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Harry’s 6th year at Hogwarts had been mainly uneventful, especially when compared with his first five years of school. It was full of small raids and minor skirmishes between the Order and the Death Eaters, but Harry hadn’t been involved and none of them had been anywhere near Harry or his friends, so he didn’t think about them too much. The Order and Albus suspected that the Dark Lord was laying low while planning something big...no one knew what. Severus Snape, the Order’s spy, had precious little to share in the way of information. Of course, since Voldemort rarely summoned Snape during the school year, this wasn’t entirely surprising.

 

Harry was wary of this quiet period, but he was also relieved. An uneventful school year had been a blessing and he'd rather enjoyed the chance to simply be a student for once, rather than a hero trying to save the day. It had given him time to work through his feelings about Sirius’ death and time to train properly with various Order members. Now, Harry was sitting on his bed at 4 Privet Drive, brooding over how slowly this summer seemed to be going. It was the day before his 17th birthday and he would be legally able to do magic at midnight and he couldn’t wait. He was also going to be picked up and taken to Grimmauld Place the next day and he couldn’t wait for that either.

 

Harry sighed and flopped backwards onto his back, staring at the ceiling. Just as he realized that if he crossed his eyes and squinted, the cracks on the ceiling sort of resembled Africa, he heard a tapping sound. He turned to the window and smiled; there was a beautiful, dark grey-brown screech owl sitting outside on the window ledge with a letter.

 

“Hello, there.” Harry crooned as he opened the window and the owl stepped inside. “You’re beautiful, aren’t you?” He said, stroking the owl’s head softly. The owl let out a piercing, trilling cry and Harry’s eyes widened – he was used to Hedwig’s hooting and this was nothing like that.

 

Thankfully, the Dursleys were out so Harry didn’t have to worry about them hearing. With a smile and another soft stroke to the owl’s head, Harry removed the envelope tied to its leg. “Thank you. Do you need a reply?” He asked.

 

The owl trilled again and nipped Harry’s finger softly before stepping back out onto the ledge. “Wait! I’ll get you a treat before you go.” Harry told the bird, who paused, ruffled its feathers, and then blinked at Harry while he got out some of Hedwig’s owl treats. “Here you go.” Harry said, holding out a few treats, which the owl ate quickly before it took off.

 

With a small smile still on his face (Harry adored owls), Harry opened the letter. A small scrap of parchment and a folded letter were inside the envelope and Harry picked up the little scrap first. In slanted, cramped handwriting were a few lines.

 

Mr. Potter. This letter was left in my care by your mother. She was, despite your father’s protests, a dear friend and asked that I ensure you receive it before your 17th birthday, in the event she did not live long enough to give you this information herself. As this was one of the only things Lily ever asked of me, I could hardly refuse her. If you have any questions, I suggest you spend some time in the library rather than bothering me. ~ SS

 

Harry blinked; he recognized the handwriting from his Potions assignments. Snape had been friends with his mother? Well, he hadn’t seen that coming. He glanced down at the folded letter. His mother had written him a letter. He touched the heavy paper gently; his mother had touched this paper. She had used it to write him a message. With a deep breath, Harry picked the pages up and unfolded them. Her handwriting swam before his eyes and Harry had to blink several times to clear the tears. Her words were written in a flowing, delicate script. Harry traced his fingers lightly over his own name, written at the top in the greeting, and then took another deep breath and started to read.

 

My Beloved Harry,

 

If you are reading this letter, than I succeeded in saving you but not in saving myself. I am sorry to have left you. You are so precious to me! As I write this, you are nearly 3 months old. Your father and I love you, so very much, Harry. You mean everything to us. You must understand; I was willing to do anything to save you! I was so afraid. That is why this letter is necessary.

 

You are turning 17 soon, or Severus wouldn’t have sent this. And I must warn you. When your birthday comes, you will change. It is all my fault. I didn’t realize, though! I didn’t know what I was doing…I am so very sorry, Harry. I’m not making much sense am I? Let me explain.

 

When I was 7 months pregnant with you, we knew the Dark Lord wanted to kill you. I was terrified that he would find us and succeed. I begged Severus to help me find a way to keep you safe, no matter what. So we researched and finally thought we’d found a way. I gave Severus the funds necessary and he purchased for me a very special bottle. Eagerly I opened it and summoned out the Genie within. That’s right, Harry. A Genie. I didn’t know what else to try! Genie magic is the most powerful there is. So I made my wish, without hesitation. “I wish for the power to protect my son!”

 

I didn’t realize that the Genie would turn me into one! I had no idea that would happen. I was still pregnant with you, Harry, when I became a Genie. This means you are a Genie as well and on your 17th birthday you will receive your powers. Now, I know this is a shock, but you must understand that it worked! I enlisted Severus’ help and gave him my wand and he wished for my son to be protected from harm at the Dark Lord’s hands. I granted his wish and, since you are alive to read this, it has obviously worked! But now, you share the curse I would have spared you. You are a Genie.

 

NEVER let anyone touch your wand, Harry. It is your wand you are bound to and whoever possesses your wand can command you. The only way to be freed from your Master is if they willingly give your wand back to you, as Severus did with me. You must not allow yourself to be enslaved this way, Harry. It is so dangerous…the temptation to keep you bound to them will be strong and you may never be freed! Now, you will not be able to access Genie magic unless you have a Master, so you won’t notice any difference in your spells and you won’t be immortal. Please, be careful, Harry. Please be safe.

 

You will notice some changes, however, that come with being a Genie. There are marks – things that brand you as a Genie. They are different for each Genie, though, so I can’t tell you what to expect. I must warn you: there are limits to Genie magic. Three limits, to be precise. If you ever end up with a Master, please remember these limits and tell your Master of them. 1) You cannot kill anyone within a wish. If your Master wishes someone dead, you cannot comply. Your magic won’t allow it. 2) In companion to the first rule, you cannot bring anyone back from the dead. If your Master asks this of you, explain that you can reanimate the dead body but it will still be dead. It will decompose and be mindless and it’s really not a pretty thing, so it’s best not to do it at all. 3) You cannot make anyone fall in love. Genie magic can create lust, obedience, obsession, and various other emotions…but we cannot create love. No magic can make someone fall in love and not even Genies are exceptions to that.

 

I have only one request to make of you, Harry, regarding your Genie heritage. Please keep this a secret! If anyone knew, they would seek to use you. Trust no one! Severus is the only one who knows what I am, and what you are. Not even James knows. Remember, it is your life and your freedom if someone finds out and binds you to them. I do not want that for you. I want you to be safe, always. Please, Harry, be safe and tell no one what you are. I cannot bear the thought of you being harmed.

 

I love you, Harry.

 

Your Mother,

Lily Potter

 

Harry let the pages fall from his limp fingers. A Genie? He was a GENIE? Harry felt panicked. He felt like he couldn’t breathe. If anyone ever took his wand, they would control him. He would be a slave. His mother was right; no one could ever know. It was bad enough SNAPE knew! If anyone found out…if anyone ever let it slip to Voldemort…he’d be screwed. No…no one could EVER know.

 

He glanced down at the letter and frowned. There were more pages than he had read. How was that even possible? Harry reached out and set aside the two pages of his mother’s letter that he’d read. The remaining pages seemed to be another letter, also written in his mother’s handwriting. Wondering why she’d written a second letter, Harry picked these unread pages back up and continued reading.

 

My Precious Harry,

 

You are 14 months old now, my darling son, and so active! You run around the house like a whirlwind, getting into everything. I love watching you play and reading to you and singing you to sleep. The Dark Lord is still after us, so every day I have with you is precious to me. I fear a great many things Harry, because in these times it’s hard not to fear, but my greatest fear is leaving you behind, without the guidance I wish to give when you come of age and without my presence to comfort you when things look grim.

 

It is because of that fear that I am writing again. In the letter I wrote nearly a year ago (to which this will be added) I told you to trust no one. I must beg your forgiveness for being so cynical. With this war and the constant fear it brings, it’s so hard to know who we can place our faith in. There is one person you can trust, Harry. One person I must plead with you to trust, no matter what. He will be able to help you, if you’ll only let him. Severus Snape. I pray the animosity Sirius and James feel towards Severus hasn’t taken root in you; that I lived long enough for you to see how good of a person Severus is. I hope I am not asking too much of you by asking you to trust him.

 

If nothing else, Severus will have been your teacher for 6 years by the time you read this, and perhaps that will be enough for you to trust him. It is my most fervent wish, however, that Sirius was able to put aside his hatred of my best friend so that Severus was able to have a hand in raising you. He is, after all, as much your godfather as Sirius is. I hope that Sirius allowed this since he knows I want Severus to be a part of your life.

 

He loves you dearly, Harry. I know he doesn’t show his feelings well and I’m sure he treats you the same as the other students, but he does love you! I’m enclosing a picture, Harry, to prove my point. Severus has held my secret all this time and I’m sure he’s kept it even as you read this. He is the best friend I have ever had and I trust him with my life. I trust him with your life as well, Harry. Please, let him be there for you, darling. He loves you every bit as much as Sirius does.

 

Be safe, Harry.

 

Your Mother,

Lily Potter

 

Harry stared at the letter in shock. Severus Snape was his godfather? Harry scrambled for the envelope and he practically ripped it in half trying to get it open again. Yes…there, inside the envelope, was a photograph Harry hadn’t noticed. He took it out with shaking hands and stared at the small, moving image. It was a young Snape holding a squirming, laughing baby in his hands. A baby Harry, with dark hair and green eyes, held lovingly in the arms of Snape. Severus smiled up at the camera, then pressed a kiss to baby-Harry’s head and snuggled him close to his chest. Baby-Harry tolerated the kiss, waved to the camera, and then nuzzled his face happily into Snape’s neck. Obviously baby-Harry was used to being around Snape.

 

Harry turned the photo over and read the writing on the back. His mother had written, <i>‘Severus and Harry, October 10th, 1981.’</i> in her neat script. Under it, in a messy scrawl Harry recognized from the Marauder’s Map, it said <i>‘I can’t believe you took a picture of Snivellus holding Harry! And with Harry in that awful shirt!’</i> and below that, <i>‘Ignore your father, Harry! Sev bought you that shirt for your birthday and I think you look handsome in it.’</i> again in his mother’s hand.

 

Harry flipped the photo over again. Baby-Harry was wearing a black tee-shirt with the green-and-silver Slytherin Crest on the front. When baby-Harry turned into Snape’s embrace and snuggled closer, Harry could just see the back of the shirt, which in silver letters read, <i>‘A Serpent loves me!’</i> and Harry blinked back tears. He had another godfather. Who hated him. Passionately. Harry tucked the photograph, the letters, and Snape’s note back into the envelope and placed the whole thing safely inside the photo album Hagrid had given him at the end of his first year at Hogwarts. Then he curled up on his bed and cried.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Harry woke the morning of his birthday with a yawn and a grin – he was 17 today! It was early – around 7AM – but then, Harry had never been able to sleep in on important days. He sat up and began examining himself. His skin had lost the tan he’d gotten over the last month and was now the color of a porcelain doll’s complexion. He frowned – he didn’t really care for being so pale, but it wasn’t horrible. Harry didn’t notice anything else right away so he went into the bathroom and stripped down, studying himself in the full-length mirror hung on the back of the door. His jaw dropped. There, in his bellybutton, was a piercing. A gold ring hung from the top of his navel and dangling from it was a blue glass charm shaped like a decorative bottle.

 

“Holy shit!” He exclaimed, touching his fingers lightly to the small charm. He twisted and turned from side to side, trying to see if there was anything else. At first he thought there wasn’t until he spotted a hint of color out of the corner of his eye. “What the hell…?”

 

Harry twisted further, struggling to see the small of his back in the mirror. There, just above his ass, was a tattoo. It was several sweeping squiggles that looked like this:  ‘مارد’ and Harry had no idea what it was or what it meant. The design was scrawled in dark blue, with hints of gold flashing as he moved in an attempt to see it better. He wondered if there was a way he could get a picture of it so he could ask Hermione about it. He quickly dismissed the idea – if this marked him as a Genie, it was probably better not to arouse the suspicions of his clever friend.

 

Harry sighed and put his clothes back on before heading back to his room. He could use magic now, but somehow this didn’t thrill him like he’d thought it would only the day before. The only thing he wanted to do was find a book on Genies and learn all he could. Somehow he would have to do so without Hermione noticing, which seemed like a particularly daunting task just then. Harry sighed again, lying down on his back on his bed and glaring up at the ceiling. Why did everything seem to happen to him? He just couldn’t win for losing, or so it seemed…

Chapter Text

Wednesday, September 3rd, was the first Potions class of the year. Harry had tried to corner Snape alone during the summer at Grimmauld Place, but it hadn’t happened. Having no reason to give for wanting to speak to the man alone, Harry had resigned himself to waiting until school started to speak with his apparent-godfather. Now Harry was slowly putting his things into his bag, waiting for the classroom to empty. He’d waved Hermione on ahead and while she’d given him a funny look, she’d gone. Finally everyone else was gone and Harry slung his bag over his shoulder and walked to the front of the room, standing before Snape’s desk, silent.

 

“Can I help you, Potter?” Snape asked without looking up from the paper he was grading.

 

“That depends.” Harry replied, his voice low and cool. “Are you going to continue lying to me, like you have for the last 6 years, or are you going to tell me the truth?”

 

Severus Snape looked up, his black eyes hard. “It was not my secret to tell, Potter. Surely you can understand that. In fact, I would think your Gryffindor nobility would approve.”

 

“I didn’t mean that!” Harry snapped, annoyed. “I meant the fact that you’re my godfather and could have kept me out of that hell hole I’ve lived in for the last 16 years, if you’d actually bothered to give a damn about me!”

 

Severus stood and braced his hands on his desk, glaring at Harry. “Do not presume to speak to me so disrespectfully, Potter. One day your temper will get you into trouble that you won’t be able to worm your way out of.” He sneered. “Albus placed you with your relatives for your own good. Perhaps, if you didn’t think of yourself as knowing more than everyone else, like your father did…”

 

“Shut up!” Harry shouted, his cheeks turning pink. “Bloody hell; is that your standard bullshit excuse for everything? If you don’t like something I’m saying or doing, claim I’m like my father and it’ll all be okay?” Harry fisted his hands in his robes, twisting the dark material angrily. “Is that what you tell yourself to make it okay that you abandoned me? I’m just like James, so it’s okay?”

 

“I did not abandon you!” Snape snarled, glaring heatedly at the teenager in front of him. “That’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever said, Potter, and that’s saying something!”

 

Harry laughed, slightly hysterically. “Really? You didn’t abandon me? So what the hell do you call it, Severus?” Harry sneered the man’s name. “You shipped me off to relatives who starved me, treated me like a slave, and locked me in a cupboard for 10 years just so you wouldn’t have to deal with the son of James Potter. Never mind that my mother wanted me with you! Never mind that she thought you loved me!” Harry swiped furiously at the tears on his cheeks. “Guess that’s a laugh, huh? Merlin, you must be one hell of an actor to have fooled her into thinking you gave two shits about me.”

 

Snape’s whole face twisted in anger at Harry’s words and he leaned further over his desk. “I did not abandon you, Potter.” He hissed furiously. “You were never mine to begin with. Albus declared your relatives to be the best place for you and that was the end of that.”

 

Harry laughed again, bitterly this time. “You know, Severus, it’s actually funny. You spent years calling Sirius a worthless, spineless coward when that title belongs to you. Sirius wouldn’t have cared who said what about anything. He would never have let anyone take me from him. He’d have fought, tooth and nail, to keep me. The only reason he didn’t manage it was because he got tossed in Azkaban and was then on the run.” Harry wrapped his arms around himself protectively. “What the fuck is your excuse?”

 

Harry had never seen his Potion’s Master look so…devastated…before. Severus sank back down into his chair and rubbed his eyes tiredly. Then he cleared his throat and said, very quietly. “They would never have awarded me custody of you, Harry. I’m a Death Eater, remember?”

 

Harry shook his head. “I’m calling bullshit on that one, sorry.” Harry sighed when the man looked angry again. “Albus Dumbledore vouched for you after the fall of Voldemort, saying publicly that you were a spy and not a Death Eater. With his word on your side the Ministry couldn’t lock you up and they couldn’t have kept me from you. My mother’s wishes were clear – she named you my godfather. They couldn’t have done a damned thing to keep you from taking me.”

 

Dark eyes bore into green as Severus spoke again. “I would have been found out as a spy had I taken you into my custody.”

 

Harry met those eyes unwaveringly – Severus Snape no longer frightened him. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to call bullshit on that one as well.” He said in a tone that was almost apologetic. “No one was even sure Voldemort was coming back or how long it would be until he did. Besides, in my 1st year Voldemort tried to get me to side with him. All you would have had to do was say that you were trying to sway me to the Dark and he’d have forgiven you.”

 

“I am a teacher at Hogwarts!” Severus declared desperately, gesturing around him at the classroom they still sat in. “What would I have done with an infant, Harry? How would I have cared for you or kept watch over you during class? For the love of Merlin, I could not have had a 5 year old sitting in the room while students brewed unstable potions!”

 

Harry was instantly furious and, in a fit of temper, swept his hand out in a violent motion. He knocked stacks of parchment off Snape’s desk, sending them scattering over the stone floor. The action also knocked over the inkwell and red ink oozed slowly across the dark wood of the desk. “Bullshit!” Harry screamed, his face red and tears streaming down his cheeks.

 

“That’s the biggest pile of bullshit ever!” Harry was breathing heavily, his whole body trembling with rage, his eyes bright and damp as he continued crying. “The other teachers would have helped watch me during their free periods if you’d only asked. You could have made watching me during study periods or free periods an alternative detention to missing a Hogsmeade Saturday for the upper years! You could have paid some of the 7th year students to babysit me during their free periods!”

 

Harry’s voice shook with emotion as he continued. “And in a worst case scenario, Severus, there are hundreds of bloody house elves in this castle and any one of them could have watched me for a few hours while you were teaching a class!” Harry dashed away his tears angrily. “It doesn’t matter now, I guess. It’s too late to matter now.”

 

He glared hatefully at the older man his mother claimed had loved him once. “But you could have tried. For me. For my mum.” More tears filled his eyes, sparkling on his sooty lashes. “I needed you to try and you didn’t. You didn’t even visit. You could have checked on me. You could have come and seen how they treated me and saved me from that. You could have cared.”

 

Severus opened his mouth to speak; to apologize and beg forgiveness from the angry teenage boy before him. He had wanted Harry so badly…he had begged Albus to let him take the boy. But Albus had stood firm that Harry would be better off with his relatives and Severus had trusted him. He had never checked on Harry because he’d feared he wouldn’t be able to walk away. He would have wanted to gather Harry up in his arms and take him back to the castle and keep him and Albus swore he was safe and happy with his family so Severus knew he had to leave him there. If only he had gone…even just once…

 

Before he could say even a single syllable, Harry held up a hand. “Don’t.” He said softly, his voice low and raw and full of pain. “I don’t want to hear it. Mum said in her letter that you loved me. I think that, maybe once, you did. But obviously it wasn’t enough.” Harry made an abrupt gesture and something fluttered onto Snape’s desk. “Here. Keep it. To remember me by.” Harry turned on his heel and walked towards the door.

 

Once there, he paused, hand on the knob. “For whatever it might mean to you now, Severus Snape, though I’m sure it’s not much…” Harry’s voice was calm and level and he held himself stiffly as though trying to muster his dignity. “For whatever it’s worth…I would have loved you back. If you’d shown me even a fraction of the affection Mum claimed you felt, I would have loved you in a heartbeat.” That proud, dark head bowed and Severus saw his shoulders shake. “Goodbye.”

 

The door opened and Harry stepped out it and it shut again with barely a whisper of sound. Severus Snape sat numbly at his ink-stained desk, parchment littering the floor around him, and stared down at the thing Harry had thrown. With trembling fingers he picked up the photograph. He read the words scrawled across the back – Lily’s words and then James’ and then Lily’s again – and then turned the photo over. He watched, his heart aching, as the small child he’d loved so dearly snuggled into his arms. He thought of all Harry had said and accused and he ached with regret. He had loved Harry; he’d loved the precocious child who had run to him crying ‘Sevvie!’ the moment he saw him, who had squealed and squirmed with laughter when tickled, who had sucked his thumb and snuggled close to his chest when tired. He had loved Harry so much; he should have fought for him.

 

Placing his face in his hands, he thought back over their conversation, his mind circling again and again to the final word Harry had spoken. ‘Goodbye.’ In a voice filled with pain and sorrow. Severus knew he had lost his chance; Harry would not give him another one. He had forever lost the beautiful child who had once loved him. He had forever lost the last piece of Lily, the sister of his heart. He had failed her; failed to raise Harry and keep him safe and ensure he was loved. He had failed Lily, he had failed Harry, and he had failed himself.

 

Heedless of the spilled ink Severus Snape folded his arms on the desk, lowered his head onto them, and sobbed. He did not know that 7 floors above him, in a bed made up in gold-and-red, Harry Potter was crying as well.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

It was Wednesday, October 8th, and Harry was ambushed leaving Charms class. Okay, ambushed was probably an exaggeration. Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, Zabini, and Parkinson blocked Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville on their way towards the library. “Well, if it isn’t Hogwarts resident heroes.” Draco sneered, making the word ‘heroes’ sound vile.

 

Harry snarled and drew his wand. “Out of our way, Malfoy!” He snapped; his temper was notoriously short these days. Trying to hide his tattoo in the locker room and the dormitory meant showering after everyone else left after practice and showering super-early every morning, so his sleep schedule was completely off. “I’m not in the mood to deal with your shit today.”

 

With a small, unnoticeable flick of his wrist, Draco’s wand slid from its wrist-holster and into his hand. “Expelliarmus!” The blonde snarled, neatly catching Harry’s wand as it arced through the air between the two groups of students. Then he sneered at Harry. “Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to draw your wand on a Pureblood, Potter? We’re excellent duelists.”

 

Harry whole body tensed up; partly because he knew that by ‘Pureblood’ the Slytherin meant ‘Death Eater’, but also because his wand was now held loosely in that pale, aristocratic hand. Harry felt his Genie magic for the first time – felt it rise within him and surround him, trying to bend him to Draco Malfoy’s will. Harry resisted, clenching his teeth and locking his knees as he felt them try to bend. He fought with everything in him against a magic stronger than the Imperius Curse; this magic was a part of Harry in a way no mere compulsive spell could be.

 

Hermione frowned as Harry swayed before their eyes. She glanced at Malfoy to see him frowning at Harry as well, Harry’s wand still clasped loosely in his hand. “What the hell is wrong with you, Potter?” Malfoy snapped; this wasn’t fun if the Gryffindor didn’t fight back!

 

Hermione watched as Harry gritted his teeth and snarled from between them. “Give it back.” When Draco arched a single blonde eyebrow, Harry growled and snapped angrily. “Give it back!”

 

Hermione’s eyes widened as Harry’s knees started to buckle, though he stopped them through sheer willpower from giving out completely. Sweat beaded on his forehead and Hermione turned to Ron and Neville, whispering. “Get his wand back! Now! Just grab it or something; quickly!”

 

Ron stared at his girlfriend like she was insane, but Neville had realized long ago that Hermione often knew things no one else did and it was best not to question her. Before anyone could blink, Neville rushed Malfoy, tackling him to the ground. Malfoy shrieked, horrified, as Neville yanked Harry’s wand away and twisted, whipping it at Harry. “Catch!” He yelled.

 

Harry’s hands reached out automatically and he caught his wand. Instantly he felt the extra magic drain from his body – he felt weaker, but also more in control and he grinned, completely relieved to be himself once more. “Thanks, Neville.” Harry said gratefully, slipping his wand into his pocket. “You can let Malfoy up now.”

 

Neville stood and brushed himself off while Draco gaped up at him from the floor. The Gryffindors then stepped – one by one – over the prone blonde boy and continued towards the library. The Slytherins, unfortunately for Draco, were too shocked to do anything to stop them.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Harry yelped as Hermione dragged him behind a bookshelf, out of sight of Ron and Neville. “You couldn’t have just called my name like a normal person, ‘Mione?” He asked crossly.

 

“You couldn’t have told your best friends that you’re a Genie?” Hermione retorted in a furious whisper, her eyes narrowed and her arms crossed over her chest. “Why wouldn’t you tell us, Harry? We’re your friends! We can’t protect you if we don’t know these things!”

 

Harry stared at Hermione. He couldn’t think of anything to say. If he lied, she’d know; Hermione always seemed to know when he lied. She might let the lie hold for a little while, if she was feeling generous, but she’d bring it back up eventually. She always did. He supposed it was better to explain and have her guard his secret with him, than to risk her blurting something out in front of others in an attempt to corner him about it. With that thought, Harry made his choice.

 

He glanced carefully around to ensure they were alone, dropped his robe, turned his back on Hermione, and hiked his shirt up a few inches. “Any clue what the hell this means? If you know I’m a Genie, you might as well make yourself useful!” He teased, peering at her over his shoulder.

 

Hermione leaned forward, touching it lightly. “It looks like Arabic…but I’ll need to copy it down at some point to be able to translate it.” She straightened up and gave Harry a stern look as he fixed his shirt and put his robe back on. “Now, care to explain why you kept this to yourself?”

 

“Because no one can ever know what I am.” Harry explained simply. “If people knew, they’d try to take my wand and enslave me. I can’t risk it. What if Voldemort found out?”

 

“Does anyone know?” She asked, her eyes wide. “The Headmaster or Remus or someone? How did you even become a Genie in the first place?”

 

Harry sighed. “Snape knows, because he knew my mum was one. Apparently he helped her get the Genie that made her into one and I guess they were friends or something. She used Genie magic – by having Snape make a wish – to protect me from Voldemort.” When the Gryffindor girl’s mouth fell open in shock, Harry grinned sheepishly. “There’s a letter; I’ll show it to you. But yeah, that was pretty much my reaction to the whole thing. Then the next day – my birthday – I woke up with a tattoo and a belly ring and I’ve spent the last month of school doing research. The whole thing is insane, really.”

 

“A belly ring?” Hermione questioned. Before Harry could reply, she’d reached out and yanked his shirt up in front, revealing the small glass charm suspending from the ring. She studied it for a moment, her head tilted to the side, then let his shirt fall and shrugged. “It’s pretty, I suppose. I’m guessing you’ve been keeping it and the tattoo hidden?

 

“Of course.” Harry chuckled softly. “Look, ‘Mione, I appreciate whatever help you can give me, especially after earlier, with Malfoy. It’s nice to have someone who knows that isn’t, you know, Snape. But you have to keep it a secret.” Harry met her eyes solemnly. “Snape never told anyone about my mum and it’s the only reason no one knows about me; the only reason I’m still safe. You have to swear. If you can’t keep it from everyone, including Ron, then I’ll ask Snape to Obliviate you.” He bluffed.

 

Her eyes widened, and then she smiled slightly. “I see you knew better than to threaten to Obliviate me yourself.” She bumped her shoulder against Harry’s, nudging him playfully. “Of course I’ll keep your secret, Harry. Now, tell me everything you’ve read so far and get me that letter so I can read it and we’ll make a chart of what we know and set up a time for me to copy the tattoo down so I can start searching for it and…”

 

As Hermione rattled off a million things to do to ‘help’ Harry, he couldn’t help smiling. It was nice not to be alone. He hadn’t asked Snape for help at all; that would just be weird, especially after their confrontation. (He didn’t even like being in the same room as the older man anymore; Potions was a hell he hadn’t even imagined possible these days.) So he’d been shouldering this burden by himself for two months. It was a relief to be able to share the load. Harry knew he could trust Hermione not to say anything. She’d also help find every scrap of information available about Genies; no one beat his friend at research. Yes, with Hermione to help him, it would all be okay.

Chapter Text

Saturday, October 25th

 

Harry let his head fall onto the table with a thud. Hermione chuckled. “Oh come on, Harry. We’re making a lot of progress! Just look at everything we’ve learned.”

 

“We’ve learned a bunch of useless crap.” Harry replied, his voice muffled slightly by the wood of the table they were seated at in the library. “Who gives a shit if there are three types of Genies?”

 

Hermione sighed and said pointedly. “You should, Harry. It’s important to understand your limits and the differences between Djinn, a Muggle that’s a Genie, and a Wizard or Witch that’s a Genie matter.”

 

Harry groaned into the table, then turned his face to the side to glare at his friend. “Yes, I get it. I’m not imprisoned between masters like the other Genies are. The upside of being a Wizard; hurray.” Harry’s voice was laced with sarcasm as he rolled his eyes. “I don’t see how the fact that I’m bound to my wand instead of a bottle like a Muggle would be is important, though! And the Djinn are separate creatures entirely – for all that they’re the original Genies – so how can anything about them matter at all?” He winced as Hermione kicked him under the table. “Ow!” He whinged.

 

“Don’t disparage knowledge, Harry.” She said superiorly. “All knowledge is important, if you just know how to apply it. The Djinn, for instance, have different levels of power. So Ifrits top the list, followed by Marids and Shaytans and then other types.” She ignored Harry rolling his eyes at her again and continued explaining why any of this mattered. “The tattoo on your back reads ‘Marid’ in Arabic which means that if you traced the Genie gift back far enough, it would eventually lead to a Marid. This means you’re one of the most powerful Genies alive, Harry. That’s important.”

 

Harry sighed. “I know, ‘Mione. I get it. It’s just…none of this is helpful, no matter how important it is.” He sat up and smiled weakly at her. “All we’ve managed to discover that’s useful is that I can go about 50 meters from my wand before I get yanked to a stop. Which is great to know, except that it doesn’t help me get any closer to getting away from my wand.”

 

“I don’t see why you want to try to find a way to separate from your wand anyway.” Hermione said with a sigh as she pushed a few pieces of parchment to the side to look at another book. “Isn’t it safer for you to keep it close to you?”

 

Harry nodded and tried to explain. “Sure, it’s better to be close when I’m unbound. If I ever get stuck with a Master, though, I’ll be practically glued to their side. Muggle-made Genies get the option of hiding in their bottle to get away from their Master. I won’t have that luxury. I’d really like to find a way to stretch the distance some, just in case.”

 

“Mmmm…” Hermione made a noncommittal noise of response as she read. “Well, let’s keep reading then, alright? We’re bound to find something eventually.” She pointedly ignored the loud thud as Harry let his head hit the table again.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Friday, October 31st

 

Harry grinned widely. Hermione was right; research paid off if you just stuck with it long enough. “I found it!” He told her, shoving the book under her nose. “Look!”

 

The page detailed a spell for a Wizard or Witch turned genie to use to create their own bottle. This way if they wished to be away from their Master they could hide in the bottle. As long as they were in the bottle, they could be as far from their Master as they wanted. Of course, the moment they left the bottle they were immediately at their Master’s side again, but still. It was the first way Harry had found to stretch the distance at all and it was certainly better than nothing. He was thrilled at the possibility of having a way to get some space if it ever came down to it.

 

Hermione’s eyes flew over the page Harry was showing her and she smiled. “Yes, I can see that. This will be nice if you have a Master one day, though let’s hope it never comes to that.” She knocked lightly on the table, earning her an eye roll for her superstition. “Would you like to do this now or…?”

 

Harry drew his wand. “Now.” He said. He gave a cursory glance around the library; it was Friday and the library was mostly empty and no one was near enough to them for it to be an issue. He cast a quick translation spell – the spell in the book was in Arabic and he couldn’t figure out how to pronounce the squiggles without help.

 

He pointed his wand at himself and whispered. “زجاجة ربط لي.”

 

Hermione watched nervously as a blue light engulfed Harry. It slowly condensed into a ball of blue light, hovering between his wand and his heart. With a fluid swishing-motion, Harry flipped his wand around so it was pointed at the table. The ball touched the table and began to form, like clay on a pottery wheel being molded or glass in a fire as a glassblower worked. It grew taller and took shape as a bottle, growing thinner and taller, with a wide base and a delicate-looking stopper. It was a deep cobalt blue with swirling, looping designs in gold and red and white and stood about 12 inches tall. It was one of the most beautiful things either Harry or Hermione had ever seen.

 

Hermione reached out to touch it, her eyes widening as her fingertips met the glass. “It’s warm.” She whispered as she picked it up, testing its weight. “Light, too.”

 

Harry took it from her and, with another careful look around, threw it onto the stone floor as hard as he could. The second the glass made contact with the stone, the bottle froze and righted itself so it was standing on the floor. Harry and Hermione shared a grin; the book had claimed the bottle was indestructible but it never hurt to be sure. Harry picked the bottle back up and pulled the stopper out, peering inside. All he could see was blue glass and with a sigh he re-stoppered the bottle. Apparently he couldn’t use the bottle unless he had a Master. He tucked the bottle into his schoolbag, pleased he didn’t have to worry about it breaking.

 

“Come on.” He told Hermione, grinning. “I’d like to get this safely put away in my trunk before it gets seen and people start asking questions.”

 

They only made it as far as the hallway outside the library when alarms began to blare – Hogsmeade and the castle were under attack.

Chapter Text

Harry and Hermione didn’t hesitate; they ran for the Entrance Hall as fast as they could. Once there, Hermione began directing the Prefects – who knew to meet there in the event of an emergency – to take everyone under 5th year to the Room of Requirement, where they would be safe until someone could come and get them. Harry hurried over to where the DA was standing near the Order. Harry quickly explained to them that he wanted their primary focus to be getting the people of Hogsmeade up to the castle – they were free to assist Aurors and Order members if assistance was needed, but if any of the Order or Aurors told them to run or hide then they were expected to listen, just like they were expected to listen to Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna, Ginny, or the teachers. They had the only experience fighting actual Death Eaters, after all, and the other students needed to respect that.

 

Then Hermione and Ron joined him – Ginny was assisting the other Prefects in rounding up the younger students – and the DA moved over to join the Order. Several members looked ready to protest, but Dumbledore cleared his throat and cut them off. “These students have been personally trained by Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Among the best of them are Neville Longbottom, Ginny Weasley who will join us soon, and Luna Lovegood. Those three along with Harry and his friends have all gone toe-to-toe with Death Eaters before.” He smiled at the students. “The others know to defer to us during battle, but they are able and willing to fight. We will need their numbers. Trust them to guard your backs if they need to, but don’t place them in unnecessary danger. They are, after all, students.”

 

With only a few more brief instructions, everyone began the long march to Hogsmeade.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Harry ducked down an alley, panting. He was tired and sore and blood was dripping down his left arm from a severing spell he hadn’t quite managed to avoid; it had hit high on his arm and stung fiercely, but Harry was just grateful it wasn’t his wand arm. He wasn’t sure who had more numbers – the Death Eaters or the Aurors, the Order, and the DA combined. He’d seen several of their people battling a single Death Eater at times, but he’d also seen several Death Eaters against a single Auror or particularly skilled Order member, so it was hard to say. The DA had evacuated most of the village, though a few people had chosen to stay and fight.

 

All around Harry buildings were burning. The handful that weren’t on fire had shattered windows and huge gaping holes in the walls, so broken glass and wood and stone littered the streets. There were bodies everywhere, too. Harry refused to look at any of them; he was terrified of who he might see, lying broken and bleeding amidst the rubble and chaos. He had barely stopped moving in the last two hours. He kept moving, hoping he would see Voldemort when he turned onto the next street or when he moved past the next building. Harry just wanted this whole awful mess to be over. He couldn’t very well kill Voldemort, though, if the evil maniac refused to show his face. He’d paused only long enough to dispatch a Death Eater now and then, though he did his best to merely incapacitate them rather than killing them. It didn’t matter how awful these men were; Harry refused to be anyone’s executioner if he could get around it. He didn’t even want to be Voldemort’s executioner, really. He just didn’t have a choice.

 

Having caught his breath, Harry continued through the alley and onto another cobbled street. He was back in the center of town, Harry realized with a start. How had he managed to come full-circle without realizing it? He stepped forward a bit more and final spotted him. Standing tall and pale, his red eyes narrowed as they took in the destruction around him. His thin, lipless mouth curved upwards in twisted enjoyment of the battle. He was casually surveying the damage to the village when his eyes suddenly landed on Harry. His smile widened into a grin. Harry wondered if he look as bad as he felt, then decided it didn’t matter.

