Harry glanced at his clock nervously. 11:59. One more minute to go. One more minute until he could leave the Dursleys. Harry knew he was told to stay here until the summer was over and he went to finish his last year at Hogwarts, but he had already made a plan with Remus and Sirius. They would not pick him up tonight, that would be too suspicious. Instead they were going to come for him the following night and take him back to Grimmauld. They had used the mirror Sirius gave Harry to construct their plan and no one had come by to change or check the wards, so they knew their plan was still a secret. Even though Harry would not be leaving until the following night, once it hit midnight, Harry would be able to perform magic finally and fight back against his relatives. This summer had been like any other. He was given chores and duties that were more tiresome than a house-elf's duty, with the occasional 'disciplinary' actions against Harry. Because Merlin knew Harry could have prevented the house from smelling like dinner, long after they ate. And to make sure he knew better than to do it again, a few cracked ribs and no food or water for three days would fix him.
Harry was about to check his clock again when suddenly he felt a searing pain move down his spine. It felt like hot iron spikes were pressing against his spine, sending shocks through his whole body. He tried to contain the scream that ripped through his chest, but the pain was unlike anything he had ever felt before. He could combine all of the times he encountered Voldemort, including when the final battle, and it would not compare to what was wracking his body now. The pain seemed to continue for hours, but was only mere seconds before he vaguely heard yelling coming from his door. Apparently who ever came to punish him, was either afraid to come near him or unable to in some way. It did not matter to Harry as his body began to convulse suddenly. Harry believed he was going to die because who could ever live through this torture he was going through. He had to wonder as he began to lose consciousness, if somebody did come through the wards and was cursing Harry right now. He could easily believe this was the cruciatus curse.
Harry woke some time after with a dull throbbing licking down his spine into his legs. He turned on his bed, broken cot really, to look at his clock. He become uneasy as it was quite difficult to move his legs, but managed to roll over regardless. 3:27. He had been seventeen for three hours, and if the first three were anything to go by then he was in for a hell of a year. He made to swing his legs off the side of the bed, but when he had difficulty yet again he reached down to push his legs to move them. Harry stopped short when instead of skin, he felt something like scales. Quickly reaching behind him, Harry turned on the small lamp so that he could investigate what he felt. Squinting at the sudden brightness, Harry looked down at his legs and nearly screamed, but managed to contain himself this time. Instead of legs, a large fish tail was attached to his lower body. It was a dazzling silver, with blends of dark grey and white throughout. The fin was wispy and so faint Harry could make out shapes through it. It was gorgeous and mesmerizing, but it should not be there. Harry looked further up along his body to see if there were any other changes. The scales from the tail seemed to caress his torso, thinning out the further they went up. He had a few scales sparsely around his arms, and imagined the same ghostly pattern of scales continued up his neck to his face. He lifted his hands to feel his face and he could feel a few small scales lining his cheeks, he also noted that he had slightly more pointed ears than before, but not quite as defined as elves and similar creatures. He bit his lips trying to withhold his panic, but yelped when he easily bit through his lip. He ran his tongue over the puncture wounds to soothe it when he felt that changes to his mouth. It appeared that he now had small fangs. All appeared to be too much and Harry passed out falling against his bed, into a restless sleep.
Remus and Sirius had spent most of the night drinking so that they would not be tempted to leave the dark house any time that night because of being watched. He normally did not stay at Grimmaul, but with the plan to gather Harry from his relatives made him want to spend the night with his best friend. His was having trouble finding a comfortable position to sleep in because he was not used to sleeping without his mate who refused to stay at Grimmauld. Shortly before midnight, Remus had fallen into a restless sleep, but was woken up by an intense pain in his chest. It felt like a hand had reached into his chest and was squeezing his heart, he had only felt like this once before and it scared him.
"Sirius! Sirius get in here!" Remus shouted in between gasps. He looked when he heard thundering steps and his door burst open.
"Remus, what-" Sirius was cut off by Remus.
