Nothing ‘Bout Me

Title: Nothing ‘Bout Me
Fandom/Genre: Harry Potter
Relationship(s): Harry/Draco
Content Rating: MA
Warnings: Dumbledore!Hate. Granger/Weasley!Bashing. Explicit Sex. There may be some Canon-level Violence.
Summary: The Battle of Hogwarts has been over for less than five minutes when a battle-weary Harry is forcibly Portkeyed away from an injured Draco and into a cottage with one occupant – Hermione Granger. How long has she been preparing for this moment and what is the task Dumbledore gave her many years ago? Can Harry convince her that he is a Sentinel, dissuade her from completing her task, and stop Ron from hunting his Guide.

A/N: This was my first ever HP story, another Rough Trade Little Black Dress Challenge fic, and part of the Ten Summoners Tales Series. As with St Augustine in Hell, I intend to post the series as a whole when all the stories are finished.

Word Count: 16429

 

Banner by bindingdiva

Banner by bindingdiva

“Oh Potter, Potter, Potter. I was led to believe you would be a challenge. And yet here you are, cowering at my feet like the puling child you are.”

Voldemort twirled his wand in contempt, firing off a desultory hex at Harry’s rapidly failing shield. Potter’s wand lay blasted into tiny splinters only a few feet away, but he couldn’t say he was sorry to see it gone.

“I dunno, Tommy-boy. Seems to me your troops are looking a little decimated.” He cocked his chin over his shoulder at the battlefield below. The final battle raged up and down the gentle hill outside Hogwarts and a miasma of magic hung over the bloodied ground.

“Narcissa Malfoy’s a grease stain at the bottom of the hill; my people have at least 35 of your supposed crack troops on their way to Azkaban, including Crabbe, Goyle, Yaxley…”

Harry braced against the string of blasting hexes a very irritated Dark Lord shot at him, and almost giggled when one of them rebounded back and missed the snake-faced man’s ear by barely a millimetre or two. “…And of course your mental little trollop is doing her best kebab impression over there.”  He was gratified to see the red eyes of his nemesis briefly flicker to where Bellatrix was impaled bodily on a pike, courtesy of the centaurs. Harry though he’d have to send them something nice as a thank you gift after everything was done with.

“I care not for any of them,” Voldemort hissed. “This will end here and you will die, you mongrel get.”

“Takes one to know one,” Harry jibed back. His eyes had not moved from the figure in front of him, but his superior peripheral vision, and hearing, told him the end was very near. While Riddle was concentrating on him, another was making his stealthy way around behind the Dark Lord.

‘Better make it soon, love. I’m not quite out of juice but it won’t take long. If the stupid bastard wasn’t so keen on his Dr Eeeevil impression he’d have had me three minutes ago’.

‘Stop trying to make me laugh. I’m nearly there, Sentinel. So you better fucking hold on. Give me 10, 9, 8, 7…

Over their telepathic connection, Harry joined his Guide in the final countdown.

5, 4, 3, 2…

“ONE,” they both shouted in complete synchrony. As Harry dropped his shield and cast Expelliarmus towards Voldemort’s wand, his Guide focussed a narrow beam piercing hex at the back of Voldemort’s skull. Harry fed every last ounce of power he had through their soul-link and set up a feedback amplification loop to the hex, coaxing it to burn a neat, Galleon sized hole from the back of the snake-man’s skull and out through his forehead.

The look on Voldemort’s face was completely nonplussed. It was obvious his body had not caught up with the fact that he was very near death, as he took first one shaky step and then another towards Harry. He tried to lift his wandless hand, but his motor functions were gone and he crumpled like a ragdoll onto his knees on the strangely pristine ground around them.

“I…will…re…turn.”

“Now you see, you really won’t, Tommy-boy. We’ve made sure all your nasty soul pieces are gone.”

Harry had to admire the strength of will of the other man…snake…thing…snake-man-thing…as he stubbornly clung to the last seconds of life, with thick grey/black blood and brain matter pouring from a two-inch hole through his brain. The thin, blue lips sneered and Riddle’s eyes flickered to the scar on Harry’s forehead.

Before Harry could disabuse him of his hopes, the barely alive figure was kicked from behind and finally slumped over. Harry watched with a strange mix of hope and adoration in his eyes, as Draco finished Voldemort off for good with a simple Abattoir hex, breaking the vile man’s neck with a spiralling twist and an unusually satisfying crunch of bone.

It was over.

Green eyes met grey; the overwhelming fatigue and battle weariness was obvious, but alongside that was the joy that they’d both survived. The Sentinel cast searching eyes over Draco’s body. He had not come away unscathed, and he could see that a long jagged laceration down the Guides arm would need medical intervention. There was also a scorched area on the thigh of his combat pants that spoke of a burn that could be problematic if it was not dealt with quickly.

Harry was too exhausted to move and as his Guide was still on his feet he thought it was only right that he should be the one to walk the ten steps that lay between them. He opened his mouth to tell his Guide just that when there was a pop of Apparition behind him. Harry stiffened ready to defend himself, but the flicker of surprised recognition crossing Draco’s face was enough to hold his reflexive response for a moment or two.

Those few seconds were enough. There was a light tap on his back and with a well-remembered, and hated, hook sensation at his belly-button, he felt the pull of a Portkey. Draco’s anguished “NO!” and telepathic yell of ‘Harry…fuck… HARRY!’ followed him into the Zone-inducing maelstrom that was Portkey travel for a Sentinel.

*****

As always the Portkey left him disorientated and nauseous. It was how Voldemort had managed to abduct him after the TriWizard after all, and who ever had abducted him obviously knew that.

Keeping his eyes closed, he centred his breathing and let his senses come back on line slowly. He knew his sight would be the last to be settled, and if he allowed himself to give in to the need to know visually what was going on around him, his senses would be screwed up for even longer.

If Draco were here…

He sat firmly on the adrenaline spike that threatened to push him into a feral state. He was already aware that his chest, legs and wrists were held – and with magical restraints. He knew that try as he might he wouldn’t be able to break those, as the more force was applied to them, the more strongly they held. They had been used by the Aurors for the last few years in order to detain prisoners who were about to be Kissed. It meant that the prisoner could be left alone in the room with the Dementors, which was a relief for those chosen for Execution Squad. That was one worry Harry didn’t have. There were no Dementors here. There were no screams from Lily Potter or the hissing voice of Voldemort.

Luckily he was stronger than anyone knew, and while he couldn’t break the restraints hold on him he was still able to cast, as long as he was careful to channel his magic as a trickle rather than a flood.

He settled himself further into his meditation mindscape, reaching out for the beloved tether to his Guide. At least he could reassure himself that Draco was still OK and receiving treatment for his wounds. He could also begin to focus in on where the fuck he was.

But as he reached for his Spirit Animal – the conduit for their telepathic communication –  he realised there was no connection. Sure, the bond was there, pulsing and healthy, wrapped tightly around Harry’s magical core. But their telepathic connection was completely cut-off.

He drew on every technique Sandburg had taught him in order to fight the rising panic, which was threatening to take him over into something more primitive. Unfortunately for once, his high level of magical power was against him, being reflected exponentially by the magic in the restraints.

As he struggled to get his breathing under control, he heard the whoosh of a Floo connection. Although his senses were still out of whack, he decided it was a necessary risk to dial up his hearing and find out just what was going on, before facing whoever it was that was holding him captive; be it a vengeful Death Eater or Dark sympathiser looking to use him for collateral.

What he wasn’t expecting was a pair of very familiar voices.

“He’s still out.”

“What do you mean, still out. It’s been ten minutes.”

“You know how Portkey travel affects him, Ron. He could be unconscious for another hour.”

“It’s not like you took him to Ireland, ‘Mione. That was the only time he was out for this long.”

“Yeah, I know. I’ll Ennervate him once I get off the Floo. Have you got Malfoy?”

“Ugh, no. Slippery little ferret had a broom shrunk in his pocket and he kicked off before I could Stupefy him. I managed to get the tracking spell on him though, so I’ll follow that.”

“Did you see You-Know-Who’s body? Was he dead?”

“I nearly chucked up…It was a mess, ‘Mione. That must have been some fucking Dark spell they used on him. Seems like you were right.”

“Yeah, well you should know I’m always right by now, Ron.  Don’t worry about me, I’ve got him now and the restraints are working. So get your head out your arse, get Malfoy and bring him here…Do what you need to, but make sure he’s still alive, mind.  You can leave me to deal with Harry.”

“Yeah, ‘K. He’s probably gone to ground at Grimmauld, and I know Kreature will let me in. I’ll be there before you know it.”

Harry was sure the queasy feeling in his belly was no longer due to the Portkey, but more from the content of the overheard Floo Call. Weasley was after Draco and right now, there was nothing Harry could do about it. The red-head might be a lazy, jealous bastard, but he was also ruthless when it came to getting what he wanted. If his goal was to hurt Harry’s Guide…

He heard the Floo close, and then the unmistakeable feeling of someone closing the Floo with some really heavy duty wards washed over his magic. He finally could feel his equilibrium returning, but kept his eyes closed as he sent out his senses one at a time to try and map the physical and magical area.

The wards around the room were oppressive and thick, with layer on layer of magic, quite a bit of it Grey bordering on Dark. Harry’s non-verbal, wandless magic was better than with his wand, so with a very slight flick of his fingers – that would look like an unconscious twitch to any onlooker – he sent out a little spell he had created years ago. Draco had named it ‘Spider’, as it crawled across all flat surfaces and continually fed back details of any magic it found. Part of the way magic affected Harry’s Sentinel gifts was that he had developed Mage sight. So once the little reconnaissance charm managed a circuit of the room he would have a connection to all the wards that surrounded him and he’d be able to ‘see’ them as brightly as if they were solid matter, even with his eyes closed.

