Warnings: Slash (um, yeah), violence, D/s, almost non-con, threesome, mpreg, pre HBP
Pairing other than D/H: Snape/Harry
Summary: A missed potion reveals a secret about Proffesor Snape and Draco. They are part of a rare species and have sniffed out Harry as one of their own. Can Harry stand up to the animalistic and sexually charged Slytherins?
Feedback: Yes, please, especially of the critique variety.
Can also be found at http://archive.skyehawke.com/story.php?no=8094
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Prologue, Chapters One & Two, Chapters Three & Four, Chapters Five & Six, Chapters Seven & Eight, Chapter Nine, Chapters Ten & Eleven, Chapters Twelve & Thirteen, Chapters Fourteen & Fifteen, Chapters Sixteen & Seventeen, Chapters Eighteen & Nineteen, Chapters Twenty & Twenty-one, Chapters Twenty-two & Twenty-three, Chapters Twenty-four & Twenty-five, Chapters Twenty-six & Twenty-seven, Chapters Twenty-eight & Twenty-nine, Chapters Thirty & Thirty-one, Chapters Thirty-two & Thirty-three, Chapters Thirty-four & Thirty-five, Chapters Thirty-six & Thirty-seven, Chapters Thirty-eight & Thirty-nine, Chapters Forty & Forty-one, Chapters Forty-two & Forty-three Chapters Forty-four & Forty-five Chapters Forty-six & Forty-seven Chapters Forty-eight & Forty-nine Chapters Fifty & Fifty-one
The snow was sparse the further in he got. The thickness of the overgrowth and the trees prevented much of it from actually reaching the forest floor. Once inside, he was re-introduced to the Forest’s darkness. No wonder the kid was scared. Probably some poor Hufflepuff who had unwittingly followed in a ball or something. Been known to happen more than once.
“Call out again so I know where you are,” Harry yelled. He should have found him by now. His voice hadn’t been that far away.
Harry pushed further into the brush, continually glancing back to make sure he kept his direction straight. It’d do no good if he got lost while trying to get the kid.
Finally, Harry found the poor boy. No more than thirteen or fourteen by the looks of it. Course, Harry thought to himself, at fourteen he was fighting Dragons and mer-people. The boy was huddled in on himself using the school robe he had on for protection against the elements.
“Hey, you alright?” Harry asked as he came to kneel at the boy’s side. He checked for wounds but it appeared the kid was all right. “Where is your leg hurt?”
Brown eyes finally looked up at him with fear. “I’m not sure,” he whispered. “I fell and I might have twisted my ankle.”
“Well, I’ll help you up and we’ll get you to Hagrid’s. It’s closer.” Harry stood and grabbed hold of the boy’s arm. Just as they were standing, Harry knew they were no longer alone. He immediately grabbed his wand and began looking about.
“W-what’s wrong?” the boy asked.
“Someone’s out there,” Harry whispered. Keeping his eyes on the trees, he carefully pulled the boy’s arm up and across his shoulders to better support him. That’s when he finally smelt it.
Harry instinctually pushed the kid away but not before his wand was ripped from his grasp. The kid quickly and gracefully jumped over a fallen tree. Harry tried to control his rapid breathing but he knew he had just become surrounded. He watched as a man with ratty hair stepped out from behind a tree and put his hand on the boy’s shoulder.
“Good lad,” he said in a voice that was too rough to be normal. Harry watched the boy nuzzle the man’s hand and then step back a pace, still holding Harry’s wand. Harry finally noticed that the Hogwarts uniform was obviously the wrong size, causing his wrists and ankles to show. Well, Harry thought hysterically, at least I have proof that I’m not the thief.
A snap of wood and Harry looked to his right and saw another man, just as bedraggled as the first, stepped out and then another and another until Harry was surrounded by five of them including the boy.
“Don’t be afraid,” the first man said. “We aren’t here to harm you. My name is Quint and I am the leader of this pack.”
Harry studied their formation and realized that they had him well and truly caught. “You’re were-wolves. Were-wolves attack Indago.”
“Oh yes, but then, that is a one sided view. Indago also attack were-wolves. Why, think about the were-wolf who was run off by your alpha and his beta. But you mustn’t fear,” Quint said soothingly. “We have obviously gone to a lot of trouble to capture you.”
