Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Deceptive Appearances

A Love Discovered

by ShadeDancer 2 reviews

Chapter 6

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Harry, Snape - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2005-10-21 - Updated: 2005-10-22 - 4567 words

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter...nor much of anything else for that matter.

A slight movement from the bed followed by a groan disturbed the Potion Master's rest and he straightened from the stiff position he had fallen to sleep in.

"Oww, I'm stiff" Harry seemed to be talking to himself, not realizing at first that there was anyone in the room with him.

"Welcome back to the land of the living Potter" Severus' voice held no heat even as he addressed Harry by his surname.

"Did you stay here this whole time Severus" Harry asked curiously, he and the prickly Potions Master had become good friends but it had surprised him that Severus hadn't turned him over to Madam Pomfrey's care last night.

"Yes Harry" Severus smirked, his eyes flashing "I stayed here the whole time. I plan on blackmailing you with the fact that you snore in your sleep. How are you feeling?"

"I don't snore" Harry was indignant "and I know that for a fact. If I snored then Dean would have done to me like he does to Ron and put a pillow over my face to get me to stop."

Severus chuckled lightly, a sound not many heard "so how are you feeling?"

Harry grimaced "stiff and still a bit shaky. Not really cold anymore though."

"I think I have some muscle relaxant in here" Severus had bent down to rummage through a bag of potions he had taken from his pocket and enlarged "and I'll give you another anti-cruciatus potion, but first something to eat. Winky!"

"Yes Professor Snape, sir" Winky had appeared as Severus straightened with two bottles in his hand "what can Winky be doing for you, sir?"

"Breakfast for two please Winky" Severus spoke calmly with the house-elf "a light fare as Harry shouldn't be eating anything too heavy yet."

Winky glanced over at Harry and gave him a small smile, the little house-elf had come to terms with her new life at Hogwarts though Harry had hinted at accepting her into his service if she ever decided to work for a family again. Her clothes were no longer stained with food or butterbeer, but were clean and neatly pressed. With a small bow, Winky popped away to take care of Severus' request. It didn't take long for Winky to pop back into the room with a steaming tray laden with food and Severus rolled his eyes at the exuberance of the house-elf, but refrained from saying anything until she left.

"This is certainly a light fare" Severus commented sarcastically as he fixed Harry a plate "I would hate to see what we would have been brought had I asked for a full breakfast."

Harry grinned slightly as he accepted the plate "at least you called for Winky instead of Dobby. Winky at least has some sense of moderation. If house-elves know of muggle drugs, I'd swear Dobby was on speed."

Severus raised an eyebrow at the mention of the muggle drugs, but didn't ask any questions as he instead turned to his own breakfast while watching to make sure Harry ate everything on his plate. For a while there was no conversation heard, really no noise at all except for the clink of silverware, until Harry hesitantly spoke.

"Do you-do you know what's going to be done about my vision?"

With a sigh Severus set down his utensils and faced Harry squarely "I do not know, but then I have yet to speak with Albus since I escorted you here last night. I expect the topic will come up at the next Order meeting. I swear to you though that Lucius will be warned, no matter what I will see to it that your father knows the Dark Lord is suspicious of him."

The smile Harry favored him with was noticeably grateful as the boy turned back to his food, and Severus did the same, it seemed as if some previously unnoticed tension had been banished from the room. For a moment Severus thought on what could have caused that tension until he realized that Harry had not expected Albus to inform Lucius of the imminent danger, in truth the old bastard probably would not have and Harry would have had a hard time getting word to his father without it being intercepted in some manner; Severus didn't know about the communication parchments. It wasn't too much later that both males put down their plates and sat back as Winky came to whisk away the dirty china.

"Swallow this" Severus held out the anti-cruciatus potion while ignoring the fact that Harry was already grimacing in expectation of the taste "it'll make you drowsy so I want you to lie on your stomach while I apply the muscle relaxant. It might be a good idea for you to remove your shirt first as well, this muscle relaxant does no good when applied to clothing and is poisonous if taken orally unlike some others. The anti-cruciatus potion acts unfavorably with orally-taken muscle relaxants and so a topically applied salve is the best alternative."

