Disclaimer: All I know is that I own nothing. However, if J.K. ever gets tired of Severus, I'll be happy to take him in.
Author's Notes: This fic is part of the 'Infinite Cantatum'Harry/Severus AU Fuh-Q-Fest (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/After_class/). Challenge No. 123: Harry is James' little brother. James and Sirius have been friends since the cradle, and more often than not, their pranking target is Harry. When Harry starts at Hogwarts, he wants nothing more to get away from the two of them, and is sorted into Slytherin. One of his brother's yearmates, Severus Snape, takes him under his wing. (Cara)Some of the magical items mentioned on this fic come from The World of Sulerin (http://www.wcug.wwu.edu/~randyman/ROLEPLAY/roleplay.htm) and are used without permission *blushes*. Thanks to my betas Femme Slash and ntamara.
Love Changes Everything
It's now or never, Harry thought, gathering all the courage he knew he possesed. After all, the Sorting Hat had to have a reason for wanting to put him in Gryffindor. Shuddering, he imagined how it would have been in the lion's house, having to put up with James and Sirius' constant pranks.
Actually, his brother wasn't so bad. It was that damn Sirius who seemed intent on making Harry's life a living hell. Well, not only Harry's. Everyone but his beloved "Marauders" had been at one point or another a victim of his cruel sense of humor. And James always went along. Harry suspected his brother hero-worshipped Sirius. While the older Potter was fairly inteligent and good looking, Sirius was stunningly attractive, very popular and really smart, although his grades weren't all that good since he preferred to divide his attention between his hordes of female admirers and the constant mischief he was leading his friends into all the time.
But Sirius and James were not what worried Harry at the moment. His mind was totally ocuppied by the Yule Ball and the person he wanted to go with. Severus Snape. His best friend, the friend he had a maddening crush on. Harry already knew Severus was gay; that part wasn't a problem. They had came out to each other when Harry was in his 4th year at Hogwarts. The problem was that Harry had no clue if Severus could be interested in him, and by making a move, he feared he could be risking the most important friendship he had.
Harry had decided to ask Severus to the ball ever since the event was announced at the begining of the year, and he planned to tell his friend how he felt at the party. But now that it was only two weeks away, he was getting really nervous. He knew how hard it would be to have Severus turn him down and tell him that he only liked him as a friend.
The older student was not very open about his love life, although Harry had managed to find out that he wasn't interested in anybody at the moment. He had been in a very intense relationship with Lucius Malfoy at some point, but Lucius had concluded that he wasn't about to challenge his father and had started dating Narcissa, a beautiful pureblood with whom he could have a nice, normal family and produce an heir to the Malfoy dynasty. Both wizards had managed to stay good friends after the breakup.
Homosexuality wasn't openly condemned in the wizarding world; most families accepted it as normal adolescent experimentation, expecting their youngsters to grow out of it eventually and marry someone of the opposite sex. Thus, Harry knew he could go with Severus to the ball, but were they to pursue a relationship now that Severus was only months from leaving school, it would be frowned upon by both their families.
Harry didn't care. He knew he'd never be interested in a woman, and he wanted to explore the possibility of a relationship with Severus, the wizarding world be damned. It was not only that they had so much in common, but also that he had never been able to connect, to communicate with someone like he did with Severus. They became friends the moment Harry sat at the Slytherin table after the Sorting ceremony. At first they bonded over their mutual dislike of Sirius Black and anything Gryffindor related, but their relationship had slowly progressed to one of mutual trust and understanding. A couple of months later, they were inseparable.
Harry was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't hear Severus approaching the Astronomy Tower, his favorite place to think.
"I've been looking for you. Lucius has invited me to his house for Christmas break and he wants to know if you'd like to come too. Most of the Slytherin Seventh years will be there."
"Sure. Would you like to go to the Yule Ball with me?" There, he'd said it.
