenth birthday. The New Zealand Ministry will have a record of it."

Dumbledore burst out laughing, Harry and Severus exchanged confused looks. "My dear boys, why didn't you say so? There are no rules against bonded couples at school as long as the student was of age when the bonding took place."

"But he is still my teacher," said Harry, unsure where this was going.

"Yes, but your bonding takes precedence over any other relationship. Dear me, if you'd only told me this sooner all of this could have been avoided. Now, there is nothing wrong with the two of you being together at school every so often, as long as you are discreet about it. No point in worrying the younger students or their parents, some people still wouldn't approve whether you are bonded or not. Will you mind having to hide your status for just a bit longer?"

It was more than either of them could have hoped for. Harry had his trunk all packed, ready in case he'd been expelled and now Dumbledore was telling them that it was all right? That it was okay for them to be together? He could hardly believe it. Was it a dream or was it really happening?

"Thank you, headmaster, I think we can manage for a few more months, don't you, Harry?"

Harry nodded at Severus before turning back to Dumbledore. "Thank you, sir, you've been very understanding."

"Harry, I was young and in love myself once, I haven't forgotten and there is also the fact of your vampirism. I would rather know that you were able to feed regularly from Severus than wonder if you would get sick or ..."

He didn't need to say anymore. Harry knew what was worrying the headmaster, what would worry everyone else if they knew. Was Harry going to prey on the other students in order to get blood?

"I wouldn't do that, sir," said Harry firmly. "Um, sir, do we still need to be chaperoned?"

"Under the circumstances, I think not, but as I said, you need to be discreet."

"Yes, sir, thank you, sir," replied Harry.

"Before you go, Harry, there is one other thing."

"Sir?"

"Madam Pomfrey told me some of what happened to you at the Dursleys and I wanted to ask you first, did you want them sent to Azkaban?"

"Azkaban? But they're Muggles, sir. Wouldn't they be sent to Muggle prisons?"

"Not in this instance, Harry. Their crimes were against you, a young wizard entrusted to their care. You would not have to testify, Harry. The Wizengamot does not need child abuse victims to testify, they will use Legilimancy on them to get to the truth. If found guilty they would be imprisoned."

"So - so I wouldn't have to see them? Talk to them?" For Harry couldn't imagine seeing them without wanting to do something to harm them.

"No, Harry. You would not be required to go through that."

"Then yes, please let them be arrested."

Dumbledore nodded. "Very well, Harry. I will get the Aurors on it straightaway."

***

Harry made his way back to Gryffindor Tower as Severus went back to his dungeons. They couldn't see each other tonight, it was too risky being their first night back and everything. Dumbledore may have approved in his way but not if the whole school were to find out. The school's reputation was everything to him, how could it not be with him being the headmaster for so long?

Harry climbed through the portrait hole to an empty common room. It was Monday and classes were nearly over. Soon he would be at the mercy of his year mates and their questions. He wasn't looking forward to it, to lying to them, but what else could he do? Harry sat down on one of the window seats and gazed out over the silver waters of the lake.

Severus? His mind sought out that of his mate.

Harry? What's wrong?

Nothing. I just wanted to feel you. Know you're there.

I'll always be there for you, I promised, didn't I?

You did.

I have to go, Harry. My snakes are returning.

Okay. See you tomorrow. And with those words, his husband was gone and Harry was left alone again, but not for long. The portrait hole opened and in trooped Gryffindors loosed from their lessons, the noise soon distracting Harry from missing Severus.

"Harry! You're back!" squealed Hermione as she waddled her way over to him, closely followed by the seventh year boys.

"Great to see you mate," said Dean. "God, imagine if Snape really was going after one of us." He gave dramatic shiver and Harry felt a fleeting urge to blurt out the whole truth and watch their faces fall. Hermione sat down on the sofa below Harry's window, panting a little. Ron sat down beside her. "Yeah, good to have you back," said Ron and for once he wasn't complaining about Snape. Had Harry's words finally sunk in?

"You did study while you were away, didn't you, Harry? The NEWTs aren't that far away now."

"Yes, Mum," grinned Harry to Hermione and the others burst out laughing. "Madam Pomfrey made sure of that. Who took over for her anyway?"

"My mum," said Ron, red faced. "She's a qualified medi-witch. Used to work in St. Mungo's before she had us lot. She's thinking of going back now that we're a bit older and there's no You-Know-Who anymore."

"That's great, Ron," said Harry, meaning it. He couldn't imagine anyone better suited to the healing profession than Molly Weasley. She had enough care for the world. The bell rang for dinner. "I'm not really hungry," said Harry when the three of them were the only ones left in the common room.

"I don't feel like eating in the Hall tonight, either," said Hermione. "Can you bring me something back later, Ron?"

"Sure, Hermione," he gave her a peck on the cheek before clambering out of the room.

Hermione turned to Harry, her eyes wise. "Harry, Ron may be dense about these things, but I'm not. This thing about you and Professor Snape, it's true isn't it? You're a vampire and he's your bonded, isn't he?"

"How did you - "

"Never mind how I know, the problem is, how are we going to keep it from Ron?"

"You think he'd freak out because I'm a vampire?"

"No, he'd freak out because you're with Snape. He'd freak out about whatever man you're with, Harry."

"But he was fine with me being gay," said Harry, remembering the middle of sixth year when he'd come out to both of them. Ron had been fine, supportive even as long as Harry spared him the details.

"He was fine when you didn't have a boyfriend or a husband, so he didn't have to imagine you doing - doing things with them. Now that you have, I don't think he can handle it, Harry. Not from what he said."

"What did he say?" asked Harry angrily. Ron was being fine to his face but talking behind his back? Was that it?

"Nothing specific, and nothing about you. But he's been saying a lot of uncomplimentary things about Professor Snape to me and anyone else who'd listen."

"And you just let him say anything he likes about Snape, do you?"

"Of course I don't, Harry! I like Professor Snape, I defend him and Ron eases up for a few days, but then he starts ranting again. It's like he has this block or something when it comes to Snape, he can't see what Snape has done, the nice things."

"I don't think Snape was ever nice," said Harry.

"Well, maybe not," agreed Hermione. "But he has done good things, made sacrifices, but Ron doesn't see that."