Harry blushed slightly as he shed the pajama top he didn't remember donning the night before. Giving another grimace, he downed the anti-cruciatus potion and lay down upon his stomach, arranging himself comfortably around the pillows on his bed. Moments later he felt the firm, sure pressure of Severus' hands as he kneaded the muscle relaxant salve into his back. Giving into the ministration, Harry never realized he was falling asleep until it was too late. He also never heard Severus chuckle softly as the older man realized what was happening. The last thing Harry remembered thinking was how wonderful Severus' was at giving massages, and what it would take to get another one sometime.

~~ ~~ ~*~

Time flew by until the winter holidays were upon them. Harry had gotten over his initial suspicions of Aberforth Dumbledore and was now taking private lessons with the man during the time he used to have animagus training with McGonagall. Order meetings were also becoming more frequent as Voldemort was attacking more often, raids the Dark Lord did not disclose anything about until right before the assault. Harry was not allowed in any of these meetings, but he knew when they were being held. After every meeting he would shoot Severus a questioning look only to receive a negative head shake in response, Dumbledore still wasn't doing anything in regards to Lucius' plight. Most communication to and from the school had been cut off as well, all mail being scanned whether it was outgoing or incoming. Thankfully for Harry and Draco, they had their communication parchments so that they could talk to their parents uncensored. Still, to keep up appearances, they still received a token bit of owl mail from home in the form of sweets and the usual 'how are you doing, how is school?' notes. Unfortunately one of those notes also cautioned Harry and Draco not to return home for the winter holidays, leaving both boys slightly upset even though they hid their disappointment well. They were going to miss out on their first real family Christmas together. Therefore it was a surprise for the two to wake up Christmas morning in Harry's room to find their parents grinning at them, a pile of presents at their feet.

"Merry Christmas" Lucius and Narcissa chimed together as they were tackled by their children; it was decidedly un-Malfoyish behavior, but no one was there to witness it besides themselves.

"Merry Christmas" the boys called before Draco asked "what are you doing here?"

Lucius smirked "even though it wasn't safe for you to come home, we weren't about to miss out on spending Christmas with you. We'll be staying until the end of the holidays."

Harry smirked at Dray "you do know what this means? Mum and dad are going to have to help us pull some pranks. I happen to have it on good authority that they used to pull some interesting ones themselves."

Narcissa groaned at the thought and Lucius muttered something that sounded suspiciously like 'overgrown bat' before they settled down to rip open their presents before heading down to the Great Hall to join the few remaining people in the school for breakfast.

That afternoon was spent quietly in the chambers Dumbledore had allowed for their use as a family and they sat around playing games, reading, and talking until dinner was sent up for them by the house elves. For dinner Severus joined them as well and Harry soon had the talk turned towards pranks, mainly pranks involving Gryffindor territory.

"It'll be easy" Harry cajoled "there are only six or so Gryffindor's staying for the holidays and it would be all too easy to get them outside for a snowball fight or some other such activity. We then rig everything up on time-delay and activate it on the first day after the holidays when everyone is back."

In the end Lucius, Narcissa, and Severus ended up giving into Harry and Draco, knowing that it might be their last chance to do such things with the children. They agreed to short-sheet all the bed in Gryffindor tower, curse the showers to spit out cold water that dyed skin neon pink before it turned warm and caused their hair to grow out, and a toilet in each bathroom was cursed to start running away anytime someone tried to use it. Mirrors were charmed to show blemishes that weren't there and walking through certain doorways could cause students to spout off random sonnets for an hour. There had been some crueler prank ideas bandied around, but they had decided to keep things light. They would need laughter soon; all their futures were uncertain, especially with the New Year approaching.

In fact, they had been having so much fun that Harry had almost forgotten what would be happening on New Years Eve, indeed Voldemort had been so quiet that Harry had not thought anything more about what the Dark Lord could be planning. He had just pulled a wizarding cracker with Severus, quickly catching the snitch that fluttered from it, when the professor grabbed at his left arm. Suddenly fearful, Harry jerked his head to see his father doing the same thing. The two men stood in synchronization and nodded to Dumbledore before moving towards the doors of the Great Hall from where they would continue to the apparition point.

"No" Harry stood so fast that his chair tipped backwards "you can't go!"

Draco moved to Harry's side, both unconsciously clasping their hands together as the two men stopped right in front of the doors.

