4 Privet Drive , Little Whinging , Surrey, England; July 30th, five minutes till midnight
It was nearing midnight when Harry Potter looked at the cracked little digital clock he had on his similarly damaged bed-side table. He had looked at it repeatedly throughout the day, counting every minute till midnight. He was just so close to his sixteenth birthday.
July 31st has always been a date he looked forward to, but only two days previously the date had gained importance on a whole new level.
Harry had been overjoyed when a letter was brought by an owl on July 29th in which he was told Remus and Sirius had actually won the custody of him. Something all three of them had prayed for from the very bottom of their hearts and set their minds on since the bonding ceremony of the two Marauders in late June.
But there had been much more that had led to said development.
It was by a stroke of luck that one of the Death Eaters which were captured after the victorious Battle of the Department of Mysteries had been Peter Pettigrew... The fact that Voldemort had been pushed into the Veil was a very pleasant detail to the day as well. By extension, in the following confusion of having the return of Voldemort confirmed and then a problem no longer, no one really thought of punishing the group of teenagers who broke into the Ministry and shouldn't have been there.
Since then everything has gone quite well. The Ministry has been reconstructed and since the capture of Wormtail, the new officials went out of their way to try to lessen the damage done on Lord Black and put his trial on the top of their "to-do" list.
The Battle and the final defeat of Voldemort happened June 18th.
Sirius was freed on June 21st after finally being given a trial and proven innocent. It was also the day he proposed to Remus, doing so immediately after he got to his vaults for a ring he had prepared to use for the same opportunity more than a decade ago.
The only other trial of that day has been as surprising to the wizarding community as the full pardon and refunding of the damage to Sirius was. For it was one Lucius Malfoy who was also freed that day. The man, it turned out, had been under a spell which has ended when its caster - his wife - was killed accidentally by a curse meant for one of the Aurors. It was an accident no one really minded. After that, the Malfoy patriarch took to starting his connections all over again with a clean slate.
For Sirius who spent first two days freed thinking whether to run around in the open space or start making up for his absence due to hiding with his fiancé - the latter had won - the Head of a rivalling pure-blooded family was as interesting as his mother's screaming portrait though.
After getting the initial happiness overload out of his system Sirius took to plan the bonding ceremony which the animagus and the werewolf wanted to have as soon as possible and which happened on June 27th. Despite the grand event, some members of the wizarding world may have expected, the bonding ceremony ended up being a small affair. At the same time, not a single person of those in attendance was surprised about it. Sirius and Remus had to overcome long years of pain and betrayal in order to get their happy ending. It only made sense that once it was finally happening they would only want to share that moment with those who mattered. One of those being Harry Potter, a godson and an honorary godson and hopefully soon-to-be a son of the happy couple.
The request for taking over Harry's custody was filled on the same day, the process starting immediately.
What however no one - or maybe nearly no one - expected had been interference by Albus Dumbledore. Because of the man in question, Harry had to go back to Dursleys, instead of staying in the renovated Grimmauld place with the newlyweds until the adoption process was finalized; his main argument being that there were rogue Death Eaters still. A statement Sirius pronounced was "an utter bull-shit" for there would always be Death Eaters the Ministry would not be able to catch and who would be better to protect Harry than his family? The people the Potters actually stated in their wills for Harry to be taken to in case of their deaths?
However, neither Harry nor his godfather with his husband could do anything and so they had to wait until the custody has been either denied or granted. They really hoped for the latter.
And on the morning of July 29th, a letter came.
The custody has been indeed granted, making Remus and Sirius Harry's parents in the eyes of wizarding law as of July 31st. Harry could move to 12 Grimmauld Place to his new parents. There was nothing he wanted more than that. He finally wanted peace and to get out of the hell the Dursley's house was to him. To free himself of the cage he was forced to live in.
Along with the official letter from Ministry, a joint letter from the Marauders came also, stating that they would come for him as soon after Harry turned sixteen as they could. Harry expected it to be sometime during the night. One never knew with the two Marauders. Their plans were thought through to a point, but generally quite confusing for an onlooker. It was true all the more if Sirius was the one to make the plans as they tended to be disorganized, thus unpredictable completely. It, however, mattered to Harry only a little as he loved both of his adoptive fathers and was looking forward to his life with them, the possible pranks included.
Lost in his thoughts Harry nearly missed the switch of the digital clock, only turning his attention to them a few seconds before midnight. However, came next was more than a beeping sound he set to go off once midnight passed.
As the clock happily continued advancing in time Harry was overcome by a wave of pain followed by another... and another... and another. It felt as though his body was turning itself from the inside out and it was no wonder that even Harry with his enforced high tolerance for pain was soon screaming in agony.
He only vaguely heard the banging on the door and his uncle screaming something at him.
He only vaguely heard the clicking sounds of the many locks and the creak of the door as it opened.
He almost did not even see the light which came into the room from the corridor. It was more than his little lamp by the bed could ever hope to produce.
He did not take in his surroundings. He only felt his body convulsing in the waves of pure pain as he coughed blood on the carpetless floor, more and more of it coming with each breath he took.
Then, however, all of sudden the pain subsided and Harry could hear, see and feel again, the first of sensations being magic returning into his body which he never knew has been released during the strange, agonizing experience.
However, it was at that moment that new pain started. A more of a familiar one, as it was delivered rather regularly during each of his summers.
"You freak!" Vernon Dursley screamed as he kicked into the body curled on the floor in a puddle of blood with vigour one would not expect from a man his size.
"Why can you not let us sleep? Do you think we want to be infected with your freakishness?"
Harry, however, switched off, not listening to his uncle's ramble which always accompanied his "rightful punishments". He passively took all the kicks and punches thrown at him, not having the strength to run... as it happened all the time, unfortunately.
"I wish I could throw you out of the window, but that has been forbidden. I-" On and on it went, the words sometimes repeated. Until a sudden stop had been put to it as a new voice rang through the room.
The kicks stopped as the whale of a man turned to the entrance to the excuse of a room, only to come face to face with a man who pointed his wand at him.
"Get out of my house you freaks!" Vernon screamed, even as a second figure slipped past him to check Harry for the extent of damage done.
It was not difficult for a werewolf like Remus to recognise there were more stages of the abuse, some of the bruises taking on a yellowish tint, some of the welts on the boy's back - which he noticed only because Harry hissed slightly once touched - seeming to had become infected... Oh, yes, Remus Lupin would be tempted to let Moony out to play, it was only a few days till full moon after all, but...
It was in all that damage that the werewolf could recognise something which was not induced by a human, never mind a muggle. And it was that damage that made him the most uneasy, for he could not place its source in his anxiety over the other wounds. It would not be wise to make Harry suffer from it for much longer.
"Let's go, Siri." Remus sighed as he waved his wand over Harry to heal as much as he could. He knew they would need the aid of a medi-witch or wizard anyway, but it still made the werewolf more at ease if he was sure his cub's life was not threatened by blood loss.
"But this man-!" the Head of the Black family started as he pressed his wand into Vernon's neck.
"I know what he did Sir, but Harry needs us," Remus cradled the boy - who had finally given in to the pain and let himself sink into unconsciousness - in his arms. "Get Harry's things and we can go."
As much as Sirius wanted to punish the man for what he did, his son's safety had a higher priority on his list. With a basic summoning charm, Harry's belongings started to fly from around the house and into the Hogwarts trunk Remus has literally sniffed out in the cupboard under the stairs when they came. Sirius hated to think about how small that thing was, for he could easily guess from the drawings on the wall what was its previous purpose. To think that someone actually slept there... and it sure as hell hadn't been Dudley.
Once the little number of Harry's possessions stored itself in the trunk the two men and their newly acquired son left the house.
If Harry was still awake then he would have thought the same thing his dads did as they looked at Privet Drive 4 for the last time before they apparated away.
This story currently has eight chapters including this one(and more to come). There will be little change in those regarding the contents, mostly proofreading, so I'll try to post them all by tomorrow.
See ya! ( "-.-)/
Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire, England; July 31st, seconds after midnight
Draco always knew that a day when his mate matures magically will eventually come. He was told of his heritage and the need for a mate long ago and when the initial stage of his own transition into a mature Veela came, he had an idea of what his mate will go through.
What however Draco did not know and no one of those who mattered told him - or could not - was that he, to a degree, was going to feel his mate's pain of maturing also.
It was thanks to that that the pain, which struck the blonde Veela when it became the last day of July, came as completely unexpected and caused him to crumble to the floor where he was standing, just bidding his father goodnight, with a scream of pain.
The Malfoy patriarch became confused for a moment, however, he soon recognised his son's pain for what it was, having gone through the same process himself.
"What is this?" Draco choked in pain as he saw his father crouch down, only to take him in his arms immediately. The man saw the confusion and immense pain in his son's eyes, which flashed with the silver his Veela form and was angry at himself for not having thought of checking his son's knowledge sooner. He intended to do that later, but how could he have known that his son's mate's maturing will come only a month after he was released of the spell and subsequently fully pardoned?
"It's going to be okay," Lucius whispered as he held his only son, deciding to explain later. "It's going to pass soon."
Like that the man stayed, soothing his child until the pain passed and the younger blonde fell asleep. Once that happened Lucius carried the sleeping Veela to his bed.
"Sleep well, Dragon," the father said, brushing aside a strand of hair which caused the sleeping blonde's eyelids to twitch. Once that matter was taken care of the breathing evened and he fell into a deeper sleep in which Lucius knew he will see a glimpse of his mate. He hoped that unlike him his son would be able to find him or her... most likely him. He was not going to hold fate's choice of his son's partner him. He only wanted his son happy.
12 Grimmauld Place, Islington, London, England; July 31st, 2:24
Harry came to consciousness only to find himself in a garden where silver rosebuds seemed to just about want to bloom.
He knew he had never before been in a place as beautiful.
"Is anyone here?" Harry called out, finding it strange than no one would guard a place this charming. This graceful.
"Is anyone here?!" Harry called again in a louder voice, only to receive no response again.
It was however right that moment that the roses which made up the majority of the garden started blooming and their silvery colour showed itself in all its beauty.
Harry was just about to try calling out again when a gentle hand rested on his shoulder, turning him around. He felt no harm from the person and so he let it happen, wanting to see the person who made him feel completely safe from as little as a touch. Seldom did he someone manage to evoke such a feeling of calm in him.
With a degree of disappointment that Harry discovered that he could not see the face of the boy only shy of a man, in front of him.
He only felt the smile which was gracing the face of the unknown visitor of his dream.
Was only subconsciously aware of the golden hair which crowned the visitor's head .
The only feature he saw clearly was the eyes.
As silver as the flowers in full bloom all around the garden.
It was when Harry started to wonder about the source of his dream that the boy smiled and placed a hand on his own chest. When be extended it towards Harry it held a rose which seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
It was a silver rose, not unlike the others in the garden. That one, however, had red-tinted petals and Harry somehow knew it was meant to symbolise the visitor's heart.
Smiling, Harry looked up from the rose, wanting to thank the one who entered his dream for the gift, just to find that he couldn't.
And so the silver-eyed boy only smiled, then spread his similarly silvery-white wings and flew away, leaving Harry in that beautiful garden alone.
"What is wrong with him Moony?" Harry heard the hushed voice of Sirius Black, as he was brought into consciousness slowly.
He felt Sirius' and his other dad's presence in the room, as well as the presence of a woman who was running a series of spell on him. However, there was something in that awareness that made him feel confused. Since when has he been able to not only feel the gentle hum of the magic of those around him but smell them also? And since when did his senses warn him about the werewolf he has known for three years, one he trusted more than he did most humans, as a potential danger?
"Ah, he's waking up." the woman's voice said and, as he tried to sit up without even bothering to open his eyes, Harry immediately categorised the voice as Madame Pomfrey's.
"Cub, are you all right?" Sirius asked as he came closer, as did Remus seconds after. It was thanks to that motion that Harry all but jumped back on instinct, falling off the edge on the other side.
"Harry Potter! You're going to break more of your ribs!" Madame Pomfrey shook her head in exasperation as she walked over to Harry. It was however very soon that she stopped stunned in her tracks.
It was the moment Harry's eyes snapped up to look at her whilst he tried to scramble up.
"But how..." she whispered only as she came closer. Being "only" a witch Harry's reaction was barely a flinch.
"What's wrong with him?" the shocked animagus who was still standing on the other side of the bed with his equally shocked husband asked.
"I believe Harry has transitioned into a creature." Madame Pomfrey said as she was finally allowed to come close enough to resume her work on mending Harry's damaged body.
"But that's not possible!" Sirius exclaimed.
"How can you be so sure?" the medi-witch asked simply, trying to not look into the new Veela's eyes. Not accustomed to Harry's new eyes, she was a bit unnerved with how they, aside from the slitted pupil, consisted of emerald-green only.
"It is true." Remus spoke up for the first time. "Potters, unlike some other families, never mingled with creatures. At least not the direct line. We studied the family tree with James in school and the only Veela influence in the family was James' aunt Dorea Potter, née Black."
"From Lily then?"
"No, we studied what we could about her family also. Aside from one Squib two generations back and the magical family - we could not find which - that preceded it, Lily's family consisted entirely of Muggles from all the other lines." Remus sighed. "It would not be possible for Harry to become a creature from only that much, not to mention one apparently strong enough to sense me as danger." the werewolf reasoned, understanding Harry's reaction caused by the new creature blood.
The three adults were startled to hear the new quality the boy's voice took on. They were yet more shocked by the fact that the boy spoke up by himself.