“Why? What do you want?” Harry asked, trying to watch all five of them at the same time.
“We’ve come to rescue you. You have obviously been abandoned by your pack and it just so happens that we could use your abilities.”
“Yes. You see we are in the process of forming a nice quiet society free from the hatred of the world outside of this forest. Here we are free to do as nature intended us to do and we do not feel shame. Most of us have ended up here due to unfortunate circumstances and now we look upon this place as a haven. Unfortunately, we do not have everything that a burgeoning society needs. That is where you come in, little one.” Quint moved closer. Harry watched him closely, waiting for any sign of attack. He was struggling to keep his instinctual fear under control. His rational mind knew that to run now would just cause a chase that he would surely lose.
“We can not reproduce, except through our bite. Or, of course, through you.”
“What?” Harry gaped.
“Didn’t you know? Indago and were-wolves can interbreed. Exciting, isn’t it?” Quint smiled. Harry rapidly watched all of them as he waited for the signal to move in on him. “Oh no no no, this won’t be a free for all. Your race is disgusting in it’s crude and indiscriminate breeding. We practice monogamy. You will be cared for and protected. Not left to attend classes covered in the sex of your two dominants.”
“You were watching me?” Harry asked remembering that long ago day. Now he really wished he’d have taken the extra time for that shower.
“Yes, you have been quite enticing. But apparently you have been banished from your pack. Well, little one, you will be welcomed here. You will be cared for, given the choicest meat, protected. You could even see your friend, the wolf who walks out there,” the man gestured towards the perimeter of the trees. “You would be the progenitor of a new society.”
“Um, well, thanks for the offer. It sounds really nice, but I don’t want to live my life in the forest, if it’s all the same to you.” Harry was very proud that he kept the tremble out of his voice.
“You wish to live it out there? As a freak? A beast in a human body? Do you think that the world outside your protected school will accept you? Even as the Destroyer of Voldemort, and yes, we do know who you are, Harry, you would still be considered an oddity. Here, you would be sovereign. You would bring a new life to our world and rule it by my side.”
Harry backed up a step shaking his head. “I may be odd and different but that is fine. I have friends and family-,”
“Are you trying to convince me or yourself?” Quint asked. “Here you would not be subservient, at the whims of others. I am offering you second in command, little one. You would not need to bend your knee to anyone.”
“And when you all go furry and mean at the full moon? What then? Do I go climb a tree?” Harry asked scathingly.
Quint and the others chuckled. “We would never hurt you. You would be bathed in our scent, my scent, the scent of our pups.”
Harry shivered at those words. Everything was getting too weird and definitely too scary. “Um, yeah. Thanks, but I just can’t accept. Sorry.”
Quint smiled but his eyes were hard. “We weren’t asking, little one. Just explaining how it was going to be.” Suddenly he lunged at Harry and grabbed his arm. Harry was pulled into an embrace and held against a strong chest. Struggling he barely heard the exchange going on around him.
“You were right, Rupert, he’s breeding. Shame.”
Harry stopped struggling and looked up at Quint’s words. “See, I-I’m no good to you,” Harry desperately argued. He kept trying to pull out of the steel arms realizing that one should never ever go into the Forbidden Forest two days away from the full moon, walk blindly into a pack of were-wolves and then stupidly lose his wand. When would he learn to get help instead of trying to save everyone himself? Draco had been right all these years; he did have a huge head and a hero complex.
Quint smiled down at him. “No worry. Rupert, here, was a high priced doctor in the muggle world before he and his son came to us. You met Jonathan already. He was our bait.”
“Pleased to meet you,” Harry said sarcastically and kept trying to break free.
“So you see,” Quint continued ignoring Harry, “we shall rid you of that mongrel seed soon enough. Then, once you have healed, you and I shall create a new population. Lovely, yes?”
“No!” Harry yelled and renewed his struggling. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the rest of them moving in. One broke off and began riffling through a sad looking sack.
“It would be easier with an ingestible abortifacient,” the one with the sack said. “But, I can do it manually.” He pulled out a long knife and a slim hooked wire. Harry went cold at the sight and started to scream and claw.