"Of course I would. Well, I'll let Lucius know that you said yes, and you'd better owl your parents asking for permission." With that Severus left, leaving his friend both relieved that his invitation hadn't been rejected and mildly disappointed that it had been accepted so casually.
The day of the Yule Ball finally arrived, and Harry was so nervous that he was about to pretend he was ill and spend the night with Madam Pomfrey instead. To make matters worse, they were leaving for Lucius' house the next day, and if his feelings were not reciprocated, the last thing he wanted was to have to face Severus every day for the next two weeks.
He took special care to look good for the party, but he knew that wouldn't make a difference. Your best friend knows you so well, inside and out, that a new set of robes or a different haircut won't make him notice you.
When he came down to the common room, he found Severus and all his friends waiting for him. It turned out that they were not the only male couple. Lestrange and Rosier were going together. That helped ease his nerves a little, knowing they wouldn't be the center of attention. Severus looked good on his black and green dress robes. Well, as good as his friend could look. The wizard was not attractive, actually, at least not in a traditional way. But his personality, inteligence and wit were more than enough to make up for it. And they were the reasons Harry had fallen for him.
As they walked to the Hall, Severus must have noticed his friend's nervousness, because he took his hand and leaned in to say quietly, "Relax, it's going to be fun." And still holding hands, they entered the Ball, immediately atracting the Marauders' attention. They were obviously not happy to see who their friend's younger brother was with. Trying to ignore them, Harry went to sit with the Seventh years.
After a while, the dance floor started to fill with couples, and Severus asked him to dance. While he was getting up from the table, Harry realized he had never let go of his hand. It was a slow song, and Harry was so lost in the sensations of being held in his friends' arms, that he almost didn't notice when it was over. Thankfully, the next one was another slow, romantic song, and he decided that if he was going to do it, this was as good a time as ever. So, he leaned in, whispered, "Severus, I love you," and kissed him softly. To his surprise and relief, his friend kissed him back, not saying anything but conveying his feelings for the younger wizard in his kiss.
Suddenly Harry felt himself being pulled from his beloved's arms by none other than his brother James, while Sirius did the same to Snape.
"I thought having a brother in Slytherin was bad enough, and now it turns out you're also a sick pervert."
In mere seconds they found themselves surrounded by a large group of Slytherins, Sixth and Seventh years, ready to defend their friends.
"Leave them alone." Lucius' menacing tone made the two Gryffindors recoil in fear. They may be brave Gryffindors, but Lucius had such an intimidating personality that not even the darkest of wizards stood a chance when he was angry. And as cold and indifferent as he always acted, everyone knew that when it concerned his friends and his house's honor, he could get fiercely protective and nasty. It wasn't for nothing that he was rumored to be a dark wizard himself. And everybody knew Snape was his dearest of friends, and Harry, being this close to Severus, would immediately get his protection.
"Wait until our parents hear about this, Harry," James threatened."They won't have you in a relationshp with another bloke." He turned to leave, Sirius closely following him.
"I'm sorry, Severus," Harry said. "I should have known this two would make a scene. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea."
"What are you talking about? You think that now that I know you're interested in me I'd let you go because those pricks don't approve? I don't care what they or your parents think, Harry. Besides, I want to snog some more now that I know I'm allowed to." Grinning, Severus leaded him out of the Hall, stopping only to thank his friends for their support.
"Have fun, you two," Lucius said, sporting his most mischievous smirk. "Don't forget we are leaving early, so don't stay up all night."
"How come you never told me about this place?" asked Harry, as Severus showed him a secret passage down in the dungeons that lead to a heavily warded room to which his friend had all the passwords.
"It's a Seventh year secret," replied Severus, discarding his robes and pulling Harry to the bed. Noticing Harry's hesitation, he planted a kiss on his forehead and said, "We don't have to do anything tonight; don't be nervous."