Then all he had to do was unravel them – and he would. His Guide was in danger and there was no way he was going to sit here any longer than he needed to before going to make sure Draco was safe. In the meantime, it would be interesting to find out why he was in this situation to start with.

With one final check of his levels, he was satisfied that he wouldn’t be risking throwing himself into a catastrophic Zone.  He tracked Hermione as she did a circuit of the room and could tell from her mumbled casting that she was checking the wards. That was all to the good, as it meant the Spider would be able to pick up the ‘live’ vibrations of the wards rather than those that were quiescent.

Soon she seemed to be happy and came to stand in front of him. He waited, hoping to catch her on the back foot as she lifted her wand for Ennervate, Aguamenti or some other similar spell. What he wasn’t prepared for was the press of her body against him and her lips covering his in a more than sisterly way. He twisted his head to one side and was pleased to hear a startled little squeak from her.

Harry slowly lifted his eyelids. He knew his contempt for her was shining strongly in his eyes, as she gasped and took a step back.

“I’m no Sleeping Beauty, Hermione.” He drawled sarcastically. “Whatever would your darling boyfriend Ron say?”

The young witch blushed deeply and gave him a sour look. Harry knew pushing her was not a good idea, especially as she was the one seemingly with the upper hand. But he was secure in his ability to cast a mean wandless shield that would keep her busy for a while, at least until he could make a hole in the wards. All he had to do was keep her talking while he worked.

“So…Changed sides, Hermione?”

The shock that darkened her expression told him that she still considered herself ‘of the Light’; well as much as any of the sheep who followed Dumbledore could be.

“I could ask you that question. You’re the one who’s been consorting with Death Eaters – sleeping with them,” she spat derisively.

Harry couldn’t help the snort that pushed passed his lips. “Consorting…Oh Draco’ll love that one.”

“See…SEE!” Hermione screeched hysterically, pointing her finger at him accusingly. “And not just him either.”

At Harry’s quizzical look she spat out, “Snape, that greasy dungeon bat.”

He smirked at her. “Hmm, well yeah, I suppose he has got that dark, brooding, bad-boy thing going on. Both Draco and I love ‘Interview with a Vampire’.” He gave a mock shudder of delight. “And with him being so much older it would be an interestingly reverse Oedipal fantasy, what with the whole Daddy thing.”

Harry threw his head back and pretended to muse lasciviously, keeping his other senses on the young woman in front of him as he opened his Mage sight and began to inspect the wards for weaknesses and traps.

“This…see this is how I know there is something wrong with you. The Harry I know wouldn’t talk like that. He wouldn’t even know the meaning of the words. And as for being attracted to Malfoy and Snape…” Hermione pulled irritably on the thick braid that hung over her shoulder, her expression a moue of disgust.

Harry could hear the abhorrence in her voice, but it really wasn’t a surprise. Hermione was mired down in what she believed and it took everything up to and including a nuclear explosion to make her change her mind.

“You know nothing ’bout me, Hermione.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Harry. I’ve lived alongside you, been your best friend for seven years. There’s no one knows you as well as I do.”

Harry let his eyes follow the contours of the room, to all intents and purposes looking around him at the place he was being held, and in the back of his mind he catalogued his surroundings.

It was a small stone built cottage that seemed to have more than one floor, if the echoes from above his head where anything to go by. There was no one else in the building but him and Granger, but there were several rats in the roof and a mouse or two scrabbling around in the kitchen behind him.

The furnishings were shabby but clean, and there was no ornamentation, no pictures or portraits; Magical or Muggle. The floors were also stone, covered with homespun rugs. The fire in this room was real as opposed to the Floo he had heard, which was in a room somewhere to his right. He was glad of the warmth as his body started to come down from the adrenaline high of his Battle Drive.

“Well I can think of at least eight people who would argue with you about that – Draco being the first of those.”

“Fucking Draco Malfoy is the reason this has become necessary, Harry, and I would have thought you would be a little more concerned about what’s going on here.”

He traced the ceiling, where the Anti-Animagus-Transformation Ward had its anchor, which was probably what was causing the blockage in the telepathic link with his Guide. Their Spirit Guides were closely linked with their Animagus forms; both having a metaphysical root. The interference in his bond was setting his Sentinel right on edge and had he been able to get free, Miss Granger would’ve been nothing but a grease-spot right about then. That ward was probably the simplest to unravel, but unfortunately it seemed it was one of the first to be put in. Overlaid on that was an Anti-Apparition Ward, which would be the one he needed to beat to get out of there, as the Spider was telling him that the windows and doors had an Anti-Blast Ward woven into the woodwork and glass.

He dropped his eyes and gave her a heavy-lidded stare. “You really have no idea who I am, Hermione…What I am; what I’m capable of. And fucking Draco Malfoy is a part of that.” He smirked as it took her a few moments to get the double entendre.

Hermione’s eyes flashing with righteous vindication. “Yes, exactly. That black son of a Death Eater has been changing you, Harry. For one thing you’re not gay; Cho and Ginny are proof of that. AND he’s turning you Dark, and that’s dangerous, Harry. Alongside your sc…” She turned her head away and bit on her bottom lip, obviously realising she was showing her hand too quickly.

Harry just rested his head on the cushion of the armchair he was restrained to, and went back to analysing the wards. With another almost indistinguishable flick of the fingers on both hands he set his magic to gently teasing apart the Anti-Animagus Ward. It might not get him out of there quickly, but he had a good idea it would unblock his link to Draco. At least then he would know his Guide – his love and other half of his soul – was safe.

As he was coaxing a particularly knotted section of ward, he began to realise that he was dealing with a set of protections that had taken more than an hour or two to put together. In fact, unless he was mistaken, some of the magic was way above anything even Granger was capable of.

“So are you going to tell me why I’m here and how long you’ve been planning this…” There was a smile on Harry’s face but it wasn’t pleasant at all. “Kinda strange that you’ve been so worried about me and all – but it takes till I’ve taken old Snake-Face out, before you decide to kidnap me.”

“This isn’t kidnapping…You can’t call it kidnapping.” She yelled, he hands firmly planted on her hips.

“No? So what is it? An intervention? Body-snatch? Shang-hi? Hijack? Press-gang?”

Hermione took a step forward and her wand flicked into her hand. Harry carefully left the wards for a moment, as he prepared to cast his shield if necessary. “See – you’re doing it again. You don’t talk like this, Harry.”

“So am I supposed to be happy you’ve abducted me and bound me only five minutes after I’ve killed that evil motherfucker. I’m supposed to be grateful that you’ve made me leave my injured Soulmate on a fucking battlefield.” He could see from her baffled expression, that she really had thought he’d accept this from her. “Whatever made you think I’d be OK with this, Hermione?”

“I’m your friend, Harry,” she pleaded with a shrug. “You know I only do what’s in your best interests.”

And then it became clear that while she may have been foot soldier, Hermione was not the General in this particular skirmish. “Oh, because it’s for the Greater Good you mean.”

The expression of relief that smoothed out her features was so comical Harry couldn’t help but snort.

“So this is all Dumbledore’s idea then. What dangerous, ill-conceived, misguided escapade has he talked you into this time, Granger. If there’s anyone who’s Dark, it’s that old bastard.”

Her head snapped back as if he’d slapped her. “He’s the leader of the Light!”

Harry leaned forward as far as the restraints would allow, his green eyes hard with hatred and contempt. “He’s a manipulative, evil fucker, who plays with other people’s lives in order to keep the power firmly in his hands. He’s hated me from the moment I was born; made sure I was honed as his assassin – his soldier – from the moment I was ripped from my dead mother’s arms. He’s a liar, a thief, a double crossing destroyer who will use anything and anyone to get what he wants.”

Hermione took two steps back, her wand now dangling from one hand while the other was pressed against her chest in horror. “He was right…” she choked out, almost to herself, “He said if you were still alive when Voldemort fell…” Her eyes went wide with recognition.

Suddenly Harry had a pretty good idea what this was all about. “You didn’t get this place ready, did you, Granger? You and Ron? No, it wasn’t you that set this all up. He did.” He nodded, his expression showing his disgust. He’d known as soon as he felt them that she wasn’t capable of instigating the heavier wards around the cottage. “So what’s your task, lowly foot soldier, you might as well tell me.”

She shook her head, but he could see that his rant had shaken her. She would want to prove that the All Powerful Saint Dumbledore – Hallowed Be His Name – was nothing but goodness personified, and Hermione’s surety in her own self-worth wouldn’t let her allow him to undermine her obvious pride in the task she’d been given.

Allowing his magic to continue to work slowly and steadily at the wards, he withdrew most of his concentration from the task for a few moments and went in for the kill. “It’s a shame he didn’t have the good grace to die in that fall from the Astronomy Tower. Only his fucking luck would have Hagrid coming out of the Castle at the exact same moment. Still I must admit the idea of him having to have two new legs grown is very satisfying. It’s just sad Hagrid had to have his neck broken by that sorry waste of magic. I told Draco we should have put more power into that Expelliarmus.”

Hermione’s face darkened with horror and temper, and Harry wasn’t sure whether to be impressed or sickened by the obvious oncoming tantrum. He soon decided it was the latter.

“Albus Dumbledore is a great man – a great Wizard. He has more power in his little finger than you’ll ever have…”

Harry had to cover a snort at that – it was blatantly untrue. In fact, in concert with Draco there was no Magical alive who could defeat them…See Voldemort as case in point.

“He took me to one side months ago and told me about your scar.” Her eyes flashed in triumph. “I needed to know in order to find the other Horcrux. But when he was attacked…” He saw her suddenly realise what he’d admitted to about Dumbledore’s little tumble off the tower. “Y…You…You and Malfoy tried to kill Albus?”

Harry simply cocked one eyebrow and said nothing.

Her wand was in his face in a second, shaking with repressed anger and Harry had a fleeting thought that maybe he shouldn’t have pushed quite so hard. He gathered some magic in his hand, its feel warm and soothing, and waited, unblinking to see which way she’d go.