 

“Harry.” Voldemort caressed Harry’s name with his voice in a way that made Harry shudder. “Come out to play, have we?” He asked, idly twirling his wand.

 

“Children play.” Harry said, his voice cool as he stepped into the cobblestone clearing that served as the heart of Hogsmeade. “And I’m not a child any longer; you saw to that.” He leveled his wand at the darkest wizard the world had ever known and calmly stated. “I’m here to kill.”

 

 The Dark Lord threw his head back and let out a chilling laugh; the Inner Circle Death Eaters nearest to him joined in. “Really, Harry?” He asked, amusement lacing his ice-cold voice. “So eager to become a murderer, little boy…perhaps you’re on the wrong side of this war.”

 

Harry ground his teeth together as the dueling all around them came to a halt – the Death Eaters moved to form a half circle behind the Dark Lord while the Order, Aurors, the DA, and various villagers formed up behind Harry. This was it, then; the final moments of this war. Either Harry would kill Voldemort today or Voldemort would kill him. Harry wished he’d had more time, more training…he wished he’d kissed someone other than Cho Chang or that he’d had a chance to lose his virginity. He wished he’d dated more or been able to see Ron and Hermione get married. But if this was the end than he would meet it with pride and dignity and courage. Or, failing that, than at least with bravado and an attitude worthy of the son of a Marauder.

 

He schooled his features into pleasant boredom and took a few steps closer to Voldemort. “Tell me, Voldie.” Harry said conversationally, his wand still leveled at the snake-like man’s heart. “How does it feel to know a teenager is destined to kick your crazy arse to hell and back?”

 

“Such cheek.” Voldemort scolded, his eyes narrowed. “That sharp tongue must get you into a lot of trouble, Harry. Now, why don’t you stop being such a stubborn child and join me. Surely you realize by now that power such as yours belongs at my side.”

 

Harry laughed coldly. “Yeah, no.” He said with a trace of sarcasm. “See, I don’t really like the idea of death and destruction and chaos. So I’m going to have to decline your offer, generous as it is.” He raised his eyebrow at Voldemort. “Now, are we just going to chat all day or are we going to duel?”

 

Voldemort smiled and Harry felt a moment’s fear – every instinct in him was screaming at him to run and he didn’t know why. He was a Gryffindor; he didn’t run from a fight. Especially not a fight with so much riding on it. In the end, it was that moment’s hesitation that doomed him. His wand dipped for just a fraction of a second as he turned his head and glanced behind him, as though he were gauging the distance to freedom and safety. As his head turned back to the Dark Lord, it was too late.

 

“Expelliarmus.”

 

Harry gasped as his holly-and-phoenix-feather wand flew from his hand. He watched that precious bit of wood and feather flip end-over-end as it flew nearly 60 meters through the air and landed in Voldemort’s pale, long-fingered hand. Harry immediately staggered forward 10 meters, unable to stop himself from moving closer to his wand. As soon as he felt the tugging sensation stop, he rooted his feet to the ground; the compulsion to get closer was still there, but at 50 meters he could resist it. He was terrified; he didn’t know how long he could fight the Genie magic off. He needed to get his wand back; quickly.

 

Off in the crowd, Hermione was practically hyperventilating. “Oh no!” She cried softly. She turned to Neville, Ginny, and Ron who were standing near her. “Harry has to get his wand back.”

 

“Well duh.” Ginny said sarcastically. “It’s not like that’s not obvious. But Harry’s resourceful and he’s really well-trained. Don’t worry so much!” She was nervous as well, but Hermione looked ready to collapse and the younger girl didn’t understand why.

 

“You don’t get it.” Hermione said, watching in terror as Harry was dragged – as though by invisible hands – closer to his wand and his Master. “We have to get it back for him!”

 

“I know I tackled Malfoy and all.” Neville said, sounding terrified. “But I’m not tackling the Dark Lord. I’m brave, but I’m not that brave! Why are you so panicked?”

 

Ron watched Hermione’s face crumple and then squeezed her hand tightly. “Tell us, ‘Mi.” He encouraged softly. “Help us understand.”

 

Hermione let out a choked sob and explained in a whisper. “Harry is a Genie. If we can’t get his wand back, then in a matter of minutes his Genie Magic will take control and he’ll reveal himself. He’ll be enslaved to Voldemort.”

 

The others paled dramatically and they quickly put their heads together, trying to come up with a plan as quickly as possible. In the cobblestone courtyard, Harry was trying to remain on his feet. He ground his teeth together so hard he thought he could hear them cracking from the pressure. He locked his knees and dug his nails into the palms of his hands. He ignored the sweat he could feel beading his skin and did his best to reign in the magic he could feel surrounding him. He didn’t want this – he couldn’t allow this. He had to fight it.

 

“Why don’t you give me back my wand and duel me as an equal?” Harry snapped, hating the way his voice shook and his body swayed.

 

“Now why would I want to do that?” Voldemort asked, studying the wand in his hands carefully. “This is a lovely wand, Harry, truly.” He ran a long finger over the teeth marks on the handle and tutted softly. “You really oughtn’t to chew on it, though. A wand must be respected, Harry.” His voice was annoyingly patronizing, like a parent speaking to a naughty child.

 

Harry forced his lips to curve up into a smile that was more of a pained grimace and said. “Give it back and I’ll do my best not to bite it anymore.” He drew one trembling finger in an ‘X’ over his heart. “Cross my heart.”

 

“Hope to die?” Voldemort taunted with a chuckle. Harry briefly did, though – if he was dead, at least he wasn’t enslaved. “No, I don’t think I’ll give it back, Harry. I should like to hold on to this for a time. It’s such a simple wand, you see and yet it’s so very powerful…yes, it intrigues me.”

 

Hermione was just preparing to give Ron and Neville the signal to set off some of Fred and George’s fireworks to distract Voldemort and the Death Eaters so Ginny could snatch the wand when it was suddenly too late.

 

A cobalt-blue smoke began to twist its way around Harry’s feet. It grew thicker as it snaked its way upwards, coiling around his calves and then his knees and then his thighs. Everyone present stared in confused silence as the smoke swiftly wrapped around Harry Potter – from his toes up past his messy hair – and seemed to form into a swirling cloud of rich blue with hints of gold. No one moved or spoke and many people had stopped breathing altogether. None of them (save a few Gryffindors and a single distraught Potion’s Master) understood what was happening. The Death Eaters feared it was some sort of trick or rare magic; the Light side all wondered who had taught this particularly odd piece of magic to Harry and tried to figure out what it could possibly do. They had their answer moments later.

 

The smoke cleared and revealed Harry once again. He wore simple cloth shoes with pointy toes on his feet in a deep, shimmering gold color. His pants were a dark cobalt blue that matched the nearly-vanished smoke perfectly and were loose, flowing dimijie pants. They were gathered at the top by more of the shimmering gold fabric that Harry’s shoes were made of. The gold formed a ‘V’ – it sat high on his hips at the sides, but dipped daringly low in the front. The gold hoop piercing his navel flashed in the late-afternoon sunlight and the little glass bottle charm sparkled like a gemstone. His torso was mostly bare; he wore only a short vest in deep cobalt blue, also trimmed in gold, that was open in the front and barely came down to the bottom of his breastbone in length. Those standing behind Harry could clearly see the Arabic writing tattooed across the base of his spine in blue and gold.

 

The last smoke lingering near Harry’s feet snaked into Harry’s schoolbag – which he’d been wearing when the smoke enveloped him but which now sat on the ground near his feet – and Harry’s Genie bottle came floating out, carried on the last remaining wisps of smoke. It floated over to Voldemort while Harry watched dispassionately. The stunned Dark Lord took the bottle and the smoke vanished, leaving everyone standing in stunned silence. Harry’s face was blank as he casually strolled up to Voldemort. He stopped about 10 feet in front of him and – in a single, fluid motion – dropped to his knees, stretched his arms over his head, and bowed down so his palms were flat on the ground and his nose was just a breath away from touching the cobblestones. He was a perfect picture of submission and obedience.

 

After a slight pause, during which no one said or did anything, Harry’s voice could be heard. In a low, sultry tone that carried to every last person witnessing the incident, Harry said a single word that struck terror in the hearts of everyone present. “Master.”

Chapter Text

Voldemort began to laugh – the sheer irony of the moment was too perfect. When he finally managed to gain control of himself, he smiled evilly at Harry’s prone form. “Harry. Come here.”

 

Harry rose gracefully to his feet and moved until he was standing directly in front of Voldemort. He blinked uncaringly up at the Dark Lord. “Yes, Master?” He asked softly.

 

“You are a Genie.” It wasn’t a question, but Harry nodded anyway – the grin on the Dark Lord’s face grew wider. “You are my Genie.”

 

“Yes, Master.” Harry said simply, though his face twisted briefly into a look of anger. “Do you wish for something, Master?”

 

Voldemort found himself intrigued by the brief flash of emotion he’d seen. “You’re very accepting of this, Harry. I’d expect you to be ranting in true Gryffindor fashion.”

 

Harry shrugged carelessly, saying nothing. Hermione couldn’t stand this for another second and she rushed into the clearing, grabbing Harry’s arm, uncaring that she was closer to the Dark Lord than she’d ever been before. “Harry, fight it!” She cried, shaking him slightly. “You can’t just give in to your magic like this! Please!”

 

“And who might you be, girl?” That cold voice chilled Hermione and she turned to meet red eyes.

 

“Hermione Granger.” She said softly, her whole body trembling though her chin rose with stubborn determination as she added. “Proud Muggleborn, Head Girl, brightest witch to pass through Hogwarts in nearly a century, best friend of Harry Potter, and girlfriend to the youngest Weasley son.” She could hardly believe her own daring.

 

“And do you understand why Harry is so…complacent?” Voldemort asked. He casually slipped Harry’s wand into his pocket and lifted the bottle higher to study it further. “I must admit that I don’t know much about Genies.”

 

“I know everything there is to know about Genies.” Hermione said proudly. She bit her lip and glanced nervously at Harry. “Let me come with him.” She said softly. “If you won’t release him, let me come with him and I’ll explain anything you want.”

 

Voldemort appeared to be considering this when suddenly Harry threw out his hand. Hermione went flying across the clearing, landing on top of several Order members when she hit the gathered crowd with quite a bit of force. “Stay out of this, ‘Mione.” Harry said softly, though his voice carried. “I don’t need to be worrying about you constantly. You belong here, at Hogwarts.”

 

Harry then stared down at his hand in surprise. “How odd.” He murmured, unable to figure out how he’d accessed his magic – his Master hadn’t told him to. Then he looked up at Voldemort and said calmly. “As a Genie, I am naturally inclined to obey my Master. My personality…” He shrugged slightly. “Well, it’s still there. It’s just slightly suppressed. Once I’m more accustomed to my enslavement I’ll be more like myself.”

 

“So you’ll be able to refuse to do as ordered?” That didn’t sound right to Voldemort – shouldn’t a Genie have to obey?

 

“Of course not.” Harry replied, a small smile on his lips. “A Genie must obey any command made by their Master and must grant any wish.”

 

“In that case.” Voldemort pointed across the clearing at Albus Dumbledore. “I wish for you to kill Albus Dumbledore. Now.” Harry shook his head, still smiling and Voldemort frowned. “You said you couldn’t refuse.”

 

Harry nodded. “I can’t. But Genies can’t kill.” At the disbelieving look he received, Harry added. “You can look it up. There are laws regarding Genie magic and that’s one of them. Genies can’t kill.”

 

“Explain this to me.” He demanded, crossing his arms in annoyance, Harry’s bottle dangling loosely from his fingers.

 

“Explain what?” Harry asked, tipping his head to one side, his eyes gleaming with mischief.

 

“Genie Law.” Voldemort snapped, annoyed.

 

Harry’s small smile spread, his lips curving into a smirk. “What about Genie Law, Master?” His tone was soft and innocent.

 

Voldemort growled softly. “Explain it.”

 

Harry raised an eyebrow, his lips trembling as he struggled not to laugh. “Explain what, Master?”

 

“Explain Genie Law!” Voldemort roared, causing many of the onlookers to take a step back, trembling at the sight of the Dark Lord’s wrath.

 

“Genie law is the term used to label all limits to Genie magic.” Harry said simply. When Voldemort stared at him expectantly, he asked sweetly. “Did you need something else, Master?”

 

Lucius noticed his Master was about to explode and stepped forward. “My Lord. I believe that, with a Genie, you must be very specific. It is the key to dealing with them successfully. They are bound to serve their Master, but will obey every command so literally that in fulfilling the wish they often give their Master something entirely different from what they actually wanted.”

 

“Then you do not believe he is deliberately vexing me, Lucius?” Voldemort asked, his voice mild once more. “You simply think this is a Genie trait?

 

Lucius sighed. “Genies are chaotic neutral, My Lord. They will do everything they can to thwart a wish, whether it is good or evil in nature.” He glanced at the smirking Genie that had once been Harry Potter and added. “I believe some of the defiance is simply Potter being Potter, but he can only get away with it because it is inherent to his Genie nature.” In a low whisper that carried no further than the Dark Lord and Harry’s ears he added. “I suggest you take him back to your home until such a time as you have worked out how to properly word a wish, My Lord. If the Order sees you cannot control your Genie, they may think they can still stand against you.”

 

Voldemort frowned, but nodded. He gave a quick signal to his Death Eaters and they all prepared to Apparate back to Riddle Manor. Then he turned to frown at Harry. “Can you Apparate?”

 

“If you go, I’ll follow.” Harry said simply. “There is a distance-limit on how far I can be separated from my wand.”

 

“Your wand?” Voldemort frowned and looked down at the ornate glass bottle he still held. “Don’t you mean from your bottle?”

 

Harry shook his head. “No, Master. I am bound to my wand. My bottle is simply someplace to go. If I’m in my bottle, I can be further from my wand.” He added thoughtfully. “Would you like me to go into my bottle to travel, Master, or should I simply follow you?”

 

Voldemort didn’t reply; he simply unstoppered the bottle. Harry was instantly turned into blue smoke and entered his bottle, happy to be someplace other than before the Master he had to obey. Once Harry was safely inside, Voldemort stoppered it again and sketched a sarcastic bow to the Light followers facing him, looking distraught and stunned. “I believe I shall be going now – I have much to discuss with my new Genie. I’ll see you soon, I’m sure.”

 

Then, with a quick turn and a loud pop, he vanished. His Death Eaters followed a split second later. No one spoke for a long time and the only sound was Hermione sobbing loudly as Ron comforted her. No one knew what to do. With a Genie – who just happened to be Harry Potter – on his side, how could they ever hope to defeat the Dark Lord? Finally, after what seemed like an eternity had passed, everyone began to silently repair Hogsmeade and tend to people’s injuries and gather the dead. No one spoke of resistance or defeat; there was no point in speaking of either. What would come would come and they would simply have to meet it when it did.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Harry smiled and looked around the interior of his bottle. It had blue walls, decorated with beautiful white and gold arch-like patterns. It was small. Harry could stand, of course, but if he reached up he could touch where the ceiling curved overhead, narrowing to a small round opening that lead up towards where the bottle was stoppered. He was standing in the center of a sofa of sorts. Nearly the entire interior of the bottle was taken up by the round sofa-like furnishing, except for the small circle of space where he currently stood. The sofa cushions were of rich cobalt blue velvet. Piled all over it were throw pillows made of silk and velvet and satin, in blues and white and gold, with embroidery and fringe and tassels. It was like being inside an opulent – but very tiny – Arabian palace or harem.

 

Harry sighed and crawled onto the sofa, sprawling on his back and putting his hands beneath his head. He wasn’t standing before Voldemort anymore, so he felt more like himself. He didn’t feel completely normal, though. He blamed that on being a Genie now. What was it Lucius had called him – chaotic neutral? He had read that term while researching with Hermione. It meant Genies were ruled by their whims – they were bothered by neither goals, nor morals. They felt neither the driving urge to free everyone, nor to make everyone around them suffer. They simply didn’t care. Harry tried to decide if he felt that way now or not. He thought about Dobby and the other House Elves for a moment. He didn’t particularly care if they were freed or not – but then, he never really had. That had always been Hermione’s thing. He thought about the Muggles.

 

Harry tipped his head slightly, studying the slope of the ceiling as he considered. He didn’t particularly want Voldemort killing them all, but he didn’t really feel concerned about it either. Which was an odd thing to realize, because he could remember how he’d felt about it before - the anger and the passion and the driving need to stop all the death. Now it seemed so…separate from him. Death was a part of life; it was completely natural and the desirable outcome of all life. So why fight so insanely to stop something that had to happen? It didn’t make sense. And Harry knew, in some part of himself, that he hadn’t felt that way an hour ago. And he knew if he ever got his wand back that he wouldn’t feel that way anymore. But for now, it was sort of nice to be so…free.

 

Harry laughed softly to himself. Imagine that…he’d had to be enslaved in order to finally feel free.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Harry felt the change in his bottle as the stopper was pulled out. He climbed off his sofa and stood in the center of his bottle, looking up. The red eye peering into the bottle – obviously looking for him – was quite unmistakable and he sighed. “Does Master require my presence?” He called out, letting his voice carry out of the bottle.

 

“YES!!!” The high, cold voice echoed through the bottle, making Harry wince.

 

With a sigh, Harry felt his body become less-substantial as he turned to smoke and began to spiral his way out of his bottle and solidify, in his normal size, before the Dark Lord. He chanced a quick look around and noticed that several Death Eaters were present in the gloomy room. This was bound to be interesting…

Chapter Text

Harry met Voldemort’s red eyes unflinchingly. “Master. How may I serve you?”

There were snickers from some of the surrounding Death Eaters, which Harry ignored – they were unimportant. The Dark Lord gestured to the room in general. “I haven’t bothered with the time and effort to make this place more comfortable, Harry.” He said as he sat on the hard-backed wooden chair that graced the center of the room. “But since I have you…”

“This room, Master?” Harry asked softly, his eyes sparkling. “Or the entire property?”

Voldemort seemed to consider this for a moment before he answered. “I believe the entire property should be restored.”

Harry seemed to consider something as well, then raised his right hand and snapped his fingers. A small puff of blue smoke appeared when he did so. Instantly the room they were in had a merry fire crackling away in the giant marble fireplace, the dingy walls were a soft green, and cheerful furniture and knickknacks and artwork filled the room. The chair the Dark Lord had been seated on transformed into a throne of black walnut with green velvet cushions, with snakes carved into the wood and embroidered in silver on said cushions.

“Hmmm.” Voldemort surveyed the room with a frown – the drapes were dark green with yellow stripes and the furniture was all in lighter woods. The paintings on the walls were of sunny landscapes and there were several vases of flowers throughout the room. “What in Merlin’s name made you select this…cheerful decor, Harry?”

“I didn’t.” Harry said simply. “Master said ‘restored’ so I set things to how they were before the Manor fell into disrepair.” He tipped his head to the side and said thoughtfully. “Imagine, Master…if things had been different, you might have been raised here.”

The Dark Lord merely frowned and pointed to Harry’s still-unstoppered bottle. “Go.”

Harry sighed. “I am sorry to have angered you, Master. I spoke only the truth.” Then he bowed and turned to smoke, disappearing into his bottle and stoppering it behind himself.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Harry stayed in his bottle for two days before he was rudely awoken from a sound sleep as he was tossed against the side of his bottle. He growled and crawled awkwardly into the center of his cushions, bracing himself against the sides of the small space as his bottle was moved around and spun. Finally, after several minutes passed and he was beginning to feel sick to his stomach, Harry decided he should leave his bottle and see what was going on. He pushed himself into his smoke-form and removed the stopper, exiting the bottle in a matter of seconds and materializing in the same room he’d been in before.

Holding his bottle and studying it was none other than Draco Malfoy. Harry looked around for Voldemort and saw him seated on his throne, talking to Lucius Malfoy. He glanced up when Harry appeared. “Done hiding in your bottle, Harry?”

“I wasn’t hiding.” Harry said simply. “You told me to go into my bottle, Master. There was no time-limit mentioned, so I was unsure if I could leave again. I only did so now because the movement was making me feel sick. If you wish for me to return to it, Malfoy will have to put it back down.”

Voldemort frowned at Draco, who was still holding the blue glass bottle in his hands. “Put his bottle down, Draco.” He snapped. Then he turned back to Harry. “If you wish to return you may. Otherwise you can feel free to roam about the Manor. Just don’t leave the grounds.”

Draco sighed, shaking his head. “My Lord, if I might interject.” He said, bowing low. “You asked me to look into Genies and I’ve read nearly everything the library at Hogwarts had on the subject. When Potter mentioned a distance-limit on himself and his wand, just before you brought him here, he was being honest.” He glanced at Harry suspiciously then said. “Correct me if I’m wrong, Potter, but I don’t think you can go more than a short distance from your wand when you’re out of your bottle.”

“Is this true, Harry?” Voldemort inquired, his red eyes narrowed on Harry’s blank face.

Harry nodded. “Yes, Master. I must stay within 50 meters of my wand.” He shrugged as though this didn’t matter at all, though there was heat in his green gaze. “I would enjoy being given a room of my own, since my bottle is so small, but my wand would need to be in it. Otherwise I must stay with you, since you hold my wand in your pocket.”

Voldemort snorted. “We both know I will not be leaving you alone in a room with your wand.” He looked at the younger of the two Malfoys. “Is there no other solution?”

“My Lord, there is no reason Potter cannot be left with his wand.” Draco explained quickly. “He cannot take his wand unless you personally hand it to him of your own free will.”

“Harry?” The Dark Lord waited. When the Genie merely stared at the floor, jaw clenched, he snapped. “If I ask you a question, you are to answer it! Do not equivocate, do not stall; answer! Is that clear?”

“Yes, Master.” Harry snapped, lifting his head and glaring heatedly at the Dark Lord. When Voldemort waited, Harry clenched his teeth together and ground out. “I can’t take my wand back. If you dropped it on the floor, I couldn’t even pick it up. I can’t touch it at all.”

Voldemort nodded and drew his own wand. Directly next to his throne, he conjured a pedestal, topped with a blue velvet cushion, edged in gold fringe with small tassels at the corners. Then he drew Harry’s wand and, after studying it for a moment, he placed it on top of the pillow. “There.” Then he turned back to Draco, summarily dismissing Harry. “Now, Draco. Explain all you have learned.”

Harry sighed, looking longingly at his wand, which was so close he could practically feel its magic humming against his skin. It might as well have been on the moon. He glared once more at the Dark Lord and vanished back into his bottle.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Harry popped out of his bottle again a few hours later; he was bored. He’d found if he concentrated hard enough while in his bottle, he could summon things. But he had read his Quidditch books already and he saw no point in looking at his textbooks when he’d likely never be returning to Hogwarts. So now he was hoping for something to do, even if it was just walking in circles around the ‘throne room’, as he’d taken to calling it in his head. He was actually sort of hoping Voldemort might be doing something even vaguely interesting. Even if he was just talking to Death Eaters, it would be more interesting than staring at the blue glass walls of his bottle.

He appeared beside his bottle again and Voldemort glanced at him only briefly before resuming his conversation with a man Harry knew was Rodolphus Lestrange. Harry noted that Rabastan and Bellatrix were also in the room. Harry sighed, annoyed that these were the Death Eaters present when he finally chose to leave his bottle. But anything was better than being cooped up again, so he began to walk around the room. He quickly figured out how far he could go and was frustrated that he couldn’t leave the room or even stand by the windows – they were too far from the pedestal his wand sat atop. Suddenly he felt an odd sensation in his stomach. His whole body shuddered and he felt ill.

He turned and saw that his wand was no longer on its pillow where it belonged. It was held in Bellatrix Lestrange’s hand. Harry felt his magic shifting its focus from Voldemort to Bellatrix and his mind rebelled at the thought, dragging his body along for the ride and leaving him feeling sick to his stomach. He hated being owned by the Dark Lord, but to be owned by the bitch that had killed Sirius…he couldn’t handle the thought, let alone the reality. He sank to his knees, and then braced his palms flat on the cool, marble floor as he panted. He was desperately fighting against the change in ownership.

He looked up to see that Bellatrix was studying his wand idly, Rabastan watching, while the Dark Lord continued to speak to her husband. Unable to bear it any longer, Harry did the only thing he could think of. “Master…” He called out, his voice pleading.

“Harry?” Voldemort rose to his feet and rushed to Harry’s side, kneeling beside him on the floor. “What’s wrong with you?” He tipped the Genie’s ashen-face up and frowned, his red-eyes narrowed. “You’d better not be dying or something…”

Harry opened his mouth to speak but didn’t have the strength; every ounce of it was focused on not giving in to his magic. Instead of speaking, he let out a keening cry and pointed desperately at where Bellatrix held his wand. Harry prayed Voldemort would understand; he couldn’t bear to be enslaved to that horrible woman. He would rather die.

Voldemort turned with a frown and noticed what his follower held. In the blink of an eye his wand was in his hand and Bellatrix was screaming on the floor under the effects of the Cruciatus Curse. When he noticed Harry’s body slump to the floor, shuddering, he stopped. His eyes went to where Harry’s wand had fallen and realized that Bellatrix was still Harry’s master. Or rather, she would be if Harry wasn’t fighting it so hard. He wondered for a second why Harry was fighting the change of ownership when it was obviously hurting him to do so, then decided it didn’t matter.

“Accio wand!” He snapped, pleased when the holly-and-phoenix-feather wand landed in his hand. As soon as it did, Harry collapsed to the floor unconscious.

Voldemort tucked both wands into his pocket and lifted the petite boy into his arms. He stood, glaring at his two shocked (and one pained) Death Eaters. “If anyone ever touches Harry’s wand again, I will kill them on the spot. Make sure that fact is understood by all.” When all three nodded, the Dark Lord added coldly. “Have someone fetch me Severus; I have need of his skills. I shall be in my bedchamber. Rabastan, come and guard the door. No one but Severus is to disturb me.”

Without waiting for a response, the Dark Lord turned and walked swiftly from the room. The sound of hurried footsteps assured him that Rabastan was following. Once he reached his rooms, Rabastan quickly opened the door and stood aside so he could enter. Voldemort strode quickly across his sitting room and waited impatiently – still holding the unconscious Genie in his arms – while Rabastan rushed around him and open that door as well. Then he walked over to his bed and placed Harry on top of it.

Once the deathly-pale Genie was lying on the gold duvet in the center of the enormous black-walnut 4 poster wood-canopied bed, Voldemort turned to Rabastan. “Go and guard the door to my chambers now, Rabastan. As soon as Severus arrives you may send him in. Everyone else is to be sent away.”

Rabastan bowed low. “Yes, my lord.” He then hurried out of the room with only a single, confused look at the beautiful, unconscious boy gracing the Dark Lord’s bed; it wasn’t his place to question.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Harry’s dark eyelashes fluttered against his pale cheeks. A soft, whimpering moan escaped through slightly-parted cherry red lips. He slowly blinked open his vibrant green eyes. The instant he began to awaken, the Dark Lord was at his side. “Harry…” He touched his long, pale fingers to Harry’s forehead, relieved that the Genie had lost the ashen-look to his skin and that he was no longer cold and clammy to the touch.

Harry stared up at him for a few moments, then whispered. “Master…” His voice was soft and puzzled. “I don’t remember what happened…only pain…”

Voldemort frowned and said. “Bellatrix picked up your wand. Apparently you fought the change in ownership, hurting yourself in the process.” He grabbed Harry’s chin firmly in his hand and squeezed a bit harshly, eliciting a soft whimper of pain from Harry. “Do not ever do something so foolish again, Harry. Severus poured potion after potion down your throat to try to revive you to no avail. Potions are apparently wasted on a Genie.”

Harry said nothing and Voldemort tightened his fingers on the boy’s chin, causing him to whimper in pain again from the vice-like grip. “I want your acknowledgment of my order, Harry. If someone takes your wand, you will allow the transfer of ownership and have faith that I will come for you. I do not intend to allow anyone to take you from me. I will always come after you. I do not want you injured and unconscious for two days every time such an incident occurs!”

Harry’s eyes widened. “Two days?” He was stunned. “I was unconscious for two days?” He yelped and winced when Voldemort’s fingers bit into the tender flesh of his jaw and hastily added. “I will wait for you to gain me back next time, Master. I won’t fight the transfer.”

The Dark Lord released Harry’s face and nodded brusquely. “Fine. I am going to leave your wand in this room from now on. But I wondered if there was some way you could move your wand without touching it so that you can move around the room, or even the entire Manor.” He frowned. “I do not want to keep you prisoner in a single room. You are bound to me and that is enough of a form of captivity. I know you won’t be leaving.”

Harry sighed. “If you wished it, Master, I could have my wand follow me. But I don’t have much access to my magic unless you grant it.” Harry shrugged. “As long as no one is going to grab my wand again, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.”

“I have made it clear to all of my followers – by making an example of Bellatrix – that it is unacceptable for any of them to touch your wand.” Voldemort said simply. “Now that you’re awake, I have things to do. I wish for your wand to follow you – within the confines of the property – so you may explore freely. Do try to stay out of trouble.”

As Voldemort left the room, a small smile graced Harry’s face. He wondered how it was he had managed to hate the Dark Lord for so long. He had been quite kind – if a bit stern and forceful – to Harry since his imprisonment. He knew – logically – that the Dark Lord had killed his parents, but somehow that didn’t seem to press on his heart with the same weight it used to. He frowned to himself slightly, trying to understand why it should bother him so much less than Bellatrix’s murder of Sirius. Harry could feel some of his human emotions returning – slowly, yes, but returning none-the-less – but it seemed only the strongest were seeping through. His concern for Ron and Hermione, for one thing. His pain at losing Sirius. His hatred of Bellatrix. He felt a brief pang of guilt that the loss of his parents didn’t seem to be causing him enough pain for the emotions to surface, but then logic prevailed and said it was because he hadn’t known them so he hadn’t really lost anything. The loss of Sirius was much more profound, so his hatred of Siri’s killer was much stronger. Strong enough to break through the wall of neutrality that being a Genie had built around his human emotions. Harry sighed softly and acknowledged to himself that this lack-of-emotion would take some adjustment. Then, with a self-deprecating laugh, Harry realized he had all the time in the world with which to do so; he was immortal now.

Chapter Text

Harry walked casually through the nearly-barren garden. He had lost track of time here at the Manor. He thought he might have been there for a week or so; perhaps a little longer. It was hard to say, between the time he’d spent in his bottle and the time he’d spent unconscious. He touched a branch laden with thorns and smiled as leaves and a single, blood-red rose appeared. The rose blossomed to full-size in a matter of seconds and Harry leaned over to smell it. In the two days since the Dark Lord had allowed him free reign of the Manor and its grounds with his wish, Harry had been testing to see how much of his magic he could use. It seemed that as long as he wasn’t trying to affect people (or his wand), he could do nearly anything he wanted with his magic.

 

Harry brushed his fingers over the velvety petals of the rose then glanced back at his wand. It trailed behind him as though on a leash, still atop its blue and gold pillow, floating on a cloud of the blue smoke that marked nearly all of Harry’s wish-induced Genie-magic. He sighed, but a soft smile still graced his lips; despite his current limitations, he had more freedom here than he’d ever had anywhere else. He continued walking through the garden, stopping when he reached a hanging pot suspended from a hook on a tall metal pole. He touched the pot with both hands, tipping his head to the side to watch with interest as a vine-like plant spilled over the sides. Flowers blossomed quickly – a pale cream-color, with small spikey spots of pink on each of the five petals. Nasturtium. Harry smiled wider and released the pot; he loved flowers and all of his years working in Aunt Petunia’s garden had given him the knowledge to accompany his enjoyment.

 

Harry walked over to a hedgerow with long, leathery-looking leaves and knelt gracefully in front of it. He placed his hands above the dirt at the hedge’s base and smiled as a small plant sprouted from the dirt and began to climb the hedge. As the hedge sprouted little bunches of white flowers that resembled miniature-lilacs, the climbing plant blossomed with little yellow flowers grouped in bunches of 6 or 7. Suddenly a shadow fell across Harry and he moved his hands away from the plants. He touched the white flowers of the hedge gently.

 

Then he spoke without looking up. “This hedge is Common Privet. After the flowers finish blooming, it grows small black berries. It’s very poisonous.” Harry moved his fingers to the yellow-flowering plant clinging to the Privet. “This is Meadow Vetchling and it grows under hedges.”

 

Harry looked up, vibrantly-green eyes meeting gleaming black ones that seemed to hold a slight hint of madness. “Hello, Rabastan.” His voice was mild as he greeted Bellatrix’s brother-in-law.

 

Rabastan grinned, an eerie smile tinged with the same madness that showed in his eyes. “Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived. How nice to meet you.”

 

Harry sighed and pushed himself to his feet. “I’m not Harry Potter.” Harry’s hands clenched into fists, his nails biting into his palms, when Rabastan laughed. Then he added softly. “I was, once. Now I’m nothing less than a Genie and nothing more than a slave.” Harry shook his head and walked off down the stone path, adding over his shoulder. “I’m just Harry now.”

 

He heard Rabastan following him and, after a few minutes of walking amongst plants gone to sleep for the coming winter, he asked. “Does my Master require my presence?”

 

“No.” Rabastan replied, watching as Harry knelt in front of bush with long, plastic-looking oval leaves. He frowned as Harry placed his hands near the base and large, vibrantly pink flowers blossomed all over the bush. “Draco told the Dark Lord that Genies can’t access their magic unless their Master allows it. So how are you doing that?”

 

“Hmmm?” Harry glanced up distractedly as bunches of spiky purple leaves grew under the bush, with tall stalks sprouting from the center. Each stalk was swiftly covered in dozens of tiny greenish-yellow florets, shaped like miniature orchids. “Oh. I’m an incredibly powerful Genie so while I only have access to a small portion of my magic outside of a wish or command, it’s still a significant amount of magic. A weaker Genie would have access to almost no magic. A Muggle turned into a Genie would have access to absolutely none.”

 

Harry smiled back down at the plants. “This bush is Rhododendron and these little flowers are called Violet Helleborine.” He touched the spiky purple leaves and, glancing back up at Rabastan, added. “They don’t have chlorophyll in them, so they aren’t green. The flowers are greenish instead and that’s where they make their food. They almost always grow under Rhododendrons.” Harry then asked softly. “So why are you following me around the garden? Surely you’ve got better things to do…”

 

Rabastan shrugged, watching Harry's delicate fingers touch the plants. "My job is to guard you, Harry. If you're in the gardens, then so am I."

 

Harry's head whipped around, his emerald eyes full of heat and his face twisted with fury as he snapped angrily. "What? Why do I need a guard? I can't go more than 50 meters from my bloody wand and within the confines of my Master's wish my wand can't leave the grounds! Where does he think I'm going to go?"

 

Rabastan raised an eyebrow, surprised at the boy's temper. In the two days since Harry had gained freedom from his bottle and free-reign over the Manor and the grounds, he had been mostly-silent. If he spoke at all, it was never more than a polite greeting or a soft 'pardon me' if he interrupted something by entering a room where others were. It had become a running joke among the Death Eaters that Harry Potter, Gryffindor's Golden Boy, had no spine. Apparently, Rabastan realized now, it was simply that Harry had been being cautious. Not a normal Gryffindor trait, true, but Rabastan remembered his nephew saying once that Harry had nearly been a Hatstall. So perhaps his caution came from the other House he could have been in. Regardless, Harry seemed to be getting his courage - and his temper - back. Which was inconvenient, as now Rabastan had to deal with it. But no matter; he knew what to say to calm the boy down.

 

"I'm not your prison guard, Harry." Rabastan told him softly; he felt bad for the child. He knew what it was like to be imprisoned, after all. "I’m your bodyguard. My job is to keep you safe."

 

Harry's eyes instantly lost their heat. Rabastan felt a brief pang of sympathy for the pale, melancholy boy; the pain in his emerald eyes was hard to ignore. It was obvious to anyone who bothered to look at the Genie-child that what he desired above all else was to be free. That, more than any other wish, Rabastan could understand.

 

"Oh." Harry sighed softly, turning back to the plants. He gently brushed his fingers against the vibrantly pink flowers of the bush. "Well, what does he think I need protecting from? It's not likely I'll be attacked while I'm tending the Rhododendrons, you know." Harry gestured vaguely at the garden around them, glancing at Rabastan over his shoulder. "I mean, it's not like there's a bunch of dangerous plants here or anything."

