Actions

Work Header

Nice Kitty

Chapter Text

Chapter One: Happy Birthday to Me

-30st July-

Harry lay on his bed, curled up on his side as he tried to ignore the throbbing skin of his back. Vernon had punished him brutally. All he had done was drop a stack of plates when Dudley pushed him over, but it was his fault, the freak’s fault. Dinky Duddydums could never do wrong, and Petunia simply slapped Harry hard across the face, and handed him to her obese husband. Vernon had never gone this far before, it would have been a punch or two, maybe a kick to the ribs if he’d done something particularly offensive. But not a belt lashing. Not a beating with punches and kicks until his body had felt think one big bruise. The flesh of his back was torn and bloodied, and it was difficult to breathe. At least three of his ribs were cracked, and three others were deeply bruised.
Vernon had never hurt him to this degree. Since Harry’s third year, Sirius had been his silent protector, the idea of a mass-murdering Godfather who wouldn’t hesitate to kill the Dursleys if something happened to Harry. But Sirius was dead. Gone. And Dumbledore had told the Dursleys. There was no silent protector now.
Dumbledore. The name left a bitter taste in Harry’s mouth. The leader of the Light, the bright-clothed, twinkle-eyed Grandfather of Hogwarts. The man who had ignored Harry’s pleas to stay with Remus, and had forcibly taken him from Platform Nine-and-three-quarters. The man who had imprisoned him with the Dursleys without apology, and had left with a flourish after a few stingy sentences. ‘It’s for your own good, Harry my boy. Tom may be gone, but there are still Death Eaters at large. The Blood Wards will keep you safe.’

The Blood Wards may have protected Harry from the monsters outside the house, but not from the monsters within.

He flinched away from the memory, and a hiss of pain escaped his gritted teeth as his flinch re-opened some of his cuts. Drained of energy, his mind hazy with pain and blood loss, he lay there. He looked for something to do until the fickle creatures of dreams caught him in their embrace. So he stared at the clock. In thirty seconds he was going to be sixteen.

Twenty-nine…

Harry looked back over the past year, from the dementor attack at the very start, to the Department of Mysteries at the very end. Flashes of faces and places lit his eyelids, grins and tears bled into one smear of colour and emotion.
Twenty-seven…

He remembered the awful summer after the third task, the month he spent at the Dursley’s, locked in his room with barely any word from anyone. How his only company had been the demons of his nightmares and back of his Uncle’s hand. But it hadn’t been as bad as it was now. He remembered the trial at the ministry, the disappointment of Ron becoming Prefect and not him, even though he didn’t want the extra responsibility.

Twenty-five…

Then he remembered his talks with Sir Cadogan the knight, the mad portrait he had befriended. He remembered that evil, toady bitch of a Headmistress. Too bad the Centaurs didn’t kill her.

Twenty-two…

He remembered staying at Grimmauld Place, the laughter, the sense of family. He remembered Sirius. Oh Sirius. The stupid, stupid man. He had left Harry and Moony alone, with only each other to face the world with.

Twenty…

He also remembered the Cho Chang debacle. The flutters, the soggy kiss, her near-constant tears and whimpers because of Cedric. It was what had made him swear off women for life. Now, Harry was a man’s man. Literally.

Eighteen…

He missed the flying that he could have done, if the Toady Bitch hadn’t gotten him banned. He really missed Quidditch. The freedom he felt when he was in the air was unprecedented. All of his worries and fears melted away, and the world shank until it only held Harry, his beloved broomstick, and the sensation being completely in-tune with the power of the air and magic that surrounded him.

Fifteen…

He remembered-
Harry lost his train of thought as a fiery spike of pain shot up his spine. The fire spread through his nervous system, setting ablaze everything it touched. Harry was burning. His vision blurred, then was cut off as he shut his eyes tight against the flames when they reached his head. His magic began to thrum, becoming tangible in the air around his body. He felt a concentrated heat at the base of his spine, and a lesser heat pooled under his eyelids, at his hairline above his temples, and an odd tingle among the flames over his scalp. More concentrated heat pooled at the tips of his fingers and toes. Harry’s muscles shrieked and his bones creaked. The flames began to pulse in time with his magic, a deep, tribal beat that made Harry’s already racing heart sprint.
Then, with a final, brutal, pulse, the fire died.

Harry let out a yowl.
It was guttural and animalistic, angry and pleading at the same time. It started off deep in his chest, rising in tone and volume until it leapt from his mouth.
Harry felt very odd, and his whole body ached.
He slid of his bed bonelessly, his heart still frantically beating in his chest.

One…

‘Happy Birthday to me’ Harry thought. Only he would get some freaky pain-fest as a birthday present. A wry smile tried to appear in his face, but his face didn’t co-operate. Instead, his whiskers twitched.
‘Whiskers? What the fuck?’ Harry was starting freak out now.
Harry jumped to his feet and then froze suddenly. He was standing on his feet. All four of them.
He looked down and his heart almost leapt out of his chest. He wasn’t standing on his feet. He was standing on his paws.
They were covered in thick, glossy black fur. He shifted his weight onto his right forepaw, and picked up his left. He could feel the raw power in his back and arm muscles as he lifted his arm… Well, leg, and turned his paw upside down to look at what would have been his hand, palm-side up. Instead he saw six soft, dark brown pads separated by soft-looking black fur. He flexed his ‘fingers’, and the four digits at the top of his paw flexed too.
‘Okay, so I have paws now.’ Harry felt oddly numb and detached. ‘Do I have claws too?’
Harry flexed his paw again, and then stretched it out. As he flexed his paw when it was stretched out, five strong, razor-sharp claws were unsheathed. The sensation was very odd, and yet pleasurable. Harry liked his claws.
Placing his left forepaw back onto his bedroom floor, Harry decided to experiment some more.
He stretched out his forelegs, bowing his back, and straightened out his tail. His tail! Harry whipped his head around to the side, and yes he did indeed have a tail. He wiggled it around a bit, and started to purr with his excitement. It was a melodious sound that vibrated in his chest and throat.

But his excitement didn’t last. The reality of the situation crashed down on Harry like a bucket of ice water. What if he couldn’t change back?
With that thought, the heat started again in his spine. But now it was more of a gentle warmth than a fierce flame. What had been harsh pulses were now tingles. Apparently practise made perfect. When he had returned to his human form, Harry stood up. He still felt odd, but at least he looked human now. He grabbed an oversized T-shirt to put on, having ripped out of the ones that he had been wearing before. It covered his body to mid-thigh.
‘Well, I may as well see what else has changed’ Harry thought. He was still in a state of shock.
He made his way to his bedroom door, stretching out his aching muscles along the way. He sent a silent ‘thank you’ to whoever was listening- he had taken to casting silencing charms and charms that would announce someone’s presence outside his door before he went to bed. Because of this, the Dursleys would still be sleeping soundly. When he tried the door, it wouldn’t budge. His so called ‘family’ had continued to routine of locking him in his room. They had even added a new padlock at the start of the summer.
But Harry was only delayed by the locks. He was very good at wandless magic, and, because it was untraceable, the Ministry couldn’t do anything about it. So he focused on each lock in turn and thought ‘Alohamora’. Hermione couldn’t say that he never learned. After the last lock was opened, Harry tip-toed past Dudley’s room to the bathroom. It wouldn’t do him any good if he woke up his ‘family’. Once inside, he locked the door, cast a silencing charm, and flicked on the light.

Then he looked at himself in the mirror.
Harry had grown. He now stood at 5’8”, two inches taller than he had been the night before. He was slender, but in a very different way from before. He had lost a lot of weight over the past weeks, and yesterday he could have counted his ribs from across the room. Now his sides were smooth, and his stomach was muscled instead of being concave. His hips were slightly wider and more rounded than before, accentuating Harry’s slim waist and now shapely bottom. The rest of his body was covered in a light layer of muscle, his once bony shoulders smoothed over, his arms and legs shaped elegantly.
In the dim light of the bathroom, Harry’s skin seemed to glow. It was still his pale-gold tan that it been before, but now his complexion was completely clear, without a blemish other than his scars. His scars themselves had faded. The criss-crosses over his back were barely noticeable, as were the various small scars on his arms, legs, and torso. His ‘I Must Not Tell Lies’ scar was barely there, as was his basilisk scar. Fawkes had been able to save his life, but the scar had stayed, a golf-ball sized puncture wound on both sides of his right arm, just above the elbow. The burn scar on his right shoulder had faded, as had the knife scar on his left forearm. His famous lightning bolt was barely there.

He still had the tail.

Harry started to panic. What if he was stuck with a tail? What if it never went away? He was enough of a freak already.
With his distress his tail started to flick from side to side, creating a ‘swishing’ sound as the air was pushed about by the ebony-furred appendage. Harry couldn’t look at it anymore, so he glanced up, at met his eyes in the mirror.
He had the eyes of a cat.
This was not good.
His eyes were not the only things that had changed on Harry’s face. His cheekbones were more prominent and his jaw was softer, creating a perfectly heart-shaped face. His nose was slightly smaller, and his eyes were slightly larger, with longer, thicker eyelashes that swept the skin below his eyes softly when he blinked. His lips were fuller, now flushed with a pretty dark-pink colour, shaped in a generously pouty cupid’s bow.
The emerald green of his eyes before had been concentrated, creating a shade of green so deep and vibrant that it took his breath away. His pupils were vertical slits, midnight black in the sea of green that were dilated wide with his fear.
He had to try and be normal again.
His hair had grown. What had been his messy, relatively short hair-cut was now a mane of glossy, silken tresses that curled softly to his waist. Two small, black, cat’s ears poked out of his mane above his temples. He flexed his fingers, and smaller versions of his previous claws were unsheathed, replacing his nails.

Harry started to hyperventilate, his breath coming in short shallow pants, his were eyes wide and his fanged teeth were on show as he tried to catch his breath.

Harry had to be normal.

He had to be normal!

HE HAD TO LOOK HUMAN!

With that last thought he suddenly stopped hyperventilating. His breathing slowed and deepened, and his heart diminished its sprinting pace. A warmth started to collect at the tips of his fingers and toes, at the base of his tail, under his closed eyelids, over his scalp, and over the areas above his temples. The areas tingled for a moment, and then when he opened his eyes, he was ‘Human Harry’ again.
His skin was still as clear and healthy as before his recent change into ‘Human Harry’. His face was just as heart-shaped and cupid-bowed, his hips and muscles had retained their shapes, and he was still as tall. But now he was… Camouflaged.
After a moment or two of gazing at his reflection, Harry turned off the light, disabled the silencing charm, unlocked the door, and crept back to his bedroom.

When he crossed the threshold of his room, he stopped to gaze upon the scene that it portrayed.
His bedroom carpet was ripped by what had obviously been his claws. His walls and furniture looked battered and worn, his magic must have affected them. His bed was torn and burnt, stained with blood and sweat.
Harry sent a silent ‘thank you’ to whatever entity that could be watching over him, and strengthened the one-sided silencing charm that had become a permanent feature of his room at night. Then, with a few waves of his hands and a few muttered ‘Reparo’s and ‘Scourgify’s, he restored his room to order.

The last thought in his head, as he snuggled down in his bed to get some well needed sleep, was something that had become his internal catch-phrase.

‘I love magic.’

He would sort everything else out later.

To be continued....

Chapter Text

Chapter Two: Mon Chaton

-4th June-

“As I was saying, Mon Chaton, zee first guests shall arrive at six o’clock. We shall meet zem in zee parlour for tea, zen we shall move into zee ballroom for when zee ozzer guests arrive an ‘our later. Zere shall be a string quartet, and zere shall be waiters about ze room wiz les hors d’oeuvres. Zere shall be dancing, and I am sorry, but you shall ‘ave to dance wiz ze Parkinson girl. ‘Er muzzer was almost rude when she arranged ze dance wiz me. I ‘ope zat you do not choose ‘er, Mon Chaton.” The cool, yet affectionate voice was laced with concern. She did not want her darling boy, Son Chaton, to be trapped by the pug-faced gold-digger.

“Do not worry, Maman, I would rather freeze my blood than let it be warmed by ‘Darling Pansy’. She is truly revolting.” Her son’s voice was reassuring, as was his comforting hand, but the cold distain that dripped from his voice when he talked about his ‘Darling Pansy’ made her nervous. Her son had a potent mix of her passion and culture, and the cold intellect and cunning of his father. He would be a force to be reckoned with when he matured.

“D’accord. Now zat zat is finished, you should go to bed, Mon Cher. You should not be tired for your birzday ball!” She stood up and kissed both of her son’s cheeks. She fell nervous, but she knew that there was no reason to be. It wasn’t in the stars for her son to Inherit tonight. She was sure of it.

Even since she was a little girl, she had felt a strong connection with the stars. As a Black she had a long history with the constellations, and both Astronomy and Astrology had been her best subjects at Beauxbatons. She had spent many a night gazing at the sky in the tallest tower of her school. It was one of the things that she had missed most when she transferred to Hogwarts for her sixth year. The Hogwarts Astronomy Tower was adequate, but it was used more for late night liaisons than to wonder at the beauty of the night. She had had such easy access to Le Tour D’Étoiles, but she had been stifled in the dungeons of Hogwarts.

“Bonne nuit, Maman.” Her son replied, bringing her for her thoughts. “Et merci pour ton travail.” His French was perfect as it was his first language, having been raised by his Maman and a French House elf. He had learned English later on, and had an upper-class accent that was influenced by his French when he was emotional. He was also fluent in Latin and Russian.
With a parting kiss upon his mother’s forehead, the soon to be sixteen-year-old walked away, politely ignoring his mother’s nervous state. If the problem was important for him to know, his mother would tell him without needing to be prodded for the information.

..~*~..

For some reason he couldn’t sleep. He had tried everything short of a sleeping potion as the night had worn on, but nothing had worked. It was really starting to annoy him.
So he lay on his luxurious black sheets, on his majestic silver and dark wood four-poster bed. He had begun practising wandless magic at the start of the year, and by now he was quite good at it. So he cast a ‘tempus’ charm, and lay in his bed, staring at the slowly changing numbers that hovered before him.

