Chapter 1: The Beating
Harry sits anxiously on a cot in the Hogwarts infirmary, thinking about how he got himself into such a predicament.
"Boy! What did I say about slacking off?"
"Sorry Uncle Vernon," Harry answers sitting by the lawn mower, sweat pouring from every pore on my body. "M'hot and dizzy."
"Is that an excuse!?!" Vernon roared starting to go purple with anger.
With wide eyes, Harry quickly scrambled to start the mower only for the belt to snap before he could move it an inch. True terror begins to course through his body, causing his breathing to pick up.
"Sorry! Sorry! M'so sorry."
"YOU STUPID, UNGRATEFUL, LITTLE WHELP."
Before Harry could blink a terrible pain erupts from his left cheek knocking him off his feet.
"This is what ungrateful freaks like you deserves." Harry hears Uncle Vernon move around before another gruesome ache spews from his back.
"Ep!" accidental yelp flares from deep inside Harry's aching chest adding to his misery, which only fuels Vernon's rage.
After 5 minutes of the constant assault, which Harry realizes is coming from the broken belt, he can't hold his screams anymore.
End of flashback
It turns out he passed out shortly after, but his screams caused several neighbors to call for help. Luckily one of them was Ms.Figgs who must have flood Headmaster Dumbledore to take him back to Hogwarts.
A hand on his shoulder rouses him from his thoughts and causes Harry to flinch.
Dumbledore himself is standing next to him with a sad smile, the same ever-present twinkle in his eyes.
"My apologies my boy. It wasn't my intention to frighten you. How do you feel?"
Nothing "Ok I guess." They must have me on the strongest pain potion there is because for the first time since he was 4 Harry felt absolutely nothing.
"Yes well, Poppy managed to heal most of your injuries and give you something for your pain."
The hand that was on his shoulder leaves as the headmaster conjures a chair and takes a pouch out of his robes.
"Lemon drop?" Harry's mouth waters at the site of the only food he'd been offered in the last 3 days. Grabbing the bag with a quick thank you, he starts shoveling the tiny candies into his mouth ignoring the dull ache he starts to feel somewhere in his body. After more than half the bag was gone Harry hands the bag back to the Headmaster only for a fruit tart to be shoved in his hands, which he inhales.
Proceeding almost immediately after an overwhelming pain overtakes his entire midsection. Running into the attached bathroom Harry proceeds to empty his stomach until he's dry heaving. A delicate hand placed in the middle of his back produces an involuntary flinch and causes his stomach to churn dangerously.
"It's okay, Hary." It's Poppy, Madame Pomfrey, the school medi-witch. Only Madame Pomfrey.
"Here," a potion in shoved under his nose, which Harry gulps down. Although before the potion could hit his stomach Harry was back over the toilet.
"Honestly Albus you should know better than to give a starving child candy as a first meal." he hears a familiar silky voice coming from the door frame.
Feeling a little better now that he doesn't even have stomach acid he tries to stand only to become instantly dizzy. It's only when Harry finds myself falling that he realizes how awful he'd become in such a short time. Strong arms loop around his waist pulling him into a warm chest.
Harry whimpers as he's moved, burrowing into the robes of whoever is carrying him, not use to the feeling. Once at the bed instead of being lowered, Harry feels himself being shifted and place onto a lap with another potion bottle placed under his nose.
"No," Harry whines hiding his face in... black robes? Sudden mortification overtakes any pain that was there mere moments ago. With a small grunt, he tries to wiggle out of his potion professor's arms, not wanting to give the man any more fuel to insult him with.
"Mr. Potter I'd advise you drink this then answer a few questions. And stop with this exorbitant movement." Harry stills, drinks, and feels instantly better.
"When did the abuse start," freezes again.
"Severus, we agreed to..." Dumbledore begins but Harry is quick to interrupt.
"I'm not abused," he states looking at the people in the room with utter confusion.
They all stare back with various emotion; Poppy with a sad, almost disappointed look, Dumbledore with a forlorn smile and Snape who's normal stone features give way to slight concern before manifesting into exasperation.
"And what would you claim the reason for ending up here."
"A punishment that went a little too far."
"A little?" Harry takes a breath at Snape's raised eyebrow and tries once again to get off his lap only for the arms to tighten their hold.
"My uncle goes too far sometimes, but it was well deserved."
"Well deserved?" This time it's Dumbledore who looks at Harry with a haunted expression.
"Do tell what you did to deserved such a punishment."
"I wasn't working," I confess. "I didn't-don't feel well and when I did start the belt to the lawn mower broke."
"I fail to see how you feeling ill or the malfunction of muggle equipment is a fault of yours." At Snape's disinterested tone Harry gives an exasperated sigh.
"It doesn't matter. He usually punishes me like that anyway." Why did I say that?
The room freezes.
"I'm sorry I didn't mean to..."
"It's okay, Harry. Now would be the perfect time to do that full body scan." Madame Pomfrey moves around to the side of the cot I'm finally laid on.
"You'll feel a slight tingle but try not to move too much." After getting a nod the medi-Witch says something in Latin resulting in a parchment and quill to appear, writing down every injury or serious illness he'd ever suffered from.
After two minutes of constant writing Poppy turned from worried to horrified as the list continued while Dumbledore's somber expression turned into one of deep sorrow. Even Snape's stone features turned into a look of concern mixed with a little confusion, shooting quick glances from the growing list to Harry's body.
When four minutes pass Harry wants nothing more than to curl up and never come out. The pitty was so palpable that it was giving him the desire to run back into the bathroom and vomit everything he didn't eat.
Finally, the 5-minute mark hits and the quill stops and everyone breaths a sigh of relief until they see the length of the parchment.
"Harry, you can move now." Before she even finishes her sentence Harry has his knees up to his chest, arms tightly wrapped around himself.
"Great Merlin!" Dumbledore exclaims as he, Severus and Madame Pomfrey crowd around in order to see.