"He has, Hermione. More than even anyone knows about and most of them to protect me." Harry had to close his eyes as the vision of Severus being raped in front of him swum in the air before him. None of them knew all that man had endured and yet they still treated him like dirt. It wasn't fair.

"You love him," said Hermione. It wasn't a question.

"I do, Hermione. I do."

***

Harry sighed and closed his book with a snap, causing Severus to glance over from the essay he was marking. His young husband was rubbing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose.

"Harry? What's wrong?"

"Nothing. Just a headache."

"There's some potion in the bathroom."

"Okay. Thanks." Harry went to fetch it and he stayed away for a long time. Severus glanced over at the book Harry had been studying. It was one that wasn't on any of his book lists. Pregnancy and Birth: A Witch's Guide. Severus had noticed Harry was becoming fascinated by Hermione Granger's pregnancy, but this was getting a little odd. Why was he so interested? Was this something to do with Bella? No more had been heard, but he knew the baby must have been due soon.

Harry came back, his face wet, as if he'd been crying and had splashed water on his face to hide it.

There was something more to this than a simple headache, Severus was sure of that. He knew Harry's moods almost as well as he knew his own now.

"Harry?" he prompted. Harry sat down on the sofa and stared at his knees.

"I - I was just thinking," said Harry so low Severus struggled to make out the words. Unlike Harry, he didn't have vampire senses.

"Now, there's words to strike fear into my heart," smiled Severus, trying for levity, but only seeming to make Harry more miserable as he stared back at him with a wounded pout.

"Do - do you sometimes think it's wrong?"

"What, Harry?"

"What we do. Sex," Harry admitted.

"Why would it be wrong, Harry?" Severus asked, sinking down to his haunches and glancing up at Harry.

"Because - because we can't make a baby. That it's unnatural."

Those sounded like the Dursleys' words, not Harry's. The week previously, all three of them had been imprisoned in Azkaban for life, yet still they were still able to haunt Harry's life. "You think what we do is unnatural, Harry? To Muggles, everything we do is unnatural. Flying on broomsticks, Apparating, casting spells. But you don't feel guilty about them, do you?"

"No, Severus. Just - just the sex."

"What did they say to you, Harry?"

"That I was a freak, unnatural that I'd go to hell for what I was doing."

"They were religious then?"

"No, they never went to church or anything, never mentioned it except when they were punishing me."

"They were the ones who were unnatural, Harry. Abusing you, raping you, do you think that's natural?"

"No." Harry looked away, but not before Severus could see the glimmer of tears behind his glasses.

"Harry, why do you feel guilty about it? They told you it's unnatural to like boys, did they?"

Harry nodded.

"Did you know that homosexuality happens in nature? Along with masturbation and every other sexual practice. It isn't confined to humans, whether wizard or Muggle."

"Really?"

"Really."

"Severus - I feel guilty because I enjoy what we do. I feel I shouldn't, after - after what happened to me and to you. How could I enjoy it? I can't help thinking sometimes of what they've said, what they did."

Severus knelt up and wrapped Harry in an awkward hug. "I promise you, Harry. They are never going to hurt you ever again," Severus whispered fiercely to his hair.

***

The potion took only two hours to brew, Severus started on it as soon as Harry had returned to his dorm after feeding. His neck was still a little sore after Harry had healed it, he had fed rather frantically again but thankfully knew when to stop. As long as the Dursleys were alive, they had power to hurt his young husband.

Harry was no longer a boy, but a young man and Severus had only recently started to notice. Harry would never be tall, the Dursleys so-called care had seen to that, but now that he'd been eating regularly again, he had filled out a little and his face had lost the softness of childhood. His jaw was more angular, he would even need to start shaving soon as well. The Dursleys had turned him from the confident young man he should have been into someone who was scared of his own body, its sexual responses and they were going to pay.

The potion finished, Severus decanted it into a glass bottle and walked to the edge of the anti-Apparation wards. It didn't take him long to arrive on the island housing Azkaban Prison. He needed to use his Patronus charm a few times to get past the Dementors, but they had so many prisoners to feed from that they left him alone for the most part.

The Dursleys were in the one cell, all three of them totally mindless from whatever horrors the Dementors had made them relive. What could be so horrific to people who had abused a child so terribly? They didn't notice Severus enter the cell, nor did they protest when he tipped the potion into their mouths and they swallowed it, beyond caring by that point.

They would care soon enough. They may have been mindless, but they could still feel pain.

***

Harry wandered down to breakfast, feeling a little better after his talk with Severus last night. He'd asked Hermione about it too and discovered, yes, that indeed there had been cases of animals engaging in homosexual activity and Muggle scientists were pondering this, after so many years thinking that the sex drive came from the need to reproduce the genes.

Ron gave him an uneasy smile and Harry wondered if Ron would still be smiling at him if they knew what he and Snape had done last night. How Harry had Snape's cock stuffed inside his arse so far that he could almost feel it in his throat. Neither Severus or Dumbledore were at their usual spots.

As Harry sat down, he noticed Hermione stuffing her Daily Prophet under the table on an empty space beside her.

"Hermione? What's in there?"

But before Hermione could even answer, Professor McGonagall had stopped beside Harry.

"Harry, can you come with me for a moment please?" she asked.

Harry's worry increased a notch. She hardly ever called him Harry. He stood up and followed the woman to an empty classroom as muted conversation followed in their wake.

"Harry, I am afraid I have some grave news."

Harry's knees buckled beneath him and he held onto a desk to steady himself. Severus. Oh, God, something had happened to Severus. That's why he wasn't at breakfast.

"Last night, Harry, your relatives died last night."

"How? How did they die?"

"There's no need for details, Harry. It wasn't pleasant, nor an easy death for any of them."

"Good," said Harry, feeling the relief wash over him in waves. It was the Dursleys, not Severus at all.

"Good? Aren't you upset? They were your only remaining relatives, Harry."

"I'm glad they're dead," said Harry. "After what they did to me, they deserved it."

"Harry, that is not the attitude to take. Do you wish to walk a Dark path, for feeling like this, this is where you are headed. To take a life is wrong, to feel joy in death is wrong, no matter who it is."

"Oh? Like Voldemort?" spat Harry. "You all took joy in that, didn't you?"

"That was different. He was Dark wizard," she protested.