“Hush now, Rupert is very skilled.” Quint squeezed tighter. “It will be over sooner than you can blink. Jonathan, Nolan, come help hold him down.”
Harry was lowered to the forest floor. Hands held down his legs and arms. He was still screaming and struggling, terrified. All the while, Quint’s rough voice spoke soothing platitudes and dirty hands combed through his hair. Harry tried desperately to calm himself, to think clearly instead of panicking, panicking was death. He had to think clearly!
“It’d be better if they were sanitized properly, but if his immune system is even half what ours is, he should be fine,” Rupert said as he brandished the knife.
“No, please, please,” Harry resorted to desperate pleading. “Don’t do this. I’ll stay with you, just don’t do this!”
“Shh. A moment and then you shall be free from your past and be ready to join your future.” Quint pressed down on his shoulders and nodded at the doctor. As the knife came closer, Harry’s breathing was so rapid in his panic that he wasn’t getting any more oxygen. Black spots danced before his eyes, tears rolled down his cheeks and the forest swallowed up his cries.
Harry heard the cry and then there was snarling and screaming. He felt the hands let go and suddenly, there was Draco above him. Silver streaks and slitted pupils, but still Draco.
“Get up and run, Harry,” he snarled. Suddenly, dirty hands clawed at the blond and he was gone again.
“No,” Harry struggled to get up. He rolled to his side but something grabbed his leg. Harry turned and kicked out with the other leg, catching Jonathan, the bait, in the face. Once free, he scrambled to his feet and took in the sight.
Draco was fighting with two of the were-wolves. Two others were coming up behind him. The blond succeeded in putting down one before another attacked. Then suddenly, it was like they swarmed on a silent command and Draco disappeared under a mountain of bodies. Snarls and growls were all that were heard.
“No!” Harry cried. Draco was going to die! Harry couldn’t let that happen. He focused on Draco’s face, he thought of every pore, every eyelash and then he focused on getting him free. Feeling the rush of magic, Harry pushed it towards the pile of flesh and it erupted like a volcano. Bodies flew everywhere and there, in the center of what had been the pile, was Draco. Harry rushed to him, but by the time he got half way there, Draco was standing.
“I told you to run!” Draco yelled. Another were-wolf came at Draco snarling and was soon tossed away. Harry was almost to him when he was grabbed from behind and swung around. The momentum was used to throw him further from Draco. Landing on his side, Harry quickly got back up and watched Quint carefully.
“Tsk tsk, I suppose this is why Indago must control their subs, hmm? You just don’t know how to listen to nature. Nature says that if you are carrying young, you must hide yourself away in an attack,” Quint said in a singsong voice. Blood was running down his neck and his eye was already swelling. “But no matter, we’ll teach you those things.”
Draco growled and moved on him. Quint snarled and turned to face him. They began circling and then as if on cue, they both attacked. Their bodies slamming together was loud and then all Harry saw was a blur as the two were moving so fast that not even his quick eye could see it. He heard cloth ripping and flesh being struck, and the snarls and growls. Suddenly, Quint was flying backwards. He landed against a tree and stumbled to his feet holding a hand to a bloody side.
The other wolves had circled around and were nearest to Harry who had kept an eye on them. He had grabbed a large stick, nothing as powerful as a wand but he felt much better with a weapon at hand. Quint regained his feet and began closing in on Draco again. But suddenly his head cocked to the side and he slowly retreated.
Harry kept his eyes on the pack, but he was more than relieved at the sound of Snape’s voice. The potions master burst through the undergrowth and Harry could have sworn he heard the older man growl as he came towards Harry. Taking a brief second, Harry’s eyes flicked up and saw that Draco and Snape stood apart but both were in a state of readiness, Snape’s eyes and face mirroring Draco’s.
“Ah, the alpha,” Quint mused. His voice betrayed the pain he was in. “Apparently you are not as unwanted as it would appear, little one. Very well, half-breeds,” Quint called out. “You may keep your breeding mate. At least, for as long as you want him. Bite the bitch!”
The pack moved so fast that Harry only got off one hit before he felt the teeth sinking in.
