Chapter 1: prologue
Harry Potter sat in silence, alone on his favorite rock in a secluded area by the shore of the black lake and the forbidden forest. He just sat there, staring blankly out on the lake. Not really seeing the beauty of the full moon reflecting on the lake, not aware of its presence or how late it had gotten. His mind was on the events of the ministry of magic a few weeks prior where he almost lost his godfather and gotten his friends injured. A sudden low growl pulled him from his thoughts causing him to freeze before slowly turning his gaze to the forest border a few meters away.
Large, demonically glowing yellow eyes stared back at him from within. He slowly backed away towards the castle as the large shape moved closer. His mind was screaming at him, that he was being stupid, knowing far too well what would happen if he did as his instincts pounded at him but his body refused to listen, his instincts overriding rational thought. He ran and ran fast. As he predicted, the large predator gave chase.
While Harry was fast, he couldn’t outrun this four legged beast and despite knowing it was the stupidest thing he could do in his position, he looked back over his shoulder towards the beast to gauge the distance between them, slowing him just a tiny amount. Pain flared on his face as the beasts claw raked down his face, tearing, ripping it. He lost his footing, twisting his ankle as he did and tumbled to the ground. He barely had time to orient himself let alone get back on his feet before he felt sharp fangs pierce the skin between his shoulder and neck as the beast crawled on top of him.
Surprisingly the bite was rather shallow, almost gentle. The beast suddenly let go with a low rumbling purr only to be replaced with a rough tongue licking at it. Just then he saw the light of a spell speeding towards them and the beast withdrew from his prone form with a roar of pain, another spell flew and the beast retreated as more came in quick succession.
Harry lay panting as the adrenalin slowly dispersed, he turned his head towards his savior and was mildly surprised to see professor Snape running towards him, his face pale in shock, fear and concern.
Severus Snape was sure he had never been so frightened in his life, his close encounter with Lupin in wolf form being a close second. He was honestly shocked at how frightened he was on behalf of another, but seeing the small form beneath the terrifyingly large beast frightened him to the core, especially considering the full moon above. He feared he was too late, that the child was dead or worse, doomed to the cursed, wretched life of a werewolf.
As he got closer and started casting curses, he was somewhat relieved to find it was distinctively feline in shape, but it was short lived because there were many feline creatures’ bite that could be far worse than that of a werewolf. The creature fled and Severus was relived to find a frightened, injured, but alive Harry Potter lying on the ground panting.
“Come on, Potter. Let’s get you to the hospital wing.” He said gently as he helped the small teen to his feet, wincing slightly at the sight of the boy’s mangled face.
He left the boy on of the beds as he went to collect a few potions and called a house-elf to get the medi-witch, knowing the woman wouldn’t appreciate him entering her private quarters at this time of the night.
It didn’t take long before the woman in question came out, the morning rope covering her nightgown indicated she had already gone to bed. She looked at him in askance of why she had been called this late, when she finally noticed the blood smeared child and with a mumble of “dear merlin” she got to work.
Madam Pomfrey examined his wounds closely, most of his injuries superficial and quick to heal. It was the bite and claw marks that concerned her the most. Both looked downright nasty, but was thankfully not as bad as they looked. With a few quickly cast spells, the various cuts he had gotten from his tumble on the ground were knitting themselves together, leaving no trace of them ever having been there. But the claw marks and bite mark proved stubborn.
They were both healed easily enough, but left rather angry, red looking scars behind that the medi-witch couldn’t remove much to her puzzlement. She ran a few diagnostic spells and while she got some strange readings it didn’t shown anything of concern nor had it, considering the full moon, be of the werewolf variety, to which all three had sighed in relief.
“Do you have any idea of which creature bit him, Severus?” she asked the potion master, as he was applying bruise balm on the diminutive teen. The male shook his head “no, unfortunately I didn’t get a close look. Judging from the shape it was definitely feline.”
“Mr. Potter? Can you tell us what happened?”
The boy drew his legs to his chest, making himself even smaller and fragile looking. Severus could tell he had been shaken badly and while the boy was used to attacks on his life, it was usually of the human variety. “I went to the lake to clear my head after what happened at the ministry. I must have spaced out as I didn’t notice how late it was. Next thing I know, I heard a growl behind me. I saw a pair of yellow eyes staring at me from the tree line. I ran.”
Back in the forbidden forest, the beast was pacing in agitation. Cursing itself in its mine for its stupidity. He had been out for his monthly run in the forest and had come upon the boy by chance. He had been enchanted by the mere sight of him, stopping him dead in his tracks. He looked so lonely perched on that lone rock and wanted nothing more than curl up in the boy’s lap to ease his loneliness.
A gust of wind blew past, finally catching the boy’s scent. ‘MATE!’ his instincts screamed. His mate… his beautiful little sub was right in front of him. He didn’t notice the pleased growl he was making before the boy suddenly turned and caught his stare.
He could immediately tell his mate was too young, too young to recognize him for what he was to him as was evident by the fear in those beautiful emerald orbs. Then, without warning, the boy took off towards the castle. ‘NO’ his mind screamed, he couldn’t let the boy leave, his inner beast wouldn’t let him, not without at least seeing his face clearly and immediately gave chase.
His mate was fast for a human, he could barely keep himself from puffing out his chest in pride for having such a mate. He was closing in and when he was close enough he set off in a powerful jump to get him the last bit of distance. His eyes widened in horror when his mate suddenly turned to look over his shoulder, slowing him just a bit, just as gravity kicked in. his massive paw came down, and came down hard, tearing his mate’s face apart.
His mate tumbled to the ground with an agonized scream of terror. He felt awful, but could do nothing as his inner beast took control. The chase was a part of their mating ritual after all, and wouldn’t end until he claimed his mate. While the boy was too young to mate with him, he could mark him as his, staking his claim before another could steal him from him. He bit down on the nape of his neck as gently as he could, he licked at the wound he made there with a pleased rumble at the taste of his mate, embedding his saliva into his bloodstream and thus his scent into the boy, marking him as his.
A spell hit him out of nowhere, and he got off his mate with a roar of pain and prepared to defend his injured mate. He immediately recognized his attacker as Professor Snape and allowed himself to relax and run for safety, knowing the professor wouldn’t harm ever harm a student. His mate would be safe with him.
He watched them leave and he hoped his mate would forgive him for what he had done tonight. He had scared his mate, harmed him. His mate was young… so small… he most likely didn’t even know what he was it wouldn’t be for another few years before he learned, guessing him to be a first or second year with how small he was and resigned himself to the far too long wait.