"The Dursleys may not have been wizards but what they did to me was just as Dark," said Harry defiantly. "I won't feel guilty or sad about their death, I'm sorry if that's how everyone thinks I should be reacting, but I can't help how I feel."

"No. And that's what worries me," sighed McGonagall. "Go on, Harry, you'd better get to class."

"Yes, ma'am," said Harry and fled her censure. How could any of them expect him to be sad at the Dursleys?demise? Hadn't he thought of this moment himself for years? How they could never hurt him again if they were dead? He caught up with Ron and Hermione as they exited the Great Hall.

"I'm telling you, Hermione. He's gone to gather up the remaining Death Eaters. Just you wait, he'll be the next Dark Lord."

"Ron, you haven't a clue what you're talking about!"

"What's up?" asked Harry. Hermione's face creased in a worried frown. "Hermione? What is it?"

"Harry - I - it's Professor Snape, Harry."

"What? What's happened to him?"

"No one knows, Harry. He's been missing since last night."


TBC






Chapter 25: Blood Tides

Part 25

Harry felt as if he'd just taken a bludger to the gut; all the breath left his body for a few seconds and he thought he might pass out. Black dots danced on the edge of his vision, but he couldn't afford to faint now. They should have known that Draco would try something after his ploy of having Severus fired failed. What Draco didn't know was that Harry was a vampire and Severus was his bonded mate. Draco had just made a fatal mistake. No one messed with a vampire's mate if they wanted to stay alive.

No one.

***

Severus groaned as he returned to consciousness, his head throbbing as if a mountain troll had been having a party in there and had brought fifty of his friends along for the fun. His whole body ached from hours enduring the Cruciatus curse, but at least the bleeding from his ears and nose had stopped now. He was stupid, he had no qualms admitting it. Draco had been the last person on his mind yesterday as he came out of Flourish and Blotts, the book he'd bought for Harry landing in the mud as soon as Draco had stunned him and brought him here.

Severus had been in the Malfoy dungeons before, but not as a prisoner until now. His wand was gone and he was not as adept at Harry at casting wandless spells. His cloak, robes, trousers, socks and shoes were gone, leaving him only in his underwear and shirt to combat the chill, and they weren't up to the task. The stone floor was chilly on his bare legs, he struggled upright, his muscles feeling like soggy spaghetti after the curses and paced the room to try and keep himself warm. Ten paces square, that was the size of his cell.

The walls were bare grey stone, some patches so damp that moss grew in the cracks between each layer. There was a stout wooden door with a closed metal grille at eye level, but other than that, nothing. There wasn't a bed nor a blanket, or even a bucket. The lack of facilities and the cold were having an effect on his bladder, but Severus had endured worse. He would not give Draco the satisfaction of using the floor like an animal. He could endure this.

He wondered if Narcissa knew that her son was keeping prisoners in the cellars of the Manor. Severus had heard other voices down here and guessed he wasn't the only one. Draco may not have been Marked, but he certainly knew how to use the Unforgivables and plenty of other Dark curses, as he'd been keen to demonstrate to Severus last night.

Narcissa may have been born a Black and married to a Malfoy, but in all the years he'd known her, Severus had never seen her express an interest in the Dark Arts, or even giving any indication that she knew what her husband's activities actually were. She'd been silent at the trial, her face an expressionless mask, it was Draco who had attacked Harry and voiced his opinions for everyone to hear.

Footsteps outside had Severus itching for his wand so that he could hex the little bastard into next week. How could he ever have thought that Draco was worth saving from Voldemort? The boy's mind had been poisoned long before now and there was no way of getting through to him. Not now. Was Bella's madness catching?

The outside grille slid open and Draco's pointed face peered in.

"Sleep well, Snape?" he asked as if he was nothing more than a cordial host worried for his guest's welfare. Severus didn't bother to reply, what was the point? "It doesn't matter, soon it'll not matter. You'll sleep plenty in Azkaban, if you get that far." Draco leant in. "Potter took everything from me!" he hissed. "He threw my offer of friendship back in my face, he stole the Quidditch cup from me year after year. He took the glory during the Tri-Wizard Tournament. He killed my father. He killed the Dark Lord before I could be marked and take my rightful place at his side."

"You're delusional," said Severus calmly. "Voldemort killed your father."

"I'm not the mad one in the family, Snape. That honour belongs solely to Aunt Bella. Do you know what she's saying now?"

Severus couldn't answer. Didn't want to answer.

"That the baby she's carrying is yours," Malfoy grinned, the smile of a predator toying with his prey.

"Don't be ridiculous," snapped Snape, willing himself not to lose it.

"Oh, I don't think it's that far-fetched, Snape. Not considering what my father told me before he was Kissed. Wanted to get it all of his chest I think. How you were their whore while Potter watched. Tell me, what's it like to be raped by a woman? Did you enjoy it?"

Severus' hand shot up to the grille, but Malfoy had already stepped back.

"Now, now, there抯 no need for violence. At least not yet. It's Potter's own fault, really, so I shouldn't feel too guilty if I were you. He's got this saving people thing you see. Too bad I couldn't get the mud-blood or the weasel, but they weren't foolish enough to leave the protection of Hogwarts wards in the dark. He would have come after them no problem, but I'm not so sure about you. Pity my little letter to the governors wasn't true, he'd definitely come after a lover, wouldn't he?"

"Draco, what have you done?" Severus felt his face pale.

"Oh, just left Harry a little note. Hadn't you realised yet, Severus? You're bait."

***

It took over an hour to persuade the headmaster to allow Harry to leave Hogwarts and search for Snape, but only on the condition that twenty Aurors were to accompany him to the edge of the Malfoy Manor wards. Harry would have agreed to anything by that point just to get away. Draco's note had been useful, but it wouldn't have mattered. Due to their bond, Harry knew exactly where Severus was, down to the very cell.

He had his new wand, his old wand lost sometime during the time he'd been kept by Lucius Malfoy and Voldemort before. Even if Draco disarmed him, he wouldn't worry. Draco didn't know how adept he was at wandless magic now. Harry closed his eyes and Apparated into the ballroom of the Manor, the wards no match for a vampire bond. A trap door in the middle of the floor led down to the dungeons, he remembered that from before. Harry tucked his wand between his teeth and began the climb down to rescue his mate.