 

Rabastan watched as Harry pushed himself gracefully to his feet, then followed silently as Harry began to walk through the garden again. "It's not my place to question the Dark Lord, Harry." Rabastan said, catching up with Harry and glancing down at the beautiful Genie's face. He added softly. "It's not your place to question him either, you know."

 

Harry stopped moving, completely shocked. He stared in stunned silence at Rabastan for a moment, then began to laugh. It was loud and tinged with an edge of hysteria that made the Death Eater worry slightly about Harry's sanity. Harry laughed so hard he was soon gasping for breath and he had to brace his hands on his knees to remain upright. Finally he regained control of himself and straightened up, wiping tears of mirth from his eyes.

 

Harry shook his head, smiling wanly at the older man. "It's not my place to disobey my Master, Rabastan, but I assure you that I can question him all I like. Believe me, he likes it that way."

 

"Really?" Dark eyes tracked Harry's movements as he walked over to a square-shaped evergreen bush and placed his hands against it. As Rabastan watched, a vine that was snaking its way through the shrub sprouted leaves and tiny purple flowers; each one had five little purple petals and a golden cone in the center. "What makes you think he enjoys your...independence?"

 

Harry gently brushed his fingers over the small purple blooms. "He doesn't want me to be mindlessly submissive or completely subservient." He explained softly. "If I were to be either of those things, he'd grow bored with me. He enjoys me fighting him."

 

"Why?" Rabastan asked before he could stop himself. He knew he should take the question back; it wasn't his place to inquire about Voldemort's motives. He was curious, though.

 

"He doesn't want to destroy my spirit or my fire." Harry said, his trembling fingers still caressing the flowers he'd forced into early life. "He wants to bend me to his will, but he doesn't want to break me in the process. He loves that I'm forced to obey him even when I don't want to. He enjoys the fact that I fight him every step of the way, even though we both know I'll have to give in. It makes my eventual submission that much sweeter for him, knowing how much I hate it."

 

Harry clenched his hands into fists and closed his eyes, looking anguished. “He has his Death Eaters to obey him without question…he desires my obstinate defiance; my lack of fear.”

 

Harry opened his eyes and turned back to face Rabastan. Depth-less green eyes met fathomless black and, with a soft catch in his voice, Harry whispered. “That’s why he’ll never let me go.”

 

Rabastan felt his heart twist; he hadn't meant to make Harry so sad. He cleared his throat awkwardly and said. "What is that?" He gestured to the purple-flowered vine Harry had been touching.

 

"What?" Harry blinked slowly, then turned to look at the plant in question. "Oh. That's Woody Nightshade. It's the most common form of Nightshade, actually." Harry smiled softly and broke off a single tiny flower, then held it out to Rabastan. When the Death Eater took it, Harry explained. "It grows inside shrubs and hedges. Once the flowers die, it grows glossy red berries that are incredibly poisonous." He glanced back at the plant with a sigh. "Loads of plants in this garden are poisonous, actually."

 

"And why does that interest you, Harry?" Rabastan asked very softly, still holding the blossom Harry had given him.

 

"It doesn't." He replied, looking wistful. "You see, Rabastan, I'm immortal. Eternally enslaved." Harry shot the man a look he couldn't quite decipher and added. "I'll be a prisoner forever." Rabastan struggled for something to say but before he could Harry said. "I think I'm going to go lie down. I don't suppose I've been assigned a room of my own yet?"

 

Rabastan winced and shook his head. "No, Harry. I believe the Dark Lord expects you to continue staying in his chambers for now."

 

He then silently followed Harry back into the Manor and up to the rooms, where he positioned himself outside the doors while Harry disappeared through them. Left unspoken between them was the fact that they both suspected that Harry would never be granted his own room. Harry thought his Master wished to keep him close; a silent reminder of his slavery. Rabastan, however, had seen the looks Voldemort gave his beautiful Genie. And though Rabastan felt sorry for the eternal-child that had once been Harry Potter, he couldn't quite bring himself to warn the boy of the command he knew would one day be issued. He would let Harry cling to the last of his naive innocence for as long as he could. Rabastan simply couldn't seem to find it in himself to be the one to destroy it, though he called himself a fool for caring at all.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Two days later, Harry stretched languidly on the luxurious bed he occupied at night; it was vastly more comfortable than his bottle. He opened his startlingly-green eyes and blinked several times in surprise. Voldemort was standing beside the bed. Harry wouldn’t have been so surprised – it was, after all, the Dark Lord’s bedroom he was in – except that he had been alone in the enormous bed every night. Otherwise he probably would have slept in his bottle. Or in the sitting room. Or on the floor. Somewhere other than the bed, at least. The man was staring down at him with a strange look on his serpent-like face and it made Harry inexplicably nervous.

 

“Master.” Harry murmured, bowing his head and automatically shifting his body into a kneeling position on the bed, atop the golden duvet he’d been covered with a moment earlier. “How may I serve you?”

 

He heard Voldemort suck in a sharp breath and looked up to see what was wrong. Those red eyes were moving almost-restlessly over Harry’s body and he suddenly realized that he was still nude as he’d only just woken up. He held perfectly still as the Dark Lord reached out long, pale fingers and brushed them softly against the skin of his shoulder and collarbone. He couldn’t suppress the faint shudder that passed through his body at the icy touch of his Master, though. The hand withdrew quickly, as though Harry’s skin had burned him. Harry met those red eyes unflinchingly and saw desire and heat in them. There were other emotions there as well, that Harry couldn’t quite figure out, but as a Genie the desire was what he focused on.

 

“Master?” He queried, his body held in place by his magic’s need to please the man who owned him. He wanted to clothe himself but Harry could sense that Voldemort wished to look at him and despite the fact that neither a command nor a wish had been spoken, Harry found he couldn’t force his magic to go against what his Master desired.

 

Voldemort seemed, in the space of a single heartbeat, to gain control of himself. “Cover yourself.” He snapped and Harry’s blue and gold Genie-outfit appeared instantly on him. “Now, I have a task for you. I have been trying to regain my former strength and, in many ways, I have succeeded.” He gestured to himself, anger clear in his red eyes. “However this body remains frail.”

 

Harry tipped his head to the side and rose gracefully from the bed to stand beside his Master. “What would you like me to do for you, Master?”

 

“I wish to have my old body again.” Voldemort explained. “I believe people will be more inclined to follow me if I look more attractive, as I once did.”

 

Harry nodded thoughtfully, recalling the handsome boy known as Tom Riddle that he’d seen in his Second Year. He remembered Dumbledore telling him once that, in his younger years, Voldemort had been a charming boy. People had been drawn to his charismatic nature and attractive form. If Voldemort could regain those things – things he’d only had as ‘Tom’ and not as the Dark Lord – than surely people would be swayed to his side. It was his serpent-like features that were so off-putting to many people.

 

Harry snapped his fingers, evoking a small puff of smoke, and then smiled slightly at his handiwork. He bowed slightly and said. “You look as you once did, Master.”

 

“Wonderful.” Voldemort turned and walked to the full-length mirror set against the left wall of the room to examine the change. He stared in shock then let out an outraged scream; Harry bit his lip to keep from laughing.

 

“Is something wrong, Master?” He asked in a choked voice as he struggled to keep his face straight.

 

“Wrong? Is something wrong?” He snarled, whirling around and glaring heatedly at Harry. “I look like a bloody child, Harry! So yes, something is wrong!”

 

Harry blinked slowly and said. “You are 16, Master. That’s the only time I’ve ever seen you look human, so that is how I made you appear.” He shrugged as though he didn’t understand why this would infuriate the man. “Did you wish to appear to be your actual age?”

 

Harry raised his fingers to snap. “Wait…”

 

Harry paused, with his fingers a breath apart, and raised an eyebrow. “Yes, Master?” He asked sweetly, as though he knew precisely what was wanted.

 

“I do not wish to appear old.” Tom said slowly, considering things. “But my Death Eaters will not obey me if I appear to be little more than a child. I should like you to age me, but only a small amount.”

 

“Of course, Master. Whatever you desire.” Harry thought for a moment, and then snapped his fingers again. Then he gestured to the mirror. “Does this meet your approval, Master?”

 

Tom turned back to the mirror and studied himself. His face was young and handsome, but no longer held the hint of a child’s roundness that it had a moment earlier. His skin was no longer the same pale porcelain color that Harry’s was; it was now a soft peach-color. His head once again had hair. Thick, black hair that fell softly into his eyes. His dark lashes, high cheekbones, full mouth, and gently arched eyebrows gave him an air of slightly-delicate beauty. The vividly-red color his eyes still were made that beauty look deadly. He swiftly unfastened his robes and let them fall to the floor, studying his body now as intently as he had studied his face. He was still tall but no longer skeletally-thin. Instead he was faintly-muscled as he had been in his younger days though a bit more filled-out and with broader shoulders. He appeared to be in his late-twenties, age wise. A quick glance downward confirmed that all of his body had been restored to its former glory. This brought a small smirk to his petal-pink lips.

 

He put his robes back on and turned to face Harry again. “This will do fine, Harry.” Tom then added. “I don’t mind, but what made you leave my eyes unchanged?”

 

Harry frowned, looking annoyed. “I didn’t intend to, Master. It seems that the Dark Magic you’ve used during your life has permanently changed them and not even Genie-Magic is capable of undoing it.” The boy pouted slightly. “I am grateful you aren’t unhappy about that.”

 

“Ah, Harry. Don’t sulk.” Tom chuckled, gently ruffling Harry’s dark hair. “Your Genie-Magic is capable of quite a bit more than any Witch or Wizard could ever hope for; if there are one or two things you cannot do you should simply accept it. All magic has limits.”

 

Then he walked out, leaving Harry to stare after him in shock.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Harry was wandering in the gardens – with Rabastan following along, randomly asking about various plants - when he suddenly appeared in the Throne Room. Tom was standing off to the side, staring morosely out a window. “Master.” Harry knelt gracefully, bowing his head. “How may I serve you?”

 

Tom turned, his red eyes moving speculatively over Harry’s prostrate form. “I am having a summit meeting with the leaders of several factions, to discuss alliances.” He disclosed this information in a serious tone of voice. “This is a crucial meeting and I must prove my power. Which means you must be at my side.”

 

Harry glanced up at the Dark Lord. “Of course, Master.” He replied simply. “You have only to tell me what you desire.”

 

Tom’s eyes darkened from scarlet to carmine as they swept over Harry’s form from head to toe. Harry felt his stomach twist; the look on the older man’s face made him want to flee though he didn’t quite know why. So far, Tom had done nothing to harm him. But he didn’t like the fact that he could practically feel those vivid eyes caressing him. He wanted to flee, but since his Master had expressed his desire to have him there he couldn’t. Harry hated being forced to ignore his instincts, all of which were screaming at him to run as far and as fast as he could.

 

“Your outfit is very cheerfully colored, Harry.” Tom finally said, looking highly put-out by this fact. “I wish for you to be in something suitably…” He trailed off, as though uncertain how best to complete that statement.

 

“Evil?” Harry suggested, his tone dark and sullen.

 

Harry waved his hand abruptly and all of the blue in his outfit darkened to the purest, deepest black imaginable. Tom’s own robes appeared faded and gray beside it. The gold in his outfit then darkened so it wasn’t as bright and shiny, finally taking on a shade somewhere between gold and black. His belly charm adjusted with his outfit, taking on the same gold and black tones. His tattoo did as well, though the Dark Lord couldn’t see it at that moment since he was in front of Harry. On the nearby table, Harry’s bottle changed to reflect his new color-scheme as well.

 

Voldemort studied the way the new colors looked against Harry’s pale skin and decided it was suitably dramatic. Though he couldn’t have his own robes looking so pale compared to his Genie’s. “I wish for you to make my robes the same shade of black as your clothing.” A quick snap of Harry’s fingers and Tom’s robes were the same deep, pure black. “Very good.”

 

Tom looked around the room and frowned, quickly realizing that there were several issues. With his frown deepening, he drew his wand. The cheery room soon had grey stone walls and was devoid of any decoration or windows. The only furniture was a rectangular wooden table with six chairs on either of the long sides and the throne Harry had created his first day at the Manor at the head; the foot of the table had no chair. The pedestal bearing the pillow Harry’s wand rested on was also still present and a second pedestal now held Harry’s bottle. With another flick of his wand the pillow matched Harry’s outfit in color, though the black wasn’t quite as dark.

 

“Here, Master. Allow me.” Harry snapped his fingers and – with a puff of black smoke and a smug look – the pillow darkened to the proper shade. “Do you require my assistance with anything else, Master?”

 

Before Tom could answer, the large wooden double doors to the room slammed open and a flushed, panting Rabastan ran in, looking frantic. “My Lord!” He gasped, his black eyes wild. “Harry was in the gardens and he just disappeared!”

 

Harry smiled softly at Rabastan’s concern and moved to stand beside him, lightly touching his arm. “It’s alright, ‘Bastan. Master summoned me to him.”

 

Rabastan nearly fell over in his surprise; he had been so nervous about having lost his charge that he hadn’t even noticed the Genie was in the room. He took in Harry’s outfit – now black and dark gold – and frowned. “What are you wearing, Harry?”

 

“Master requires my presence at a meeting.” Harry explained to the bodyguard he was quickly coming to view as a friend. “He wished for my attire to be more suitable for it.” He grinned at Rabastan and added dryly. “Apparently blue is too cheerful.”

 

Tom frowned; Harry spoke to Rabastan with a relaxed ease that he didn’t show at any other time. For some reason this bothered him. “Harry, I wish for you to conjure yourself a suitable place to sit during this meeting.” He commanded.

 

Harry snapped his fingers and to the left of the Dark Lord’s throne a larger version of the pillow his wand rested on appeared on the floor. “Is that acceptable, Master?” Harry asked, his voice laced with a saccharine sweetness that barely masked the biting edge the question held.

 

“It will do.” Tom replied coolly. He turned crimson eyes on his Death Eater, who appeared to be trying not to smile. “Rabastan!” He snapped, making the man jump. “You will remain in the room for this meeting, but do not speak.”

 

“Yes, my lord.” Rabastan replied, bowing low. “Where would you like me to stand, my lord?”

 

“You may sit at the far end of the table.” Tom waved him off absently. “Harry, come.” He told the Genie as he moved to sit.

 

Harry glared heatedly at the older man’s back as he followed him to the table; he didn’t appreciate being spoken to like he was a dog. He knelt gracefully on the cushion at Voldemort’s side and began to sulk silently. He should have been at Hogwarts with Ron and Hermione and Ginny and Luna and Neville, not attending a meeting of magical beings in Riddle Manor’s throne room. He wanted to go home; he wanted his friends. Harry dared a brief glare up at Tom, who seemed to be lost in thought. Harry was torn between his instinctive desire to please his ‘Master’ and his anger at being imprisoned and treated like some sort of prized pet. The dual emotions were going to drive him insane.

 

Just as Harry was attempting to figure out if his Genie Magic (and Genie Law) would allow him to stab Voldemort – non-fatally, of course, since Genie weren’t capable of killing – the doors to the room opened again. Lucius Malfoy entered, leading six people Harry didn’t recognize. Behind those six people were Narcissa Malfoy, Draco Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson, and a blonde Slytherin girl in their year whose name Harry couldn’t remember. Lucius sat down to the right of the Dark Lord, with Narcissa beside him. Draco sat next to his mother, with Pansy beside him. The unknown blonde girl sat between Pansy and Rabastan, who was at the end of the table.

 

Across from Rabastan sat an old woman with long, yellowed nails and a greyish-brown dress. She floated to the chair, her feet an inch above the cool marble floor. Next to her sat a man who looked feral; his golden eyes were wild and dangerous and his dark hair was long and unkempt. His clothes were torn and dirty and looked stained with blood. He was leering rather disturbingly at the blonde girl across from him, who haughtily ignored him. Across from Pansy, on the other side of the frightening man, sat a beautiful young woman. Her dress was black velvet with a panel of red satin down the front and was distinctly gothic in design. Her black hair was pulled up into an elegant pile of curls, framing a heartbreakingly beautiful face. Her skin was as white as snow, her lips a dark red, and her eyes a bright blue. She scarcely looked older than the students across the table.

 

Across from Draco sat a goblin. He looked ill-tempered, his pointed face scrunched in disdain for the beings around him. Next to the goblin was another incredibly beautiful woman. Her hair was long, falling to her waist in a smooth, silvery-blonde waterfall and her eyes were a soft grey. She wore robes of an airy, pale blue material. Harry recognized her as a Veela. Next to the Veela - and therefore next to Harry’s cushion – was a young man. He had fair skin and his eyes were black. His hair was a deep, dark green – the color of kelp – and appeared damp. Harry had the strange desire to touch it. The man was attractive and appeared to be in his mid-twenties. He wore a black velvet tunic and black leather pants with dark brown leather boots. He winked at Harry as he sat.

 

“I am Lord Voldemort.” Tom said in a cold voice once everyone was seated. “If you could each introduce yourself, we can then begin discussing conditions for alliances.”

 

Tom turned his red gaze on Lucius, who stood and gave a polite half-bow before speaking. “I am Lucius Malfoy, head of the esteemed Malfoy family.” He sat again, quickly.

 

“I am Narcissa Black Malfoy.” Narcissa said, after standing and tipping her head politely. “I am Lucius’ wife and a daughter of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.”

 

After his mother sat, Draco stood and gave a regal bow to the table at large. “Draco Malfoy.” He drawled arrogantly, a smirk gracing his lips. “Son and heir-apparent of the Malfoy fortune and the only male of the Black lineage still alive.”

 

Harry bit his tongue to keep from pointing out that Tonks – who was, after all, a descendant of the House of Black – was currently very-pregnant with Remus’ male child. It would serve no purpose and could very-well anger Tom. It was better to stay silent. After all, if Draco Malfoy wanted to puff up and spout credentials that weren’t true, it was none of his business. Harry glanced back up when Pansy started speaking.

 

“Pansy Parkinson, only child and heiress of the Parkinson fortune.” The brunette girl said in a slightly-whiny voice. “I’m here to represent my family as my parents were unable to attend due to work.”

 

She sat and the blonde girl stood gracefully, dropping into a slight – but elegant – curtsey. Her lilac-colored dress robes flattered her fair coloring and willowy frame. “I am Daphne Greengrass.” She said in a soft, cultured voice. “I’m the eldest child of the Greengrass line and represent my family as my parents could not make it.” She smiled sweetly and added. “They send their sincerest apologies.” Then she sat back down.

 

There was a moment of awkward silence, and then Rabastan hastily stood and made an awkward, jerky bow. “I’m Rabastan Lestrange and I…” He trailed off, shooting an uncertain look at the Dark Lord, who tipped his head down towards Harry with an annoyed look. “Oh, right!” Rabastan cleared his throat before continuing. “I’m the personal bodyguard of Lord Voldemort’s Genie, Harry. I’ll just be observing so as not to leave Harry without my protection.”

 

Harry smiled to himself; Rabastan was adorable when he was uncertain of himself. He glanced up and noticed that the green-haired man was watching him intensely. He grinned at Harry and winked again and Harry ducked his head, blushing furiously. He glanced shyly back up as the introductions continued.

 

The old woman at the far end of the table remained seated as she spoke in a low croak. “I’m Ionor and I be representing the hags at this meeting.”

 

Harry shuddered slightly – hags ate small children. The frightening, wild man spoke next; he didn’t stand either. “The name’s Fenrir Greyback. I’m speaking for the werewolf packs.” His voice was a low, gravelly growl and for the first time Harry could understand why people feared werewolves; this man was nothing like his mild-mannered almost-godfather, Remus Lupin.

 

The beautiful raven-haired woman smiled and Harry’s eyes widened when the grin revealed two sharp fangs. “My name is Diellza Dragusha.” She spoke in faintly-accented English. Her accent was similar to Viktor Krum’s accent, but gentler. “I am the Vampire Queen of Albania and I am representing all of the Albanian Vampire Clans.” Her fangs gleamed as she tipped her head in Voldemort’s direction. “It is a pleasure to see you again, Tom.”

 

The informal address she used for the Dark Lord seemed to startle most of the people present, but Tom simply smiled back. “It’s good to see you again, too, Dia. I’m pleased you were able to come.” His red eyes glinted with true pleasure as he added. “I look forward to renewing our previous acquaintance. You were always an…interesting conversationalist.”

 

Diellza laughed; it was dark and musical. “As were you, Tom.” She said warmly. She shook her head ruefully. “It has been too long, really. I intend to stay a while and catch up.” Her fangs were once again hidden as she settled back into her chair and her smile lessened so that her lips covered her teeth.

 

The goblin frowned and cleared his throat, then spoke in a hoarse and rasping voice. “I am Hoggle, the King of the goblins. I am here to represent my subjects.”

 

There was a moment’s pause but the goblin said nothing else so the beautiful Veela spoke up. “I am Milena Veselá. I am the current ruler of the largest Veela clan in the Balkan States.” Her smile was icy and her voice cold; her cool beauty seemed reflective of her behavior and emotions.

 

The handsome man beside Harry was the next to speak. His voice was low and deep and had an odd, lilting quality to it that made his words nearly musical. There was also something else in his voice; something odd and distinctly magical. You could almost hear water lapping at the shore when he spoke. “I am Prince Idris Dalziell. I am here to represent the Kelpies.” He turned those intense black eyes on Harry, making Harry flush darkly in embarrassed pleasure as Idris added. “Now the only one left to be introduced is you, beautiful child.”

 

Harry stood so he could be better-seen by all those present. “I am Harry.” He spoke softly, though not meekly. “I am the Dark Lord’s Genie. I am merely here as an observer.” When several of the creatures narrowed their eyes suspiciously at Harry, he added. “I am intrigued by this summit meeting because I have not met many other magical beings, so I asked to be allowed to view it. My Master was gracious enough to grant me permission to do so.”

 

The creatures seemed to accept this explanation for they nodded. Harry sank back to his knees on the cushion to watch the proceedings. Or rather, to pretend to watch them. In truth, he couldn’t have been less-interested. He didn’t care about territorial disputes or feeding grounds. He didn’t want to hear about unfair laws or restrictions. After all, he was bound more tightly by his own nature than any of these beings – or their kind – were by mere laws. Laws could be changed, or even simply broken. Harry couldn’t change his nature. He couldn’t go against the magic that bound him to his Master’s desires. He’d take laws governing him over his personal prison any day.

 

Harry’s attention was brought back to the moment when he felt a hand brush against his hair. He looked up at his master, but Tom’s attention was focused on the meeting. He felt the hand against his hair again and looked up at Princes Idris in surprise, his eyes wide and frightened. Idris winked and smiled and Harry froze, his breath coming in fast pants. He was torn; the dual emotions of desire and fear warring within him. Idris was handsome and Harry was flattered by his attention, but his magic was screaming at him that his Master would not be pleased by this development. It screamed that his Master wouldn’t want anyone touching him the way Idris was.

 

Idris touched his hand to Harry’s cheek and Harry whimpered softly. The sound caught Tom’s attention and he looked down to see what was going on. “Prince Idris.” His voice was cold and deadly. “I suggest you remove your hand from my Genie before I decide to remove it from you.

 

Idris pulled his hand away from Harry’s cheek and smiled easily. “Now, now, Voldemort. There’s no need to be so unfriendly.” He turned back to Harry and smiled easily. “I would be willing to concede some of my father’s demands for this alliance – and face his wrath over it – in exchange for being allowed the pleasure of your Genie’s company this night.”

 

Harry trembled, still torn. He found Idris desirable, but his magic was forbidding him to show that. The Dark Lord’s voice was even lower and more dangerous when he spoke again. “I can assure you, Prince Idris, that my Genie is not a whore.” His red eyes narrowed at the Prince’s smirk and raised eyebrow. “If you wish to bed him, you need his permission, not mine.”

 

Harry was staring, wide-eyed, at Tom. His gaze snapped back to Idris when the Kelpie addressed him. “In that case, Harry…” He smiled charmingly at Harry and brushed his knuckles gently against Harry’s cheek, causing Harry to shiver. “Share my bed tonight, beautiful.” Idris leaned down towards Harry and lowered his voice, adding. “I promise you’ll enjoy it.”

 

Harry swallowed hard. A part of him wanted to nod and agree. Tom had said it was his choice, after all, and Idris was gorgeous and enamored of him. Harry was intrigued by the Kelpie and he still had the strange desire to touch that wet green hair. He was also intrigued by the prospect of the pleasure Idris was promising him. He opened his mouth and tried to say yes. He really did.

 

But his magic froze his vocal cords. Harry’s mouth moved but no sound came out. He glanced up at Tom and felt fear grip him, wrapping around him along with his Genie magic. He couldn’t say yes, because his Master desired that he say no. If he said yes, his Master would be displeased. His magic insisted he should be afraid of displeasing his Master and so he was. His magic also wouldn’t allow him to go against what his Master desired.

 

“Harry.” Tom’s voice was level and polite. “Answer the Prince. Do you intend to share his bed?”

 

Harry’s mouth moved soundlessly again for a moment, then he swallowed hard and glanced nervously at Tom. He then shook his head fiercely. “No, Master.” He whispered, still shaking his head. His magic gave his voice a nudge and he added. “I shall remain in your bed, as always.”

 

Idris looked at Harry in shock, then turned on the Dark Lord with a snarl. “You’ve got this boy terrified of saying yes to me, though he clearly wants to do so! What do you do, Voldemort, chain him to your bed and force yourself on him? You self-entitled arse!” Idris stood, braced his hands on the table, and leaned forward as he continued to rant furiously. “You’re a Wizard claiming he wants alliances with other magical beings, yet you treat the one bound to you abysmally! This doesn’t endear you to us, I assure you.”

 

Tom stood from his throne-like chair and narrowed his red eyes dangerously. His wand was in his hand and pointed at the Kelpie’s throat in the space of a single heartbeat. “If my Genie desired to sleep with you, I would not stop him Prince Idris. I do not force Harry to sleep in my bed, either. He has his bottle to sleep in, should he chose to do so.” His voice lowered to a threatening hiss as he added. “And I assure you that I have not touched Harry. That you would accuse me of such a thing without proof does not endear you to me, Kelpie. Of that, I assure you.”

 

Idris raised his hand and a ball of dark green water appeared in it, pulsing with a black glow. “Do not raise your wand to me.” Idris spat, his fury clear on his face. “Look at how your Genie kneels at your feet and cowers, trembling before you! He is clearly terrified of you. Anyone can see you have no care for the being bound to you!”

 

“No…” Harry whispered, looking between Idris and Tom in despair. “No, I’m not afraid of my Master, Prince Idris. I swear it.” When Idris scoffed, Harry stood and glared at him. “Don’t make that sound; it’s as good as calling me a liar!”

 

Idris turned to Harry. “If you aren’t afraid of him, why do you tremble? Why do you look at him with fear in your eyes? Why do you turn down something that you want?”

 

Harry looked cautiously at Tom, then gritted his teeth when his magic nudged him. It would seem his Master wished to know as well. “It is in my nature to please my Master.” Harry bit out from between his teeth. “I cannot willingly cause him displeasure. My magic will not allow me to go against whatever he desires.”

 

Harry swallowed hard at the look on the prince’s face and added. “It is nothing my Master has said or done that caused me to say no to you, Prince Idris. But it would go against my Master’s desires to do otherwise, so I could not. My magic froze my vocal cords when I would have said yes; it froze my muscles when I would have nodded. I belong to the Dark Lord. Genie magic will not allow me to belong to someone else, in any way, regardless of what I desire.”

 

“And do you want to belong to someone else?” Idris queried softly. “For surely Voldemort, who wishes to form alliances with other magical beings, would give ownership of you over to someone else, if it was what you wished.” Idris sneered at Tom and added. “As a gesture of good faith, to garner trust.”

 

Harry looked nervously between the two men; Tom had not lowered his wand and Idris still had the magical water-ball cradled in his palm. This wasn’t good. “Please, Prince Idris.” Harry’s voice was beseeching; his magic forced his tongue and lips to curl around the words he was saying. “I do not wish to change Masters.”

 

Idris glared at Tom, though his words were for Harry. “You do not mean that. You are simply saying what Voldemort wishes to hear.”

 

Tom sneered as he lost his patience. His voice was cold as he said. “I grow tired of this farce of a meeting, Harry. I wish…” He paused, taking in the furious faces of his guests and considered for a moment, then continued. “I wish for these creatures to follow me.” After a second of hesitation, he added. “Except for Dia. She may choose her own path.”

 

Harry tensed for a moment, then snapped his fingers. A small puff of black smoke appeared briefly and then Ionor, Fenrir, Hoggle, Milena, and Idris all disappeared. Harry’s lips twitched as he struggled not to smile. The wizards and witches present all covered their mouths to stifle gasps and sniggers, except for Rabastan who snorted and grinned at Harry quite blatantly. Diellza smiled quite widely as well, shaking her head slightly.

 

“You’re a willful little thing, aren’t you?” She asked, tipping her head to the side. Noticing Tom’s confusion, she added. “I suggest, Tom, that you look behind you.”

 

Tom looked over his shoulder to see the other magical beings lined up neatly behind him. He took a few steps to the side and all of them shuffled to the side as well, still in a perfectly straight line. He turned on Harry with a hiss. “What have you done?” He demanded.

 

“Master said follow.” Harry said, his eyes gleaming with anger and victory. He had been denied many things by his Genie magic, but this small vengeance was allowed and he intended to savor it. “They are following you.”

 

Diellza’s laughter rang out. “Oh, Tom. I do like him.” She gave Harry a fond smile, then turned warm and laughing eyes on her old friend. “Of course I shall ally with you, but then I’m certain we both knew that I would. Your Genie is powerful, though you must work hard to learn to control him properly. I’m certain this wish can be fixed, if you but think for a moment.”

 

Tom sighed and sank onto his throne again, ignoring the line of beings behind it for the moment. He waved a dismissive hand at his Death Eaters. “You are all dismissed.”

Once the witches and wizards (save Rabastan, who retained his seat at the far end of the table) had left, Tom turned his attention to correcting his wish. Finally, after a long span of time, Tom gestured for Harry to come closer. The brunette boy moved until he was standing beside the Dark Lord’s throne. Defiance poured off of Harry in waves as he glared angrily at Tom. The older man could tell Harry was furious, but he ignored it for now. He would soothe the Genie later, when they were alone.

 

“Harry, I wish for the creatures currently following me to ally themselves to my cause. I wish for them to concede to my guidelines for these alliances. I wish for them to remember nothing of the argument that occurred. I wish for them to remember nothing of my wishes to you. And I wish for them to return home, content with these new alliances.”

 

Harry glared heatedly, but snapped his fingers. There was no way to misinterpret what his Master had wished for that time. The guests – save for Diellza – disappeared as soon as the puff of black smoke vanished. “Your wish is granted.” Harry said coldly. “If that is all you require of me Master, may I retire to your chambers? I find myself weary of your company.”

 

Tom looked as though he was going to refuse, but Diellza stood and walked over to him, touching his arm gently. “Let him go, Tom.” She smiled benignly at Harry. “Go on then, little one. Your Master and I have much to catch up on, anyway.”

 

Harry looked at Tom, who nodded tersely, then turned back to Diellza. “Thank you.” He told her softly, then he glared at Tom and said coldly. “I am bound to you, but never forget that it is not a willing enslavement. I do not enjoy being forced to forgo what I want to suit what someone else wants, when it is something that should be only my choice.”

 

He then turned and walked away, his wand and its pillow lifting off the pedestal to follow. When he reached the door, Harry called out. “Rabastan, come along. You know I’m not allowed to wander unattended.” He shot a frosty look at Tom and added darkly. “Merlin forbid I should ever have any privacy, after all.”

 

When Harry – followed by a snickering Rabastan – had left, Diellza turned back to Tom with a smile. It grew when she saw the frustrated desire on his face. “Ah, Tom.” Her voice was soft and her eyes shone with sympathy as well as amusement. “You never did choose easy things, did you?”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Dia.” Tom’s face smoothed out instantly into a mask that hid his emotions. “Harry is simply my Genie.”

 

“For now.” Diellza acknowledged, still smiling. “But we both know you’ll not leave it lie for long. You never were a patient man, Tom, and I doubt you’ve become one since last we met.” She sat down on the chair the Kelpie prince had sat on during the meeting. “You’ll take what you want, sooner rather than later, and both of us know it.”

 

Tom looked at his old friend – and once-lover – with hurt showing in his eyes. “Do you truly think so little of me, Dia? After everything?”

 

Diellza’s gentle smile never wavered, nor did the sympathy and amusement leave her eyes. “No, Tom. I think quite highly of you, in fact. But I also know you. You want the child.”

 

“He’s hardly a child, Dia.” Tom gave her a glare that didn’t impress her in the slightest. “He’s reached the age of majority, after all, or he wouldn’t be a Genie.”

 

Diellza rolled her vibrantly blue eyes. “Yes, Tom. I do know that. But he is barely an infant by the standards of immortal beings.” She shook her head. “No, he is a child still, in many ways. But you want him despite that and you know it as well as I do. And when you finally claim him, I must ask you to be careful.” She gave him a firm look, the smile dropping from her lips quite suddenly. “If you harm him, Tom, I will not be pleased. I quite like the boy, if for no reason other than that he challenges you.”

 

Tom frowned. “I would not hurt him, Dia.” His voice was very solemn. “You know that. When have I ever caused a lover pain?”

 

Diellza’s blue eyes grew sad and her smile was self-deprecating. “The pain you cause isn’t physical, Tom. I do not wish to see your Genie in tears.” She stood and brushed a light kiss against his cheek. “If I discover you have made him cry, you will regret it. Such beauty and sweetness deserves laughter, not tears.” She turned to walk from the room, and added over her shoulder. “Do not disappoint me again, Tom. I will not be so forgiving a second time.”

Chapter Text

It was several hours later when Tom finally headed to his chambers. He approached and was surprised to hear crashing sounds from within the bedroom. Rabastan stood stoically outside the double doors to the bedroom, in the sitting room. “Rabastan.” He snapped. “What is going on?”

 

Rabastan sighed. “Harry won’t open the door, my lord. I have asked several times, but he refuses. He says he intends to destroy everything you own.”

 

Tom blinked slowly, then turned to stare at the door. He drew his wand and tried every unlocking spell he could think of, but nothing worked. Annoyed, he called out. “Harry!”

 

There was a pause, then the sound of something (Tom suspected it was a chair) hitting the door and splintering. “Go the fuck away, you self-righteous, egotistical prick!” Harry’s voice shrieked from inside the room.

 

Rabastan coughed to cover a snicker, then said seriously. “As I said, my lord, Harry refuses to open the door. Perhaps I could…”

 

“Leave.” Tom said, cutting Rabastan off. When the man looked as though he would protest, he narrowed his red eyes at him and snapped. “I mean it, Rabastan. Leave.”

 

Rabastan’s lip curled in disdain and he sketched a short, abrupt, and nearly-disrespectful bow. “Of course, my lord.” He said stiffly. “Good night.”

 

When his Death Eater was gone, Tom turned to the doors again. “Harry!” He called out once more, pounding loudly on the door.

 

“Fuck you, you scum-sucking bastard!” Harry screeched loudly. There was a loud thud, followed instantly by the sound of shattering glass.

 

Tom snarled, and snapped. “Harry, open this door this instant!”

 

There was a howl of fury, but the doors opened. Tom met Harry’s green eyes across the wreckage of the room and the brunette boy spat furiously. “I hate you. I fucking hate you!” Tears filled those green eyes, making them look even more vivid.

 

Tom nodded once, then looked around the room. The bed curtains hung in tatters, trying valiantly to cling to the bedposts. The pillows were broken apart; feathers were everywhere. His sheets and blankets had been shredded as well; his mattress was flipped off the frame and ripped in several places. Every mirror in the room was smashed, as were all of the knickknacks. His chairs and end tables had all been smashed to splinters. His clothing lay, in shredded and smoldering piles of burned, ruined fabric, all around the room. Harry was panting, his face flushed with anger.