But Harry wanted to do something, everything. He'd had a crush on Snape for two years already and, being the hormonal teenager he was, he got aroused every time he saw his friend showering after a Quidditch match, every time Severus playfully touched him, every time Severus got his arms around his shoulders in a friendly way. Hell, he seemed to have spent the past two years in a constant state of arousal.
So, he said nothing and kissed him, clumsily trying to unbotton his friend's shirt at the same time. When he felt Severus' mouth opening and their tongues starting to play, it was unbelievably sweet, so different than the other boys he had kissed. At last they managed to get rid of their shirts and the sensation of their naked chests against each other almost made him come. Kissing his neck, Severus undid the buttons to his trousers and, grabbing Harry's erection, he started to tug at it in a most delicious way. Harry got an unbearable urge to touch his friend too, so, in spite of feeling a little shy at the moment, since he had never done anything more than kiss before, he undid Severus' pants and, freeing his friend's penis, started caressing it just as Snape was touching him.
It felt so good to be this close to Severus, to be sharing his first sexual encounter with him. With the boy he trusted more than anyone else. It felt right.
Soon they were both coming, whispering each other's names and sharing a long, passionate kiss afterwards. When he thought Harry was able to get up again, Severus grabbed his hand and said, "Come on, we have to sleep in our rooms." At Harry's whimper, he kissed him lightly and said, "I'll make sure Lucius puts us in the same room at the manor, so we'll have the whole vacation to ourselves. Come on; get up".
Alone in his rooms, without Severus distracting him, Harry started to dread the moment he'd have to face his parents. He was sure James had already owled them, and he expected to receive a very angry, very unforgiving owl by breakfast. His parents were very conservative, so he knew they wouldn't like his being gay anyway, and knowing he was dating Snape would undoubtedly only serve to make them angrier. His father had been a Gryffindor, like most Potters, with the exception of a couple of uncles who had ended up sorted into Hufflepuff, and he had been in the same year with Lucius' and Severus' fathers. Harold Potter had often expressed his feelings about Harry being friends with the sons of two men he was convinced were dark wizards and most surely, Death Eaters, as were called the followers of one Tom Riddle, a former Slytherin and a half-blood calling himself Lord Voldemort, who was promoting hate and violence towards Mudbloods and Muggles. Harry knew this wasn't just a rumor, but actually the truth; he'd heard about Lucius' recent involvement in what he called his father's political activities, from Lucius himself. He had tried to lure Severus and Harry to a meeting with Riddle on several occasions, but Severus had always refused to attend.
Lucius insisted that Voldemort only wanted to protect pureblooded wizards from the grave threat Muggles posed to them. Historical witch hunts and the Muggle world's growing religious fanaticism were part of his discourse, and he argued that by allowing Mudbloods to be part of the wizarding society, they were putting themselves in danger. Muggle lovers like Dumbledore were going to be responsible of their destruction if they didn't stop him and his Mudbloods. Severus had conceded that Voldemort was probably right, but his refusal to get involved had more to do with his distrust of the Dark Lord's ulterior motives than his trust in Dumbledore and anything Muggle. Harry hadn't given the matter much thought, prefering to rely on Severus judgement.
Just as he dreaded, an owl from his parents arrived at breakfast, asking him to come home for the holidays, not mentioning Snape at all. But Harry knew that was the reason and that as soon as he got home the yelling would start. Looking up he saw James and Sirius watching him, appearing very smug. They had written to his parents, and they knew that letter was bad news for Harry. That made Harry even angrier and he decided to respond that since he had already confirmed his presence at Malfoy Manor for the Yule festivities, he felt it would be very impolite to cancel and that since they wanted to spend time with him, he would happily ask Mr. Malfoy to invite them to one of the parties he was hosting. Father is going to hex me, Harry thought as he watched the owl fly away. He knew his father wasn't going to make a scene by presenting himself at Malfoy's house and then dragging his disobedient son out of there, so he was safe for at least the next couple of weeks. In spite of his dislike of the Malfoys and the Snapes, Harold Potter had years ago stopped trying to reason with him about the inappropriateness of his friendship with the two boys.