"I'm sorry," Harry repeated. "I couldn't control that."
"It's okay, you just need to get accustomed to the new sensations I guess." Remus smiled sadly.
"I know you will." Remus laughed, wishing that he could ruffle the boy's messy hair at that moment. It was not the right time though. He would have more of the opportunities in the future to do that. "Now I'm going to the library... I have a feeling I've read about something of the sort before, but..."
"Could a dream have something to do with it?" Harry asked, his head tilting to the side slightly.
"Dream?" Sirius asked, before his husband or the medi-witch still working on Harry's wounds had the chance to.
"I had a dream just now. I was in a garden... In a really beautiful one, full of silver rosebuds. I asked a few times whether someone was there, but it was not until the roses started blooming that someone appeared. A guy, I recognized as much, even if I could not really see him clearly. I did see his eyes though, silver, like those roses. And then he gave me one, with red streaks on the petal's tips, forming it as if from his heart." Harry tried to explain, repeating the motion the one he saw in the dream did unconsciously. "I wanted to thank him for it, but I could not speak. And then he only smiled, and flew away..."
"Curious..." Remus mused to himself, then turned around and walked out of the room, his thoughts someplace else. All the three occupants knew perfectly that the werewolf was on his way to the Black library.
"I'll go after that studious husband of mine if you don't mind." Sirius grinned at Harry. "Someone has to check at him to not get too lost in those books, right?"
It was only a few minutes after both of his new dads left the room that the medi-witch deemed Harry as mended enough and helped him back to his bed.
After some words of advice and scolding, she left, leaving Harry alone in his room.
It was when Harry was alone and prepared himself to go to sleep again that he slipped one of his hands under his pillow, only to draw it back with a hiss as his finger got pricked on something sharp.
He lifted the pillow and could only stare in amazement.
There, under his pillow, was a rose.
The one rose he spoke about just minutes before.
The silver rose with red-tinted petals.
Malfoy Manor, July 31st, 9:27
"I saw him, father. I saw my mate." Draco announced, soon after he woke up from his pain-induced sleep, sitting next to his father at the breakfast table.
"Him?" Lucius inquired, as he turned to look at his son.
"Umm..." Draco shrank back a bit from his father, however, knew that this was not something one could talk themselves out of. And so he only whispered, "Yes."
"I'm not angry, Draco." The older Malfoy sighed, damning his "perfect" wife for causing such a rift to form between the two of them. The only good thing she ever did was give birth to Draco. "I just wanted to know."
Seeing the truth in those words, and remembering just how much has changed since the time his father has been freed, Draco spoke up again.
"I'm sure it's a guy," he admitted, his body getting a bit more relaxed again as he started eating his breakfast.
"Anything that might help you with searching for him?" Lucius asked. He knew full-well just how unpredictable and unusable the dreams could be at times. It did not help him find his own mate after all.
"Green eyes." Draco said, "I'm sure he has green eyes."
Lucius froze at that. He knew of one boy who had a birthday on that day and sported green eyes. He remembered their defiant glint. That, however, would be too much of a coincidence, wouldn't it?
"What about his hair colour?" he decided to ask, slowly, instead of digging further into his thoughts.
"Not blonde, definitely. I'd say dark brown, or black, but I don't know for sure." Draco murmured, running his hand through his hair.
'Could it really be?'
"Don't worry about that now. You have time. You might even meet him at Hogwarts, he's your age after all."
"But what if I don't father? In that dream I- I felt that he needed me. What if someone hurts him before I find him?"
'Not Potter then...' Lucius dismissed his earlier idea with a shake of the head, 'Potter is not the type to need saviours.'
12 Grimmauld Place, July 31st, 12:17
By the time of lunch, Harry got accustomed somewhat to the presence of the two canine shifters enough to not jump even if they touched him. What he was going to do once the school started though, he had no idea. His worries were amplified all the more as it was only at the end of last school year that Voldemort had been defeated. Almost everyone was sure to try to come to him, especially the First Years who were always curious.
'I just want some peace.' Harry sighed as he sat opposite his werewolf father in the library, doing his schoolwork whilst the man searched for the cause of his mysterious transition. Harry was almost sure that the werewolf has not moved from that position for the nine hours since he left his room... especially if the two piles by his sides - one of the yet-unread books, the other with ones already skimmed through - were anything to go by.
It was just as Harry wondered whether he was even going to get a present for his birthday that his dad stood, his expression brightening.
"Here it is, I found it!" the werewolf said in triumph, as he turned the book over in his hands.
"You think I'm a Veela?"
"That I was almost sure about, I was a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, remember?"
"True." Harry accepted without hesitation. Not to mention, creatures, beings, and beasts were on the syllabus for the majority of the Third Year DADA. Shame they didn't get to finish off the course that year. Again.
"So you found out something about why I am a Veela?"
"Here, take a look."
"I'm a mate of a Veela?" Harry asked, seeing the title of the chapter the book was opened on.
"It was either that or some relation to an Elf... the dream you had indicates for a Veela though."
Nodding only, Harry buried his nose in the book - figuratively speaking of course - and started reading.
Mate is someone who has been chosen by fate to be the only one whom the Veela can be eternally happy with. The ones who complete the Veela on an emotional, physical and magical level. Thanks to that the mate is usually of around same magical power as the Veela is, for it could become dangerous if the Veela could not calm down an accidental outburst of the magic of the mate or the other way around. For the born Veela the presence of the mate is often enough of a calming factor though.
Once both, the Veela and their mate, are matured their magical cores seek out each other and for a duration differing for each pair the two connect through dreams. These may or may not help the Veela in the search of their mate.
Mates: Creature Inheritance
As was mentioned in more detail in Creature Inheritance (see p. 30) all born Veelas go through the so-called Creature Inheritance on either their 16th or 17th birthday. During this process, the born Veelas gain the last of their inherent abilities, which they had, until that time, limited access to.
In contrast to that, all non-born Veelas, i.e. mates not originally of Veela descent, go through a form of Creature Inheritance as well. During this process, the future Veela goes through a reformation of their magical core, in order to safely accommodate the budding Veela powers. The mate also takes on some of the innate Veela traits such as heightened senses, agility and speed, in essence becoming a Veela that is equal or sometimes even stronger than born Veelas. This may result in a visible change in body structure. The reportedly most dangerous part of the mate's Creature Inheritance is the Purge, during which the blood of the non-born Veela is forcefully driven out of the body to give place to fresh blood, one that can hold the magic of both wizarding and Veela kind. Thanks to all that the process is said to be quite painful.
The only exception to the rule are the mates of Elven descent, as Elves are seen as the only fully compatible race to Veelas.
"'Quite painful'... Did whoever wrote this try it?" Harry sighed as he read through the book, ignoring the amused chuckle he got from the man who still was with him in the room as he got lost in his memories, trying to place all that had happened on his birthday into context.
He remembered well the pain his inheritance brought him, including the beating which followed; being accused of screaming on purpose to disrupt the sleep of the Dursleys.
Mates: Dominants and Submissives, Pregnancy
Mate is someone the Veela comes to love unconditionally. Mate is also the only one Veela can start a family with, their gender or (original) race not having any role in the matter. The attraction towards either of sexes the born Veelas feel during their maturing are a reliable indicator of the gender of their future mate.
Unlike some other races (e.g. Succubi) Veelas are strictly monogamous. A bonded Veela pair consists of a dominant and a submissive Veela. (For more on the process of bonding, see Bonds (p. 82).) Much like human relations, there are various permutations of this pairing, some more usual than others. Note that all the following figures are only of the recorded cases.
A born female Veela usually bonds with a dominant mate, whereas born male Veela usually bonds with a submissive mate, generally male and female respectively. There are several cases of female-female pairings recorded, about two-thirds of these pairings being two born Veelas, one third with a non-born Veela mate. How the production of an offspring in these cases happens is a secret closely guarded by the Veelas and is passed down the Veela community.
As there are exceptions for born female Veelas there are cases of exceptions in case of mates for born male Veelas also. Whilst a case of a non-born Veela dominant mate of either gender for a born male Veela has not been recorded so far, there is also the most common exception in bonded mates: A non-born submissive male mate for a born dominant male Veela. In case of a male-male pairing, t he production of an offspring fares in a similar fashion to female pregnancy, however, in case of a non-born male submissive, there first comes a significant change in an internal structure of the body during the submissive's Creature Inheritance. It consists of the male growing a womb to carry a child as well as mammary glands. In comparison, born male submissives of Veela and Elven species already possess the necessary organs.
All Veela submissives, be they male or female, born or non-born, only grow their wings following the conception of their first offspring. This phenomenon is tied to the primal instinct to keep the child(ren) warm. The wings do not disappear for the whole duration of pregnancy. After the birth of the offspring, the submissive's wings will become retractable at will during the time outside any pregnancy period.
In comparison, all dominant Veelas first manifest their wings upon first meeting their mate ...
Reading on, Harry could only hope that the womb he was now apparently sporting was not damaged somehow, because of his uncle's involvement in the Inheritance. He really hoped to have children in the future and given the possibility to carry them himself. He actually quite liked that.
After he had more or less came to terms with his sexuality he studied about the possibility. It, however, involved a horribly complicated procedures months beforehand and thanks to that there was only a small chance of success. Not to mention his hopes to have them with someone who was not likely to feel the want to even be with him... not to mention father their child.
When Remus spoke of what has most likely happened Harry felt to have gotten another chance. A chance to try loving - and being loved by - someone who could be everything for him. Whom he could have the family with. Someone who would see him for him.
And if not? Well. At least he would eventually be able to fly unaided.
"Harry is a submissive mate of Veela?" Sirius asked, baffled when the other two-thirds of their small family came down to share the news.
"Apparently." Harry chuckled only. He was afraid to show some of the excitement he felt over the fact. It was one of the few good things - number of which he would be able to count on his fingers anyway - that had happened to him.
"Are you even attracted to guys?" Sirius asked, obviously voicing his biggest discomfort about the situation.
"Well, yes... More like, having this one" - 'And only.' - "crush which is not likely to return the interest. And yes that one is a guy," Harry admitted. He however was not about to tell them the name. It was not like it mattered.
"I guess that's okay then..." Sirius trailed off. "If he hurts you though he'll have two angry canines after him, do notify him of that once he finds you."
For that Sirius received a cuff over the head from his husband.
"A Veela Sirius... Does "destined mates" and "eternally happy" ring any bell in association with them?"
"Just wanted to have my warning said... It's not fair to deny me my shovel talk." Sirius grumbled and Remus only left for the kitchen with a sigh.
"I'll tell him once we meet." Harry laughed, seeing the pout on his father's face which made him look like an overgrown child, which he still was. A bit.
It was just when Sirius was about to add one more witty comment that Remus re-appeared, carrying a candle-lit birthday cake with "Happy Birthday Harry" on the top of it made in chocolate. At the sight, Harry shot up from his seat looking at the cake intently.
He had never had a birthday cake this big before. Actually? Scratch that, he had never had a cake. Full stop. The one he got from Hagrid Harry could not even count, however much he wanted. Dudley was the one who got to eat it anyway.
As he did everything, really.
Aside from his very first, which he did not remember, he had spent all of his birthdays at Dursley's. And the less said about that the better.
Following his own advice, Harry all but started clapping as the cake got carried in.
Laughing at his antics Remus could not even speak for a moment. Once he did, he did so in tandem with Sirius who realised there were better times to speak of one's magical inheritance.
"Happy Birthday, Harry."
And Harry could not have thought of words more welcome to be heard.
I ended up completely reworking the Veela book section, if you spot any inconsistencies, please tell me?
Chapter 3: The Silence Before the Storm
Malfoy Manor, August 1st, 1:49
Draco couldn't sleep.
He only stared at the canopy of his bed, thinking of the dream which he had seen only about twenty-four hours earlier. A dream of his destined mate.
'He reminded me of someone.' Draco could not help but think of the emerald eyes which looked back at him in the dream. Even if they were in their "Veela state" the colour of the person's irises would be the same and it did not lessen the sense of familiarity Draco had when looking into them.
Draco has never been one to remember things like these. He only interacted with one green-eyed person enough to remember a detail such as that. It would be too good to be the truth for that to happen. To finally draw that person's attention to himself with something else than snide remarks.
'But that's not likely...' Draco sighed to himself.
Emerald eyes looking at him with love.
'It just isn't likely.'
Love. Something that all Veela craved to receive from their mates the most.
'Better not get my hopes up.'
How wonderful it would be to have it.
Draco was not the only occupant of the Manor not able to sleep that night. In another of the vast number of rooms, the Malfoy patriarch also found himself unable to slide into the welcoming arms of darkness.
His son's mate's transition made him think of the transition of his own mate. Even years later he remembered the pain his mate went through. A terrible, searing pain which seemed to not have an ending, causing him to blackout when it stopped. That was when the dream came.
If it could even be called that.
If the Malfoy patriarch did not know better, he would think he hadn't dreamt at all. He would only think it a nightmare. For there was only darkness in that dream. An all-encompassing black which made him run through it in desperation. In that dream, he did not catch even a glimpse of his mate. It was as if the dream was blocked somehow, someone keeping his mate from him.
Only one thing he could gather from the "dream".
And that was the fact that his mate was a male.
There was something... A type of presence, as to say, which could never belong to a woman.
Wounded, scared presence, which was his mate.
He has so wanted to help his mate.
To find him.
To reassure him.
To hold him.
To love him.
That right, however, he had been denied.
He had searched for his mate, of course, the desperate need earned him a few in-between moments of bright mind in his otherwise blurry life controlled by many.