***

"I have a little surprise for you, Severus," said Draco, but he hadn't come any closer again. He cast a spell which had Severus landing flat on his back and immobile from the neck down. He could barely even turn his head. "I've got another prisoner down here. I've been keeping him hungry and under Imperius for the past month. I could of course let him loose on Potter, but where's the poetry in that? No, I want him to turn you," said Draco. "And won't poor Potter be surprised when he comes to rescue you and you attack him, kill him. They'll lynch you for killing their golden boy, you'll be lucky to get to Azkaban and I'll be rid of both of you. The vampire rumours about you will finally be true."

Severus let Draco ramble on, there was nothing he could say would change the boy's mind, but there was also the fact that Harry himself was a vampire. Best to leave that to the element of surprise, for Severus had not doubt that Harry was on his way, he could feel his presence in the back of his mind and Harry was angry. Very angry.

The door to the cell swung open, Severus couldn't see who entered, but he could hear two sets of footsteps.

"Didn't I promise you a feast?" said Draco.

"This?" came a hoarse voice. "He's so scrawny and he's old. You know I like them young."

"Turn him," said Draco, urging the vampire on with Imperius. The creature stalked to the middle of the room, Severus could see him out of the corner of his eye, but he stopped about two feet away and held his head, groaning.

"Turn him!" insisted Draco. "You have to obey me!"

"I can't!"

"What do you mean you can't? You're under Imperius for fuck's sake! Now turn him!"

"He's bonded to another vampire! I can't touch him!"

"You've got to be joking," said Draco, coming into the room. Severus tried to issue a warning, but it was far to late for that. The vampire was upon Draco before the boy knew what hit him. Severus heard the slurping as the vampire fed and he knew that this time, the vampire would not stop until he'd drained Draco dry. He'd been left hungry for too long. The spell binding Severus released as soon as Draco breathed his last and Severus stood up on shaky legs.

The vampire hurled Draco's body to the floor and eyed Severus hungrily, but he could not do anything to harm him.

"Who is your mate?" he enquired.

"That would be me!" snarled Harry, kneeing the other vampire in the back and throwing him to the floor.

The vampire turned his head to look at his attacker. Severus saw Harry's eyes grow wide as he stared at the vampire.

"You!" exclaimed Harry.


TBC






Chapter 26: Blood Tides

Part 26

Harry forgot he was a wizard, forgot he had a wand that could cast spells and ensure the vampire on the floor could writhe in agony for eternity. The rage coursing through his blood would not be assuaged by the casting of spells, he needed to hurt the man physically for what he'd done to Harry. The fear his five year old self had felt, for the vampire on the floor was the one who had turned him into this. Into a creature who craved blood, needed blood to survive.

Harry yanked the man's head back by his hair and then began to pound it backwards and forwards on the floor. Thud. Thud. Thud. Harry was possessed, he was barely aware of anything except the need to see the vampire hurt as much as he'd been hurt. He was seeing things through a red haze, blood was dripping down the vampire's nose, from his ears, from cuts on his face and still Harry kept pounding and pounding his head until the man's screams grew silent.

"Harry! Stop!" screamed Severus as he tried to yank Harry away. Harry turned to his mate and bared his fangs, hissing, watching Severus' eyes widen briefly in fear as he took a few steps away from him. The vampire's blood on the floor was making Harry's craving worse, but he would not get any sustenance from a vampire's blood. He needed his mate and Harry prowled towards Severus, who backed up against one of the cell walls. He'd only fed last night, Severus would not have recovered yet, but Harry's craving was beyond that now.

The cell stank of blood and fear and both were having an effect on him. He was so hard, even before he'd even touched Severus.

"Harry, stop," begged Severus, but his voice was steady. "It's too soon. Fight it. Fight it."

"I need it," said Harry, running his tongue along his fangs.

"No, you don't. You fed last night, Harry. You're fine for a few more days. You know you are. Fight it, it's just the smell of the blood affecting you. You don't need it, not yet. Please, Harry. Don't do this."

"Stupefy!" the stunning spell from behind him threw Harry to the ground and he stayed there, immobile, but still craving.

"Lupin!" gasped Severus and Harry realised he'd just been stunned by his ex-professor.

"What on earth is going on?" asked Lupin, coming round to stare down at Harry, twenty Aurors at his back. "Harry? Did I just see you about to attack Severus?"

"It's a long story, Lupin," said Severus. "One we can discuss once we're back at Hogwarts."

Lupin banished the blood on the floor and bent down to check both Draco and the vampire. "Malfoy's dead. This one's still breathing," said Lupin as he pushed the vampire's head aside with his hand. "Shit! This was the vampire who turned Harry?" asked Lupin, turning back round. "Everyone thought he was dead."

"Obviously not," drawled Snape. "He'd been hiding amongst the Muggles. Good ploy, ensured none of Voldemort's spies would find out he was still breathing."

Who was he? It sounded like Severus and Lupin both knew him, but it also sounded like they weren't going to tell Harry who it was.

"You knew Harry was a vampire?" asked Severus

Harry wished they would stop talking about him as if he wasn't there. He may not have been able to move or speak, but he could still hear.

"Werewolf senses, of course I knew. I just never mentioned it to anyone."

A small moan managed to make itself known from Harry's closed lips and Lupin hurried to release the binding spell.

"Sorry, Harry. I just didn't want you attacking Severus in that state. We'll have to think of getting you bonded soon, now that you're of age and everything. It will be easier to control after that."

"Actually, Remus," said Harry, tugging up the sleeve of his robe and showing Remus the bracelet enclosing his wrist. "I'm already bonded. To Severus."

***

Harry lay staring at the ceiling, guilt and shame warring inside him. He'd almost killed Severus in his lust for blood and at the time he hadn't cared. It was all over the school now, how he was a vampire and was bonded to Professor Snape. Madam Pomfrey had placed him in a private room just off the infirmary. Madam Pomfrey and Lupin were the only two who'd been in to visit him. Severus hadn't come in and Harry could hardly blame him.

Shouldn't the bond have stopped him from hurting Severus like that? Was it broken? He didn't know and he didn't know who he could ask. Who at Hogwarts was an expert on vampire physiology?

Madam Pomfrey entered the room and warded the door behind her, a bottle of blood replenishing solution in her hand.