He thought about the ball that was being thrown in honour of his birthday party the next day. Mother had insisted upon it, but he had wanted just a small formal dinner with his family and close friends, not that he had many, followed by a few drinks and musical performances. But no, Mother had insisted upon a huge hullabaloo of a ball. At least, he supposed, it was an excuse to dress up and dance.
He wondered about who would attend. His mother had already mentions the Parkinsons and the Greengrasses, but who else? The Crabbes and Goyles would attend, of course, as would his ex-boyfriend, and best-friend, Blaise Zabini’s family. Then there would be the Notts, the Davis’, and the Bulstrodes. There would also be a mass of foreign political families, and a wide array of eligible young ladies that would be carted in to meet him. He was, after all, the heir to a very rich and politically active Pureblood family. It was a shame that it wasn’t to his tastes to enjoy the women, as they would all be very pretty, with both money and high social standing.
There would be many gifts, first from his close friends and family in the parlour, and then piles of presents from the other guests, that would be collected on a table at the edge of the Ballroom. He was excited, and yet he felt an odd sense of foreboding.

Something wasn’t quite right.

His thoughts echoed about his head as a sharp spike of fiery pain shot up his spine. The fire spread through his veins, bathing a body that was so used to ice in fire. He was burning. Sparks flashes across his vision, and they were shut out as he closed his eyes, trying to protect them from the heat. His magic began to buzz deeply, becoming tangible in the air of his bed chamber. A concentrated ring of magic bloomed around his thrashing body, the buzz in the air and the screams in his mind blocking out the sobs that came from outside his door. The flames became hotter at the base of his spine, behind and over his eyes, at his hairline above his temples, and over the skin of his face, neck, and back. The flames strengthened at the tips of his fingers and toes. His muscles screamed and his bones groaned. The flames began to throb in time with his magic, a harsh, tribal rhythm that made his frantically beating heart fly.
Then, with a final, powerful, throb, the fire was no more.

He lay there in shock, collecting his breath, calming his racing heart. Then, after twitching to see if he could move, he raised his arm and went to click his fingers for a House elf. His hand didn’t co-operate.
Glancing at it, he let out a yelp in surprise. What should have been a pale, long-fingered hand was now a huge paw, covered with long, thick white fur that was spotted with grey. He wiggled his paw, trying to understand the situation.

He must have Inherited something.
So much for ‘Pureblood’.

He felt a flash of anger towards his parents. How dare they keep this from him? How dare they go on about the merits and superiorities of Purebloods, denouncing those of lesser purity, when they themselves were not pure? A deep growl began to thunder in his chest.
He leapt off his bed, and landed on the floor on his feet. All four of them. Looking down, he confirmed his suspicions. He was some sort of feline.
He stalked across his bedroom floor, his strong claws unsheathed in his anger. He looked at himself in the mirror.
A huge Snow Leopard stared back at him.
His shoulder stood at least six feet tall, his neck and head adding another. His legs were long and muscular, and his paws had a span of at least ten inches. His body was seven feet long, and his tail was at least four and a half feet long. His coat was the purist white, adorned with open florets of varying sizes and varying shades of grey. His eyes were large and two shades darker than his original shade of grey, very expressive with the emotions that would not have been allowed on his human face.

He was beautiful.

But he had to change back.

With that thought the heat started again at the base of his spine. But this time it was different- now it was more of a gentle warmth than an engulfing flame. His magic and the fire didn’t throb; instead they gently hummed, making his body tingle. The transition between forms seemed to improve with practise.
Now in his human form, he stood up from the ground to look at himself once more.

But he didn’t look truly human.

The Inheritance had stretched his frame. He now stood at 6’3”, three inches taller than he had been the day before. His shoulders were broader and his muscles were far more defined, looking smooth and hard as rock. His skin was still as pale as before, but now his complexion was completely clear, marred only by long-healed scars. It seemed to glow.
Then he realised that he hadn’t turned on a light.
He could see in the dark!
He saw a flicker of movement, and he stilled. He still had the tail, though it had shortened to a length of three foot. What else did he still possess from his Snow Leopard form?

His feet looked human, but when he flexed his toes, his toe nails were replaced by smaller versions of his previous claws. His legs were human, strong and shapely beneath his black silk pyjama bottoms. His tail had torn a hole in the back of the said bottoms. His hips were still narrow. His chest muscles rippled beneath his skin as he shifted his weight, and his waist was slightly smaller. He didn’t possess an ounce more fat than he needed.
His gaze lifted to his face, and once again he stilled in shock.

He had TATTOOS.

They were pure black and elegant, whilst incredibly masculine and tribal. They started at his eyebrows, smooth swirls of different shades of grey that reminded him of the florets on his coat. His eyes followed the trail they made across his cheekbones and jaw, highlighting the bone structure of his aristocratic features. They continued to the back of him neck and, he saw by looking over his shoulder with his back half-facing the mirror, down his spine. They merged from swirls of grey at the base of his neck into florets that were very similar to those of his coat. They bloomed in size as they travelled down his spine, until the centre of his back when they began to shrink until they met the base of his tail.

Turning back to face the mirror, he realised that the tattoos weren’t the only difference to his face.

His jaw was stronger, less pointy than before. His cheekbones were broader, making him lose the last bit of androgyny from his face. His eyes were larger, the pupils vertical slits of midnight black, surrounded by a smoky grey that was two shades darker than his original eye colour. His nose was stronger, less delicate than before, but without looking ugly. His lips were fuller, flushed a pale pink that set of his pale skin beautifully. One final difference caught his attention. He had a pair of pure white cat’s ears peeking out of the white-blond hair above his temples.

He looked good, he decided, his pleasure shown by his trade-mark smirk.

But he had to look human.

Again the warmth started at the base of his spine, and a few moments later he re-opened his eyes.
His eyes were still darker, his lips fuller and pinker, his cheekbones broader and his jaw stronger. But his tattoos and his cat ears were gone, as were his catlike pupils and his tail. He now looked like he had had a huge growth spurt overnight, and had hit the gym for the past year religiously. In other words, he looked older, more masculine, and sexier. He couldn’t complain.

Then he heard a muffled sound outside his bedroom. It sounded like his mother… Sobbing.

No matter how angry he was, he couldn’t stand to hear his Maman cry. So he went to find her.
As soon as he opened his bedroom door and stepped out, his arms were filled with his sobbing mother.
“Oh Draco, I am so sorry,” She gasped out between sobs. “I sort zat it wouldn’t ‘appen. I sort zat you would be safe!”
Draco couldn’t do anything but comfort the distressed woman in his arms.
“Je t’aime Draco, et je suis désole!” She clung tightly to her son, her sobs wracking her small frame.
“Je sais Maman, et je t’aime aussi.” Draco murmured, hugging his mother tightly.
She would explain everything later. Now, she just needed her son’s shoulder to cry on.
Secretly, Draco needed her for comfort too. Tonight had been traumatic.
Everything would be explained later on.

..~*~..

“Draco.” The voice was cold and commanding. Draco froze in the middle of the corridor, repressed a shudder, and made sure that his ‘Malfoy Mask’ was firmly in place before he turned around.
“Yes, Father?”
“I wish to speak with you in my office. Come.” Lucius said, his icy gaze stabbing at Draco. He then turned on his heel with a dramatic swish of his robes, and strode off to his office, never bothering to glance back. His … son was obedient.
Draco stood frozen for a moment longer, but this time in anger. He was a Dominant Katyarana! How dare his pathetic, human, father presume to order him about? He fought to keep in his ‘human’ form- His ‘true’ form wanted to come out and roar and force the pathetic human to submit to him. He was no Submissive.

After a moment he forced himself to relax, his ‘Malfoy Mask’ reappearing to cover his aristocratic features. He squared his shoulders, and followed his father. A mantra ran in his mind.
‘Must. Keep. Control. Must. Keep. Control. Must. Keep. Control. Must. Keep. Control.’
The mantra continued as he journeyed across the manor to his father’s office. Inside, his father sat down on a chair that would have been more at home in a throne room than in a home office. Draco sat down on a chair that was on the other side of a large Lois XV desk.

He met his father’s gaze for a moment, but forced himself to drop his gaze. His father didn’t like to be challenged. He still had scars before to prove it.
“Draco, your mother recently bestowed upon me some rather… Troubling news.” Lucius told his son, his dull grey eyes glinting with malice.
“And what were those news, Father?” Draco asked, following etiquette with what appeared to outsiders as cool, yet polite interest. Inside his Katyarana growled, begging to be let out to squish the pathetic human.
“It seems Draco,” He spat out his son’s name with disgust, “That you gained more than some height and muscle from your Inheritance.” His sneered at the boy before him. How dare his son mar the Malfoy name with his genetic defect?
“Is that so, Father?” Draco replied, barely stopping himself from spitting out the word ‘father’. Both of his other forms were growling now, deep and threatening within his chest. He could feel the sound building, but his ‘human’ form kept it in check. The ‘human’ Draco could not growl.
“Yes it is, boy.” Lucius sneered. “I have tolerated your… differences before,” He glared at his son, “But this is unacceptable. Action must take place.”

Lucius stood, placing a firm hand on the head of his cane, and glared down at his son. His glare intensified and he sneered again when his son mirrored the action, only without the cane.
“I demand to see what else changed.” Lucius said. His tone was colder than a glacier, and held a strong bite. But Draco was not going to be intimidated by the pathetic human.
Draco walked forward slowly, more of a prowl than his customary saunter. He stopped when he was toe to toe with Lucius, and absently noted that he was two inches taller as he sneered down at the pathetic human.
“I. Refuse.” Draco ground out. He was not a performing monkey, a pet to change forms at the will of its master. He was a Dominant, not a Submissive.

But his Dominant Katyarana status was forgotten as he fell to the floor in agony. Instead he was Draco Malfoy, a boy of eleven, writhing silently around on the floor. He had learned over the years that his father would get bored and lift the curse quicker if he didn’t scream. He had also learned that being beaten by a Mudblood was not acceptable.
The curse was lifted, and a sharp-toed boot kicked his foetal-positioned body.
“What was that, boy?” The cold, sharp voice asked.
Draco tried to get up, but was forced down by another kick, and then a foot that was placed on his chest.
That final position broke his control. HE WAS NOT A SUBMISSIVE!!!

With a growl he grabbed the leg and pushed it of him, changing form simultaneously as he leapt up, the usual warmth hotter in the speed of his change.
He kicked Lucius over from where he had been trying to get up, and planted his foot on his former father’s chest. He chuckled darkly, his cat-like eyes dark and thundering.
“I will never, never, submit to you again, you filthy, pathetic little human.” He growled between his fanged teeth. Years of anger and pain bubbled in his chest, the agonised cries of an eleven-year-old ringing in his ears. It took all of his control not to kill the man.
“Vous n’êtes pas mon père, Lucius.” He snarled, his accent thick with his anger and pain. He leaned onto the foot that was pressing down on Lucius’ chest, and smiled darkly when Lucius hissed in pain. He added a little more pressure for emphasis, and then moved off. He stunned Lucius with a flick of his wrist, and stalked out of the office, his three-foot-long tail held straight out and bristled behind him.

..~*~..

“Maman?” Draco called softly, knocking on his mother’s parlour door.
There was a shuffling noise, and then the gilded door opened, revealing his tear-stained mother. She looked at him and gasped, freezing on the spot. After a moment he realised what had frozen her- it was the first time she had seen his ‘true’ form.
He smiled softly, his eyes half-closing, his cat-ears facing forward and tilting slightly back, his tail curving down and then up at the tip, level with his muscled calves.

“Salut Maman. Oui, c’est moi.” He said, crouching down to meet her eyes at her height of 5’8”. He loved her height- it was perfect for him to rest his chin on top of her head when they embraced. And embrace his mother he did.
He pulled her into his strong, yet relaxed arms, holding her like one would hold a fine china doll- with the utmost care. He rubbed his cheek over the crown of her long blond hair, a shade darker than his, and breathed in the familiar, homey scent of his Maman. She was his Pride.

After a few moments, Narcissa snapped out of her shock, and buried her head in the crevice between her son’s neck and shoulder. She started to cry anew, and the sobs wracked her delicate frame. Draco realised that she wasn’t crying in shock because of his Inheritance, not this time, no, this time she was crying about the situation that they were in. She hadn’t expected to see him again, not at least as healthy as he was now. But she could tell that her bastard of a husband had cursed Son Chaton- his muscles spasmed and twitched as he held her, and his aura was tired and damaged.

That bastard had touched son garçon one too many times. Her tears stemmed and her eyes narrowed in anger.
Feeling the change in his mother, Draco drew back from the embrace to look at her. What he saw almost made him pity the pathetic human that he had once called his father. But he shook his head at her.

“We do not have time to kill him, Maman.” He told her in French, his tone strong and commanding. “I only stunned him wandlessly- there is no way of knowing when he will wake. We must leave, Maman.”
Narcissa’s face formed a silent question- where would they go?
Draco chuckled lightly and pulled his mother back into his embrace.
“To Severus, of course.” He murmured into her hair, smiling at the thought of his Godfather.

..~*~..

Severus Snape owned two houses. One was dreary, old, and full of dark magic. The other was his home. Only four people knew about his home- Dumbledore, Narcissa Malfoy, his Godson Draco, and himself.
There was a sound of the floo being activated in the living room, followed by the sound of two bodies and baggage.

Speak of the devil.

He cast a hasty stasis charm on the potion he was brewing, and made his way to the living room. What he saw there made him freeze in shock.
Standing in his living room, surrounded by settling ash, was a Dominant Katyarana.
Automatically, it seemed, he bent his head and rested his chin on his chest, submitting to the Katyarana.
A soft chuckle sounded across the room, and a moment later a strong, pale hand reached out and lifted his chin. His eyes widened at who he saw.

It was his Godson.

Gone was the only-just-brushing-six-foot boy who had slight muscles and a rather androgynous face. In his stead stood a 6’3” man, with strong shoulders, and a muscled torso that lead to slim hips. Behind those hips a three-foot-long snow leopard’s tail hung. The man’s face was handsome and aristocratic, yet made feral by the snow leopard ears, the fanged teeth, and the cat-like pupils. Not to mention the ‘tattoos’. Severus had never seen one of the Katyarani before, but in the books it was said that the size, pattern and shade of the ‘tattoos’ were unique to each Dominant, and that they often depicted some of the traits of the Dominant they adorned. Draco’s were-

The hand holding his chin spasmed and Draco rocked back on his heels, fighting to remain conscious. Recognising the symptoms, Severus grabbed Draco and dragged him to a small room that adjoined the living room, mentally cursing Lucius viciously along the way. The room had been christened the ‘sick bay’. He barked orders at Narcissa, focussing on Draco and casting diagnostic spells. After getting the results, he grabbed the different vials of potions from Narcissa’s hands, and got Draco to swallow them before pushing the teen back onto the bed. One of the potions had been a sleeping draft, and it soon took effect.
He breathed in deeply once, then twice, calming his heart and mind as he looked over his Godson.