"Has he broken just about every bone."
"And contracted pneumonia on six different occations."
"Mr. Potter care to explain how you've had so many infractions while you state that you haven't suffered at the hands of your caring-" he sneers the word- "family." The Potion Professor's voice disrupts the other adults from the appalling results.
"I never said that they cared or even liked me, but abuse is the bad or improper treatment of someone."
"Which you have not been subjected to?"
"I suppose not."
"You suppose?" again with that mocking eyebrow.
"You wouldn't understand, Snape." I can't help but snap feeling panic bubble up.
"Then please explain your vast knowledge on what is and isn't considered abuse."
"I'M NOT ABUSED!" I rapidly take a deep breath, not feeling a tidbit better, but continue anyhow in a much calmer tone directed towards the present Headmaster.
"I deserved exactly what I got. Surely you know what was happening and placed me there so that I wouldn't end up a spoiled brat."
"Harry," Dumbledore has never looked more his age than this moment. "You must realize that this is never my intention for any child, therefore I had no knowledge of such interactions. As such you most certainly did not deserve what you have been through."
Harry was drowning. Bearly keeping his head above all the intense emotion running rapidly inside his head. All of a sudden Harry finds himself unable to draw a breath. He vaguely hears distant voices calling his name but is unable to make out much more than that.
"It's ok. Hush child."
Chapter 2: The Family
"It's ok. Hush child." The smoothest, most relaxing voice Harry had ever heard suddenly pierced through the fog clouding Harry's mind. Someone's hand was rubbing his back as Harry realized that he'd been moved into someone's lap. Slowly his breathing evened out and his mind cleared from the fog due to his panic.
"That's it. There you go." The voice was back, chasing away the rest of the panic and surrounding Harry in a calm cocoon of warmth.
He glanced up, the panic now completely receding, only for it to come back tenfold when he saw familiar blonde hair.
"No. No. Let go," Harry began to struggle, noticing that Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey have left him with Professor Snape and the father of his main bully.
"Potter, there is no reason for you to behave in such a matter."
"Of course I have a reason," The child spat out, momentarily stopping his struggling to look at the adults. "I'm being held by the father of my enemy, the one teacher in the whole school that hates my guts now is my guardian, and Draco is definitely going to tell all of Slytherin about my home life so I get picked on even more." By the time Harry's little speech was through he had shied away from the adults to curl in on himself, thinking of all the terrible things that could happen.
"Po- Harry," Lucius starts. "I know you haven't gotten along with most of the family you're now in, but I hope that we can put that past us and move on." Harry found himself nodding along with him, wanting to finally be apart of a family that would except him.
"Ok, Mr. Malfoy," Harry answered, only for the blonde to shake his head in displeasure.
"None of that Mr. Malfoy business. You may call me any variations of father, the same with Severus. Is that clear?"
"Yes." The small boy acknowledges.
"Yes, what?" Came the instant reply from Lucius.
"Yes, Father." Harry decided on the least familiar variation, not quite comfortable in either of their presences enough but wanting to obey their rule if only to stop any punishment.
"Very good." He turned to Severus, who moved to sit opposite of the pair during their exchange. "Would you find it favorable for us to go over rules now or after he meets the rest of his new family?"
"Now would be suitable."
Turning back to face Harry, Lucius clears his that to get the distracted boy's undivided attention.
"Now, while there aren't many rules, we expect you to follow each one of them. Failure to do so will result in a swift punishment." A flash of fear crossed Harry's face at the word punishment before he could mask it. At his old relatives' house, punishment always meant a lashing with whatever object was near, typically Uncle Vernon's belt.
"Calm down," Severus tried to soothe the boy while Lucius bounced Harry on his knee in an attempt to stop a panic attack before it would start.
"We are most certainly not like your relatives. As such, do not fear that we will beat you. Punishment will include spankings, timeout, or writing lines. Do you understand, Harry?" After receiving a curt nod, Lucius noticed a slight shimmer coming from the boy. Deciding to file it for later, he instead addressed the potion Professor once more.
"Did Madame Pomfrey clear him?"
"Yes, she gave strict instructions for him to rest along with numerous potions to reverse what those horrid muggles did."
"Good. It's getting late and I would like to get the children reacquainted and in bed by a decent hour."
Upon standing, Harry was allowed to walk down to the dungeons behind the two men in awkward silence.
"You really live in the school's dungeons?" Harry blurted out louder than he meant to, only to flinch back when the pair stopped and turned to him.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-" Lucius silenced him with an amused chuckle.
"It's quite alright, Harry. No, we don't live here year-round. When the Headmaster flood and told us about your condition, it was decided that we would spend a few days here for you to get used to your new family and for your healing." At that Severus turned to the door Harry hadn't even realized they had reached.
As emotionally taxing as the day had been for Harry, he refused to allow anyone to know of his true fear and anxiety about seeing Draco after the horrid year he'd experience due to the blonde and the other Slytherins. Therefore, when Severus opened the door and led the way to a small living room where not only Draco was seated, but also Theodore Nott and Blaise Zabini he was quick to mask his true feelings with anger.
"Harry, I would like to formally introduce you to Draco, Theo, and Blaise. They don't know the exact reason behind your permanent stay with us just as you don't know theirs, so I expect nothing but respect from both parties," Lucius stated looking from Harry to the other boys.
"Now there is one more matter to discuss before I send you to bed. Why are you wearing a glamor?" Harry looked confused for a moment.
"What's a glamor?" He finally asked.
"It figures Potter doesn't know what a glamour is." Draco's voice rang out, causing a wave of inadequacy to overtake Harry. It wasn't his fault that he was raised by muggles and they didn't go over glamours during class. At least he didn't think so.
"Shove off Malfoy nobody asked you."
"That's enough from both of you," Snape stated calmly, not that it masked the hidden warning. "Mr. Potter if you would stand still, we can remove it. Your glamour seems to be produced by your accidental magic."