His calm seem to disconcert her as she screamed her temper in his face and stomped over to the other side of the room. She stood with her back to him, panting, for almost a minute, before turning on him, her face hard and her chin tilted upwards.

“I know you’re a Horcrux, Harry. Dumbledore gave me this task when he knew he wouldn’t be able to do it himself. He told me that if you were still standing when You-Know-Who fell, then it was up to me to make sure he couldn’t rise again with the piece of his soul that’s inside you.” Her expression was triumphant.

Yep, it was official, this was a shit way to end what should have been a fantastic day. Harry shook his head. “I don’t have a Horcrux in me, Hermione,” he said quietly.

“Yes, YES you do and your association with Malfoy only goes to prove that it’s already turning you Dark.”

He was about to try to answer her when his magic finally pulled the anchor point of the Anti-Animagus Ward free. The soft, sub-aural ‘whoomf’ of the ward as it fell was followed by a tingling flush of power through his body as the magic contained in the ward rushed to join his magical core, which had the added benefit of having the pull of the restraints lessen infinitesimally. That alone would have been enough to brighten his mood, but the next event was a million times better.

‘…rry, HARRY…SENTINEL ANSWER ME, RIGHT NOW.’

“Draco.”

Harry’s voice was barely more than a whisper but Hermione caught it anyway.

“Ron will have him soon and bring him here, then we’ll find out what the bastard’s been using on you.” Hermione’s eyes held a hardness Harry had been seeing reflected there for a few months now. Her brainwashing by Dumbledore had obviously been bearing fruit. At least she didn’t seem to have sensed the fall of the wards, which was only to Harry’s benefit.

Harry ignored her in favour of bathing in the cool sweet feel of his Guide’s telepathic presence in his mind and metaphysical body.

‘Are you somewhere safe, Guide?’  He demanded. ‘Weasley has a tracking spell on you.’

The snort that came back along their bond was heavy with sarcastic contempt. ‘The day I can’t dodge the Weasel is the day I’ll let Ellison cut my hair. I’m in the ritual room at Number 12 and I’ve instituted Papa Sev’s wards, and K is here, so I’m safe enough for now. Where are you?’

The words were slightly broken and ‘staticky’, like a radio that needed tuning in, but the snarky response almost made Harry sob with relief. All he wanted was to be held in the arms of his love and gently sink into the healing balm of their bond. His shields were in tatters and the trembling that was beginning in his muscles told him he was physically exhausted. Knowing Draco was safe and in relatively good form was enough to give him the will to pull himself together for a little while longer.

‘I’m not sure where I am. It’s a small stone house, but so far Granger hasn’t given me any clues about where yet. I’m in Auror restraints so I’m having to be careful what I do.’

‘I’ll send River…’ Draco began.

‘NO!’ Harry sent urgently. The thought of his Guide’s Phoenix Spirit Animal being shredded by the dark red threads of magic still woven through the fabric of the building made him shudder with horror. ‘I still haven’t got the wards down completely. They’d cut him apart like cheese wire. I have to hang on here a little longer, at least until you get that red-headed traitor off your back and I can find out exactly where I am. Have you healed that burn and the wound on your arm?’

‘Just about to.’

Harry flicked his gaze over at his captor and saw a mixture of irritation and speculation on her face. He set his expression in an angry scowl, and hoped she would perceive his lack of attention as due to his battle weariness. Hermione never was able to see further than the pages of the book in her hands. It was her greatest failing, and ultimately a weakness Harry would be able to use when the time came to get out of there.

‘You do know Granger is going to be at the end of my wand before today is out…’

It took Harry a moment to realise that he was totally without the normal, everyday blocks in his mind that prevented his Guide from being plagued with the mundane thoughts that, according to Draco, floated through his head every 5 seconds. In this case it was a good thing. It meant his Guide would be able to perceive everything as it happened, rather than Harry having to convey every nuance of every conversation.

“Harry, are you listening to me?” Hermione’s tone was demanding and there was a tinge of shrewish wife about it. Harry had a shiver of recognition as he felt his senses finally equalizing, and out of nothing but habit scanned her scent pile. Underneath the acidic tang of adrenalin and the bitter-lemon bite of her irritation, was the unmistakeable aroma of arousal…And then he remembered the kiss. It quickly became obvious to him that she WANTED him and that made him shiver with revulsion.

‘Kiss…’ Oh that was a dangerous sound – a coldly incensed Dragon. ‘What KISS, Sentinel.’

Keeping his expression neutral, and his eyes heavy lidded with a tiredness he didn’t have to fake, Harry sent the sense memory of his ’awakening’ by the woman, and in return received a blast of such incandescent anger that it almost rocked him in his seat.

‘I want you out of there, Sentinel…NOW. Why haven’t you blasted the know-it-all little bitch through the wall and Apparated out of there. I know you don’t have your wand, but fuck it, Harry, you don’t need it.’

‘Magical suppression cuffs, remember? I’m working on it, Guide, as fast as I can.’ The Sentinel couldn’t help feeling warmed by his Dragon’s unfailing faith in his magical ability. ‘In the meantime, you’ll just have to listen in for a while. I need to keep her talking so we can pensieve the memories when I get out of here, as evidence for her trial – and Weasley and Dumbledore’s too.’

He could tell his lover was unhappy with the answer, but Draco’s ire receded a little, and Harry couldn’t help but sigh in relief.

“…wrong with you? Are you shaking off his Imperius now you’re here with me and not in his sphere of influence.”

Harry snorted incredulously. “Whose Imperius exactly?”

“Malfoy’s of course.” She spat the name with venom. “He’s got you in some kind of thrall, no doubt taking his lead from his Dark Lord. He’s always been obsessed with you. Well, I’m not going to let him be your Master.”

The Sentinel in Harry reared up in anger at the poison she was spouting about his Guide. “You know I can resist Imperius, Veela Allure and all other mind control, hex charm and potion. He’s not my Master, you stupid bitch, nor does he want to be,” he barked harshly. “He’s my lover, my Soulmate…Fuck it, Granger, he’s my Guide.”

Her expression went from disgusted, to angry, to incensed. “That…that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” Hermione gave a sneer that would have rivalled Snape on a good day. “There’s no such thing as a Wizard Sentinel.”

*****

12 Grimmauld Place

Draco wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. The cat was really out of the bag now. Not that it really mattered anymore, but they’d been keeping it a secret for such a long time it was second nature.

He hobbled over to a chair in the corner of the room and dropped into it with a pained grunt, leaning tiredly against a little Japanese lacquer cabinet. If he felt as exhausted as this, then fuck knew how much worse Harry must be feeling. They’d been in battle for the last 22 hours, with no sleep and only snatches of food and water.  His anger at the Weasel and his bitch was hot, and acidic with hatred.

‘What was that?’ His Sentinel’s query was laced with deep concern as it cut into his thoughts. He needed to be careful. It would be very dangerous for Harry to perceive him to be in imminent danger. Sending him into a feral episode could be fatal while he was restrained physically and magically.

‘Ugh, just trying to get my robe off one handed, then I can get some salve on this little burn. I’d rather be in bed with you doing something else one handed,’ he drawled, making his mind voice purposefully lascivious. He was gratified to feel a little lessening of the concern along their link.

“Kreature!”

There was a faint pop as the house elf entered the room. Draco grinned as he saw the elf standing in front of him with a very concerned expression. Kreature pushed back the skirt of his spell resistant battle robes, and placed his tiny hands on his hips. Malfoy smiled at the loyal and clever elf, who had constantly been by their sides on the battlefield at Hogwarts. He was really very fond of the little creature, whose true form and rather handsome face for a house elf, bore no resemblance to the decrepit being shown to those outside their very small circle.

“What has Master Draco’s been doing to hisselfs. Yous not supposed to be letting Moldywarts bad men hit you with their bad burny cutty spells.”

Draco tapped his head carefully and flashed an unspoken warning at the unhappy elf, whilst keeping his thoughts as neutral as possible. He relaxed as Kreature’s big eyes widened and he nodded his understanding. He’d lived around the bonded pair long enough to know how their mind-link worked.

“It not be being so bad. Kreature will be fixing in a jiff,” he extemporised with a rather exaggerated wink, while he bustled about in the cabinet until he found a small flask of dittany, and a blue glass pot of burn salve. Draco watched with a sad pout as with a click of the elf’s long fingers, his beautiful, but severely damaged Welsh Green dragonskin outer robe was magicked off and folded on the floor beside him.

“Thanks, K.” Draco sighed, and felt his muscles relax as the aloe in the cool salve removed the fiery warmth from the burn. He hadn’t noticed it in the heat of battle, but once the adrenalin had worn off it had been hard to ignore. He felt his stomach clench that he wasn’t able to care for his Sentinel in the same way. He tried hard not to let the worry leak into his conscious mind, and under normal circumstances his Occlumency shields would have been more than up to the job. But the overwhelming tiredness, and the fear for his Sentinel had worn away his normally iron control.

‘I’m OK for now, sweetheart.’ Draco felt like crying at the gentle reassurance of his Sentinel, underlain with his fierce resolution to be at his Guide’s side as soon as possible. ‘As long as she is fighting herself as to whether to kiss me or kill me, I think we have time for me to break down the wards. Then you can come and get me.’

‘Thought you were MY hero,’ Draco quipped weakly.

“Red hairy Weasel be Apparating into Grimmauld Place, Master.” Kreature’s eyes were burning with dark mischief and revenge, and Draco almost felt sorry for Weasley…

Almost.

“Let him in, K and bring him here. Then lock down the house so he can’t get away. Let’s make the door to this room transparent, then he can make a fool of himself trying to get in.”