"Go get Severus, now. Bring him here," Sirius nodded once and left. Remus faintly heard the whoosh of the fire place. He tried to control his breathing through the pain, but it seemed to just keep going. It felt like it was never going to end. Although he had gone through this before, Remus never had Moony basically purr inside his head. It was finally confirmed what this sensation was when Sirius kicked open the door and helped Severus over to the bed. Remus pulled the man over so his head rested in Remus's lap. He began to growl softly in a soothing manner as he threaded his fingers through the silky black hair. Severus had wrapped his arms around Remus's waist and was crooning softly to help Remus relax as much as the almost purring sounds were doing for him.
"Remus?" Remus looked up to where he heard the quiet voice come from the doorway. He saw Sirius standing cautiously in the doorway, afraid to walk further into the room. He may not like Severus, but he respected Remus and the potions professor was his mate.
"Pull up a chair," Remus said. He watched as Sirius made slow deliberate movements, he understood Remus and Severus enough to know that in such a state he could easily anger the two creatures. Remus looked down at Severus to see the man had fallen asleep. "We received another mate," Remus stated quietly.
"Another? So late?" Remus and Severus were an odd couple already, being two different kinds of creatures. But receiving a third mate was rare, especially one so late. This third would have just gone through their inheritance.
"It is odd, but we will make it work. I wonder who it could be? It must be someone close by, the pull was very strong," Remus reflected.
"I only know of two people who would have come of age today," Sirius said off-handily. But Remus froze. Sirius was right there were only two people who would have come of age tonight. Remus looked over at Sirius with wide eyes while the animagus sat thinking to himself.
"Padfoot, you don't think," Remus trailed off as he thought about the consequences of who might be his young mate. Sirius looked over at Remus and saw the disbelief and a hint of fear. That is when he caught on to what his statement implicated.
"No! It can't be! Why would he be your mate? I don't want him near Snape!" Sirius shouted jumping up from his seat, startling Severus awake who grumbled at the rude awakening.
"Sirius you will stop this! If he is there is nothing you can do about it and I don't appreciate you insulting Severus," Remus called back loudly.
"What is going on?" Severus asked in a slightly raised voice. He was now sitting up in bed behind Remus who had moved towards the edge of the bed.
"He has been robbed of his entire life, why should he be told who to be with?" Sirius continued to yell as he paced the bedroom. It was not fair to his godson that he had no choice of mates. Sure Remus was great and totally enamored with Severus, but that did not mean he wanted his godson to be included with them. Sirius stopped his pacing when a sharp trilling noise was released.
"What is going on?!" Severus bellowed this time now standing beside the bed. He glared at both the mutt and his mate.
"We may know who our new mate is," Remus said shyly. Although he was the dominant with Severus, the man could become quite scary when angered.
"And who may that be?" Severus asked sternly.
"Well, there are only two people we know that would have come into their inheritance tonight. Its July thirty-first," Remus said, not wanting to name anyone hoping that Severus would not become out of control once he learned who they were talking about.
"Yes, I know it is the thirty-first. What does-" Severus was cut off when he remembered why that date was so significant. He looked over to Remus with wide eyes. "Surely there may have been a delay to what we felt?"
"No, I remember when you became of age. I felt the pull immediately," Remus replied.
"Then we will find out tomorrow night we you pick him up," Severus said as he sat back down on the bed, loosing himself in his thoughts. Harry Potter, it seemed, was to be their new mate. The two had apologized for both their misgivings before the term was over, and although they had called a truce it did not mean they were friends. It would be difficult for Potter- Harry- to accept that he was meant to be mates with Remus and himself. Now the mutt's outburst made much more sense.
"Severus?" Remus asked as he sat behind his mate and placed a hand on the man's shoulder. He was acting quite calm at the prospect of who their mate was and it unnerved Remus.
"Potter- Harry and I talked before the end of the term and forgave each other for our misgivings and treatment towards one another. I will not say I am overly excited about the possibility, but I am willing to try. If he is our mate, then I will treat him as such," Severus spoke softly and it stunned the other two into silence.
"Shall we try to get him soon then?" Sirius asked.
"Yes, I think that would be best," replied Remus. Sirius said good night and left the two mates alone. Remus laid back against the pillows and pulled Severus down. Severus tucked himself against Remus's side, his back pressed up against the warm body, with his head resting on his mate's shoulder. Both fell asleep quickly, dreaming of meeting their young mate, who had messy black hair and gem-like green eyes.