He kept trying to track all those who would fit the age. Everyone who had their birthday on that cold day. And yet it has been twenty years and he still had no clue who his mate was.
Even after all those years, there was no success.
Even after all those years, the Veela felt the hopelessness of not having found his mate.
'Maybe I dreamed it up. Maybe there is no one whom fate thinks I should spend my life with.' The Veela despaired, trying hard not to think of the matter anymore. However, one's mind was not an easy horse to keep in reins.
More memories were brought to him. Including some, which he until recently had no access to.
Like the time Narcissa Black put a spell on him to keep him to herself by confusing his senses and blurring his mind. He only occasionally had enough of the right mind to think clearly.
Or the time his father brought him before the Dark Lord under Imperius.
These were indeed not memories one would want to be brought back to.
The only light in the dark of the memories, of all the years he had spent controlled, had been Draco. His Draco. The only good thing to have ever happened to him. And even he would leave him in time which was approaching fast.
Lucius only hoped that the tentative bond they had formed in the past month would not be broken over the mate, which fate has chosen for his son. He knew he would never fit in the equation of Draco's family if his mate disapproved.
He really hoped it would not come to that.
Without his mate, who undoubtedly had their life set by now and would not welcome the blonde Veela in their life, and without his child, who was likely to either choose his mate over him entirely, or distance himself from him for the sake of not having association to him, someone whom the wizarding still refused to believe innocent fully...
Lucius could not really think of much that would keep him in the land of living for the hundreds of years he, as a Veela, could live.
The Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole, Devon, England; August 4th, 11:52
It was only a few days after his birthday that Harry went to Burrow for a bigger version of his birthday party, the initial plan being altered and the date changed due to the extent of Harry's injuries.
The teen was eager to see all of his red-headed family of heart... plus Hermione and Fleur who became a part of the Weasley sum as well.
Eager, but somehow scared also. He did not know how his haywire, newly enhanced senses will react to that many people at once. He was not sure what would happen.
He only hoped that everything would turn out fine in the end.
It however soon became clear that "fine" was not a word to apply to the situation which ensued.
"Harry, mate, how're you doing?" Ron welcomed his friend as soon as Harry appeared in the living room, where most of the family was already gathered.
It was a common greeting for them.
Harry's response was, however, anything but common... for it was soon after the word "mate" was uttered that the Veela's instincts went into a flare.
"Don't you dare call me that!" Harry hissed at his friend, his eyes turning whole into the jewel colour only his irises usually had.
Remus and Sirius, who stood just behind their son, only sighed as they took in the offensive stance of their newly-Veela-ed child. Remus could not help but think that maybe it would have been a good idea to warn the Weasleys of Harry's newly acquired status beforehand. No use crying over the spilt milk though.
As it turned out no one had to do anything in the end, for it was before something could have happened, and/or some questions could have been asked that the last people to come arrived. Or ran in, as happened to be the case.
"I felt a Veela 'ere. 'ow is 'ere anozer Veela Bill?" Fleur asked the moment she appeared, her red-headed fiancé behind her. It did not take her even a split second to spot Harry, who locked his eyes with her. As a submissive Veela, which Fleur was, she did not seem a threat to him. That did not change anything about his strained senses which screamed to punish the offence the youngest Weasley male had unknowingly committed.
"Zat iz a surprize." Fleur mused, inching closer to Harry, something neither of the stunned family members dared to do. "'arry dear 'ow about we come outside for a while?" she giggled, her hand encircling the wrist of the enraged Veela. The touch of another submissive Veela seemed to calm Harry enough to listen and he was soon leaving with the Veela more experienced in the field.
As the two of them were soon followed by the oldest of the red-haired children, the rest of the family and friends only stared after them.
It was just as Harry was half-dragged out of the crooked building, which Burrow was, that the calming effect of Fleur's touch diminished a bit and his newly acquired senses and common sense both realised something at once.
"You're a Veela through Fleur also." Harry gasped, turning to Bill. It was also at that moment that he realised that, if not mated, Bill would seem a threat to his senses.
"Zat eez true." Fleur giggled as she leaned closer to her fiancé. "Poor Bill, 'ad to go t'ru ze transformazion also. Yourz waz worse t'ough I theenk." she smiled with compassion.
"Why is that?" Bill asked.
"You're the dominant mate." Harry started explaining. "That means that you only had to get accustomed to the Veela powers and from what I get the exchange of blood, a nasty thing that was." Harry shivered and looking at Bill he could see that the older male understood. "That, and the first transformation, when you got your wings, once you met your mate, is all that you got for yourself."
"And what's the difference for you?" Bill asked, he had a vague idea, Fleur having told him the differences. There however was no need to go into the topic deeper.
"Well, I am a submissive." Harry started. "Along with getting accustomed to Veela powers and the blood exchange I also had the restructuring of my stomach and... chest area." Harry shot a look at Fleur who started giggling but then only continued with a sigh. "Also, my wings will appear for the first time only once I get pregnant and will stay unretractable during the whole pregnancy. Once I give birth I will be able to retract them at will, but that possibility will always disappear during any of the pregnancies after that... I think Fleur will have it the same with wings, won't you?" Harry asked, turning to Fleur.
"Eet eez true, me wingz will bee like zat also t'ru pregnansy." she agreed.
"Wow, you've really studied the topic, didn't you?" Bill laughed.
"Not much yet, did not have that much of time. I only turned Veela a few days back after all." Harry admitted. "I'm trying though."
"I can not eemagine zat. I waz taug't ev'ryzing by my maman et papa." Fleur conveyed. "I 'ave worreez about 'oo your Veela endz up to bee. You're very... fragile if you know what I meen."
Harry thought about her words for a moment but only sighed in the end. "Not really, but thank you for the concern."
"I think anyone who gets you as their mate should be happy." Bill smiled at Harry, ruffling his already messy hair. "But I think you better go, Ron is shooting me glares for stealing his best friend." the oldest Weasley son laughed. He understood his younger brother though. After all, the three of them shot off without an ounce of explanation, something which by then Sirius and Remus have filled in... Which meant that Hermione was overflowing with questions and Ron being the closest was the target for them. But the actual source of answers was missing.
Seeing that what was said was indeed true, Harry could not help but laugh. "I think I better go then. Thank you for the talk. I feel a bit less nervous now." he smiled before he turned to leave. "Enjoy it here for a bit more, it's a beautiful night. I'll just have to go back to that pandemonium. See you later."
Agreeing to that idea wholeheartedly the Veela mates waved their goodbyes. Even as the boy disappeared in the depths of the Burrow didn't the two tear the eyes of the closed doors he went through.
"I'm worreed 'bout 'im. 'e eez the type 'oo could bee eezily 'urt."
"I know Flower, but what can we do? Fate is not something we can exactly bribe." Bill sighed, sharing the worries of his mate.
"I weesh I knew."
After the initial drama of the day, the birthday celebration went quite smoothly, except for a few more flares of Veela magic which Harry had a hard time controlling.
Receiving more gifts than he ever remembered getting, the atmosphere cheerful unlike any of his previous birthdays...
Harry was happy.
He was touched when Molly's gift turned out to be gold watch her late brother Fabian used to own. It was something of a tradition to give a wizard a watch when he comes of age and given that he was seen as an adult, with his magical maturing happening earlier, she thought it appropriate to gift him accordingly.
"They're slightly dented, he's never been too careful with his possessions," the Weasley matron apologised, smiling sadly as she handed Harry his gift. "I hope you like them anyway."
"Thank you. It's a wonderful gift." Harry could reply only. He knew just how much the watch must have meant to the woman. The decision to give him the watch must have been preceded by a great deal of consideration. "I'll treat them well."
"I know you will."
After the belated birthday party, life settled into a somewhat peaceful pattern. In the Burrow, in the Grimmauld place and in the Malfoy Manor also.
There could be excitement felt almost palatably as the start of the school year approached, for various reasons.
There however were two Veelas who could feel that the start of September will bring something life-changing, earth-shattering.
They had yet to realise, just how different the interpretations of those words could be.
Malfoy Manor, August 25th, 8:32
"It's almost time to go to school again."
Lucius could only smile fondly as he watched his child slump into one of the chairs by the table in mock-exasperation. The older blonde knew better. He could see the excitement Draco felt over potentially finding his mate. He could not really hold it against him though.
"You poor thing," he chuckled, playing along. "How about we ease your misery with a trip to Diagon Alley?"
"For school things?" Draco asked, looking as bored as he could manage, but the attention given to the statement was visible in the way he perked up at the word "trip".
"For school things, for lunch, for some shopping..."
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Scotland; August 25th, 11:07
"I'm still uneasy about who Harry's mate is..." Sirius sighed as he and his husband unpacked their luggage to make the room assigned to them have a feeling of home.
"You should not. There are only two possibilities of it not going right. One of them would resolve itself, the other is highly unlikely." Remus sighed as he put a moving photo of their little family on the fireplace.
"And what are they?" Sirius wanted to know immediately.
"The first one is obviously the fact that Harry's Veela mate could be someone who does not like him, hates him even, or, Merlin forbid, it could be a Death Eater. There aren't many of them who have Veela blood though," Remus explained.
"Oh, and who does?" Sirius became distracted from the main point for a moment. "I know that Blacks do, but, as it is quite dimmed, it did not appear in most of us. The only Blacks in which it did in the last three or so generations was grand-aunt Dorea and then Narcissa."
"Blacks indeed," Remus confirmed. "And speaking of Narcissa there are also Malfoys, who as far as I know have strong Veela blood in them. Not that Lucius was Death Eater by will. Their Veela blood is what makes me think that Draco is quite a candidate for the post of Harry's mate, actually. He's a full Veela, which only recently came into Inheritance. And the likelihood of any of the remaining Death Eaters or their kids having enough of the blood in them to have mate is quite small actually, which still does not make the situation easier."
"Think of Harry's hero status. A lot of possible candidates would be happy to have Harry as their mate for that only. It's unlikely though, as they should be fated to complete Harry. Some random fanboy of Harry's simply would not be able to do that, though they could grow out of it as they got to know him. As I said these problems would solve themselves."
"But how?" Sirius had not caught on yet.
"Harry's mate is a born Veela, all but built to love his mate. Whether he did or did not love him at the time the bond starts forming would not matter, he is meant to love him in time and once he does there's no way he'd let any harm come to Harry."
"Ah, true." Sirius agreed. He remembered something else his husband said, though, only moments before. "But what about the other case?"
"As I said, highly unlikely."
"What is it?"
"Siri, you have to understand that a Veela is a creature which needs a mate to be happy and can die if their mate rejects them. You know that don't you?" Receiving a nod in response Remus continued. "What however almost no one knows is that it goes the other way round also."
"We should work on your vocabulary," Remus muttered to himself, despite his husband apparent illiteracy he however responded. "Reverse rejection is a situation when the Veela rejects the mate. It is something which has happened only a few times in history and thus is unlikely to happen in this case. Let's just hope in Harry's luck, can't we?"
Sirius thought about it for a while, holding another of the photos in his hand, one they took of Harry after his birthday, showing how the boy walked around the garden the Grimmauld place had.
The photo showed a moment when a downpour came unexpectedly. The brief moment of surprise, which registered on Harry's face, only stayed for a split second. It turned into one of content as Harry just stood in the garden, extending his hands, letting the water slide down his skin, letting it caress him as lover's touch. It looked as if he belonged just there.
"I hope we can Remy." Sirius sighed as he placed the photo to the very centre of the ledge above the fireplace.
"Don't worry about it now, Harry will notice when we meet later."
"Ah true, just me, you and our cub. Where were we supposed to go again?"
"To Diagon Alley, where else?"
Chapter 4: The Despair of a Veela
Diagon Alley, London, England; August 25th, 11:03
Draco was excited to go to the Diagon Alley after long months again. Not to mention it has been ages since he last visited it with his father. That made it even more exciting. And fun. Even if the witches and wizards they met so far did not seem to feel the same about their presence.
One would think that two months after the clearing of the Malfoy name more than a few would acknowledge their presence with something different then sneers and looks of distrust.
Draco did his best at ignoring them.
He hasn't been out of the Manor for the most part of the summer, only partly because of not wanting to go anywhere. It was especially because he knew that his father was likely to stay holed up in his library all day if he did that. And Draco decided that such an outcome was not in the realm of acceptable. He wanted to get to know his father, now that it was possible. He would get to know his father. Even if the starting point in the process was a game of Wizard's Chess a day.
When he was younger, Draco had always wondered why his father had days when he would not speak to him, be cold as one could get, and then days he was apologizing for not having time for them to spend together. Time for just being father and son. It was only on the latter days that his father has shown him some want for contact. Hugging him when he had an opportunity and sometimes even if he hadn't.
From an early age, Draco came to understand that when the latter came a similar day was not likely to come anytime soon.
Draco had not understood the reason until the death of the Dark Lord. The day his father collapsed at the time of his mother's death. He had not understood until his father cried, holding him close, after he woke up in Saint Mungo's, explaining in a soft voice what he could.
'And now that I know, I still can't get him to open up.' Draco thought to himself, straightening his back when he saw his reflection in one of the glass displays lump its shoulders. There was no way he'd let his inner turmoil out for everyone to see. Even if he felt like doing so. After all, what else could he feel, when he at times flinched from his father, just because he's been conditioned to do so since he was a little child?
'Hopefully, that state will change over time.' Draco continued to speak to himself, resisting the urge to drag his hand through his hair in exasperation. 'If he allows it that is.'
