Harry wasn't getting better. If anything he had gotten worse and Severus was worried; he was starting to think that the Dark Lord hadn't been responsible for Harry's deterioration, but something else. Severus' lowered a hand to brush gently across Harry's forehead, wincing at the fever he felt burning there. He had already checked Harry for the usual run of poisons and spells that could cause such a reaction, but had come up with nothing. Harry was actually ill, seriously so, and if it wouldn't mean their lives Severus would have bundled him away to St. Mungos already for treatment. As it was there wasn't much he could do but brew Harry fever-reducing potions that were proving useless and apply cool cloths all over his soulmate's flushed body. It was torture to watch Harry suffer so, but what was even worse was to hear Harry call out for Tom in the throws of his nightmarish fever. Severus probably would have killed himself had Harry not called out his name as well; as it was, he had no idea how to react to Harry calling for the both of them. Harry was his soulmate. His!
~~ ~~ ~*~
It had been three days since Severus had absconded away with Harry. Tom had to admit that his once-trusted potions master was good, very good, but yet he wasn't good enough. Tom could feel the soulbond stretching between himself and Harry and so Severus' precautions were only delaying the inevitable confrontation. Tom was getting worried though, even as the bond was telling him where his love was, he could sense that it getting weaker and was less substantial than it had been the day before. The soulbond should not be deteriorating this quickly; it should not feel as if Harry was dying on him. Something was dreadfully wrong and now only a handful of wards stood between himself, Harry, and one soon to be dead Severus Snape.
"Break down the wards," Tom hissed, a red tint bleeding into his eyes as his anger rose.
Oh yes, if he had things his way, Severus Snape would not live out the night.
~~ ~~ ~*~
Severus felt the wards he had hastily constructed around the house shiver and begin to buckle, he knew that it wouldn't be long before Voldemort made his way in. Looking at the tossing form on the bed, Severus gripped his wand tighter and had to admit that there wasn't much he could do. If Harry hadn't been in such a bad way they could have tried to make a run for it, but there was no way he'd be able to get them outside the wards before Voldemort was upon them. He could possibly use the hardened tear that Harry had shed, except for the first day he had used the tear to fuel the now breaking wards and had discovered that as Harry's strength ebbed so did the power residing in the tear. It could possibly kill Harry if he used the power still remaining in the tear. There was nothing else for it, they would have to stay and face Voldemort when he broke through, but Severus vowed not to go out without some sort of fight. The wards broke.
~~ ~~ ~*~
The breaking of the wards pulled Harry back into a semi-lucid consciousness and he felt the bond between himself and Tom tauten and strengthen. Just from the close proximity of both his bondmates, Harry could feel some of his health returning. That didn't help quell his anxiety though, he knew what Tom would do once he got a hold of Severus. Deciding that his best chance of having both his soulmates coming out of this alive would be to come between them at the last second, Harry lay quietly and conserved his strength so that he could act when Tom entered the room. He didn't have long to wait.
"Crucio!" Harry would know Tom's voice anywhere and Severus' pained gasp let him know the curse had hit the mark.
Harry prepared himself to move, but Tom let up on the curse after only a moment.
"Hold him!" Tom's voice was a low hiss as he commanded the Death Eaters he had brought with him.
A slight scuffle told Harry that Tom's orders were being obeyed without hesitation and Tom began to speak again, "you're going do die Severus, no one takes Harry away from me, but your death will be pleasantly slow."
Harry knew that he had to act then, knew that if he didn't act now then he would have no chance of saving Severus and still have the potions master be whole in body, mind, and spirit. With the strength of will that had first seen him put into Gryffindor, Harry forced his laden muscles to work as he clumsily threw himself off the bed and between Severus and Tom.
"Sectumsempra!" Tom had shouted the spell just as Harry leapt, and the curse flew true with no chance of recall.
Pain burst through Harry and for a brief instant he could feel the warmth of blood running down his chest before his skin seemed to go numb.
"Harry!" Two anguish filled voices rang out simultaneous and two men fell to their knees at Harry's side, the Death Eaters too stunned to keep hold on their prisoner.
"Why Harry?" Tom's voice almost cracked, "Why throw yourself in front of this worthless bastard?"
Harry wasn't sure when he had closed his eyes, but now he forced them open, "because I lied. Severus is also my soulmate. If he dies, I die, and so do you. I was angry with him when I came to you, but I know now that I wouldn't give up either of you for the world. I live for both of you, I love both of you."
Harry allowed his eyes to close again so that he could savor the thought of being in both Tom and Severus' arms at the same time, he doubted it would be something he would feel again anytime soon, but he would work on making it happen. They had to accept each other or they were all doomed.
"Damn you to hell!" Tom screamed at Severus suddenly, the noise jarring Harry from his lethargic enjoyment, "Harry is mine, was supposed to be all mine, and now I have to share him with you or lose him. Well I won't lose him, but don't think I'm going to gladly welcome you into our lives either."
"You think I'm happy with this either!" Severus screamed right back, secure in the knowledge that Tom wouldn't hurt him for the risk of hurting Harry, "I finally found my soulmates, someone to love and be loved back by and now you're trying to keep him from me. He was sick, dying, I couldn't leave him with you. He was dying there with you."
"And that's my fault?" Harry could just hear the soft footsteps of the Death Eaters as the snuck away, "If anything it's your fault for driving him away. You were the reason he was getting sick. I would never do anything to harm Harry, never!"
Harry didn't bother to open his eyes this time as he interrupted what appeared to be heading into a long fight, "I think I'm going to pass out now. If I die, make sure Lucius knows to bury me next to my parents because neither of you will be alive to do it and I'll be damned if my rotting body rests near either of yours for the rest of eternity."
Predictably, Harry's interruption didn't stop the squabbling for long, but instead set off a new round of argument as he was tenderly lifted up into the air by Tom, leaving Severus to hover worriedly over him. Sighing, Harry vowed that if he lived to make it to next Christmas that he would get a hold of some more mistletoe and lock those two together somewhere until they kissed. That just left him with the trouble of keeping both Severus and Tom from trying to kill each other until then. It was going to be a long year.