Lucius' mansion was beautifully decorated for the holiday, and both his parents were waiting for them when they arrived. Most of Lucius' friends came from his parents' circle, so Harry was the only one they hadn't met. He was surprised to be welcomed so warmly, knowing his father's animosity to Lucien Malfoy was no secret; but then again, maybe because he was the only Slytherin in the family they saw him differently.
Lucius showed everyone to their rooms, and as Severus had promised, they got a room to themselves. This was going to be one fun vacation, the young wizard thought.
They were told to get ready for the first of many parties to be held at the mansion and Harry realized that Severus' parents were likely to be invited. He had met them before, of course, but he didn't expect them to be very happy to find him in a relationship with their only son. With a groan, he expressed his fears to his boyfriend.
"Yes, they are coming, Harry, but I reckon we have nothing to worry about. I have already told them about my preferences and not to expect me to marry. They don't like it, but they know there's nothing they can do about it."
Still, Harry was really nervous when they came down to the ballroom and Severus lead him to his parents, holding his hand tightly as if he expected him to flee.
"Mother, father, Happy Christmas. I believe you have met Harry. He is my boyfriend now."
Mentally, Harry braced himself for what was to come, and was really surprised when all he got was a "Good to see you, Harry, Happy Christmas" from Mrs. Snape and a nod from her husband.
The rest of the party proceeded without incidents. The food was marvelous and Lucius' parents were careless with the liqour, so the boys ended up very drunk. Severus held his hand all the time and from time to time planted a kiss on Harry's lips. At first that made Harry very nervous, but he noticed that aside from a few curious glances and raised eyebrows, nobody seemed to make much of it. Lucius reassured him further, telling Harry that nobody would dare to be rude to one of his friends.
At last, the party ended. Not to soon, Harry thought, since all the whisky they had ingested had made him really horny and he couldn't wait to get Severus alone and continue with last night's activities. As they got to their room, he started kissing his boyfriend, tugging at his clothes. Soon they were totally naked and rubbing their erections to each other frantically.
"Fuck me, Severus?" Harry asked, panting and dragging his boyfriend to one of the beds.
Severus made him lie on his stomach. Then he proceeded to kiss, lick and nibble down Harry's back in a truly maddening way. Severus kept on licking and kissing until he reached his cheeks, rubbing a finger lightly across Harry's opening and whispering some words Harry couldn't understand but assumed to be a lubrication spell. He might not have ever done this before, but he wasn't ignorant: he'd done his homework.
When Severus' finger started penetrating him, it was painful and Harry tensed, but as soon as his boyfriend found his prostate, he was moaning and writhing, begging for more. Another finger followed, and after what felt like an eternity, Harry was being filled with Severus' erection. If touching and being touched last night felt good, this was unbelievable, a pleasure so intense that Harry doubted he would be able to stand it. When Severus pulled at his hips to get him on his hands and knees and grabbed his penis, Harry came screaming his boyfriend's name. After Severus came, he positioned themselves on their sides and kissed Harry, falling asleep fairly quickly, still holding his boyfriend.
Next morning brought the expected owl from Harry's father. "I hope you know that we don't aprove of this relationship. When your friend leaves Hogwarts you will not be permitted to see him again." It was not surprising. After all, while they were both still at school, their relationship would be tolerated. Not after that, but they'd find a way, they would.
As he finished reading the letter, Lucius stormed into the room, yelling, "You lazy twits, get up! It's time to open the presents!"
Groaning, Severus opened one eye. "Get out. We'll come down in a few minutes. Come on, get out!"
"There's nothing here I haven't seen before, Severus. Well, except for Harry." Grabbing the blankets covering the boy he tugged at them, but Harry was faster than him and held onto them, making sure most of his body was covered and giggling at the same time.