As small, soft hand slipped into his hold, and he interlaced their fingers. Narcissa rested her head on his shoulder with a sigh, and Severus turned to place a kiss on her crown of silken blonde hair.
The women he loved had married men that he hated. One had died, and now the other was here.
Maybe one day she would see him in the same light. Until then, he was content with looking after his… family. It was the closest to the real thing he had ever had.

To be continued…

Chapter Text

Chapter Three:

Tap.
Tap tap.
Tap tap tap.
Tap tap tap tap tap.
Tap!

Harry groaned in protest to being woken and snuggled into his warm covers, his ears flicking to catch the sounds.

Tap!

He mewled through a yawn and brought up a hand to scratch behind his ear.

Bang!

He jolted to sit up, and turned to the window to see an owl that looked dizzy from head-butting the glass. He slipped out of bed, his muscles and sensitive skin protesting the movement and the cold, and crossed the room to open the window. The scruffy looking barn owl sent Harry an annoyed glance and gave the owl equivalent of a disapproving sniff. Muttering apologies and greetings, Harry gently smoothed the ruffled feathers and walked back to his bed. The owl walked off his arm onto the covers when he sat down, and tiredly lifted a leg, her ire forgotten at the prospect of being relieved of her cargo. Harry cast a few diagnostic spells on the letter, mentally berating himself for foregoing caution in the face of a tired animal. Luckily, the letter was clean of any potions or hexes, and a bright smile lit his face when he identified the magical signature. The letter was from Remus! He opened it quickly, and he cut his finger on the sharp edge of the parchment in his hurry. Sucking on the wounded finger, his green eyes began to devour the words.

‘Bambi,
I’m so sorry that it’s been so long since we last talked. I never wanted to leave, but Bumblebee sent me off to the packs, and they were in trouble. I missed you every second, my cub, and I wish that I could have stayed or taken you with me.
Happy birthday, Bambi. I love you. Always.
I’ll be with you soon. Please pack, and don’t worry if anything changed in the night. You knew that it was a possibility, especially with your magic. Nothing will change the fact that you are my cub, Prongslet.
If the muggles haven’t behaved, I’ll start a case. You know that we should have built one a long time ago, cub. I wish that you would have let us.
We’ll have a long talk when we’re settled. You know how much we need to talk about.
I love you Bambi, my brilliant and vexing cub. I’ll be there soon.
Moony.’

Harry’s eyes welled up with grateful tears, and a hiccup shook his finger from his mouth. Feeling an odd tingling sensation, Harry looked down and examined the newly-healed finger, a rapidly fading pale scar the only sign of the wound. An incredulous and slightly hysterical giggle bubbled from his throat.
Apparently he could kiss things better.

..~*~.
.
Harry had spent the rest of the day packing, worrying about the reactions of… Well everyone, to his new… Cattiness, and practising his transitions into his Big Cat form, his true form, and his ‘human’ form. He had improved in skill so much that it took only a moment and a tingle of warmth for him to change forms.
It was now approaching six o’clock, and Harry was getting even more nervous and worried. Why hadn’t Remus come yet?
As if in answer to his thoughts, the doorbell rang downstairs.

Harry stifled a flinch and tried to ignore the funeral march that had started to play in the back of his mind. Remus had said that nothing would change the fact that he was his cub. That he loved him.
He did flinch when a deep, rumbling growl sounded downstairs, followed by an angry yet scared shout of ‘BOY!’, and another growl. His breathing shallow, green eyes wide, hands clenching and unclenching, Harry stayed where he was, his feet seemingly glued to the floor as his brain screamed at him to move. There was a crash and a shout of pain, and Harry’s eyes snapped shut, his body hunching down in a subconscious attempt to protect himself. His head started to swim as his slender chest rapidly rose and fell, his hands and feet tingled, his tail held low and puffed out, his ears flattened against his skull.

Warm, strong, comforting arms brought him back to consciousness, his head cradled against a muscled chest that rumbled soothingly as a gently hand stroked through his hair. A purr started in Harry’s throat, and he sat up to rub his cheek against Remus’, officially welcoming him to his Pride, before he snuggled into Remus, his nose full of the werewolf’s scent. Remus chuckled softly, and pressed a kiss between his cub’s feline ears, his arms tightening slightly to pull Harry closer into his embrace. They both needed the contact.

The past two weeks had been hell for Remus. Death had cruelly torn his mate from him and then Dumbledore had torn him from his cub. No matter how many cubs he had birthed, no matter how many disputes he had ended, his heart had wept and called out to have them both in his arms. Remus was a strong and powerful man, but he was a Submissive werewolf, and the days apart had plagued him with nightmares, cold sweats, phantom pains and sickness. He breathed in his cub’s scent deeply, and absently noted the changes. The scent of what he could only describe as lightning was stronger, as was the scent of wildflowers. Harry smelled far more feline than human, and there was a sweet musk that confirmed that he was a Submissive. There was a faint smell of blood and fear that Remus didn’t like, and his arms flexed protectively.
A small mewl of protest left Harry’s lips as he was squeezed a little too tightly for his sore muscles, and the arms instantly relaxed and a kiss of apology was placed on his pale forehead. His purr started up again as a hand began to scratch behind his ear, and Remus chuckled again, causing Harry to blush self-consciously, but he didn’t move away from the wonderful hand.
Minutes passed as they soaked up each other’s scent, warmth and embrace, until Remus quietly cleared his throat and leant back, his hands gently stopping Harry’s head from following his pillow’s retreat. He then began to tell his cub about what had happened in the days he was away, and Harry explained in kind. He had to sit on Remus at one point to stop him from storming downstairs and fatally wounding the Dursleys, and it was only a distress call from a very ruffled cub, in his Big Cat form, that stopped him in the end. Remus had then spent the next few minutes examining his cub’s forms and theorising what he could have inherited.

Eventually they broke apart and gathered Harry’s bags and Hedwig’s cage. Remus then explained that they would be staying at The Burrow, and it went unmentioned that it would have been too painful to stay at Sirius and Remus’ home, The Den, so soon after the Veil. Harry shifted into his ‘Human’ form, and they port-keyed away.

..~*~..

They landed with a thump on the uneven path, and both Remus and Harry had to struggle to keep hold of their stomach contents. Both a little dizzy, they held onto each other as they walked their way up to The Burrow.
When the patchwork house came into view, a wave of nervousness and anxiety washed over Harry, and his hands reflexively clutched Remus close. What if the rest of his surrogate family didn’t accept him for what he was? He hadn’t even gathered the courage to tell them that he was gay yet, and now he had to tell them about, and most likely show them, his new forms? A voice in the back of his head laughed bitterly.

‘Never a dull moment in your life, is there Potter?’ It sounded suspiciously like Snape, but it was a really evil, bitter-old-man Snape. It probably wasn’t the healthiest voice to hear in the back of your head. Harry just shushed the voice and went back to his worrying. He was soothed yet again by the soft rumble and embrace of Remus, and the soft kisses that were placed on his crown of ebony locks.

He felt a rush of the feeling of coming home as they walked through the front yard. The noises of the clucking chickens and the voices inside were comforting, and Harry let out a long breath. He could do this.
Remus knocked on the door, and it opened to a cautiously smiling Mr Weasley. Security questions were answered at wand point, before they were ushered into the warm house that smelled like freshly baked cookies and treacle tart. Harry’s stomach rumbled at the scent, and his cheeks pinked slightly when Remus chuckled.

As Harry walked into the kitchen, the noise level dropped rapidly. Harry froze, his eyes wide and nervous as he looked around the now silent room. Everyone was staring at him. Only Remus’ warm and comforting hand kept him from bolting out of the room.
Mrs Weasley was the first to recover. She walked to Harry, and brought him into one of her famous hugs. Harry sighed in relief, and hugged back his surrogate mother. After a few moments, Mrs Weasley pulled back from the hug, and looked Harry over with a motherly eye. She then smiled and patted his cheek.

“The Inheritance has done you well, Harry dear.” She said. She meant it- The boy was still a little too slim for her liking, but he was practically glowing with health. Harry had frozen at the word ‘Inheritance’, but he relaxed as Mrs Weasley patted his cheek some more.
Hermione had unfrozen at the mention of an ‘Inheritance’. Looking again at Harry, she noted the physical changes, and smiled. Harry looked very good- Her baby brother had grown up! She walked to Harry and pulled him into a hug, smiling to herself as she rested her head on his shoulder. The Inheritance had been just what Harry had needed, she thought. He looked so healthy!
Ron walked up to the hugging pair, and gave Harry a slightly harder than necessary slap on the back.
“Great to see you, mate.” He said with a grin. His grin faded when Harry flinched at the word ‘mate’. Stepping back with a hurt expression, Ron turned to give Hermione a questioning glance. She looked thoughtful for a second, and then realisation broke across her face. With a small gasp, she pulled out of the hug to look into Harry’s eyes.
“Harry,” She began hesitantly. “These aren’t the only changes that came with your inheritance, are they?” She felt a sad tug in her chest as Harry sighed and shook he head, closing his eyes so that he didn’t have to look into her’s.
“Harry, it’s okay.” Remus said, coming forward to rest his hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Remember, that it didn’t change how I thought of you. It won’t change how they think of you either. You’ll still be Just Harry to them, cub. ” He squeezed Harry’s shoulder reassuringly when he gave a weak chuckled. Hermione nodded in agreement with Remus, her eyebrows creased in concern whilst her eyes were lit with curiosity and held-back excitement.

“Please show us, Harry.”
Fred and George took this moment to join in.
“Go on Harry-“ George started.
“It’s not like you can surprise us-“
“We’ve seen it all before-“
“We know of your ways with the weird and wonderful-“
“And we really want to see!” They finished together. They wore matching grins, and their eyes glinted with mischievous glee.
“Harry dear, I think it would be best if you showed us.” Mrs Weasley said.
Harry sighed, and after another reassuring squeeze from Remus, he nodded his head.

“Okay.” He said, his voice quiet and nervous.
“Shall we move into the lounge? The seats there are far more comfortable, and there’s a lot more open space.” Mrs Weasley said, already moving to gather a pitcher of Lemonade and a plate of still-warm cookies to take with her into the lounge.
A couple of minutes later, everyone was settled into the comfortable seats in the lounge. Everyone but Harry, that is. He was standing awkwardly in the middle of the room, his back facing the window, and he was glancing nervously from face to face of the seven people who sat in front of him, returning to Remus’ reassuring face more than any other. After a few moments of awkward silence, Hermione shifted in her seat.

“Go on Harry. Show us what your Inheritance gave you.” She said, her excitement and anticipation evident in her voice.
Harry nodded his head, and then shifted his weight nervously. He then shut his eyes, bowed his head, and willed himself to change into his true form. There was a tingle of heat, and then a round of gasps could be heard from the people in the room, Remus being the only one to remain unfazed. Then there was a moment of silence, before Hermione broke it.

“Well, that’s fascinating!” She exclaimed, her voice coloured with amazement and excitement.
Standing in front of her now was her best friend, her little brother, and he looked so… different.
His ebony-hued hair, once a short, scruffy mess, was a beautiful mane of shiny, silken curls that fell to his waist. Poking out of his hair above his temples were a pair of cat-like ears. They were pressed firmly again the sides of his head, and, Hermione thought back over the books she had read about animal behaviour, which meant that Harry was feeling ‘defensive’. Harry had a tail too! It had ripped through the back of his jeans when he had changed, and now it was held low and its fur was puffed out. Harry was scared!

Wanting a closer look, Hermione stood up and walked over the few steps of space between the couch and where Harry was standing. Harry heard the movement, and he glanced up, his ears twitching to follow the sound. His eyes were wide, and his pupils were dilated.
Hermione stopped a few inches in front of Harry. She raised her hand, as if to touch one of Harry’s ears, but stilled it when Harry shied away.

“Harry, please may I touch you?” She asked quietly, trying to understand why Harry was acting this way. ‘He couldn’t be scared that they would reject him, would he? Actually, yes he would.’ She thought, and her heart bled a little for the teen that stood before her. Harry knew so little of love, and he craved it more than he would ever admit to himself.
Harry hesitated for a moment, and then nodded. Hermione lifted her hand, and gently stroked Harry’s left cat-ear. Harry shuddered at the sensation, and moved his ear closer to her hand. Encouraged by this, Hermione stroked the ear again, and then moved her hand around the back of it to the base, and scratched a little, much like how she scratched Crookshanks’ ears. To her surprise, Harry let out a purr, and leaned more weight onto her hand, his eyes half closed, a soft smile on his lips, and his tail de-puffed and perked up at the end. His purr started in his chest a travelled up his throat. It was a light, warm, sound, that made everyone in the room smile and relax. Harry was happy.

Hermione moved to the other ear, using the same technique as before. Harry’s purr got louder. During this time the twins had gotten off the couch they had been sitting on, and had walked slowly towards the standing pair. George reached for Harry’s ear, but stopped suddenly when Harry flinched back. Harry’s eyes were fully opened, the pupils dilated, and his once perked-up ears swivelled and half-flattened against his head. Harry bared his sharp canines, and a growl grew in his throat. He backed away from the now stood still trio, his tail puffed up behind him.

Realising why Harry was reacting this way, Hermione turned to the twins, and pointed at the empty couch with her ‘no nonsense’ face on. The confused twins obeyed, wearing slightly hurt, slightly scared expressions. Why had Harry growled at them?
Hermione turned back to Harry, who was still in a defensive crouch, but he had relaxed slightly as the twins had moved away. Acting purely on instinct, Hermione kneeled down in front of Harry, and bowed her head, tilting it to the side to expose her throat. This calmed Harry completely, before his face creased with concern. After glancing at Remus he kneeled down in front of Hermione, and lifted her chin with a gentle hand. When Hermione met Harry’s gaze, she gave him a small smile to reassure him that she was okay. After he saw the smile, Harry returned it, and he lent down to rub his cheek against Hermione’s. Hermione smiled again, this time at herself. Harry’s feline side was greeting her, and then it was claiming her as a member of his Pride. Hermione rubbed her cheek against Harry’s too, and this elicited a purr from him.