It had been three days since they came back from Malfoy Manor, and two of those he'd been under sedation from Madam Pomfrey. Severus still wasn't well enough for Harry to feed from him. He was in another private room, somewhere away from Harry's, still being tended to after so many hours of Cruciatus. The blood replenishing solution wasn't ideal, but it would have to do, for there was no way Harry was going to feed from Severus ever again. He couldn't risk it, he would not risk hurting him again. Ever.

Harry knew that the blood replenishing solution would only keep him alive for a few weeks at the most, it was a temporary measure, but he would rather that than kill Severus in his blood madness. He had been right in the beginning when he discovered his condition. He was a monster and he should be put down before he could hurt anyone else.

"Harry, you're brooding again," admonished Madam Pomfrey as she poured him the dose in a small glass. Harry swallowed the bitter liquid, not speaking. "It doesn't do to brood, Harry. Severus will be fine before you know it and then you two can get back to normal."

Harry gripped the bedclothes so tight his knuckles turned white. "No," he said. "I'll never be normal. I'm a monster and Severus would be better off without me."

I think I'll be the judge of that. said Severus in his mind and no matter how much he didn't want to hurt Severus, Harry didn't want to close off this bond with him either, so he hadn't done it.

I almost killed you!

But you didn't.

Only because Remus stopped me.

Harry, once you would have started feeding from me, the bond would have kicked in and you would not have been able to kill me. You were distraught because of all the blood. You wouldn't have killed me. I know it and so do you.

But I don't, Severus! That's what worries me! What if I can't control the cravings?

How have they been since you've been back?

Harry paused, thinking. He couldn't actually remember the last time he'd had a craving, the intense need. Surely he should be feeling something like that since he hadn't fed properly for a few days now?

I - I haven't had any cravings.

It's working then.

What is, Severus?

I modified the blood replenishing solution, I added a few drops of my blood to each batch.

You're not well!

Well enough for that, it only needed a few pin pricks of blood. If you keep taking the solution every day, the cravings will diminish. You'll still need to feed from me every few days to stay healthy, but by taking the blood replenishing potion as well every day, you will no longer have the uncontrollable cravings. You can decide when you need to feed, not your craving.

Severus, I wish you were here.

Why?

So I could kiss you, you wonderful, stubborn, man! Thank you, Severus, thank you!

You're welcome. Now get some rest.

Only if you do.

Fine. Go.

"Harry, dear, are you all right? You've been awfully quiet."

Oh, Harry had forgotten Madam Pomfrey was still in the room with him. "I抦 fine, Madam Pomfrey. Do you know what happened? After we got away from Malfoy Manor?"

"Remus or Severus didn't tell you?"

Harry shook his head. "Well, the Aurors took that vampire into custody, you know, the one who turned you? It turns out he'd been living in the Muggle world for years, he wasn't registered nor did he have a bonded donor. He preyed on Muggle children, he - he..." she paused then, unsure of whether to continue.

"I know, Madam Pomfrey. He was a paedophile, he abused them before he killed them."

"Oh, Harry. You as well?"

Harry nodded. "I only remember pieces of it, I think I must have repressed it or he Obliviated me, I'm not sure. The last thing I remember is him having me in the bath and touching me. That was enough." Harry didn't want to think about it any more than that.

"Well, as you know, Harry, only wizards can become infected with vampirism, not Muggles. He didn't know you were a wizard, didn't even know your name, so when you bit him and escaped, he thought nothing of it. Didn't know he'd just added another vampire to the population. You were the one who got away from him, the only one."

"He's not dead, is he?" asked Harry, wondering how he felt about that. He might have killed him that day, he was certainly angry enough.

"No, he's in Azkaban as we speak, but he's been sentenced to the Kiss, unanimous vote."

"What are they going to do to me?"

"Do to you, Harry? What do you mean?"

"Well, if they sent him to Azkaban for being a vampire, they'll send me, won't they?"

"Harry, dear, he wasn't sent to Azkaban because he was a vampire. He was sent to Azkaban for the murder and rape of all those children he preyed upon. It wouldn't matter whether he was a vampire or the man in the moon. It wasn't because of what he was, it was because of what he chose to do."

"Will I be allowed to go back to school?"

"Of course, dear. Some of the younger students were a little frightened when they heard that you were a vampire, but Professor Lupin has been having a talk with them all and explaining things. He's taken over Professor Snape's classes while he recovers. There's a lot of prejudice against vampires like werewolves, but most people are very accepting, Harry. Universal popularity is probably going to be a bit of a long shot."

"I never wanted to be popular anyway," said Harry.

Madam Pomfrey patted the bed. "I have two Gryffindors outside just begging to see you, shall I let them in?"

"Yes, thanks. Um, Madam Pomfrey, did they ever find out who the vampire was? His name I mean?" he was hoping that Remus or Severus hadn't told her that he was to be kept in the dark about his identity. He needed to know, needed that closure.

"Oh, I thought you knew, Harry. It was Regulus Black, your godfather's brother."




TBC





Chapter 27: Blood Tides

Part 27

Regulus Black, the brother Sirius thought had been murdered by Death Eaters. That's who had abducted him? Who had turned him into a vampire? Harry was just glad that Sirius hadn't lived to see it. To know what his brother was, what he had done to Harry. For if Sirius had still been alive and had found out, then Harry had no doubt that Sirius would be straight back in Azkaban for killing his brother.

The door opened and Ron popped his head round. "Okay if we come in, Harry? Madam Pomfrey said it was all right."

"Sure," said Harry, pushing the thoughts aside.

Hermione sat down on the chair by Harry's bed and Ron stood to one side of it .She had her engagement on a chain around her neck and noticed Harry staring at it. "My fingers were swelling too much," she explained, smiling. "I'll be glad when this baby finally decides to arrive."

"How are you feeling?" asked Harry, Hermione looked tired with purple shadows under he eyes.

"I was just about to ask you the same thing," she laughed, Ron joining in.

"A vampire, mate," said Ron. "Always knew there was something different about you." He squeezed Harry's hand and grinned down at him. "So, this vampirism, does it always affect the brain?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you must be mental mate, getting bonded to Snape. Who in their right mind would want to - " Ron trailed off on seeing Harry's glare. "Er, sorry, Harry. I was just joking. I don't care who you're married to as long as your happy. You are happy with him, right?"

"I am, Ron. I am. You're really okay with everything?"

"Of course, I've been a prat about it, but I've been seeing Madam Pomfrey about it. Counselling."