 

“You’ve been busy.” Was all Tom said; his face and voice were mild. “It seems a shame to waste all this effort…but I’m afraid you’re going to have to fix everything you’ve broken.”

 

Harry pursed his lips, holding his body very still, and glared at Tom. Tom rolled his eyes. “Harry, fix everything you destroyed.”

 

Harry’s whole body began to tremble as he fought against his magic. Tom sighed; he didn’t want Harry to hurt himself fighting his magic but he wasn’t going to back down. This sort of temper tantrum was unacceptable and Harry needed to learn that. He watched as the fingers of Harry’s right hand slowly came together and snapped, despite the obvious effort the boy was exerting to prevent them from doing so. He was a stubborn young man, but he was no match for Genie magic.

 

The snap left the room precisely as it had been before Harry’s rampage. “I’ll just destroy it again the moment you leave.” Harry spat angrily. “I’ll destroy everything in this house.”

 

“Yes, I suppose you might.” Tom replied with a shrug. “But I can force you to fix it far faster than you can re-destroy it all, so it doesn’t matter much, does it?” Tom studied Harry’s flushed, angry face and asked. “I do have to wonder, though…how often do you destroy things like this?”

 

Harry gritted his teeth and bit out. “I once wrecked the Headmaster’s office.”

 

Tom raised an eyebrow, surprised. “Really? Well. That’s quite interesting. Why?”

 

Harry hissed in annoyance, then answered. “Because Sirius had just died and I was falling apart. I was furious that Albus was hiding things from me.” Harry paused briefly, then added pointedly. “And that he’d been going around making decisions that should have been mine to make.”

 

Tom nodded, but felt compelled to point out that he hadn’t done anything wrong. “I told you the choice was yours, Harry. And it was.”

 

“Except that it wasn’t!” Harry screamed, throwing his hands up in aggravation. “So long as you don’t want me to do something, I can’t! My magic refuses to let me go against you, even if you don’t say you don’t want me to do it! If you feel it strongly enough, then I know.” He glared at the Dark Lord. “And it’s not fair to me, because it’s my body. I should be able to do what I want.”

 

“And you wanted to let Prince Idris fuck you?” Tom spat, a dark and angry hatred creeping through his chest.

 

Harry cocked his head to the side, his whole body thrumming. “Would you like me to answer with the truth, Master?” He sneered. “Or with a pretty lie?”

 

“The truth.” The older man bit out, narrowing his red eyes. “When the two of us are alone, I want you to always speak the truth.”

 

“Fine.” Harry crossed his arms defiantly across his chest. “Yes, I wanted Prince Idris. I wanted to say yes to him.” Harry felt that Tom wanted him to stop speaking. He didn’t want to hear this, not really. But he’d asked and told Harry to be honest, so Harry decided to press his advantage.

 

He kept speaking, letting his voice drop down lower. “I wanted him to kiss me and touch me. I wanted to run my hands through that intriguing green hair of his.” Tom’s eyes darkened with anger and his magic sparked dangerously, but Harry kept going. “I wanted to touch his skin and feel his body pressed against mine. I wanted to taste him and feel him inside of me. I wanted…”

 

“Enough!” Tom roared, utterly furious. “If you wanted him so badly, why did you refuse?”

 

“I told you already.” Harry snapped, getting tired of repeating himself. “I’m tied to you by my magic. I am bound to obey your commands, fulfill your wishes, and submit to your desires. I know when you want something and my magic won’t let me go against that, even if you don’t speak it out loud. I don’t have to do what you do want – unless you speak it out loud - but I cannot do something against what you desire me to do.”

 

Tom, still furious, ran his eyes over Harry. The Genie stiffened, then glared. “As I said.” The boy’s voice was cold and angry. “I don’t need to obey unspoken desires.”

 

Tom’s lips curved upwards into a cruel smirk. “I want to see all of you.” He spoke softly, but it was clear he was angry.

 

He watched as Harry’s black and dark-gold Genie outfit turned into smoke and then dissipated. Harry stood, in all his glorious nudity, before Tom. He was glaring at Tom, fury etched into every line of his face, but all Tom could see was tousled black hair, vibrant green eyes, and full cherry-red lips. The boy trembled, his fists clenched at his side and his slender body held stiffly. All Tom’s eyes noticed was creamy white skin, the soft glint of Harry’s belly ring against his smooth stomach, and the delicate beauty of the faintly-muscled body before him.

 

“Lay on the bed.” Tom whispered, his anger turning to lust and the desire to possess the lovely boy. He watched Harry climb onto the mattress and lay down, then said. “Spread your limbs out.”

 

Harry complied without a second’s hesitation and the thrill of absolute control snaked down Tom’s spine like a caress. Harry’s glare didn’t matter; the boy was obeying perfectly. “Tie your ankles and wrists to the bed, but use something that won’t hurt you. Tight enough that you can’t get free or move much; loose enough that you won’t be uncomfortable.”

 

Instantly silk scarves appeared and Harry tugged to test the limits. He could bend his elbows and knees very slightly – enough that his shoulders wouldn’t get stiff and his thighs wouldn’t scream in protest but not enough to give him any true mobility. He glared up at Tom, every muscle in his body tensed against this act of submission. “You’re fucking disturbed.” He snapped, humiliation coursing through him as those vibrant red eyes moved over him. “You know I can’t say no. You know I can’t disobey. And you’re going to do this anyway? When I can’t even make the choice myself?”

 

Tom shrugged; he was well aware that he was disturbed and he certainly wasn’t bothered by it. He raked his eyes over Harry, then sat on the bed next to him. He reached out and touched Harry’s belly charm lightly. Harry’s stomach jumped under the touch, then tensed. “Relax.” Tom murmured softly and Harry felt his body comply, though he was still glaring.

 

Tom’s lips curved into a softer smile as he took in the submissive form of his Genie, spread out for him like an offering to a god. He leaned down and flicked his tongue against Harry’s earlobe and whispered heatedly. “Let yourself enjoy this, Harry.” He wanted Harry to find pleasure in this, if at all possible. He wanted the boy willing – though Tom intended to take him either way.

 

Harry felt a wave of relief at the way Tom phrased his last command. Tom hadn’t ordered him to enjoy his touch; he had ordered Harry to let himself enjoy Tom’s touch. Which meant that the order wouldn’t force Harry to become aroused. Harry would still have some measure of control over his body. Since Harry didn’t desire Tom – nor did he want Tom touching him – he wouldn’t enjoy this at all. Not unless Tom gave another order, anyway.

 

Tom traced his fingers over Harry’s cheeks, down the length of his nose, and along the curve of his jaw. He lightly followed the line of Harry’s throat, watching as Harry swallowed hard. He leaned forward and flicked his tongue over Harry’s pulse; Harry closed his eyes and shivered. He didn’t understand why, but this felt good. Inside, his mind was screaming for him to get away. Everything he’d ever believed was telling him this was wrong. But his body wasn’t listening; the commands he’d been given forced him to submit.

 

He shivered again, gasping softly as Tom sucked lightly on his collarbone. Then he whimpered, squeezing his eyes shut tighter as Tom’s hand brushed his left nipple, then pinched it lightly. “Yesssss…” Tom hissed sibilantly when Harry arched his chest into Tom’s touches.

 

He moved his mouth down, flicking his tongue against each of the pink buds in turn. Then he sucked the right one into his mouth, using his hand to tease the left one at the same time. Harry was panting now, his body shifting restlessly – as much as it was able to anyway, tied as he was. Little waves of pleasure were rippling through his body and he couldn’t seem to resist them. Tom’s head lifted from his chest and suddenly his mouth covered Harry’s.

 

Harry froze in shock as Tom’s tongue pushed passed his lips and teeth and into the hot, moist cavern of his mouth. He whimpered low in his throat when that same tongue stroked lightly against the roof of his mouth. It traced over his teeth and then rubbed against his own tongue and Harry wasn’t quite sure what to do about it. He jumped slightly, gasping around the tongue in his mouth, when he felt fingers brush against his belly. He quivered under the light touch, which was moving steadily lower.

 

Harry pulled his mouth away from Tom’s, his eyes wide and frightened. “Please…” He whispered, his eyes filling with tears. “Please don’t…Master, stop…”

 

Tom watched – eyes glinting in amusement – as the first of those tears spilled over, running down Harry’s temple and into his hair. Then he dropped his hand lower still, brushing his fingertips against Harry’s half-hard cock. It twitched under the touch and Harry squeezed his eyes shut, biting his lip in an attempt to stifle the whimper that was torn from his throat. Tom cupped the growing flesh in his palm and pulled the foreskin back, swiping his thumb across the slick, pink head.

 

Harry moaned, canting his hips up as much as he could while restrained. He was fully hard now and he hated himself for it. “Please stop…” He begged, meeting Tom’s red eyes with desperate green ones. “I don’t want to do this…please…”

 

Tom grinned evilly. “You may not want to do this, Harry-mine…” He purred, leaning down to lick at the tear tracks on Harry’s face. “But you do want it.” He squeezed lightly and Harry moaned again, his head thrashing back and forth on the pillow. Tom chuckled darkly. “No, I won’t stop, Harry. Because you do want me. And after this, you won’t be able to deny it.”

 

Harry cried out – in both shock and pleasure – as Tom cast a wandless spell that lubricated him. Another muttered spell and Tom’s clothes were on the floor. He then knelt between Harry’s spread legs and smirked down at the panting, flushed boy beneath him. He braced his hands on either side of Harry’s body and leaned down, kissing him again. Harry tried to twist his face away, but Tom followed and pushed his tongue past Harry’s lips and teeth once more.

 

Harry felt more tears leaking from beneath his closed eyelids and he let out a small sob as he struggled to get away from the other man’s questing tongue. He pressed his tongue against Tom’s and pushed, desperate to get it out of his mouth. Then the Dark Lord shifted above him and Tom’s erection brushed against his own. Harry’s eyes rolled back in his head and he made a breathless keening sound that was swallowed by Tom’s mouth over his. Harry felt the pleasure wash over him, curling his toes. He flexed his fingers restlessly and arched his hips, needing more friction. His tongue brushed against Tom’s again, but softly this time.

 

Tom chuckled into Harry’s mouth, then pulled back enough to watch Harry’s face. He pressed down and rolled his hips in a way that made Harry whimper and moan and pull against his restraints. “Yesssss…” Tom hissed, his crimson eyes narrowed as he watched Harry’s eyes glaze over with desire. “Tell me you want more, Harry…say it…”

 

Harry opened his mouth to deny it but no words came out so he shook his head even as he arched his back until it had to be painful. Tom had ordered him to be honest; Harry couldn’t lie. But he didn’t want more…did he?

 

Tom slid a hand between them at Harry’s refusal and slid his fingers down below Harry’s balls. He used a single finger to nudge at Harry’s slick entrance, leaning down to lick Harry’s neck at the same time. “Do you know what I’m going to do to you, Harry?” He whispered in Harry’s ear. He pushed his finger into Harry’s body, loving the needy sound Harry made. “I’m going to fuck you until you realize that you belong to me. I’m going to fuck you until the only thing you can remember anymore is me…my name, how my tongue tastes, the feel of me inside your tight little arse...”

 

Harry moaned at Tom’s words, feeling hot and desperate. Then he cried out in both pain and pleasure as Tom bit down on his neck with bruising force at the same moment that his finger brushed something inside of Harry that made him see stars. The finger moved again as Tom sucked on the spot on Harry’s neck that he’d bitten and Harry felt like lightening was sparking through his blood, burning everything in him to ash in the most wonderful way.

 

Tom released the skin in his mouth and licked the shell of Harry’s ear as he pushed a second finger into Harry’s body. The boy cried out loudly, his fingers wrapping around the silk that was binding his wrists to the bedposts as he tried to find something to steady himself. Tom chuckled into Harry’s ear and murmured. “Tell me what you want, Harry-mine.”

 

Harry whined, high and needy, as Tom’s fingers stilled within his body. “Pleeease…” He sobbed, his whole body trembling with need. When Tom didn’t move, Harry canted his hips up again, trying to get the fingers inside him to go deeper.

 

“Tell me what you want…” Tom whispered, his hot breath on the damp skin of Harry’s ear making the boy shiver. He nipped the cartilage at the top of Harry’s ear, then added. “Tell me and I’ll give it to you…”

 

Harry whimpered again, then whined. And then he broke, begging with soft sobs interspersing his desperate words. “Please, Master…please, I need…more, please…Master…”

 

And Tom groaned, savoring Harry’s submission. “Call me Tom.” He said softly before crushing his mouth to Harry’s again in a heated kiss.

 

He pumped his fingers a few times, making Harry moan and writhe beneath him. Then he pulled his fingers free and reached down to position his cock against Harry’s slick, loosened hole. “Tell me what you want.” He commanded.

 

“Want you…” Harry breathed, tugging forcefully at his restraints. Now, though, he was trying to get closer to Tom, rather than away from him. “Please, Tom…want you inside…need you inside…please…”

 

Tom growled and pushed forward slowly, gripping Harry’s hips tightly. Harry panted and made several small, keening sounds as Tom eased forwards. He paused after each sound, giving Harry time to adjust; he didn’t want to hurt the boy. When nearly all of him was in and he had paused once more, he was startled by Harry’s voice.

 

“Free my legs.” Harry whispered, his eyes wide and dazed; glassy, with the pupils dilated almost completely so the black nearly swallowed the green. When Tom hesitated, Harry whined and said. “Please, Tom. Free my legs…want to wrap around you…”

 

Tom swallowed, then rasped in a hoarse voice. “Release your legs, Harry.”

 

Instantly Harry’s legs were free from the silk scarves and Harry wrapped the long, pale limbs around Tom’s waist. He used his grip on the scarves still binding his wrists to brace himself as he tightened his legs and arched his back and hips. The movement served to impale him completely on Tom’s cock, pushing him down onto the last inch of Tom’s length. Harry groaned and threw his head back, exposing the elegant line of his throat. With his head still back, Harry rolled his hips and moaned loudly as the movement let him feel every inch of Tom’s cock pressing against the inside of him.

 

Tom’s red eyes turned feral as he grinned down at Harry. “Beg for it.” He whispered, leaning in and dragging his tongue along the line of Harry’s jaw.

 

Harry moaned and rolled his hips again. “Please…” He pleaded, tugging almost desperately against the silk binding his wrists. “Please, Tom…”

 

“Please what?” Tom whispered, flicking the tip of his tongue against Harry’s earlobe. “Tell me what you want, Harry-mine.”

 

Harry whimpered and tugged on his bindings again. “Please, Tom…let me go…” He met Tom’s red eyes with pleading green ones. “Please…want to touch you…” He made a keening sound as Tom growled and made a single, shallow thrust. “Yesssss…” Harry hissed, panting. “Fuck me, Tom…”

 

Tom made a low, urgent hissing sound that Harry was grateful to be able to understand. ~ Free your arms, Harry-mine. ~

Harry’s wrists were instantly freed from the silk scarves. With a purr of pleasure Harry wound his arms around Tom’s back, digging his nails into the other man’s shoulders. ~ Please… ~ Harry hissed, slipping into Parseltongue unintentionally. ~ Please, Tom…fuck me… ~

 

Tom’s mouth covered Harry’s, his tongue exploring the hot, moist cavern as he began to thrust. He slowly withdrew from the Genie’s body until only the head of his cock was still inside, and then pushed back in swiftly. Harry mewled, his head thrashing from side to side as the head of Tom’s cock moved over that spot inside him that sent pleasure coursing hot and thick through his veins. Tom continued to thrust steadily – slow while pulling out, fast while pushing in – even as his kisses robbed Harry of breath. Harry dragged his nails sharply down Tom’s back, pulling his mouth away from the older man’s and sucking in several large breaths.

 

Tom’s lips immediately attached to the pale, creamy skin of Harry’s neck. He licked and sucked on the supple flesh, delighting in the moans and whimpers the boy was making. Harry mewled again, then began to plead once more. “Faster, Tom…” Harry whined, arching his hips up and digging his heels into the small of Tom’s back. “Harder, please…”

 

Tom was more than happy to accommodate his new lover. He braced his hands firmly on either side of Harry to stabilize himself and began thrusting harder and faster. Harry’s legs wrapped securely around his waist had the boy’s hips tilted up at the perfect angle, so each movement caused the head of Tom’s cock to drag deliciously across Harry’s prostate. Harry was nearly incoherent with pleasure; he babbled a string of near-nonsense. ‘Yes, more, now…deeper, need…god, so perfect…merlin, harder…never, don’t stop…faster …’ The words were broken up by gasps and whimpers and breathy moans and sounds that weren’t words like, ‘Nggghh…’ and ‘Ugggghnnn…’.

The nonsensical sounds and murmured phrases were driving Tom’s passion higher; he loved that he had reduced Harry to this. He did his best to give Harry everything he asked for. When Harry said deeper, Tom straightened up so he was on his knees, looking down at the boy spread out before him, and gripped Harry’s hips tightly, lifting his arse off the bed to change the angle of his thrusts. When Harry asked for it harder, Tom obeyed without a second thought, pounding into Harry until he thought the boy should surely be asking him to stop rather than begging for more. And when Harry demanded he go faster, Tom sped up until he was panting from exertion.

Tom could feel the pleasure building and he reached down with one hand, wrapping it around Harry’s weeping cock. A small amount of sticky fluid was pooled on Harry’s stomach, evidence of his desire and need. The head of Harry’s cock had darkened from a pretty pink to a deep red and had Tom licking his lips, wishing he could taste it. ‘Another time…’ He promised himself. He focused on maintaining his balance and rhythm. Thrusting while he had one hand holding Harry’s hip and the other wrapped around the boy’s erection wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but the extra concentration it required was helping him hold back his orgasm.

 

After no more than ten strokes to Harry’s cock, the boy cried out. Harry’s whole body stiffened and Tom whispered to him. “You’re mine…”

 

Harry’s whole body shook almost violently as hot, sticky fluid shot in long arcs over his stomach and chest. His eyes went dark and blind, then rolled back in his head as the pleasure washed over him. Harry felt like was drowning, but he wanted to drown because this sort of drowning was perfect. Harry threw his head back almost violently, opened his mouth, and screamed. His back arched up off the bed as his hands fisted in the sheets beneath him. Tom stroked him steadily through the pleasure, milking every drop from Harry’s body.

 

Tom groaned at the feel of Harry’s tight arse clenching rhythmically around his cock as the boy climaxed, but that wasn’t what finally pushed the older man over the edge. Nor was it the beauty of Harry’s face in the throes of complete abandon and pure pleasure. No, what snapped Tom’s thin thread of control were the two simple words Harry murmured as his body relaxed back onto the bed.

“Yours…” The Genie whispered softly, his green eyes fluttering shut as he seemed to simply shut down after such an intense experience. “Forever.”

 

And Tom came, flooding the young man’s body with his seed. He shuddered, then collapsed at Harry’s side, pulling the smaller body against his. Harry sighed softly in his sleep, snuggling closer to the warmth of Tom’s chest. Tom smiled smugly, pressed a kiss to Harry’s messy black hair, and let his own eyes drift shut. Things were looking up.

Chapter Text

Harry didn’t sleep for long. In fact, it couldn’t even really be referred to as sleep – at least, not in the strictest sense of the word. It was more like his mind and body – which weren’t used to such extreme pleasure – shut down for a short while to reboot. So it was not much above 10 minutes later when Harry’s eyes fluttered open. He blinked in surprise at the expanse of naked skin in front of him before remembering everything. He stiffened instantly. He was naked and pressed – quite intimately – against an equally naked Dark Lord. His arse felt tender and a suspicious wet stickiness in that area made him feel vaguely nauseated. His belly and chest had the slightly-tight feel that accompanies a thick, viscous fluid drying on skin.

 

Harry felt his stomach roll and pitch unpleasantly. He hastily shoved out of Tom’s arms, shifting towards the edge of the bed. Tom was instantly awake. “Harry?” He asked, grabbing for the boy. “Where are you going?”

 

“Get off!” Harry shrieked, kicking Tom hard in the stomach as he scrambled away from the other man. “I can’t…” Harry’s stomach rolled again and he groaned, finally managing to get his head over the side of the bed.

 

Before Tom could even catch his breath – Harry’s kick had knocked the wind out of him – let alone ask what was wrong, Harry’s whole body shuddered and he began to heave. Perhaps luckily, Harry hadn’t eaten since breakfast – due to the meeting and the subsequent destruction of Tom’s room. So though Harry gagged and his body shuddered and heaved, nothing came up. It was as though, instead of trying to rid itself of food, Harry’s body was attempting to rid itself of the carnal knowledge it had gained so recently. Unfortunately for him, the feel of Tom above him and inside him was not something he could simply will away.

 

When Harry finally stopped dry-heaving, he collapsed onto his stomach on the bed, trembling. He cried out in distress as he felt Tom’s hand come to rest on the small of his back. “Harry-mine, are you feeling better? What happened?”

 

“Don’t touch me!” Harry pleaded, tears spilling from his eyes instantly. He cringed away from the Dark Lord’s touch – despite how gentle and soothing it had been – and curled into a ball on his side. “Please don’t touch me…” He begged, his voice low and broken and weak.

 

Tom knelt on the bed – still nude – with his hand hovering a few inches from Harry’s skin. He felt everything in him twist unpleasantly at Harry’s words and actions. “Harry…” He whispered, uncertain what to do; he hadn’t anticipated this reaction from the young man. “I want to...” He never got a chance to say the word ‘understand’ which would have been next out of his mouth.

 

“Don’t!” Harry cried out, turning accusing eyes on Tom. “Don’t you dare speak! I don’t want you issuing more commands and wiping away my true feelings!” He glared heatedly at Tom, his breath coming in loud, fast pants. “I’ve got a right to them, dammit! I’ve got a right to be upset and angry and utterly miserable when someone’s taken my virginity under questionable-at-best circumstances!”

 

Tom sucked in a sharp breath, stunned. “You…you’re untouched?” It had never occurred to him that someone as beautiful and sweet and brave as Harry had never been with anyone. Heat and pleasure washed through him with the knowledge that no one else had ever seen his Harry come undone from need and desire.

 

“Not anymore.” Harry snapped and his breathing sped up. “You stole that from me…”

 

Harry could feel Tom’s eyes on him and his heart rate increased until he was surprised the organ didn’t just leap out of his chest to bounce on the bed next to him. Harry was still curled into a ball; he wrapped his trembling arms around his knees. His whole body was shaking and he felt like, if he didn’t hold himself tightly curled, he might just shake apart. His breathing came faster and faster still, but he felt like he wasn’t getting any oxygen. It was like the air he was sucking in was disappearing before it could reach his lungs. Harry’s vision began to go grey around the edges and his hands and face felt numb and tingly, as though they’d fallen asleep.

 

Tom watched in confusion as Harry curled himself into an even smaller ball, shaking. He listened to the Genie’s breathing and sighed in annoyance; Harry was hyperventilating. “Harry…” He admonished gently, reaching out despite the Gryffindor’s previous protests and laying a gentle hand in the center of Harry’s upper back, just between his shoulder blades. “You need to take a deep breath and…”

 

His red eyes widened as the rest of his sentence was cut off by a deafening sound. The second Tom touched that pale skin, Harry threw his head back and screamed. It tore through the entire manor, reverberating and echoing back. Harry continued to scream until Tom withdrew his hand – it was only seconds later, but it seemed like much longer with the sound still hanging heavily in the air. Harry was still breathing far too quickly for Tom’s peace of mind, but he didn’t dare touch him again. Harry panted for a few moments, his eyes wide but unfocused; Tom didn’t think the Genie was actually seeing anything in the room. His vision seemed to be turned inwards.

 

Then Tom jumped as Harry opened his mouth and let out a howling sound of anguish and pain. He followed the howl with several high, keening noises that seemed to rip at Tom’s heart. He wanted to pull Harry into his arms and soothe the boy; he wanted to reassure Harry that everything would be alright if he’d just calm down and accept what was between them. Unable to resist the desire to comfort the young man, he reached out and tried to pull Harry into his arms.

 

This…was a mistake.

 

Harry went wild. He kicked out with his legs, catching Tom several times – mostly by accident. He flailed his arms, thrashing his head from side to side and screaming mindlessly. Even when Tom realized he’d made a mistake by touching Harry and got off the bed - standing safely at its side where he was out of Harry’s range – Harry didn’t calm. He screamed repeatedly, sounding angry and terrified and desperate at the same time. His body seemed incapable of being still; he nearly looked possessed.

 

Finally, it registered in Tom’s stunned mind that Harry was not simply screaming; he was screaming a name. His Genie was screaming for someone. ‘Bastan’ echoed eerily throughout the entire manor as Harry begged over and over again, with just that single name, for his protector and bodyguard to come and save him. ‘To save him from me…’ Tom realized, shocked into motionlessness. Tom simply stood there and stared down at Harry. He had no idea what to do.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

The moment the first eerie scream reached Rabastan, he headed towards the Dark Lord’s room. When it was followed by a howl and several other noises, Rabastan began to run. When the sounds turned into the screamed recitation of his nickname, Rabastan pushed himself to his limits. He had never moved so quickly in his life. When he reached the room Harry was forced to share with Voldemort, he entered the sitting room and tried the doors to the bedroom; they were locked. Rabastan stood, listening to Harry scream for him, unsure what to do. He wanted to blast the door open and rush to Harry’s aid, but if the Dark Lord were with him…

 

‘And if it’s the Dark Lord hurting him? If it’s the Dark Lord making him scream for your help?’ His mind supplied helpfully. ‘You’re his guard…’ He reminded himself. He leveled his wand at the door with a ‘reducto’ on his tongue, but couldn’t seem to force himself to cast the spell.

 

Diellza rushed into the sitting room seconds later and took in the sight of Rabastan Lestrange – the man who had introduced himself as Harry’s bodyguard – standing before the doors. “Oh dear.” She murmured, listening to Harry’s screams. Then she squared her shoulders and said firmly. “Stand aside, Rabastan. I shall deal with these doors.”

 

Rabastan turned wide eyes on the vampire, but stepped hastily out of her way when he saw the determined look on her face. He watched as she bent over and grasped the hem of her black velvet gown firmly before straightening, rucking the dress up until her legs were exposed all the way up to the tops of her very-shapely thighs. Her feet – and calves – were encased in knee-high black leather platform boots that laced up the front and buckled over the laces. There was a plate of steel cross the toe and heel of each boot. Dia marched determinedly up to the doors – skirt still held up in one hand – and kicked the double doors just above the twin doorknobs. There was a loud thud and a creaking sound and the doors shuddered violently but held. Rabastan watched – fascinated – as the woman pursed her lips slightly and kicked again.

 

This time, her foot landed solidly against the right-hand door. It cracked and ripped right off its hinges, falling into the room in several pieces of destroyed wood. Dropped the fabric of her skirt, Diellza lifted her chin and marched into the room. Rabastan hurried in after her, desperate to get to Harry’s side and stop the screaming.

 

He froze in the doorway for a long moment, taking in the scene. Dia was focused on Tom, her vibrant blue eyes glaring daggers at the Dark Lord. Tom stood – completely nude – beside his bed. Harry lay on the bed – also naked - writhing and flailing and screaming. His stomach and chest had dried residue on them that could only be one thing; the same substance was also present on the sheets and on Harry’s thighs and arse. Rabastan saw red; he rushed across the room and climbed onto the bed, completely ignoring both the Dark Lord and the vampire Queen.

 

“Shhhh…” Rabastan soothed, spelling away the evidence of what had obviously occurred. He then gathered Harry into his arms – heedless of the flailing limbs and screaming – and dragged a blanket over the naked boy as well, rocking. “It’s me, Harry. It’s Rabastan.” He cooed, sing-songing the words in the distinctive way he often spoke due to the ever-present madness that clung to him from his time in Azkaban. “You’re safe, Harry. I won’t let him touch you again. Shhhh…”

 

Harry stopped screaming as soon as he heard Rabastan’s voice speaking and began to sob. He turned into his guard’s chest, winding his arms around the man’s neck and burying his face against his throat. His whole body shook as he gasped and sobbed while Rabastan rocked him and murmured soothing nonsense to the young man he had agreed to protect.

 

Diellza was now toe-to-toe with Tom, glaring up at him from her diminutive height; the top of her head barely reached Tom’s shoulder as she was nearly the same height as Harry. “How dare you!” She snarled, baring her fangs at Tom and hissing angrily before continuing. “Did I not just warn you? Did I not just tell you that I did not wish to see the child in tears? Did I not just cover this, Tom?” She shrieked her last question several octaves higher.

 

Tom held himself stiffly. “I did not hurt him.” Tom told her coolly. “He was fine. He fell asleep curled up in my arms. I was awoken by him moving. He dry-heaved, then began to hyperventilate. I was attempting to soothe him when he began to scream.” His eyes flashed dangerously as he added. “As I told you, Dia, I do not harm my lovers.”

 

“Really?” Dia spat, crossing her arms defiantly and giving Tom a look of derisive condescension. “That boy,” She gestured to where Rabastan was rocking a still-sobbing Harry. “Is even more distraught than Christophe was when you left him! At least Chris understood that you were a heartless bastard, Tom; Harry does not!”

 

Tom tensed. “I did nothing to him, Dia. I was mostly asleep and I believed he was as well.” Tom flicked red eyes to where his lover was crying in the arms of another man and felt jealousy lick – hot and painful – through his chest. “I don’t know why he became distressed.”

 

“I’m sure you don’t and that’s a huge part of the problem.” The vampire spat. “But we’ll deal with that bit later. For now, get out.”

 

“Excuse you?” Tom could barely believe her audacity. “This is my room in my house and Harry is my Genie! I’m not going anywhere!”

 

There was a long, tense silence – punctuated by Harry’s distressed tears and Rabastan’s soothing voice – before Diellza said icily. “I will go straight to Dumbledore and ally myself with the Light, Tom, if you do not go away and let me handle this.” Her eyes were cold blue fire. “I am not forgiving and my affection for you only goes so far. Do not push me.”

 

Tom felt sick inside at her threat; he had no doubt she’d follow through if he decided to call her on it. It was no idle threat, nor was it a minor one. Though she was only the Queen of the Albanian vampires, the rest of the clans tended to follow where she led. If she remained neutral – as she had in the first War – so would all of the others. If she allied herself with him, as he’d always wanted her to do, then they would be more likely to follow. And if she allied herself with Dumbledore then eventually many of the others would do the same. Even the vampires who chose not to join the Light would still refuse to join him; they would not fight against the others.

 

Tom hissed angrily and Diellza ignored it; she didn’t speak Parseltongue so the string of sibilance leaving Tom’s mouth was irrelevant to her. It was probably just a stream of obscenities, anyway. Finally he switched back to English. “Fine.”

 

Diellza watched him put on a robe and go, then rushed to the bed. She immediately climbed onto it, reaching out and stroking Harry’s messy hair while cooing. “Hush, little one. It’s alright. He’s gone now. Rabastan and I are here.”

 

Harry turned to her, his eyes still wild but more focused than they had been a few minutes earlier. She watched as he studied her face and recognized her, his breathing still coming in very rapid bursts. “I want you to know that you’re safe.” She told him solemnly. “I will not let Tom harm you again. But you must calm down.”

 

Instead of heeding her words, Harry’s breathing got even quicker. Dia sighed and locked eyes with a worried Rabastan. “There’s not much we can do until he’s calmer.” She said gently. “He’s too worked up right now. But he’s hyperventilating so he’ll probably pass out in a minute or two. Then when he wakes up he’ll be more ready to talk.”

 

Rabastan nodded tersely and tightened his hold protectively on the delicate boy. True to Dia’s prediction, it was less than three minutes later that Harry’s breathing became even more frantic. His eyes went wide and dark with fear, and then rolled back in his head. He slumped in his bodyguard’s arms, turning to dead weight as he fell unconscious. His breathing evened out almost immediately, though there was a faint hitch to it every 6 breaths or so. Rabastan looked miserable.

 

“Lay him on the bed.” She murmured and Rabastan complied silently, still staring sadly down at his charge. “Come; sit by the fireplace.” The vampire stood and moved to do the same. Once seated across from the man, she said. “Would you like to tell me more about this child who graces Tom’s bed? I admit to being a touch isolated in Albania. I do not often pay attention to the fleeting matters that trouble your Ministry.”

 

Rabastan cast another sad look at Harry, then nodded. As concisely as possible, he explained to the vampire all about the complex history that had entwined the life of Harry Potter with that of Lord Voldemort from the time Harry was merely a baby. He filled her in on all of it, including how Harry had come to be an enslaved Genie with Voldemort as his master. He explained how he’d been assigned as Harry’s bodyguard as well as Voldemort’s growing desire for the teenager. He explained Harry’s innocence and sweetness and everything he knew about Harry – gleaned from books and newspapers and the two weeks Harry had been at the Manor. Most of what he knew actually came from the last five days, when he’d been Harry’s bodyguard. The boy was terribly lonely and more than willing to become friends with the only Death Eater he had any real contact with.

 

When Rabastan finished explaining, Diellza looked pensive. “He would not have truly forced the boy.” She meant to sound firm, but doubt crept into her voice. “Or the Tom he was when I first knew him as a young man would not have. But perhaps he was a bit more…demanding, shall we say?...in his persuasion…”

 

Rabastan stared at her for several moments, then asked softly. “Who is Christophe?”

 

“Ah.” Dia smiled wanly. “He is one of my Clan. A young thing when he was turned, like myself…only about 19 years old. Beautiful, like you wouldn’t believe. As fair as that Malfoy child, really, which is rare among my clan.” Her eyes were sad. “Chris is one of my dearest friends; a treasured member of my Clan. I considered an alliance with Tom when he came to me nearly 50 years ago in large part because I found him charming and clever and capable, but partly because Chris was so enamored of him. For a brief time, I believed Chris would persuade Tom to be changed; I looked forward to having him join my Clan.”

 

“But that didn’t happen.” Rabastan frowned. “My lord is obsessed with immortality; I’m surprised he didn’t agree.”

 

“Tom was horrified when Christophe said he loved him, Rabastan.” Dia turned to face the flames, her bright eyes going dark and broody. “I do not know if Tom has ever loved anyone. I don’t think Christophe expected to hear it back; he is not a foolish young man, after all, and has lived several hundred years. Long enough to know a loveless, murdering bastard when he welcomes one between his thighs, at least.” Her tone was edged with dark anger now. “But he did not expect Tom to be disgusted and angry; he did not expect Tom to flee as soon as dawn broke and Christophe could not follow.”

 

Dia turned back to Rabastan and added. “By the time night fell, Chris had decided it was best to let him go and I had decided I was not ready to make an alliance with him. Christophe – despite letting Tom leave – was inconsolable for days. He cried for hours on end and refused to eat. It took me a great amount of time to forgive Tom for the pain he caused to one so dear to me. Until Tom was incorporeal and came to visit me like that, to try to cling to his sanity in his formless state through conversation with one of the only beings he’d ever trusted and gotten along with, actually.”

 

Her eyes moved to the bed and she added. “I forgave him once, because time had passed and Christophe had moved on, and because Tom did not deliberately cause Chris pain. He was simply being himself; heartless and cruel. I could not hold his nature against him forever, you see.” She smiled briefly, then anger settled back onto her features. “But this boy is a child and an innocent, in every way. I will not sit idly by while Tom breaks him.”

 

Rabastan was trying to formulate a response when Harry made a quiet whimpering sound from the bed and began to stir.

 

Immediately – moving so fast that Rabastan missed it entirely – Diellza was on the bed beside the boy, stroking his hair and crooning softly. “It’s alright, Harry. It is Diellza, the vampire from the meeting. You may call me Dia. Your guard, Rabastan, is here as well.”

 

Harry sat up (moving away from Dia’s gentle touch), clutching the blanket tightly around himself and trembling. Tears filled his emerald eyes as he looked between Dia and Rabastan. “’Bastan…” He whimpered the name, looking miserable.

 

Rabastan quickly joined them on the bed. “Yes, Harry. I’m here. Dia and I won’t let Tom hurt you again, I promise. I’m sorry I wasn’t here.”

 

Harry let out a small sobbing laugh. “Hurt me? He didn’t…I mean…” Harry looked torn and flicked his eyes restlessly between the two people sitting with him.

 

“Tell us what happened, një pak.” The vampire coaxed. “Let us help you.”