Satisfied that Harry was calm and content, she turned back to the six people who had been watching them. Taking in the twins’ hurt faces, Ron’s shocked face, Remus’ interested yet concerned face, Mrs Weasley’s concerned and confused face, and Mr Weasley’s just-plain-confused face, Hermione let out a sigh. Then she turned back to the twins.
“Harry reacted that way because you two are dominant males of another… Species, so to speak. Harry’s feline instincts told him that if he allowed you to touch him, his Mate, or Mates, would be very angry. The fact that Harry doesn’t have a Mate yet is irrelevant.” She explained in her ‘teacher’ voice. “In the future, ask before you go to touch him, or only touch him when he is wearing his ‘human’ visage- Harry’s instincts are far more dominant in his true form.”
“So what… Species is he, Hermione?” Remus asked, as Hermione was likely to confirm his theory.
“I’m not sure, Professor Lupin. I need to consult the books first.” She replied. Remus nodded in assent, as he knew that she was a very driven and talented researcher. After squeezing Harry’s hand Hermione stood up, and, after grabbing Ron from the couch, she left the room with her boyfriend in tow.

Ron and Hermione had finally gotten together a week before the Department of Mysteries. They had all of the time since then together when they could, and had owled each other regularly through the time they were apart. Hermione had joined her boyfriend at The Burrow yesterday.
The Twins soon left the room, thinking over what Hermione had said, and thinking about Harry. He had always been good-looking, if a bit skinny, but now he was gorgeous! And those kitty-ears and tail were so cute! They made him look so adorable and… Cuddly. They were going to have to work hard to get Harry to accept them.
Both Mr and Mrs Weasley left soon too. The former went out to his shed to tinker with his latest muggle item, and the latter went to the kitchen to start cooking dinner.

This left Harry and Remus alone in the lounge.
Harry stood up and walked over to where Remus was sitting. He then perched on the edge of the seat for a moment, but then moved to sit next to Remus. Remus sat back against the back of the couch, and opened his arms for Harry. Harry gladly snuggled into his embrace, breathing in the musky scent that was so uniquely Remus. Then, after a few minutes of quiet contentment, Harry shifted his weight, and moved so that he could rub his cheek with Remus’. Remus, recognising the behaviour from earlier, and from his previous experience with cats, smiled and returned the gesture. Harry then smiled a beautiful smile, and snuggled back into Remus, resting his head in the hollow between Remus’ neck and shoulder. He let out a gentle, contented purr, and went to sleep.

Today had been a very tiring experience. And it wasn’t over yet.

..~*~..

Harry woke up slowly, listening to the slow thump-thump beneath his head, and snuggling into the warmth of the arms around him. He took in a deep breath through his nose. Remus, he thought, smiling to himself. There was a giggle from somewhere near-by, and a click. Harry sniffed. Hermione. Again, he smiled. He waited for the fuzzy blanket of sleep to clear his mind, and then he slowly opened a big, green eye. Hermione stood in front of the couch that he was laying on with Remus. In her hand was a camera, and she was giggling quietly, both with humour and excitement. In her other hand she held a sheaf of parchment.
“Great, you’re awake!” She exclaimed, followed by another girlish giggle. “You were so cute together, I had to take a picture.” She told Harry with an odd expression or her face- a mixture of ‘Aww!’ and an excited grin. Harry rolled his eyes, and snuggled into to Remus. He was just about to shut his eyes-

“No, Harry!” Hermione said sternly, and she bopped him lightly on the nose. “You can’t go back to sleep! I found out what you are!” She giggled again, her stern expression melting into a self-congratulatory smile. Harry rolled his eyes again, and then stretched like the cat he was. This movement roused Remus, and he opened a bleary golden eye to look questioningly at Harry. Harry just shrugged at gestured to Hermione. She let out another giggle.
“She found out what I am, apparently.” Harry told him. He felt a flutter of butterflies in his belly, and his tail puffed a bit, his ears alert and twitching. Remus, notice the change in his cub and reached up to rub Harry’s ear instantly, and a soft purr started in Harry’s throat. There was another click, this time accompanied by a flash that hurt his half-closed eyes. Both creatures turned to glare at Hermione. She just giggled and grinned unrepentantly.

“You two are just too cute!” They just rolled their eyes at her.
“Come on, come on!” Hermione said, reaching out to grasp Harry’s hand. “Don’t you want to know?” She asked, her brown eyes widening pleadingly. She wanted to share the information!
“Yes, of course I do.” Harry said with a small scowl. Her high-pitched giggles were starting to hurt his sensitive ears. Hermione bopped him on the nose again, and then sat down cross-legged in front of the couch. She sat still and looked at Harry, waiting for something. A moment passed, and then another.
“So, what am I?” Harry asked, a little annoyed by her silence. Hermione grinned- that was what she had been waiting for. She handed him the piece of parchment.
“Read this.” She urged.
Harry looked down at the parchment, his eyes scanning her rushed scrawl before reading the information.

‘Katyarani are very elusive creatures. There are thought to be around a thousand Katyarani in the world today, but there is no way to verify that number.
Katyarani are either born in their ‘true forms’, or gain them by Inheritance upon their sixteenth birthday. A Katyarana has three forms- their ‘true’ form, their ‘human’ form, and their ‘Big Cat’ form. The Katyarani gene is passed on through the blood. The change of species from human into a Katyarana is biological, and it is common for the Katyarani gene to skip generations. There is no known reason why this happens, but the longest gap known between two Katyarani in a bloodline is four generations.
There are two kinds of Katyarani: a Dominant Katyarana, and Submissive Katyarana.
A Dominant Katyarana is most commonly male, but there have been reported cases of female Dominants. Dominant Katyarani are much larger and stronger than their Submissive counterparts. In their ‘true’ form they possess black ‘tattoos’ over their faces and some have them over their necks and backs too. They are referred to as ‘tattoos’ because they resemble patterns of black ink, but in truth they are patterns of self-pigmented skin. The patterns, sizes, and shades of the ‘tattoos’ are unique to each individual Dominant. The ‘tattoos’ are a way of attracting potential mates- similar to the plumage displays of a bird. Dominant Katyarani possess a tail that echoes the coat of their ‘Big Cat’ form, as well as cat-like ears that reside in the Dominant’s hairline above his temples. They are said to be deaf in their human ears when in their ‘true’ forms, using their cat-like ears instead. Dominant Katyarani also possess sharp canines, retractable claws in their fingers and toes, and the slit-like pupils of a cat in their ‘true’ forms. Dominant Katyarani are said to be very aggressive to other species in their ‘true’ forms, and are fiercely protective of their mates and cubs. In their ‘Big Cat’ forms Dominant Katyarani are very large, very strong, and very deadly when aggravated.
A Submissive Katyarani is most commonly female, but, like female Dominants, there have been reported cases of male Submissives. Both male and female Submissives are capable of carrying and giving birth to cubs, but it is not reported how it is possible for the males. Submissive Katyarani are smaller and weaker than their Dominant counterparts, but they are still much stronger than a human of equal size. Submissive Katyarani do not possess ‘tattoos’, but they do possess the same tail, ears, eyes, claws, and teeth as the Dominants. . Submissives are said to develop ‘powers’, such as slight elemental control or the ability to change the colour of their fur, like a chameleon changes the colour of its scales. They are very beautiful in every one of their forms. Submissive Katyarani are in fewer numbers than their Dominant counterparts, with a reported fifteen to twenty unmated Dominants to every one unmated Submissive. Submissive Katyarani most commonly require one or two mates to conceive, but there have been reported cases of a single Submissive requiring three or more Dominants to conceive. Submissives go through periods of ‘heat’ to conceive- these periods are when they are at their most fertile. It is almost impossible to conceive outside of a ‘heat’ period. Submissive Katyarani commonly carry litters of one to four cubs, though there have been reports of more to a single litter. The cubs are not always Katyarani, with the gene skipping down their bloodline, but they are more likely to be so. The gestation period of a litter of Katyarani has been reported to be from six to eight months
Katyarani are highly driven by their instincts. They possess behaviours that are similar to both Big Cats and Domestic Cats. Katyarani saliva has healing properties that are similar to phoenix tears, and their fur can absorb most spells.
A Katyarana’s ‘Big Cat’ form can be any species of Big Cat, or a much larger version of a species of smaller cats. They are much bigger than the species that their coats echo, with some Dominants being twice as large as the non-magical feline that they resemble.
The Katyarani are rumoured to have a feudal system, with a Queen that governs with a ring of powerful Alphas, and the Korvanach Guard is said to police the population, guard the Queen and her Royal Pride, and oversee school-like organisations.’

Harry read the parchment through once, twice, and then a third and final time.
He was a Submissive Katyarana.
He, Harry Potter, was a Submissive Katyarana.
Harry Potter was a magical creature.
The Chosen One wasn’t even human.

Harry let out a semi-hysterical giggle, and handed the parchment to Remus. Before snuggling into the man’s arms as he read the notes. Harry thought things over as Hermione babbled at him.

He could have babies! Cubs, he corrected himself. He could have the children he had always wanted, the family he had always craved. And he could do it safely. Voldemort was gone, killed by Harry’s magic when he had possessed the teen at the ministry. Harry’s magic had lashed out; protecting his mind and soul from the snake-faced bastard, and it had incinerated him in the process. The magical surge had wiped out evil snake-face, all of his horcruxes, half of his death-munchers, and a few hundred properties that were wrought with evil, dark magic. The ministry was still re-building the department of mysteries.
Harry had lost a lot that day. As had Remus.

He had the prospect of a family, of cubs and mates. Mates. Plural. Harry wasn’t quite sure how he would deal with having more than one partner- hopefully he would only need one or two to get pregnant. Wow. Why was he thinking about getting pregnant already? He was sixteen! SIXTEEN! He did not need to become a teenage… mother? Father? What would his cubs call him? Merlin, there he was again! HE DID NOT NEED CUBS AT SIXTEEN!
He was startled out of his internal monologue by a pair of hands rubbing his ears. He relaxed a little, but he was still too anxious to melt under Remus’ administrations.

“Well…?” Hermione asked, reaching out to pet at his tail. He flicked it away from her, baring his teeth for a second. He didn’t like people touching his tail. He tucked the two-foot long appendage between the cushions, away from Hermione’s reach.
“Well what?” He asked, trying to keep his irritation in check. The ear-rub helped.
“Will you show us your ‘Big Cat’ form? Please? I really want to see it!” She was practically buzzing with excitement. At the sight of the usually calm and mature girl acting so childish, Harry’s irritation melted away.
“Umm… Okay, but let me change into a bathrobe or something- I don’t want to rip these clothes any more than I already have.” Harry replied. Hermione nodded, and Harry got up to go and change.
He came back a few minutes later, naked apart from the fluffy bathrobe he wore.
“Alright. Turn around for a few secs.” Harry told them.

After they turned their backs to him, he dropped the robe and willed himself to change into his ‘Big Cat’ form. After a brief moment of warmth, he fell forward onto his paws, and silently padded up to Hermione. He was as tall as she was in this form! He lowered his head, and gave her back a playful nudge. She whirled around with a gasp, and then stood stock-still, her eyes wide with both amazement, and a little bit of fear. Remus turned with her, and smiled as he once again saw the giant Black Panther. He reached out a hand to pet his cub.
Harry sat down on his haunches before them, and head-butted Remus’ out-stretched hand. He began to purr, deeper and louder than his purr in his ‘true’ form, when Remus began to scratch behind his ears. The sound of Harry’s purr snapped Hermione out of her shock. She grinned widely, and then stepped forward a little to tend to Harry’s other ear. His purr doubled in volume.
After a few minutes of rubbing Harry’s ears and carding their hands through his fur, Hermione and Remus stopped. Harry cocked his head to one side in question, then head-butted Hermione’s hand. He hadn’t told them to stop! Hermione giggled at his actions, but shook her head.

“You need to change back, Harry.” She told him. “I’m sure that dinner will be soon.”
As if on cue, Mrs Weasley shouted out a five-minute warning for dinner. Hermione smiled in amusement, and Remus let out a chuckle. Harry gave a little sigh, but he nodded. He was very hungry, so the petting would have to wait for later. Harry stood up, and backed away to where his bathrobe was pooled on the floor. He stood there for a moment, looking at his two companions. They looked confused for a moment, but then they realised what he wanted. Hermione cheeks picked a little, before she turned her back on Harry, and joined Remus, who had already turned around.
Harry willed himself to change into his ‘true’ form, but then thought the better of it and changed into his ‘human’ form. It was less comfortable, but he didn’t want to be stared at during dinner. He stood, picking up the robe, and wrapped it around his person. He then cleared his throat.

At the noise Hermione and Remus turned around, Hermione grinning, and Remus was softly smiling. Remus was mourning Sirius, and more than even Harry, because Sirius had been his mate. But the little things his cub did made his heavy heart lift a bit. Harry made him feel younger, and reminded him of happier times.
After hugging both Hermione and Remus, Harry went off to get dressed for dinner.

..~*~..

Dinner was a casual afair, with a round of off-key singing of ‘Happy Birthday’, and a delicious treacle tart as a birthday cake.
After everyone had finished eating, the party moved into the lounge, where a pile of presents was assembled in the middle of the room. Grinning, Harry sat down next to it. He had forgotten how much he loved presents.
“Umm, we’ll go first shall we?” Ron asked, looking to his girlfriend for guidance. She nodded with an indulgent smile.
Ron handed Harry on of the packages. It was wrapped in red paper that had golden snitches flying across it. Harry ripped it open, and inside was a black box. Harry opened the box, and gasped when he saw the snitch inside. It was silver a delicate-looking, shiny and pretty, much unlike the banged-up golden snitched of Hogwarts. Lightning bolts had been engraved artfully along the surface, as had been his initials.

“Thank you, you two!” Harry said, grinning.

Harry also received a box of homemade treacle fudge from Mrs Weasley, a charmed muggle toy aeroplane from Mr Weasley, a jade scarab-beetle necklace from Bill (“He sent it from Egypt by owl. He said that it’s got protection charms on it.”), a Dragonhide jacket from Charlie (“He got stuck on the reserve, but he wanted to give you that, Harry dear.”), a box of the latest Wheezes from Fred and George, and a Holyhead Harpies Jersey from Ginny (They were her favourite team).
Remus was the last to give a gift.

“Sirius and I thought for a long time about what we should get you, and we finally made a decision.” Remus said, a ghost of a smile flittering across his lips as he remembered the long days of arguments and debates. And, of course, the making up afterwards.