With a nod, the elf waved his hand across the Ironwood door that led into the ritual room. The door was still there of course, and not only was it made of the hardest wood available, but it was heavily warded and imbued with hundreds of years worth of the Darkest spellwork imaginable, courtesy of the Black family.

“Once I’ve had a little chat with him you can introduce him to your eight-legged friends in the dungeon.” Draco smirked at the rather insane little giggle Kreature gave, as his overlarge head bobbed rapidly up and down.

“And don’t forget to put your face back on,” Draco warned as the elf raised his hand to pop away.

“I is three hundred years old, Master Draco,” the elf scolded. “I’s not just fallen off the gardener elf’s cabbage cart.” Then with a rather ostentatious crack he was gone.

‘Remind me, how did we inherit such a snarky elf.’ He chuckled.

‘He was a present from Sirius.’ There was a slight hint of wariness in Harry’s tone and Draco immediately tuned in to what was happening with his Sentinel.

‘Harry?

‘Be careful with Ron; don’t underestimate him.

‘I won’t and K is here. I’m more worried about you. Where is she?’

‘She muttered about getting me a drink of water – and yes I will check it for poison, Draught of Living Death, Veritaserum, blah, blah. It’s more likely that she’s off trying to find a book that proves I’m a deluded idiot for thinking I’m a Sentinel. She’ll be back any minute with proof that you’ve ensorcelled me into believing it to be true.’

Draco rolled his eyes at his Sentinel’s snark; although he would admit the thought had crossed his mind. They’d worked hard in the early days to train Harry’s senses to detect all potions and poisons, both Wizard and Muggle.

Concentrating on the link showed him that Harry was alone in the room and he could feel that his lover was stretching himself – working hard on the wards that surrounded the building holding him prisoner. ‘Work smart not hard, Sentinel,’ he counselled. ‘You’re magically, physically and psychically exhausted. Keep a little in reserve for a shield, just in case.’ He felt the other man’s metaphorical frown, but the amount of power he was using lessened slightly and Draco knew he’d have to be content with that. ‘Any idea where you are yet?’

‘I think I must still be in Scotland. The sun is only a little lower in the sky, which means I haven’t changed time zones. And I can smell the faint scent of heather coming in from outside. Apart from that I have no clue. I’m too busy and tired to stretch my senses without you here. This place has been set up for a long while, and they’ve had time to cover most of the bases. Of course they didn’t know I was a Sentinel…’

‘She’s probably going to be reporting that little nugget in to old Bastardballs.” Draco’s lip curled at the thought of the manipulative old headmaster.

‘Nah…You know what she’s like – if she doesn’t believe something is true; something she hasn’t read in Hogwarts: A History, then it isn’t worth thinking about.’

Draco became aware that his comment about Dumbledore had made Harry’s end of the link freeze for a moment. ‘What aren’t you telling me about that old fucker and this whole mess?’ 

‘Oh yeah…I forgot you weren’t here for that bit…’ There was a silence that made Draco go cold with fear.

‘She was tasked by Dumbledore that if I was still alive at the end of the war, she was to kill me herself to make sure the Horcrux in my scar didn’t cause Voldemort to rise again.’

Draco’s throat went dry with the implication of Harry’ statement. ‘You mean he’s known all along about the Horcrux and did nothing. While you were being abused and starved he sat on his fucking Greater Good Arse and waited when he could have found a way to get it out of you. That fucking…AAARGH!’

‘He always planned for me to be the one to meet Voldemort, Draco. You know that. We just didn’t know how far he would go to make me his good little sacrifice and to make sure that once I rid the world of the Dark I was no longer a threat to his leadership of the Light.’

The Guide tasted bile on the back of his tongue in disgust at the machinations of the elderly Wizard, who sat like a spider in a web, projecting such believable amiability whilst plotting death and destruction. He really was the Dark in Light clothing.

“Come out and face me Malfoy, you cowardly fucking bastard!” The shout from upstairs shook him from his thoughts. “Weasley,” he growled quietly.

With a negligent flick of his fingers, Draco Transfigured his bloodied and torn shirt into an elegant but severe day robe, somewhat resembling Severus’s normal teaching garb. He carefully folded his now healed leg over the other and turned to face the door, affecting an air of complete and utter disdain.

‘Curtain’s up…I have unwelcome company.’

‘Break a leg…and be careful.’

*****

Harry really wanted to listen in on Draco’s meeting with Weasley, but Hermione was eying him in a way he recognised. Despite her stupidly sheep-like loyalty, and her shuttered beliefs, she was still a canny and sharp intellect. He didn’t want to tip his hand too soon and he still needed a portion of his concentration to finish pulling down the first ward. There were some nasty hexes tangled up in the areas over the windows, the door leading out of the room, and around the fireplace – even though it wasn’t connected to the Floo Network.

Hermione seemed to have calmed down a little. Her heartbeat was slightly raised and her scent pile still redolent with stressors, but Harry felt confident that she wasn’t going to cast AK at him right at that minute. He watched as Granger went through a wide repertoire of revealing charms, starting with the simple Finite Incantatem and moving on to more involved and complex manoeuvres. He smirked nastily as her frown got deeper and deeper, and her mouth tighter, as each attempt showed nothing.

“I’m not charmed, hexed, potioned, under Imperious. There is no Amortencia, lust potion or…”

“I know.” She gritted through clenched teeth. “It must be something Darker…”

“In fact,” Harry continued as if she hadn’t spoken, “The only thing keeping me captive, in body or mind is…”

Hermione’s gaze shot up and Harry almost laughed in her face. What, did she think he was going to blurt out some arcane spell that he was supposedly cursed with, while he was supposedly under it?

“What is it, Harry,” she cajoled gently, as she lowered her wand and opened her hands as if gentling a skittish animal. “Can you remember the incantation?”

He did laugh uproariously at that, tears gathering and dripping down his cheeks; the release of tension feeling good. She was so ridiculous. “You…you stupid, fucking bint. For a supposedly clever witch you’re a fucking dumb bitch. The only thing keeping me captive is YOU!”

He made a show of pressing up against the restraints and was gratified to see her take a cautionary step back. The influx of power that he’d received from the initial fall of the Anti-Animagus ward had loosened the hold of the restraints quite a bit, but he fell back against the chair with a feigned huff of frustration, as if he was being held firm. He almost sneered at the expression of relief and then smug satisfaction she sported. The feelings of mild camaraderie he’d had for her over the last few years rapidly fell away, and he couldn’t wait to wipe that particular expression off her face…Forcibly.

“The restraints are for your own good, Harry. I’m only here to try to help you. I only want what’s best for you.”

“Oh and here I was thinking you were here to kill me, Hermione. Didn’t you tell me when we got here that you were Albus’ assassin? So even if I was under some spell – which I’m not – why would it matter. Although I suppose tying me up was sensible. After all, you never know what Dark and Arcane Magicks I may have access to.”

The colour washed out of her face and he could see she was fighting with the picture of herself as some kind of murdering hired hand. Harry thought it was time to push his advantage a little more.

“Although it’s typical of the Headmaster to send someone else to do his dirty work for him. Why only twenty minutes ago I was doing just that. Or had you forgotten that we just killed Voldemort; sent that diseased piece of Dormant shit to Hell for the Greater Good of the Wizarding World. Wasn’t that what I was trained to do by your esteemed Headmaster? Do you think I would have done that if I was some Dark Wizard planning to resurrect him or become the next Dark Lord?”

“Harry, please,” she pleaded. “You’ve got to understand. You went missing for 6 months and then turned back up at Hogwarts with Malfoy in tow. Don’t you remember how evil his family are – what a bastard he was to us at school? Anything could have happened to you. You-Know-Who could have had you the whole time. Think Harry…this isn’t you.”

There was nothing for it; he was going to have to reveal more than he wanted to in order to convince her. Harry supposed he had nothing else to do for the next 30 minutes or so, and even if Draco got his location from Ron there was no way for him to get inside the cottage until Harry had broken down the wards. He tipped his head onto the back of the chair and surreptitiously checked his progress. The vivid scarlet lines of the first ward were all but untangled, with just one rather insidious knot over the junction of the two walls facing him. He tapped his index finger against his thumb three times slowly and then hooked his digit and drew it into his palm. The knot began to deform and bulge on one edge and he sent a little more power to this weak spot. Then he looked back over at Hermione through his lashes and sighed.

“Draco is my Guide, Granger.”

“There is no such thing as a Wizarding Sentinel,” she shot back angrily. “Magic is not compatible with Sentinel gifts. I asked Dumbledore once why there were no Wizard Sentinel’s and he gave me a book by Ambrosius Winklepicker, who asserts that the probability…”

“For fucks sake, woman. Everything you read is not necessarily accurate. I thought you were supposed to be intelligent – Dumbledore’s ‘Brightest Witch of the Age’, not some sheep to be led about by the nose and fed spurious claptrap by a fucked-up, manipulative, homophobic bastard. I am a Sentinel, Draco is my Guide and we are not the only ones in Hogwarts, let alone in the Wizarding world.”

Her face was a picture of complete befuddlement and denial. He could see her trying to find cogent arguments, but it was obvious that she had no real research evidence for her assertions about S/G pairs and Magic.  Then her expression grew hard and she Summoned a chair with a snapped out Accio and an angry flick of her wand.

“Prove it,” she demanded.

Harry blew out his cheeks. Maybe it would work, maybe not, but having challenged her he realised he’d have to follow through. And if nothing else it would keep him from his possible demise for a little while longer. He sent a pulse of love as he said ‘Sorry, I need to tell some of our secrets,’ down the bond, but it seemed that Draco was too busy with the other player in the game to do more than return his own love and acceptance. Harry knew the need for secrecy about their pairing had rankled with his Guide for a long time, and when they got out of this, and had taken the opportunity to bond and heal, then Harry would be the first to Sky-Write his adoration of his Guide behind his beloved Firebolt, right across the sky above the towers of Hogwarts.