Without much flare, Lucius took out his wand and pointed it at Harry, a whispered spell leaving his lips which produced a blinding white light.
Once the light had cleared, Harry's new appearance was revealed. Instead of The Proud Boy-Who-Lived-To-Be-Better-Than-Others stood a small child, looking at the other occupants of the room with terror-filled eyes. The shock of this new development floored everyone, even Lucius who still has his wand pointed at Harry. The silence was suffocating and it stretched out, making Harry more and more uncomfortable and frightened. It wasn't until the tears have gathered in his impossibly wide green eyes, looking as if a complete breakdown was only a hair away, that someone finally said something. It was even more of a shock that it was Theo who spoke first only to exclaim,
"He's so cute." Everyone's head whipped over to the boy only to quickly look back at Harry, who let out a deep heart-wrenching sob. Before anyone could gather their bearings long enough to process what was happening, Theo had quickly crossed the room and swung the small boy into his arms, hugging him close.
"How can anybody hurt something so tiny and adorable!" As if to prove his point, Theo thrust him towards the rest of the family. It took every ounce of self-control for the two adults not to coo at the adorable site. Little Harry dangled in front of Theo with only the older boy's hands under his armpits. Due to his new size, Harry's robes and trousers were huge, causing him to swim in the extra fabric. His wide green eyes half filled with tears still darted across the room until they landed on Lucius, who stood directly in front of the pair.
"I'll show him around then we'll be in my room," Theo cradled Harry in his arms as he left the room.
Chapter 3: Touch Starve
Just a little 1900 word filler to set up the next chapter. A look into the next few days before things really start going downhill for little Harry.
The next morning Lucius found his three youngest at the dinner table. A struggling Harry was sat upon Blaise's knee while Theo held a spoon of eggs.
"Just a few more bits. You're so small a stiff wind could blow you away." Blaise tries to reason while trying to nudge the spoon passed Harry's resisting lips.
"No!" He turns his head away, not allowing a sliver of food to pass his lips. "Let me go! Don't want it."
"What seems to be the problem?" Lucius fully steps into the room surveying the large breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, and assorted fruit placed in the table thinking about how the elves outdid themselves.
"Harry made breakfast but refuses to eat a bit of it." That has Harry momentarily stopping his struggles to glare a hole at the ground. It wasn't that he didn't want to eat only that he wasn't quite used to eating rich food as of yet. As much as he wanted to stuff his face in a way not unlike Ron to quell his hunger he knew it'd only come right back up.
"I'm not hungry," is what the boy says instead. He felt there was no need to explain his predicament as no one usually believes whatever he says.
"As that may be," Lucius interjects as he takes his spot at the head of the table and picks up the newspaper set there, " breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not to mention you need the nourishment."
"What's it matter to you if I get proper nourishment?"
Choosing to ignore the comment he instead focused on The Daily Prophet as he watches Harry escape Blaise's grasp and places himself on the far end of the table. It isn't until the petite child fills a plate with fruit and a slice of toast that he goes back to reading. Soon the residential potion master comes prowling into the room followed closely by an unusually disheveled Draco.
"Good morning," Lucius murmurs to the pair to which they don't reply. Instead, the older male grabs a cup of coffee while the younger fills a plate with everything within reach before stuffing his face.
"What are we doing today?" Theo blurts out after a pause of awkward silence.
"While Severus and I have a meeting with the headmaster you boys will stay here and welcome Harry," the elder blonde fixes the group with a warning look. "There will be no fighter, no name-calling, no arguments, and no trouble. As far as any of you are concerned the past year did not happen. Am I understood?"
A series of 'Yes sirs' are heard before Lucius exits with Severus trailing behind, a mug of coffee still firmly pressed between his hands.
After an awkwardly silent breakfast, the boys headed to the living room to busy themselves until Severus or Lucius returned, all except Harry who, out of habit, cleared the table and started on the dishes.
"That's house elf work you know, Potter." The voice of the youngest blonde startles Harry, causing him to jerk and drop the cup he was carrying to the sink.
With a sickening crash, the glass shatters, cutting Harry's feet in the process. Draco only scoffs
"This is why we have House Elves. So that weak, incompetent mudbloods don't ruin our nice things." With that he turns and heads to his room, not looking back as Harry drops to his knees and scrambles to pick up the pieces.
A few hours later Lucius and Severus walked in on an unusual site. One Harry Potter was sitting in the lap of Blaise as he slowly rocks back and forth as he dozed lightly. As soon as the boy heard the door he cracked an eye open, trying and failing to escape the older boy's lap once he realized he has an audience.
"Shhh," Blaise tries to soothe the wiggling child. "Calm down and rest. I know you're tired."
"I'm happy to see you two getting along," Severus states sitting next to the pair as he starts rubbing the small child's back.
"What of the other two?" Lucius asks after he came back from checking on his other children in their respective rooms only to find them reading or working on school work. "How are they acting towards our newest member?"
Blaise only shugs before adjusting the now sleeping child in his arms so that his head is resting in the crock of his neck instead of on his chest.
"We all sort of went our separate ways after breakfast, but um," the boy pauses looking unsure of himself. "There was a little accident."
"What sort of accident." Lucius narrows his eyes, no matter what the Headmaster said about the boy's home life a part of him still believed the stories of the disrespectful brat Severus had to deal with last school year.
"Well, he was cleaning the kitchen when Draco startled him causing him to break one of the cups." Blaise has a guilty look on his face. Although neither Lucius or Servus told the boys what caused Harry to start living with them anyone with half a brain could tell the small child wasn't treated well most, if not all, his life.
"That's not the whole story is it?"
"I came in after I heard the crash and found Draco making fun of him while he tried to pick up the glass by hand. It took a while to get him to stop and even longer to calm down. He kept repeating that you both would be really mad and sent send him back to his relatives, who would be even angrier." By the end of the explanation, Blaise looked close to tears as the adults notice the dried tear tracts on the younger boy's face. "He was so scared."