He reached behind him, and bought out a silver-paper covered box. He flicked his wand, and then passed it carefully to Harry, as if the box held something fragile. It was quite heavy, and warm to the touch. Harry set it down in front of him, and with nimble fingers, he removed the paper. Beneath it was a 10-gallon tank. They had gotten him a snake!
It was beautiful. At about 21 inches in length, it had shiny, smooth-looking scales that made a pattern of patches of chocolate brown, bordered by a lighter tawny colour. The underbelly was paler than the rest of the body, and the head had an arrow-like shape of brown scales, that tapered off at the snakes’ nose. It was curled up and asleep at the moment.
“It’s beautiful!” Harry told Remus, tears of gratitude welling up in his eyes.
“She.” Remus said with a smile at Harry’s emotional state. But his eyes were sad. He wanted to be sharing this moment with Sirius. “She’s a girl, Harry.”
Harry looked down again at the snake. His precious, baby girl. Harry grinned again, wiping away the happy tears that had threatened to overflow.
“She’s been hatched for five days, but all she’s done so far is sleep and move around a bit.” Remus told him. “She doesn’t have a name yet. We thought that we should leave the naming to you.”
“Thank you so much Remus!” Harry exclaimed, his eyes stinging a little. “I think I’ll wake her up.”

Harry reached down into the box, noting the change in the humidity and temperature of the air over his hand as he did so. As he tenderly stroked the little one’s head to wake her up, Hermione opened her dam of information.
“She’s a Burmese Python, isn’t she? Remus, magical Burmese Pythons can grow up to thirty feet! And they are even venomous, unlike their muggle cousins! These snakes are highly dangerous!” She exclaimed, shooting a reproaching glance at Remus. But he was unrepentant.
“Magical Burmese Pythons are very loyal and protective creatures, Hermione. The only person who would be harmed by her is someone who tries to harm Harry. They are highly intelligent, and while they navigate by scent, they have both infra-red and human-like vision, depending on the set of eyelids they are using. Harry will come to no harm. And look how happy he is!” Remus explained quietly. They both turned back to look at Harry. The snake was now awake, and it was licking at Harry’s fingers, tasting his scent, and adding it to memory.
“What is your name, little one?” Harry asked, hissing quietly.
“I have no name.” She replied. Her voice was high-pitched and feminine, and her age was reflected in it. Her tone reminded Harry of a very intelligent three-year-old.
“Would you like one?” Harry inquired, smiling as the snake nodded her head a little.
“Yes please.” She licked at his again.
“Alright. How about… Beauty?”
“Thank you, but no.”
“Sahanna?”
“No.” She shook her little head.
“Monty?” He asked, smirking a little.
“No.” She didn’t get the joke.
“Alexandra?”
“No.”
“Sir William SNakespeare?” He grinned at the awful name.
“I am female.” Apparently she was too young to have a sense of humour.
“I know that, little one. Vanessa?”
“That is not my name.”
“Rumplestiltskin!”
“No!”
“Okay, okay! I was only having fun. What about Bobbi?”
“Bobbi. Yes. That is my name.” She nodded vigorously.
“Okay. I am Harry.”
“Hello, Harry.” Bobbi hissed. She then slithered up his hand, and wrapped herself around his wrist. She rested her head on the back of his hand; her body was a warm bracelet. The pet shop owner hand cast permanent warming and humidifying charms on Bobbi, so that she would never get too cold or dry.
Harry got up slowly, carefully, and turned to the others.
“I would like you to meet Bobbi, the Burmese Python.” He said with a grin.

To be continued…

Chapter Text

Chapter Four: Little Hybrid

The sound of the floo opening startled everyone in the room to their feet. Draco, as the Alpha of his pride, was the first to investigate. He quickly switched forms, and scented the air.
It was a creature.

He stormed into the living room, and grabbed the being by the throat before lifting it up and pushing it against the wall, a deep growl building in his chest. He was about to interrogate the creature when a noise between a whimper and a whine left it’s throat, and the body he was holding up went completely limp. Startled, Draco lessened his grip and guided the lax being to the floor, gently, his instincts disallowing the mistreatment of an unmated submissive.
The seemingly unconscious submissive was small; Draco guessed that when standing it would reach 5’4” at the most. He had dark brown, wavy hair that would have framed the creature’s tanned cheekbones, accompanied by dark eyebrows and eyelashes. The face itself was humanoid, but with arched eyebrows, high cheekbones and slightly pointed ears that suggested elven influence, and small fangs peeking out from parted pouty lips that suggested otherwise. A hybrid, perhaps. The Submissive seemed exhausted, pale under his tanned skin, and injured to some degree as there was a faint smell of blood about him. Oddly, the creature seemed familiar, as did the creatures’ scent.
Draco called in Severus, and after a few diagnosis spells Severus declared the creature exhausted from blood-loss, malnourishment, and a recent creature inheritance. He summoned a few potions from his stores, and Draco gently massaged the Submissive’s throat to encourage swallowing when Severus emptied the vials into the creature’s mouth.
The potions consumed, the Submissive’s muscles fully relaxed, releasing a tension that Draco hadn’t noticed. A gentle sigh left the quenched throat, and the thick, deep brown lashes fluttered over no longer pale cheeks until they stilled in slumber. Relived, Draco ran a gentle hand through the silky, wavy hair, and was started when a soft, contented purr sounded in the sleeping creature’s throat. Both he and Severus let out a chuckle at the sweet noise, which was at least an octave higher than Draco’s purr.
Draco and Severus moved the Submissive to the sick bay, leaving a small Dragonhide backpack behind, and once the small creature was settled under soft, warm blankets, Draco found that his instincts wouldn’t let him leave. Protect, they were saying, Pride, Submissive, Home, Trust, Protect, Unmated, Home, Pride, Friend, Submissive, Protect, Brother, Son, Pride, Protect! His magic began to swirl as he was washed over by a wave of confusing messages, half of which were mere sounds or smells that swirled around his head and heart in a mass of colour and noise.

The wave evaporated when a distressed whimper left the sleeping Submissive’s throat, replaced by homely warmth as a reassuring purr rumbled in Draco’s chest. The sleeping creature replied with a quiet, contented purr, and Draco sat down on the chaise that guarded the sick bed. A gentle purr stayed in his chest as his magic cocooned the room in warmth and the scent of vanilla, honey, and apple wood smoke. He soon slipped into Morpheus’ embrace.

..~*~..

A clawed hand came from nowhere, dark and strong as it crashed into his soft cheek, snapping his head to the side with the force behind it. A traitorous whimper left his throat, his eyes stinging as they welled with forbidden tears. A dark chuckle left the fanged mouth of the woman before him, mocking his weakness as she had so many times before. He knew that any sound of pain or fear would only encourage her, pleasure her sadistic and demonic nature. He berated himself as he shrank into his own body, reducing her target in a pitiful attempt to avoid further torment. He knew that it was futile.
Torment was as important to his mother as sex and blood. She lived on it.
‘Mi dispiace, Senora.’ He murmured fearfully, subconsciously reverting to his father’s tongue. I’m sorry, madam. The language earned him a backhanded slap that almost took him off his feet.
‘None of that filthy tongue here!’ His mother snarled, her Nigerian thicker than ever. Her black talons grabbed his slender throat and lifted him from the ground with unnatural strength. He was thrown across the room, and landed painfully on the cold, black marble. A mad cackle met his ears, before a stiletto boot-heel stabbed his vulnerable stomach. He cursed himself for not curling into a more protective position, for the fall had left him disorientated, his limbs twisted painfully as he lay on his bleeding back, the talon-gashes dripping thick, red blood on the polished stone.

‘How dare you show your ugly, cursed faced in this house?’ She asked quietly as she straddled his bleeding stomach, her straining breasts threatening to escape the straps of red and black leather that covered very little of the darkly tanned flesh. Her black, arrow-headed tail curled around his jean-clad thigh, constructing painfully as she tilted her head to the side in a mockery of innocent curiosity. Her mane of dark waves swept the floor, sparks spitting as the strands met the floor.
‘Mi- I apologise, Mistress.’ Blaise said softly, his teeth gritted against the pain. The aptly named Kokumo threw back her head and laughed, her fangs and dark horns glinting in the miserly candlelight.
‘Your whimpered apologies will not help you, runt. You were banished, my little bitch, but you disobeyed.’ Blaise stayed silent, his eyes closed against the fear and pain. A strangled gasp was torn from his bruised throat as a talon buried itself in the smooth flesh of his neck, and a whimper escaped as a hot, venom-slicked tongue licked the bleeding wound, accompanied by a disgustingly sexual moan from the Succubus that sampled his life blood. The creature shifted her hips, her sex rubbing against her leather straps as she drank from her son, her erect nipples straining against the fabric, pleasuring her further as her breath hitched, bringing in the scent of fear, blood, pain, shame, disgust and humiliation. What a delicious little cocktail, she thought. She brought her face away from the wound, and trailed her clawed fingers through the blood that had pooled on the floor. Her hips sped up as she trailed her fingers over the body beneath her, before she guided one the cup her sex and the other to play with her breasts. She drew the straps to the side, and her head was thrown back as her fiery fingers came into contact with her clit and nipple, sending sparks of sensation up and down her spine until they pooled in a ball of heated energy in her gut. Her hand flew from breast to breast, tugging and pinching and scratching and flicking them in a wash of pleasure as she ground her clit into her rough fingers, her hips twitching sporadically as she hit her clit particularly hard. Her breath hitched as her hips moved with superhuman speed, her hand at her breasts causing succulent pain and pleasure as her nipples reddened and bled until her superior healing renewed the once broken skin. Sweat slicked across her darkly tanned body, her long hair stimulating the sensitive skin of her back, butt and thighs, the leather straps rubbing against her heated skin until they began the shrivel from dehydration, tightening over rubbed-raw skin that renewed continually as her hips blurred with movement. Her breath coming out in shallow pants, her muscles aching and her nerves sparking along with her skin, she brought herself to completion, a long, loud moan accompanied by a deep rumbling purr left her throat. Her body spasmed, flames flicking from her nipples, finger tips, hair and tail. Her vision whited out in the power of her orgasm, and the pleasure overtook her senses and body, until she left consciousness and slumped off to the side, her tail releasing its hold on the bruised and burnt skin of Blaise’ now naked thigh.

The nightmare changed then, the colours and sensations blurred until Blaise was curled up on the black stone of the shower, tears, blood and his mother’s fluids washing down the drain in the heavy fall of cold water. He sat there, shivering, his back against the wall with his arms hugging his knees to his chest, slowly rocking back and forth, numb from the cold and his mental escape.

Then he was in a cheap motel room, lying on scratchy sheets as his magic rose about him, cocooning his crudely healed body with gentle warmth and the smell of gun powder, cinnamon and warm cotton. He was lifted from the bed by two pairs of phantom arms, invisible and strong as they embraced him just as pain spiked down his spine. He cried out before he could stop himself, and the phantoms held him closer, cooing softly as the covered him with their strong scent, and dribbled a sweet and comforting liquid into his mouth. His spine was on fire, his bones aching, his teeth grinding together in an attempt to hold back the pitiful whimpers as the pain drew stringing tears from his eyes and his body spasmed in the strong hold of his phantoms. After what seemed like hours the pain and his magic gave a final thrum, and his body was gently placed back onto the mattress as he slipped into slumber. A soft purr built in his chest as his phantoms, the ghostly apparitions of his Mates, kissed his hands, neck and face. Then they left, and Blaise slept alone, blanketed by their scent and magic as his own set about healing his wounds and strengthening his new abilities and features.

He woke, panicked, a scream building in his throat as the horrors of the day before came back to him. He sat up, and retreated over the scratchy sheets until his back hit the peeling paint the covered the wall. His phantoms were gone, their scent and magic faint as the taste of blood on his tongue. He must have bitten his tongue. He trailed the said tongue, which was seemingly undamaged, over his teeth and was startled at the texture. They were much harder, not that they had been soft before, but now they seemed more akin to stone than to bone. His exploration continued and once again he was startled, this time by an elongated and sharp inch-long canine cutting his questing tongue. Disgusted by the taste of his blood, the utter wrongness of it, he slipped out of the lumpy bed to wash his mouth out. His journey was abruptly halted by a rather large, and unexpected, weight on his back, both on his upper back starting between his shoulder blades, and on his lower back, seemingly connected to his tail bone. After gaining his balance, his toes curling on the stained and ancient carpet to anchor him, he cautiously twisted at the waist, but promptly lost his balance and fell to land painfully on the hard carpet covered concrete in a mixture of shock, shame and horror.

The weight was not invisible, not unexplainable. Not a joke or an apparition. Neither a parasite nor a predator. It was his own flesh, blood, pain, shame, genes, feelings, horror, fear… and pride. His wings. His tail. His beauty. His escape. His weapons. A part of him as much as his heart and brain.
They would be his damnation and salvation.
His bitter-sweet sorrowful joy.
He made up his mind. He made an oath, vowed to himself and to the magic that gave him life that he would bear his appendages with pride, without fear.

So he stood, shakily, and planted his feet hips width apart. He laced his fingers together and rested his joint hands on his abdomen. Then, after slumping his shoulders down and flexing his pectoral muscles, he unfurled his bat-like wings. They were huge, and he had to bend his knees to keep from falling over as his nine-foot wings stretched out to almost touch the walls of his motel room. They were dark green, so dark that they were almost black, that made him shudder with the sensitivity when he touched the soft, leathery skin. The bones were strong yet light, dark outlines in the thin membrane. His tail, of a similar feel and hue, though of thicker skin, flicker back and forth at a length of two and a half feet, a few inches off the mottled carpet that Blaise stood upon.
He wings stretched and slightly aching, he relaxed and instinctually folded them neatly until they were snug against his back. His arched brows furrowed in worry when he thought of reactions to his wings and tail, but they smoothed when he felt the appendages retract into his skin. His wings melted into the strong muscles of his back, and his tail curled in upon itself like a butterfly’s tongue before melting into the skin of his lower back. His jaw ached as his fangs shrank, and his ears itched as their shape changed, he presumed.

Feeling entirely more human, he gathered his clothes, after blushing in realisation that he was nude as a newborn babe, and washed in the not-so-sanitary bathroom. His toilet complete, he returned to the bedchamber and collected his shrunken belongings, before storing them in a small, black dragon-hide backpack. Then he decided where to go. Draco.
It took him a half a day to find his way to Malfoy Manor, but when he stood outside the gates the scent of Draco was weeks old, and there was an air about the cold structure of majestic stone that sent a shiver of dread down Blaise’ spine. No, the Manor was not a place to find his brother-figure.