"Counselling?" asked Harry, looking from Ron to Hermione. "Ron, what's wrong?"

"I'll leave you two to it," said Hermione, patting Harry's hand and giving Ron a quick kiss on the cheek.

Ron sat down on the chair Hermione had vacated and stared at his hands. He didn't look like he was about to talk anytime soon.

"Ron?" Harry prompted, curious despite himself.

"I freaked out, Harry. Last year, when you told me you were gay. I told you I was fine with it, but I wasn't, it really threw me and I couldn't understand why. I - I kept having these dreams, Harry. Nightmares really and after we found out about you being taken by the vampire I went to see Madam Pomfrey about it. The dreams weren't mine, Harry."

"Not yours? How was that possible?"

"I don't know, neither does Madam Pomfrey, but she thinks it might be because we're good friends and we spent a lot of time together. Harry, the dreams weren't mine. They were yours."

"What?" Harry leaned back against his pillow, the room swaying around him. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths.

"Harry? Are you okay? Do you want me to fetch Madam Pomfrey?"

"No thanks, Ron. I'm fine. Just a little dizzy. What do you mean they were my dreams?"

"Well, I think they were more memories than dreams. I dreamed of what happened to you when the vampire took you, what he did to you. Of course, I only know that now, I didn't when I was having the dreams."

Harry barely made it to the side of the bed before he threw up over it, his stomach aching with the effort. Ron knew. Ron saw. Ron banished the vomit and then poured Harry a glass of water to wash the taste away.

"Please, Ron, I don't want to talk about it anymore."

"Sorry, I didn't mean to upset you."

"It's okay, I'm okay. It happened a long time ago. So the counselling is helping you?" Harry asked, playing with a thread on the coverlet, wondering if he would ever have the courage to do something like that.

"Yeah, Madam Pomfrey is really good. I know it didn't happen to me, Harry, but afterwards, after the nightmares, it felt as if it had and I needed someone to talk to. They've stopped now, though."

"When did they stop?" asked Harry.

"Funny that, I've never had one since your birthday, when you were seventeen."

Harry nodded, he'd expected as much. That was the day he'd been bonded to Severus.


***

The Easter holidays were a frantic flurry of studying and revision, most of the seventh year students had stayed at Hogwarts in order to get in as much study as possible. The NEWTs were barely two months away and panic was beginning to set in, even with those who were normally so calm. Ron had gone back to the Burrow, taking Hermione with him so Harry spent most of his time with Severus. Not that it was a hardship

Harry closed his Charms textbook with a snap. He couldn't concentrate, his renewed erection saw to that. God, it felt like he'd been aroused for days. His libido was playing havoc with him lately. Severus was in the Potions lab again, he'd been brewing something for the past few days but Harry's questions about what new Potion the man might be inventing were met with a quirked eyebrow and comments that it was a surprise for him.

Harry absently fingered the bracelet on his wrist, thinking about his husband and what they'd been doing last night. Harry had fed from him and afterwards, Severus had made love to him almost all night long. He'd had five orgasms in the space of three hours and he'd never felt so connected to Severus as he had then. Even the memory had him hard again, although he wasn't sure he would be able to come again after their marathon the night before.

Severus coughed from the doorway to the lab and Harry looked up, only to get lost in that dark, hungry gaze. A few strides and Severus covered the room, stooping down to press his lips hard against Harry's. The kiss was fierce, demanding, devouring and Harry didn't want it to end. He moaned and wrapped his arms around Severus' neck, caressing the soft skin there and enjoying Severus' hiss in response.

Severus nibbled Harry's lips, then soothed the bites with a soft swipe of tongue. "I felt you," Severus whispered against his mouth. "How hard you were."

Harry groaned and his legs widened, the zip of his jeans pressing uncomfortably against his erection. Severus' hands moved between them and he unzipped Harry's trousers as deftly as any maid. He sucked on Harry's neck, on that sensitive spot where Harry's neck and shoulder met and he whimpered as the desire flowed through him like molten metal. "Please," he begged. "Please."

"Like this?" asked Severus as he gripped Harry's leaking cock in his fist and stroked, the rhythm tantalisingly slow.

"In me. I want you in me," breathed Harry. He felt so empty.

Severus paused in his ministrations to Harry's cock and looked at him sadly. "Much as I'd love to oblige, Harry, I can't. Not after last night. I'm not as young as you."

"Oh," said Harry. "Your fingers then, please."

Severus gave him a soft kiss and nodded before summoning a jar of oil from the bedroom. Harry undid his jeans the rest of the way, then pushed them and his underwear down his legs and stepped out of them. He didn't even bother unbuttoning his whole shirt, just the top two and then yanked it over his head. Harry settled down on the soft rug in front of the fire, Severus had never banished it since the day he'd conjured it. Even the memory of what they'd been doing on it then had Harry anxiously craving his husband's hands on his body.

Severus coated his fingers, both hands until they were glistening and Harry panicked a little, surely he wouldn't stretch enough for that? But then Severus started stroking his chest, paying particular attention to his scars. "Severus? What are you doing?" he asked. The oil was warm and made his skin tingle, as if butterflies kept fluttering close to his skin.

"It's working, Harry," said Severus as he continued stroking and stroking.

"What is?"

"It's the potion I've been working on for you. It's removing the scars. All of them," Severus lifted up Harry's right hand and smoothed the oil over the back of it, rubbing it in slow soft circles with his thumbs. When he'd finished, Harry looked at the skin there. Unblemished but for a few freckles. The scar from Umbridge was totally gone. Harry felt tears squeeze from the corners of his eyes and he blinked them back. He couldn't see down his chest from his prone position on the floor, but he guessed those scars were diminishing too. Severus had done this for him, created this potion for him? He didn't know how he could ever thank the man.

It was so soothing, so relaxing as Severus continued to massage him that if it hadn't been for Harry's erection which was desperate for any attention, he probably would have fallen asleep. Severus' hands ghosted over his inner thighs and Harry wailed in frustration, for Severus had ventured nowhere near his cock or his entrance yet. "Severus! Please!"

Severus chuckled, low and deep throated as he watched Harry writhe on the rug. "Are parts of you feeling neglected, my Harry?"

"You know they are," pouted Harry.