Anything Severus or Lucius was about to say died instantly when a soft whine was heard. The room turned towards the small bundle in Blaise's lap who seems to be trying to make himself smaller. Curling under his chin Harry fist Blaise's shirt as more whines and whimpers leave his cracked, dry lips. It gets worse as soft pleas soon follow.
"Please... please... I didn't-- I don't wanna. I'm sorry."
"Here," Severus scoops the boy up as Blaise flees the room with slight tears in his eyes, Lucius too stunned to move. He can only watch the exchange between the two.
"Shh Little One. You're safe here. There's nothing to fear. You're safe here," repeating this mantra helps Harry wake from his nightmare only to stiffen once he realizes who is holding him.
"L--let go. I'm sorry. Did-- didn't mean to. Please." Harry starts withering in Severus's hold, apologies spilling from his lips.
"No, no there is nothing you have to fear from us. No retribution you have to worry yourself with. Just relax and calm down," resuming the rocking motion that seemed to soothe the child into sleep earlier Severus reiterates his words until Harry is once again dozing off.
"Father, I can't sleep," Draco is standing in the doorway of the Parlor Lucius and Severus are sitting in. "Harry keeps making too much noise." The young blonde internally snickers at the opportunity of getting Potter in trouble.
"Try and go back to sleep Dragon. I'll handle it," Lucius answers with a sigh. He had graciously opened his home to a small boy who they found out wasn't treated correctly by his loved ones; although a small part of him still believed that the misbehaving brat his children and lover reported was hiding somewhere under the surface. As Lucius travels down the corridor he can hear the distinct sound of muffled voices coming from beyond Potter's closed-door.
"Bedtime is quite clear Mr.--" he cut himself off and once he peers inside.
"Please... please. Don't-- I--" Harry was withering in bed uttering apologies with small screens due to an obvious nightmare but before Lucius is could take another step into the room Harry jumps awake successfully hitting his head on the nightstand on his way to the floor. The elder blonde then rushes to his side but before he reaches the small boy he turns the wastebasket and proceeds to empty the contents of the stomach. Lowering to kneel behind Harry's bent over form he didn't expect Harry's full body flinch along with a string of apologies to return the second he lied a hand on the boy's back.
"Hey, it's okay." This time Lucius is cut off by choke gagging as Harry continues to get sick which quickly turns into sobbing. It was only a minute and a half before Harry's form slumped over still crying but through with being sick. Lucius tries again to soothe the distress eleven-year-old only for the same reaction to occur.
"I'll stop! I'm sorry! I'll stop please!"
"No, no, no. It's okay," Lucius tries to soothe as eyes that he hadn't realized were clouded over cleared along with an appearance of a small blush.
"Sorry I woke you," a timid voice breaks the silence. "You can go back to sleep I'm fine now."
"Do you want to talk about it?" the man starts to move closer to the boy's still hunched over form but stops when he shies away.
"No," he says too quickly, not meeting Lucius's eyes, "you just go. I can handle it." The blonde couldn't help but wonder how many times he had to handle something like this all on his own. "Come here I can help." Before Harry had time to flinch again Lucius leans over and pluck the petite boy off the floor all the while vanishing the mess in the basket.
"No! I have... don't... I'm sorry." Harry tried to do anything to get out of his hold. The older man was thoroughly confused as what the boy was deeply upset about until he had him settled on his hip ready to go back to the Parlor so that Severus could take a look at the cut on his head from the fall. That is until he felt the wet patch it was new Sons pajama pants that spread from the seat all the way down both legs. He freezes which in turn set the boy off in a new bout of tears and apologies.
"I'm really sorry. It won't happen again. Let go. I'm really... I didn't mean... it won't happen again please," that shook Lucius out of his trance. "It's okay it was only an accident," the blonde states already walking out of the room and down the hall.
Quickly making his way down, Harry struggles to be let down the whole way, working himself in a panic once he realizes Lucius is most likely going to tell Severus what he had done. Sobs raised out of the small boy's throat filling the tense silence of the night. Harry couldn't think or move or even speak.
That's not true.
Harry wasn't aware of himself. Screaming, crying, thrashing. Lucius was forced to stop in the middle of the hallway as he placed silencing charms on the bedroom doors to ensure the other children weren't awaken by the noise. Gasping for air between sobs and fearful pleas, Lucius could only send a Patronus to his waiting lover.
Severus was soon running towards the pair already uncorking a Calming Draught, the child far too gone to talk down. Although the potion master's calculations were off causing Harry to fall into a restful slumber the moment the vial was emptied.
"What happened?" Severus questions once he checked the boy over and placed him on his lap, back in the sitting room.
"When I got there he was in the throes of a nightmare, but he woke himself up, hitting his head, and proceeded to vomit his stomach lining. Although the real problem came to head when I discovered he had an accident. From there it was just a growing panic attack that kept escalating." Lucius focuses his eyes on the peacefully sleeping child, not believing that less than half an hour ago he was begging not to be hurt in the middle of the hallway.
"I suppose we should be more aware of his condition from now on. I feel that in the coming weeks things will get harder before they liven up."
Chapter 4: The Breakdown
Harry knew his brothers didn't like him. It didn't take a rocket scientist to read the not so subtle glares constantly aimed towards him.
After his first meet and greet with his new siblings Theo had taken an interest in the smaller frightened boy whereas Blaise had exhibited indifference all the while Draco made his loathing of the younger boy known. Whether it was cruel remarks, withering glares or quick shoves, Draco made sure his newest problem felt unwelcome at every turn.
A week after being placed in Snape and Malfoy Sr.'s care and the horrid first day the pair felt it was time to return home to Malfoy Manor.
"It'll be easier to settle you down at your permanent home sooner rather than later," is what Snape to Harry when he asked why they couldn't say at Hogwarts longer.
"You'll love the Manor," Theo tries to console him the day before they are to leave. "We're usually allowed to invite others over plus there's so much to do. We have a pool and Quidditch pitch and huge gardens. I'll give you a full tour when we get there."