"We have to go" Lucius announced, not turning "to not go would be to call death upon our heads."

"He'll kill you if you go" Harry didn't care if the others in the room heard the emotion that was causing his voice to crack "he knows you are spies. Why else do you think he gave you such a task? He knows. He's known. He's toying with you."

"I know, Harry" Lucius voice was heartrending "but if I go I can try and buy you the time you need to destroy him. I love you. I love you both. Take care of your mother for me."

Without another word Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape left Hogwarts to meet with the Dark Lord, knowing that at least one of them would most likely never come back.

"Luciusss" Voldemort hissed in that damnable serpentine voice of his "do you have a traitor to give me?"

Lucius stepped forward, fear making his heart pound even as a cold sweat chilled his body. Voldemort was enjoying this and Lucius stiffened himself in anticipation of the cruciatus curses that would soon be thrown about.

"No my Lord" Lucius forced himself to bow low over the hem of the Dark Lord's robes "I was unable to discover anything concrete."

"Crucio" Voldemort hissed his displeasure, holding the curse for nearly two minutes before lifting it "you have failed me Luciusss, and I do not tolerate failure. Why not just admit that you are the ssspy, admit that you truly care about the Potter brat."

Severus couldn't bear it, he knew how heart-broken Harry would be should Lucius not return "I am the spy Voldemort."

His announcement was met with silence as the Dark Lord's menacing gaze swung to him "Severusss, my ssslippery ssserpent. I am surprisssed that you offer up your life in sssuch a manner."

Severus stood defiant before Voldemort and the rest of the Death Eaters "I will not allow another to die for me, especially not one I owe my life to."

In the instant before Voldemort placed the cruciatus curse upon him, Severus locked his eyes with Lucius'.

'Go to your sons' he projected the thoughts 'I have given you the time you need, my debt is repaid. Tell Harry and Draco goodbye for me.'

Then the cruciatus curse hit Severus full force and he was forced to his knees. But Severus had been held under the curse many times before and used his desperation to fight it off long enough to throw a hex at Voldemort to distract everyone long enough for Lucius to make his escape.

"Now what was the point of that my ssserpent" Voldemort had ended the cruciatus and hit Severus with legilimency, managing to catch the tail end of Severus' thoughts before the potions master could slam up his occlumency shields "ah, it was to give Luciusss a chance to essscape. Very clever Ssseverusss, it isss too bad you are a traitor. I think we ssshall have sssome fun with you before you die."

~~ ~~ ~*~

Harry had left the feast not long after his father and Severus had answered the Dark Lords call, there was something he needed to do and he needed to be alone to do it. Reaching his rooms, Harry let himself in before changing the password to prevent anyone from entering and interrupting him. A quick silencing charm on the room later and Harry was ready, settling himself down upon the floor in front of a candle. Slowly he allowed himself to fall into the flame, allowing it to pull him into his own mind as he sought the link that connected him with the Dark Lord. Gradually he became displaced from his body and found himself floating above the Death Eater meeting. He could find no sign of his father, but below him he could see Severus being tortured. It seemed that the torture had been going on for quite some time and Voldemort finally got what he wanted.

"Why betray me Severusss? It can't be for the old man." Voldemort hissed in pleasure as he finally succeeded in breaking past Severus' occlumency shields "ssso that is why. You love him. And if by sssome twissst of fate Harry did return your love, what then? Do you really think the Order will let you keep him? You who are touched by my mark? It'sss almossst a pity that you ssshall never know my sssnake. Avada Ked-"

Something broke free inside of Harry then, power coursed through him stronger and more violent than ever before and he screamed as he apparated in a burst of light. The light flashed again and Harry found himself kneeling protectively over Severus, glowing wings of black and silver bursting free from somewhere within his back. He had burst through the blocks on his powers, and with the return of the memories from the night of his parents murder came a calmness he had not known he possessed.

"What the-" Voldemort began, startled.

Harry's head hung down, hair that was once again black curtaining his face, as he began to speak "I did die that night, the night my parents died, but you had already marked me as your equal and so I was allowed back. Because I was the one with the power to defeat you my life was returned to me. I remember now."

Ignoring Voldemort for the moment, Harry turned to speak to Severus, placing a soft kiss upon the man's lips "I would give up my place in heaven for you. I love you."