“It began the first time I set foot on Diagon Alley…”

The whole place was unbelievable. Strange shop fronts showcasing strange wares, thronged with even stranger people. Unbeknownst to Harry his Sentinel gifts were already close to coming fully on line, forced so by the maltreatment he’d received from the Dursley’s over the last nine years. His Spirit Animal had been working overtime for all that time just to keep him alive. He was overwhelmed and already trembling with sensory overload by the time he and Hagrid reached a shop front, which proclaimed itself ‘Madame Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions’. The shop itself was small – the door much too tiny to allow Hagrid to enter, so he’d been pushed inside and told to order his school robes.

The shop was cool and quiet and Harry breathed a sigh of relief. He rubbed at his tired eyes behind the spectacles that had no glass in them. He’d found he didn’t need the corrective lenses almost three years ago. He’d popped out the lenses as they were giving him a headache, but he’d retained the frames so that his Aunt didn’t have anything else to label as ‘Freaky’ and punish him for.

A tall woman, dressed head-to-toe in a velvet costume redolent of the Victorian era, bustled up and, after asking if he was going to Hogwarts, drew him over to a sheltered corner of the shop and lifted him onto a box. Harry watched in wonder as, untouched by human hand, a measuring tape flicked around him while a quill wrote down the measurements the assistant called out on a long piece of floating parchment.

He was almost completely overwhelmed when only moments later a scent hit him that made his whole body tremble with longing. It tasted of cool white snow and smelled of deep blue-green seas. It was so beautiful that it made a fat tear trickle down his overheated cheek. It smelt of home, and love, and safety; all the things he’d always longed for, but never dreamed he’d have.

He turned to find the source and found himself looking into silver eyes. And then he was lost, spiralling down into their sweet embrace, where there was no pain, no fear, nothing but a total connection.

“I came to nearly ten minutes later, cradled in Draco’s lap. I was so lucky that Pap…Severus Snape was the one who had been commandeered to take his godson to the Alley that day. He knew exactly what was wrong with me, and what to do about it.”

Hermione’s lip curled in a rather creditable facsimile of a patented Snape sneer. “Why would Snape know anything about Sentinels?”

Harry hoped his beloved Sev would forgive him but it really was a necessary part of the story.

“Because he is one.”

The woman made a rude noise and shook her head. “Yeah, right, Harry. That’s really believable. That slimy, nasty bastard is no more a Sentinel than I am. Who would be HIS Guide?”

“Remus Lupin.”

Harry watched as Granger almost fell off the chair in shock. “But they hate one another.”

“Like me and Draco hate one another?” Harry shook his head and blew out a breath. “It’s all an act.”

Hermione shook her head so hard her braid almost whipped her in the eye. “Remus is hardly ever at Hogwarts. If he was bonded to Snape they would need to be together much more often than they had the opportunity to be. Even if I believed you, why would you hide this? If you’d let the Headmaster know he could have trained you…This would have all been over years ago.”

“One reason and one only…Albus Dumbledore is a dangerously Dark bastard with no morals.” Harry could feel the sorrow rising for his Papa Sev. He knew the pain the other man felt every day, and what he had done to save Harry and Draco from the same fate.

“Somehow Albus found out about Sev and Remus fledgling bond when they were little more than toddlers – we don’t know how, but I will find out before that arsehole is dealt with. I can’t prove it yet, but I know in my heart that the old fucker knew about the planned attack by Greyback’s pack and didn’t warn the Lupin’s. The bite that Remus took didn’t just make him a werewolf, but it sent his Guide gifts into Dormancy. The empathic part of a Guides gifts just can’t fight against the pull of the wolf.”

Harry’s eyes flashed with disgust and hatred at the man who had obliterated his surrogate father’s lifebond. “And then to add insult to injury, he made sure they were introduced to each other the very first day of school. There was enough of the Guide left in Remus to make a tentative connection and it pushed Sev into coming on line. But there was no way for them to bond and they were both so damaged that they almost didn’t survive. It was only because of Lucius and his connections with the Pride in the Highlands that they did. But they were both damaged beyond repair. Sev can never bond, even with someone who is a near perfect match. Then Dumbledore used Sev’s pain and encouraged a wedge between them by introducing my Dad and Sirius to Remus. Their bullying and constant attacks made Sev a prime candidate to fall for the Headmasters machinations. Dumbledore manipulated him into agreeing to take the Dark Mark, in order to become a spy after school. Severus agreed because he is a good, moral man who wanted to help the cause of the Light. He also needed to distance himself from his damaged Guide and their broken bond, and the horror of his school days.”

He hung his head for a moment, overwhelmed by sadness and the disgust that always overtook him when he remembered that that same scenario could have affected him and Draco, if Sev hadn’t been there.

Hermione’s heartbeat had kicked up considerably and Harry could smell the faint odour of vomit as she swallowed hard. Maybe she wasn’t such a lost cause after all. But then her gaze hardened again and she shook her head.

“There is no way your Bonding could have been kept a secret from the Headmaster. Hagrid took you shopping, bought you Hedwig and then took you home to Surrey. If you’d made even a tentative Bond with Malfoy in Madame Malkin’s…”

Harry smirked and used her concentration on his face to give a particularly hard tug on the ward. The knot unravelled even more, and the pressure on his chest let up exponentially. He kept his body taut careful not to telegraph to her that the restraints had eased. “Time turner…I know you know all about them, Hermione…”

When Harry woke he was warm and comfortable for the first time in his memory. The same beautiful scent lay all around him and it was sweet and thick; a balm to all his senses. Someone was dragging their fingers gently through his hair and it was the most wonderful feeling.

“I’m here, Sentinel. Just lie still, but don’t concentrate too much on one thing. Feel my fingers, hear my voice, smell my scent.” The voice was light, that of a child, but it was rich with compulsion and Harry couldn’t have resisted if he tried.

“Yes,” he answered and was surprised how croaky his voice sounded. He carefully opened his eyes and saw a curtain of white hair spread across his shoulder. He wanted to touch it but his limbs were heavy with lassitude.

“Good boy.” This voice was dark and rich and sounded like it would taste of the bitter chocolate that Aunt Petunia liked to eat while she watched him clean the kitchen floor on his hands and knees. It was difficult, but he managed to flick his gaze away from the gorgeous hair and over to the owner of the deep voice.

The man looked just like he sounded. Dressed in dark clothes, the tall thin man was swarthy, with inky black hair that was almost identical to his own. Could this be…?

“Are you my Papa?” He couldn’t help how much his voice trembled as he asked the question.

“No child,” the man answered gently.

Those two words broke his heart. All those years, locked in his cupboard, he’d dreamed of the man who would save him; the hero he had conjured in his mind, who would swoop in and would make everything right – his father; not dead from a car crash, but alive and strong and brave enough to take and turn the belt back on Uncle Vernon. He couldn’t help the disappointed tears that began to fall.

He heard the man suck in a fast breath. “Draco, I need you to stay here, quietly. I’ve memory charmed Mme Malkin and her assistant, and I’ll put the closed sign on the door. I’ll be back in a few minutes. Keep the Sentinel safe…”

“He is my Sentinel and I will keep him safe.” There was tension in that gorgeous voice that set Harry’s nerves on edge. He didn’t want its owner to be upset.

But despite that slight worry, Harry did feel safe – and loved and oh wasn’t that the most wonderful feeling ever.

He saw the dark man stride out through the shop door and then almost immediately the man was right there again, crouching next to him, his skin smelling of outdoors and rich spice. Harry couldn’t work out how that was possible, but he was too intent on doing as he was told; feeling and hearing and watching the pale, beautiful boy who was holding him.

“Sev had run to Lucius, who was in Flourish and Blotts, and they’d Apparated to Malfoy Manor to retrieve a Time Turner. They picked us both up and turned us back almost 6 months. We spent the time in Malfoy Manor and they brought me back from the brink of starvation, healed my broken body and taught me how to manage as a very young Sentinel. Draco and I had a non-sexual bond until last year when we turned 16, and then believe me, it was really, REALLY sexual. For the past nine years I have spent every night sleeping in Draco’s arms, hiding in Sev’s rooms at Hogwarts. Every holiday was spent at the Manor, after a quick detour to memory charm the Muggles.”

Hermione gasped in shock. “But that’s… A Time Turner that Turns more than 12 hours is illegal. And the Malfoy’s are a Dark family, Harry. Snape was a Death Eater too. This delusion could have been planted right back then. And Harry, a sexual Bond? You’re not gay. This Bond you think you have can’t be real…”

The hot, red anger that rose up in Harry almost got away from him. How dare she suggest that his Bond with his Guide and his father was spurious? He almost pushed dangerously at the restraints, his Sentinel rearing up in indignation. It was only the cool mental voice of his Guide that dragged him back.

‘Sentinel…Harry, calm down. I don’t know what she’s said to you, but if you go feral while you’re in those restraints you could do yourself some really serious damage. I want you fit and whole when I spread myself on our bed and let you inside me.’

The rush of arousal at the simple words from his Guide almost made Harry moan aloud. He closed his eyes and grounded himself on the sweet, simple and pure sensuousness of his link with Draco. ‘Yes, Guide,’ he murmured mentally.

‘I’ve nearly finished with Weasley. I’ll report back soon, but until then…BEHAVE!’

Harry slowly opened his eyes and let Granger see the dwindling but still heated anger darkening his green eyes.

“My Papa and Lucius are the reason you are sitting here with me. They are the reason I managed not 20 minutes ago to defeat Voldemort with my Guide. They have continually put their lives on the line for the Wizarding world…for you, Granger, and have not asked for anything in return. In fact, all they’ve been given is your hatred and revulsion along with the rest of the sheeple who follow Dumbledore. If you’d all just opened your eyes for a second…If you’d dragged them up from the pages of the books you worship and got your head out of the arse of that old bastard, then maybe you might have been a damn sight more use.”