A tour didn't matter much once Harry saw the full expanse of the Manor, easily 4 or 5 times bigger than the Dursely's. Harry knew he would never find his way around by himself so he jumped at the opportunity to follow his new favorite person. The two adults found it adorable the way their youngest followed Theo around everywhere. Although in the coming days they've had to speak with Draco about the newest addition to the family they felt that everything would work itself out in the end.
That proved to be wrong not 3 days after the return home. Harry couldn't help, but remember the first night with his new family. The comfort he felt waking up the next morning still in Lucius's arms had made that terrible night seem a little bit better. Now, not two weeks later, the small boy wished for that same reassurance. Not only has his night terrors, for he stopped having nightmares at age 6, gotten worse and more frequent (every single night without fail) but the wet sheets were starting to get harder to hide. Without much of a choice, Harry starts distancing himself from everyone but Theo, who couldn't be happier that he sought the older boy for comfort. Snape and Lucius didn't like this withdrawn behavior and sought to correct the issue. Or what they thought the issue was.
That brings us to the current day. Where a gaggle of the oldest brother's friends is sitting around a parlor. They thought if Harry were around more kids his age to play with it would have him open up more to his new family or at the very least seek familiarity in a sea of strangers. The few adults that came along with their children, along with Severus and Lucius, had exited the room to leave the children to play amongst themselves while they discuss the business and other grown-up topics. From the moment they stepped out of the room Harry knew there would be big trouble ahead for him. Being in a room full of Slytherins and a few Ravenclaws if he remembered correctly was not his idea of a pleasant afternoon. The hateful looks he was receiving was a big indicator that this would be no fun for him. Luckily Theo decided to stay close to his new little brother introducing him to a few of the kinder Slytherins. What he nor Harry were prepared for was the sudden gathering of all the Slytherins in their year and the rope that shot out of nowhere, binding the pair. Theo was then dragged to the other side of the room while another group, led by Draco, came in with a sack.
"Why are you doing this? Let me go." Harry struggles against his restraints trying not to let panic overcome him.
Flashback of being surrounded by Dudley's gang try to make their way into the forefront of his mind but he quickly shoves them down. There was no way Harry would allow any form of weakness to be showing in front of these Slytherins.
"Why am I doing this?" Draco sneers in a way so familiar to Snape that Harry can't help but flinch away causing the blonde to smirk. "I'm just making sure you know your place. Beneath me, my family and all of Slytherin. You'll never be one of us. You're just a sad little sob story my father took pity on." He directs the kids to drag Harry over to the fireplace. "You think just because you're not as tall as everyone thinks you are you can go and steal away my parents. Well, you've got another thing coming. Have you forgotten how much they hate you? How much of a screw up you are in potions and serve all those detentions with papa?"
Pulling the bag to rest against the wall nearest to the pair Draco reaches in and pulls out an item that makes Harry's blood run cold. In his hand, Draco is holding one of Dudley's old shirts that now belong to Harry. Thanks to the school library Harry found a spell that temporarily changes the rags in the clothing that someone fit him and chose to wear his robes as often as possible to prevent too much suspicion.
"It looks like poor ickle Potter isn't so much the celebrity at his last home either," without a second glance Draco tosses the shirt into the flames. Harry could only stare in disbelief at what's happening.
There was no way that Malfoy had a bag of his few possessions. It was even less likely that he would throw them in a raging fire call all while sprouting hurtful words about how unloved and undeserving he was in his meager belongings and the new family he had acquired.
By the time the group had burned all but the clothes on his back Harry was sporting some rather nasty bruises from where other group members decided to kick and punch at the boy.
"Please stop. I'm sorry. 'm so sorry. Please." the small brown-haired boy had taken to pleading with his newfound captures as he didn't know how much more he could take of the humiliating and painful treatment. Rocking himself back and forth Harry could no longer hold back his tears threatening to overcome him.
Somewhere in between Harry's mental breakdown and drowning in self-loathing Draco had switch places with an older boy, someone who Harry had never seen before. The new boy then proceeds to reach in the bag only to quickly retract his hand. The next item to leave the bag set about a new flare of shame to course through Harry's body. Out comes his soiled bedsheets he had managed to hide from the house elves. Favoring to get up early and clean them himself before either of his new guardians found out. After the first dreadful night where his accident became public knowledge, Harry could barely show his face around his new carers the next two days.
"Looks like little Potty need to go back to diapers since he can't keep his bed dry." There's a round of laughter while Harry's face grows as hot as the fire they're burning his belongings with.
"Please let me go," Harry whimpers out no longer looking at anyone in the eye."I want to go. I want... I wish..." he takes a deep breath before sounding so pitiful everyone in the room does a double take in order to verify that it came from The Harry Potter. "I wish I had a home."
That one sentence had everyone rethink their decision of tormenting is obviously hurting little boy.
"Well, you don't."
All except Draco who only glares down at the pathetic image the boy makes.
"Your just the unwanted freak that we got dumped with." The word freak brings on an onslaught of terrible memories that always end with Harry in some type of pain. While he spirals down into a panic attack Draco reaches into the bag one last time. "And last but not least is little Potter's blankie." In Draco's hand is a handmade emerald green crochet blanket with a little message embroidered in the bottom left-hand corner.
Mummy will always love you, Harry.
No "No, no, no," Harry isn't aware that he's chanting the same word over and over until his most prized possession is dangling in front of his nose.
"Does Potty want this?" jerking it back as Harry renews his effort to free himself. "Please, that's the last thing I have of my mummy. Please, anything. I'll do anything. You can burn everything I own just not that. I'm begging you." Harry can feel a build up of unknown power coming from within him but ignores the fact in favor of pleading for his last tether to a family that never had a chance.