"Lucius, get your filthy hands off my boyfriend! You're scaring him."
"He doesn't look so scared to me. Hmm, maybe you'll be nice enough to share? Don't be late for breakfast, I can't wait to open my presents." Laughing, Lucius left.
As soon as breakfast was finished, they all headed for the family room, which held a smaller Christmas tree with what seemed like hundreds of presents underneath. It must be enchanted for extra room, Harry thought, already envious of Lucius for surely most of the gifts were for him.
And they were, Lucius got a new broom, lots of new robes, boots and books. Most of the latter were about the dark arts and soon the other students were swooning over them, begging Malfoy to let them borrow this one or that one. Now it was time for the other boys to open their presents and Harry was surprised when Leonora Malfoy started handing out a gift for each of her son's friends, including him. They all got a small box of Pearls of Wisdom, a very rare, expensive candy that was obviously not for sale at Honeydukes. When eaten, the pearls would allow you to immediately find the answer to any question you were thinking of. Extremely useful for such things as N.E.W.T.s, it was no surprise they were forbidden at Hogwarts. The good thing was, since they were so hard to come by, none of the teachers ever thought of cheking the students for them.
Harry also got The Noble Sport of Warlocks by Quintius Umfraville, from Lucius and an asorted bag of jokes from Zonko's from the other Slytherins. Finally, Severus gave him his present, which turned out to be some sort of journal, one that looked very old and battered.
"Now you expect him to keep a diary? Harry has not turned into a girl, Severus, no matter that you're buggering him," Lucius joked, oblivious of his parents' presence.
Severus glared at him. "It's not a diary, it's a Book of Recording. It records anything spoken within 20 feet. A very useful tool for classes, and for spying on unsuspecting Gryffindors."
"A very Slytherin present. Thanks! I love it!" Harry wanted to kiss Severus, but having the Malfoys in the room made him shy, so he limited himself to holding his hand; inconspicuously he hoped. "This is for you."
"Harry, I can't believe it. How did you find this?" Amazed, Severus was holding an invisibility cloak. In a second, everyone, including Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy were around him, trying to get a closer look at the magical item of clothing.
"You never know what sneaking into Knockturn Alley will get you," Harry was almost embarrassed to confess.
"I hope you appreciate this, Severus. It is truly a unique gift. Our young Mr. Potter must have spent a good portion of his inheritance on your present," Mr. Malfoy commented, only half joking. "Just please, don't let Lucius use it; he gets in enough trouble already."
That seemed to inspire the boys, who immediately started planning all the fun they would have at Hogwarts, being invisible.
Harry also had presents for the Malfoys, a bottle of fine cognac, and for his friends, candy for most of them and a nice sweater for Lucius.
Before the boys realized, the holidays were over. They had lots of fun playing Quidditch, sneaking into Muggle London and the Malfoys' impressive wine cellar.
As soon as they arrived at Platform 9 and 3/4, they bumped into James, Sirius and Remus.
"Oh, look, the Slytherin poofs. You two are disgusting," Black exclaimed, loud enough for all the students around to hear. Everyone but the Slytherins started laughing.
"Everybody knows you're dying to get into James'pants, Black, so go shag him already and stop taking your sexual frustrations out on us," Severus answered casually; this triggered even more laughter and catcalls among the students.
Face reddened with anger, Sirius grabbed Severus by the collar of his robes and seemed ready to start punching him, when Lucius and Lestrange pushed him aside. Instead of hitting him, like he expected, Malfoy just put an arm on his shoulder, and in a soft but hissing voice, told him, "Leave Severus and Harry alone. We're not so vulgar as to initiate a fist fight, Black, but we know enough dark spells and hexes to make you regret your stupidity." With that he turned around and headed for the train, followed by his friends.
"We'll see how brave you are without your Death Eater bodyguards, Snape. We'll get you alone one day, you'll see," Black yelled at the retreating forms.