With a flash of light Severus disappeared from the room, leaving Voldemort and Harry the sole occupants. After he had transported Severus back to Hogwarts Harry finally looked up, his green eyes burning into the shocked red ones of Voldemort. Slowly Harry stood, his muscles moving with sinewy grace as he fully faced the Dark Lord, clearly showing the power he retained.

"And I'd accept a place in hell if it would ensure your residence there for all eternity, never to be freed, but Lucifer wants you bad enough on his own. It's time to finish this, Voldemort."

"I'm afraid not Harry Potter" Voldemort hissed, having regained control of himself "this will end when I say it does."

With a loud crack Voldemort apparated himself away through his wards, setting off a chain reaction. The moment he was free of the wards they imploded along with everything within their confines. Inside the building Harry was buffeted by the power, stone from the walls slashing across his skin as the heat of the dark fire Voldemort had set off exploded them. For a long moment Harry was tempted to just lay there in the destructing building, but then Sev's face flashed across his vision to be swiftly followed by Lucius, Narcissa, and Draco. He had to get back to them, but whatever Voldemort had done with the wards had sapped his magic, pulling it out of him to fuel the dark spell. He would have to fly out, he still had his wings at least, they hadn't been affected by the spell. Pushing himself to his feet, Harry spread his wings, ignoring the feeling of fire as it licked at his feathers. With a mighty sweep Harry shot up into the air and leveled out, throwing his arms over his head and face as he barreled out through one of the miraculously still intact window. Once free he frantically beat his wings, continuing to ignore his pain as he tried to get as far away from the building as possible. A loud boom sounded behind him right before he could get out of range and a force filled with searing heat propelled him further and slammed him into the ground. Harry decided in that instant that rest was necessary and gave into the darkness, at least he was out of the building, he just hoped Voldemort didn't send any Death Eaters back to investigate before he managed to wake again.

~~ ~~ ~*~

Light was stinging his eyes, and though it was painful, Harry welcomed it after the darkness. Forcing his eyes open and blinking away the tears that welled up as he exposed them to the full sunlight, Harry discovered that he still lay where he had fallen the night before. With a groan he heaved himself to his feet and studied the ruins of what had once been Voldemort's headquarters, there was nothing left of the place that was useful and Harry had no doubt that he would have escaped alive if he had been ordinary. Of course then he might have had the chance to become a ghost and annoy Voldemort for all eternity, but he wouldn't have been able to kill the bastard as a ghost and doubted the Powers That Be would give him another chance at life. Necromancy was always an option though, he would have to speak to Severus about that. Harry thought it over for another minute before shaking his head, no, best not. Looking to the sky, Harry grimaced and spread his aching wings. Using an angelic trick, one of the few he had actually been taught, Harry warped reality about him so that he could fly unseen back to Hogwarts; his magic was still pretty much nonexistent and he cursed whatever wards Voldemort had concocted. Next time he would definitely have to make sure all wards were disabled and maybe throw up a few of him own in return. Harry continued to fly unerringly towards Hogwarts even though he didn't know where exactly he was, his thoughts focused upon how he would handle his next meeting with Voldemort. Yet even as he thought up battle strategies his mind kept conjuring up images of Severus and he couldn't help but wonder where they would go from here, it wasn't every day you vowed to give up your place in heaven for someone you loved after all.

~~ ~~ ~*~

Hogwarts had to be one of the most beautiful sights on Earth Harry decided as he landed in front of the castle, the doors opening to admit him. For a moment Harry hesitated within the Entrance Hall, deciding on which way to go, before heading to the Hospital Wing. He wasn't at all fond of the Hospital Wing and Madam Pomfrey's strict mothering, but he figured his dad and Severus would be there and he could use a bit of patching up himself. On the way he didn't run into anyone and Harry realized that the students weren't yet back from their holidays, meaning that he hadn't been out for more than a few hours when he had blacked out. What was surprising was that he didn't run into any of the professors, but that confusion was solved when he found most of them in the Hospital Wing where an impromptu meeting was taking place. It seemed they were trying to come up with a plan of action to find him. For a moment Harry stood there listening, drinking in the sight of everyone in the room before he stiffly forced himself to move further into the room.

"I'm here" he croaked, not realizing how dry his throat had become during his flight.