So he wandered on, and a realisation smacked him over the head when he was on the Night Bus- where else would his brother have gone, but to Severus? After calling out his will to go to The Leaky Cauldron, and arriving at the shadowy pub, he walked inside and promptly made use of the floo, shying away from the leers and the suspicious looks courtesy of the patrons.
When he finally fell through the fireplace and landed on the rich carpet, he relaxed.

But then he was grabbed by the throat-
He couldn’t breath-
Someone growled deeply-
He whimpered-
Then-
Darkness.

..~*~..

Draco was woken by a quiet keening sound beside him, and the vibrations of the Submissive’s movement. Sitting up from his position on the chaise, he winced in the crick in his neck but went to investigate.
The little creature was on his back, his hands clenched into white-knuckled fists as whimpers of pain and humiliation slipped from his grimacing lips. Tears were running down his temples towards his pillow, and his toes were curling and uncurling under the blanket. Scenting the air Draco realised that the hybrid was remembering pain, in the form of a vivid-looking nightmare, but that he was physically unharmed.

Unsure what to do, he sent of his Dragon Patronus to Severus and his mother, and they soon joined him in the sick bay. He gestured to the dream-haunted Sub, asking silently what they should do.

Narcissa sat down on the side of the bed opposite to Draco, and gently placed a hand on a clenched fist. She jerkily withdrew the appendage when the boy let out a particularly loud whimper, his left thigh flinching away from dream-pain. Severus suggested in his rich, smooth voice that they stay quietly at a small distance as not to crowd the creature, and to simply wait out the nightmare. He mentioned some of Draco’s night terrors he suffered when he was younger, and how it had been very difficult to wake him from them.

So they watched the pained boy for what seemed like hours, though only twenty minutes had passed when the Sub’s body seemed to relax. A gentle purr sounded for a few moments, until a startled cry rang out and the creature’s body stiffened, its magic rose up and whirled around the room in a stormy gust that smelled of warm rain, Tiramisu and spiced Hot Chocolate.
Twenty minutes later, the Submissive stilled after a final keen, and the others in the room sensed that he was waking. He smacked his lips and his tanned forehead creased into a cute little frown, until he turned over onto him flat stomach, placed his hands either side of his pillow-
And unfurled his wings.

Draco and Narcissa ducked just in time from being smacked by the nine-foot wingspan, and the Submissive made a dissatisfied noise and pouted when he ran out of room two foot two soon. He retracted his wings to rest snuggly against his back, before he stretched like a cat, a purr leaving his throat as he uncurled his tail and stretched it along with his achy arms and back. His languid stretches were interrupted be a polite clearing of a female throat.

He fell onto his side in his hast to turn around, landing painfully on his tail in the process, a deep blush colouring his tanned cheeks as he was met with the sight of Severus and Narcissa. He glanced away from them in his embarrassment, and by chance his wide Hazel-green eyes with their vertical pupils met the equally vertically pupiled eyes of a Dominant Katyarana. A distressed keen left his lipped as he quickly backed away until his back hit the wall, and only then did he look away and bare his throat in submission.

A deep chuckle left Draco’s throat at the action, and the Sub’s head snapped back to his face at the familiar noise, his eyes wide with surprise and curiosity.

“Draco?” He whispered, his eyes flicking across to where Severus and Narcissa stood before flicking back to who he believed to be his brother.

“Blaise?” Draco exclaimed, equally surprised and curious. A moment later a short body crashed into his own as Blaise wound his arms around Draco’s waist and rested his head on a muscular chest. Blaise nodded almost frantically, nuzzling into Draco’s shirt as relieved tears caused him to hiccup. Draco’s strong arms picked up his brother easily and sat down on the bed, cradling the weeping Submissive’s head in a large had as he slowly rocked from side to side, hushing and murmuring reassurances. Severus and Narcissa joined the two on the bed, adding there of endearments or gently stroking the delicate Sub.

Eventually Blaise settled down, issuing a few hiccups as he wiped away his tears bashfully and blew his nose on the handkerchief the Narcissa offered. His face cleared, he gazed up at Draco and traced one of his Dominant Tattoos, a long curve that framed his brother’s high cheekbone and chiselled jaw. Draco smiled down at him, kissed the hand and leant down to rub his cheek on Blaise’ wavy tresses.

A purr built in both of their chests, and Blaise turned instinctually and nipped Draco wrist, licking a drop of his brother’s blood before kissing the scratch softly to heal it.

They were family now, by creature law, and no one could separate them.

To be continued…

Chapter Text

Chapter Five: Golden Treasure

Harry was purring contentedly, his emerald eyes shuttered in bliss as he rolled the exquisite taste over his tongue. So sweet and buttery, with a delicious hint of ginger and lemon that almost rolled his eyes back into his head. His wonderful treat, in all of its golden glory, was accompanied but just the right amount of lemon cream, causing his taste buds to overload his system with pleasure.

Treacle tart was a foodgasm for sure.

His pleasure was interrupted by someone moving too close to his food. ‘No!’ His mind cried as he flinched away from the hand, hissing in his true form, his treasure clutched to his chest whilst he bared his fangs ferally. It was his! His!

His tense muscles relaxed instantly when someone, bearer, pride, father, submissive, squeezed the back of his neck, just hard enough to stop him in his tracks and make him feel like a naughty cub. His shoulders, ears and tail slumped. His head bowed, he waited for his treat to be taken away from him. Naughty cubs didn’t deserve treats. Freaks didn’t deserve treats. Strong arms looped around his waist and he was scoped into a warm lap. Meaningless sounds filtered into his ears, making him realise that everything had been silent before. His head was turned to rest on a shoulder, and the smell, books, chocolate, father, pride, safe, relaxed him almost instantly. But then a hand came near his treasure, and he flinched back, only managing to secure himself further into the warm lap. He was so confused and upset. Why was pride, chocolate, bearer, books, safe, trying to take away his treasure? ‘Oh.’ He remembered. He was a bad cub. A freak. Freaks didn’t deserve treasure.

So he held still when the hand returned, his head bowed in defeat. He fought a whimper when the hand took away his treasure. He deserved it. He was a bad cub. A freak. Freaks didn’t deserve-

Treasure! On a spoon! His nose lead his head away from the shoulder, snuffling blindly until the treasure was tantalisingly near, the cool metal of the spoon’s edge touching his lips. Tentatively, he poked out his tongue, flinching away after it touched the treasure. Now he was really in trouble. Bad cub! Freak! Bad, filthy, freakish-

The spoon was back at his lips, pressing a little harder. What? A warm hand, chocolate, pride, bearer, cupped his chin and gripped, gently pulling down his jaw as the spoon pressed stubbornly against the parting of his lips. Timidly, his loosened his jaw, and as his lips parted the treasure-laden spoon moved into his mouth. Treasure! A warm purr built in his throat as he closed his lips around the spoon, the taste of the treasure filling his mouth. Subconsciously his hand rose to the spoon, and another warm hand, parchment, ink, mint, pride, guided it to the cool metal, and gently encouraged his hand to grip it. The spoon safely held, the original hand joined its twin at Harry’s waist as the newer hand stroked Harry’s long curls.

Eventually the spoon was empty, Harry’s slightly rasping tongue having linked it clean, and the large emerald eyes finally opened, blinking twice in the light. Looking around, he blushed furiously as he realised that he had just had an episode. The hand, which turned out to be Hermione’s, kept running through his hair soothingly, as Remus’ thumbs rubbed circles in his sides.
Harry gently leaned forward to place to spoon on the plate, and he ignored the treacle tart left. Stinging, humiliated tears rose in his eyes as he made to leave, but he was once again picked up, this time into Remus’s arms, bridal-style. Remus carried him gently into the lounge, all the while murmuring soft endearments and assurances. Seated on the over-stuffed, Gryffindor-red sofa Remus cradled his cub to his chest, and rocked him gently when the dam broke and Harry began to cry. They were snotty, painful tears that wrenched Remus’ heart to hear. But Harry needed to cry, for the childhood that was stolen from him. For what the muggle filth had done to him. For everyone and everything that had shunned him, belittled him, hurt him and treated his unjustly. For once, Harry allowed himself to cry, and took comfort that Remus was there for him.

Eventually his tears dried, and after a soft handkerchief cleaned his face and a kiss was placed upon his reddened nose, Remus murmured words that meant more to Harry than he would admit to himself.

“Cub, we will never take your food away from you. It is your treasure, and it is a treasure that gladdens us to share with you.”
Then Harry understood, and a grateful smile curved his teeth-reddened lips. Remus was helping him heal. He was fixable.

..~*~..

“Alright, everyone one here?” Remus asked. Affirmative replies and gestures followed. “Brilliant.”
He gave a smile and crossed his corduroy sheathed legs before resting his interlaced fingers on his lap. The warm firelight of the lounge danced across his face, creating the illusion of youth about his features. His eyes, though tired and grieving, were lit with interest, and his silvery scars were faded.

“I have an idea.” He stated, his gaze meeting those of his audience. “What do you think of hosting a long gathering of your friends?” Smiles lit curious faces and Harry seemed to glow with pleasure and excitement. Hermione looked thoughtful, though it seemed to be her permanent expression, and she raised her hand, causing a chuckle to circle the room. With a kind smile Remus asked for her question.

“How long would this gathering last, Professor Lupin?” She asked rather formally, causing another chuckle.
“For as long as Mrs Weasley would like them to invade her house, Hermione. Please call me Remus, I’m no longer your professor.” Hermione blushed but nodded, and Mrs Weasley smiled from where she was sitting next to her husband.
“It would hardly be an invasion, Remus dear. We would have to talk to the parents, of course, but I think that a week would be wonderful, if we sorted out jobs around the house and where the guests would sleep. We have enough room for four or five guests, I think.” She said kindly, her fingers intertwined with those of her husband.

“That’s wonderful, Molly.” Remus smiled, his gaze landing on his cub, who was practically bouncing in his seat next to Hermione. “I suggest sending out owls to the guests you want to come, and the party will start on the seventh.”

There were exclamations of excitement and joy about the room, though Ron and Ginny seemed rather reserved, and loud proclamations of who should be invited were launched into the warm air.

It was eventually decided, an hour later, that Seamus, Dean, Neville and Luna would be invited to stay.

To be continued…

Chapter Text

Chapter Six: Sunshine and Instincts

“Harrykins! Wake up little kitty!” A loud, annoying voice sang next to his ear. No! His bed was warm and soft and he didn’t want to wake up! He voiced his protest with a muffled growl, his face buried in his pillow.

“Pussy cat, you need to get up.” Another, slightly smoother voice stated by the opposite ear. Harry growled at him too. Stupid twins had no respect for sleep.

“Harry…” The first voice coaxed. Fred, he guessed. “Wakey wakey, rise and shine!” Harry’s guess was proven correct as he turned his face to bare his teeth at his friend. His nose was filled with the scent of warm cotton, gunpowder, cinnamon and hot ginger. Feeling that Fred had taken his point when he heard him take a step back, Harry turned his head to the other side and snuggled back into his delightfully squishy pillow.

“Kitten, Mum will start shouting in about half an hour, so you need to get ready.” George advised, his voice slightly deeper than his brother’s. A quick sniff surrounded Harry with scent of warm cotton, gunpowder, cinnamon and baked apples. A gentle had petted his ear, smoothing the sleep-mussed fur and eliciting a pleasant purr from Harry’s chest.

“Yeah, Harrykins! Get up! You need to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!” Fred almost shouted, a wide grin stretched across his face as he reached forward to fluff up the said tail.

A flurry of movement and a few angry hisses later found Harry clutching the back of George’s shirt as he bared his fangs at the offender. Fred had no right to touch his tail!

Shocked by the sudden sound and movement, it took a moment to warm up the gears in Fred’s head. When realisation hit him up the side of the head he winced in apology. Faced with his brother’s stony stare and Harry’s fangs, he went by his trusty instincts, and dropped down to kneel on the floor, his pale neck bared vulnerably. The position made his uncomfortable, his shoulder muscles tight with tension as he fought himself to stay on the ground.

A few moments later he heard the whisper of soft footsteps over the orange carpet, and he was soon encircled by a pair of warm, thin arms. Soft breath warmed his neck as Harry rested his head on the redhead’s broad shoulder, cute sounds of snuffling and quiet purrs filling the air.

George, from where he sat on the other side of his brother could see a war of emotions on Harry’s face. Fear, happiness, caution, comfort, and stress flashed and rippled across a pale face whilst nostrils flared and ears twitched.
Moments passed like hours, the sands of time drizzling like half congealed treacle, until Harry’s faced smoothed into pleasant calmness, and the rosebud lips parted.

“Freddie?” He asked, lifting his head from a tense shoulder. He waited for pale eyelids to reveal Ice-blue Irises, before speaking again, his voice heavy with sincerity. “You’re not my Mate. Don’t touch my tail.”

The tension melted out of Fred’s shoulders as his eyes widened. He nodded his head silently, smoothed a strong hand over Harry’s tangled curls, and pressed apologetic lips to his famous scar.

“I’m sorry, Little Brother,” He murmured, his eyes closed in shame. “I never meant you to think that I was trying to be your Mate.”
Harry felt a delighted smile bloom across his face, and he glanced between the sincere agreement on George’s face and the serious apology on Fred’s face. After finding no clues to deception, he summoned a little Gryffindor courage and kneelt up to rub his cheek against Fred’s stubble-roughened one. A relieved and happy chuckle left both of the Twins’ throats and George soon joined the embrace to receive the same treatment. They understood the silent message. They were part of Harry’s pride, his big brothers, and they felt a deep satisfaction in a recently awakened part of their souls.

“BOYS! GET DOWN HERE!”

The magically projected voice of Mrs Weasley almost shook the walls of Ron’s bedroom, causing the posters to complain, the embracing three to clutch at each other, and Ron to fall out of bed, the silencing charm around him breaking as he fell.
Disgruntled and disorientated, he sent a glare at the door before using the side of his bed to pull himself up. He stood still for a moment before stretching his lanky form and scratching his freckled behind.

A snort from behind he caused him to jump and spin around, his wandless hand raised as if to throw a hex. At the sight of Harry sandwiched between his older, more successful, and better looking brothers he gave a moody grunt and a jealous glare. He then turned his back, muttering about ‘attention seeking benders’ and other less than complimentary thoughts. His actions were answered with two insulted glares, and one hurt look.

The talented red-heads pressed re-assuring and apologetic kisses to Harry’s cheeks and, after sending one last promising glare in their biological brother’s direction, left the orange monstrosity of the room with a simultaneous call of ‘coming, Mum’.
Harry gave a wistful sigh before turning around to gather clothes and toiletries. He only had a few minutes to get ready before the guests arrived.