 

Harry stared down at the bed, drawing his knees up to his chest within his blanket-cocoon. His voice was halting and shaking; he stuttered as he spoke. “Tom…he…t-touched me.” Harry whispered, not looking up. “G-gave me or-orders. C-can’t say n-no…”

 

Dia caught the fury on Rabastan’s face. “I don’t understand.” She said quietly. “I feel as if I am missing something important…”

 

“Genies like Harry have to obey any direct command given by their master.” Rabastan growled. “Harry is saying that the Dark Lord ordered him to comply with his wishes and Harry was forced to obey. He could not have fought or gotten away; he was bound by his own magic.”

 

Dia was horrified. “Një pak...what did he order you to do?”

 

Harry shivered. “Said to strip...” Harry said in a slightly-muffled monotone, buring his face in his blanket-covered knees. “Lie on the bed. Tie myself down. Relax. Not fight.”

 

Diellza felt vaguely naseated now, but didn’t let it show. She kept her voice soft and even. “Did he hurt you, Harry?” The boy shook his head, not lifting it from his knees. “Why were you upset, një pak?”

 

Harry began to sob, tears spilling down his cheeks as his whole body shook. Rabastan moved to hold him, but Harry cried out in anguish. “Don’t touch me!” He sobbed, miserable. “I’m not...not worth it. He touched me...was inside of me...and I allowed it.” Harry curled himself tighter, trying to make himself as small as possible as he whispered brokenly. “I enjoyed it...”

 

Dia closed her eyes in heartbroken understanding. Harry was an inherently good person – despite his chaotic-neutral Genie nature – and he didn’t condone what Tom was doing. He couldn’t understand or fathom the darker aspects of things like war or people like Tom. Harry was not meant for blood and death and pain and torture. He was meant for children and puppies and lazy Sunday mornings. The purity of his soul radiated off of him, practically making him glow.

 

And like a moth to a flame, Dark beings (like Tom and Idris) were drawn to him. Even the slightly-insane Death Eater beside Dia was drawn to Harry, though in a platonic, protective way. Much as she was drawn to him. He was so bright and warm…it couldn’t be helped.

 

But that goodness made it nearly impossible for Harry to accept that he desired Tom; that he had enjoyed something the evil man had done to him. “It’s not wrong to enjoy someone’s touch.” Dia told him softly, touching his arm lightly. “Even Tom. If you desire him…”

 

“I can’t!” Harry cried out and his voice sounded like he was in pain. “Don’t you see? After everything he’s done…all the people he’s killed…how can I want that?” The desperate, lost look in Harry’s eyes as he peered at her over his knees tugged at something in Diellza. “How can I want him when I know who he is and what he’s done?”

 

“Do you think Tom was born an evil person?” Dia’s question earned her a strange look from Rabastan but she watched as Harry’s face scrunched up while he thought.

 

“I don’t think people are born evil.” Harry finally answered after a long silence. “I think that…that we make choices based on…on what happens to us.”

 

Dia nodded. “I agree, një pak, very much so. We are not born evil. Our lives shape us; build us into what we are. We make choices, yes...and those decide what will happen next, which in turn shapes us even further.” She reached out and brushed pale, soft fingers against Harry’s cheek. “Do you believe that we can change who we’ve become? If the right things happen, I mean...can we stop being Dark and become Light instead?”

 

Again Harry fell silent, considering this carefully. “I don’t know.” He finally admitted. “I suppose, in theory, yes. Because if someone good can become evil then it’s got to be possible for the opposite to happen. I just don’t think evil people let enough good things in for it to happen.” He peered at her from under his lashes and added. “I think there’s degrees of Dark, too. My godfather is a werewolf, but he’s not like that one at the meeting today. Remus is a good man. And ‘Bastan isn’t all bad, even if he’s a little bit insane.”

 

Harry smiled at the man in question and got a slightly-maniacal grin in return. Then he grew solemn once more, turning back to Diellza. “And you...you’re a Vampire. A Dark creature by nature. But you’re trying to protect me. So you aren’t all bad, either.” He swallowed hard and added. “Even Tom has little moments where he’s not horrible. He lets me move about the Manor and grounds. He lets me garden.”

 

Harry let the blanket drop from his bare chest, bringing his legs down and crossing them so he was sitting indian-style on the bed with the covers across his lap. Harry began twisting his fingers together absentmindedly as he thought. “He’s too Dark, though. He’s killed too many people. Done too many horrible things. He won’t ever let enough good into his life to change.”

 

Rabastan was struggling to understand where the vampiric Queen was going with her conversation; it became clear with her next comment. “He let you in, një pak, didn’t he?”

 

The Death Eater sucked in a sharp breath, horrified. Surely Diellza wasn’t suggesting that Harry could change Lord Voldemort? “Are you insane?” He hissed at her. “The Dark Lord is...and Harry is...you can’t possibly think that...no!”

 

But Harry was staring at Diellza in wide-eyed awe. Hope blossomed there in the emerald depths of his gaze. “Do you think I could?” He breathed, suddenly reaching out and grabbing her hands. “Do you really think I could?”

 

“There is a draw to you, një pak. Your pure heart, I believe. You have a radiance to you...a bright and blinding purity of soul. It calls to the Dark parts of myself.” Diellza smiled, flashing her fangs. “I could not say why this is so, but I think I am not the only one to feel it. Rabastan seems to and so did Prince Idris and clearly Tom does as well.” Thoughtfully she continued. “Perhaps, Harry, if you can get Tom to let you in, even just a little...you might be able to reach his heart.”

 

“Love.” Harry whispered, sounding suddenly surprised. “I don’t know if I can love anymore, Dia. I don’t feel things the same way I used to. Things don’t weigh the same within me anymore. What if...what if Tom isn’t the one who turns?”

 

“Then you will be Dark as well and it won’t matter to you.” Dia replied with a shrug. “Is it not worth the risk, Harry? To know love from a man who has loved no other? To know that you have touched the heart of a man said not to have one? If you can claim him as your own, when no other has ever done so?”

 

And Harry’s eyes gleamed greedily. Diellza had to wonder how much of his burning desire was his all-consuming Genie nature and how much was the love-starved child Rabastan had described. A child without parents, raised by people who despised him. To be offered the chance to have someone’s love entirely to himself...well, it was a lot. Diellza decided that Harry’s yearning for love was being fueled by the fact that Genies intinctively went after what they wanted. They did not stop to think about consequences or morals. She found it interesting that Harry seemed to still have some control over his Id – which was highly unusual for a Genie – but thought it was probably a combination of just how good Harry was when he was human and the fact that he had not been a Genie for very long. All of his human feelings were still fresh; like a newly-changed vampire, he was still clinging to things that were no longer a part of him.

 

She dearly hoped he could reach Tom’s heart before he lost himself. “Try.” She said quietly. “If you think it worth the risk, një pak, then try.”

 

“Alright.” Harry’s voice was a mere breath of sound.

 

Rabastan stared between the two of them, utterly horrified. Didn’t they see what a terrible idea this whole thing was? Harry was going to end up with his heart broken. This was not going to end well; not at all. He just knew it.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Diellza left a still-sleeping Harry in the care of Rabastan and went to find Tom. She found him sulking in his throne room. She was carefully covered from head-to-toe with a cloak until she entered the windowless room, at which point she lowered her hood. She had no desire to face the sun, but she wanted to speak to Tom. She smiled upon seeing him; he looked as though he’d not slept all night. It served him right, even if she was trying to sort things out for him and Harry. Dia stood in front of the Tom’s chair, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring at him.

 

“Have you realized your mistake yet, vëllai-minierë?” Diellza asked, using the affectionate endearment only because they were alone and she needed him to listen to her if Harry was going to stand a chance.

 

In truth, Dia didn’t believe Harry could turn Tom “good” but she was hoping Harry could at least save the man from self-destruction before it was too late. Tom was going to get himself killed one of these days and – from what she understood from Rabastan – it would be at Harry’s hand. If, however, Tom loved Harry and Harry loved Tom, then perhaps they could both find something better. Sweet Harry wouldn’t need to be a murderer and Tom – the brother of her heart, despite all that had happened – would not die. He could rule (hopefully with a bit less insane cruelty) with Harry by his side, tempering the older man’s actions with his purity.

 

“Perhaps...” Tom sighed, looking frustrated. “I allowed my temper to rule my actions. I may have taken things too fast for Harry.” He looked miserable as he peered at Dia with wide, red eyes. “He hates me now, doesn’t he? He should have hated me anyway, but he didn’t. I don’t know why...”

 

“Because, vëllai-minierë, Harry doesn’t have it in him to hate. Not truly, the way most people do.” Dia uncrossed her arms and clasped her hands in front of her, sighing. “Tom, dashuria ime...Harry did not hate you because you were being kind to him. If you show him kindness once more, he will forgive you for this. If you make an effort, he will love you.”

 

Tom snorted derisively, as she had known he would. “I do not need Harry’s love.” His voice was as cold as his eyes and dripped condesension. “Love is for children and fools.”

 

Dia considered this for a moment, looking thoughtful. Then she moved closer-still and touched Tom’s cheek lightly. “I know you feel that way for a reason, vëllai-minierë, but it is not true. Love is strength and power, if one only knows how to use it.” When Tom opened his mouth to protest, she tapped his lips with one long, black-painted fingernail. “Hush and listen to me. If Harry loves you, he will not stand against you. Not even if he is freed. He will not harm one he loves. He will stand by your side and fight for you, if you can but convince him to let you have his heart.”

 

Tom gave Dia a look that clearly communicated his sudden certainty that she was insane. And quite possibly stupid, as well. “Harry Potter is the epitome of light and goodness, Dia. He cannot be turned, motrës-minierë. Trust me.”

 

“Perhaps Harry Potter cannot.” Dia conceded, then added. “But that is not who sleeps in your bed right now. Harry is a Genie now and less-burdened by morals. Yet he is new enough – young enough – to still feel some human things. Like hurt, anger, resentment...and love.” She grasped Tom’s hands in hers, kneeling gracefully in front of him and looking up at him with pleading blue eyes. “If you can take his heart while he is still young enough to give it, then you can free him without fear of retaliation. Harry Potter, as a Wizard, holds the hearts of the Wizarding World in his young hand. And I understand from Rabastan that Harry is not the sort to stop loving once his heart is given. So he will still love you once freed. And even if he is not Dark – even if he does not turn completely – he will still love you and he will not stand against you. It’s better the boy refuse to harm you or fight you, even if he will not fight with you.”

 

Tom nodded, very slowly. “I see your point, Dia. I do.” He sighed and squeezed her fingers gently. “But how am I supposed to convince him to love me when he is terrified of me? How can I claim his heart when he reviles my touch?”

 

Dia’s full lips curved upwards, her smiling widening until her fangs gleamed in the torchlight. “You will give him something to endear him to you, vëllai-minierë. You will arrange to bring one of his friends here, to stay with him. So he will have company. Do this and he will forgive you. Offer this and then make it happen for him. And if Dumbledore refuses to let someone come, then Harry will resent the old man and be one step closer to belonging to you.” She winked at him. “Give the task of convincing Dumbledore to the Malfoy boy. He seemed both shrewed and charming. He will stand a good chance of success.”

 

Tom hesitated for a moment, then nodded when Dia’s eyes hardened. “Alright. I’ll give Draco his orders immediately. I will tell Harry after I have spoken to Draco.”

 

Dia stood and curtseyed, a gently-mocking smile now on her lips. “In that case, I’ll take my leave of you. I need to sleep while the sun is up, anyway. I feel too vulnerable right now. I shall speak to Harry as soon as the sun sets, Tom. I will not be pleased if he is not happier.”

 

Tom inclined his head in understanding and Diellza raised the hood of her cloak to shield herself and left the room. As she walked sedately towards the pretty rose-and-cream room she’d been given (the windows covered by thick black drapes during the daylight), she considered what she’d done. If Tom was trying to make Harry love him, his guard would be down. This would give Harry a better chance of stealing the man’s heart for himself. And if they loved each other, she believed they would balance each other out very nicely. Tom would bring out the part of Harry he kept supressed – the part that hungered for more; for something and someone to call his. Harry would bring out the softer side of Tom; he would gentle the Dark Lord until Tom was a leader people would want instead of a tyrant they would fear. Harry was Tom’s shokuiShpirti; his soul mate. Dia could tell just by being in the same room as them. Yes, this would work out for the best. She was certain of it.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Draco entered the Headmaster’s office behind Severus Snape on the afternoon of Friday, November 14th (the day after the summit meeting), scowling fiercely. While he was thrilled that he’d been chosen for an important mission, he wasn’t certain it was one he could accomplish. And the prosect of failing the Dark Lord was not a pleasant one. Still, he would try and, if he did fail, he would do his best to lay the blame solely at the Headmaster’s feet. He sat when invited him to do so, highly annoyed that it was not only himself and Severus in the room with the old man. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley were already seated before the Headmaster’s desk, both looking anxious.

 

“This meeting is meant to be private.” Draco snapped, his irritation getting the better of him. “What are they doing here?”

 

“They are here at my request.” Albus replied calmly, his blue eyes twinkling. “Would you like some tea, Draco? Or a biscuit? A lemon drop, perhaps?”

 

Draco ground his teeth together. “I don’t want anything, Headmaster, except an answer to the question My Lord requested that I ask you.” He shot a glare at the two Gryffindors and added. “He expects a yes, I believe, since the request is for Potter’s benefit.”

 

“Why would Voldemort want to do anything for Harry?” Hermione snapped, looking close to tears. “If he wants to do something for Harry’s benefit then he can free Harry!”

 

Draco rolled his eyes. “Do calm yourself, Granger. Potter is being treated quite well by the Dark Lord. He looked just fine yesterday.” Then he turned back to the Headmaster. “The Dark Lord requests that you allow someone...”

 

Draco stopped talking suddenly and turned to stare in horror at where Hermione’s hand was clutching his arm as she spoke. “What do you mean? You saw Harry yesterday?” She pleaded, her eyes a bit wild. “How do you know he’s being treated well? Malfoy, please...”

 

“I thought, Draco, that you left the grounds yesterday for family business.” Severus Snape’s voice was mild but Draco caught the hint of steel under it; his Head of House didn’t like being lied to. “I excused you, Miss Parkinson, and Miss Greengrass from classes because it was supposed to be family business for the three of you.”

 

“It was.” The Slytherin crossed his arms defiantly and narrowed his eyes at Snape. “We were there as representatives of some of the oldest Pureblood families for a summit meeting with several leaders from different creature clans.” Draco then raised an eyebrow and added coolly. “Now, if I may finish explaining the Dark Lord’s request...?”

 

But Hermione was still touching his arm and her fingernails dug into his skin through the fabric of his robe as she tightened her grip. “Please, Malfoy, tell me about Harry. Please...”

 

Draco stared at her, then shook her hand off of him. Ron’s lip curled into a snarl and the hot-tempered young man said. “Stop, ‘Mione. Malfoy isn’t going to tell you anything. He doesn’t care that we’re worried sick about Harry any more than V-vold-demort,” Ron stuttered through the name, wincing slightly. “Cares if Harry is miserable. Lets just let him say his bit and get this over with.”

 

Draco, of course, had had no intention of saying anything to alleviate Hermione’s worry. But the fact that he was predictable – and to a Weasley, of all people – was unacceptable. With a sneer at Ron, he turned to Hermione and spoke casually. “Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Granger. Potter was at the summit meeting yesterday. He was dressed quite nicely in a black and gold version of that blue genie outfit you saw at the battle in Hogsmeade.” When Hermione looked ready to cry again, Draco added. “He showed no signs of mistreatment, Granger. No wounds, no bruises, no symptoms of Cruciatus. He spoke several times and seemed just fine.”

 

Albus cleared his throat. “I am relieved to hear that Harry is being treated well. Now what is it that Voldemort is asking for?”

 

“A friend.” Draco replied, sneering faintly. “Apparently Potter is lonely, though how is beyond me. He is constantly accompanied, unless he’s within the confines of the Dark Lord’s private chambers. But the Dark Lord requests that one of Potter’s friends be sent to keep Potter company.”

 

Albus looked intrigued and Hermione spoke quickly. “Send me, Headmaster, please.” She leaned forward eagerly, her eyes pleading. “I can owl my schoolwork in; you know I can keep up. Please. Let me go.”

 

Albus shook his head. “No, Hermione.” Albus’s voice was gentle, but firm. “I’m sorry, but as a Muggleborn it would be incredibly unsafe for you.” He turned back to Draco and stated. “You will inform Voldemort that I will not send another student. It’s bad enough he has one of my charges; I won’t send him another one. Find out who Harry would like. I think one of the Weasleys would be advisable; they are Purebloods at least and will be in less danger than most. I will also require a guarantee that the person we send will not be harmed in any way.”

 

Draco inclined his head. “My Lord also requires a guarantee from you, Headmaster.” Draco gave a cool smile. “The person must agree not to try to remove Potter from the Dark Lord’s home. If they do make such an attempt, My Lord will not hesitate to torture and kill them.”

 

Albus, looking weary, nodded. “Understood, Draco. Please go and inform Voldemort of my conditions; as soon as a person is chosen and an agreement reached, you may bring them to him.”

 

Draco inclined his head and stood, leaving the Headmaster’s office immediately. He knew a dismisal when he heard one, after all. He had barely made it halfway down the corridor the gargoyle was in when he heard Hermione’s voice from behind him. “Malfoy, wait!” She cried out, rushing after him with Ron dragging his feet behind her.

 

“What is it, Granger?” Draco drawled, faintly annoyed. The Dark Lord didn’t like to be kept waiting and the Gryffindor girl was delaying him. “I’ve got places to go, you know.”

 

“I want to know more about Harry.” Her voice was firm; it brooked no arguement. “And I want to see him, Malfoy. Take me and Ron with you.”

 

“And just how do you propose to manage that, Granger?” Draco arched one fine eyebrow at her. “The Headmaster made it clear he doesn’t want you in the Dark Lord’s presence. He’s not going to let you just walk out of here.”

 

Hermione and Ron shared a look, then Ron said hesitantly. “We’ve got a way to get out of the castle. Walk us back to Gryffindor Tower; just tell us about Harry on the way so it’s not suspicious. Then head out from there. We’ll meet you outside the gates and you can take us.”

 

“And when the Headmaster realizes you’re gone and the Dark Lord is furious with us for having destroyed his attempt at diplomacy?” Draco demanded in exasperation; Gryffindors never thought things through and Ron Weasley was one of the worst.

 

But Hermione was determined. “It’s Friday. We won’t be missed until Monday, especially if we ask Ginny and Neville to cover for us. If Voldemort says we can’t stay, then we’ll return without argument after we’ve been allowed to see Harry.” Seeing Draco’s resolve to say no wavering, she added. “Please...we swear we won’t try to help him escape or anything. We just want to see him.”

 

Draco growled, annoyed, but nodded. “Fine. But if you’re caught, I’m claiming I didn’t know. And if you’re caught with me, I’m saying you forced me to go along with this plan.”

 

Hermione nodded, understanding Draco’s need to protect himself as a Slytherin. They headed towards Gryffindor Tower and Ron cleared his throat awkwardly. “So...um...you saw Harry yesterday, then? And he seemed alright?”

 

Draco shrugged. “He seemed well-enough, Weasley. He didn’t speak much, but considering the meeting was primarily between the Dark Lord and the creature representatives that’s not surprising.”

 

“You said he’s never alone?” Hermione asked as they climbed some stairs. “Who is he with, then, if he’s not by himself? Are there other prisoners?”

 

Draco rolled his eyes. “No, Granger, he’s not being kept with prisoners. And he’s alone only when he wishes to be and only if he’s in the Dark Lord’s chambers. Otherwise he’s in the company of his bodyguard; my uncle.” Draco frowned and added. “And Potter isn’t a prisoner, you know. He’s more like...a pet or something.”

 

“Which uncle?” Hermione whispered, looking stricken and ignoring the comment about Harry being a pet. She’d think more about that later.

 

“Rabastan.” Draco replied, studying the way the girl’s face drained of all color. “No need to react that way, Granger. His job is to protect Potter; he’s not going to hurt him. Besides, my uncle said Potter gets along with him quite well.”

 

Ron touched Hermione’s arm lightly. “Rodolphus is the one who’s married to Bellatrix; Rabastan is his younger brother.” Hermione swallowed hard and nodded, looking slightly relieved. Ron then turned to Draco and asked. “Why would Harry be in V-voldemort’s chambers?” Again he stumbled over the name, but he was determined to say it.

 

“From what I understand, Potter stays in the Dark Lord’s chambers.” Draco answered, casually studying his nails as they approached the portrait of the Fat Lady. “Potter mentioned it during the summit meeting at one point. Apparently he sleeps in the Dark Lord’s bed.”

 

Hermione made a strangled whimpering sound and swayed on her feet. Ron braced her and gaped at Draco. The Slytherin felt guilty for nearly causing Hermione to faint; though very few people knew it, Draco had a soft-spot for women in distress. He couldn’t bear to see it. “Relax, Granger. According to My Lord, he hasn’t touched Potter.”

 

“And you don’t think he’s lying?” She looked nearly desperate as she asked the question.

 

“No, Granger, I don’t. If he had taken Potter as a lover, he’d be declaring it rather than lying about it.” Of that, Draco was sure. “Calm down already. I was just winding you up a bit.” He pulled a pocket watch out to check the time, then said. “I’ll be down at the gates in 20 minutes. Be there or I’m leaving without you, understood?”

 

Without waiting for a reply, Draco turned on his heel and left the Gryffindors standing outside the entrance to their Common Room. He walked slowly down to the Entrance Hall, contemplating the Gryffindors’ reactions. Though Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger had been his rivals just as much as Harry Potter had, they were taking his word about how Potter was faring. They were also trusting him to take them safely to and from the Dark Lord’s base. Draco wasn’t sure what to make of it all. He found it hard to believe that they actually cared about their friend that much, but the evidence seemed to say that they did. Draco felt a surge of jealousy. He didn’t think anyone had ever cared about him that much, except perhaps his mother. And even that was debatable.

 

When he reached the Entrance Hall, Albus Dumbledore was standing there, talking to Severus. “Ah, there you are, Draco. I thought perhaps I’d missed you.” Albus’s blue eyes studied the air on either side of Draco with a frown, then he nodded once and smiled. “What delayed you?”

 

“Your little pet Gryffindors.” Draco snarled, not really needing to feign his annoyance; he was still chaffing at the idea of being jealous of Potter. “Granger accosted me and insisted I walk with them to their Common Room so they could hear more about Potter.” He rolled his eyes, sneering. “Now, if you don’t mind, Headmaster. The Dark Lord does not like to be kept waiting.”

 

Albus inclined his head. “Of course, Draco. Please remember to inform Voldemort that not only will I not send him a student, but that he must personally guarantee the safety and care of the person I do send. I should also like it if Harry were allowed to write to myself and his friends. Just so we can be kept apprised of how he is faring.” Eyes twinkling merrily, he added. “It would also help prevent Gryffindors from accosting your person.”

 

Draco bowed slightly. “I shall do my best to convince My Lord of the merits of allowing Potter to write to his friends, Headmaster. I shall return as soon as My Lord has made a decision.”

 

Draco left the castle and strode quickly across the grounds, eager now to be on his way. He was terribly smug about his right to leave the castle so often, simply because Voldemort seemed intent on finding tasks for him to accomplish. The best part about Voldemort being Potter’s master wasn’t even Potter’s absence from Hogwarts; it was the fact that Draco was now on the winning side of things. Though he’d always believed his family would come out of the war just fine, it was relieving to know that he didn’t need to pretend his allegiences laid with Dumbledore any longer. He could be mouthy and superior – even to the teachers and the Headmaster – and no one would do anything; they were too afraid of incurring the wrath of Voldemort by offending the son of one of his most valued Death Eaters.

 

As he passed through the gates, Draco glanced curiously around. He didn’t see the Gryffindors and shrugged; he’d just go with out them. Suddenly someone – or something – grabbed his arm. His eyes widened for a brief moment as his heart pounded in his ears, then they narrowed again. “Granger; Weasley.” He bit out. “Potter’s cloak?”

 

“Yes.” Granger’s voice came from beside him and he felt her small fingers digging into his arm again. “Ron is going to grab onto your arm as well, Malfoy. Then we’ll focus on you so that you can Side-Along us to Voldemort’s base.”

 

He felt long fingers wrap around his arm, just above where Hermione’s hand was, and then Draco closed his eyes and focused on Riddle Manor’s throne room. He hoped, very much, that he wouldn’t splinch the Gryffindors – or himself – and that the wards would allow him to bring them through unharmed. Even as he felt the squeezing, compressed sensation that accompanied Apparation, Draco berated himself for having listened to Gryffindors and hoped the Dark Lord wouldn’t be angry with him. Then, it was too late to worry about it since he – and two invisible Gryffindors – were standing in the throne room and the Dark Lord was sitting on his throne, looking broody.

 

Draco immediately shook off the hands of the Gryffindors, approached the Dark Lord, and bowed low. “I have returned, My Lord. And I bring guests.”

 

Tom quirked an eyebrow at the young Malfoy. “Oh?” He inquired, sounding bored. “And where are these guests, Draco?”

 

Draco cleared his throat. “Granger, Weasley. Show yourselves to My Lord.”

 

There was a brief hesitation, then the air where Draco had Apparated in shimmered as the cloak parted, revealing Ron and Hermione. Tom’s red eyes narrowed on the girl. “You...you are Harry’s friend. The one who spoke so impertinently to me on Halloween.” His eyes shifted to Ron and narrowed further. “Which would make you the youngest Weasley son.”

 

“Ron.” Hermione said softly. “His name is Ron and mine is Hermione.” She glanced nervously around the room, which was still windowless stone from the summit meeting the day before. She took in Harry’s bottle sitting on the pedestal near the throne and the large black-and-gold cushion on the other side of the ornate chair; the table and extra chairs were gone.

 

Swallowing hard, Hermione grasped Ron’s arm and pulled the pale teen along with her as she approached Voldemort. She bowed her head, curtseying slightly. “You...” She bit her lip, studying his handsome face for a moment before saying. “You look well, Voldemort. Ron and I would like to impose upon your hospitality for a little while, so we might see Harry.”

 

There was a moment of silence, then Hermione elbowed Ron. Ron looked greyish now, but he sketched a quick bow. “Yes, what ‘Mione said.” He mumbled, looking as though he might faint. “We’d really like to see Harry.” When Hermioine cleared her throat sharply, he added a choked. “Please.”

 

Tom studied them both, then turned to Draco. “Dumbledore sent two more students to me? And without making any demands?” He smirked. “I must admit to being surprised; clearly the old man is finally going senile.” Draco shifted nervously from one foot to the other, looking guilty. Tom narrowed red eyes at the blonde. “Draco...is there something you need to inform me of?”

“Please, Voldemort...it’s my fault!” Hermione’s desperate voice drew his attention as she took several steps closer to him. “I begged Malfoy to bring us here to see Harry. I swear we won’t try to help him escape and we’ll go back to school before we’ll be missed on Monday. I just...we had to see him. Please...please, let us see him.”

 

Tom watched as tears ran down Hermione’s cheeks and – with an annoyed little sigh – wondered how many teenage Gryffindors he was going to make cry by the end of the day. Turning to Draco, he snapped coldly. “I will expect a full report in a little while, Draco.” Then he turned back to Hermione. “If you’ll wait here, I will go and retrieve Harry. He’s in my chambers currently.”

 

Hermione paled, trembling, then raised her chin in determination. “Please...may I come with you to get him? Please?”

 

Tom considered this for a moment, then shook his head. “I’m sorry, but no. I haven’t rescinded a previous order and I’m not certain of the limits of the order, so there’s a chance Harry will be nude. I should hate to embarass either of you.”

 

Hermione swayed dangerously and Draco – who was closer to her, since Ron had refused to get too close to Tom – caught her by the waist. “Careful there, Granger.” He murmured soothingly. “This isn’t the place you want to be unconsious in, considering your blood status.” He turned back to Tom and explained. “I believe you’ve distressed her, My Lord. I recently reassured her regarding Potter’s treatment at your hands, you see.”

 

Tom nodded. “I assure you, young lady, that Harry is quite well.” He told the slight-lie easily; Harry would be fine, he was sure, once he learned his friends had come for a visit. “I’ll bring him to you and you can ask him yourself how he’s faring, but he has not been harmed. In fact, he has several protectors in addition to myself.”

 

Hermione nodded, still leaning heavily on Draco. “My Lord.” Draco said, glancing at Ron’s green-tinted face and Hermione’s glassy eyes. “If you don’t mind, may I conjure seating? I’d hate for Potter to come in and find his friends collapsed on the floor; he might think we’d harmed them.”

 

Tom nodded as he stood and headed for the door. “Certainly, Draco. I shall return shortly.”

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Harry was bored. Rabastan had told him that Dia had requested he stay in Tom’s rooms until someone came to get him. That had been hours ago and still no one had been to see him. Dia, he assumed, was sleeping until sunset. But Tom had not come to apologize or dress or even just to see him; nothing. Harry was beginning to doubt Dia’s assertation that Tom held some affection for him. Surely, if Tom cared at all, he would have come to check on Harry. Rabastan was waiting outside the doors, since Harry had requested to be alone.

 

He was once again dressed in his black and gold outfit; though the order to be nude had worn off when Tom was no longer present, the color-change had yet to be rescinded. Suddenly there was a soft sound, like something dragging heavily over the carpet. Harry turned and watched as Nagini slithered into the room. Her large yellow-gold eyes stared at him as she raised herself up until her head was somewhere around Harry’s waist, height-wise. She flicked her tongue out several times, then blinked slowly at him before speaking.

 

~ Hello, young one. ~ She lowered her head back to the floor and moved closer, flicking her tongue out repeatedly as she drew nearer. ~ You are Master’s mate, but you are not human. You smell strongly of both Master and magic. ~

 

Harry bit his lip, unsure what to say to that. He decided it would be rude not to answer, though, since he was one of the few who could. ~Hello, Nagini. ~ He greeted her cautiously, holding out his hand for her to scent. He hadn’t had the opportunity to speak to her yet and was curious about her; he hadn’t ever had a chance to really get to know a snake before. ~ May I pet you? ~ Nagini nodded and rose up again, letting Harry stroke her head lightly. As he did, he hissed softly. ~ I’m not his mate, you know. Not yet. ~

 

Nagini flickered her tongue against his forearm as he stroked her large head, and inquired. ~ If you are not Master’s mate, young one, why did you mate with him? ~ Snakes were not known for their tact, or their modesty. Then she added. ~ Young one said not yet...do you wish to be Master’s mate? ~

 

Harry smiled sadly. ~ I shouldn’t want to be his mate, but I think I might. ~ He admitted, watching as she lowered herself back to the floor and out of his reach. ~ Do you like music, Nagini? ~

 

The serpent coiled around herself, resting her head on the coils and twitching the end of her long tail as she watched him. ~ I do not mind music, young one. ~ She seemed to contemplate something for a moment, then added. ~ I think you are mistaken, though, young one. You are my Master’s mate, even if the two of you do not realize this yet. Humans are most often stupid, even when they are not really human. ~

 

Harry chuckled at that scathing comment, then twitched his hand. Music began to play, a strange shaking sound in the background of the high, almost-whiney music. Then a woman began to vocalize, her voice oddly sibilant. When she began to sing, hissing and drawing out the words, Harry began to dance. Her voice slid over his skin like Parseltongue while he raised his hands over his head and undulating slowly and rythmically. He had never belly-danced before, but it seemed ingrained into him somehow; it was as though it was something he’d been born to do. He knew where to place his feet to maintain his balance; he knew how to move his hips and stomach and shoulders and arms independent from each other; he knew how to shift and move along with the music in a series of movements that were so deeply sensual in nature that they were practically sexual. And he felt good doing it, as though his body had longed for this form of release; this way to expend his restless energy.

 

“I ssseeee a clinic full of cyyynicssss
Who want to twissst the people'sss wriiisssst
They're watching every move we make
We're all included on the liiissst

The lunaticsss have taken over the asssyyyyluuum
The lunaticsss have taken over the asssyyyyluuum’

 

Harry continued to dance to the song, a soft smile curving his lips when he heard Nagini voice her opinion. ~ I like this music, young one. This human sounds as if she wishes she were a snake. Who can blame her? We are superior... ~

 

Suddenly, Nagini began to climb up Harry’s undulating body. Though he swayed for a moment as he adjusted to her added weight, he compensated quickly and continued to dance. When Nagini finally stopped moving and settled, her large head was resting in the curve of Harry’s neck and left shoulder, her body drapped across the back of his neck to his other shoulder, then coiled twice around his torso, once around his waist, once around his hips, and then down his right leg.

 

As Harry bent his left knee and arched his foot so only his toes were touching the floor, balancing on the heel of his right foot, and rotating his hips, he realized that as a human he would never have been able to move this way with such a large serpent twined around him. But his body was stronger and more stable and balanced as a Genie; it was suffused with Genie Magic. He was so focused on the music and his body’s movements, and the weight and strength of Nagini wrapped around him, that he didn’t notice when the door opened.

 

Tom stepped into the room, staring in silent surprise at his Genie. Harry had his familiar, Nagini, wrapped around his body and was dancing in most erotic way he’d ever seen. His eyes traveled over that lithe, moving form and he felt a sharp spike of lust that made his trousers feel tight. Harry was incredibly beautiful. Just as he opened his mouth to announce his presence, he started listening to the sibilant singing that his Genie was dancing to.


‘Take away my right to choose
Take away my point of view
The lunaticsss have taken over the asssyyyyluuum
Take away my dignity
Take these things away from me
The lunaticsss have taken over the asssyyyyluuum
Take away my family
Take away the right to speak
The lunaticsss have taken over the asssyyyyluuum
Take away my point of view
Take away my right to choose
Oooooooohhhh…’

 

Tom could bear the lyrics no more. “Harry.” He spoke softly, but Harry’s head snapped up and his whole body froze. After a few seconds of tense staring, Harry waved his hand and cut off the music.

 

Nagini raised her head from Harry’s shoulder, flicked out her tongue, and admonished Tom. ~ I was enjoying the dancing with your not-yet mate, Master. Why did you stop, young one? ~

 

Harry smiled at Nagini as she uncoiled from him and returned to the floor, ~ I stopped because I believe your Master wishes to speak to me. I’ll dance with you again soon. ~

 

Nagini flicked her tongue out again, studying Harry balefully, then let out a low, long hiss that Harry thought was a sigh before she replied. ~ Very well, young one. I shall hold you to that. ~ Then, flicking her tail in agitation, she added. ~ I am going now, since there is no more dancing to be done today. Goodbye, young one. Goodbye, Master. ~

 

She slipped quickly from the room and Harry turned back to face Tom, the sweet smile leaving his face instantly to be replaced with wariness. “Hello, Tom.” Harry said in a low, level voice. “Did you require something from me?”

 

Tom flinched back from the coldness in Harry; he wanted the warmth Harry gave to Rabastan, Dia, and Nagini. The warmth he probably gave to his friends as well. “I wanted to...to give you a gift.” He admitted since he couldn’t bring himself to apologize.

 

Harry’s green eyes lit up. “A present? For me?” The eagerness in his voice nearly broke Tom’s heart; he had once reacted that way to the idea of gifts. It stemmed from a childhood where no such offerings were ever given. “What is it? Can I have it now?”

 

Tom smiled slightly. “Well, you’ll need to wait for part of it. I am negotiating it with Dumbledore.” Seeing Harry’s eyes widen, he explained. “I have extended an offer to the Headmaster, allowing him to send one person to come and keep you company when I cannot. A friend. Draco Malfoy has just returned with Dumbledore’s response. I thought you might like to be present to hear it.”

 

“Yes!” Harry didn’t hesitate; he practically flew across the room and threw himself into Tom’s arms, hugging the older man tightly. Dia had been right; he could reach Tom’s heart. “Thank you! Thank you so much! I wonder who he’ll send...” Harry released Tom and moved towards the door.