“Harry!” Draco’s yell seemed far away. All Harry could focus on were the mouths worrying in his flesh. He was dragged to the ground and they got in several more bites before they disappeared as quickly as they had attacked. The ground was moving violently and Harry saw that the trees whipped as if in a fierce windstorm, but not even a breeze blew across his torn flesh. He could hear screams as he tried rising up. He got to his hands and knees and saw the one called Rupert be struck with a tree branch the size of the Burrow. His arm was torn off as the rest of his body went sailing into the dark forest.
“You… may have destroyed… my pack, half-breeds. But, your bitch… is now… mine.”
Harry looked towards the sound of Quint’s ragged voice. The were-wolf was still clutching his side, but was now pinned by the neck by a branch to the tree he had been leaning against. Blood ran from his mouth, but he was smiling. Harry went cold as the brightness of that smile was turned on him.
“In two nights, little one, you will run with us.” In a flare of strength he broke through the imprisoning branch and disappeared quickly into the brush. There was no other sign of the rest of the pack.
Harry looked up at the sound of Snape’s voice. It was rough and more of a growl. Draco ran towards Harry and fell to his knees. Snape kept watch on the rest of the now silent woods.
“Draco, you alright?” Harry asked. There was blood all over the blond; some in his hair making it turn red. “Where are you hurt?”
“Gods, you’re an idiot!” Draco snarled. Harry knew Draco wasn’t really angry, the snarl was just because his voice was still uneven.
“Now!” Snape barked. “It’s not safe here.”
Draco effortlessly scooped Harry into his arms and began trekking back through the forest, Snape bringing up the rear, watching their backs. Harry wanted to feel silly for being carried like this, but the sensation was too wonderful to deny at that moment. He held onto Draco’s neck and breathed in the scent. Harry felt safe and that was worth any embarrassment he may feel later. Especially after the day he was having.
“Thank you for the blanket,” he whispered.
“Hush,” Draco growled.
Suddenly the three of them were engulfed in sunlight. Harry squinted until his eyes adjusted.
“I can walk now,” he said. Draco never responded. “You’ll never make it in the snow.” He received a squeeze and Harry let it go. Draco seemed to be doing fine. But he would insist that he walk on his own once they were in sight of the castle. There was only so much his pride could take. Something colorful on the canvas of snow caught his eye.
“My basket,” Harry said aloud. “Draco, I need to get my basket.” Again he received no response. This was too much. Harry slammed his fist down on Draco’s back. “Draco! My basket. I want the damn basket!”
Suddenly a shadow swallowed up his basket and Snape had it in his hand. Neither Supero ever said a word or responded. But Harry was glad that those bastards wouldn’t be able to scavenge his basket. He hadn’t even had a bite of that fruit. And those drinks were really good. He’d really like to share one with Hagrid.
“Is he hurt?”
Harry lifted his head from Draco’s shoulder and saw a beautiful lady in the snow. Oh, that was McGonagall. That was a really pretty shade of blue she was wearing. Harry decided to tell her that.
“Hello, Professor McGonagall, that is a very pretty color blue on you.”
They made their way back onto the snow-cleared path and McGonagall quickly fell into step alongside Snape. He watched as Snape nodded to her question. Before Harry knew it they were walking through the main doors. He should really get Draco to put him down now, but decided that it could wait a bit longer.
Hermione ran up to the two but quickly backed off when Draco snarled at her. Harry knew that that snarl was for real and was glad that Hermione knew it too. Ron stood off to the side, his freckles standing out against his pale skin.
“I’m good, I’m okay,” he called out over Draco’s shoulder. “You should have seen the other guys!” His friends did not laugh at his joke. He’d have to work on that. Draco mounted the stairs and was soon carrying Harry into the hospital wing.
Madame Pomfrey was there immediately and Draco held him as she tutted over him.
“He’s in shock,” Snape stated in a voice that was almost normal now.
“To be expected,” Pomfrey muttered. “Mr. Malfoy, I need him on the bed so that I may examine him.”
After that there was a lot of moving of body parts, hushed words and serious looks. Scans were done and more looks exchanged.
“They tried to kill the baby,” Harry blurted out suddenly. All motion stopped in the infirmary. Harry glanced up in surprise. “They were going to use this dirty rusty knife and this long wire with a hook on the end of it. They said I’d probably survive,” he chuckled and then Harry promptly and embarrassingly burst into tears. Deep, lung catching sobs that he couldn’t control. Merlin, he was such a girl!