"You're adorable when you pout," said Severus as he bent over and sucked on Harry's bottom lip. Harry bucked up against him, moaning into his mouth. Severus' hands skimmed down Harry's chest, tweaking both nipples on his way before he finally, finally, settled his index finger at that secret place between his legs and Harry almost sighed with the relief he felt as the invader pushed its way inside.

Severus knew his body so well now and it didn't take him long to find Harry's prostate and massage it with as much care as he'd massaged the rest of Harry's body earlier. With his other hand, Severus stroked Harry's cock in tandem with his fingers easing in and out of him. Harry pistoned his hips up and down, feeling so full, so complete. His whole body was thrumming with pleasure and he knew it would not take him long, he'd been teased for too long. The room spun around him, he closed his eyes, arching up as the first tremors took him, bathing Severus' hands in drops of pearl as he came, more of a dribble rather than a spurt but still strong for all that. He wasn't seeing stars, he was seeing entire galaxies as the colours flashed behind his eyelids and Severus tried to gently ease his fingers out. Harry's arse twitched, not ready for them to be gone just yet.

"Stay," he pleaded as Severus lay down beside him and kept his fingers inside Harry. Severus kissed him and then he softly moved his fingers inside him again. It sent a strange sensation to Harry's groin, not quite an arousal but it made his damp cock jerk a little.

"Am I hurting you?" asked Severus, as he watched Harry's cock with interest as well.

"No, it feels, good," mumbled Harry. "You feel good inside me. Thank you, Severus. For the potion."

"You're welcome," Severus kissed his forehead. "You should get some sleep."

Harry smiled in reminiscence. "Ah, so should you. From what I remember neither of us got much sleep last night."

"No, you're too tempting," said Severus, licking Harry's ear. "Sleep, brat."

"Yes, git," smiled Harry as he drifted off, Severus' fingers still inside him.



TBC






Chapter 28: Blood Tides

Part 28

Harry whimpered in his sleep and turned away from Severus, untucking the covers from him as he did so. Severus stroked Harry's back and kissed his hair. Harry stilled and his breathing evened out once more. It was the night before his last exam, Potions and every night since they'd started Harry had been having nightmares.

The truth about their relationship had graced the pages of the Daily Prophet when they'd returned from Malfoy Manor and even Dumbledore had agreed that it was stupid to keep it secret at school now and they had shared quarters ever since.

They'd both had plenty of Howlers about it of course, both from people complaing about a vampire being allowed to roam free round the school to prey on those poor defenceless children and then in the next breath, they were ranting at Severus for taking advantage of one of his students (the aforementioned vampire.) They couldn't win no matter what they did, so they just decided to please themselves and the rest of the Wizarding world could just sod off.

Bella had given a birth to a baby boy in April, the announcement had been in the prophet, as had the adoption announcement. Narcissa was going to raise her sister's child and Severus and Harry both were relieved when the birth announcement gave the father as Rodolphus Lestrange. Either Bella had told them that's who the father was or that a paternity charm had revealed the baby's father. Severus was just pleased that it wasn't him, he wasn't sure how he would have coped if the child had been his.

Thinking about it again had him remembering the conversation he'd had with Harry afterwards. Harry had been so interested in both Hermione's and Bella's pregnancy for the same reason. He'd always wanted a family of his own, as he'd said to Severus that night, curled up in Severus' lap. Severus could understand the reasoning behind it, Harry's family had been such a disappointment that it seemed he wanted to give a child all the love and care he'd been denied. They may have been wizards, but even they couldn't change nature that much. Neither one of them could get pregnant, but there were other options, something Severus was going to discuss with Harry once his exams were over.

He smiled in the dark, kissing his husband's head again before he fell back asleep.

***

"You will have three hours to complete the practical part of your exam and two hours for the written theory. All the equipment you need will be in the store cupboards, you need to decide on your own equipment and ingredients."

The examiner stopped speaking and handed out scrolls of parchment to the few students who were taking the Potions NEWT. It was so strange to be in the Potions classroom without Severus in it. Harry stared at the desk, as if he could conjure his husband there by sheer will alone. Hermione wasn't here, she was taking her exam in the infimary under the watchful eye of Madam Pomfrey and another examiner, Madam Pomfrey wanted to make sure nothing they might be brewing could harm Hermione or her baby.

Finished with the scrolls, the examiner walked back to the desk and turned the hourglass half way. "You may begin," he said, settling it upside down and the sands started drifting into the bottom. Harry glanced down at his first scroll, the practical. They had to brew three Potions from a choice of six. Harry let out a relieved sigh. He'd done all of them before and had got them righ. He smiled to himself and made his way to the store cupboard to get out his knives and cauldron. This was going to be easy.

***

Severus paced the living room, trying not to give in to the urge to bite his nails. He hadn't done that since he was a first year, but he was still a little nervous on Harry's behalf. Harry had never done as well as he could have done in Potions and even Severus was surprised when his husband had passed his OWLs, but the NEWTs were always that little bit more difficult and time consuming. Marks were taken off if you hadn't finished in time, even if there were spelling mistakes on the parchment of the written part. Would Harry do well enough?

That wasn't all he was nervous about, Severus wondered how Harry would feel about the surprise. Well, two suprises really. Only Hermione Granger knew about either of them, as he'd needed her help with the first one and her advice for the second.

The clock on the mantel chimed three and he sank down on the sofa feeling as if he was a puppet who'd just had his strings cut. Three o'clock. The final exam was over and any minute now Harry was going to come charging in that door with either a big grin or a disappointed pout.

At almost exactly five past, the outer door opened and Harry came in. His face was drawn and he looked almost as pale as one of the ghosts.

"Harry?"

"I mucked it up," said Harry, his voice hoarse as if he was trying not to cry. "I knew you shouldn't have used a silver cauldron if dragon blood was one of your ingredients. I knew it!"

"What happened? Did it explode?" Severus asked gently. He was disappointed, he knew it, but it wouldn't do to berate Harry about it now, the boy was probably feeling bad enough.

Harry looked up and smiled at him. "Gotcha!"

"What?"

"It was a joke, Severus. I knew not to use a silver cauldron, so I didn't. I think I passed."

"You!" exlacimed Severus before wrapping him in a hug and kissing him passionately. "Congratulations. I've got a surprise for you."

"Oh, what? You know I love surprises! It's not my birthday yet, though."

"Think of it as a present for acing your NEWTs."