Draco was feeling discouraged, thinking that his father probably didn't want them to get too close anyway. It was only during his mate's Creature Inheritance that he felt close to him. His father held him through the pain, soothing his pain, talking to him... He had even carried him to bed when he fell asleep as soon as the pain faded. That and the times when they spoke about his mate.
As he sighed again, Draco could see his father turn his head to him slightly, likely trying to assess what was going on in his child's mind. Said child however only put the two of what he was seeing and the two of what he was thinking into four of a whole new question.
'Why haven't father found his mate? Everything would be so much easier then... But then again I wouldn't be alive if he did,' Draco mused. 'That doesn't mean I have to be happy about how it ended up for father.'
Looking at the older blonde again, the teen could see just how much not having the other half of his soul was hurting his father, the regal façade only covering the distraught, lonely Veela the man was. Hiding it from the world's eyes. It was not right.
'Why must everything be so complicated?' Draco thought even sometime later when the two Malfoys entered the restaurant which had only been opened recently when he received a distrustful glance from a witch who was just leaving the establishment.
'So. Bloody. Complicated!'
Leaky Cauldron, Charing Cross Road, London, England; August 25th, 11:58
Having yet to acquire his Apparation license, Harry had to use the Floo network to travel that day. After the first debacle with that type of transport Harry was always very careful about his pronunciation. Merlin knew he did not want to end up in Knockturn Alley again. And it was still better than travelling alone by a Portkey. There were entirely too many painful memories tied to those.
When Harry stepped from the fireplace he looked around Leaky Cauldron, but it seemed he was the first to arrive. And so he waited.
The pub was quite crowded and Harry felt the Veela blood flowing under his skin. He was not used to that many people yet, not in his current state. At the same time he revelled in the new details he could pick up with his enhanced senses.
Brighter colours, voices discernible even in the mass of sound in the pub, and the fact that he could feel lingering traces of everyone's magic in the air. He liked that one.
He loved it.
Looking at his watch Harry saw that it was slightly past the time they chose to meet, but he chose not to think much of it, a couple could never come on time when one of them was Sirius Black.
'Poor Remy.' Harry chuckled to himself as he imagined his werewolf father try forcing some normal clothes on his husband. It reminded Harry of time before some event Sirius was to attend.
"For being a Head of the House of Blacks you sure do dress up awfully," Remus said, sighing, trying to find anything that would not cause a faux pas. That attempt was something Harry, who had been sitting on the bed, assessed to be an impossible feat if the wardrobe was anything to go by.
"But come on... it's not like you've been wearing anything be..." Sirius complained as he stood next to his husband. His whining ceased immediately when the werewolf shot him a look.
"You wear rags, even after having been freed, out of your choice. I had to wear rags out of necessity!" the usually-mild-mannered man all but growled, leaning closer to the once-convict, his green eyes gleaming with the amber of the wolf's. "Do you see the difference, dear?" he then said, straightening his back, the flecks of amber gone. If not for the menacing tone of his voice, one would have thought nothing has happened.
"I'm sorry," the older of the two apologised. At that moment, he must have hoped that thinking before speaking was something he had in his characteristics.
"It's okay, it's not that big of a deal." Remus sighed, holding out robes for Sirius to try on. "What about these?"
"It's not okay!" Sirius exclaimed, throwing his arms into the air, the question seemingly overlooked.
Sighing again Remus placed the robes on the bed. "Okay, so it's not. That doesn't mean that we have to make a big deal out of it."
"I want to make a deal out of it! This is not something you should just let slide, Remy."
Feeling that the two men aware of his presence in the room no longer at that point, Harry left.
'If the fact that they Silencio-ed their room sometime after and the state they came downstairs later... Problems solved, steam let off, or something,' Harry chuckled to himself.
"What's so funny cub?" Harry heard suddenly, the voice breaking him out of his inner world.
"Nothing, Siri." The boy laughed, looking at his watch. He had not even noticed that he has spent so much mind in his own mind.
"You're fifteen minutes late," he pointed out, looking at his fathers. Fathers who seemed to have left in a rush.
"I don't want to know." Harry snickered. "Anyway, now that you're here, where shall we go?"
"I don't know." said the werewolf. "I'm hungry though, out of energy, how about going to get something to eat first?"
Applying his selective hearing to block Harry's new bout of giggles, Sirius agreed. "Yeah, I could do with some food also. I'm starving!"
That earned the two an overtly laughing adoptive son. He did so the whole time the three of them walked to the Diagon Alley's entrance and once they reached it.
"What's with him?" Sirius asked, not yet having connected his state with his son's outburst of laughter.
"Nothing, Padfoot." Remus smiled, linking his arm with his husband as they went through the opening in the wall, which appeared when the correct brick was tapped.
"Now what was the name of that new French restaurant you told me about?"
Having coated himself in layers of "Notice-me-not" charms, Harry could for once enjoy the atmosphere of the shopping alley undisturbed. Even his Veela side settled a bit when there were no people trying to get close.
Or at least that was the plan.
It was as the three men walked down the road, closer and closer to the restaurant, that Harry started feeling a weird sensation, almost as if someone was pulling him in the direction they were headed to.
Feeling that Harry blanched somehow and only let himself be led by that sensation, something his fathers soon noticed.
"Cub?" Remus asked, not particularly liking the hazy sheen Harry's eyes had taken on.
"What?" Harry asked back, not even noticing there was something wrong to begin with, the glassiness not residing in the green eyes any longer.
"Nevermind." The werewolf sighed.
'Maybe I imagined it?' he thought, but seeing the look Sirius gave him he knew that his husband had seen it also. The change which only lasted a moment.
Needless to say that the two shifters decided swiftly, that they'll have to keep an eye on Harry's behaviour.
After all, what if the sudden lapse in concentration was not just a one-off occurrence?
La Friandise*, Diagon Alley, London, England; August 25th, 12:23
The two Malfoys had just been walking out of the French restaurant when the Malfoy patriarch suddenly saw his son freeze on the spot.
"What is it Draco?" the older Veela asked.
His son did not answer him, instead, he started walking off. In a direction unknown to the older wizard.
The rise in the voice of his father stopped Draco.
"What is it, father?" the son asked immediately, not understanding the reason why his father spoke up.
"Where were you going?"
"Nowhere," the boy said earnestly, as he looked around, a bit confused. When had they passed the doorsill of the restaurant?
If it was anyone else who said that, Lucius Malfoy wouldn't have believed them. With his son however it was something different, especially when he saw the subtle confusion in his son's eyes. And so he only sighed.
"Don't mind it, let's go." Lucius dismissed his earlier question, despite the fact he did not feel good about the strange behaviour.
And it stayed in his mind even long after they left the Diagon Alley.
Diagon Alley, August 25th, 12:31
Sirius and Remus were just watching the latest of Harry's lapse into obliviousness, when suddenly the boy broke out of it, shaking his head as if dispelling a wandering thought. Then he looked around, confusion creeping into his expression.
"What is it, pup?" Sirius asked as Harry did not speak up or anything, despite his obvious discomfort over something.
"It's nothing, Siri." Harry smiled as if there was no wrong in the world. There was a thought in his mind, though, one which he had no idea how to answer.
'When the heck did we get here?'
When no more strange occurrences happened, the married couple eased up.
It seemed as if whatever it was that was affecting Harry had stopped. They however soon realised the reason, just as Harry entered La Friandise, his steps faltering as if he was hit with something.
"He was here," the boy whispered, the older two not getting the implication at first.
"Who was here Harry?"
"He was here," Harry repeated, his voice disappearing as he mouthed to his fathers. "My mate."
"Now that explains a lot," Remus mused, as the three of them walked to a table, placing a privacy charm around them as soon as they sat down. "It actually explains everything."
"But I missed him! We could have met!" the distressed Veela wailed, hands gripping at his hair. He was suffering, for he could feel remnants of his mate's magic, but knew the source had left some time ago, judging from the way it kept on getting weaker.
"You could have, cub," Remus admitted, patting Harry's head in an attempt of consolation. He could see it did not work much though. "But wouldn't it be better somewhere else? Just imagine, with all those people around, how could you know none of them is from the Daily Prophet? Can you imagine what a field day they would have if you or your mate followed the other as a lost puppy? Or worse, kissed? Because believe me, if the books are anything to go by you'll want to do just that."
The werewolf could see how the possibility dawned on his son, the knowledge that something like that had not happened calming him down a bit.
"I wouldn't want to embarrass him," Harry mumbled, taking one of the menus and, hiding his face thus, pretended to pay it a lot of attention.
"He wouldn't want to embarrass you either, believe me." Remus chuckled. "Now I believe we should order something or your dog of a father will eat the menu."
Harry did not even need to look at Sirius to know that was true, and so he started perusing the menu for real.
The thoughts about his mate did not leave though.
Not a chance.
After the time spent in the restaurant and later in the wizarding shopping alley itself the three of them left for Grimmauld place, the two adults wanting to accompany Harry, making sure everything was alright.
"I won't die during the week, you know?" Harry laughed, despite enjoying the attention his fathers were giving him.
"We just want to know all is in line, puppy," Sirius answered, ruffling Harry's hair, making it into even more of a bird's nest than it usually was.
"I'm fine, really." The green-eyed Veela smiled. "I still wish we could have met though," he added, hunching his shoulders.
"Oh, puppy." Sirius hugged him. "You will meet him soon, I'm sure of that." he tried to cheer his son up, throwing his worries about Harry's mate away.
"I think so also," Remus added. "After all, he was in Diagon Alley, and usually this is the time when all the students go there to buy what they need for the school year, he will probably be in Hogwarts."
"I hope so," Harry whispered, dragging his werewolf father into their little family circle also.
"And if not we can always go back and get the list of people who visited La Friandise from the owners," Sirius smirked, causing the other two to laugh.
Only it was not meant as a joke. The head of House of Black would do just that if needed.
After all nothing, even the idea of the mate not exactly liking Harry at first was worse than seeing the boy suffer over him.
Malfoy Manor, August 25th, 20:29
It was long after the two of them had returned from the Diagon Alley that the Malfoy patriarch thought of his outing with his son again, over a glass of Firewhiskey. It was not hard for his thoughts to return to the strange way his son behaved for a moment.
And it was only in the evening that the man realised that he had looked at it from a wrong angle. From a human's angle.
'And it is not human blood which courses through our veins.' Lucius Malfoy sneered at himself. He was almost sure that it was the presence of his son's mate that had affected Draco so.
If only he knew the signs. If only he had the experience. After all, that was how it usually went in families with Veela blood or blood of any creature for that matter. The parent teaching the child in the ways of their nature.
Lucius could not help but feel incompetent.
If only he could turn back time. Back before magic had been first used to affect his mind. Used to make him obey.
It was wrong. So very wrong.
He was a dominant Veela. One who was made to care for the family's needs. To protect it, if needed. To fight for it at all times. To use all the Veela magic until his core was drained, if that would save his family.
Lucius would do all that for his son if he could, but the matter of how. All of what a Veela was seemed so distant to him. He only knew everything second-hand, from books mostly. No knowledge was gained from his father that he knew for certain and next to none was from experience. As good as nothing from experience.
They forced him to go against his nature for so long. So long, that even freed he did not know what to do.
A Veela without guidance could never reach their full potential.
'I'm not even sure if I know what I'm supposed to do myself.' The Veela sighed as he downed the rest of the glass, hoping it would fill him with strength instead of dragging him further into the depths of misery.
'I can't even find my own mate. And he won't want me even if I do,' he thought, the feeling of futility oozing from his very being as he filled another glass with Ogden's, bringing it to his lips.
'I don't even have wings.' Lucius thought sadly, as a line from a book popped up in his head.
A Veela without a mate will never be able to fully develop.
'How am I supposed to be anything but a burden to Draco then?'
Draco came out of his room and headed for the library. He hoped to find his father there, as the man surrounded himself with books at all times. Opening the door, Draco immediately noted the lack of his father's tell-tale presence.
'Where could he be?' the Veela asked himself. 'It's not even ten o'clock yet, he wouldn't have gone to sleep so soon,' he reasoned. He went to take a look into the Master suite anyway, but it did not strike him as a surprise when he did not find his father there.
Minutes, and a visit to his father's study later he was beginning to grow worried. 'Where is he?'
As he pondered about the possibilities he walked through the house.
He was almost at his father's room's door again when he stopped himself in front of an ornate door.
'Surely he wouldn't have...' Draco told himself, looking at the wood. After all, this was the one room his father had never set a foot into for as long as he remembered. One he knew was meant for the mate of the oldest Veela in the family. His father's mate.
It was a room which his father pained over, knowing it was long since past the time he should have found his mate and gifting him with it. One that was traditionally used before bonding, the mate moving into the Master suite afterwards and only using the room as their study, usually.
It was the room Lucius had warded with every spell he knew in his first moment of clear mind since cursed, the day Draco was born, wanting to keep his wife out of it. Not wanting her to sully the room with her presence. To taint the room with her venom.
Gathering his courage Draco peeked into the room, pain filling him when he saw his father's state.
Draco has never seen his father look that miserable. The man he knew to be never less than regal when outside and at least had some semblance of control when inside was all but curled in the centre of the bed, the room smelling of alcohol heavily.
A picture of sorrow.
It was at that moment that Draco realised that there was a possibility that he might have to live a half-life also. A life in which nothing but despair waited at the end. And it would come much sooner if he found his mate, but they did not connect and his mate rejected him as a result.
Bringing his father a hangover potion and placing it at the bed-side table, Draco resolved himself.
He would not be the one left behind like that. He simply would not. He will have enough of a problem if his father does not find his mate even now, when free.