“I researched the Horcrux…”

“We let you think so, but we’d already eradicated five out of the six he’d made before you even knew the word, including the one in my scar. Draco risked his life to go onto the psionic plane and battle that evil fucker, while I lay in a coma after the third task of the TriWizard. And all the while your precious Headmaster wanted to keep everyone out of the loop so that I would think I needed to die in order for this all to be over. Otherwise why would you have this ‘task’? He wants me dead, Hermione, and if he’d known I was a Sentinel all those years ago he would have done everything in his power to break my bond with Draco – even if that meant murdering him.”

The young woman shook her head violently, but Harry could sense her growing ambivalence to the truth as she thought she knew it. Her heartbeat was rapid and her endocrine system on overload. “It’s not possible for you to be a Sentinel. There would be others. They can’t all be hiding.”

“Oh but they are. My Pride all know that Dumbledore is deadly dangerous to us. Only one S/G pair is ‘out’ to him and that’s Kingsley and Amelia. It was an accident that he found them out and the only reason they were safe is because they are a male/female pair. While he was overjoyed to welcome them into the Order, it was only because they were what would be perceived as ‘straight’. He made that very obvious when he asked them if they were aware of any ‘unnatural’ pairs. Even then I was ready to get them out of the Order and to a safe-house if he’d made even the slightest aggressive move on them.”

Hermione’s face was an open book as she tried to link anything about the two members of the Order of the Phoenix with them being a Sentinel/Guide pair. Harry could feel the moment when she realised he might be telling the truth. It was time to give her the visual proof she so obviously needed.

Harry used the anger that was still hot in his chest to yank hard on the last remnants of the Anti-Animagus Ward. It tore away from its anchors and the surge of magic made him gasp audibly as it rushed into his core and filled him with a fizzing energy. There was nothing particularly Dark about it, not that something like that would bother him that much. He was much Darker than anyone was aware of; the primitive energy of his Sentinel self was quite happy to bathe in the blood of his enemies in the protection of his mate, and would use any means to make that happen.

He let the power trickle into his sorely depleted reserves and used Hermione’s distracted state to hide his movements as he gave himself a much more relaxed posture and eased the pressure on his severely overtaxed muscles.

He watched Granger for a moment longer and then lost his patience. He’d told her as much as he was willing…more than. He gave the ceiling one last sweep of his Mage sight, and confirmed the ward had totally fallen before he sent a pulse of demanding energy down the Bond to his Guide

‘Draco – Send River.’’ 

Moments later River, Harry’s brightly blazing, red, orange and gold Fire Phoenix appeared in the room, closely followed by Mireu, Draco’s Korean Sky Dragon, who was resplendent in his full glory. He measured in at eight feet of ocean blue and green scales, his true length largely truncated for the space available – his snake like body curling sinuously and sensuously around Harry. This time Hermione did fall out of the chair, her wand clutched in her trembling hand and her mouth wide open with stupefaction.

“It’s about time, Sentinel.” Draco’s voice came from the mouth of the Dragon. The sexy sibilants falling from the Dragon’s long tongue made Harry shiver with longing and delight.

“Hey, I’m tied up here,” Harry complained. “I was working as fast as I could.”

The Phoenix flew over and hovered inches from Hermione’s face. Translucent flames licked over her parchment pale face and she shuffled back giving a little shocked whimper. River gave a raucous cry and then flew back to her Sentinel, landing on his shoulder and crooning gently.

“Don’t you try Apparating over here yet, Dray. I still have to get the Apparition Wards down.” Harry warned.

Seeing a fierce Sky Dragon with a pout was really rather funny in Harry’s opinion, but that was exactly the expression on Mireu’s face.

“OK, but hurry up!” The dragon replied snarkily. “And while you’re working on it, ask Bitch-face Granger if she realised her boyfriend was in receipt of a present from Bastardballs… He’s under Dumbledore’s Imperius…”

*****

Grimmauld Place – 10 minutes earlier…

“Bilious, how simply awful to see you.” Draco flashed the redhead a grin that was all teeth and had nothing to do with pleasantries.

“Malfoy, you fucker…” A bright flash of virulent puce came streaming from the end of Ron’s wand as he screamed out a super-powered Diffindo (and who knew the Weasel had it in him), which quickly turned a more gentle lilac as it hit the Disillusioned door.

Malfoy stifled a laugh as the abbreviated hex bounced back off the warded Ironwood and took the hair from the top of Ron’s head in a wide stripe from forehead to crown, four inches wide, that only narrowly missed scalping him.

“Oh well done,” Draco intoned in his plumiest accent, clapping lazily. “I’m sure I couldn’t have been that accurate if I’d tried.”

The look of horror on Weasley’s face as he passed his hand over his head made Malfoy finally laugh aloud. “You should just piss off while you’re ahead, my dear Bilious.”

But the horror soon turned to red-faced anger and it was obvious that the redhead was too intent on his task to take his advice. Spell after spell hit the doorway and rebounded, each one threatening to do more damage to Ron than it ever would to Draco. The Guide let the display of idiocy go on for several minutes, hoping that he would actually either knock himself out or do some even greater damage. But when it seemed Ron wasn’t inclined to stop, and with the Guide becoming more and more conscious of the time and the danger that his Sentinel was probably still in, Draco decided to put an end to it himself.

He stood up abruptly and was gratified to see the other man take a huge step back.  He held his arms out to his sides and saw a very smug and satisfied look spread across Weasley’s very red and sweaty face as he realised Draco didn’t have a wand.

“If you come quietly, Ferret, I’ll go easy on you. Just remember, I know where Hermione and Harry are, and that’s the only way you’ll get to see him before he dies.”

In a millisecond, Draco’s face went from open distain to Dark, terrifying blankness. “Nobody threatens my Sentinel…NOW, Kreature!”

The little elf popped up behind Weasley with a rather impressive burst of power, and before the red-headed wizard had time to turn he was bound in thick black ropes that positively crackled with magic. Draco calmly opened the door, which became visible at his first touch and the shocked expression on Ron’s face made him snicker.

“Perhaps should have checked that, huh? Still no one ever said you were bright; you need The Brightest Bitch of the Age to tell you how to zip your fly, or so I’ve heard tell.” With a flick of his fingers Draco cast a wandless, non-verbal Levicorpus and Ron’s tightly bound body raised and turned until he hung upside down in front of the still fuming Guide.

“You’ll never find out where they are,” the now even redder wizard gritted out. It was obvious that Kreature’s bindings were squeezing him very tightly. “I’ll never tell you,” he blustered. His struggles against the ropes were strenuous but ultimately useless, but that didn’t stop him trying and he was bobbing around like a fish on a line.

“Oh but you will…” Draco raised his hand to press a finger to the other man’s temple, although he shuddered with revulsion at the need to enter Ron’s psyche. His and Ron’s movements ceased immediately as the Guide used his gifts to infiltrate the wizards mind.

It was surprisingly ordered, and Draco remembered that Harry had praised Ron’s strategic abilities before. He bypassed his memories, but couldn’t help but be bombarded by the uglier side of his personality, which permeated the whole of his sub-conscious. There was avarice, jealousy, hard-nosed ambition and the thick ugly stench of lust – for power, for money, for recognition and worst of all, for Granger. That was how it appeared and Draco was sickened by having to interact with such a distasteful mind. However, when he reached Weasley’s core it was obvious that a lot of what he was feeling had been placed there by someone else. Wrapped around the rather feeble manifestation of Ron’s magic, was the black spiderlike tendrils of a curse, and one Draco had seen before. Ron was under an Unforgivable. Moreover, this wasn’t any ordinary Imperious; it was sophisticated, having none of the usual tell-tale signs such as glazed eyes or the sometimes slightly off-kilter behaviour of the hapless recipient.

Only someone really powerful could cast like this. Even those in Draco’s experience who had been cursed by Voldemort hadn’t had such a masterful and delicate placing of the perverse spell. It was so well done that Draco wasn’t even willing to attempt to reverse it right then. It would take time and he didn’t have the inclination.

He withdrew from Ron’s mind as quickly as he could, feeling contaminated by what he had found. Kreature was by his elbow as his consciousness returned to the room, and the loyal elf had a vial of Sev’s extra-strength Pepper-Up in his hand. Draco downed it without even looking, knowing that the little being only had his best interests in mind.

“Thanks, K,” he murmured as the steam dissipated. “I needed that.”

“I be knows.” Kreature snarked. “I be thinking brain bleach too, but it be hard on my Master Draco’s delicate mind.”

Kreature’s snark was just what Draco needed and he snorted openly. “You’re not wrong, my friend.”

“Wha…what did you just do to me, you bastard…” Weasley’s face was almost purple with the rush of blood from being upside down. Draco pressed his index finger in between Ron’s eyes and the man immediately fell into a deep sleep. Malfoy couldn’t deal with the raving.

“Put him in the cellar. We’ll deal with him when we have them both.”

Kreature gave a nod, and with a moue of distaste, he grasped Ron’s wrist and popped him away.

Draco made his way out of the basement and into the living room where he dropped down onto the nearest chair. There was only one person who could have placed that curse and if that was the case then Granger could well be under the influence of something similar.

He was puzzling why the wizard would curse someone to do his bidding when they were stupidly loyal anyway, when he heard his Sentinel call for his Spirit Animal. Relief flooded through Draco. If there was a way for River and Mireu to get to Harry, then he could get there too.

He shut his eyes and pulled on the junction where his magical core met the thick, warmly pulsing bond between him and his Sentinel. He called on both their animals and there was the usual rush of disorientation as Draco’s own Spirit animal became corporeal, pulling Harry’s Phoenix from the Spirit plane with her.

Silver eyes met ice blue as their minds joined, before Mireu turned in a sinuous figure of eight, roaring triumphantly. River joined him with a harsh skreeing cry and as suddenly as they had appeared they were gone.