Immediately, warm bodies surrounded him. Hands rubbed along his arms and legs, his back and through his hair. Harry felt calmer and yet could not stem the flood until absolute mental and emotional exhaustion claimed him and he lost consciousness in Draco’s arms.
It was the pain that woke Harry finally. He was sore all over and he wondered, in those moments before true cognizance was attained, if Madame Pomfrey had forgotten how to get rid of pain. His eyes cracked open and he was greeted with Draco’s face. Harry couldn’t stop the soft smile that appeared on his lips. Draco didn’t smile back, but that was okay. Harry knew that Draco was happy by the crease in the corner of his eyes. It was the same crease that would appear when Harry would say something funny that Draco found amusing but would not deign to actually laugh.
“Ah, Harry, you have rejoined us.”
Harry turned his head a bit and found Professor Dumbledore at the foot of his bed. Actually he found everyone at the foot of his bed. Ron, Hermione, Professor McGonagall, Hagrid towards the back. But someone was missing. Harry turned his head just a bit more. Ah, there he was. Snape was directly opposite Draco.
“Move back now, the boy must breathe you know,” Madame Pomfrey’s voice rang out. Suddenly the medi-witch was there and was quite the tide turner, as everyone quickly stepped back and away. She shuffled forward and Harry found it amusing that she did not attempt to move the Superos out of the way, nor did they even bother to do so.
“May I have a pain potion, Madame Pomfrey? I hurt all over,” Harry murmured.
“I’m afraid that I have done all that I can. Apparently, your flesh is seriously damaged by the bites and nothing but time will heal them.”
It all came back in a rush. The teeth in his skin, digging in as far as they could go, tearing and pulling to do as much damage as possible. Harry’s eyes went wide and his breathing became deep. He struggled to sit up.
“Very good woman, you have succeeded in petrifying your patient,” Snape snapped nastily. He and Draco both grabbed Harry’s bandaged arms and held on. “Harry,” Snape said, drawing the panicking eyes to him, “you are well. Stop struggling.”
“I’m going to turn… I’ve been infected…” Harry managed to get out.
“No, you haven’t,” the potions master said firmly. Harry stopped struggling and watched in confusion. “You were part of an unplanned natural experiment that has luckily turned out well. Unbeknownst to us and, apparently, the were-wolves, Indago are immune to lychanthropy. You are well and will not turn.”
Harry looked at Madame Pomfrey’s calm face and then turned to Draco. “Really?” he asked.
“Yes. You haven’t gone deaf, have you?” Draco said. Harry shook his head.
“But their bites are still threatening to us. They can not be healed or alleviated with magic or potions, only time, as the woman said,” Snape assured. Madame Pomfrey glared at Snape but began pouring Harry a glass of water.
“So, I’m fine,” Harry breathed in relief. He felt everyone tense and turned back to face Draco again.
“You will be,” Draco said. “We had to wait for you to wake up to get your verbal agreement to the procedure. Apparently,” Draco snarled, sending a scathing look to Pomfrey, “we were not able to agree for you. But it is simple and you shall do it now.”
“You can’t just order him to do it,” Ron called out. “It’s his choice.”
“My choice for what? What procedure?” Harry asked looking at all the faces in confusion.
“The pregnancy must be terminated,” Snape stated matter-of-factly. Harry’s eyes widened in shock.
“It’s simple, Potter,” Draco snapped. “Indago are immune, not humans. It’s a sure bet the fetus is human and therefore will attempt to change tomorrow night. When that happens it will die and you will be poisoned and die as well. You see, no questions.” He turned to Pomfrey. “Get what you need and get this over with.”
“Mr. Malfoy,” the medi-witch began, fully intent on berating the blond but Harry cut her off.
“No, wait!” Harry looked at Snape. “What if it’s an Indago? Would it survive?”
Snape looked at Draco and then down at Harry. “All indications would seem to point to that, yes. But as we have only just discovered this immunity, I would not put much weight behind it.”
“But it has a chance,” Harry stated.