'Because if it goes as it goes so far, he might even turn suicidal.' Draco shuddered at the thought. He did not want to lose his father. And he would not. Even if his mate chose them not having any contact as conditio sine qua non, the absolute necessity.
He knew his father would not survive if he left, his Veela would not let him.
Draco refused to ever let it come to that.
And so, despite the pain it caused him, he made a resolution to himself.
'If it were to come to that... I'll rather reject him instead.'
Chapter 5: The Longest of Rides
Platform 9¾, King's Cross Station, London, England; September 1st, 10:45
Hugging his father goodbye before stepping into the green flames had been hard for Draco. It was painful to leave the older Veela behind. Especially when he knew it was his own transition triggered his father's deterioration. An agony to know that by the time Draco saw him next, it could only get worse. Chiefly if the man got it into his head that Draco would leave soon.
Something which Draco anything but planned to do.
Even having delayed his departure, the Malfoy scion appeared on King's Cross station with fifteen minutes to spare. Some could think it a lot more than one needed, but Draco knew it to be later than usual. But then again, normally he would have come with his father, who did not need to see the hateful looks of those who had yet to get that being a Malfoy did not equal being a Death Eater.
The wizarding was dumb like that at times. Always holding onto one idea and refusing to let go even if they were presented with rebuttal evidence. But time would come when they will accept the Malfoys in their midst once again.
'If only I knew for sure that father will last that long...'
Draco looked around as if to search for some of his friends, but that was not the case. He was only picking up the scent of the people and creatures in the crowd.
There was no indication that his mate was close.
The Veela's shoulders sagged for a moment before he straightened his posture. It would only be seen as a weakness. Something he did not need at the moment. The sharks of the wizarding public were ruthless when they smelled blood.
Draco was roughly pulled out of his mind when something in the air shifted. It was as if all of sudden his senses started screaming at him "Mate! Find him!".
And as the young Veela boarded the train he went to do exactly that.
King's Cross Station, London, England; September 1st, 10:46
Harry stood in front of the signs for platforms 9 and 10 and grinned.
Any muggle child would be bemoaning the fact that they have to return to school once the holidays ended, but not Harry. He would not utter a word against Hogwarts... The school itself, that was. He was soon going to be bemoaning the onslaught of homework.
He always looked forward to returning to Hogwarts. It was his first home. Not to mention that he was going to have his dads there this year. Both of them. Two men who loved him like he was their own son. It seemed almost too good to be true.
The Veela turned around, only to be almost thrown off his feet by a girl with distinct brown hair, which never seemed to want to lay down. Not that his own was any better of course.
"Hermione." he smiled. Then looked around. "Where are your parents?"
"They had to go, they said. I think it's more of the fact that dad never quite wrapped his head around the idea of walking through a wall." she laughed. "I can't really hold it against him though. I am always waiting to break my nose whenever I walk through myself."
"Yeah, same," Harry agreed. "What about the Weasleys? Do you know if they're here yet? I haven't seen them."
"They'll come just before the train leaves I suppose. They usually do."
"True. Should we go ahead and find us a compartment then?"
"Yeah, sounds good."
And with that, they went through the wall.
Harry almost fell over when he stepped onto the platform 9 ¾, a familiar tingly feeling rushing up and down his spine.
"Harry?" Hermione addressed her friend, noticing how he faltered in steps when they crossed the magical boundary. "Is everything okay?"
"Yeah, fine." Harry smiled, not yet able to categorise the feeling. He did not realise why the air on the platform appealed to his senses so much. He only saved it to think of later.
"Let's find that compartment then, shall we?"
Hogwarts Express; September 1st, 11:06
"Are you even listening to me, Harry?" Hermione huffed after she inquired about his friend's opinion on that year's curriculum for the third time.
"Of course Hermione," the Veela replied automatically as the two of them checked yet another half-packed compartment.
"I'm wasting my time on you." the muggle-born witch sighed as they walked through the carriage.
Harry was however too caught up in his senses to care. He only walked blindly behind her, not paying any attention to his surroundings.
Seeing that she won't get a response out of her glassy-eyed friend Hermione tried to analyse the situation. There was something visibly wrong with her friend and she wanted to know what it was. As she ran over the possibilities, she did not notice the last third of the Golden Trio approach.
"Close, so close," Draco muttered as he was sweeping through the train quickly in search of his destined other half.
He was so caught up in it that he did not notice his Slytherin friends whom he passed by without as much as a glance. Nor did he notice when Theodore Nott offered to go and trail behind him, as the lot of them were not exactly pleased.
Another wrong carriage, need to sear the next one as well.
"So very, very close..."
"Hi there, 'Mione." Ron bellowed cheerily. After getting a startled yelp from the girl, and smack over the head, he turned to his friend who seemed to be zoned out.
"Hi there, mate."
It was as soon as he said it that Ron realised his grave mistake. Because the reaction to his words was instant.
As they stood in the narrow passage next to the compartments section, Harry turned to the red-head with his pupils almost invisible in the surrounding green and a hiss on his tongue.
No one, aside from his destined, had the right to call him that. The Veela from his dream, his mate. He required his mate to be whole.
And he was somewhere nearby, Harry knew. He needed to find him.
Why did no one understand that?
Advancing through the train, Draco felt was his mate's agitation. He wanted to ease it, but in order to do that, he needed to find him first.
He had just set out to go further down the corridor, soon to get into another carriage, when he was pulled into an empty compartment. Within a fraction of a second more, he heard the door click shut and then be locked with a charm.
He lunged at the person who captured him in the tiny space, with the full intention of harming and maiming as the shallowest form of payback. How dare that mere human keep him away from his mate? His mate who had been predestined for him. The one to make him whole.
"Draco stop!" Theo raised a shield in front of himself. "I'm just saving you a lot of trouble for later."
"What?! How is this saving me any trouble?" Draco snarled, his hands scraping the shield, the nails on them lengthening. He was quite an imposing sight, his eyes turning silver, the almost-claws out and reaching for the offender.
"You do realise what will happen if you do find who you're looking for now, right?" Theo started, wanting to explain his point. He could recognise the signs. He knew what was happening from as soon as Draco passed them by without a glance.
"I will find my mate, the other half of my soul, you arse. Let me through the freaking door or you will pay!" Draco slashed at the shield, the shimmery surface crackling under the pressure of the Veela's magic.
"Yeah, I gathered as much, but what I meant is: have you thought about the consequences? What will happen when you spread your wings here, in front of everyone? What will happen to the person who you are so desperately searching for? Do you even know who they could be?" Theo reasoned, knowing full-well that the Slytherins, who would be the safest choice, only rarely ventured out of the first two carriages which Draco had already stormed through.
"Someone whom I will soon rip your face off for?!" Draco hissed, the claws' sharp points sinking into the magical shield visibly. "Someone who will, with any luck, not care when someone finds your maimed corpse here, knowing I did so to get to them?"
Theo felt a strong urge to roll his eyes at the dramatics of his friend. He also had a strong sense of self-preservation.
"Draco! I mean it. Think for a moment! How would you handle the situation in the middle of the crowd which would be sure to gather at such a spectacle?" Theo saw that his reasoning was not being absorbed in the least, but he had to at least try.
"I don't know! Nor do I freaking care! I need to get to him, don't you understand? You are in my way. And I don't like you there!" Draco roared as the claws went through the shield and the Veela nearly managed to snag Theo's wand from him. He would have if Theo did not duck from his deathly appendages with a seeker-worthy reflex, followed by a stunner sent in the blonde's direction.
Said stunner which may have hit Draco, but it only made him sluggish, instead of fully incapacitating him. However, as Theo did not know whether it was safe to use another he had to deal with Draco hit by a single one. Which was to say, fending off attacks, not unlike those an overgrown cat; Or a tiger cub. It would only seem harmless for as long it takes for the claws to reach any bared skin.
'Oh Merlin, this is going to be a long ride.'
Hermione dragged Harry away from the corridor and into the nearest empty compartment.
It did not go unnoticed by her that Harry was anything but happy about that action of hers, the whimper-like sounds he was emitting being more than a deadly giveaway if the way he reached his arms back toward the corridor left anyone in doubt.
"Harry!" The witch tried to catch her friend's attention. It, however, seemed a fool's hope to wish for a comprehensible sentence from the distressed Veela.
"Harry snap out of it!" she tried again, catching one of the boy's wrists and yanked him to turn around.
"But- but- My- Mine..." Harry babbled almost as he tried to get away from those inconvenient hands in order to follow the call of his soul.
"What?" The girl stood still for a moment, gathering the information, slacking her hold on the Veela for a moment. If not for the red-head by her side, said Veela would have escaped.
"He's here! I need- He's here. Let me go to him!" Harry cried out as he struggled in the hold. Those words were as clarifying about the situation as they could get.
"Yeah 'Mione I think he means exactly that, now help me! You know he'd hate being a spectacle. He'd be miserable if he found his one-true-love among a crowd of spectators, but he's not thinking clearly and he's pretty strong when he wants to be." Ron berated at the girl whose quest for knowledge sometimes overruled her common sense.
Once Hermione snapped into reality she locked the door and cast various charms on it. Ones that prevented anyone from entering and ones preventing anyone from leaving being the most important for the situation at hand. After she cast those she turned to the Veela, who had by then stopped struggling and huddled close to the window. He was a true picture of misery as his eyes, still in their Veela state, looked somewhere far away, their owner probably imagining his mate.
"Harry?" The muggle-born witch came closer to her friend, hoping for a reaction aside from blank staring. No luck there.
"He's not really here... You know better than I do that it's a lost cause 'Mione, trying to talk to him now, I mean," Ron said, looking at the reflection of the jewel-like eyes of the Veela called Harry Potter.
"How could it have turned out like this?" Hermione despaired, her eyes flicking back and forth between the Veela and the other boy she called her best friend.
"I don't really know. You're the clever one here." Ron rolled his eyes.
"The real question is: How do we deal with it?"
As Theo had put it, the ride had indeed been a long one.
The two Veelas started to get increasingly agitated as the train continued its way to the wizarding area of Scotland. Though both showed it differently.
As the stunner started wearing off, the first thing Draco did was lung for the door, attempting to tear them down, as his senses still supplied him the information that his mate was somewhere nearby. Which in turn only earned him another stunner.
Harry, on the other hand, did not grow aggressive, almost the opposite. He kept on being a wretched soul throughout the ride. As a result, his two friends were quite at a loss about what to do with him. It was the reason why the first thing Hermione did when the train stopped was sending out her Patronus to Remus, whom she was sure was prepared for such a situation, having studied Harry's transition into Veela thoroughly.
Theo's trail of thoughts was not far behind Hermione's. He did the only thing he could think of and once he acquired his owl he sent a to-point message to the Head of Slytherin. Given that he was Draco's godfather as well, Theo could only hope that the Potions Master knew how to deal with the problem.
After the messages were sent the Veelas only kept on being miserable in their own ways.
And the humans waited.
Hogsmeade Station, Hogsmeade, Scotland; September 1st, 19:12
Remus had been the first to arrive.
"Good to see you two," he greeted the two-thirds of the Golden Trio, which had complete grasp over their emotional state. "What is the problem?"
"It's Harry, professor." Hermione started explaining, happy that the werewolf followed her Patronus, even though she hadn't yet managed to send actual messages with it. Sometimes the presence of it was enough. "From what we gathered his mate is on the train, and we could not let him run after him. It would cause a great commotion."
"That was astute of the two of you. It could become quite messy were the two to start the bonding here," the teacher agreed. "Thank you for looking out for Harry."
"That's what friends are for." Ron shrugged. "Though it was probably my slip of the tongue that heightened his senses enough to feel the presence of his mate, so I guess I had all the more reason to help."
"Ah, the dreaded m-word, right?" Remus smiled, coming closer to his adoptive son. "Harry?"
Hearing a voice he associated with family, Harry turned to its source. Looking into the amber eyes of a werewolf had never been so calming as it was at that moment.
"Remy," he mumbled, acknowledging the man's presence.
"Yeah, that's me, now how about we head to the castle?"
"Hogwarts... Good." Harry nodded, his vision was somewhat out of focus as the partial transformation started receding and his eyes turned more human. Once it did, he only fell forward, the stress levels of the ride finally getting to him.
"I'll take him to the castle myself. You two run ahead, you should still be able to catch a carriage." The teacher smiled at his students as he gathered his son in his arms.
Seeing that they were not needed anymore, Hermione and Ron gathered their things and left with a: "See you later, professor.", by way of goodbye.
"So, a student it is," Remus muttered to himself once he was alone with his son. He contemplated apparating closer to the castle for a moment, but then he realised that there was an easier way to travel and walked to the station's fireplace connected to the Floo Network, which the teachers sometimes used. There was likely no safer way of getting Harry to the rooms assigned to their little family for the school year.
"I wonder..." he mused, thinking of the talk he had with his husband a week ago.
"Best to think of that later," he concluded in the end. It was a better course of action to get Harry to a bed first.
"Come to think of it, he hasn't even seen his room yet."
Severus Snape reached the Hogsmeade station not long after the werewolf with his precious cargo left.
"What happened here?" he started asking upon his arrival. He did not need a verbal answer though, as he got it once he noticed his godson's state.
"How did he come to be this way?" the Head of Slytherin asked the closest of his snakes, approaching the still-agitated Veela.
"Apparently his mate had been somewhere in his vicinity," Theo let on. Truth be told, though, he was not sure if his assumptions were correct. "It may have been in London still. It might be some of the students, but the thing is, that he went searching through the train, looking like that."