"You're so cute when you beg," Harry screams the second the blanket is out of the blonde's hand and flying towards the flames. At the same time, a huge burst of accidental magic breaks forth and shattering the windows and freeing Harry from his rope. The small Gryffindor lurches forward into the fire uncaring of the heat, shouts of protest. or the fact that the next moment every person is thrown to some wall.
"No! Why would you-- I didn't-- This wasn't--" Harry couldn't draw enough breath to form a coherent thought much less a sentence. All he knows is that he hurts and it's Draco's fault. He can't breathe and it's because of the number of enemies he has in the room. He needs help but there's nobody present to pick up his shattered pieces. Harry's unaware of his magic lashing out with his emotions keeping all the other children as far away from him as possible. That is until two strong arms fold around the miniature Gryffindor and lift him into an equally firm chest.
"I'm sorry! Let go. I be good. Please no hurt me p'ease." Harry could only plea and wither in the person's grasp. His pleas take a more childish town as panic and fear and an oncoming breakdown clouds his mind and judgment.
"Calm down, Harry. It's only me. I need you to listen to my voice. Can you look at me?" Somewhere in the boy's panic addled mind, Harry registers that Lucius is holding him but due to the child's squirms the hold turns out to be more of a cradling. Not only this but the older blonde is bouncing and pacing and talking quietly until Harry feels like he can breathe again.
Only to immediately pass out.
Chapter 5: The Shadow
So this is late. And short. And not quite how I wanted it to go but the next chapter is somewhat written and SO much better so please... enjoy? Be patient? Have mercy?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Harry had yet to leave Lucius' side since he first woke up from his breakdown three days ago. Everywhere Lucius was Harry was certain to be near. The only thing that ruined such a cute habit was the fact that Harry has yet to say a word. Whenever his daddy or papa would ask a question he would either give a slight smile and nod of his head or a deep frown; sometimes tears contained within his less than vibrant eyes.
"Harry?" Severus calls from the doorway of the sitting room Harry and Lucius were seated in. "Why don't we try to use the restroom?" That was another thing. If Lucius was seated in the library, or anywhere for that matter, Harry would sit on the floor leaning against his legs or beside him with his head resting either on the man's lap or torsor and not move until the blonde did. The asking to use the restroom was learned the hard way when Lucius retired to his study with Harry right on his tail. After 3 hours Lucius got up himself to use the facilities when he stepped in Harry's puddle. The small Gryffindor was crying silently and huddled into himself but made no move to get up until the older blonde let him to the bathroom to clean up.
Said child looked up from his place on the floor where he had sat himself after Lucius unsuccessfully tried to convince him that there was enough space on the small loveseat for the both of them. Harry only shakes his head while tightening his grip on the bottom of Lucius's robes as if expecting Severus to come over and forcefully remove the child.
"Are you certain? I'm sure Luci can stop his research for a moment to take you," again all Severus receives is a firm shake of the young Gryffindor's head. Exchanging a brief glance with his older lover Severus leaves in order to check on the other children, angry about the occurrences that happened to the adolescent.
The pair of Slytherins had just settled down in the study with the other adults who wanted to help watch over the numerous offspring that they invited to help immigrate Harry into the family. Soon Lucius is in a deep conversation with another man from the Ministry while Severus plays hostess and serves everyone a drink.
Right when there's a lull in the conversation the adults can hear rapid footsteps coming from down the hall. Just before Lucius gets up to storm out of the room and lecture the children about safety and proper respect for someone else's home the door is burst open to reveal an out of breath Blaise, who had chosen to stay in his room with the arrival of their guest. Lucius was still about to give out to the child when he gasps out two words that stroke true fear in his heart.
Without sparing a glance at the other occupants Lucius apparates directly to the door of the parlor the children were sent to. What he saw in the room made his blood both boil and freeze over.
All the people invited were thrown to the walls as his new son cried out for something he couldn't quite see. Once the others settled into their respective corners Lucius had a clear view of Harry lunging for the fireplace and pulling what looks like a singed blanket out of the fire. All the while crying and screaming incoherent nonsense. Just as Lucius rushes forward to comfort his youngest Harry loses consciousness falling down in a dead faint.
He's been like this ever since he woke up. Severus had attended to his injuries the moment everyone left and he was delivered to the medical wing. The burns needed special cream while he also checked on Harry's other previous injuries. What really shocked him though was how underweight the boy is. Not knowing how he could've missed this detail he immediately started him on nutrition potions.
The true problem in all of this is Draco. The child firmly believed that Harry deserved his treatment and would happily do it again if given the choice. This didn't sit well with the adults but Severus felt that something was off. Draco was nothing if not a true Slytherin, and wouldn't have tortured another unless it had a direct effect on himself or family. Although he doesn't see Harry as part of the family there's still no direct correlation between him and his actions. Therefore Severus had to dig deeper.
After interrogating the boy relentlessly for an explanation and getting repetitive answers the Potion Professor had enough. Quickly running a diagnostic, as his training as a potion master permits, Severus finds the results unnerving.
Draco had small traces of a compulsion charm and potion in his system. The residue was too little to get an accurate measure of who's magical signature they belonged to but he had his theories. Nothing could be proven though so after informing Lucius the couple decided on a simple cleansing potion to help rid his body of every last trace of the foreign magic and to update the wards around the manor.
Back in the present day, Harry's behavior is both unsettling and a stark contrast to what Severus saw in his potion classroom. The child was timid and clingy. Never wanting to be alone but also not wanting (or unable to) interact with his surroundings.
Theo and Blaise tried to help their little brother anyway they knew how. It was much easier to accept the newest edition now that they saw first handed how life must have been for the tyke. His pleas were genuine and came from skilled lips. This wasn't the first time Harry had to plead to be spared from any pain but hopefully, it was the last.
"Hi baby bro," Theo announces his presence as he comes to sit next to Harry on the floor. Harry only moves closer to Lucius wrapping an arm around the man's leg.
"How are you feeling?" The boy still doesn't get a response only a small shrug that could easily be mistaken as Harry hunching into himself. A habit that started the day before when papa tried to coax the ravenette into talking.