“Did you not hear us, Potter?” Draco said nastily. “No, it doesn’t. We are rare for a reason. It’s assuredly human and will end up killing you. Now, tell this woman yes so we can move on!”
“So, I have to decide,” Harry said to himself, “whether to abort now and save myself or wait and see if its able to survive.”
“There is no wait and see!” Draco shouted. “You will not drag out your illogical Gryffindor selflessness, Potter! Tell Pomfrey yes and let’s get this over with!”
Harry looked at Draco’s flushed face, then to Snape’s blank mask. He dropped his gaze to watch his fingers pleat the hospital sheets. “I can’t,” he said quietly. “I can’t make that choice.”
“Fine, easy enough.” Draco stood up, grabbed Harry’s arms and dragged him into a sitting position with his face inches away from Draco’s. Harry heard the gasps and outraged shouts but silver eyes entranced him.
“You will tell Madame Pomfrey that you agree to the procedure,” Draco whispered harshly. “You will do it now.”
Harry waited for the words to come out of his mouth, for the desire to please to parrot back what Draco wanted to hear.
“Mr. Malfoy, I will not accept an agreement made under duress!”
“Say it now, Potter!” Draco rasped, his eyes beginning to slit. Harry placed his hand on Draco’s arm.
“I don’t agree to the procedure. I won’t choose the surety of my own life over the possible uncertainty of another’s. I can’t do that, Draco.” Harry’s voice was soft and gentle with the plea for forgiveness. He hated not making Draco happy, but he was sure in his decision.
Draco snarled and pushed away from Harry. “Fine. Then I will make sure the Ministry steps in and saves you from yourself.” He turned and snarled at Pomfrey. “You will have your orders to terminate by this evening!” Draco pushed his way through the small crowd and stalked away.
Harry looked at Snape. “I’m sorry, sir. I just couldn’t…”
“It is your life, Harry,” the older man said quietly. “You have always had the right to make your choices as you see fit. Now, I shall try to contact Lucius before Draco does.” Snape stood up and walked away. Harry felt bereft. He wanted them back. But he knew that he couldn’t change his mind. He looked up at the others, pleading with his eyes for them to understand.
“I couldn’t live with myself. I couldn’t live always knowing that I could have…” he trailed off, not knowing if he made any sense.
“Harry,” Dumbledore said. “In one’s life, we must come to a point where we see all that is important. To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”* The older wizard came close and patted Harry’s hand. “Hope, faith, and love are sometimes all that get us through life, Harry. You know that better than most.” And then he moved away and disappeared through the doors.
After a few more quiet words, Harry was left alone with his two friends. For a long moment, they all stared at each other until Ron spoke.
“You sure, Harry? Are you really sure about this?”
Harry nodded. “Yeah, I am. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror ever again if I knew there was even a slim chance that this kid could make it.”
“They may be estimating low on the odds. I am sure there is at least a fifty-fifty chance,” Hermione said quietly. “Both parents are Indago, which means the recessive blood trait is strong. The baby could possibly be an Indago.” She looked up at Harry, tears pooling in her eyes. “But, Harry, I wouldn’t bet your life on it.”
“I know. But I can’t make that choice. I’m sorry.”
The three friends huddled together on the bed and comforted and reassured each other until the sun set.
“You’re behavior is out of control, Draco. Rein yourself in!”
Hermione paused at the sharp command. Sliding further along the wall, she carefully slipped into the room and behind a screen. Whenever that voice was about, it always meant trouble for Harry. And Harry had enough on his plate as it was!
“No, it is you who have lost control, Father! You pride yourself on having the Ministry in your pocket and you can’t attain one simple Order!”
Hermione could now see the interior of the small room off of the infirmary. It was lined with medical books and comfortable chairs. Not one of the three occupants was utilizing those chairs though. Draco was frantically pacing, while Snape stood still in the corner. Lucius Malfoy stood near his son’s path, his cane slapping in his palm.
“It is the Winter Holidays for the Ministry as well as this school, Draco,” Lucius explained firmly. “The few dullards I were able to scrape up did not want to make such a final decision without their fellows. Especially not against the wishes of the one involved, who is also the blasted Savior of the Wizarding World!”
“And was it made clear to those idiots that by tomorrow’s full moon they will have allowed their blessed Savior to die?” Draco seethed.