 

“Wait!” Tom called Harry back and Harry turned to stare at him in confusion. “Draco did not come from Hogwarts alone. He brought guests who wish to see you. They’ve promised not to try to take you from me, which is good because I certainly wouldn’t allow it. I’d have to come after you and I’d be quite cross with them for daring such a thing. And they must return to the school before Monday, or they’ll be missed. But I’ve agreed to let them see you.”

 

“Guests?” Harry blinked slowly. “Who did Malfoy bring?” He couldn’t imagine who the Slytherin could have brough that he’d actually want to see, but the idea of seeing anyone who wasn’t a Death Eater was thrilling.

 

Tom’s lips curved upwards. “Why don’t you come and see?” He said, stepping around Harry and heading towards the throne room, adding to Harry as the boy hurried along beside him, Rabastan trailing silently along behind them. “They’re quite eager to see that you are doing well and are unharmed.”

 

Tom entered the throne room two steps ahead of Harry, keeping his head turned so he could watch the young man’s face when he spotted his friends. Harry looked eagerly around the room. He immediately spotted the two black leather sofas off to the left side of the throne and stared in that direction. Draco sat on the sofa facing Harry, but before he could do more than glance at the other sofa the blonde had stood and bowed to Tom.

 

“My Lord.” Draco murmered, causing the two other people to jump up off the couch and turn to see Harry and Tom and an unknown – but vaguely-familiar – Death Eater.

 

Harry gaped at the two people standing there, then screamed. “Oh my god!” He swayed for a moment, then bolted across the room, right into Hermione’s arms. “Oh, Hermione! Ron!” The redhead was pulled into the hug by the other two. “Merlin, I’ve missed you two!”

 

He pulled back to stare at their faces. “What are you two doing here, though? Albus really let you come and see me? I’m so happy!”

 

Hermione and Ron shared a sheepish look, then Hermione said. “Malfoy brought us. We sort of snuck out using the Map and the Cloak. Only Neville and Ginny know we’re missing.”

 

Tom’s ice-cold voice washed over them. “Draco...you let them leave without permission whilst I am trying to negotiate with Dumbledore?”

 

Draco flinched back from Tom’s fury. “They swore they could get away without him knowing.” Draco defended himself.

 

“If we’re caught, we’ll shoulder the blame. Draco won’t get into trouble.” Hermione said firmly, stepping around Harry with her chin raised. “But think of it this way. If we’re returned unharmed in time for classes on Monday, it will go a long way to proving you won’t harm whomever the Headmaster sends to keep Harry company.”

 

“Please...” Harry turned wide emerald eyes on Tom. “Please let them stay? Just for the weekend? I’ve missed them so much and ’Bastan can keep an eye on them...”

 

Tom sighed, looking put-out. “Fine.” He bit out from between clenched teeth. “But this had better not interfer with my plans. And you’d best keep them out of trouble, Harry, and away from my followers. I cannot guarantee their safety otherwise, since I’ve had no chance to inform everyone that they’re not to be harmed.”

 

Tom staggered for a moment when Harry suddenly launched himself into the older man’s arms. Tom caught the boy – and his balance – and stared down at Harry in shock. Harry bit his lip, his arms around Tom’s neck, then pushed up onto his toes and pressed a quick kiss to Tom’s mouth. When he moved to pull away, Tom tightened his hold on Harry’s waist and tugged him closer. Harry blushed, but obligingly tipped his face up.

 

Smirking – because apparently Dia had been correct; Harry would love him soon, he was sure of it – Tom leaned down and devoured Harry’s sweet mouth. His tongue slipped into the younger man’s mouth, tasting every inch of the moist cavern. His hands pulled Harry’s body flush against him and Harry whimpered softly and melted against him. When Tom pulled back several minutes later, Harry was panting and flushed.

 

Rabastan cleared his throat, drawing Harry’s attention. “Your friends seem...distressed.” Amusement laced Rabastan’s voice and a maniacal grin showed his teeth. “Might want to calm them down.”

 

Harry ripped himself out of Tom’s arms, going bright red as he took in the sight of the others who were in the room. Draco was standing there, mouth and eyes both open wide as he gaped at Harry and Tom as though he couldn’t believe his own eyes. Hermione was leaning against the back of the sofa, her hands clutching it tightly; her face was pale and she looked like she might faint. Ron was tinged green under the ashen color of his skin, freckles standing out sharply. He had sunk down to sit on the floor in a graceless sprawl, looking as though he might be ill.

 

Harry turned to glance at the now-giggling Rabastan, then at a smug Tom. He huffed out an annoyed little breath, looking exasperated. “You two are impossible!” He snapped, annoyed. “Tom, why don’t you go talk to Malfoy about whatever Albus said while I catch up with Hermione and Ron? I’m sure you can fill me in later on what’s going on.” He turned to his bodyguard and snapped. “’Bastan, stop laughing and come help me get Ron onto the couch. I’m in no mood to deal with your weird sense of humor!”

 

Still snickering, Rabastan used his wand to transfer the shell-shocked Ron onto the couch while Harry carefully led Hermione over to sit beside her boyfriend. “Not my fault.” Rabastan sing-songed cheerfully, still grinning; he didn’t agree with Dia’s plan, true, but it was funny to see people reacting to Harry Potter being involved with the Dark Lord. “You’re the one snogging the Dark Lord in front of them.”

 

“Blah, blah, blah...” Harry muttered under his breath, rolling his eyes at Rabastan’s cheek. “Shut up, ‘Bastan, and sit down, before I ask Tom for permission to turn you into a rabbit.”

 

The Death Eater laughed – a sound rife with madness – but went to sit on the other sofa. Harry crouched in front of Hermione, ignoring Ron for the moment, and clutched at her hands. “Hermione...’Mi...are you alright? I didn’t mean to shock you like that...”

 

Hermione cleared her throat awkwardly, searching Harry’s face desperately. “I don’t...Harry...I...” She struggled for words and finally settled on. “Malfoy said that Voldemort had sworn he hadn’t...hadn’t touched you...”

 

Harry’s eyebrows drew together as he thought, then his expression cleared and he looked sheepish. “Oh, well...yeah. He said that to Prince Idris at the meeting yesterday after the prince accused Tom of raping me every night or something similar.” Blushing, Harry admitted. “It was true when he said it.”

 

“Ewww, mate...please, don’t...” Ron’s harsh voice drew their attention. “I just...look, I can’t think about it, alright? I just...no.”

 

Harry flushed and turned back to Hermione, looking pleading. “You’ve got to understand, ‘Mione. He’s not all bad, really. He lets me garden and wander the grounds and makes sure none of his followers hurt me. He gave me ‘Bastan to guard me and now he’s letting Albus send someone to keep me company. And he’s letting you two stay with me for the weekend.”

 

Just then, as Hermione’s face showed her indecision, Tom’s furious, icy voice cut through the room. “You can’t be serious, Draco. A Weasley? And not even one of the children, but a grown man? Here? In my house? I won’t stand for it! Bloody Dumbledore, trying to slip a spy in...”

 

“Oh come off it!” Harry snapped, standing up and crossing his arms over his chest as he glared crossly at Tom. “The Weasleys are like family to me. And you’ve already got an Order spy coming and going at all hours of the day and night, so why does it matter?”

 

“Harry!” Ron hissed, suddenly looking horrified. “What are you doing? You can’t just...I mean...”

 

Hermione clutched at Harry’s arm, looking frantic. “Harry you could get him killed!” She didn’t understand why Harry was about to rat out Snape, but she had to try to stop him. “Don’t, please! I know you two don’t get along the best, but...”

 

“But what?” Harry snapped at her; she had no idea what she was talking about after all. Turning back to Tom, he added. “You’ve got my godfather as a bloody Death Eater, but I bet you didn’t even know that, did you?”

 

Tom was staring at Harry in shock and so was Draco. “What are you talking about?” Tom demanded. “I most certainly do not have a spy in my ranks! And certainly not one who is your godfather! I would know!”

 

Harry rolled his eyes and made a small motion with his hand. A photograph appeared in it; the original of the copied photo he’d tossed at Severus after the first Potions class of the year. He stalked around the sofa and held out the picture. “My godfather.” Harry spat, furiously. “Also the only person who knew that my mother and I are Genies. And I’m just betting he never told you about it. Just like he didn’t tell you that he’s the one who made the wish to protect me from you that my mum granted, which saved my life when I was a baby.”

 

Tom’s whole face darkened with fury. “Rabastan!” He snarled, still glaring down at the moving photograph of Severus and baby Harry. “I require your arm.”

 

“No, ‘Bastan, he doesn’t.” Harry snapped back. Rabastan – who had stood and taken a few steps, stopped and looked torn. Harry turned cold eyes on Tom. “If you kill him, I’ll never forgive you. He’s the only godfather I’ve got left. And even if he’s a royal prick, you won’t touch him.”

 

Tom stood and glared down at Harry; the boy glared defiantly back. “I am your Master, Harry. I will do whatever I please, regardless of what you want.”

 

“Yes, I’ve noticed that, actually!” Harry screamed back, his hands clenching into fists and his body trembling. When Tom flinched, he added. “I forgave you, Tom, even though you haven’t actually apologized to me. But if you hurt Snape, that’s it. I’ll hate you forever.”

 

Tom and Harry glared at each other for several long moments before Tom flicked the picture at Harry and sat back down abruptly. Harry caught the photo and Tom snapped at him. “Fine. Which of the Weasley men would you like to come here?”

 

Harry considered his options. Bill was cool and fun, but he was also engaged to Fleur Delacour and Harry didn’t think it was fair to rip the man away from his fiance. And if he brought one of the twins then he’d have to bring the other, which would mean they’d have to either close the shop or hire more help to run it while they were away. That didn’t seem particularly fair to Harry, either. Which left Percy – who Harry wasn’t even sure was included in the offer, since Percy was something of an arsekettle most days – and Charlie. Charlie was alright, though Harry had only met him briefly a couple of times. He’d have interesting stories to tell Harry, if nothing else, since he was a dragon tamer.

 

Having decided, Harry answered. “Charlie. I’d like Charlie to come and stay.” He turned to Draco and said softly. “If you could have Albus tell Molly that I won’t let anything happen to her son, I’d really appreciate it, Malfoy. I’d hate for her to worry.”

 

Then he turned to his friends and said. “Ron, Hermione...if you’ll follow me, I’ll help you guys find a room for the weekend. Come on, ‘Bastan. Lets get them settled in.” He turned and gave Tom a quick glare, adding. “Dia should be awake soon and she’ll head to Tom’s rooms to find me, so we should be in that area or she’ll worry.”

 

Tom watched them leave with narrowed eyes, listening to Hermione. “Who is Dia?” She asked, but they were out of hearing range before Tom could hear anything else.

 

Out in the hallway, heading towards the stairs, Harry answered her. “Dia is the Albanian Vampire Queen and she’s great. She’ll come to find me as soon as the sun is down.”

 

Hermione and Ron exchanged concerned looks behind Harry’s back. He was teasing and friendly with an insane Death Eater, apparently friends with a vampiric ruler, and seemingly intimate with the Dark Lord; this didn’t look good. How much of Harry was still their Harry, now that he was a Genie? How much had he changed since he’d been taken two weeks earlier? They didn’t know, but they were worried. But Malfoy had told the truth about Harry’s treatment; he seemed unharmed and Voldemort had given in to Harry’s demands rather than cursing Harry. And Harry seemed relatively happy, at least, despite his arguement with the Dark Lord. So they would withhold judgement until they knew more.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Dia entered the hallway Tom’s chambers were in and was surprised to see Rabastan outside a door that was not to Tom’s rooms. “Why is Harry in there?” She asked, surprised. “Has Tom finally given Harry a room of his own?”

 

“No.” Rabastan replied, shaking his head. “To be honest, I think Harry would be upset if My Lord offered him his own room now.” He jerked his head in the direction of the door behind him. “Harry has some friends visiting for the weekend and this will be their room while they’re here.”

 

“Oh!” Dia’s eyes widened in surprise. “I must admit I am surprised. I would not have thought Dumbledore  would send someone to us this quickly.”

 

“He didn’t.” Rabastan rolled his eyes, but he was clearly amused. “The students are apparently Harry’s best friends and share his penchant for rule breaking. They snuck out and convinced my nephew to bring them here to see Harry.”

 

Her lips curved upwards into an amused smile. “I think I should like to meet these friends of Harry. They sound interesting.”

 

She gently nudged Rabastan out of the way and entered the room without knocking. She took in the three teens with interest. Harry was sprawled on his back sideways across a king-sized bed with its red and gold comfortor and bed-hangings. Laying on her stomach parallel to Harry, her head oriented away from the Genie at the foot of the bed, was a girl with thick, slightly-frizzy brown hair; she was pretty enough, with large chocolate-colored eyes and a sweet smile. She was nudging Harry’s side with her foot – just enough to tickle him – and laughing.

 

Seated in a brown leather armchair beside the foot of the bed – next to where the girl’s head was – was a tall, lanky teen with bright red hair and blue eyes. From the way the girl was looking at the redhead, it was clear the two of them were an item. As Dia watched, the girl turned to peek at Harry and nudged him gently with her bare foot again. “I still can’t believe you got propositioned by a prince! That’s just so…so romantic.” She sighed dreamily.

 

The redhead rolled his eyes. “How come when a prince propositions Harry it’s ‘romantic’,” The teen used his fingers to make air quotes. “But when Zacharias Smith propositioned him, you called him an arrogant, disgusting pig?”

 

The girl made an exasperated sound, then turned back to the boy. “Really, Ron! Smith only wanted to get into Harry’s pants to he could brag that he’d shagged the Savior! Clearly the prince just thought Harry was beautiful.”

 

“I’m with Ron on this one, ‘Mione.” Harry said with a laugh as he rolled onto his side and tickled her foot, making her giggle and squirm. “I mean, part of me wanted to say yes to Prince Idris because he was gorgeous, but I don’t think he was any less of an arse than Smith. At least Smith asked me, instead of trying to buy me from someone like the prince did.” Harry’s lips curved up and he added. “What’s your opinion, Dia?

 

Hermione and Ron both whipped their heads around to look at the doorway where she stood. Her dress was ankle-length and sleeveless, and made of burgundy velvet, with a high, arching collar of black satin. Cinching her waist was a corset of black-patterned burgundy that rested just under breasts and came down to a point in the front, just below her hips. Her arms were encased in fishnet gloves that had no fingers but instead came to points over the back of her hands, with small elastic loops holding the tip of the points to her middle fingers. She once again wore her steel-toed, knee-high boots.

 

“I think Prince Idris is a self-indulgent prick.” She admitted as she walked towards the bed. “But then, I think most males are.”

 

Harry laughed and got off the bed, embracing Dia tightly before grinning at her and saying. “Surely not Tom, though. You two are so close, after all!”

 

Dia snorted, sitting elegantly on the bed, near the pillows. “Actually, Harry, I believe Tom is one of the most selfish, arrogant, cruel people I’ve ever met.” Her eyes were somber as she told him this. “Surely you’ve seen that for yourself often enough, especially recently. It does not mean that I do not care for Tom; he is the brother of my heart and a dear friend and, once, a very long time ago, he was even my lover.”

 

She gave an indulgent smile in response to Harry’s shocked look and continued. “We did not suit, for several reasons. One is that I have found I most-often prefer the company of others of my own gender. I also felt Tom was far too much like myself for it to have ever worked.”

 

“If you think he’s so bad, why did you…” Harry paused, glancing over at Ron and Hermione; his friends were watching them curiously. “Why did you encourage me?”

 

“Because it is important to know someone’s faults, Harry. If it is important to know your own weaknesses as well as your strengths, and the same can be said for knowing the entirety of your enemy, does it not also make sense to know these things of your lover?” Dia touched Harry’s cheek lightly as he sat on the bed between her and girl, who had sat up at the foot. “How can you possibly love and appreciate someone unless you truly know them?”

 

Hermione cleared her throat. “Look, I don’t want to be rude.” She said, her tone brisk. “But considering you claim to know Volde…” She stopped at Harry’s pleading look, sighed, and corrected herself. “Tom, I mean. Considering you claim to know Tom, why are you acting like you think it’s a good idea for Harry to involve himself with him?”

 

Dia turned wise blue eyes on the girl and said in a slightly-patronizing tone. “Little girl, I know far more about Tom than you can even imagine. I also know a great many things about life that you will never live long enough to know, for I have lived more lifetimes than most dare to dream of. Harry is a good match for Tom, in many ways. I support Harry taking Tom as his lover because I wish for both of them to be happy.” She turned to Harry and added. “You are happier today, are you not, një pak?”

 

Harry smiled back and nodded, blushing slightly. “Yes, even though Tom continues to infuriate me. He still hasn’t apologized for last night, you know.”

 

“I do not expect him to.” Dia admitted, giving Harry a sympathetic look. “Tom will do his best to make amends, but he will not say the words. It is not in his nature.”

 

“What did he do that he needs to apologize for?” Hermione demanded, turning on Harry with a fierce look in her eyes. “Did he hurt you, Harry? What happened?”

 

“That is none of your business, little girl.” Dia admonished her, seeing Harry’s discomfort. “Now, një pak, introduce me to your friends.”

 

Harry smiled. “Dia, this is Hermione and Ron. They’re my best friends.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her and added. “They apparently snuck out of Hogwarts to come and see me. Tom’s letting them spend the weekend. Malfoy’s staying too, I think.”

 

Diellza laughed, baring her fangs in the process and making Ron gasp softly. Turning to the ginger boy with a smirk, she purred. “Frightened of me, child?” She teasingly flicked her tongue against one of her fangs, watching Ron pale, then added. “Calm yourself. I won’t bite.”

 

Harry chuckled when Ron swallowed hard, but raised his chin defiantely and said. “I’m a Gryffindor; I’m not afraid of anything. I’m spending the weekend in the Dark Lord’s house, aren’t I?”

 

“Yes, you are.” Dia agreed. Then she asked. “Harry, is this the one you said is quite skilled at chess?” He nodded and she smiled at Ron. “I should like to play you, if you do not mind. I enjoy the game.”

 

Ron grinned. “Sure.” Chess always put him at ease; chess and food. “Do you have a board? Otherwise I’m sure we can scrounge one up from...”

 

He trailed off when Harry waved his hand and Ron’s own set appeared in front of him. “Wow! You sure are useful as a Genie, Harry.”

 

Harry smiled slightly. “Yes, I know.” He settled in beside Hermione to watch as Ron played chess against a vampiric queen. There were certainly worse ways to spend one’s evening.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Ron and Hermione had changed into pajamas that Rabastan had found somewhere (Harry hadn’t asked and neither had the others) and Dia had gone off to feed. Harry was talking softly to his friends about what was going on at the school and what spells they’d learned since he’d been gone, the three of them sitting comfortably on the bed. It was idle talk, but familiar and safe and comforting. Harry knew he’d be sad to see them go, but he also knew that they were far safer at Hogwarts. Tom was still very unpredictable and Harry wasn’t yet certain of his ability to stay Tom’s hand if he became angry.

 

Suddenly, as Hermione was demonstrating the proper wand movement for the newest Charm they’d learned, Harry felt a long, liquid pull in his stomach. Heat rushed through his veins, causing his fair skin to flush. Desire was flooding his body. He began to pant, his eyes darkening as the lust grew stronger. He looked up and noticed his friends were staring at him in confusion and concern.

 

“Harry, are you alright?” Hermione asked.

 

“Yeah, mate. You look a bit flushed.” Ron added, leaning forward to touch Harry’s forehead. “You feel sort of hot, too.” He glanced at Hermione as he let his hand drop. “Can Genies get sick?”

 

“I don’t know.” Hermione admitted, biting her lower lip. “I wouldn’t think so, but part of them is still human so I suppose it’s possible...”

 

Harry bit his lip, shaking his head. “I’m not sick.” He assured them breathily. Then his back arched, his head falling back as his eyes closed, and a low moan escaped his lips.

 

Ron and Hermione shared startled looks, then Hermione spoke again. “If you aren’t sick, Harry, then what’s wrong?”

 

Harry looked at his friends, panting heavily. “I, er...I think Tom wants me.” He admitted, struggling not to moan again as another wave of heat washed over him.

 

“I don’t understand.” Ron frowned. “Like, he’s summoning you or something? Because I thought you just popped to his side when that happened.”

 

“No, it does.” Harry agreed, groaning and arching his back again. He was fully hard by this point and he drew his knees up to keep his friends from noticing. He leaned back slightly on his hands, which were braced behind him on the bed, fisting them in the blanket. “I mean, I think he wants me right now.”

 

Hermione’s eyes widened and she gasped. “Oh! You mean...like, he’s...” She flushed and made a crude hand gesture that had Ron choking on his own spit.

 

Harry bit his lip, his hips rolling and his back arching without his permission. He whimpered softly, then nodded to Hermione. “I think so, yeah. This has...” He stopped to moan, then continued. “Never happened before.”

 

“So...are you going to go?” Ron whispered, looking greyish but, thankfully, not green. “I mean...not to him or anything, but...are you going to leave the room or are you just going to stay here? Because – and no offense here, mate – you look like you might come and I really do not want to watch you do that.”

 

Hermione snickered softly, but nodded. “He’s right, Harry. You should go into your bottle, or somewhere you can be alone.”

 

Harry whimpered once more, then nodded. “Fuck…yeah, I’m going to go.” Seeing the question on Hermione’s face, Harry gave her a faint smile. “And yes, I mean to him. Why should I be alone when I can be with him instead?” Seeing the indecision in her eyes – and the horror on Ron’s face – Harry added in as calm of a voice as he could manage. “Look, you two don’t get it. I know that. But he’s not that bad, once you get to know him. And…and I think he could learn to love me. I’m going to change him. I just need a little time.”

 

Before they could say anything, Harry disappeared in a puff of black smoke. Ron turned to Hermione and raised an eyebrow at her, looking pale and vaguely ill. “Do you believe him? Or do you think he’s turning evil from being enslaved to Tom?”

 

Hermione bit her lip, thinking hard. Then, very cautiously, she said. “I think…that he might be turning. I also think that it’s happening slowly. And if he can turn Tom first, then maybe…maybe they can both be saved.” She sighed, snuggling into Ron’s side, and added. “I think, if anyone can make Tom love them, it’s Harry. There’s just something about Harry…”

 

“I know.” Ron acknowledged. “I just hope we don’t lose him.”

 

“Me, too.” Hermione whispered, closing her eyes against the tears. “Me, too.”

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Harry arrived in Tom’s bed with a puff of black smoke. His breath caught in his throat. Tom was lying, completely nude, on the gold duvet. The long, slim fingers of his right hand were wrapped around his cock, stroking quickly. His red eyes were shut, his head thrown back to expose his slender throat, his chest heaving as he panted. His left hand was raised above his head, clenched tightly on the pillow under his head. Harry licked his lips, watching precome bead on the shiny pink head of Tom’s cock. Tom was fully erect, his foreskin was pulled back, and his balls were drawn up tight. He wouldn’t be lasting much longer, of that Harry was certain.

 

Moving swiftly, Harry let his outfit melt off his body into smoke, straddled Tom’s thighs, and tugged his Master’s hand out of his way, replacing it with his own. Then, just as Tom gasped and opened his eyes, Harry leaned down and swiped his tongue over the head. Tom cursed softly, his back arching, and Harry licked the head of his cock again.

 

“Harry...” Tom whispered, sliding the fingers of his right hand into Harry’s hair. “You don’t have to do this...”

 

But Harry could feel the lust running through Tom and smirked. “I want to.” He assured him, then leaned down and drew Tom’s length into his mouth.

 

Tom cursed, his words dissolving swiftly into the sibilance of Parseltongue, as the hot, wet heat of Harry’s mouth surrounded him. Harry moaned softly around the cock in his mouth. Tom’s length was hot and heavy on his tongue. It tasted salty and sharp and a little bitter, but Harry found that he didn’t mind it much at all as he licked at the flesh filling his mouth. He also found he didn’t mind Tom’s scent; his Master smelled musky, with a faint hint of the salty-tang of sweat, and a trace of something dark and cold that Harry was beginning to suspect was Dark Magic. It was a ridiculously appealing combination and Harry found his own desire climbing along with Tom’s.

 

Suddenly, Tom’s fingers were tangled in Harry’s hair. His head was pushed down by strong hands and Harry gagged slightly on the thick length as it touched the back of his throat. Forcing himself to swallow around it, since Tom’s hands weren’t letting him pull back, Harry gagged again – more forcefully – as hot, bitter seed flooded his throat and mouth. Struggling against Tom’s hands, Harry managed to pull back just as Tom finished. Stiffling the urge to gag again, Harry held the fluid in his mouth, not sure what to do.

 

Not sure where he could spit, or if Tom would be offended by such an action, Harry decided to just swallow it down. The taste wasn’t unbearably awful, after all. When he swallowed, however, his whole body shuddered and he gagged again. Trembling, Harry squeezed his eyes shut and forced his body to obey his command to swallow. Fighting the urge to run to the loo and vomit, Harry rolled off of Tom’s legs and curled around himself on the bed, still trembling.

 

“Shhh...” Harry was startled by the low, soothing purr of Tom’s voice as the other man curled his body around Harry’s, holding him close. “Are you alright, Harry-mine?”

 

Harry nodded, keeping his eyes closed against the humiliated tears burning the backs of his eyes. He couldn’t believe he’d almost thrown up; he must seem like such a pathetic child. “Sorry...” He croaked, his throat thick with unshed tears.

 

“For what?” Tom asked, taken aback by the apology. He turned Harry’s face towards him, then waited until those vibrant eyes opened. “Harry...you’ve done nothing wrong. Did you think I would be angry because you joined me without being told to? I am most pleased with your initiative.”

 

Harry blinked in surprise, then whispered. “But I didn’t do it right...” He was struck suddenly by the soft, warm look in Tom’s red eyes. “I gagged and almost couldn’t swallow...”

 

Tom groaned, burying his face in Harry’s neck. Those cherry-red lips and delightful tongue wrapping around the word ‘swallow’ was almost too much for him to handle. Recent orgasm aside, his body was quite youthful now and it was stirring again already. “Harry, sweet...you did perfectly.” He pressed a light kiss to the skin of Harry’s shoulder and added. “Now...lets see about pleasing you...”

 

“But I’m supposed to please you...” Harry protested softly, his words fading into a moan as he felt Tom’s tongue against the skin of his stomach.

 

“Then do as I say.” Tom murmured, flicking his tongue into Harry’s navel before catching the belly ring in his teeth and giving it a gentle tug that had Harry whimpering and arching his hips. “Let me please you, Harry-mine. Let me love you.”

 

And the only word Harry could possibly say in response was “Yessssss...” in a sibilance to match Tom’s earlier tone. After all, how could he be expected to turn away from love?

Chapter Text

Draco bowed low at the Dark Lord’s feet, ignoring the Weasley male who was kneeling far-less-reverently beside him. The man had a stunned look on his face as he kneeled before Voldemort. Not that Draco could blame him, really. It was a bit shocking to see the previously half-snake/half-man that was the Dark Lord looking like a young, gorgeous twenty-something year old. Still, gaping like that was so common. It was expressions like that that made Draco so proud of his breeding; he’d been taught to control his facial expressions as a child.

 

The Weasel and Granger’s return to Hogwarts after their weekend away had been – unfortunately – noticed, but he himself had taken none of the blame, as they had promised. The Gryffindors had extoled “Tom’s” behavior during their stay with him, saying he treated Harry much more kindly then one would expect. They also – as Draco had expected – explained that Severus Snape was now known as a spy. But they made no mention of Harry being the Dark Lord’s lover, which Draco had not expected.

 

He couldn’t quite figure out why they were keeping it from everyone, but he wasn’t going to be the one to let the cat out of the bag. After all, the Headmaster had agreed to Charlie Weasley being the one sent and Tom had agreed to allow weekly letters to be carried back and forth between Hogwarts and the Manor via Draco. So he had sucessfully completed his mission (including the safe delivery of the Weasley in question to the Dark Lord’s base). He wasn’t going to risk that by telling Dumbledore that his Golden Boy was willingly being buggered by the Dark Lord.

 

So now, here he was, a week after his last visit. With a Weasley. Who wasn’t bound and gagged and about to be tortured and killed. Life really was strange. It was late on Friday evening; late enough that the sun was well below the horizon and Diellza was present, sitting on one of the black leather sofas Draco himself had conjured the previous Friday. Tom was seated on his throne, as per usual. Instead of his normal robes, however, he was wearing black trousers and a black silk button-up shirt.

 

Potter was sitting on his cushion at the Dark Lord’s feet. Today his Genie-outfit (and thus his cushion, his bottle, his bellycharm, his tattoo, and everything else related to him) was a deep scarlet color, trimmed with gold. Draco thought he looked remarkably Gryffindor, despite his subservient demeanor and position. Harry had taken to changing the color of his outfit with his moods, a fact Draco had assertained during his many trips back and forth from Hogwarts to the Manor during the last week. He had particularly appreciated the green and silver Potter had worn to the Death Eater meeting the previous evening. Draco had suspected it was to show his loyalty to Tom while Tom announced the impending stay of Charlie Weasley to his followers.

 

Rabastan was standing off to the side of the throne and he snapped to attention when Tom spoke. “You may show Mr. Weasley to the room that has been assigned to him and explain to him the rules he will follow while he is here.” Tom told his follower.

 

Charlie looked unhappy with this until Harry smiled charmingly at him from where he knelt on the beautiful red and gold cushion. He placed his hand lightly on Tom’s knee, still smiling at Charlie, and said easily. “Don’t worry. I chose your room myself. It’s gorgeous; you’ll love it. And there’s not many rules, I swear.” He tipped his head to shoot Rabastan a flirty little smile and added. “Plus, ‘Bastan is a lot of fun; you two ought to get along really well.” Glancing back at Charlie, Harry added. “I’ll see you soon, I promise. Go on.”

 

So Charlie hefted his trunk up into his arms – an impressive feat since it was quite large and Draco was almost positive the dragon tamer hadn’t lightened it with magic – and followed a grinning Rabastan out of the room. Draco remained where he was, kneeling. He kept casting sureptitious looks at the Dark Lord and Harry, though.

 

Without the Weasley man present, Harry relaxed. His whole body softened and he nudged Tom’s legs apart, curling up between them and resting his head lightly on the older man’s right thigh. His right arm snaked under Tom’s right leg, curling up around his thigh so his fingers rested just above Tom’s knee. His left hand traced lazy, drifting patterns up and down Tom’s right calf. As Draco watched from under his eyelashes, Harry nuzzled his face against Tom’s thigh.

 

“You have done very well, Draco.” The Dark Lord’s voice snapped Draco’s attention back to where it should have been and he raised his head slightly to meet intense red eyes. “Because you did so well, I am offering you a reward.” He smiled slightly, reaching down and absently stroking Harry’s dark hair. “What would you like, Draco?”

 

Draco wet his lips, watching with greedy eyes as Harry purred softly and pushed his head up into Tom’s petting. “I want a Genie, My Lord.” Draco breathed, his voice low and husky. “Someone to serve me and obey me as Potter obeys you.”

 

Harry tensed briefly, casting a cold look at Draco until he noticed the heated way the blonde was staring at him. Then, his mind began to whirl. He sensed anger from Tom and spoke. “Malfoy, you don’t want me, correct?”

 

“What?” Confusion flashed across sharp, aristocratic features for a moment, then Draco made a face. “Ew, Potter, no. I don’t want you. I want my own Genie.”

 

Tom’s anger slipped away like water and he smiled. “A Genie should be simple enough to arrange. Harry, you can turn anyone into a Genie, can’t you?”

 

Harry blinked, lifting his head off of Tom’s leg to stare up at his Master. “Of course, Tom.” He felt unease knot his stomach; the few human emotions he had left were fading quickly, but he remembered guilt well enough to recognize it. He didn’t want to turn someone into a Genie, though he wasn’t quite sure why. A thought occured to him and he let himself looked concerned. “But Master, a Genie could allow Malfoy to become more poweful than you.”

 

“I see.” Tom frowned, considering. “I cannot allow you to have a Genie in that case, Draco.” Seeing the disappointment on Draco’s face, Tom considered the envious tone Draco had made his request in as well as the way the boy’s grey eyes lingered on Harry as his Genie once again rested again his leg. “I am certain Harry could bind you a slave, though.”

 

“Of course I can, Tom.” Harry purred, locking eyes with Draco; that was what he’d been hoping for. “I can give him the perfect slave.” He then turned his head slightly and bit Tom’s thigh through the fabric of his trousers.

 

Tom hissed, his body tensing as arousal shot through him. Harry had been growing steadily bolder since their first night together and often initiated things between them. The boy constantly touched him and teased him. It was maddening, but in the most delightful way. “Harry...” His tone was vaguely reproachful as he admonished the Genie. “Not now.”

 

Harry nuzzled the place he’d bitten with his nose, then sighed softly and rested his head against it, locking eyes with Draco again. He smirked, knowing Tom wouldn’t see it, and said softly. “I’m sorry, Tom. I can’t seem to help myself.” He paused, still smirking, and added. “May I choose Malfoy’s slave? I have the perfect person in mind for him...as perfect as I am for you.”

 

He finished his request off by dropping the smirk for an innocently-pleading expression and letting his head fall back to rest on Tom’s crotch while he looked up at his Master. “Please?” He stroked the fingers of his left hand up the inside of Tom’s right thigh in a teasingly-light touch.

 

“Fuck...” Tom breathed, his gaze filled with lust, and Draco admired Harry’s manipulation even as he cursed the Gryffindor, terrified of who his rival might have in mind. “Yes, Harry, of course you may choose the person. Who ever you like will be fine, I’m sure.”

 

Harry smiled wickedly and snapped his fingers. A ruby as big around as his palm but no thicker than an inch at it’s widest point, faceted like a medallion, appeared in the air before the Genie. Harry contemplated the gemstone for several moments, his lips moving soundlessly and his face intent, before he snapped his fingers again. Then he plucked the blood-red stone from the air and lightly tossed it at Draco.

 

The Slytherin Seeker caught it without thinking, gasping when he felt the heat of it sink into his hand and a sharp tug behind his navel. “What the hell was that?” He gasped, curling the fingers of his right hand around the ruby while his left hand pressed against his stomach.

 

“That was the ruby attuning to you.” Harry explained with a smirk that chilled Draco to his core. "The person now bound to you has a 50 meter distance-limit. As soon as you're within 50 meters of them, it'll activate. They'll be bound to you in nearly every way that I'm bound to Tom.” Harry explained.

 

“I’ve modified the Bond slightly to make it easier on both of you. No magic cast on you without permission, must obey anything phrased as a command, able to sense your desires, can't kill anyone, can't be more than 50 meters from the stone, and can't touch the stone unless you willingly hand it to them.” Harry paused for a moment, then added. “Unlike my ownership, theirs is non-transferable. Anyone else can take the stone and it won't matter; they'll still belong to you and you're still the only one who can free them. Giving them the stone is your only way to break the Bond. And once it's broken, that's it."

 

Draco swallowed hard, staring down at the ruby. “So who is it?” He asked, rubbing his thumb across the faceted red surface, intrigued by the warmth the stone emitted. “Who is my new slave?”

 

Harry ignored the question, and Draco. He turned around so he was on his knees between the Dark Lord’s thighs, facing Tom, and gave the older man a coy look from under his eyelashes. “I’d like to retire for a...nap.” Harry purred, running his palms up Tom’s thighs.

 

“You are dismissed, Draco.” Tom growled almost absently as he slid his hands into Harry’s hair, tugging to make the Gryffindor’s head tip back and then leaning down to devour his mouth. After several moments, during which Draco found himself strangely unable to look away, Tom pulled back. In a husky voice he told Harry. “I want you to suck me right here, Harry. Then I want you to ride my cock while I sit on this throne you created for me.”

 

Harry let out a low, throaty chuckle and leaned forward to rub his cheek against Tom’s erection before he spoke. “We’ve got an audience still, Tom.”

 

Tom looked up, saw Draco standing there, and quirked an eyebrow in question. “I...but...” Draco couldn’t quite find words for a moment. He took a steadying breath and asked in a small, lost voice. “Who is my slave?”

 

“Oh for the love of...” Tom made an annoyed sound and a shooing motion. “You’re a bright young man, Draco. You’ll figure it out. Now leave.”