The Potions Master's eyes slid to the claw lookalikes the Veela sported. It was needless to say that Draco could not go back to the castle looking like that.
"Good thing I came prepared then," the black-clad man summed up, searching his pocket, only to bring out a phial of greenish liquid. "This is a suppressant. Hopefully, he's subdued enough to take it."
He needn't have worried though, by then the hold of the Veela instincts had long since lost the strongest hold on Draco.
"He's not here anymore," the blonde whispered, meekly taking the phial from the Potions Master. Immediately, his nails returned to their normal state and his pupils turned round again. Those were visible for only a moment though, as he, much like his mate, soon enough fell asleep.
General, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, September 1st
That day the two mates did not meet, for neither made it for the Opening feast in the end.
Harry had stayed in his parents' rooms, which he found out were meant for him also. Something he was infinitely grateful for. It was all the more proof to him that he was as much a part of their peculiar little family as his two adoptive dads were. That they loved him as much as they claimed.
Draco, on the other hand, spent most of his evening in the Infirmary. That was until he had woken up and was cleared by Madame Pomfrey to go and sleep in the dormitories.
The born Veela's senses were spread and searching, but it only led to disappointment, as they did not catch wind of Harry, who had not stepped a foot into the halls as of yet. Draco felt devastated, when he thought, that the state of alert he felt on the station and in the train may have been a fluke after all. That feeling only multiplied when he stepped into the Slytherin dormitories and he felt no inkling of that intense pull. It meant much less of a chance to find his mate... One entire quarter of choices down in a single intake of breath.
It was a restless night for him. He feared that he might not find his mate at all. He did not want to lead a half-life. As the face of his father flashed through Draco's mind, he cursed at himself for the thought. His father did not deserve that.
'I wouldn't even be able to live that long. He at least has me, a being connected by blood to him. Yet that seems to not be enough lately. If only I knew how to help him...'
Know how to help, Draco did not, and could not. For the situation the elder Veela found himself in was an uncommon one.
As Draco soon was to experience though, his was to be even less so.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, September 2nd, 6:15
"I hate Mondays," Draco grumbled to himself as he woke on the first day of another school year at Hogwarts. Needless to say, his mood wasn't particularly sunny.
Draco had never been much of a morning person, however, that morning he really wasn't looking forward to. And it took only about one hour into the day that Draco wished he hadn't woken up at all. For various reasons.
Given that he lost quite a few hours of the previous day by being asleep, Draco had to catch up on what had been announced during the Opening feast. He hated asking around. He was the Prince of Slytherin, he should be the one to know everything. Some things could not be helped though.
It did not come as that much of a surprise to Draco that the most competent DADA teacher they ever had returned to reclaim his post. Somehow after Umbridge, even the most reluctant naysayers had to admit that having a werewolf on the Wolfsbane potion did not seem like a bad idea as long as the man he was outside the full moon phase taught them something.
What did come as a surprise was the presence of said werewolf's ex-convict husband among the staff. As did the fact that the two in fact shared the post which had been considered cursed until then.
Needless to say, all of that caused quite the melodrama at the Feast. Or at least that was how Draco evaluated the situation once no less than five people told him that same information in a span of ten minutes.
From what Draco gathered, the Headmaster had started the introductions with a lengthy explanation of what had already been covered by about a hundred of Daily Prophet issues for those who were still sceptical.
'Some people just never listen.' Draco sighed to himself at that, knowing that not only didn't people believe in the innocence of Sirius Black, they still had trouble believing about the innocence of both of the Malfoys also.
Once that was done, Dumbledore explained that the new Professor Lupin-Black - "To avoid confusion with his husband, it is perfectly fine to only call him professor Black" - was to take over one hour of each Year's classes a week, and all the classes during the days that Professor Lupin-Black - "Who most of you know as professor Lupin anyway" - was to be unavailable.
The usual filling in on staff changes had been followed by a string of explanations of the old rules, the new rules, the usual. Somewhere around "... the Forbidden forest being just that, forbidden..." parodied by a Slytherin third year, Draco tuned out.
'It was not that interesting anyway. The important parts were always gotten over with first,' the Veela pondered. He had other, more important matters to think about anyway. Like his talk with one Theodore Nott, which he had not long after he woke up the previous day.
That weighed on Draco's mind heavily and even as he went through his morning routine it was in the forefront still.
It was clear as day that Theo knew what had been happening. The explanation for that had been actually pretty simple. Theo's cousin had been chosen as a mate of a Veela. Theo gained knowledge of the mateship process from her and her mate.
That didn't mean that Draco had been pissed about the boy's interference during the train ride any less. Even if Theo's arguments about his interference were quite sensible.
He had yearned to see his mate.
On a different storey of the castle, another Veela was in the process of starting off their day as well.
Unlike Draco, Harry was feeling rather chipper that September morning. The fact that it was officially the first day of school did not matter to him one bit.
"Harry?" the Gryffindor heard his name being called from the living room to which his door connected. Instead of answering Harry got up from the bed and poked his head out of the door, only to almost clash head-to-chest with his werewolf father.
"Ah, here you are." Remus smiled, ruffling the boy's already messy hair. "Do you want to have breakfast with us?" he asked, motioning over to the kitchen in which Sirius was setting up the table. The fact that he was whistling some random song while doing so only caused Harry to snicker.
"Mmhmm." The teen nodded, ducking back into his room, quickly changing himself into something that was not his pyjamas.
Two minutes later he emerged, aiming his steps to the set table.
As he advanced further and further from the Slytherin dungeons, Draco's mood was turning progressively worse. However, unlike the general hate of early wake-up calls, the reason lay much deeper.
The closer he got to the Great Hall, the more people he passed and in turn, the more depressed his inner Veela grew. He still had no luck catching the scent he had smelled in the train the previous day.
'Surely if the person was in the Great Hall, there would be at least traces of their scent by now?' the blonde Slytherin reasoned, whilst the Veela instincts took on an edge of desperation. 'Their scent. Their magic. Anything?'
When the unofficial Prince of Slytherin entered the door his mood immediately hit a near zero. There were quite a few people in the hall; Slytherins, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs, Gryffindors... Only a few were missing and yet there was no trace of that heavenly scent Draco's senses had caught in London.
'It was still there on the train! Surely that would mean that it was one of the students?' the Veela tried to recollect the train ride. He had been so sure. But what if he hadn't been right?
Dejected as he was - not that he'd show it on the outside - Draco searched the crowd with his eyes. All houses had free spots on the benches, as some students preferred twenty more minutes of brushing up on old lessons or sleep to sustenance. For a split second Draco wondered why he hadn't joined the latter.
It was only on his second sweep of the room, except for how it was the first thing, that he noted that one Harry Potter and his fathers were not among the seated.
'There's no chance on that front...' Draco thought morosely as he sat down next to his fellow Slytherins. 'That would just be asking for trouble, right?'
After the three-member family finished their breakfast, two-thirds headed off to the first class of the day, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Sirius being the one who stayed behind. The first lesson of the grim animagus was free and the man in question was nothing if not elated about that fact. A few days back, his husband had put it as "childishly happy", though that was more due to the fact that the ex-convict pulled him into a dance when he got to know. A dance which was getting a solo repeat that morning when said tidbit brought up again.
"He really is such a child sometimes," the werewolf smirked when the door to the Lupin-Black & Potter family rooms shut closed, obscuring the view of the still-dancing man from view.
"I'd do the same, were I to be in his shoes." Harry laughed as he placed the strap of his bag on his shoulder.
"I can imagine." Remus ruffled the boy's hair fondly. Then, looking at how wild a bird's nest his son's hair turned, he laughed anew. "I should probably stop doing that or your hair's never going to stay flat ever again."
"They seem to like going wild." Harry snickered as he attempted to tame it. He continued on doing so the whole walk it took to get to the Defense Against the Dark Art's classroom.
Needless to say, his attempts proved futile.
As Draco headed for the first class of the day, Ancient Runes, he was feeling antsy. Given that the class was joined with Ravenclaws, he knew that he was going to see a good portion of those he noticed missing at the breakfast.
After all, there was no way the lions or badgers would miss their food when put in front of a choice of it or knowledge. Draco smirked as he imagined Weasley, who was notoriously famous for his eating etiquette, choosing "Hogwarts: A History" over turkey sandwiches. 'Just no... When put before the choice of sleep or food though, some would falter.'
Thinking of the red-haired Gryffindor brought Draco to another of the lions, one who hadn't been at the breakfast. One whose hair did not scream red.
'Won't see him now anyway. It's the eagles for now.' Draco reminded himself as his thoughts strayed. It became quite a normal occurrence ever since that day halfway through the summer holidays.
'No need to think ahead. Ravenclaw now, Gryffindor later.' Draco chastised himself, as he got off the moving stairs. 'And Hufflepuff too, let's not forget.'
'Ravenclaw could mean a mate found,' the Veela thought as he walked down the corridor, already seeing some of his classmates gathering before the still-closed door. It did not escape Draco that even with half the class assembled the scent he was searching for hadn't yet appeared.
It made Draco wonder, hope even. It was a traitorous thought. A Veela could not know for sure who their other half was up until they first met after their maturing. It was in fact not completely unheard of that the chosen mate of Veela already was in a relationship when the Veela found them. Among those were the very few cases of the Veela fading, in case of rejection, or not bonding, when the mate opted to keep the Veela as a friend, thus alive, at least.
Still, Draco hoped. Fate wasn't cruel like that very often.
'And if it's not meant to mean a mate found. It could just be more possibilities eliminated?'
The first lesson having passed, Harry waved Remus goodbye and got out of the classroom, heading for his next lesson.
He smiled at his Gryffindor friends, who were still discussing their first DADA lesson in vivid details, and got off the moving staircase with them. On the following one, he strayed from the group though, walking into one of the near corridors instead.
He was not sure what had prompted him to do so, after all, he was supposed to have Potions with everyone else. And yet the only thing he knew was that he had to change his route right there.
He realised the reason for his behaviour as soon as he felt a familiar tingly feeling rush up and down his spine. His senses coming alive, Harry inhaled the air as if in trance. He could feel the traces of his mate's magic dance across his skin, not unlike the time when they missed each other in La Friandise. Instead of the magic, however, it was a scent which caught his attention right then. Harry closed his eyes for a moment to appreciate it fully. As he opened them he couldn't have realised that they had changed to reflect the closeness of his creature mind. The Veela was filled with a new resolve.
'Now where to?'
Draco's senses sharpened as he felt a change in the air. The scent which he had been searching for consciously and subconsciously was somewhere around. His mate was at Hogwarts!
He could feel his wings just itching to get out of his body. He could feel his eyes shifting into the more accurate vision of the Veela side. He felt the pull which was intent on dragging him in the direction of the scent's origin. The source of that heavenly fragrance he could not get enough of.
And in its the direction, he walked briskly.
Harry all but ran through the empty corridor, only slowing down near its end, not wanting to crash into someone. As it was, he did not even get to turn left or right, as it was mere meters before another student, whom he knew was the one he had been searching for, emerged from around the corner.
Harry couldn't help it. He froze on the spot.
He simply couldn't believe his eyes.
The blonde Slytherin turned around the corner, only to halt his movements as he found himself face-to-face with the person he had wanted to find.
Draco stared into Harry's eyes, feeling as if everything should only be all right in his life from then on.
He felt his wings tearing through his - very expensive, sorry father - shirt and yet he could not be arsed to care in that very moment. Because the feeling of his wings finally being set free only intensified what he felt. The utter contentment he felt at having found his mate. He felt as if he was in a dream.
And truly, it was almost like a dream come true.
'Except for when it is not.'
Harry, whilst being someone whom Draco desired greatly, was also an epitome of everything Light. He was someone who, despite being able to look past person's faults, would not accept someone who was viewed as Dark by the majority of the populace in his family. There was simply no way that Harry would be okay with meeting Lucius Malfoy on a daily basis.
But Draco could not bear to even think about losing his father. Not when he finally saw the kind side which had been obscured from sight most of his life.
'Harry wouldn't want him anywhere near.' Draco thought with near desperation.
He thought of Harry's new fathers, for a moment. The ex-convict from a Dark family and a Dark creature that the teen loved deeply. Surely, if he came to understand, he would at least tolerate the once-controlled Veela in his vicinity? But what reason would he have to? Aside from the connection to Draco. Harry was nearly killed by Lucius Malfoy once, for Merlin's sake. And then at least twice more indirectly.
And what about Draco himself? The two of them weren't always drawing wands at the sight of each other, but it didn't mean that the Gryffindor Golden Boy would be happy at being bonded to a Slytherin. What if he was to be outright rejected? He would die. And not a metaphorical death either.
'What would happen to father then?'
Two views arguing in his head at all times, Draco could feel the Veela side of him screaming in pain. Scream at the vision of not having Harry the way they were meant to be together.
However, there is always a stronger side in any war. Whether it lasts years, or from one blink of an eye to another.
In the split second since all those thoughts crashed into his head - since his eyes locked with Harry - the blonde Slytherin made a decision.
A decision which he would regret later, many times over. In fact, he would regret it as soon as he opened his mouth.
A decision which he did not want to make, or carry through for that matter.
'But I have to.'
When his eyes locked with Draco's Harry's mind went into a state of shock. Overcome with joy that felt almost artificial in its intensity, he did not know how to react.
'Surely it is inappropriate to just jump into his arms, right?' Harry thought to himself, noting that his inner voice seemed to be giggling.
He felt how the Veela side in him was trilling happily and the black-haired teen could not help but share its view of the matter.