"Just okay? Do you wanna play a game of exploding snaps with Blaze and me?" the Slytherin tries to entice his little brother to come away from their father.
He knows Lucius isn't mad at the lad nor does he mind having him around but Theo misses the old Harry. A look of alarm passes over the youngest's face as does the appearance of tears in his dull green eyes. No longer holding their previous life and fire within. Quickly looking towards his daddy, Harry lifts his arms in the universal sign of wanting to be held. Immediately swooping the child into an embrace Theo took this as his cue to leave. only to stop at Lucius's voice.
"Give him some time, Theo. He'll come around and once again you'll be the favorite.
"Thanks, dad." He leaves the room in high spirits, planning to approach Harry once again after dinner. Lucius settles back with his little one lying on his chest.
"Do you need anything, Harry? Water? Restroom? How about a quick nap before dinner?" Harry shakes his head to all the above even as he lays his head down on the older man's shoulder. The last few days have had Harry in almost constant panic, not that his fathers knew that. Never again did he want to be hurt by the ones that should be caring for him. He's had enough of that from his aunt, uncle, and cousin. Although the only way to ensure his own safety is to remain constantly vigilant meaning he can't let himself be distracted by trivial matters such as eating and sleeping.
This dependency he'd developed with Lucius was not Harry's plan. The moment he woke up 2 days before he just couldn't bring himself to be alone. Bad things happen when he was alone. Especially alone with an enemy. Right now that's what his brain is telling him.
There's safety in numbers.
There's sanctuary right next to daddy.
How can he give that up when he doesn't know how long it will last?
Feel free to tell me how bad it was and what you wanna see (even though everything up to chapter 10 is basically planned). I'll definitely incorporate them if I see a bunch of people agreeing.
Chapter 6: Some Help
"I just don't know what to do."
Lucius has never looked more lost as he and Severus try to come up with a plan to get Harry to sleep. It's been 3 days of the nonstop following. If Lucius so much as sifted Harry would tense up and hold his breath as if one wrong move would cause the man to disappear.
"This isn't healthy. He's going to run himself into the ground." Said child wasn't even paying attention to the conversation he's being featured in, instead, he chose to remain silent in Lucius's lap. Every few seconds his eyes would slide shut as the adults hope he would eventually fall asleep only to snap back open along with tightening his grip on the older blonde's shirt.
"There isn't much we can do except wait for him to crash," Severus was also at a lost on what to do. The child won't sleep, barely eats, and clings to Lucius as if the second he leaves his side Satan himself will reach up and grab him. A meltdown was inevitable and to come sooner rather than later.
The Slytherin couple had received a letter summoning them into the Headmaster's office earlier that morning. Thankfully the meeting is set for tomorrow which gives them enough time to not only mentally prepared himself but also their young ward.
Lucius is downtrodden at the idea of leaving his little one even if it's only a few hours. Harry had grown so attached to him. To snatch his newfound comfort would be cruel. Braking the small Gryffindor's already fragile piece of trust.
"We have to do something if any of us is to get through tomorrow." An idea suddenly struck the potion master.
"We're worried about Harry, correct?" he coaxes as a way to get his partner into his way of thing. "We're concerned about his wellbeing and that of our other children, yes?"
"Will you just get on to your point. I have no idea what you are implying to," the older blond says exasperatedly while patting Harry's back in a feeble attempt to get him to relax and rest.
"I just have a letter to write and you have a little one to tend to." With that poor excuse of an explanation, Severus saunters out of the room leaving two confused people as Harry had only caught the end of the conversation and didn't like it no bit.
He was right. This is not good, not good in the slightest. His daddy was about to put him down. And not just to sit but to leave. He was leaving him. Suddenly Harry finds that he's unable to draw breath. No air is reaching his lungs and it burns. He can't... He can't... He ca-
"Harry I need you to breathe for me. Come on deep even breaths. It is alright. You are alright."
Daddy's holding him again. He's placed upon his lap chest to chest, his legs on either side of his body. He can't even bring himself to be embarrassed by having a panic attack in front of his big brother's.
Everyone is in the main sitting room the morning after Lucius and Severus's little talk. They felt it would be best if they delivered the news to everyone at the same time. This eliminates the possibility of answering the same question several times. What they didn't take into account is Harry's reaction being so severe.
"It's alright. We'll only be gone a couple of hours and in the meantime, one of your friends will be over."
"Can we invite somebody over too, dad?" Blaise asks an innocent question but it still brings forth buried anger.
"We can not trust to have any of our regular company over after the last incident, correct?" Severus raises a perfect eyebrow challenging any of his sons to disagree. When none came he once again addressed the group. "We have asked Molly Weasely to come to watch all of you."
"What!" Draco reacts first. "You invited a Weasley here!" Harry flinched at the shouting. He too is shocked that his best friend's mom is coming to babysit. He expected to be left alone with his brothers or one of the Slytherin parents to show up. The amount of relief he feels has him hunched over. He's still fearful of leaving his daddy's side but this makes the situation a little better.
"Enough Draco you are in no position to argue. You each will treat Molly with the same respect as you give us. Listen to her, she will not hesitate to duel out punishments as she sees fit." As soon as Lucius is done with his speech the Floo roars to life. The family of five journeyed into the Floo Room just in time to see Molly Weasley step out with one of her children firmly grasp to her side.
"I apologize but Ron was feeling poorly this morning and I couldn't leave him at home," she explained adjusting the purse on her shoulder and dusting the powder off herself and Ron.
"It's quite alright Mrs. Weasley we're glad you came on such short notice."
"Nonsense Mr. Malfoy it's my pleasure to help you and Professor Snape."
"We must be going but the boys have been warned to behave themselves although I have no doubt you'll be able to keep them in line."
"I can assure you will be just fine. Now off you go no sense in keeping Dumbledore waiting." Just as Lucius goes to deposit Harry on his feet the little boy clings tighter and does the unthinkable.