 

And hearing the sound of a zipper, followed by a low groan from Tom, Draco slipped the ruby into his pocket, turned on his heel, and Apparated to the gates of Hogwarts as fast he could. Encased in a hot young body or not, Draco didn’t think he could watch as Harry Potter sucked – and then got fucked by – Voldemort. There were some things he just did not need to see.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Draco Malfoy dearly wanted nothing more than to hide himself away for the duration of the weekend. He didn’t, though, because he was equal parts curious and terrified about who the stone was keyed to. It didn’t activate all weekend, though. Draco had spent as much time in the Great Hall and library as possible in the hopes that it would, but nothing happened. When classes started again on Monday, Draco was tense and eager all the way through Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, and Transfiguration. But, just like his weekend, nothing happened.

 

His frustration was tempered by the knowledge that on Wednesday afternoon – a day he had no classes after lunch – he would be back at Riddle Manor to play “owl” for Potter and his friends. If it hadn’t activated by then, he would demand Potter tell him who he needed to get close to. Tuesday morning was a relaxed time for Draco, because he had Double-Potions. And no one in the 7th Year NEWT Potions class was someone he hadn’t encountered already, either in the library, in his own Common Room, or in another class. So there was no need to be nervous.

 

Draco was prepping his ingredients for brewing Veritaserum when there was a knock on the door. Severus called out for the person to enter and a petite brunette Hufflepuff girl, who was passably pretty in a girl-next-door sort of way, stuck her head in. “Hello, Professor!” She called out, cheerful in the way only Hufflepuff’s seemed to manage. “There’s several of us here with the fresh ingredients you asked for; shall we just put them in the store room for you?”

 

Severus actually graced the girl with a slight smile. “Yes, Miss Perks, that will be fine.” He waved his wand and his personal store room door swung open; an impressive little bit of nonverbal magic that was done partly because it was impressive and partly so no students knew how to open the store room. “And please tell Pomona that I said thank you for being so prompt about filling my request.”

 

“Actually, Professor, I handled it myself.” The voice that replied was none other than Neville Longbottom, who had entered the room behind the Perks girl and was calmly overseeing four additional students as they carried in boxes full of softly clinking vials and jars. “Hermione mentioned you’d need several of these for classes this week, so I wanted to make sure you had them on time.”

 

Snape’s smile turned sharp around the edges, but he nodded politely. “Then thank you, Mr. Longbottom. I do indeed require quite a few of these for upcoming classes.”

 

Neville flashed the feared Potion’s Master a charming smile; he dealt much better with Snape now that he didn’t take his class and merely delivered ingredients from the Greenhouses. “You’re very welcome, Professor Snape. I love having an excuse to tend to the plants in Greenhouse 3 and we both know how forgetful Professor Sprout can be about things.”

 

Severus nodded and Neville went back to watching as the students progressed across the classroom with their precious burdens. Draco wasn’t quite sure why Neville Longbottom was in charge, but it certainly seemed as though he was. Though Draco supposed the Gryffindor had always been quite handy at Herbology. Other than that incident with fainting during the mandrake lesson in second year, of course, but that had been years ago so Draco wasn’t sure it counted any longer.

 

Suddenly, faster then anyone could blink and while Draco was a bit lost in his ponderings, Neville had rushed halfway across the room and caught a box as the boy carrying it tripped. “Dammit, Ernie!” Neville snarled, sounding terrifying in his sudden and unexpected anger. “These are rare and expensive! You have got to be more careful!”

 

“S-sorry, Nev.” The boy flushed and righted himself, then carefully took the box back. “I’ll be extra-careful with it; I swear.”

 

Neville merely gave him a steely-eyed stare and let him resume walking towards Snape’s store room. He watched the others file past him, correcting one girl on how she was holding the box and helping her shift her grip so it was more secure before letting her continue. Draco had been startled when Neville rushed past him to get to the boy dropping his box, but it was nothing compared to the shock he felt as he watched Neville attempt to follow the others into the store room.

 

He walked about ten steps past where he’d stopped after catching the box and then shuddered to a halt, looking ill. He strained to go further and couldn’t. He would start to and be tugged back to the same spot every time. Draco felt his pocket grow hot for a moment before cooling to a steady-warmth once more and turned grey as he judged the distance between himself and Longbottom. No...surely not. Surely Potter would not have done such a thing to his friend?

 

Panicking, Draco took a rapid step backwards. Neville yelped as he was jerked backwards as well, since he was currently facing away from Draco. The Slytherin swallowed hard, then began to back quickly towards the door. Neville literally howled in fury and confusion as he was dragged backwards. Everyone was watching in stunned silence. Draco could practically see the wheels turning in Granger’s head as she looked between him and Longbottom.

 

“Professor!” Draco called out, his voice high and thin and desperate. Severus looked away from Neville’s confusing plight to see his godson looking terrified and upset. Draco spoke rapidly. “I have to go, Professor! I’m sorry; I’ll make the work up. I’m sorry.”

 

Draco felt behind him for the handle on the door, wrenched it open, then spun and fled as quickly as he could. Neville was being dragged along behind him, compelled by magic to maintain no greater a distance than 50 meters from Draco Malfoy. Thankfully no longer clumsy, Neville managed to turn himself around and began to run, following the tugging sensation in his stomach and the fading sound of footsteps, determined to close the distance between himself and the other teen and find out what the hell was going on. When he finally caught up with Draco, they were in the Charms corridor.

 

Grateful that classes were going on and there was no one around, Neville grabbed Draco’s arm and slammed him against a wall. He grabbed both of Draco’s upper arms and squeezed, aware he was quite-probably bruising the other boy’s fair skin and just not caring. “Alright, Malfoy.” Neville snarled, utterly furious. “What the fuck is going on?”

 

Draco gasped as his back met stone, then whimpered at Longbottom’s bruising grip. Acting on instinct, Draco raised his chin and snapped at the boy who was demanding answers he wasn’t quite sure how to give. “Unhand me this instant, you great brute!”

 

Neville instantly complied, letting go of Draco’s arms and taking a step back. Draco swallowed hard. He didn’t feel relieved that he’d been released; instead, he felt vaguely nauseated at this further proof that Neville Longbottom was, in fact, his slave. Not that he found the other boy such an objectionable slave, per say. He had outgrown the baby fat of their first four years of schooling, developing broad shoulders and narrow hips and muscles that Draco suspected came from toiling away in the dirt and heat of the Greenhouses all the time. His dirty-blonde hair was shades darker than Draco’s own platinum locks, but it was attractive enough when paired with Neville’s rugged features and hazel eyes. It was just that it was Longbottom and how unfair was that?

 

He’d wanted a slave like the Dark Lord had; someone he could twist to his will until they were willing, the way Potter was. He couldn’t really see doing to Longbottom the things he’d intended to do to his slave. It didn’t line up with the boy’s personality. Because regardless of the way Longbottom had acted when they were younger, the Gryffindor had grown a spine sometime during their 5th year. He had faced down Death Eaters at the Ministry and trained under Potter himself. Though there was the fact that Potter had bent to the will of Voldemort himself to consider. Still, Draco had a sickening feeling that this wasn’t going to work out quite the way he’d planned.

 

That thought was confirmed a moment later when Neville seemed to pull himself out of his shock to snarl at him again. "What the fuck did you do to me, Malfoy?"

 

“I didn’t do a blasted thing to you, Longbottom!” Sneering, full of false-bravado in the face of Longbottom's well-justified fury, Draco spat back. "If you want to cast blame, then blame Potter. He's the one who chose my slave!"

 

"Harry wouldn't make me anyone's slave, Malfoy!" Neville snapped, his hazel eyes growing more golden as he got angrier. He once again pressed Draco into the wall, bracing his forearm across Draco's delicate collarbones and applying a steady pressure to the petite boy's throat. "He especially wouldn't make me your slave. So stop fucking lying and tell me what's going on!"

 

"Nothing but Imperius, a love potion, dark bindings, or Genie Magic can steal someone's will from them, Longbottom. Which of those seems most likely to have made you my slave?" One fine eyebrow rose when Neville didn't speak. "Do you need me to prove you're my slave then?" Draco purred, feeling bold as he remembered that his slave couldn’t use magic against him or kill him. Ignoring the sudden increased pressure on his neck that made it hard to breathe, he rasped. "On your knees, Longbottom."

 

And Neville gasped in horrified surprise as his legs gave out under him and he was suddenly kneeling before Draco Malfoy.

 

In the Charms Corridor. Where anyone could see. Oh, he was going to KILL Harry.

Chapter Text

Neville sullenly followed Draco into the Slytherin 7th year boys’ dormitory just after dinner on Tuesday evening. Though part of him thought the underwater view of the lake was fascinating, all he could think of was the fact that he was now Malfoy’s slave. The Headmaster had no way to force Draco to free him and there was no one else who could. He didn’t quite understand why Harry had done this to him. Perhaps it was true that misery loved company? Though Ron and Hermione had insisted that Harry wasn’t being mistreated, nor was he terribly unhappy. So maybe he and Malfoy could learn to coexist and it wouldn’t be too terrible. They’d made it through the remainder of the school day and dinner without fighting, after all, though they hadn’t exactly spoken during that time either. Neville suspected they were both too busy thinking about this whole thing to fight just yet.

 

“Longbottom.” Draco’s haughty, sneering voice cut through his thoughts. He turned to face Draco and raised an eyebrow. Draco swallowed hard, wondering if he dared do what he was considering. In the end, his Slytherin nature won out. He wanted; he would take. “Kiss me.”

 

Neville sucked in a sharp breath at the whispered command; his body was obeying before his mind had a chance to comprehend it. His lips touched the Slytherin’s and the compulsion faded; apparently the command was open to interpretation, up to a point. But Neville had soft, petal-pink lips opening beneath his and he wasn’t about to pass up this opportunity. Snide, obnoxious, arrogant prat or not, Draco Malfoy was bloody-well gorgeous and Neville had noticed a time or two. Neville brought one hand up to fist in platinum hair, forcing the shorter teen’s face up as he used his tongue to explore the taste and feel of Draco’s mouth. He swiftly mapped the other man’s mouth, learning the taste of his cheeks and the line of his teeth and the feel of the ridges on his palette. Draco tasted of mint and dark chocolate and a hint of orange; it was intoxicating.

 

Draco, for his part, could scarcely remember his own name. His head fell back limply when his mouth was released; his heart was pounding and his head was spinning and he couldn’t think of much of anything beyond the sharp, crisp, green taste of Neville’s tongue in his mouth. He felt lips and teeth and tongue on his throat and whimpered; the sound was high and thready and needy and Draco would have been embarrassed but it felt so good and he just didn’t care. He arched his back, pressing closer to the Gryffindor boy and letting his head tip further to the side to offer up more of his neck.

 

Neville revelled in having a submissive, needy Draco Malfoy in his arms. This was clearly a part of himself that Draco worked very hard to supress and it was currently all Neville’s. The blonde could saunter around the school with his nose in the air all he wanted, giving orders and sneering and looking down his nose at people and it wouldn’t matter because now Neville knew the truth. Draco was desperately, completely, hopelessly submissive. It was thrilling to have such a demanding, domineering person melt against him, willing and meek.

 

Neville, however, knew he had to stop. He had carried the command much further then he needed to and he was curious as to how Draco would react when he stopped. So he licked that pale, slim throat one last time, softly brushed their lips together in a brief caress, and then backed up. Draco swayed on his feet, his grey eyes dark and dazed with desire. His lips were puffy and his hair was a mess and his neck was already showing signs that it would mark-up very nicely. Neville’s hands itched to grab the smaller teen and just devour him, but he resisted.

 

Draco blinked several times at the absense of Neville’s mouth on his skin and swallowed hard when he saw the larger man just standing there, a few feet away, staring at him very intently. He cleared his throat and – in a whisper of a voice that only just-barely trembled – said. “Pleasure me.” Neville’s eyes darkened to nearly full-green, with only a slight hint of the gold that made them hazel still visable, and Draco added softly. “Do not stop for anything, until I am completely satisfied.”

 

The grin that spread across Neville’s face was wicked and made Draco shiver slightly. Had he phrased his command too loosely? What was the Gryffindor planning? Draco swallowed hard and took a measured step backwards. Neville followed, still grinning. Draco gasped as he was shoved onto the foot of his bed and scrambled swiftly up the length of it until he was reclining amongst the pillows. Neville drew his wand and gave it a wave and Draco was suddenly nude.

 

Neville gave a mental-cheer when the ‘evanesco’ he used on his Master’s clothing worked perfectly. He had been hoping that Draco’s vague command would enable him to use magic on the blonde, provided it could be said to fall under the heading of being used to “pleasure” Draco. And apparently that was indeed the case. Draco lay, panting, against rumpled black silk sheets and an emerald green comfortor and at least 6 pillows in black and green and silver. His white hair fanned around his face and his pale skin was flushed and covered in goosebumps. He was all slender limbs and faint muscle tone and sharp, pointed angles. He was beautiful.

 

Draco’s slender chest was heaving as he panted, staring up at Neville with wide, dark eyes. His petal-pink lips were slightly parted, forming a little ‘O’ as he breathed heavily through his mouth. Neville crawled up the bed, nudging Draco’s legs apart as he moved – on his hands and knees – higher between them. He ran both his palms up creamy, trembling thighs, pushing them wider. He looked at Draco’s erection and couldn’t help licking his lips. It was not as long or as thick as Neville’s own and Neville knew from shared bathroooms and showers for 7 years that he was slightly larger then average. No, Draco’s cock was slender and delicate and smaller than average, just like the rest of him; pale and flushed a light pink, with the head just peeking out of the foreskin, it was beautiful. Elegant, even, which was something Neville hadn’t realized a cock could be.

 

Without hesitation Neville reached out and wrapped strong, work-roughened fingers around it, gently pulling the foreskin back. Then he leaned down and swiped his tongue over the head. Draco made a high, keening whine in the back of his throat. Neville wrapped his lips around the head and sucked firmly, making Draco twist his hands in the sheets and arch his back. Neville was surprised to find that Draco tasted slightly bitter; with all of the sweets Draco constantly devoured, he hadn’t expected that. But it didn’t matter; he still happily laved his tongue over Draco’s cock while sucking greedily. The Slytherin reacted with such total abandon that it nearly overwhelmed Neville.

 

Neville’s eyes widened suddenly with surprise. Apparently, Harry had done a very thurough job with his magical binding because Neville knew what Draco wanted, even though he was beginning to suspect that Draco himself didn’t know. He drew back off Draco’s cock with a smirk; he was more than willing to give Draco exactly what he really wanted. He moved his mouth lower, shifting his own position so that he was laying on his stomach between Draco’s legs. As he gently laved Draco’s sack, he used his hands to make Draco bend his knees, the width of Neville’s shoulders between his thighs forcing the blonde to keep them spread as wide as possible.

 

Neville used the very tip of his tongue to trace the line of flesh between Draco’s balls and his entrance and at the same time cast a quick cleaning spell. Draco shivered, then demanded in a high, trembing, breathless voice. “What are you doing, Longbottom?”

 

“Neville.” The Gryffindor replied, shooting Draco a wicked grin up the length of his pale, slim body. “I’m about to rim you, Draco, so you should call me Neville.”

 

Draco’s eyes widened and his whole body tensed. “No you’re not!” He shrieked, looking confused and horrified and uncertain. “Absolutely not! Stop it!”

 

Neville chuckled, ducked his head again, and dragged his tongue across Draco’s rosy pucker. Draco made a strangled sort of squeak and tried to scramble away from him, but Neville was bigger and stronger. He curled his arms around Draco’s thighs and held tight, keeping his new lover mostly still. Then he dragged his tongue over him again. Another strange, choked sort of noise delighted Neville.

 

“Why...but...” Draco’s voice was breathless and high and full of need and confusion. “I said to stop...”

 

Neville chuckled again, turning his head to press soothing kisses to the silky inside of one of Draco’s thighs. “You ordered me not to stop, no matter what, remember?”

 

Neville’s low growl of a reply sent shivers through Draco and made goosebumps rise on his skin. He felt hot and shivery and almost liquid inside. He swallowed back a moan as he felt the hot, wet press of Neville’s tongue against a portion of his body where he was absolutely certain a tongue had no business being. ‘Fuck!’ Draco keened, high and needy, as that sinful tongue flicked rapidly against the edges of his hole, coaxing the tight ring of muscle to relax. ‘Fuck, fuck, fuck...’ That word echoed repeatedly through his mind; Draco couldn’t think anymore. If someone had held a knife to his throat and asked his name, his answer would have been a firm, resounding “Fuck.” Nothing existed beyond his body and Neville’s tongue on him.

 

Draco couldn’t help the strangled scream that left his throat as he felt the hot, slick press of Neville’s tongue entering his body. No one and nothing had ever entered him; it had always seemed strange and invasive and vaguely unsanitary. Draco liked men, but he topped; period, end of story. Not with Neville Longbottom, it seemed. And now, as firm, strong hands held him still and a warm, wet tongue was lapping at his insides, he couldn’t find a problem with that idea. In fact, he was pretty sure that if this was what bottoming for the Gryffindor was going to be like, then he never wanted to top again.

 

Draco whined as Neville’s tongue withdrew from his body, then moaned as lips sealed around his entrance and sucked. Draco was reduced to thrashing his head from side to side and repeatedly clenching his hands around the sheets as Neville sucked and licked and tongued his hole like he was passionately snogging Draco’s mouth. Lips, tongue, and a hint of teeth combined to drive Draco right to the edge. It was slick and hot and more than a little obscene and Draco loved it. He just needed a little bit more to send him over...just a little more...

 

Neville loved the taste of Draco’s most private area; it was sharp and musky and perfect. He could tell from the way Draco was tightening around his tongue that the blonde was close, though, so he pulled back and shifted up onto his knees between slender legs. Draco made another of the high, keening sounds that Neville was beginning to love and desperate grey eyes opened and locked on his.

 

No...!” Draco pleaded, beyond caring about dignity or pride. He reached for Neville, so close to his climax he could practically taste it, needing the other teen to finish. “Please...”

 

Neville made a soothing sound, gently cupping that slender, beautiful face in his hands and giving him a tender, but passionate kiss. Draco didn’t even care that he could taste himself on the Gryffindor’s tongue; he kissed back desperately. Neville pulled back, unfastened his trousers, pulled out his aching cock, and cast a simple spell that every boy he knew had mastered by their 4th year. He swiftly used the oil he’d conjured to slick his cock. Draco’s eyes locked on that large hand fisting a cock that was longer than his own by nearly two inches and was nearly twice as thick. It was darker then his own and the foreskin was pulled back to reveal a shiny, dark-red head. It was just big enough to be intimidating. He whimpered, a spike of fear lancing through him, and met Neville’s eyes with that fear showing clearly on his face.

 

“Shhh, love...” Neville murmured, settling himself on top of Draco and nudging his entrance with the head of his cock. Draco whimpered again and Neville whispered. “I won’t hurt you. Promise.”

 

Draco swallowed hard, but forced himself to breath calmly. Neville had done nothing to hurt him so far; he trusted that the Gryffindor would keep his word and not do so now. He whined softly as that head pushed through the first ring of muscle at his entrance. He squeezed his eyes shut, turned his face to the side, and breathed heavily through his mouth. It didn’t hurt, but there was a slight burning sensation and he felt stretched and full and owned in a way he’d never expected to.

 

Neville stopped, just barely breaching Draco’s body, and rained soft kisses over Draco’s face. “Shhh...” He whispered when Draco whimpered. The blonde shifted under him and Neville groaned, then said in a low voice. “Don’t move, love. Not yet.”

 

Draco stilled under the other teen, panting softly. Neville carefully nuzzled his neck and Draco felt restless and needy. Unable to help it, he shifted his hips again. Neville growled and grabbed his hips, forcing him to stop moving. Draco reached up and threaded his fingers through Neville’s darker-blonde hair, then whispered. “Move, Neville. I want you to fuck me.”

 

“Your wish...” Neville murmured, a wicked grin curving his lips. “My command.”

 

Neville carefully pushed in a little further, then withdrew a bit and pushed in again. With each thrust, he buried a little more of his length inside Draco’s body. The slick, velvety heat gripping his cock was maddening, but it was nothing compared to the look on Draco’s face. That pale, angular face was flushed darkly, white-blonde strands of hair damp with sweat and curling at his temples. Those quicksilver eyes were darkened nearly to black and Draco’s pupils were blown wide with desire and need. He thrashed and squirmed under Neville, raising his hands above his head and fisting them around a pillow.

 

Draco still felt full and stretched and owned, but it was more now that Neville was deeper within him. He felt like he was burning up; like his blood had turned to flame and was burning its way through his body, scorching each and every cell and branding him as the Gryffindor’s. Suddenly the head of Neville’s cock brushed against his prostate and the electricity crackling across his nerves was more than enough to send him over the edge. His back bowed sharply up, his thighs tensed against Neville’s hips, and he screamed hard enough that he wondered if he’d be hoarse tomorrow.

 

Neville watched as grey eyes rolled back in Draco’s head, the sound of Draco’s pleasure-filled scream resonating within him. His hips twitched shallowly within the tight heat of Draco’s body; once, twice, and then he was following Draco over the edge with a low growl. He buried his face in Draco’s throat, breathing heavily, supporting his weight on his elbows to keep it off of Draco’s smaller build. Soft hands touched his back, then hastily withdrew. Neville lifted his head, blinking slowly while he stared down at Draco. The haughty young man had a look on his face that was halfway between sleepy and utterly horrified and Neville could practically hear his brain whirring.

 

“You’ll hurt yourself if you keep thinking that loudly.” He said softly, gently withdrawing his softening cock from Draco’s body and rolling to the side. He tugged Draco into his arms, ignoring the Slytherin’s protests, and continued. “Don’t worry about it. Just enjoy, yeah?”

 

Draco made a funny little sound and shoved hard against Neville’s chest, propping himself up on one elbow to glare down at the Gryffindor. “Enjoy? Enjoy?” He managed to hiss, despite the lack of sibilants; Neville was a little impressed. “You just...just...”

 

“Sucked you, ate you, and fucked you until you screamed.” Neville cut in bluntly, though a dull blush crept up his own cheeks; it was worth it to see Draco’s eyes widen and his whole face flush darkly. “Look, there’s nothing wrong with being submissive and...”

 

“Just shut up, Longbottom!” Draco snapped, though there was a definite whine to his voice. “There’s nothing wrong with some soppy little Hufflepuff being submissive or some bleeding-heart Gryffindor being submissive, even. But I’m a Slytherin and a Malfoy and I cannot be submissive!”

 

“Yeah, and do your friends and family and stuff typically wander into your bedroom while you’re having sex?” Neville asked coolly, raising an eyebrow. “Because unless they are, I don’t see how any of what you just said makes any difference in whether your fucking or being fucked.”

 

Draco just stared at him, stunned, and Neville tugged him back into his arms, added softly. “Look, when we’re in public, you’re my Master, right? I don’t get much say in that regardless, but it doesn’t bother me much. So when others are around, if you want to order me to crawl on my knees and bark like a dog – and please, for your own sake, don’t – then I will. But in private...when it’s just us? You’re mine.”

 

Draco couldn’t help the slight smirk gracing his lips at the thought of Neville barking like a dog. Neville was right, though; there was no one to see him acting soft and meek. There was no one to judge. So why resist what he wanted? He rested his cheek against Neville’s heart, closing his eyes and curling closer to the Gryffindor’s chest. Strong arms encircled his body and large, calloused hands stroked soothingly up and down his back; he felt safe and protected and it was lovely. “So,” He murmured, feeling a bit sleepy and very relaxed. “What happens if I make you bark?”

 

Neville chuckled; he’d had a feeling Draco would ask. In very precise detail, ignoring the blush he could feel staining his own cheeks, he detailed everything he would do to Draco if the Slytherin had the nerve to order him to bark. He finished and there was a tense, breathless pause before the young man reacted to Neville’s words.

 

Draco carefully shifted away from Neville, looking flushed and aroused and a bit nervous. In a hoarse whisper, he said. “Neville...bark like a dog.”

 

Neville barked...then pounced.

Chapter Text

Wednesday, November 26th. Charlie had been at Riddle Manor for almost a week. Things were going along very nicely, in fact. Tom tolerated Charlie, even going so far as to politely take dinner with Charlie and Harry each evening. Charlie, for his part, was incredibly relaxed. But then, that was Charlie. When you tangled with dragons on a daily basis because you loved it, there wasn’t a whole lot that could shake your cool. And Charlie Weasley was nothing if not cool.

 

He was buff and tanned and had some wicked-looking scars on his arms and torso – and one on his left cheek – from his job. He was a wicked-flier (though Harry hadn’t had a chance to really see him in action) and knew Quidditch history in a way that few others did. He was funny and had loads of stories about Romania and dragons and Quidditch. He was always relaxed, even when he was surrounded by the Dark Lord and his followers, and he seemed to genuinely enjoy Harry’s company.

 

Harry hadn’t realized he could be this happy. Every day he cared about Tom more. In his honestest moments, he’d even admit he was more than halfway to being in love with Tom. The truth of the matter was that he was all the way in love with Tom, but Harry wasn’t prepared to acknowledge that just yet. It was enough to say he felt more for Tom than he ever had for anyone else. Wednesday was a great day, in Harry’s opinion, because it was the agreed-upon day for letter-exchanging. So he and Charlie had letters ready to be sent back with Draco and they were eagerly awaiting the Slytherin’s arrival.

 

Harry was also hoping Neville would be with Draco. He’d felt a tiny twist of guilt over binding his friend that way, but he’d squashed it down. Neville would be the perfect match for Draco; he just knew it. And if it took them a little while to stop snarling at each other, then that would be alright. They’d get there eventually, just like he and Tom had. And in the end, they’d be happier for it. And when they thanked him, he would graciously demure. After all, he’d just been helping out.

 

He was jumping on his and Tom’s bed, singing at the top of his lungs while Charlie watched with amusement, when Tom came in. “Trying hard to, fit among you, floating out to Wonderland! Unprotected, god, I’m pregnant, damn the consequences!”

 

Tom’s laughter had him flicking his hand to end the music. “And what’s so funny, huh?” He demanded, putting his hands on his hips – still standing in the center of the bed – and quirking an eyebrow.

 

“You, my delightful little imp.” Tom told him, grinning. “I was just imagining what you would be like if you were pregnant. A terror, I’m certain. It would be interesting to see.”

 

“I’d probably pay to see that.” Charlie laughed from the sofa. He and Tom exchanged amused grins and Harry huffed out a breath.

 

Then Harry grinned cheekily, because he had an idea. He snapped his fingers and turned to the side, showing off the illusion he’d just created. His body, heavy with child. A sort of shimmer over his belly gave away that it was just a Glamour, but it was otherwise quite realistic. “Well?” He asked, still laughing. “Tell me, does this magic make me look fat?”

 

Charlie was roaring with laughter, but Tom’s face had twisted. He looked anguished and angry and sad all at once. Harry bit his lip and – with a discreet gesture and some eye contact – got Charlie to leave the room. Then he walked up to Tom and touched the man’s cheek. “Tom? What is it? What’s wrong?”

 

Tom reached out to brush his fingers over the false-swell of Harry’s stomach. Then his eyes went cold and his mouth grew stern and he jerked his hand back, snarling. “Get rid of it. Now.”

 

Harry took a trembling step back, tears blurring his vision suddenly, and snapped his fingers. The belly disappeared and Harry whispered. “I’m sorry. I didn’t...I didn’t mean to make you mad. I’m so sorry. It was meant as a joke, I swear. Please don’t be angry.”

 

Tom took in several steadying breaths, then said quietly. “I’m not angry with you, Harry. It’s just...it’s difficult to see something I want, very much, and know I cannot have it.”

 

Harry’s heart twisted painfully, then lightened in a heartbeat. Wizards couldn’t get pregnant, not even with the aid of magic, because they weren’t powerful enough for that sort of thing. Not even magic could defeat nature, after all. But he was a Genie. And there was no magic stronger, anywhere, then Genie magic. His magic could change nature; his magic could do practically anything. Harry hadn’t known what to get Tom for Christmas and his birthday, which fell just after Christmas on December 31st. Now he knew. He knew exactly what to give Tom. A baby. Tom had expressed his desire to have one; Harry could now use his magic to make it happen. And when he did, when his body grew to match the illusion he’d created moments ago, then Tom would love him.

 

He kept his smile in, not wanting to give away his surprise. Instead, he cupped Tom’s face in his hands and stretched up onto his toes to kiss the man softly on the mouth. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I promise not to do that again.”

 

Tom simply nodded. “Draco is here with your mail. He brought his slave with him. He...the slave, I mean...was asking if he could see you.”

 

“Awesome.” Harry grinned and they headed out, towards the throne room. Charlie was already there, talking to Draco. Harry ran over and hugged Neville. “Hey, Nev! You’re looking well.”

 

Neville rolled his eyes. “Yeah, well, fabulous sex will do that for a person.” He joked, hugging Harry back tightly. “You’re looking well enough yourself.”

 

Harry smiled at his friend. “You and Malfoy are getting along alright, then?”

 

“Yeah, we are. I was going to kill you, by the way.” Neville gave Harry a pointed look. “But, you know, it worked out. So I guess it’s okay.”

 

“Good, I’m glad.” Harry felt Tom’s arms come around him from behind and leaned back against the man with a happy sigh. “Tom, this is Neville Longbottom. He’s one of my closest friends. Nev, this is the Dark Lord and my master, Tom.”

 

Neville blinked, sounding a little startled as he spoke. “Hermione and Ron weren’t kidding when they said you’d changed.” He blinked a few more times, then cleared his throat. “Wow. Okay. Well, I guess I can understand the whole sex thing now.”

 

“And of course they told you.” Harry muttered, flushing a little. “And they probably told Ginny too, didn’t they? I just bet they did.”

 

“And Luna.” Neville admitted, a little sheepishly. “Sorry. But we were all worried about you, Harry. And they did stress that you seemed happy.”

 

Draco cleared his throat, holding out some letters to Harry. “Your mail, Potter.” He flicked his eyes to Neville for a moment, felt his cheeks burn, and added stiffly. “Thank you for my...reward.”

 

Harry grinned back. “No problem, Malfoy. And just remember, happy slaves live to make their Masters happy as well.”

 

“I’m happy.” Neville promised. “He actually offered to free me this morning. But I like having permission to sleep in his bed and spend all my time with him. So I refused.”

 

“You actually offered to free him?” Charlie was looking at Draco with interest. “I admit to being surprised by you, Malfoy. You don’t strike me as altruistic in the slightest.”

 

“I’m not,” The dry tone and eyeroll were pure Draco. Then his eyes softened. “But I couldn’t stand the fact that when he said ‘I love you’ to me this morning, I had no way of knowing if he was saying it because it was what I wanted to hear or because he meant it.” Draco locked eyes with Tom and added. “I couldn’t live with not knowing if he was at my side because he was chained there...or because he wanted to be.”

 

Charlie nodded, not noticing the fact that that comment had been directed at Tom. No one except Tom did, in fact. “Well, I think that’s a mature way to look at things.” Charlie told Draco approvingly. “And now you know, since Neville here didn’t want to be freed, that he’s there because he wants to be.”

 

“Precisely.” Draco replied firmly. “And in truth, I don’t think I’d have wanted to keep him chained to my side if he hadn’t wanted to be there. When you care about someone...” He glanced at Neville and smiled softly. “When you love someone...you let them go, if that’s what they want. Because you want their happiness more than you want your own.”

 

A smile curved Harry’s lips. “I’m glad you’re both happy, then.” He snuggled back tighter against Tom’s chest and added. “That was my goal.”

 

And though no one but Draco noticed, Tom’s thoughts were racing. Because try as he might to dismiss Draco’s words, he couldn’t seem to.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

It was Saturday before Harry was able to implement ‘Operation Baby’ as he was calling it in his head. The difficulty stemmed from the fact that Genie Magic could only do so much of the work. Harry needed to get both his own seed and Tom’s inside his body, at the same time, for the magic to work. He’d finally worked out how to do that, with the aid of more Genie Magic and some sneaky tactics. So when Saturday night came around, Tom came into their bedroom to find Harry laying naked on the bed, writhing as he stroked himself.

 

Growling, Tom flicked his wand to disrobe himself, crawled across the bed, and dragged Harry’s hand away from his cock. He wrapped his own hand around it, then leaned in to swipe his tongue lightly over the head. Harry cried out loudly and Tom realized with some surprise that Harry must have been ‘enjoying’ himself for a bit before he’d come in. His little Genie was right on the edge. Pleased that Harry was so worked up he couldn’t even wait for Tom to join him, the older man took Harry’s cock into his mouth and sucked.

 

Harry screamed as he felt his orgasm starting, quickly gathering his magic. ‘This is to fulfill his larger desire; his greater wish; one spoken aloud...his present unspoken desires don’t matter.’ Then he disappeared in a puff of smoke, reappearing on the other side of the bed. Before Tom could react, Harry fisted his cock and let his release coat his chest and stomach while he gasped and shivered. Harry could feel Tom’s confusion and a small amount of anger, but reminded himself that this was all for the sake of giving his Master what he truly wanted. All would be forgiven.

 

“Harry...why did you do that?” Tom growled, annoyance making his red eyes narrow. “You know how much I enjoy tasting you.”

 

“Sorry.” Harry breathed, eyes wide and innocent as he dragged his fingers over his stomach, gathering the fluid resting there. He slid his right hand – now slick with his desire – down between his own legs. He swiftly pushed two fingers in, letting out a soft whine. He bit his lip and pumped his fingers, then added a third; the more of his own release he got inside himself, the easier it would be for the magic to do what needed to be done.

 

He blinked wide green eyes at Tom and whispered. “Take me, Tom, please...I need to feel you inside of me. Please, Tom.”

 

Unable to resist such an invitation, Tom pounced. He dragged Harry’s hand out of the way and replaced those fingers with his cock, pressing the head against Harry’s now-stretched entrance. Rather then conjuring oil, he simply used his hand to gather the rest of Harry’s release from his chest and used that to slick himself before pushing in. Harry couldn’t have planned it better if he’d tried.

 

He arched up into Tom’s thrusts, all but sobbing from the pleasure. Harry’s desire and need was fueled by the knowledge that he was granting a wish for his Master. His Genie magic was coiling around him, centered low in his belly, in anticipation. He wanted to do this. And not just because it was what Tom wanted but because he wanted it as well. A home, a life, a family...with Tom. As he reached that peak and tumbled over a second time, Harry felt his heart warm and everything in him – his magic, his heart, his breath – quickened and blossomed. He felt the glow, though he knew it wasn’t visible, as Tom groaned and spilled heat and life inside of him and he knew, he knew, it had taken root.

 

As Tom collapsed next to him and pulled Harry close to snuggle, Harry reached up and cupped the man’s cheek. Emerald eyes met blood red and Harry whispered. “I love you.” And he knew it was true and that it was okay because when Tom learned of what he’d just done, he’d love Harry back. And then everything would be perfect.

 

And as Harry closed his eyes and rested his head above Tom’s heart, falling asleep easily, Tom’s thoughts raced once more. Though everything in him cheered at the idea of Harry loving him, there was fear as well. Somehow this brave, delicate teenager had crept into his own heart. And as he listened to the deep, even breathing of the slave in his arms, he knew Draco had been right. He had to free Harry, because it would slowly drive him mad if he didn’t know the truth. He had to know that Harry was at his side of his own free will, rather then held there, wrapped in chains that were forged from a magic stronger than any other. He was going to have to find the strength to let his Harry go. He just didn’t know how.

Chapter Text

Through the last few days of November and nearly all of December, Harry held his secret close to his heart and basked in the joy it brought him. He told Tom he loved him often; he couldn’t seem to help it. In his joy, Harry delighted in decorating the Manor for Christmas. A huge, 8’ Christmas tree graced the throne room. It was decorated with black and silver and green only, since it was the one seen by the Death Eaters and visitors. Black and green glass balls and silver tinsel, in fact. And at the top, a large, silver star. It was lovely. A second 8’ tree sat in the parlor where Charlie and Harry often hung out. It was decorated far more freely, with strings of popcorn and cranberries and delicate glass balls in every color Harry had thought to conjure and shiny gold tinsel. Its top was graced not by a star but by a lovely blonde angel, dressed in a long red and white dress. Her white and gold wings were spread wide and her painted, smiling face looked down at the room over hands folded in prayer. Neville had complimented him on the decorations when he and Draco had brought mail – and presents – on Christmas Eve.