As the term progressed, the Marauders seemed to have indeed decided to leave Severus and Harry alone, limiting themselves to send a few glares their way when they saw them together. Harry spent the time wrapped in bliss. His relationship with Severus was, in his opinion, almost perfect, and he was falling more in love with him every day; if that was even possible. His only regret was that with the N.E.W.T.s approaching, Snape had very little time for him. Harry would have liked to spend every night with his boyfriend, wrapped in his arms, kissing him passionately, being taken by him in every posible way, but Severus was studying so hard and spending so much time at the library that they only had Saturday nights to themselves. Harry, not being a particularly devoted student, was left to find ways to amuse himself the rest of the week.
"Lucius, have you seen Severus?" a very sleepy Harry asked his friend, wondering if his boyfriend had spent the whole night at the library, again.
"No, I thought he was with you."
As they headed to the hall for breakfast, they saw Severus' parents being greeted by Dumbledore. Maura Snape was quietly crying and her husband was sporting a very grave expression on his face.
"What happened? Is Severus all right?" Harry and Lucius, worried, approached the three adults.
Mrs. Snape was unable to respond, just gathering the two boys in her arms and hugging them tightly. It was Dumbledore who spoke, sounding very tired and sad.
"Due to an unfortunate accident, I'm afraid Mr. Snape was killed last night, boys. He disregarded the rule about not going into the forest."
"It was not an accident!" Severus' father yelled, at last losing his cold and composed manners. "It was your leniency in allowing a werewolf to attend this school that killed my son, and you will regret that for the rest of your life."
"Now, now, let us not upset the children more. Come to my office, please," was Albus' answer.
Harry was beyond caring about the discussion any more. His boyfriend, his best friend, the boy he loved more than anything in the world, was dead? No, it couldn't be, it had to be some horrible mistake. He ran to the infirmary, Lucius behind him, and when they arrived they started yelling for Severus, ignoring Madam Pomfrey's attempts to calm both boys down and get them to stop screaming.
After opening the doors to a couple of empty rooms, they found one in which the bed was occupied, but the occupant had been covered from head to toes by a white sheet.
"Lucius, please Lucius, look and tell me it's not him," begged Harry, already in tears, hoping against hope that this wasn't the boy they were looking for. Oh, please, he thought, please let it not be Severus, please let me find him in another room, alive and well. Watching Lucius pull up the blanket he lost all hope. The blonde's features conveyed all the pain he felt, while he leaned down to hug the body and tears started to fall from his eyes.
He couldn't bear to see Severus dead; but at the same time he could not stop himself from approaching the still figure on the bed and looking at the body. He had to see for himself. Yes, it was Severus, and his body was a gruesome mess. That body he'd kissed and hugged and loved, that had kissed and hugged and loved him, torn apart in the most vicious way. He pushed Lucius aside and threw himself on the bed, hugging the cold form of his boyfriend.
"Wake up, Severus, please, wake up. Please don't leave me. Don't leave me," Harry screamed, shaking Severus'body, as if trying to wake him.
Madam Pomfrey had to pry him away from Severus'dead body, and as numb as he felt at the moment, he didn't even realize he was being made to drink a sleeping potion. When he woke up, in another room at the infirmary, his parents were there.
"Go away. I want to be alone." He said, turning in the bed, so he didn't have to face them.
"Harry, please, we are worried," his mother said, trying to hug him.
"I said go away. I want to see Lucius, not you."
"How dare you talk to your mother like that!"
"It's ok, Harold. We'll send for your friend. We'll come back soon."
When Lucius arrived, Harry let himself be hugged.
"It was your brother and their friends, Harry. They killed him," said Lucius, and he started to cry again.
As Lucius told him about the Marauders leading Snape to the Shrieking Shack, to a werewolf that was Remus Lupin, Harry felt all his pain come back, amplified.