"Daddy don't go," he speaks. His first words since the accident and he's pleading Lucius not to leave him.
"I have to go Little One but I'll be right back." He sets him down and quickly makes his way to hug his other children. If he picked Harry back up there was no way he'd set his son down again. Seeing his dad make a hasty escape Harry turns to a shocked Severus.
"Papa please," but before he could cling to the man he too kissed Draco, Blaise, and Theo goodbye before flooing away with Lucius to the headmaster's office.
Harry started crying. First, it was just a whimper that caught everyone's attention only to quickly escalate into heartbreaking sobs. Molly looked onto the scene with sad eyes. She remembers how tough this type of separation can be for both parents and child.
"All right children why don't we retired to a less formal sitting room or you may go to your rooms. I'll be around quite frequently so don't think you can sneak off and get into mischief." Both Blaise and Theo thought it best to go to their respective rooms while Draco escorted Mrs. Weasley to the family living room. "You're being awfully helpful, Draco," she says ushering Ron and Harry into a plush loveseat. Harry still stopping and has only increased his volume since having left the floo room. Ron, a little dazed due to his fever, doesn't quite comprehend why his best friend is so upset only they were being seated very close. Ron was always a bit big for his age so when Harry had to squeeze into the same chairs as him he felt that it would be best just to put the slight boy into his lap, pressing is hot face into the crack of Harry's neck.
"I didn't think you take too kindly for the likes of me," a knowing smirk playing on her lips as she got out a blanket to lay over both boys.
"I just want to make sure Po-Harry is all right," Draco shifted uncomfortably. He isn't entirely sure what caused his protective urges to flare, just that he needed to be close by his little brother. Ever since papa gave him that cleansing 2 days ago less fuzzy is the only way to describe how he feels. No longer does he feel that deep-seated vengefulness that caused him to say and do terrible things. Draco deeply regrets the newly dubbed Visitor Incident. He wants nothing more than to apologize to Harry and move on with a better relationship but with him, always around father Draco grew nervous convincing himself that he'll never be forgiven. Although now he has a chance as long as he can make Harry stop crying and cling to him instead of Weasley.
"That's very sweet of you. Can you start by fetching a glass of water for Harry," not bothering to mention that that's the reason they have house-elves, Draco leaves the room to call one himself. In the meantime, Mrs. Weasley kneels down next to the pair of Gryffindor's to try and calm Harry down "It's alright sweetheart. "Everything is going to be fine."
"W-want Daddy back," he says tearfully.
"I know she runs a sympathetic hand down his back discretely checking Ron's temperature as well. He'll be home in a few hours sweetheart but right now we need to calm down. You'll make yourself sick Harry's only response is another choked sob.
"Want dada. Want dada. Want dada," with a heavy sigh Molly realizes that talking is doing nothing to calm the boy instead she bends down and picks him up holding him to her ample bosom and fixing the blanket back around a sleeping Ron.
"I know. I know. You just let it all out, deary." This is the moment Draco enters the room with the cup of water only to freeze at seeing Harry being bounced in Mrs. Wealey's arms. "Thank you kindly, Draco. I'll be sure to let your fathers know what a big help you've been. The blonde can only blush at the praise. "Why don't you run along and go play. I'm just going to settle Harry. In a while, I'll make a hearty lunch for everyone." Once she gets him to agree to leave, Molly starts shuffling around the room with Harry still in her arms, periodically checking on Ron.
After 20 minutes of constant bouncing, humming, and swaying Molly couldn't take it anymore. Going through her purse, she pulls out an almost empty tube of lipstick, getting a brilliant idea. With a flick of her wrist, the tube is transformed into a silicone pacifier which she pops into Harry's mouth.
At first, the boy is resistant. Not understanding what's going on through his tears, but Molly is just as stubborn. She only removes her hand when the boy finally latches on and his sharp cries stop.
"Thank Merlin," she breathes a sigh of relief.
"Mom?" a croaky voice calls followed by a dry cough. "Mommy where are you?"
"Awe, right here Ronnie," the Griffindore mother coos as she runs her palm against his cheek.
"Mom," this time the exclamation is paired with a miserable sob. The youngest male Weasley looks at his mother with dilated, glassy eyes.
"My poor baby," Molly's heart goes out to her sick little boy. "hang on just a moment and I'll hold you." The older redhead goes to place Harry on the black felt couch a few steps away only for him to cling on tighter.
"N-no leave, p'ease. No leave." he lisps behind the pacifier. Molly knew that another meltdown is inevitable if she were to place him down. Instead, she walks to a plush armchair pushed to the back of the room and transfigured it into a big rocking chair. Next, she guides Ron over and sits with both boys lying in her lap. Both boys had fallen asleep within the 10 minutes of feeling the soothing rocking motions of the chair.
That's how Lucius and Severus find them only half an hour later.
"That was quick. He must have stopped his droning quicker than usual," Molly greets.
"We have a gift for making his get to his point," Lucius follows along, holding off on his questions on why his son has a pacifier in his mouth a getting rocked.
"That's good. Harry missed you dearly. You'll have to forgive me for the pacifier it was the only way to calm enough to sleep. I know better than anyone how an overtired tot looks," she gazes fondly at the boy boys curled together, not once pausing her rocking.
"We understand and are entirely grateful." Severus approaches the three and, careful not to disturb Ron, extracts Harry of the Weasely matriarch.
Immediately Harry starts to fuss, suckling harder on his paci in order to wake up faster.
"We're home, little one," Severus holds him tighter as his little boy latches onto him, knitting his tiny fingers into the potion master's hair. "Papa," a content sigh leaves Harry's mouth before once again drifting off to sleep. The moment is so pure neither men notice Molly change the chair back and slip out. The only thing that pulled the couple away from the cherished occasion is a sudden flaring pain coming from their left arms.
The Dark Lord is back.
And calling for them.