..~*~..

Harry was startled from his task of dodging the Weasley chickens by the arrival of guests by port-key. Or at least that was what he labelled to sound on bodies hitting the ground and a round of muffled curses and groans.

He turned around with a smile on his lips, and a pale hand rose unconsciously to flatten down the untameable mess of the hair of his ‘human’ form. What he saw had him biting his lip to hold in a chuckle and a light bulb illuminated above his head.
Seamus and Dean were twisted around each other in an undignified heap, clothing caught on bag clasps and slightly dazed expressions on their faces. A second passed and the dazed looks faded, soon replaced by vibrant blushes (Seamus) or sheepish smiles (Dean). Looking up at Dean from his twisted position on his back, Seamus could marvel at the fact the Dean’s eyes had a ring of deepest brown on the rim of the iris, but lightened to a creamy chocolate colour before darkening close to the pure black pupil. The pupils themselves were slightly blown, and the look in his best friend’s eyes left him confused and a little hot under the collar. Surely Dean was as straight as one of his beloved pencils?

A clearing of a through caused an even deeper pink to tint the pale cheeks, so much so that the hue reached the golden sprinkle of freckles over the bridge of the Irishman’s nose. Freckles, Dean mused, that looked to have been placed by the dancing feet of a solar pixie. The artist’s best friend, and secret admirer, awkwardly maneuvered both Dean and himself to a standing position before skipping forward to happily greet Harry, his rather delectable arse, gloved by acid-washed denim, swinging along the way.
The darkly tanned teen bit back a sigh, and tried to ignore the sympathetic gaze from his former Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. It was bloody typical of his luck to fall for his best, very straight and Catholic, friend.

..~*~..

Luna had a feeling that big events would soon occur, but the thoughts had a warm, pleasant feeling about them so she wasn’t worried. She skipped into the Weasleys’ front garden after walking down the hill, nodded politely to the glaring garden gnome, and greeted her best friend, and brother in everything but blood, just as he arrived by port-key.

Neville had grown six inches since the last time that she had seen him, and his broader shoulders and bolder muscles had brought out his down-trodden confidence and nurtured it with a good deal of Sunshine and instincts. She accepted a warm hug, and smiled when he cradled her in his strong arms like she was made of the finest china. She bit back a giggle as he snuffled her hair and confirmed her speculation of an inheritance. The Nargles had been right!

They walked into the patch-work house hand-in-hand, but as soon as they entered the kitchen Neville pushed Luna behind his broad back and the glamour that had been covering him fell, revealing arching eyebrows and pointed ears as a deep, warning rumble began in his chest. The rumble was answered by four others, two of which were noticeably higher and weaker, whilst the other two were almost identical. The weaker growled quietened and stopped as the deeper growls grew louder, and the whole of the kitchen inhabitants froze whilst the three Dominants warned each other, two growls working in unison against a rougher, louder growl.
It seemed that Neville wasn’t the only Creature in The Burrow.

To be continued…

Chapter Text

Chapter Seven: A rún mo chroí

Seamus’ hand flew to the shamrock charm that rested in the hollow of his pale throat. His thumb rubbed the worn gold as his cinnamon-brown eyes darted around the room, the rest of his body frozen with instinctual fear. His gaze landed on Dean, and darkened with jealousy, for Dean had frozen whilst hugging Ginny in greeting, and they had not released each other. His gaze heated to glare at Ginny, whose hands rested on the nape of Dean’s smooth neck. The striapach had been practically throwing herself at Dean, and many others including Harry, for the past two years. ‘Ever since she grew some cíoch and learned how to use her báltaí,’ his mind supplied. His gorge rose at the thought of her báltaí, and his fright-pale skin tinged a little green.

Louder growls and the rustle of movement drew away his attention, and his heart was jumping like a hunted rabbit’s as he watched the three men move towards each other, two against one, their growls shaking their shirt-fronts. The glamour had dropped off all three of the dominant creatures, and their attributes were on full display as they sized each other up, and prepared to fight for a higher spot in the hierarchy.
The Twins stood tall at six foot and three inches. They had a slightly lanky swimmer’s build, with long arms and legs that ended with strong hands and big feet. Their hair was a halo of dancing flames, radiating an inch and a half from their scalps, a myriad of different shades of red, orange, and yellow. Pale, pointed ears peeked out of the fire, and their strong jaws were shadowed with stubble that shifted like smoke.

Neville was broader, with strong, wide shoulders and muscled arms. His hands were large and rough, and though he stood shorter at six feet his powerful physique and aura made him seem larger than his opponents. His face was that of a man in his late teens or early twenties, not that of the sixteen-year-old he was, and his leaf-green eyes were dark with promise. His before-tanned skin was light brown, with earthy tones and green-tinged veins instead of the human blue.

Eventually they stood inches apart, their fanged teeth bared and their eyes dark. Nostrils were flared, and breaths were deep as they scented the air between them and rumbled in their chests. They stared at each other, trying to get the other to submit to them. Neville’s eyes travelled back and forth between those of the Twins, and his gaze was heavy with strength, conviction, and dominance.

Once more under the heavy gaze a traitorous whine escaped from Fred’s throat, and the deep rumble in his chest quietened. He shifted his gaze from the more dominant male’s, and tilted his head to the side to bare his pale throat, a gesture of submission and acceptance of a place lower than Neville in the social hierarchy.

Neville’s growl changed tone momentarily as he accepted the other dominant’s submission, before he turned back to George, his growl deepening further than before.

George’s aura was stronger, larger without his brother by his side. The rumble that shook his shirt was almost too low for their heightened range of hearing, and he seemed taller and broader. George closed the few inch distance between them, and when they stood toe-to-toe he towered over the shorter dominant. Neville withstood the heavy, dominant gaze for a respectable time, but eventually the weight became too much to bear, and he indicated his submission in a similar manner to Fred’s.

George’s growl lightened to a pleased purr, and he gently nipped the bared neck before him, confirming his dominance, and ruffled the head of earthy brown curls with an affectionate hand. Neville relaxed his position as George turned to do the same to his brother, and a happy purr started in his chest.

A wide smile spread over Fred’s face after both George and Neville confirmed their dominance over him, and he span around to hug his equally smiling little brother. An embarrassing squeal left Harry’s throat as he was lifted and spun around, and when he started laughing some of the humans in the room relaxed, and breathed a sigh of relief. Fred passed him mid-twirl to George, who pressed a kiss to his blushing cheek before setting him down and nudging him towards Neville.

Harry’s instincts warned him away from approaching an unmated, non-familial Dominant, but logically he knew that Neville wouldn’t hurt him. Neville had always been loyal and gentle, and occasionally in the past he had displayed the same courage and conviction that he had just shown when negotiating the hierarchy. Neville smiled gently as Harry came closer to him and slowly opened his arms in invitation.
Harry jumped forwards into Neville’s arms with a joyful laugh, and purr-like noises came from every Creature in the room at the light-hearted sound. Neville laughed deeply, and securely held Harry’s waist as the Sub locked wrapped his arms and legs around him. A few moments into their embrace Harry stretched up to rub his soft cheek against the stubble-roughed one of the man holding him. He giggled (something that he would firmly deny), when Neville in turn nuzzled his neck, tickling the sensitive skin. Amongst his Pride and close friends it was not a secret that Harry was extremely ticklish.

Eventually, Harry squirmed about until his brother put him down, and once on the ground his span around smiling happily-
And froze.

They had quite the captive audience. The only two humans with neutral expressions were Seamus and Dean, whose faces were blank with shock. It was quite a surprise to discover that two of the people they had shared a bedroom with for five years were Creatures.

“WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON?” Ron demanded, breaking the silence. His freckles stood out on his anger-paled face as his eyes flashed. The attention of the room shifted to bear down on him, and he seemed to falter momentarily, but his famous temper soon outweighed the threat the room held. His mouth ran, spouting ugly words and opinions, oblivious to anything but his desire to bitch.

“Ickle Ronnikins,” Fred interrupted silkily. “We knew that you weren’t the fasted broom in the cupboard, but you’ve surprised us this time.” The other dominants nodded silently as they circled the human, growls building in their chest. This angered Ron further. His face flushed to shade of red-purple that caused Harry to flinch away, and to retreat until he was pulled into Remus’ embrace. Ron puffed out his slender chest and drew himself up to his full height of just over six foot. His pale hands were clenched tightly into white-knuckled fists.

“RONALD WEASLEY!”

Oh, the power of the Weasley Matriarch.

..~*~..

The dining room was oddly quiet. The usually rambunctious group was hushed by thought or action, either by their own discipline or that of others. Quiet conversations were scattered around the table, whilst others occupied themselves with the consumption of the Toad-In-A-Hole provided by the resident chef, hostess, and matriarch, Mrs Weasley. The conversations gradually finished until the silence was only broken by the sound of cutlery scraping on plates and the occasional cough.

After the plates and dishes of the main course had been charmed away into the kitchen sink, and supportive nod from Dean, Seamus opened his mouth and addressed the flashing neon pink elephant in the room.

“So… em… what are you? I mean, Harry, Neville and the Twins?” His thumb buffed his worn charm, a subconscious habit. Looks were exchanged across the scrubbed wooden table, and many of the company automatically turned to face Hermione for the explanation. Under their expectant gazes Hermione sat up straighter in her worn chair and spread her ink-stained fingers over the table before her, as if smoothing notes.
“We have identified Harry as one of the Katyarani; a magical creature of three forms- a ‘human’ form, a ‘true’ form of a humanoid figure with the attributes of a large feline, and a ‘big cat’ form, that of a big cat the height of the ‘human’ form at the feline’s shoulder. Katyarani are known for their ferocity whilst defending their Prides, and for their speed and strength.

“I’m quite sure that the twins are some kind of Fire Nymph, as they display the physical attributes that I have read about, though Nymphs are generally female…”

Two muffled growls from the ‘generally female’ creatures spurred her on to continue in her explanations.

“Neville, I think is something similar to a wood nymph?” She looked to Neville for assistance.

The attention of the room now shifted to him, Neville gave a kind smile and corrected Hermione.

“I am a Wood Elf.”
Hermione gasped.
“But Wood Elves are extinct!”

Neville’s face darkened at the thought of his hunted kin. He stared pointedly at Hermione, who quickly realised her mistake and apologised.
The company broke up soon after the apple pie had been consumed.

..~*~..

The room was pitch black, and Seamus and Dean could hear Ron snoring from the room across the landing.
“Shay… are you awake?” Dean whispered. The bedsprings of Seamus’ cot groaned as he rolled over to face his best friend.
“Aye. Can’t you sleep either? It’s got to be near midnight.” Seamus replied tiredly.
“No- my head’s too full.” Dean whispered, blinking slowly in the darkness.
“That’s a new one!” teased Seamus sleepily. Dean sensed his dopey grin, and replied with a playful shove to what he guessed was Seamus’ shoulder. There was silence for a few moments as the boys settled back into the warm, yet slightly scratchy sheets of their respective cots.
Seamus turned over to face Dean’s cot, his hand moving to rest inches from the empty space between them. Seconds lazed by in the dusk as the Burrow creaked around them. The Irishman drew a quiet breath.

“What’s yer head so full of then?” He asked softly, idly scratching the slight fluff on his jaw, the growth of that day’s beard.
Dean was quiet for a few moments, collecting his thoughts as he was prone to do. Seamus waited with the patience of a long-time friend.
“Now that they’re Creatures… they’re going to be different, aren’t they?” He asked, his voice deepened by sleep.
“Yeah, I think so… but they’ll still be them, you know. Just… with touchier tempers or somethin’.” A slight tone of worry betrayed his blasé reply.
Dead nodded, reassured for the moment, half asleep already as he turned to lie on his back, staring up at the darkness.
The boys were quiet once more; the soft sound of each other’s breathing lulling them like the soft rocking of a hammock in a gentle breeze.

Then Dean broke the quiet, and whispered a question, as he had for years.
“Will you say something for me, Seam? In Irish?”
With a not-so-long-suffering sigh, the freckle-dusted Irishman nodded sleepily.
“What d’ya want me ta say?”
“Doesn’t matter what you say,” Dean replied, following the years-old script. “I’m not going to understand it.”
“Okay.”
There was a pause, as Seamus gathered his thoughts and courage.
“A rún mo chroí.” He whispered into the dusky air. Secret of my heart.
“What did you say?”
“That the stars were out.”

There was a moment of soft breathing as both parties fought to keep themselves under control.
“It sounded nice.”
“Yeah.”
Seamus rolled over, turned his back towards his best friend. There was another beat of silence.
“Night, then.” Sleep well, my muse.
“G’Night, Dean.” I wish I could sleep in your arms.
They fell asleep within seconds of each other.

..~*~..

The scent of blooming flowers and sun-warmed grass filled his nostrils just as the warm embrace of nature filled his heart with the feeling of home. He paused for a moment to bathe in the golden light, to immerse himself in the vibrancy of the garden. The weeds flourished with the blooms and trees, insects of a hundred different colours and species danced in the gentle breeze that carried the sweetness of fallen fruit. As he listened, a gentle smile bloomed across his face, his sensitive eyes veiled from the light by pale, green-tinged eyelids.

A soft, sweet soprano drifted to him on the breeze, gently rousing him from his abstraction. The lyrics had faded in the journey, but the melody held strong like a teardrop of glass. Eerie yet auspicious, the song reminded him of his purpose in the garden.

So, with a fond smile on pale pink lips, he searched for the songbird, his quarry.

After a brief tussle with an over-friendly fern and a conversation with a rather superstitious Magpie, whose family were indeed well, he found her.
Bathed in the golden light of summer, her hair shining unbound, dancing softly in the breeze, she sang.

“Wings of silver flutter gently,
Born of flower sweet and friendly,
Bathe in nectar dance in breezes,
Float on happiness”

Before her, on the very silvered wings she sang of, fluttered a member of the Daoine Sidhe.

“Sharp as needles fierce beauty,
Gilded as the Snorkack’s horn,
Crimson as drops of ruby,
My gift to you caught by a thorn”

Fierce, fanged and feared, the fae of legend demanded blood-pleasantries. Truth could be tasted in the blood, and the only way to avoid offending the ill-reputed Creatures was to offer a drop of blood.

"Blood protection sweet affection,
With your swarm allegiance lies,
A drop of blood is little payment,
For you may just save our lives"

Once a bond had been formed by blood-truth, legend states that the Daoine Sidhe are one of the most loyal and fiercely protective allies a person a can make. Once accepted, the person becomes a distant member of the swarm.