“It’s about time, Sentinel.” He felt breathless with relief as the answer came straight back.

‘Hey, I’m tied up here,’ Harry was complaining. ‘I was working as fast as I could.’

Every instinct in him told him to forget all about fucking Weasley’s Imperious and join his Sentinel. He was ready for this to be over.

“Don’t you try Apparating over here yet, Dray. I still have to get the Apparition Wards down.”

‘OK, but hurry up!’ The Guide replied snarkily. ‘And while you’re working on it, ask Bitch-face Granger if she realised her boyfriend was in receipt of a present from Bastardballs… He’s under Dumbledore’s Imperious…’

*****

Although he was loathe to disbelieve his Guide, Harry’s senses told him that Draco wasn’t right about the source of Ron’s Imperious. There was a tense smugness about Granger that told him she had more to do with it – her scent pile fairly reeked of it.

‘Give me two minutes, and don’t answer through Mireu for a moment,’ he sent silently to Draco as he gathered all the reserves he had and pushed them against the Anti-Apparition ward. The ward was strong – it was obviously old and had been reinforced over many years, maybe even centuries and there was a vague curiosity in the back of Harry’s mind as to who this cottage belonged to.

He felt a pulse of affirmation through the Bond and then he channelled his magic into the corner of the room, where the other ward had seemed weakest. He allowed this action to become autonomic as he returned his conscious mind to Hermione.

She had crawled back onto the chair again, watching warily as the two Spirit Animals prowled in the air around her, their expressions fierce and uncompromising.

“So, are you willing to believe the proof of your eyes over that of a book – especially one written by someone with the ridiculous name of Winklepicker!” Harry felt Draco’s giggle down the Bond and he felt such a swell of affection for his Guide that it made tears prickle in his eyes. He was ready for this to be over.

“So what,” the woman said combatively. “They are nothing but illusions. It seems to me that even if you are a Sentinel it didn’t stop me from getting you here – your so-called Guide has been no use against the Wards we set. You can’t get out, he can’t get in. Magic is always going to come out on top against some mythical ‘gifts’.” Her smug condescension and her dismissal of his Bond with his Guide made Harry’s blood boil.

“You do realise that the Spirit Animals of Magical Sentinels and Guides are drawn from the same place as their Animagus forms. Are you going to tell me you don’t believe in them now?”

Hermione sneered. “Bullshite. Animagus forms have been proved to come from a Magical’s core. There is nothing spiritual about that.

Her inability to allow that there may be knowledge outside her own really pissed Harry off. He turned all his irritation into intent and yanked hard on the Ward, making a large enough hole for Mireu to bring Draco through. She disappeared through it with a loud roar. Harry sent a request down their Bond and felt a reassuring tug back. At his call River stopped flying around Hermione’s head and settled on the window ledge, although she still stared forbiddingly at the witch. Granger seemed to take this as a retreat and straightened her shoulders, flicking her hair somewhat coquettishly over her shoulder.

Harry suddenly had a bad feeling about her intentions. “You cast that Imperious on Ron didn’t you?” He got a raised eyebrow and a smirk in answer to his question. “Why. Right or wrong he adores you. Why would you need to control him to that extent?

She didn’t answer immediately, but she did begin to slowly unbutton her blouse, popping each one through the corresponding holes in what she seemed to think was a sexy manner, although Harry found nothing stimulating about it at all. His senses told him she was altogether too aroused for his comfort, and all his worst fears about the situation came rushing to the forefront of his mind.

“He wanted to come with me, not to go after Malfoy,” she began to explain, her voice dropping in tone becoming honeyed and husky. “But I wanted to do this alone. If I was going to kill you, then I wanted just the two of us here. There were things I wanted to…do…with you, that he wouldn’t have been happy about. Ron made such a fuss that I had to make sure he’d do as he was told and not mess things up for me.”

Harry shook his head in total bemusement. “What so you thought you’d fuck me before you killed me?”

She nodded, and slid her blouse over her shoulders. “I know you’re not gay, Harry. I knew if I got you here I could make it good for you. And if I can break the curse YOU are under, then I’m sure I’ll be able to persuade you to go away with me. We could be so good together.”

There wasn’t time for Harry to digest the horror of that suggestion, as there was a sudden rush of magic in the air and Harry almost cried out in relief as the scent of his Guide surrounded him. He was so tired that he immediately started to Zone on the blessed sound of Draco’s heartbeat, but a soft caress on his neck brought him back from the brink.

‘I’m here, Sentinel. Make sure you don’t dial in on just one sense. Keep everything open to half way and let’s get this wrapped up ASAP. I’m tired and so are you, and there are far too many…contaminants here.’

Harry huffed a laugh at Draco’s snotty tone and then flicked a worried glance at Hermione. But it seemed she had taken his breathless state as being in reaction to her. Thankfully she hadn’t felt Draco arrive and step behind him, Disillusioned. She stood and stepped out of the soft black pants she was wearing, leaving her in the wispiest set of black lace bra and panties.

‘Looks like she came loaded for bear.’

Harry stifled his chuckle at his Guides antics. ‘Let’s see where she’s going with this.’

‘Oh I know where she THINKS she’s going with this…’

It seemed like his Guide was right as Hermione stalked over to him and straddled his lap. Thankfully she wasn’t wearing any perfume but the stench of her arousal was enough to make his eyes water. He dialled smell to almost nothing, sad to lose the safety of his Guides scent, but on the other hand glad not to taint it either. He felt Draco’s hand tense on his shoulder and he sent a pulse of relaxation down their Bond. ‘Just a few seconds more.’

“I’m not interested, Granger. Not only am I gay, but I’m a Bonded Sentinel. It’s physically and emotionally impossible for me to be with anyone else but Draco.”

“Oh, I’m sure I could persuade you,” she purred and lifted a finger to stroke his cheek. However, her caress was met by strong fingers wrapped around her wrist with a grip of iron. She gave a high-pitched cry of alarm as Draco shimmered into view.

“I hope you got enough for MLE, Sentinel, because I refuse to let this piece of poor white trash put her filthy hands on you anymore.” Draco snarled as he stepped around Harry and forcibly pushed Hermione’s arm up her back.

Harry stared at his Guide in a mix of adoration and dismay. “I’m going to stop you watching all that American stuff on telly, it’s corrupting your beautiful pureblood mind.”

Draco shrugged, “It’s an apt description and I’d always wanted to say it to Mother, but she’s dead now so Granger here had to be a less than adequate substitute.”

Draco wandlessly cast a binding spell on the wide eyed and trembling witch, before pushing her onto the ground. He Accioed her wand and summarily snapped it, which dragged a cry of pain from the woman. “Whoops, these little bits of wood are so fragile, they break at the slightest touch. I’m so glad we got rid of ours.”

Mireu popped back into view transporting a very angry Kreature. “I’s be telling you, Master Harry, nots to be getting yourself in these sittywashuns again. I’s fed up of having to be saving you all the time. I’s busy – I gots laundry!”

Harry couldn’t help but laugh. “Draco,” he whined playfully, “K is pissed at me, I’m tired, hungry, very thirsty and need to get the feel of her off me as soon as possible. Get me out of these restraints, sweetheart, please.”

His Guide raised a sculpted eyebrow. “I don’t know, I kinda like it…”

With a tut and a very put upon sigh, Kreature snapped his fingers and the restraints fell away. Harry didn’t have time to move before his very happy and relieved Guide was wrapped around him; straddling his lap in a parody of Grangers earlier pose although this was far more pleasant. The physical feel of the other man was overlain with the soothing balm of his presence in Harry’s soul and the Sentinel finally let the exertions of the day settle into his bones. He was quickly trembling with fatigue and magical exhaustion.

“You’re OK, thank the goddess. I thought I was going to go mad when I saw her Portkey you away. When I couldn’t get through to you I thought…” Draco murmured in his ear as he kissed him lightly.

“I promised you I would never go anywhere without you…even into death – remember.” Harry whispered back, reminding his Guide of their binding vows.

“Yeah, even into death.”

Harry hugged his Guide to him for a moment longer and then gently pushed him away, despite his resistance.

“Just one more thing before we go home.”

Draco frowned and began to shake his head, but Harry squeezed his hand. “We need to stop Dumbledore from getting away.”

“He’s got no legs, Harry and you won the Elder wand from him. How far can he get? It can wait.”

Harry stood on shaky legs that burned with pins and needles as the blood rushed back into them. “If he’s got her in his hit squad then there could be more. And he doesn’t have to move to be dangerous. We have to find out and then hand this all over to the MLE.”

“Haaarry.” This time it was Draco’s turn to whine. “Why us?”

“Because we can do it quicker, and because I want to see his face when we do.”

“Ah yes,” Draco’s expression was feral. “Good call…Yes, me too.”

*****

Acres and acres of pale white skin, and it was all his. Harry smoothed his feather-light fingertips over it, and revelled in the tiny pulses he could feel in the muscles and nerves. A deep heartfelt moan drifted across air that was thick with heat and Bonding pheromones.

“Harry…Harr…oh please…”

But he wasn’t ready yet for this to end. It had been too long since he’d had his Guide spread out for him like a feast, dewed with sweat and arching into every touch.

“I’m gonna…I have to come.”

“No, not until I’m inside you, my Dragon. Wait for me…nowhere without me, remember?” he cajoled.

“Yeah,” Draco breathed “Nowhere without you…”

Lifting his nose from the crease where thigh met groin was difficult but necessary if Harry was going to imprint taste. He trailed the tip of his tongue across the hairless skin on his Guides lower belly and followed a phantom treasure trail to the base of his cock. His own prick was heavy and iron hard between his legs and it was all he could do not to flip his lover and rut into him like a primitive. But they needed to reconnect, so this had to be Bonding sex not a quick fuck.