“I gave them all the facts at my disposal and even some that were not in the least bit true. They are too afraid. I did all that I could.” Lucius eyed his enraged son. “And have you imparted to the boy how very displeased you would be if he did not do as you suggest?”
“I ordered him to do it!” Draco grabbed a book lying on a side table and threw it at a hurricane lamp. The lamp shattered and the book was ruined as oil seeped through its pages. “He refused! I don’t know how, but he deliberately denied me.”
“His instinct to protect his young is stronger than his desire to please,” Snape said quietly from his corner.
“Perhaps we can trick the boy into believing that an abortive potion is in fact a restorative or some such?” Lucius mused. “Once it is down his throat and the deed done, then there will be no young to worry over and you will again have control of him.”
“Madame Pomfrey will never allow that to occur. She is like a hawk over her nest. She would know immediately if one of her more unsavory tonics were taken,” Snape said.
“But you must have some potion or another that could rid the boy of the diseased offspring,” Lucius continued, turning fully to face the potions master. “I doubt it would be hard at all to have the boy ingest it. Place it in his water glass or in his food. Why, it is nearing the dinner hour now. He is overly fond of chocolate. Put it in that.”
Draco turned to Snape with a wild light in his eyes. “Yes, you must have something. Give it to me and I’ll get him to swallow it. He wanted that damn basket, I’ll put it in something from there.”
Snape stood stonily not speaking. Draco walked to the professor until they were mere inches apart.
“Anything at all. His body has been through a lot. Just the tiniest of ingredients will make him lose it.” Draco’s voice had become harsh with enthusiasm.
“Draco, that is not what he wants,” Snape said quietly.
“I don’t give a fuck!” Draco yelled. He grasped Snape’s arms, just above the elbow and shook. Snape didn’t move at all. “It’s going to kill him. The chances of him surviving are repulsive! Give me something!”
Snape continued to stare, wordlessly.
“Fine! You have found ethics in your old age! Then give me an antidote. You’re a genius, a master of potions. There is always a counter-agent. There is always an antidote! Perhaps a derivative of Wolfsbane or infusing him with our blood. More immunity that we can flush into the babe.” Draco’s voice was not harsh in enthusiasm anymore. It was now in desperation.
“It is too soon to discover something that may work. There is no known cure because we have never come up against this before,” Snape said calmly.
“We will think of another way, my dragon,” Lucius said, his eyes betraying his worry as he watched his son unravel.
“No, I know what it is. You’re still punishing me,” Draco accused, glaring into Snape’s blank face. “You won’t let it go. You hate the fact that I made a mistake. That I could have exposed you! Fine! I’m sorry! I apologize! I was wrong, arrogant, and childish. I used what I was as if it was a toy, a right and not a responsibility. I used Harry in the same way. Well, now I am trying to take on that responsibility! I am trying to do what is right and best. I am going to protect Harry, to save him, to help him! But I need help! Please!” Draco slowly fell down Snape’s body until he knelt at the elder’s feet. “Please, I need help. I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” he whispered as he rubbed the side of his face against the potion master’s thigh.
Snape looked down at the blond as he showed submissiveness and begged for forgiveness. Lucius looked away with eyes unmasked by the pain his son was obviously in. Snape reached down, ran his hand through the pale hair and pulled Draco to his feet.
“Draco,” he said softly, “this is not a decision that we can make. If I could help you, I would. I always have and I always will. But in this, we, the dominants, are powerless. Nature has a disgustingly unscrupulous way of distributing leverage equally in the end.”
“What if he’s wrong?” Draco whispered fiercely. His face was pale, but he seemed to have regained some of his composure. “What if it dies and takes him with it?”
“Then we will be there,” Snape said simply. Draco’s head fell and Snape pulled him into an embrace. Lucius moved forward and placed his hand against his son’s back in comfort.
Hermione moved silently away from the intensely private scene. She wiped at the tears on her face. As she continued on her original quest to get a bar of chocolate from the kitchens for Harry, she realized how very blind her fear for him had made her. Ron had seen what she had missed.
Draco cared for Harry.
Draco loved Harry.
*Dumbldore quoted Gilbert K. Chesterton 1874-1936, British Author