"It was supposed to be a prank. They say they only wanted to scare him." Lucius continued hugging Harry, tears now flowing from his eyes too. "They say they just wanted him to encounter the werewolf, and they were planning to get him out in their animagi forms." At Harry dumbfounded look, he continued. "Didn't you know your brother and his friends were animagi? They learned to transfigure so they could be with Remus during the full moon. Severus went to the Shrieking Shack wearing the invisibility cloak, so they didn't know he had arrived until it was too late. I have no idea how they managed to lure him to that place."
Letting go of Lucius, Harry covered his eyes with his hands and started rocking.
"It's my fault, Lucius, it's all my fault. The cloak, I gave him the cloak."
The blonde reached for him again, in an attempt to soothe him, but the boy seemed oblivious to his presence, and he just kept on rocking, hugging himself and repeating, like a mantra "It's my fault, it's all my fault."
Not knowing what to do, Malfoy went to fetch Madam Pomfrey, who eventually managed to get the boy to drink more Dreamless Sleep potion. "There, that will give him the rest he needs," she said, gently guiding Lucius out of the room.
Severus' funeral was held at his parent's house, the boy buried at the family's graveyard in the estate. All the Snapes' friends were present, as were most students from Slytherin house and all Hogwarts teachers, with one notable exception, Dumbledore.
"He is being questioned at the Ministry as we speak," Lucien Malfoy explained after the services. "We are doing everything in our power to get him discharged from his post. And get the murderers into Azkaban."
As he returned to Hogwarts, Lucius headed for the infirmary. As much as he was grieving for the loss of his friend, he was profoundly worried for his friend's lover, too. He also knew that Harry was the only one who had cared for Severus as much as him, so he expected to find some understanding and comfort with the younger wizard. What he found instead was a room full of mediwizards he didn't recognize, all yelling instructions to each other and to Madam Pomfrey, who seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Harry's parents were in a corner of the room, silently watching the procedures.
"There's no time to waste. I'm taking him out and I'll Apparate with him," said one of the mediwizards, conjuring a strecher and leaving the room, levitating an unconscious Harry on it.
As the other mediwizards and the Potters started to leave too, Lucius managed to get hold of Poppy.
"What happened? Is Harry all right?"
"He tried to kill himself. He managed to get up and get some Draught of the Living Death from one of my locked cupboards. He drank too much. They are taking him to St. Mungo's since we can't provide the proper treatment here."
When they finally told him that Harry was no longer in mortal danger from the overdose, Lucius asked to be allowed in to see him. The mediwizard, however, told him that due to Harry's severe deppresion and still strong suicidal urges, they were going to keep him heavily medicated for the time being and that they were not allowing visitors, except for his parents.
A month passed before they let him see Harry, who looked, Lucius thought, like he was dying. Pale and extremely thin, dark circles around his eyes, a blank expression on them. Still, he managed to smile when he saw the blonde.
"So, I'm ready to face the world again, they say. I can leave in a couple of weeks"
"And how do you feel?"
"I don't know. Numb I guess would be a good way of putting it. They are still making me drink a lot of potions. Lucius, nobody wants to tell me anything. What happened to my brother and his friends?"
"Well, the good news is that Dumbledore has been sacked and your brother and Sirius expelled. But the Ministry isn't going to try them since they're still minors. They say your father prevented a trial. As far as I know, James is home. Lupin is being held in captivity. The others swear he wasn't involved in the prank but still some people want him executed. As the news of a werewolf attending Hogwarts has spread, the Board of Governors has had to deal with many irate parents."
Before Harry could answer, his mother arrived.
"Good news, Harry, the mediwizards say we'll be able to take you home soon. Doesn't that make you happy?"
"I'm not going home" With that, he turned to face the window and refused to say another word. Knowing his parents were protecting James hurt a lot. Harry felt like they were choosing his older brother over him, disregarding Severus' death and his own pain as unimportant.
Lucius, motioning to Mrs. Potter that he wanted to talk to her in private, got her out of the room.