“Ungh, ohhhh.” Every vowel sound that fell from Draco’s lips was like a symphony to his ears. There was nothing about his Guide that wasn’t heaven to him.

“You are perfection, my Guide. Every.Single.Inch,” he murmured as he kissed his way up Draco’s long cock, which even though fully aroused was still pale as alabaster. He rounded his lips and fitted them over the head, pointing his tongue and gathering the pre-come that was streaming from the slit. He moaned as the myriad flavours of his Guide’s taste burst over his tongue. His fingers skimmed down the hard length and trailed across his balls. They were tight up against the base of his cock and Harry could feel that Draco was only holding on by the merest hair. It was lots of fun to tease him like this sometimes, but that wasn’t what this was all about.

He took one last taste and then lifted his head away, looking up the length of his Guides body. Draco was beautiful, flushed with arousal, every muscle poised on the edge of completion, his thighs corded as he arched his back in silent pleading.

Taking pity, Harry cast the permanent charm that they had set on Draco’s body the first time they had Bonded. It relaxed and lubricated him, making him instantly ready to be penetrated.

Draco moaned in ecstasy, “I love that charm. It’s almost like being a woman. Let’s me be wet and ready for you whenever you want.”

Harry took a deep breath and fought off the compulsion to come. It was a kink of Draco’s to be feminised during sex. He didn’t want to be a woman – which was OK with Harry – but it turned him on to be treated and spoken to as if he were and Draco’s arousal turned Harry on too. It was a win-win.

“Is that what you want, baby, to be my piece of pussy to fuck.”

The stream of pre-come that burst from Draco’s cock told Harry that was exactly what he wanted. But it was not the time for those games either. Harry knelt up and pulled one of Draco’s thighs onto his upper arm. With the other hand he directed himself to his Guide’s hole, and with one long firm thrust was seated deeply inside him. The heat was intense, the pressure almost unbelievably tight. The slick eased the way and he was soon fucking deeply inside his Guide, his heart trying to beat out of his chest as he sucked in breath after panting breath.

Draco was reduced to whimpering sighs and moans as the tempo of Harry’s thrusts became more and more frenzied. Just before he tipped over the edge he felt his Guide’s shields open fully and he willingly fell; physically as he pumped his come deep inside him; emotionally as he accepted the reality that he was safe and loved; and psychically as their bond imploded, drawing out their auras and coalescing them into ever more beautiful combinations.

They came hard together, and alongside their cries of passion were the roar and trill of the Dragon and Phoenix.

*****

“You back with me?” Draco’s voice was hoarse with use and weariness.

“Yeah,” Harry puffed out a little breath as he looked up from where he was slumped across his Guide. “Fuck, that was intense.”

“We had a bit of a difficult couple of days.”

Harry had to laugh at the understatement. “That we did.”

“But it’s over, Harry. It’s really over.” The joy in his Guide’s voice could not be hidden and Harry had to agree that his feelings were the same.

Voldemort was gone, never to return, Weasley and Granger were in the hands of the MLE and likely to get the kiss for their part in the war. Most of the Dark Lord’s followers were either dead, or known to Lucius and Sev, as Voldemort’s ‘right hand’ men. The mopping up would take a little while but wouldn’t include them – they had made that very obvious.

And Dumbledore…They had dealt with him…

“I loved the old man’s face…” Draco chuckled.

Harry snorted, “Yeah – it was awesome.”

 

Earlier at Hogwarts…

They Apparated from the cottage to Hogwarts, which was literally three miles much to Draco’s disgust. After his little tumble off the Astronomy Tower, Dumbledore had been in the Infirmary where his completely destroyed legs had been removed. He had refused to go to St Mungo’s, citing his need to be near the action in his role as leader of the Light.

Mme Pomphrey was sure she could regrow the legs, with a potion that Professor Snape would have to brew of course. Harry thought he would make sure she had flowers every day for the rest of her life for her part in that little fiction. She was a latent Guide and had been happy to help her Alpha. Of course the potion Sev had actually brewed had kept the old man bed bound and in considerable pain for what was left of the war. Keeping the King off the board was very important – especially a conniving, manipulative old bastard of a King.

Dumbledore paled to parchment white as Harry, Draco and Kreature, who was still proudly dressed in his battle robes, popped in right next to his bed. Bouncing behind them was a purple faced Ron, and an almost dishabille Hermione, both charmed silent and tied up in magical bonds, floating a foot above the ground.

Shacklebolt and Amelia were already there when they arrived, but they decided to wait for Sev and Remus to be located before they told the whole story. Ten minutes later, the two men rushed in, battle weary and with minor injuries and Harry hadn’t realised how worried he was for his surrogate fathers until he saw them. He made sure they were OK, asked after Lucius, and found out he was on his way to Malfoy Manor with a group of Aurors, hoping to catch some of the more cowardly Death Eaters. Draco meanwhile, made sure everyone had drinks and Pepper-Up.

“Harry, what’s going on?” Severus placed a trembling hand on Harry’s shoulder and grasped Draco’s hand as if he would never let go. “We looked on the battlefield, and when we couldn’t find you we thought you’d been taken by Death Eaters.”

Draco shook his head and nodded over to their captives. “No, not Death Eaters – something far worse.”

At first it was hard for Kingsley to keep a straight face as Harry began to make his report. But the humour soon left his demeanour as he realised what had been planned for his Alpha.

“And they were under orders from Albus?” His face was stormy with temper as he looked across at the old man.

“You must be mistaken, my dear boy,” the Headmaster blustered. “I only wanted what was for the Greater Good. Miss Granger obviously mistook my instructions.”

Remus lifted his wand and pointed it the old man, who went purple faced with temper. “Lupin!”

“Be quiet or I’ll make sure you’re somewhere near me at the full-moon.” Remus threatened.

Harry looked over at Draco and they knew what they were going to do would be not only condoned but encouraged by the people who mattered in the Infirmary.

“I think if you break the Curse on Ron, you should get all the information you need. He’ll squeal like a little pig if he thinks he’ll get leniency.” Harry said, ignoring the ever darkening expression on the old man’s face.

Draco nodded his agreement. “As for Granger…She cast an Unforgivable. Even if she tried to argue it was in a time of war, it was cast on someone who was on her own side. I think it’ll be pretty cut and dried.”

Hermione struggled in her bonds but no one even bothered to look her way. Any slight loyalty she might have engendered from Harry was long gone.

“Harry, you can’t mean that. They are your friends and any small mistakes they may have made…surely you can find it in you to forgive them?” Dumbledore’s expression was cloying, and condescension dripped from every word.

“No.” Harry’s gaze was uncompromising and Dumbledore couldn’t have looked more astonished than he did in that moment.

“I am the leader of the Light and I demand that you…”

Harry and Draco moved to stand either side of his bed. The erstwhile Headmaster lifted a hand and began to incant a wandless curse, but Sentinel and Guide grasped one wrist each and then joined their hands across the bed. Harry closed his eyes, acting only as a conduit for Draco’s empathic power and his connection with the Spirit plane. Mireu roared into sight, circling the bed in an ellipse almost twenty feet in diameter and breathing plumes of blue psychic fire. River hovered above the bed and was soon joined by Fawkes. Dumbledore made to reach up imploringly to his familiar but the grip on his wrists was iron hard, and the Phoenix turned his head in complete disdain, rejecting their familiar bond and underlining the corrupt nature of Dumbledore’s soul.

Afterwards the only way Harry would be able to describe it was that he felt Draco yank and then suddenly there was a rush of magic so intense that Harry almost crumpled to the floor. Only the firm body of Sev behind him kept him on his feet. A charcoal grey beam of light poured upwards from the old man’s chest. Fawkes and River both began to sing and the light split into two distinct halves, one a pure brilliant white and the other inky black.

Mireu opened her mouth and swallowed the dark light, swelling to almost twice her previous size before disappearing completely as all the blackness was consumed.

Meanwhile the white light hit Harry just below the centre of his chest, and proceeded to fill his core almost to overflowing. The last flash into his solar plexus was followed by River and the resultant feedback finally succeeded in bringing him to his knees.

“What was that.” Remus whispered, shocked and a little frightened. “Did you…you took his magic?” He looked over at Dumbledore who lay completely still slack mouthed and comatose, looking every day of his 150 plus years.

Draco swayed on his feet and was gently lowered into a chair by Amelia. “It was the only thing we could do. He was too powerful to leave and he knew too much about how Voldemort became immortal. We didn’t trust him not to have done the same. So even if he’d got the Kiss…”

“It wouldn’t have been safe.” Severus stated as he helped Harry to his feet and supported him as he walked over to his Guide.

Within an hour both Granger and Weasley had been taken to the Ministry holding cells and the Headmaster was Flooed to the Janus Thickey ward, where he would stay until his death.

“We can really begin to live our lives.” Draco seemed almost disbelieving. “We could go to Cascade and see Jim and Blair; take Sev and Remus with us, you never know what Blair could come up with. We could travel, perhaps go to Peru to the Temple of Sentinels, and then with all the extra magic you absorbed from Dumbledore you have to be the most powerful Wizard alive, which would make you the Alpha Prime for the Wizarding World. We have a Pride to build and we’ll have to make sure there’s a S/G centre for all the new kids coming along…” His voice became more and more excited as the possibilities tumbled out of him, one after the other.

Harry rolled on top of him and kissed him fiercely to stop the flow of ideas. When Draco was too breathless to speak Harry pulled away and looked lovingly into his Guide’s eyes. “We can do anything, go anywhere. As long as we’re together.” He pressed down on his lover grinding their cocks together roughly.  He watched as Draco’s eyes blurred with pleasure and he whimpered a plea for more.

“But most of all…” Harry said breathlessly, “…Most of all we get to live our lives how we want, no prophesies, no interference. And more than anything else, I want to live it with you. Nowhere without you, Guide.”

“Nowhere, my Sentinel.”

And then there were no more words.

End

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