It was almost too good to be true, wasn't it?
"Potter? Really?" Draco forced himself to sneer, repressing all his instincts which were roaring at him to stop his idiocy as he came closer to the other Veela.
He advanced slowly, partly because he wasn't used to the feeling and weight of his wings, but mostly because he didn't want to be doing this.
"What would become of us, the poster couple of letting the war bygones be bygones?"
He wanted Harry to deny it, to throw his words back in his face, but all he got were slow blinks that obscured his view of those green eyes. He thought of stopping that charade of a walk, maybe Harry would understand?
But then there was another pair of eyes that rose to the forefront of his mind. One surrounded by crow's feet of worry lines. Blue. So very sad.
And his Veela screeched.
Draco stopped right in front of the shorter teen, slightly leaning down to be on the eye-level with him.
"Who would want Harry Potter as their mate? I refuse to be."
Harry's world came crashing down at those words because what he just heard, that was not possible, was it?
It took all his willpower for Harry to not show his inner turmoil on his face. In the end, he managed to school his face, which reflected his utter despair, rather quickly, even if the expression on it would pass as indifferent just so.
"If you think so..." Harry turned around and swept away. He did not look back as he walked down the corridor from which he came only minutes before. It took all he had to break into a run only after he walked behind a corner.
He didn't want to, couldn't, go to the class at that moment, Snape could go grind himself with a pestle for all he cared. Because Potions meant...
Harry felt all of his recently acquired Veela instincts in him flare, demanding that he return to his mate and beg. Or do anything else that his mate wanted to accept him, or at least acknowledge the bond they were meant to share.
Harry ran, because he did not want anyone, and especially not Draco Malfoy, to see his despair-ache-rage-emptiness fall down his cheeks in droplets.
It was almost too good to be true, wasn't it? Harry recalled his earlier thought, as his steps mindlessly carried him to the family rooms, and he couldn't help but let his mouth curl in a parody of a smile.
'Too good to be true indeed.'
I am changing much more than I initially thought would be needed and as such the process is a bit slower, sorry.
But I'll most likely have all the current eight chapters outt by Thursday anyway.
Chapter 7: The Aftermath
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, September 2nd, 10:14
"I refuse to be. I refuse. Refuse. Refuse."
The echoes of those fateful words followed Harry on his run through the castle. Belittling him. Taunting him. Repeating over and over what Harry had hoped never to hear.
It felt as if his entire worldview had cracked down the middle. Every repeat only drove those two imaginary halves further apart.
He had decided to run.
Run only when out of sight, because you never show a predator your underbelly, but run all the same. He hadn't wanted the source of his pain to see just how affected he was.
'Would it have mattered?'
It had always hurt when his so-called family attacked him, however much he pretended otherwise. An insult and an injury. Seldom one without the other.
For some reason, Harry remembered a time when he was just starting primary school that he slipped on his stool during washing up. Unsurprisingly he went flying, but the problem had been that he went flying with a cup in his hand. He held onto it for dear life and bumped his head on the counter for his trouble. The cup didn't break, but it had gotten chipped.
His aunt hadn't appreciated his efforts.
'How dare you? How dare you? My special guest set!'
It felt as if their tentative connection had been that first cup he had desperately tried to protect.
The set his aunt had thrown at his head in a fit of rage was all the rest he had to give. When one didn't want that first cup anymore, what would the rest even be for? What was an unneeded piece of china thrown carelessly onto the floor?
'Is this really who Draco is?' Harry's thoughts whirled desperately.
Was this the person whose attention he had sought for so long? The same person he had called a tentative truce with the previous year? Was this the same teen who he had midnight meetings with? It was only to train Defence, admittedly, but still. Why had he wanted to help the blonde so much, especially when it became obvious that Umbridge targeted even some Slytherins?
If this was the real Draco then why had he refused the place in the Inquisitorial Squad?
'Why was I so happy to hear that? If this is the real Draco then why did I bother showing him Room of Requirement so we could train? Why did it even matter to me that he knew how to defend himself?'
Why did it all matter to him so much?
And why did it matter to Draco so little?
'I really thought we got over that stage. It was if that little slick-haired bully returned all of sudden. Why did he return now?'
Harry could only be grateful that he hadn't met anyone on his way. They would have probably thought him crazy.
'"The Boy Who Lived had finally gone round the bend."… Now wouldn't that be a fitting title.' Harry laughed bitterly as he slowed his pace.
'If this is the result… then why did I try so hard?' Harry asked himself, stopping his advance completely. 'Was there ever any chance? Would there have been a chance even if there was no Veela blood involved?' Harry continued despairing as his heart was slowly destroying itself from the inside.
As those thoughts appeared, a new wave of his inner Veela's wailing started. Not that Harry felt any different. The screeching summed up all too well how he felt right at that moment.
As he reached the set of rooms he and his family currently occupied, he only wished that he could do some outward screaming as well.
Remus Lupin was not a paranoid person. He was only about as paranoid as any person afflicted with the werewolf gene could be. So maybe slightly more than the average. However, even that level of natural paranoia did not explain the sudden wave of unease that overcame him after his adoptive son had left the DADA classroom.
The werewolf was not of those who didn't listen to their instincts though. In fact, however baffling they were, he tended to adhere to their wishes quite regularly.
Generally, they were right.
And so it came to be, that Remus had used the Floo network of the castle, instead of walking back to the family rooms, as he had intended to.
'If everything is all right, then surely I can go back to go through the lesson plan for the afternoon class soon. Harry is supposed to have Potions now. He was headed straight there,' Remus reasoned with himself as he paced in front of the fireplace.
'Nothing is wrong, ri-…'
The werewolf paused himself mid-thought as suddenly he smelled something. Something that decidedly did not appeal to his senses. What was it though? He was not quite sure.
He got his answer mere seconds later when a decidedly distraught and obviously not in the Potions class Harry crashed through the main door.
"What is it, Harry?" Remus asked, as his senses immediately identified the smell of Harry's distress.
Instead of answers, Harry's legs gave out under him and he all but crashed onto the floor of the living room their little family shared. Once he found himself on the floor he then - quite effectively - proceeded to curl himself into a ball as small as humanly possible. Or should he use a different? As small as possible by Veela standards?
'This is not the right time for wordplay, idiot,' the werewolf berated at himself as he proceeded to kneel by his obviously suffering cub, who seemed to be in the middle of a panic attack.
'What could have caused this?'
Looking at the corridor down which his mate disappeared some time ago, Draco admitted to himself that he was a coward. He was taking the easy way out.
As he was the rejecter rather than a rejectee his mind wouldn't feel the need to spiral down the deep abyss of the Depression. After all, it wouldn't take Harry long to piece together what being Draco's mate would mean. And then for sure, the rejection would have come.
'Like this, I'll get away from the pain that would ensue if I was outright rejected. It would not help that the pain would not have been from the Veela bond only.' Draco thought to himself bitterly.
'Still, to be the one hurt or the one who hurts? Why is there so much difference between those?' Draco thought idly. 'But it's not really like that, is it? It won't be like that for Harry. We did become sort of friends over the last year, and it was kind of - very - underhanded to just switch back to how we were before that, yet…'
Draco started walking slowly into the direction of the Dungeons only to nearly greet the floor face first. The weight of his wings hadn't yet caught up with his conscious mind.
'Almost forgot about those, huh…' Draco looked over his shoulder, absent-mindedly. 'One wouldn't ever guess how easy it is to forget two giant appendages sprouting from their own back.'
Concentrating on how he should look, like a human, that was, Draco soon got the wings to retreat back under his skin. If that was only after his twentieth try or so, no one had to know.
Once the matter of his wings had been taken care of and a quick Reparo on his clothes was cast, Draco returned to his previous thoughts, which still whirled around in his skull wildly.
'With rejecting Harry I spared myself pain twice the one of an actual Rejection. Harry, while he will probably be disappointed about not actually getting the mate which his turning into Veela indicated, would not feel the actual pain of rejection. He isn't a born Veela after all. Thought he will more likely than not call off our truce.' Draco tried to organise his thoughts. 'With my refusing the bond like this, I might one day even be content, although never truly happy without my mate. Harry wouldn't even need to be nearby for that, because like this the separation will be my choice. Like this I let Harry live free of the bond.' Draco smiled sadly as he reached the Potions classroom. He was a few minutes late, but he was sure his godfather wouldn't mind… much.
Before he, however, opened the door a traitorous thought entered his mind.
'But maybe I could have done it differently? Harry really is not one to hold onto grudges that tight after all. Maybe we'd be able to stay friends at least? But surely this is better for both of us? I won't feel the pain of rejection or separation and he is allowed to walk free.'
Once Draco entered the door to the Potions class and already he saw his godfather's scowling face. He wouldn't get out of this without losing some points, but he did not exactly care right at that moment. What importance could a few lost points have after such a turmoil of a morning?
'Not like I can do anything about it now.'
A few storeys upwards from the Potions classroom Remus Lupin was still in the process of trying to get anything but hiccoughing breaths and some tears out of his adopted child.
It did not go exactly well.
The only change from the initial state of things was that Harry went from nearly passing out due to the shortage of breath and choking on tears to being nearly catatonic. Not responding to Remus' words even with more tears, the ball of misery hadn't moved an inch.
However discouraging the development was, Remus only stopped trying to calm the teen for a moment, in order to make a Floo call to excuse Harry from his class.
He would have called Sirius also, but he couldn't quite call his husband away from his very first class of the year. That would undermine his authority as a teacher in an unthinkable manner and Sirius couldn't afford that. Not when at least a portion of each of his classes was still convinced that he was not truly innocent.
And so, gathering their adoptive son in his arms, Remus waited.
He waited whilst trying in vain to get a response from the young Veela, but wait he did none the less.
'What could have caused this?' he asked himself even as he knew that he wouldn't get the answer until he managed to calm his distressed son enough to be capable of speech. Or at least to look at him.
It weighed on the werewolf's mind none the less though.
What could have made his cub, his dear, strong cub, despair like that?
In the end, the reality did not strike home until after Sirius returned from his first class.
"Do you know what's with Harry, Remy? Snivellus complained to me that he skipped his class. Not that I wouldn't do that myself were I in Harry's shoes, but…" It was only then that the grim animagus looked into the room which their little family shared, having entered the door backwards, his hands full of materials for his class. It was needless to say that the sight of his husband trying to calm down their son in the middle of the room was not what he expected to encounter when he finally turned around.
"Harry, puppy, what happened?" Sirius was immediately on the floor also.
It was as soon as Sirius appeared by his side that Harry's eyes snapped open to look at both his fathers. It was as if he only then realised that he was not alone in the room, despite Remus having physical contact with him for the better part of the hour he spent there. He needed all the scents which meant home and safety close.
As the teen's eyes looked at the two canines searchingly though, it only took a moment to come to a conclusion about Harry's state.
Because the jewel-toned eyes of a Veela left little doubt about the source of their son's pain.
"You said there was nearly no possibility of Harry being unhappy because of his mate!" Sirius turned to his husband as soon as the puzzle pieces clicked together in his head. "You said that the chances of Harry being hurt by his mate are near zero!"
"And statistically they are!" Remus snapped back, having come to the same conclusion his agitated husband did. As they talked about the possible outcomes only about a week ago, it was no wonder.
The animagus did not really listen to the werewolf anymore. Instead, he turned into his grim form and ran a few circles around the room, obviously trying to burn off at least a bit of the steam which was gathering in his core. He had an unfortunate habit of letting it go off at the most inappropriate times and at the least deserving people.
Once the worst of his agitation wore off Sirius turned back into a human and immediately went onto questioning the distraught Veela.
"Who is the bastard, Harry? Just give me a name. I don't know all of them yet, but…" Sirius' mouth went off with the speed of a Firebolt. It was no wonder that it took a moment for the other two in the room to gather their thoughts.
"Siri," Remus tried to warn his idiot of a husband, but it seemed to be a vain effort. As it was most the time if the werewolf were to be completely sincere. And yet again, it was no wonder that it did not exactly go well.
"You can't!" Harry cried out, standing up and nearly causing Remus to fall over in the process. Of course, not having changed position in more than an hour meant that soon enough Harry went tumbling back onto the floor. Luckily for him, the more reasonable of his fathers had yet to get up and easily caught him when he fell.
"I can and I will!" Sirius raged, "I will wring his neck until I snap his head off! That worm of a Veela does not deserve to as much as breathe for making you cry and he's going to pay!"
Remus sighed as he watched his husband dig deeper and deeper into the matter. If there was one thing no one could say about Sirius it was that he was not passionate. Now if only he knew how to handle some situations better, that would be great.
"Siri," Remus started again, feeling the body of the Veela in his arms shake. It did not take long for that barely noticeable trembling to intensify once again, which, of course only made Sirius' opinion of Harry's mate worsen and the level of his agitation reach the height of Astronomy tower. The way he was working himself into a state had him running around the room as a grim again soon enough.
Watching the pandemonium that was their living room and cradling the body in his arms gently, Remus could not help but worry. Even with the bleak outlook, it was still only the worse option that they were thinking about. But what if, once Harry was coherent enough, they found out that they should have been prepared for the worst?
Eventually, Harry calmed down.
After some time, some more waves of utter despair, and a mug of hot chocolate, which had unsurprisingly been made and distributed by Remus.
Talk about the source of his tears, however, that Harry did not. Sirius was not exactly happy about that.
"So I got dumped, yeah, big deal." Harry's voice broke in the middle of the sentence, much to his own irritation. "Things like that happen all the time. It's not his fault I'm not what he wanted in a mate. It's not his fault that he doesn't want me."