"We don't get the results till July, Severus."

"I know you, I know how hard you've worked. You've aced them," said Severus, disentangling himself from Harry's embrace and reaching for the parcel on the coffee table. It was wrapped in brown paper and string.

Harry undid the string with a spell and then unwrapped what was underneath. Harry stared at the book, then at Severus, then at the book again. He couldn't seem to form words. "Severus? What? How?" Harry gazed down at the book in his hands and ran his fingers over the words embossed on the cover.

The Art of Defence: Vol.1-7
by H. J. Potter
Edited by H. Granger

"Remember I told you your notes would be suitable as a textbook? Miss Granger helped me get them in some semblance of order and ready for publication. We've already contacted several wizarding schools and they are keen to use them as their text for Defence Against the Dark Arts. This book contains volumes one to seven, suitable for first years through to seventh years, they'll only ever need the one Defence book, this one."

"Wow," said Harry. "I don't know what to say. Thank you, Severus. This means so much to me."

"You're very welcome, Harry. I thought I might take the famous author out to dinner this evening, I've made reservations at Luigi's in London."

"Luigi's? Can we afford that?"

"You can," said Severus, opening Harry's book and pointing to the slip of paper inside it. "Your first royalty cheque."

Harry grinned. "In that case, I'd love to treat you to dinner, Severus."

"Yes, there are a few more things we have to discuss," said Severus, handing him an envelope.

"More surprises?" asked Harry, slipping his thumb under the seal and removing the contents. "Adoption agencies?"

"A good surprise, I hope?"

"God, Severus! Yes!" Harry flung his arms around Severus' neck and kissed him soundly. Severus could feel Harry's tears drip into his mouth. Happy tears for a change. He hoped he would see more of them in the future.

Part 29 Epilogue : Five Years Later

The Grange was a madhouse on Nathan's fourth birthday party, screaming kids everywhere you looked and Harry wouldn't have wanted it any other way. "David! Give that present back to Nathan at once!" shrieked Hermione to their eldest child, who was also Harry and Severus' godson. "It's not your birthday!" David reluctantly parted with the gaily wrapped present and pouted at his mother, who had long since grown immune to such tactics. "Don't you pull that face with me young man," said Hermione. "If you're not going to play properly you're going to have a nap."

"Not tired," he said sullenly. "I don't have to go to sleep, do I uncle Harry?"

Harry tried not to laugh, the kids were getting so good at manipulating him, he knew he was far too soft on them but he couldn't help it. "No, David, you don't."

Molly grinned at Harry. "You spoil them, Harry."

He shrugged, better they were spoilt than locked in a cupboard for ten years and he was not going to apologise for it.

As Severus brought in the birthday cake, all the children sat up round the table and waited patiently for their slice, the first time they'd been quiet all day.

As Severus handed out the pieces of cake to the children, the doorbell rang. They weren't expecting anyone. All the Weasley children were already here, Ron and Hermione's two, Bill and Fleur's three and one child each belonging to Fred and George.

Severus arched an eyebrow at Harry. "Are you expecting anyone?"

Harry shook his head and went to answer the front door. What he found there was a child around five years old with a envelope clutched in his hand, with Harry and Severus' names scratched on the front.

"Aunt Narcissa said I had to give this to you," said the boy, handing Harry the envelope. Harry knew then who it was, this must be Bella's son. He looked nothing like his mother, with dark curly hair and bright blue eyes. There was nothing of the Malfoys in him either.

Harry's hand shook as he took the envelope, just as Severus came to the door to see what was keeping Harry.

"Harry, what - ?" Severus stopped and stared at the child on their doorstep. "You must be Andrew," said Severus, sounding more calm than Harry felt. Where was Narcissa? Why wasn't she with the boy?

"Hello, uncle Severus," said Andrew staring up at him, unblinking. "Uncle Harry." The eyes looked far older than that of a five year old child. Harry removed the seal and read the note within with a sinking feeling in his chest.

Dear Harry and Severus,

I know you have no love for me or my family, but I beg you, please look after Andrew. He needs a good nurturing home and that is something I cannot give him. The Manor is too full of ghosts and grief and I cannot cope with him any longer. There is a vault at Gringotts filled with enough gold to see to Andrew's necessities until he comes of age. Please, please show him all the love you show your son and maybe this time things will work out differently.

Narcissa Black Malfoy.

Harry glanced down at the child who stood as poised as any adult, not the five year old child he actually was. It was quite a contrast to the children running round playing hide and seek in the Grange, their squeals of delight audible even from out here.

Harry handed the envelope to Severus, not sure what to think, what to feel. Why couldn't Narcissa cope? And why on earth did she think Harry and Severus were the best option to look after the boy considering what his parents had done to Severus? Harry looked to Severus for some clue as to what he wanted to do.

"Come in, Andrew," said Severus, holding the door open. As Andrew entered the house, he turned and gave Harry a small knowing smile over his shoulder.

For just a second, instead of the bright blue eyes, Harry was sure he saw the glimmer of red.

The End

camillayoung 发表于 2012-7-31 22:59:38

这文儿整个儿虐身虐心从头虐到尾啊,大晚上看的我小心肝颤啊,泪奔~~o(>_<)o ~~

雨雪霏霏 发表于 2013-1-28 15:05:34

哎 老了 心理承受能力不行了啊

芝士海绵 发表于 2013-6-14 19:32:02

好吧,我看了个开头就差点看不下去了,太受刺激了。。。。

堕落爱的轮回 发表于 2013-6-27 21:59:32

楼楼,写的很好,顶顶,希望楼楼再多写一些

柏深深 发表于 2013-10-23 20:42:53

这篇我好像看过译文,觉得清洁好熟悉,什么时候看的忘了。

longsiyn 发表于 2013-11-27 22:11:01

额……全英文的小说我第一次尝试阅读,果然还是没有中文来得爽啊

夜零~白苒 发表于 2013-12-2 08:51:44

好吧修炼还是不够。。。这纯英文看的我感觉像在上文学课= = 不过内容比文学课好太多了。。。。

roseaux12 发表于 2014-1-22 16:56:06

第一次尝试这么长的英文没想到这么虐啊……T.T

wskaidlr 发表于 2014-4-10 18:14:59

挺好看的~各种有爱的CP,好喜欢,不过有点拖沓
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