"Harry won't want to go home while James is there."
"But what does he expect me to do? He's my son too, and he has already been punished," she answered softly. She really had no clue as how to proceed. Her older son had almost been subjected to a trial that would have probably resulted in a sentence to be served in Azkaban. Besides, James had already had his life as good as ruined, not being allowed to finish his education. On the other hand, it was Harry's boyfriend he had killed, however inadvertedly, and the younger boy was still a danger to himself. Her two children needed love and support from their family at this moment, and it seemed they wouldn't be able to help them both.
"Getting expelled from Hogwarts is hardly punishment enough for murder, but what I wanted to tell you is that Harry should stay at my house, at least for the summer. I'm finishing school next week, so I'll be there with him."
"But... I don't think Harold will agree to this."
"Look, I know how he feels about my family, but if I know Harry, there will be no way to make him go home with you. At least let him be with his friends, with the ones who understand what he's going through, and not trying to justify and protect the people who killed his boyfriend."
Harry indeed kept refusing to go home and when Lucius told him about the offer he made to his mother, he decided he'd only leave St. Mungo's if he was allowed to stay with the Malfoys. So, the Potters where left with no other option, and, reluctantly, gave their permission, not without threatening Lucius that if something happened to their son he would pay dearly.
The young wizard was recieved warmly by Lucius's parents and given a bedroom next to his friend's, although thankfully not the same one he shared with Severus during the Christmas break. Traveling through the floo network had left him exhausted and the place was bringing back memories of Severus and the wonderful time they'd had in this house not even a year ago, so he told them he needed some rest and would prefer to be alone for the time being. After he promised to let them know if the needed anything, no matter what, no matter the time, they left.
He wasn't sleepy, so he thought he'd try and read a little and having noticed his trunk from Hogwarts was already there, he opened it to look for some of his Quidditch books. What he found, on top of everything else, was the Recording Book Severus gave him for Christmas. He stared at it for a while, trying to decide if he wanted to open it. Finally, he did, to a random page, one that showed him the one and only time his boyfriend had told him that he loved him. Harry remembered that day clearly. It was a Hogsmeade weekend, and they had been making love in the Sixth years' dormitory, in Harry's bed. Just as they were getting dressed, Severus had pulled him into a hug and said, "I love you, Harry." He had then kissed the younger wizard and left to greet his yearmates, who were returning from their day out.
Seeing those words was too much for Harry. He didn't want to be alone anymore. He wasn't feeling strong enough to deal with everything all by himself, so he went looking for Lucius, who, as he expected, was in the library with his father.
They were so absorbed in conversation that they didn't hear the door opening, so he was able to overhear the ongoing discussion.
"It's not fair, father, however you look at it. Potter and his idiotic friends should be in Azkaban. I know we've talked about this before, but isn't there something you could do? Does the Potter family really have so much influence at the Ministry?"
"I'm afraid we can't do more, Lucius, you know how power is shifting in the highest political circles. Due to being percieved as dark wizards and followers of Voldemort, a lot of pureblood families, especially those from Slytherin house, are distrusted and discriminated against. But we are working to change that, slowly but surely. There will come a time, sooner rather than later, when power will be back at the hands of those who deserve it. And when that time comes, everyone who has stood against us will pay. We will not forget Severus. The Snapes are amongst the inner circle of our Lord and they will seek revenge, trust me, they will; and they will accomplish it with His, and our, help."
Hearing this, Harry felt his resentment at his family grow. The people he had loved and trusted all his life had betrayed him, and the Ministry his parents had taught him to respect turned out to be a corrupt institution, one that was willing to overlook a murder in order to appease an influencial member of the wizarding society. But the supposedly evil Malfoys were taking care of him, and, more importantly, planning to seek justice for Severus' death.
As Harry stepped into the room, he made up his mind.
"I want to join you, Mr. Malfoy, Lucius. Please, I have to make them pay. Take me to Voldemort."
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