At those words, both of the teen's adoptive fathers froze. They stared at Harry, at loss of words, because it couldn't be, could it?
"Harry-" Remus started off but fell silent again soon. It took a moment for him to gather his wits enough to try again. "Did he tell you that himself?"
"Did he tell you that directly?" Sirius pressed, knowing that his husband's thoughts had run the same way his own did. Exactly the same way.
"Why?" Harry said in a near-whisper, not able to make his vocal cords cooperate. He so wanted to seem strong for his fathers. To make them worry less. But how could he when-
"I'm going to kill that motherfucker!" Sirius bellowed, soon having to resort to changing his shape again. This time around, however, it seemed that if the werewolf had the same option he would be running around with the grim. At least that was what Harry deduced from the killing intent he saw in the amber eyes.
The young Veela did not understand. Why were his parents so angry? He did get dumped, yes, so he would understand if there was some indignation. It hurt, dear Merlin it hurt so much, yes. But things like that happened all the time.
'It just happened to me this time around,' Harry thought morosely as he burrowed further into the couch, his gaze dropping to his hands, where he held the empty mug still.
"You really don't need to fret over it so much, I just got rejected. No big deal. I'll survive."
Once again all the movement in the room stopped.
"What?" Harry asked, not understanding the depth of his parents' worries.
It was not that surprising. After all, when it came to Veelas, there were not that many information known. Everyone knew that once a born Veela was rejected by their destined mate, they would be likely to die. It was said that more often than not, it depended on the intensity of the feelings which the Veela held for the mate before then as it happened very often that the mate was someone the Veela knew or at least met before reaching their maturity.
The likelihood of the death would also depend on if the rejection was an outright verbal, complete rejection or if the destined mate was willing to spend at least some time with the Veela regularly if they were willing to be friends with the born Veela. It was the alternative when the mate was able to love the Veela to some extent, but not in the romantic sense.
It was not often that a Veela got rejected anyway, for once the mate acquired the new, Veela blood in place of any other creature inheritance, that blood sang for their mate. Unlike the born Veela however, that song could be suppressed. And that was where the tragedies seldom came from. Non-born Veelas were statistically much more likely to reject a mate, though the occasional Rejection happened in a pair of two born Veelas as well.
As far as the general wizarding populace was concerned, that was it.
Except for when it was not.
Because much like the Lupin-Black pair knew, there was a glitch in that natural order.
The rejection that worked much like the one of the born Veela, but was not quite the same. The rejection of the non-born Veela, by the born Veela.
Not many knew of this unfortunate option and neither did Harry.
He was soon going to wish that he had continued living in his blissful ignorance.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, September 2nd, 17:08
The fire in the hearth crackled as it ate at the wood slowly. The people sitting or standing by it were not talking. In fact, none of them had spoken for some time already. It was as if they thought that their voices would sound too loud, too out of place. And so they kept on being silent, only the sounds of their inhales and exhales to be heard in those long, long minutes, the tension that was overcoming the atmosphere even closer to being tangible thanks to that.
"Harry?" Remus started, killing the silence. "Harry, cub, what exactly happened? You don't have to tell us who…"
"Damn, yes he does! I need to know who I need to kill!" Sirius cut his husband off, raging again.
"Sirius, shush!" The werewolf shot a look at the animagus, then turned back to their adoptive son. The son who was shaking again, his mind and body revolting against the idea of turning against his mate, however much of a scum said mate could be in his adopted fathers' eyes at that moment.
"Harry, you really don't need to tell us the details but we need to know at least something. Reverse rejection is not a matter to be trifled with and from what you just told us that can easily be what we will be dealing with. What you could be facing the result of at the moment."
Harry did not reply for a long while. He was still confused about the cold demeanour of the person he thought he had come to know. He was shaken by the utter refusal of their connection. Mostly he was angry with himself.
The part of him that thought like human realised that it was far from rational to cling to a person who did not want to hold onto their side of the bond. However, at the forefront of Harry's mind stood the Veela part of his thoughts. The screaming, raving, aching part of his mind.
Both parts were set on one thought for once. What would this mean for them? What would the refusal mean to a non-born Veela like him?
It was because of that inner turmoil that Harry's voice came out strangely.
To his adoptive fathers, it sounded as if there were two voices speaking at the same time.
"What… What exactly is the Reverse rejection? What does it mean?"
Were Remus a man less strong, he would crumble at the softly-spoken question. The question of two minds, for which neither had an answer. But he needed to be strong. For his cub at least.
"It's-" he started, but his voice betrayed him momentarily. How could he explain something so horrible? But he knew he had to be strong for Harry and so he spoke up again with a stronger resolve, but still quiet enough as to not startle the vulnerable child before him. "It's a rare case of rejection, cub. One nearly unheard of, even among the Veela society. You see, when speaking about the Rejection of Veelas, it usually concerns the mate, who had been turned into a Veela, rejecting the born Veela for one reason or the other. Rejection is also what it's called when a born Veela rejects another born Veela. Do you follow so far?" Remus asked, not quite sure if Harry was even listening to him, in fact.
At a nod, he continued. "However Reverse rejection is different. It is what the Rejection is called when the one doing the rejecting is aimed at a non-bornVeela. Do you understand?"
"It is not much spoken about, there are only very few cases recorded in history. Period. But that does not change the outcome, Harry. When a "normal" Rejection happens, the chances of the born Veela dying are high, but not absolute. That is not the case with the Reverse Rejection. When that happens, the Veela magic eventually attacks the non-born Veela. In the few recorded cases, the non-born Veelas died, Harry."
If Harry's mind wasn't blank before the werewolf's words, afterwards, it for sure would be. Maybe it was because of that that a whole different set of words echoed through Harry's mind with new clarity, filling the sudden emptiness.
"Who would want Harry Potter as their mate? I refuse to be."
'The victims of Reverse Rejection always die?' Harry's heart ached at the conclusions his mind was coming up with. He had truly thought he and the Slytherin Veela got over the mindless hate of their first few years at Hogwarts. Last year, they had become friends almost, dare Harry even say that. He had thought them to be that at least, despite having hoped for more.
It seemed he was sorely mistaken. On all accounts. Not that any of it mattered anymore.
'Would it be such a horrible fate to be even loosely tied to me? Am I so unworthy of love?' Harry's mind raged, screamed, wailed unknowingly echoing the mind process of those few unfortunate souls that had found themselves in the same position over the course of centuries.
"Am I going to die?" he could only brokenly whisper, his words nearly inaudible.
"I would hope not, cub." the werewolf hugged the teen as close as he physically could. It came as no surprise when the two of them soon found themselves engulfed in a third pair of arms.
"We will try to figure something out."
Not saying anything, Harry accepted the offered sentiment.
However empty he knew it to be.
Unsurprisingly, dinner ended up being a sombre affair in the Lupin-Black & Potter family rooms.
Harry could not bring himself to go to the Great Hall.
Sirius and Remus could not bring themselves to leave their son on his own, wanting the assurance that he was alright still. Or at least as alright as the circumstances allowed him to be.
Neither of the three occupants of the room spoke. Neither of the three had much appetite.
As such, they all spent some twenty minutes digging around their respective plates, before they deemed the dinner to be a lost cause.
It was Harry who got up from the table first.
"I'm-" he started, looking at the table, rather than the two men who sat opposite him. "I'm going to do some reading."
With that, he left.
Knowing full-well what that reading would entail, neither of the men followed.
Ever since his fateful birthday, it had become a favourite pastime for Harry to read through the book on creatures Remus had pinpointed his transition to Veela from. Having read through the chapter on Veelas more than once already, the teen knew that it lacked the information he needed at the moment. Trust his current predicament to be as rare as it were. Was it too much to want an ordinary course of anything in his life?
It did not stop him from skimming through the section on Veelas again, though. Searching for at least some information to build on.
Mate is someone who has been chosen by fate to be the only one whom the Veela can be eternally happy with. The ones who complete the Veela on an emotional, physical and magical level ...
'Yeah. Ha. Ha. Don't we know that already?' Harry thought bitterly as he continued on reading the chapter quickly, soon coming to the segment which followed.
For a Veela, being rejected by their mate equals to being found unworthy. Once such a thing occurs the Veela goes into what is simply called Depression and eventually fades away, the need to sustain themselves fading. Although a rare occurrence, there is an average of one case of a Veela falling into Depression every ten years. Only one case every century is caused by a Rejection initiated by a born Veela.
The Rejection followed by Depression is not the only outcome of an unwanted bond though. As opposed to the Rejection, there is an occasional phenomenon called the Separation, which is statistically more likely in the cases of the mate being found later on in life. In the case of Separation, a mate of the Veela does not wish for a romantic bond with the Veela, but maintains a friendship - or at least regular contact - with them instead, keeping them alive thus.
For the Rejection to be initiated in the first place, an outright, verbal rejection has to take place. It is speculated that over the course of the existence of Veelas this failsafe evolved as a way of protecting the species from extinction.
He has always thought that that was it. If you reject a Veela, he or she can die. But of course, there simply had to be more.
'Given how my life is a continuous rollercoaster of bad, worse, and only occasionally good, I shouldn't be surprised. Actually, what with the whole great of being a part of a family, finally, I should have expected it. Life had never been fair.'
There went the excitement of finding so much about Veelas.
Of actually becoming a Veela.
There went the moment of near ecstasy of seeing Draco as the Veela for him, glorious wings spread, eyes shining silver.
'There goes the silly, foolish dream of a happily ever after.'
Not having found what he needed, Harry went to the living room, fully intent on searching his werewolf father's collection of books in his quest for a book that actually held answers he sought.
He needn't have bothered, it turned out, given that as soon as he exited his room and stepped into the open space the owner of the books came up to him with a tome in his outstretched hands.
"This one has some information on it," Remus spoke up, his lips quirking when Harry took the heavy book and staggered under its weight.
"Thank you." Harry brought the book closer to his chest, worried he might drop it.
"Do you want anything else?"
"No. I'm just going to read through this now." The teen shook his head, then looked to the side. "Is it okay if I read here?"
"More than. I'll be in the kitchen if you need anything."
Veelas are from their very nature unresistant to rejection and refusing a bond may kill a Veela, which is often called the Creature of Love. An unsuccessful match need not end in the dreaded Rejection, though.
It is possible for any Veela to live without their mate if a verbal, outright rejection does not happen. Veelas who have not bonded with their mates may even live to be content if their mate is willing to maintain at least a degree of friendship with them if the prospect of love seems impossible. That way the Veela may avoid falling into Depression and escape the fate of eventually wasting away.
Needless to say, it is strongly advised not to outright reject a Veela.
What however wizarding world as a whole is for the most part ignorant to is that it is not only a born Veela who can be affected by rejection. That being said, one should be aware of the existence of what is traditionally called the Reverse Rejection.
It is in fact almost unheard of for Reverse Rejection to happen, though it did occur several times in the past. After all, it does not happen often that it is a born Veela who decides to reject their chosen mate. Once outright rejected, a turned Veela is bound to fall into Depression, much like a born Veela would. This Depression is however different from the one the born Veela would go through.
Much like a born Veela, the non-born Veela feels their need to sustain themselves fading, not eating or sleeping being among the usual symptoms accompanying both types of Depression. For the non-born Veelas, there is however the case of magical rejection. The Veela magic gained during Creature Inheritance recognises the state the non-born Veela entered and starts to eat away at their magical core as the Veela magic itself slowly disappears. It eventually causes the core to start collapsing into itself, putting a strain on the heart which no one is able to withstand for long. It is said to be an instinct which tells the magic that they are unworthy to keep on living if even such a pure creature as Veela does not want them, thinks them lacking. This process is called the Magical Collapse and is the last and longest stage of the deteriorating of the mate. It is a painful process and unlike with the born Veela, there had only ever been recorded one possible outcome of a Reverse Rejection.
It is believed that the only way to stop the aftermath and eventual death caused by Reverse Rejection is a verbal or a physical act of acceptance of the bond from the mate. It is only a speculation, for such a case has not been recorded in the known history. After all, the Veelas, who unlike the general wizarding public has the knowledge of the possibility, has already rejected their mate once, something which should not even be possible from their very principle, yet he or she did exactly that. They already chose to go against their very nature once, why would they feel the need to take their decision back?
Harry kept re-reading the chapter over and over. As it was as if he had a foolish hope that maybe if he continued to read the ancient book which he wanted to cry over the words would change.
He had hoped that the blonde's hatred evaporated over time, he had been convinced of it. You don't spend time talking about your future plans with your enemies. Or apparently, you do, because from the book's description, Reveres Rejection was not something most would wish on their enemy, never mind a friend.
A small flicker of hope that he had been nurturing the entire past year was dying a slow death. That hope that if he and Draco overcame their differences that maybe there would be a chance.
That hope shone brightly in the split moment when the realisation dawned on Harry just who his mate is.
Even when he hadn't yet known who his mate was going to be he had hoped that if their views did not line up from the start, then eventually, they might find happiness with each other.
What a foolish hope.
Out of the five recorded cases of Reverse Rejection in the last twelve centuries, none of the rejected survived.
Completely Harry-centric and some worldbuilding this time, how's this for a change?
Either way, as of now that is all I had from the original story aside from random paragraphs and ideas for later. This means that the upcoming chapter will take longer to come, BUT it will in the end.
Also, given that now I'm much less rigid in how the story will progress, I would like to hear your ideas! I might not always use them, but they serve as a great source of inspiration. Any character you would particularly want to see?