“So dance my sisters, dance my brothers,
Joyous this alliance be,
Bathe in nectar, dance in breezes,
Forever we will cherish thee.”

There was a moment of quiet as the fae gazed into Luna, as if reading her every thought, past and present, and weighing the truths cradled in her soul. Slowly, the fae descended in a masterly controlled hover, his silvery wings a soundless blur, to delicately land on Luna’s finger. He knelt, and with a precise wave of an elegant hand, the droplet of red was dispersed into a vaporous arch before him. The being closed his violet eyes and inhaled deeply, his petal-swathed chest swelling as gill-like protrusions fluttered on his throat. The airborne vapour was drawn into his nostril-like orifices, and after a very brief moment a thin, blue mist began to waft out of the gills. As the mist dispersed in the gentle breeze, a quiet trill, too high-pitched for human hearing, sounded from trees and bushes around the trio, led by the regal fae that had fluttered up from Luna’s hand. The smell of pollen and nectar in the garden intensified as the air shimmered with half-concealed wings of fae. The trill sounds for some precious moments, before it faded out as the fae dispersed.

Luna remained stationary for a moment, a fond smile on her lips, and the gentle breeze played with the flowers in her hair.

“Hello Neville,” she murmured with a smile, before swivelling around on a bare-footed heel, her long tie-dyed skirts swirling and dancing in the scent-filled air. “I was wondering when you’d come down.” Their smiling eyes met, dancing green contrasting lovingly with slivered grey.
“Lunch is ready.” Neville divulged, a glint in his eyes as he whispered. His reply was a tinkling, bell-like laugh and skirt-swishing twirl. Luna skipped a few paced before halting to look over her shoulder. An answering glint in her eye caused an amused smile to bloom across his hansom face.
“I know!” She sang, the ever-present radish earrings swaying as she tipped back her head to gaze at the few wisps of white cloud that decorated the robin-shell-blue sky.
“I know that you know,” he growled teasingly. “Come on, I’m hungry and you are too.”

Luna answered after a moment more of cloud-gazing with a giggle and an amused look, to which Neville retaliated by closing the distance between them, lifting her up, spinning her around until she was dizzy, and throwing her over his shoulder in a fireman’s lift. When she struggled a little he tickled the sensitive soles of her feet until she gave up. He then proceeded to escort his mildly vexatious best friend, and heart-sister, inside the Burrow for lunch.

All in a day’s work.

..~*~..

The cheerful sound of tinkling china accompanied by soft footfalls and rustling robes drew Narcissa’s attention away from watching her children play in the garden. She turned gracefully, the fond smile that warmed her face brightening in greeting and thanks as Severus set down the silver tray on which the delicately floriated china was balanced. Neither of the long-term friends spoke for peaceful breaths of time, the silence companionable as they seated themselves upon sturdy, wooden chairs that were cushioned for practical comfort. The worn table they sat at was habitually bare; however upon Narcissa’s arrival small accessories such as table cloths and delicate china had materialized, often from cobweb-swathed trunks and dust-covered cupboards.

Their attention was drawn to the garden by muffled shrieks and giggles. Draco and Blaise were play-fighting, which traditionally ended with Blaise on his back in the grass, pinned down by Draco’s superior bulk as the latter tickled him into submission. Ever the wily and upstart opponent, Blaise fought dirty, often flicking sparks at Draco’s sensitive ears and tugging on Draco’s tail with his own.

Entertained by the childish delight showcased before them, Narcissa and Severus drank their Earl Grey, nibbled biscuits, and gradually migrated together, until finally Narcissa’s head came to rest upon Severus’ dark-robed shoulder. It was one of her favourite pillows.
When the tea had been drunk, the biscuits diminished to crumbs, and the entertainment concluded for the hour, Severus pressed a kiss to the silken blond strands that haloed Narcissa.

“I have missed this,” he murmured softly, slightly uncomfortable in revealing the emotion he would habitually restrain. “How long has it been, since we last enjoyed one another’s company in this way?” There was no urgency in the conversation, a diamond in the rough of many years of strife.
“It must have been a decade, at least.” She replied quietly. She breathed a long sigh, a bitter-sweet combination of exhaustion and contentment.
They remained together, isolated in a private bubble of tranquillity, for unmeasured moments of peace.
After all the time that had passed, Severus and Narcissa had learned to enjoy the little things.

...~*~...

They hadn’t avoided the subject. Honestly. They had just been busy. Busy with the shop, busy with visiting home. Busy with testing, marketing, inventing. They hadn’t avoided it at all.
But they hadn’t discussed it.
After they had woken on the twelfth of July, their magic thrumming, pulsing like a beating heart around them, they had known that their Mate had Awakened. As of yet, they had not discussed this development.
Of course they weren’t avoiding it.
It wasn’t as though the longing of their hearts and souls, reaching out for their Mate had faded. No, if anything the ache in their chests had strengthened.
But for some reason, neither of them had felt the urge to discuss the matter. Something was yet to come, an action, an occurrence that would break the ice, the dam, and allow them to freely question and revel in the recent epiphany.
Their Mate had Awakened!
Their Mate was now of the mating age, ready to be courted, claimed, bred…

~Dream~

A cheerful chorus of birdsong sang through the air, accompanied by the rhythmic percussion of hundreds of bees. Sunlight glinted off blades of vibrant grass, heating the land with golden warmth. The flicking of a black tail in their peripheral vision caught the attention of the two Dominant males.

A soft, tinkling laugh rang through the glade, which caused the twins to rotate on their bare heels, amber eyes searching for the amused party. All they could find was the blur of the tail, which seemed to slip into and out of tangibility like smoke. The laughter faded, accompanied by the rustle of bare feet running on grass.

The Doms made chase.

The lush woodland that cradled the glade both absorbed and reflected sound, rendering the act of chase by sound almost impossible.
However, they would not be defeated.

They focussed instinctually on the bond, the tugging in their chest that had become a constant, aching presence that had scattered minds and occupied thoughts. Under the intense scrutiny the bond bloomed in their chests, opening up a connection that offered up the position of their prey like a mother offering a child a treat.

The hunt was on.

Ethereal wings of flame materialised on the muscled backs of the hunters, streamlining and accelerating movement. Footsteps lightened until their soles barely kissed the ground as they sped after their quarry. Their eyes and minds wide open, their nostrils flared, their eyes fierce and determined, their whole beings focused one singular thing; they made chase.

They leaped over fallen trunks, dove through slaloms of saplings, twisted away from curling vines, and fought needled brambles, only increasing the speed and fervour of their pursuit with every obstacle they encountered.
The hunt continued for unmeasured time, counted only by harsh breaths, stubborn heartbeats, and the frenzied exchange of sensory information through the bond.

They were close.

The footsteps of their quarry were fast, yet weakened, for the flight had tired the prey. As they burst through a copse of young oak trees they finally caught sight of the one that had haunted the back their minds.
Leaves and cobwebs were caught in dark, wavy hair that was damp with exertion. Lean muscles strained under darkly tanned skin.

When they entered the very clearing that had hosted the beginning of the hunt their prey stumbled over a small clump of grass, and was off-balanced by the great weight of their leathery wings. The small form tottered and began to fall, only to be caught at the last moment by two pairs of pale, muscled arms.

The bond seemed to explode in a cacophony of emotions, hormones, and sensations. All three Creatures gasped, shocked by the bombardment of feeling.

Moments passed uncounted, the bondmates isolated in a sphere of sensation until finally, the bond settled with the abruptness of an elastic band snapping into place.

Scents flooded the embracing triad; cinnamon, hot ginger, baked apples, warm cotton, gunpowder, warm rain, tiramisu, and spiced hot chocolate.
Air around them began to flicker, the dream fading away.

The final exchange through the bond before they were torn apart was hurried, but ultimately what they desired.
“George.”
“Fred.”
“Blaise.”
“We will find you, little one.”
“Hurry.”

...~*~…

A rustling of sheets and the quickening of breaths first alerted Draco to his brother’s disquiet. The exhausted sub had climbed into bed with him and fallen asleep on his chest after a long, entertaining day of playing in the hidden garden of Spinner’s End. Blaise very rarely slept alone, for without the presence of a more dominant pride member he felt vulnerable and he was plagued by flashbacks and nightmares that were triggered by the anxiety that solitude evoked.

Over the course of the warm night Blaise had wriggled and writhed out for under the light linens of Draco’s bed, sporadically emitting soft growls and whines that were often accompanied by twitches of his tail and wings. A soft sheen of sweat now shrouded his body, and his breaths came quick, often catching in his chest.

The growls and whines increased in volume, and were joined by yips of excitement and grunts of exertion. The volume rose accompanied by the twitches, until Blaise’s body vibrated with tension.

He suddenly went still, and began to mutter.
Abruptly, a clear word broke through.

“Hurry!”

…~*~…

“He never fails to amaze me. Every day I realise how far we can to losing him, and how many times we dodged the hex.” He chuckled wetly, his throat catching.
“He’s so precious, Siri. So bloody precious. I’d be lost without him; I’d be with you now, wherever you are.” His throat constricted as his amber eyes welled with guilt and sorrow.
“Every day he heals. He grows silent less and less, eats more, relaxes more, laughs more. He barely flinches anymore when someone makes a particularly loud noise.” He smiled wryly as a tear escaped the confines of his eyelashes.
“I wish you were here.”

A tear fell onto the faded picture he held gently between callused fingers; a droplet of old sorrows on a youthful, smiling face.
Sirius grinned cheerfully and winked at the camera, a glimpse of the man he would soon become gleaming in his intelligent eyes. The captured image was oblivious to the torment of his soon-to-be-mate, so contained he was in his snapshot of joy.

“We miss you, Siri.”
“So much.”

…~*~…

He’d made up his mind. He knew what he wanted, what he had wanted for a long time, and he was going to get it. Hermione.
He wanted Hermione. He wanted to bury his hands in her frizzy hair and push her face into his crotch. He wanted to fondle the perky breasts that she so teasingly hid behind frumpy shirts and jumpers. He wanted to drag her attention away from Harry, the little shit, and her books, and have her only focus be him. The King.

He was so sick of being the side-kick, the younger brother, the poor, gangly ginger in the corner.

He would have Hermione.

He would be a man.

He would be her king.

…~*~…

“Cub, calm down!” Remus chided gently. Harry had been bouncing off the proverbial walls for the last hour or so, as the nerves of the morning had morphed into the exhilarating anticipation of his first full moon run with Moony. Harry was currently rolling around in the long grass at the edge of The Burrow’s garden, a no-mans-land of a breadth of twenty feet between the woodland and the gnome-infested garden. Occasionally Harry would pause to bat at a moth that fluttered by his furred face, or to leap upon a cricket that sounded in the grass. In response to his instruction, Remus received only the flick of a velveteen black ear.

The moon was currently shrouded by cloud and mist, as it had been for quite a while.

Though it was somewhat tiresome, Harry’s exuberance calmed Remus’ nerves. He had never before ran with Harry during the full moon, and though he knew Moony saw him as their cub, he couldn’t help but worry that something would go wrong.

As the night proved, however, Remus’ fears were unfounded.

When the moon was finally released from its molecular cage, Remus transformed smoothly and somewhat painlessly into Moody, encouraged by the cub-like yips and grunts that Harry emitted. The two sentient animals nuzzled and scent-marked each other with the glands on their cheeks, revelling in the familiar bond they shared. They soon set off to play in the woods.

Bats were chased, the moon was greeted by yowls and howls, and the occasional snack was found rustling in the undergrowth.
By call of the lark at dawn, the two were covered in the debris of the undergrowth, flecked with mud and water from the occasional puddle, and thoroughly exhausted.

With a final melodious call of farewell to the moon that had enabled the night’s excitement, the enervated pair retired to their bedding.

...~*~…

They woke snuggled together, cocooned in mud-smudged, leaf-strewn nest of old sheets and blankets. They were both exhausted after their long night of excitement, yet they were content. Thought their muscles aches, their hearts and minds were at rest- they felt happy and safe.
They hadn’t felt so in a very long time.

They spent the rest of the day sharing cuddles, reading to each other, and playing around sleepily.

...~*~…

A hand on his shoulder jolted Dean from his artistic focus, causing him to jolt the pencil across the page, ruining the sketch he had been working on. He gave a frustrated sigh, flipped the sketchpad closed, and turned to berate whoever had ruined his work.

“Oi, could you not-”
“Hiya, Dean!” Ginny interrupted, smiling brightly as she flipped her long, red hair over her practically bare shoulder.
“Hi Ginny.” He replied, his frustration ebbing a little- she hadn’t ruined his work on purpose. “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, I just wanted to have a chat.” She stated idly, playing with her necklace as she looked at him through her magically darkened and thickened lashes. Dean swivelled on his wooden stool so that he could face her properly. He rubbed a charcoal-smeared hand over his curls in an effort to lift away the vision that had forced his pencil to paper.

“Alright…” He replied confusedly.
“I wanted you to know that I’ve see the way you’ve been looking at me.” She told him, her eyes sparking with mischief. Dean furrowed his brow in confusion.
“Looking at you?” He asked. Ginny giggled prettily, and hit him gently on the arm. Her hand lingered after the action.
“Shush, silly, you don’t need to act shy- I know what you want.” She stepped even closer to him, moving her pushed-up breasts onto his eye-level. “I know what that look in your eye meant, Dean.”

She leant forward to whisper into his ear, her glossed lips but millimetres from his flesh.
“You want me, baby. And I might just let you have me.”

Before he had a chance to react, she swooped in and placed her lips on his.

A gasp from the doorway caused Ginny to pull away.

All they saw were the last wisps of Seamus’ hair.

…~*~…

“Shay-” He called, catching Seamus by his arm.
“What?” Seamus shook him off and continued to stomp his way through the house.
“It wasn’t- It wasn’t what it looked like.” He called at Seamus’ back.
“I don’t care.”
“Really, I had nothing to- what?”

Seamus stopped, and turned around the face Dean, stony-faced.
“I said that I don’t care. What you do with her is none of my business.”
“Seamus, I didn’t do anything with her.” Dean pleaded, Seamus had to understand.
“As I said, I don’t care! Whether or not you’re meetin’ with her is none of my business!”
“Seamus, really-”
“Oh go hifreann leat! Leave me alone.”

With that he turned on his heel, and disappeared into the furrows of the Burrow.

…~*~…