Each cry of his name had a different inflection placed on it, most bordering on either relief or shock. Harry realized that he must make a startling sight, not only was he pretty banged up, but he had wings growing out of his back. He guessed either Severus hadn't told them about the wings, or the others had dismissed it as some form of hallucination from the torture. Deciding he better explain a little, Harry opened his mouth only to be suddenly attacked by a pissed off phoenix.

"You just can't listen can you" Fawkes squawked "you heard the prophecy I told you, it was given to you for a purpose. Now you've probably messed everything all up. What happened to the inner Slytherin you've been releasing? You had to act like a Gryffindor. For all we know the prophecy is worthless now. Foolish child-"

"FAWKES" Harry finally managed to get his throat to work, stopping the phoenix tirade "berate me later for not listening to your warnings, but right now I'm going to pass out again."

The moment the words finished leaving his mouth, Harry did just that, ending up in a crumbled heap upon the floor with his elegant wings twisted awkwardly around him. The others in the room seemed in shock, staring at Harry's still form for long minutes before Dumbledore thought to levitate him to a nearby bed for Poppy to check him over. With a sighing trill, Fawkes settled down to watch over Harry while the boy slept.

~~ ~~ ~*~

No one was around when Harry woke, well, no one other than a sighing phoenix.

"Sky child" Fawkes began in a soft trill, obviously having gotten over his earlier upset "I wish you would have listened more carefully to me even though you do not place much stock in mortal divination. Now it is unclear if the prophecy I trilled has any merit anymore. I just hope you have not doomed yourself to loss."

For a moment Harry bowed his head, he had considered this very thing upon his flight home "I think I have saved the prophecy, Fawkes, not doomed it. You mentioned Severus in the prophecy and if I hadn't went for him he would have died. Then where would the prophecy be?"

"You cannot mean..." Fawkes trailed off.

"Yes" Harry nodded "Severus is the lover you mentioned. I have slowly been realizing that since this summer, but it didn't hit me that he was the one until I witnessed Voldemort torturing him and his love for me came out in the open."

"Then hope still remains" it was as if a burden had suddenly been lifted from Fawkes' wings as the phoenix prepared to fire-flash away "he is by the lake, if you are interested?"

There was no need to clarify who he was, but first he had to get out of the hospital wing. Harry knew from long practice that the moment he got within a few feet of the doors a silent alarm would alert Madam Pomfrey of any escape attempts, and as he still wasn't feeling up to snuff, that way was out. His magic also wasn't what it should be, and Harry didn't want to risk pulling in outside magic while he was still feeling weak. That left the windows. Maneuvering so that he was perched lightly on the end of his bed, Harry spread his wings, wincing as they popped, and launched himself towards one of the open windows situated high in the wall. At the last moment possible he pulled his wings tight to his body so he could fit through the opening and began a freefall, suddenly snapping out his wings to soar to a landing upon the castle grounds.

Beginning the trek down to the lake, Harry found Severus exactly where Fawkes had said he would be. He was suddenly a little nervous and tucked his wings against his back as he approached the potion master. At his approach, Severus turned and watched him, waiting. They stood there in silence for a long moment before Severus cleared his throat.

"So I wasn't hallucinating" his voice was neutral "you do have wings."

"Yes" Harry couldn't manage anything else, and they fell back into silence.

"Did you mean it" Severus finally asked, his voice still frustratingly neutral.

This time the words failed him completely and so Harry could only nod, a soft smile full of melancholy crossing his face. Suddenly he was anticipating some form of rejection even though he knew Severus returned his feelings. Perhaps it was because of the way Severus had himself closed off, seemingly emotionless in the face of their stilted conversation. Harry was just debating the worth of walking away and pretending this had never happened when he suddenly found himself in Severus' arms; he had been so caught up in his own thoughts he had never seen the other man move. Suddenly feeling the happiest since he had been adopted, Harry rested his head on Severus' chest, allowing the gentle heartbeat he heard there to lull him into a relaxed drowse as long fingers stroked the feathers of his wings. He knew he should look for his family, see how they were doing and if his father was okay, but he couldn't force himself to move from Severus' embrace.

High above the newly made couple, a phoenix flew, invisible to all eyes. They might just have a chance in this war after all.
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