 

And now it was Christmas day and Harry, Tom, Charlie, and Rabastan were all gathered in the parlor, with it’s lovely tree. And Harry had unwrapped all of his gifts – which consisted of chocolates and pranks and a Weasley sweater in the usual bottle-green and books and all manner of things. Tom had had a few things to unwrap as well, much to his surprise. Harry, of course, had not been surprised. His friends would never forget to pick up a gift for his significant other; they were too thoughtful for that. So Tom had gotten chocolate from Ron, two books – one on the history of Dark Magic and one on Genies – from Hermione, and even a Weasley sweater from Molly. And could Harry have been any more mortified when Tom had unwrapped the black-and-silver knitted thing? But he’d just looked over at Charlie – who was holding a dark blue sweater – and Harry, with his bottle-green one and then sighed, looking a little baffled.In the end, Tom had just accepted it as being the price he had to pay for taking Harry Potter as his lover and didn’t complain.

 

Harry had given Rabastan a little potted flower – a purple delphinium that he’d coaxed into life from the frozen garden and then transplanted into the smalll, black-and-cobalt-blue-checkered, glazed pot. The Death Eater had become fond of their garden-walks and always made Harry explain what the various plants were, so it had seemed fitting. Charlie had been given something a bit more personal – Harry’s small, moving model of the Hungarian Horntail from his 4th year and the fateful Triwizard Tournament. The dragon tamer seemed quite pleased with the small, moving replica; he settled it on his lap and stroked its head as though it were a cat. Harry decided he’d made the right choice in gifts when the little dragon settled right in; it had always done it’s best to bite Harry or impale him with it’s small, spiked tail. It had even tried to set Harry’s hair on fire once. But it seemed to like Charlie just fine.

                                                                       

Harry hadn’t been sure what to give Diellza, since she was a queen and likely had everything she could possibly want. She was also a vampire, which meant she’d had a very long time to collect things. Which meant the odds of being able to pick a book or whatever that she would not only enjoy but also didn’t already own were quite slim. So he’d simply ordered her a lovely, deep-red velvet cloak lined in silver fox fur from a specialty shop. He’d had to get the name of the shop from Narcissa Malfoy (since he hadn’t had a clue who else to ask about expensive, custom-made clothing for women), but it had been worth it for the look of pleasure and appreciation on Dia’s face. She, of course, had opened her gift the night before and was currently sleeping, hidden away from the Christmas morning sunshine. Harry had briefly considered getting Tom something – a small token treasure of some sort – to unwrap, but he’d decided against it. His present for Tom was precious and wonderful; it would be enough.

 

With the unwrapping all done, Charlie and Rabastan wandered off to put their things in their respective rooms and Harry smiled shyly at Tom. “I did get you something.” He said it softly. Tom hadn’t given him anything to unwrap, but Harry didn’t mind. Tom’s gift was technically for both of them, anyway. “I just wanted to give it to you when we were alone.”

 

“I have something for you first.” Tom replied, sounding strange. His voice was cool; almost formal. He gestured for Harry to come closer.

 

Harry swallowed hard, confused and feeling suddenly wary, though he didn’t know why. He stood and walked over to the chair Tom was sitting in. “Hold out your hand.” Tom said it softly, gently even, but the look in his eyes made Harry afraid.

 

“Why?” Harry asked even as he obeyed; he was helpless in the face of an order, after all. And Tom knew that better then anyone. “What did you get me?” Attempting to lighten the mood, he teased. “Is it a ring, Tom? Planning to make an honest man out of me?”

 

Tom’s lips didn’t even twitch and his eyes stayed serious, which just made Harry more afraid. Tom normally had a very good sense of humor. Then Tom reached for the floating pillow bearing Harry’s holly-and-pheonix feather wand, plucking it off the blue-and-gold cushion. “I’m freeing you.” He told Harry softly. “You’re welcome to stay with me, of course. I want you here, at my side, Harry. But I won’t make you stay.”

 

“What?” Harry breathed the word, feeling his chest tighten with panic even as his stomach jumped and fluttered with the life inside it. Of course, he shouldn’t be able to feel the baby move at this stage, but his pregnancy wasn’t progressing at an average pace. His stomach had already begun to curve – faintly, but enough that he was using his magic to keep it hidden – and Harry could definitely feel the child moving within him. He was closer to three months than one, the best he could figure.

 

And Tom was trying to free him. “No!” He protested vehemently. He pulled his hand away, tucking both of them behind his back and backing up a step. “No, Tom, stop! I don’t...you can’t!” Harry had no idea if he would want to stay with Tom once he was freed and, with the child resting in his body, he wasn’t willing to risk it. He also didn’t know if the life would hold fast if he were free.

 

“Harry, my pet, it will be okay.” Tom gave him a very small smile, though he looked tense. Harry couldn’t help wondering if Tom was afraid Harry would leave him. It would have been sweet, if he wasn’t so terrified himself. Then Tom said firmly. “Now hold out your hand so I can give you your wand.”

 

And his hand began to obey immediately, because he absolutely couldn’t resist an order. Harry felt panic clawing at his insides and the words bubbled up, fast and frightened and blurred almost together in his horror. “NO! Tom, don’t! Please, don’t do this, I might leave, I might, I don’t know, you can’t, it’s not worth the risk!”

 

But Tom was ignoring his babbling and his hand, held out in front of him now and which he’d clenched into a tight fist, was fighting to open so the wand could be placed in it.”Please, Tom...please...” Harry’s fingers slowly uncurled and Tom reached out, ready to drop Harry’s wand into his palm. Desperate, with unshed tears blurring his vision, Harry cried out. “Tom, I’m pregnant!”

 

He froze, those red eyes locking on Harry’s panicked, terrified face. “That’s not funny, Harry.” ‘His voice is so cold...’ Harry thought. He couldn’t remember the last time Tom had spoken to him that coldly. “You know as well as I do that that is impossible.”

 

“Not for a Genie.” Harry sobbed, tears spilling from his overbright eyes. “I swear it, Tom. I swear. It’s your present, for Christmas and your birthday.” The Gryffindor’s breath shuddered in and out unevenly as he pleaded for the Dark Lord to listen to him; to believe him. “I really am pregnant, Tom. Touch my stomach, if you don’t believe me.”

 

Tom hesitated, then reached out with his empty hand. He pressed it, palm flat, to Harry’s belly. He felt the soft curve of the form, which seemed to blossom before his eyes as Harry let his magic stop hiding it, and then he felt a light, fluttering movement under the skin. He looked up at Harry, his eyes wide and his jaw slack, as Harry’s wand fell from his limp fingers. He brought that hand up as well, pressing it firmly against Harry’s stomach beside his other hand. His mouth moved, but no sound came out. And Harry’s heart raced, terrifed of what Tom would say when he finally spoke.

 

“Tom?” Harry finally whispered after several minutes, unable to bear the silence a moment longer. “Are you angry? I thought you would be pleased...”

 

And Tom stood, feeling everything inside him warm and blossom in the face of this gift from his young lover. It was something he’d never expected, but which he had definitely wanted. He cupped Harry’s face in his hands and kissed him deeply. “I am pleased.” He assured his lover, letting one of his hands drop to Harry’s belly again; he was completely awed that Harry was willing to give him this. “More pleased than I can say. How...how far along are you?”

 

“Technically or literally?” Harry asked, blushing slightly under the intense stare. Seeing Tom’s confusion, he explained. “I should only be about a month along, but you can feel for yourself that that’s not quite right. I don’t know why, except to assume that it must be safer this way, but my magic seems to be speeding things along. Based on what I’m feeling, I’d say I’ll have the baby some time around the beginning of March. We should have a Healer confirm, though.”

 

And Tom kissed Harry again, then picked the teen up by the waist, swinging him in a fast circle. Harry braced his hands on Tom’s shoulders as Tom laughed and spun him, clearly delighted. “You’re really happy about this?” Harry asked breathlessly as Tom set him on his feet again. “You swear you’re not angry with me?”

 

“Of course I’m not angry, Harry. I’m so pleased you would do this for me. For us.” He pulled the petite, teenage Gryffindor into his arms, then peppered his sweet face with light kisses. “I love you.” He told Harry, between scattering kisses over the boy’s face. “I love you and I love our child. My son.”

 

“Hey, now, it might be a girl.” Harry said, laughing and breathless and feeling as though everything in him had gone soft and liquid at Tom’s words. He had known, or at the very least hoped, that Tom would react this way, but it was lovely anyway. “But if it is a girl, and if you’re dead-set on having a son, then I suppose we could try again at some point.”

 

Harry sighed happily when Tom pulled him into a tight hug and captured his lips for a long, slow, lingering kiss. Harry laughed, his eyes darkening and desire curling low in his belly in response to the heated way Tom was looking at him. “I’ll take that as a yes, then, that you’d like to try again?”

 

“I want as many little brats as you’re willing to carry in that delectable body of yours.” Tom assured him in a low, sultry purr. “But, for right now, I’d just like to carry you upstairs and fuck you, knowing my child quickens inside you.”

 

“Mmmm...sounds like a plan.” Harry purred, savoring the heat and desire that washed over him at Tom’s words. “Just make sure you pick my wand up off the floor, love, or I won’t be going far.”

 

Tom scooped up the wand, then scooped up his Harry, any idea of freeing his Genie banished from his mind by this new knowledge. He would not let Harry or his child go; not for anything.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Tom was in a generous enough mood to let the Death Eaters have Christmas with their families. He called them the day after, eagerly gathering them together. And if his huge, teeth-bearing, slightly-maniacal grin was a little frightening, then that was alright. He just couldn’t seem to keep it off his face. For his part, Harry was curled up on Tom’s lap on the throne, snuggled against his lover’s chest. His Genie outfit was black with emerald green trim and the way he was sitting hid the slight curve of his belly. Rabastan stood to one side of the throne and Charlie stood to the other. Diellza sat on a dark green, velvet, Queen Ann chair beside Rabastan. When all of the many Death Eaters were present (including Draco and his “slave” Neville), Harry peeked up at Tom, eyes pleading.

 

“Alright, my love.” Tom said softly, for Harry’s ears only. “If you insist.” Then he grinned at his assembled followers. “Ah, my lovely Death Eaters. It is for the best of all possible reasons I have called you here. It is for joyful news; the most joyful I can imagine, in fact. But my Harry wishes to tell you all himself.”

 

Harry stood, beaming at everyone present, thrilled he could do this for Tom. Pleased he had given Tom a gift that he was proud to share with his followers. Harry rested his hands on the slight curve of his belly and announced breathlessly. “Tom is going to have an heir. I’m pregnant.”

 

“Impossible!” Bellatrix shrieked it, looking even more insane then usual. “You can’t be! You’re a male and regardless of how you play the whore, you cannot be with child!”

 

Harry didn’t hesitate; he whirled himself into a spiral of smoke, snaked around to the other side of Diellza, and changed back, sneering. “I’m a Genie, you idiot. I can be – and am – with child, I assure you.”

 

Bellatrix opened her mouth again, no doubt to spew more hatred, but Tom stopped her with an ice-cold look and a chilly warning. “Watch your words, Bellatrix. That is my lover you speak of.”

 

“My lord, I would but plead caution.” Bellatrix crooned, her grey eyes dancing madly. “Has a Healer checked the boy? To ensure he doesn’t lie?”

 

Harry snorted softly. “I’ve been ordered to speak only the truth when alone with my Master and as we were alone when I told him, I couldn’t be lying. But, as it happens, I have no objections to a Healer taking a peek at us. I’d like to make sure we’re doing as perfectly as I think we are.”

 

Tom’s lips curved and he beckoned Harry closer. When his Genie stood in front of his throne, Tom turned Harry so he faced the crowd and stood up behind him. He wound his arms around Harry’s waist, resting his hands on the slight curve of Harry’s belly. “This is my child. My heir. It grows in the body of Harry Potter, who is – as you all know – my lover.” He swept cold, red eyes over those gathered and said. “You will defend this child and Harry with your lives. You will do everything in your power to keep them both safe and well. If harm comes to them and you could have prevented or lessened it, what I will do to you will make you beg for something as mild as pain.”

 

There was a long, tense pause, then Charlie cleared his throat. “Well, now that the threatening is out of the way...” He stepped closer and – ignoring the fact that Tom was still embracing Harry – leaned down and pressed a quick kiss to Harry’s cheek. “Congratulations, Harry.” He straightened up and smirked at Tom, looking highly amused. “Take care of my brother and the baby, Tom, or my mother with send you a Howler so fierce you’ll wish for death.”

 

Diellza stood next, moving gracefully to stand near her two favorite humans. She cupped Harry’s chin and pressed a kiss to each of his cheeks, then did the same for Tom. “Congratulations to you both. I expect to be allowed to fuss over the një pak when it arrives, yes?”

 

“Of course.” Harry replied, grinning at her. “I expect the baby will end up a bit spoiled, in fact, considering who it’s parents are, but I don’t mind. I want lots of fussing and love and spoiling for him or her.”

 

Neville and Draco had just made their way to the front of the group and Neville hugged Harry tightly. “I admit to being ridiculously impressed with you, Harry, even if I also think you’re sort of crazy.” Neville told him in a low voice. “Am I telling or no?”

 

“No.” Harry murmured back, shaking his head. He met Draco’s eyes and added. “I’ll tell them eventually, but for the moment I’d rather Albus and the Order didn’t know. I don’t trust them not to do something stupid or insane to try to take me from here if they find out.”

 

“Neville, you will not tell anyone about Potter’s pregnancy until Potter or the Dark Lord personally say that you can.” Draco’s soft command had the worry easing off of Harry’s face. When Neville quirked an eyebrow at Draco, the Slytherin added in a whisper. “I trust you not to tell, of course, but that command is backed by Genie magic and should stand up to anything, including Veritaserum. Just in case.” Neville just nodded.

 

And then Tom and Harry got to stand – cool and polite, though still grinning maniacally in Tom’s case and simply beaming in Harry’s – as the Death Eaters pushed forward in ones and twos and threes to bow and simper and gush their felicitations. Some of them were obviously faking, but a good many of the Death Eaters had slowly become fond of Harry during the two months he’d spent with the Dark Lord and they were genuinely pleased to see the boy looking so glowingly happy. It was disconserting, of course, to see Tom grinning like the cat that got the cream and the canary, but if he was happy then he wasn’t torturing them so it wasn’t unwelcome. Another reason many of them had become taken with Harry; the tiny Genie seemed to mellow Voldemort out, which was something they were all thankful for.

 

And as Harry laughed and thanked a stuttering follower for his kind words (he had said Harry looked positively radiant with happiness), Rabastan watched from the sidelines, more worried than ever. Diellza noticed and lightly touched his arm, asking quietly. “What is wrong, Rabastan? This is joyful news. Are you not happy for our Harry?”

 

“I’m worried for him, is what I am.” Rabastan retorted, eyes glued to Harry as he laughed and blushed and demured, snuggling closer to Tom. “He’s so in love with him. Something I blame you for.” He shot Dia a cold look. “And while my lord is...better than he was, he is still the Dark Lord. I don’t know if he can love Harry as Harry deserves. I don’t know if he can be what Harry needs. And now there’s a baby to consider and Harry won’t ever leave a baby. He’s trapped more surely than ever.”

 

“I don’t know what to say, Rabastan, except that I did not expect the child.” Dia sighed, studying Harry and Tom solemnly. “But Harry is truly happy. And so, for the first time in the many years I’ve known him, is Tom. So I am trying to have faith, that this will work and that they will be fine.”

 

Charlie, who had been eavesdropping quite shamelessly, cleared his throat. When they both looked at him, he nodded towards Harry and Tom. “I can’t say I understand it, because I don’t. At all. But I know love when I see it. I grew up surrounded by it. And what they feel...it’s as real as it comes. So I don’t have all the answers, for either of you, but I know that Harry won’t give up on real love. He’ll do whatever it takes to make this work. And that baby is going to be the best-loved child in the world.”

 

Rabastan, for what it was worth, certainly hoped so.

Chapter Text

Harry sat nervously in the parlor; the same one that had held the Christmas tree a few weeks earlier. Now, since it was January 15th, the decorations were long since gone. Tom was supposed to be bringing him a Healer, to check on the baby, which was why he was nervous. Harry stroked his hands lovingly over his belly. It curved more now. With every passing week, his belly grew rounder and fuller. He was pleased by his changing shape and relieved that Tom seemed pleased by it as well. He had been a little worried that his lover would find him less-attractive now, but if anything Tom seemed enamored of his growing, changing body. The older man constantly stroked Harry’s stomach and often pressed kisses to the full, high curve.

 

Harry sighed, puffing out his cheeks as he did so; he hated waiting. At least he wasn’t alone; that would have been unbearable. Charlie, Rabastan, and Diellza were all seated with him. Harry had his head resting on Dia’s lap and she was soothingly stroking his dark hair, humming softly under her breath, while Rabastan and Charlie quietly played chess. Harry was wearing his typical Genie outfit, in it’s original blue-and-gold form. He tended to wear the original colors, unless something like a meeting was happening.

 

“What if something’s wrong?” Harry asked fretfully, unable to contain his fear. “I mean, I’m a bloke. I’m not supposed to be pregnant. What if I did something wrong?”

 

“Your magic knows what it was doing, Harry.” Dia promised him softly, still petting his hair. “You must have faith.”

 

Harry sighed again; he just couldn’t seem to settle himself down. He snapped upright when the door opened. Tom walked in with a man in white Healer’s robes – an older man, with salt-and-pepper hair and reading glasses perched on the long, thin blade of his nose – close behind him. Harry stood and bit his lip, hands curled protectively over the swell of his stomach. He tipped his head up, allowing Tom to press a soft kiss to his lips. Then Tom leaned down and pressed a kiss to Harry’s stomach, as he always did. The simple act went a long way towards soothing Harry’s frazzled nerves.

 

Tom straightened and turned to face the Healer, taking one of Harry’s hands in his. “Mitch, this is my lover, Harry. Harry, this is Healer Mitchell Jameson.”

 

“Hi.” Harry said softly, smiling shyly at the man. “It’s nice to meet you, Healer Jameson.”

 

“Well.” The man blinked several times as though startled, , peering at Harry intently from behind his glasses. “You are certainly going to be the most interesting patient I’ve ever had, Mr. Potter.” He said this quite cheerfully, looking pleased by the prospect.

 

Harry laughed and said. “Please, call me Harry.” He gestured to his stomach and asked. “So, what sorts of tests do you need to run? I don’t really know how this works.”

 

“Alright, Harry. You can call me Mitch, if you like.” Mitch gestured towards the empty sofa. Diellza had stood as well and was standing near Harry and Tom, looking as though she’d drain the Healer dry if he said or did anything she didn’t approve of. Mitchell either didn’t notice or pretended not to; Harry wasn’t sure which. “Why don’t you just lie down and I’ll take a peek at you, run a few standard scans, and we’ll go from there?”

 

Harry laid down, a little bit self-conscious of the way his low-cut pants and high-cut vest bared the full curving expanse of his stomach. Mitch conjured a stool and sat on it, placing a hand on the center of Harry’s belly, just below his bellybutton, and pressing lightly. The baby pressed back and Mitch smiled a little. “No pain?” He asked as he moved his hand up Harry’s stomach, still pressing.

 

“No, no pain.” Harry replied, nervousness creeping back into his voice. “That’s a good thing, right?” He looked up at Mitch with anxious green eyes.

 

Mitch chuckled and patted Harry’s arm. “Yes, that’s a good thing. And there’s no need to be nervous, you know. I’m certain everything’s just fine. Now you just relax, alright?”

 

Tom moved to take Harry’s hand, kneeling on the floor next to the sofa so he could be closer. Mitch ignored him and began casting spells on Harry. He made soft ‘hmmm’-ing sounds as he worked and Harry squeezed Tom’s hand tightly for support, terrified that the Healer would tell him something was horribly wrong at any second. But as the moments passed and Mitch kept casting, smiling gently all the while, Harry finally began to relax. It seemed as though everything was going to be just as perfect as he’d originally thought, before he’d started worrying.

 

“Well then. You’re both as fit as a fiddle.” Mitch declared at last, pocketing his wand and straightening his glasses, which had begun to slip down his nose as he worked. He gave Harry’s stomach a light pat and smiled widely. “Would you like to know the gender?”

 

Harry’s jaw dropped. “Am I...am I far enough along to tell that?” He gripped Tom’s hand tighter; his knuckles were white. “What I mean is, we’ve had to guess at how pregnant I am because of how fast I’m progressing.”

 

“I’d say you’re a little past the five month mark, if we were lining you up with a traditional timeline.” He told Harry as he folded his hands and rested them on his lap, his blue eyes locked on Harry’s green. “So just far enough along to determine gender. Would you like to know?”

 

Harry peered eagerly up at Tom. “Do you want to know?” He asked breathlessly. “I’d like to, but if you don’t, then I can wait until the baby is born.”

 

Tom’s lips curved easily and he pressed a kiss to Harry’s forehead. “I want to know as well. How else will we know what color to paint the nursery?” They both looked at the Healer, waiting.

 

“It’s a girl.” Mitch told them, chuckling when Tom gasped and Harry giggled happily. “A perfectly healthy little girl, from what the tests showed. I’d say, based on what Tom here has told me, that you’re definitely progressing a fair bit faster than normal, so I’d like to check back in on you in a couple of weeks and see where you are then. This is an incredibly unusual case, after all, so we’re going to be stumbling around in the dark, in a sense.” Seeing Harry’s worry on his face, Mitch added. “I’m going to take good care of you and your daughter, Harry. You’re both going to be just fine.”

 

Harry nodded, then bit his lip. After a second, he blurted out. “How do you know Tom? Are you one of his...you know...” Harry trailed off, not wanting to offend the man if he was not, in fact, one of Tom’s Death Eaters.

 

Mitch, however, just smiled. “No, I’m not a Death Eater, Harry. I went to school with Tom, actually. We were dorm mates.” He ran a hand through his greying hair and gave Tom a slightly annoyed look over the top of his glasses. “I must say, I was a bit irritated to see how well he looks. Especially considering that a couple of months ago, I was the one who had aged better.”

 

Harry giggled again and flushed. “Well, that’s sort of because of me. I’m quite useful to have around, actually.”

 

“I should certainly say so.” Mitch agreed as he pushed to his feet. “Youth, babies...you certainly are managing things quite handily.”

 

Harry smiled as he got to his feet as well. “Thank you so much for agreeing to look at us.” His eyes were wide and sincere. “I’ve been really nervous, since this is such an unusual pregnancy.”

 

Mitch inclined his head graciously, then looked at Tom. “When he’s a bit further along, I’ll want to stay here, since we can’t predict how the delivery will work or when, exactly, he might go into labor. It just seems advisable to have me already here, just in case.”

 

“Of course.” Tom agreed immediately, tugging Harry protectively into his arms. “I want him safe and well, Mitchell, whatever it takes. You’re certain the child isn’t a danger to him?”

 

“Positive.” Mitchell smiled easily, confident in his declaration. “Harry is going along just as perfectly as any woman has ever managed to. There’s no need to even considering terminating.”

 

“Terminating? What are you talking about?” Harry looked at Tom sharply, shock and horror creeping into his voice as he realized what they were talking about. “I wouldn’t have! Never, do you hear me? I wouldn’t have cared if the baby was a danger to me, Tom! I would never have gotten rid of her! What were you thinking?”

 

Tom sighed, giving Harry a gently squeeze and explaining patiently. “I was thinking that I love you both, my little imp, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t in any danger of losing either of you.”

 

“Oh.” Harry sighed and nestled into Tom’s chest. “Well, we’re just fine, Tom. No worries.”

 

Then Harry said his goodbyes to Mitchell, who agreed to come back to check on Harry and the baby on February 2nd. While Tom saw his old friend out of the Manor, Harry turned to face the others in the room. Beaming, he said. “So, it’s a girl!”

 

Dia pressed a kiss to each of his cheeks, just as she had when he’d first announced his pregnancy. “A princheshë pak, Harry. She will be the perfect addition to the household, I am sure.”

 

“Princheshë pak?” Charlie quirked an eyebrow. “That’s...” He muttered the words a few times, frowning while he thought, then his face cleared and he asked. “Little princess, right? Sorry, I’m not great with Albanian...”

 

“Yes, little princess.” Dia inclined her head, watching as Tom reentered the room. “What else could we possibly call her? She is the daughter of Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter. Has there ever been a little girl born more deserving of the title of princess?”

 

Harry smiled slightly, touching his stomach lightly. “My little princess. She’s going to be so beautiful, I just know it.”

 

“With you as her mommy, how could she not be?” Tom purred teasingly, leaning down and kissing Harry’s cheek. “I have no doubt she’ll be perfectly lovely.”

 

“Ugh, please don’t call me a mommy!” Harry laughed, nudging Tom in the side with his elbow. “We’re going to have to work out what she’ll call us, though. Obviously you’ll be ‘father’ when she’s old enough, but when she’s little we’ll need something simpler. And she can’t call us both Daddy; that would just be weird.”

 

Rabastan, who was mostly silent these days whenever Tom or Dia was around, spoke softly. “Rudolphus and I called our father Papa when we were young. She could call one of you Daddy and the other one Papa.”

 

Harry grinned widely and rushed to Rabastan, hugging him tightly. “That’s perfect, ‘Bastan! Thank you so much; I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Harry kissed his guard’s cheek, then laughed and danced away, spinning in a happy little circle. “Oh, a little girl! She’s just going to be the most beautiful little girl in the whole entire world. I can’t wait to hold her!”

 

Tom smiled indulgently and watched as Harry laughed and danced and spun in the center of the room, his whole face alight with happiness. Charlie stood next to Tom and commented thoughtfully. “You’ll need to watch her like a hawk when she’s of age, if she’s as beautiful as our Harry. Someone will steal her away for a slave for sure, otherwise.”

 

Just then, Harry snagged Charlie’s hand and dragged him and Dia into the middle of the floor to dance and spin with him, laughing all the while. Rabastan was focused on watching his charge and the others were focused on Harry and his happiness. So none of them noticed when all the color drained out of Tom’s face, or the fear in his red eyes.

Chapter Text

Harry was blissfully, deliriously happy. Two days after the Healer’s visit, he could be found dancing around the room that had been the Manor’s nursery. He had decided to simply modify it rather then trying to set up a brand new room. This would be where his child would sleep, play, and grow up. This was going to be his little girl’s room. She would be in his arms soon enough and he couldn’t wait.

 

Harry turned in a giddy circle, trying to decide where to start. He flicked his fingers and the old, wooden cradle near the windows turned into a beautiful white bassinet, complete with a lacy canopy and a long, lace-trimmed dust-ruffle going all the way to the floor. Harry brushed his fingers against the curve of the bassinet, then pursed his lips. He tipped his head thoughtfully to the side, then tapped it lightly with two fingers. It took on a soft pink color and Harry considered it for a moment before flicking his fingers to shift it back to white.

 

“White is so much better.” He murmured. Harry turned to the walls and said softly. “Color is good, but pink is so cliché, isn’t it?”

 

Charlie chuckled from his spot, lounging in the doorway. “I don’t know the slightest thing about decorating a nursery, Harry. But yes, pink is fairly cliché. I know Mum did Ginny’s room in a pale yellow, which was a horrible choice with us being gingers. But then, pink isn’t the best with red hair either, so I suppose it wouldn’t have mattered much.”

 

Harry laughed, grinning at Charlie over his shoulder. “Yellow? Well, that’s a nice, sunny color but it’s not one of my favorites. And Tom might go on about me making her into a Hufflepuff if I go with that, so something else, I think...” He trailed off thoughtfully.

 

“You could do green, if it was soft enough.” Charlie suggested, folding his arms loosely over his chest and tipping his head to the side, studying Harry and the room with laughing blue eyes. “Nothing saying green’s a color meant only for boys, after all.”

 

“Yes...I suppose...” Harry paused and splashed several shades of green over one of the walls. “Which of these do you think? I like this one...” He trailed his fingers over a color that could only be called mint. It was definitely soft; a pale, pastel color.

 

“Harry, little brother of mine, contrary to popular belief, being gay does not mean I have some secret skill with interior design.” Charlie’s voice was dry and Harry couldn’t help laughing. “I’m sure whatever you pick will look fine. And if it doesn’t, then you flick your fingers and change it.” Charlie wiggled his fingers teasingly at Harry.

 

Harry nodded; that was true. It wasn’t as though he couldn’t alter it in a heartbeat if he ended up not liking it. “Alright. This one then.”

 

In a matter of breaths, the walls were painted that soft, mint green. Harry considered it for a moment, a soft smile playing at his lips, then added some dark wood paneling to the walls. It started at the floor and climbed to about a third of the way up the wall. Then he added a thin, cream-colored stripe (about a half an inch thick) every three feet along the walls. Smiling wider now, Harry tapped the bassinet again. The tap added a super-soft, incredibly plush, mint-green-and-cream knitted blanket to it.

 

Next, Harry moved over to the old-fashioned, blue, wooden dresser that would house his daughter’s clothing soon. He tapped it with two fingers. The blue leached away, fading to a soft cream color with green painted vines with ivy leaves climbing up the sides, across the top, and curling around the handles on the fronts of the drawers. There were also pretty, five-petaled blue and purple flowers decorating it, interspersed among the vines and ivy leaves. Harry then nudged the antique rocking chair with his foot, darking the wood until it matched the paneling. A plush, mint-green cushion appeared on the seat. The hardwood floor darkened as he walked across it, then a large cream-colored area rug appeared, bearing the same floral pattern as the dresser around the edges.

 

Harry laughed, delighted with his chosen color scheme and enjoying his progress. He spun in a circle, continuing to adjust the furniture in the room to match the new color scheme. The changing table, several book and toy shelves, a small play table and chairs – they were all painted cream and given the same floral design as the dresser and rug. The windowsills were darkened and the drapes were turned a slightly darker green then the walls with white-lace trim and thick white sashes to tie them back. The ugly, antique-looking wooden crib was banished into non-being and a pretty white crib took it’s place. He gave the crib mattress a sheet that matched the drapes in color – just two shades darker then the walls – and a soft, micro-fleece blanket in pure white. In the center of the blanket, in dark green stitching, were the words, ‘Thank Heaven for little girls.’ The words were surrounded by ivy and little purple flowers. Finally, Harry zapped all of the antique toys and books scattered around the room into crates and sent them up to the Manor’s attic; he’d replace them all with new things.

 

Beaming, Harry turned to face the doorway, looking for Charlie, and realized that the other man had wandered off at some point during his redecorating. Now it was Rabastan who was standing guard, silent in the doorway; just watching him as he fussed and fiddled. “Hey, ‘Bastan. I guess I bored Charlie with my fussing, huh?”

 

“I wouldn’t think so, Harry.” Rabastan replied, his voice soft and his dark eyes sad. “I think he just went to get something to eat. It looks very nice in here.”

 

“You’re upset with me.” Harry said it very matter-of-factly, tipping his head to the side to study his guard’s face. “I don’t know why, but you are. Have been for a while. Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?”

 

Rabastan considered for a moment refuting Harry’s claim, but in the end decided the truth was better, even if it made Harry angry. “I don’t understand why you’ve chosen this. If you’re ever freed, you’re going to hate yourself. And you’ll hate all of us for letting you do this.”

 

Harry blinked, then shook his head calmly. With a serene smile, Harry rested his hands on his stomach, feeling his daughter kick him. “No, ‘Bastan. I don’t think I will. I can’t see my feelings changing. I love Tom and I’m thrilled about our baby. How could I ever be less than happy about all of this, when it’s given me a home and a family? You’re worrying for nothing.” Harry stood on tip-toe and kissed the Death Eater’s cheek lightly. “Besides, Tom has no reason to free me, nor would I want him to. At least not until the baby is born, anyway. Now, let’s go get some lunch. We’re hungry.”

 

While Harry headed towards the kitchen, Rabastan took one last look around the delicately female nursery that Harry had just spent two hours fussing over, murmuring to himself. “I hope you’re right, Harry. I’d hate to see you hurt.” Then he hurried to catch up to his charge.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Later that night, Harry was waiting for Tom in their room. When he came in, Harry threw himself into Tom’s arms and kissed him softly on the mouth. “I finished painting the nursery today.” He told his lover happily. “And fussing with the furniture, too. Now we just need to get her toys and books and clothes and...and, well, whatever else you need for a baby, to fill it up.”

 

Tom swallowed hard, setting Harry slightly back from him, gripping the younger man’s arms tightly enough to bruise. “She’ll be a Genie.” He said it in a strange, strangled voice. “Our daughter...she’ll be a Genie, won’t she?”

 

Harry blinked in surprise, then laughed, a small amount of confusion in both the sound and his eyes. “Of course she will be, Tom. I’m a Genie, aren’t I? So she’ll have to be one as well. Basic genetics.”

 

“No.” Tom shook his head, red eyes hot and intense. “No, she can’t be a Genie. I won’t let her...she’ll end up someone’s slave if she’s a Genie. I can’t...I won’t allow that to happen!”

 

Harry was still staring at Tom in confusion; he felt lost and suddenly very alone. He took a half-step back, breaking Tom’s hold on his arms as hurt flashed briefly across his sweet face. “I don’t...I don’t understand you. Tom, I’m a Genie, so she will be, too. Nothing can change that fact. I thought you were okay with what I am; with the fact that I’m a slave. You never seemed to mind.”

 

“It’s different, Harry. She’s my daughter. How can I risk her being trapped?” Tom raked a hand through his thick, dark hair in frustration. “Pet, it’s nothing against you. I adore you, precisely as you are. But the thought of her bound to someone...I cannot bear it.”

 

“Well you don’t have much of a choice, do you?” Harry snapped, taking another step back as heat crept into his voice. “I am what I am, Tom! You knew that!”

 

“A choice. Yes, I do have a choice.” Tom’s eyes lit up suddenly and he grinned at Harry, looking younger and happier then he had moments earlier. “I have a choice because you are what you are, in fact.” The relief he felt was palpable. “I’ll just wish her human. Harry, I wish...”

 

Don’t!” Harry screamed it, panic clawing it’s way up from somewhere deep inside him. It was a strange, instinctive sort of fear. “No, please...don’t do that, Tom! You can’t!

 

Tom blinked, startled by the vehemence in his Genie’s voice, then shook his head. Pregnancy must be making Harry overly-emotional. “Calm down, pet. I’m not going to do anything that will hurt you or our daughter. Just a single, simple wish.”

 

“Please...I’m begging you not to do this.” Tears filled Harry’s eyes. He felt cold inside; like he’d swallowed a ball of ice. This wasn’t a rational sort of fear; it was the sort of fear that paralyzed you. The sort that took you by the throat and made it hard for you to breath. “Please Tom...please...

 

“That’s enough, Harry.” Impatience with Harry’s hysterical mood swing had Tom snapping at him. “I wish for our daughter to be human, not a Genie.”

 

No!” Harry cried out, tears spilling from his eyes. He raised his hand, fingers inching closer together as they tried to snap. Harry fought against it with everything in him, even as he begged. “Please, Tom...take it back! Please don’t...don’t make me do this...please...”

 

Tom huffed out an irritated breath, rolling his eyes. “Really, Harry, you’re working yourself up for nothing! It’s going to be fine.” He lowered his voice to a soothing purr. “Just grant the wish and you’ll see; it’s going to be alright. I promise.”

 

Harry sobbed raggedly, shoulders shaking with it while his breath shuddered in and out, his fingers trembling as he fought to keep them still. “If you really love me...” Harry whispered brokenly, locking tear-filled green eyes on Tom’s red ones. “If you have even the smallest amount of true affection for me...you’ll take it back. Please, Tom...before it’s too late...”

 

Tom said nothing, his lips pressed firmly together, refusing to rescind the wish. And Harry let out an anguished cry as his fingers met and snapped. There was a puff of smoke; a bright spark of gold flashed amidst the deep blue. Then, blue smoke that crackled with gold lightening began to wrap around Harry. It started at his feet and began to work it’s way swiftly up his body in a fast-moving spiral. Just as it passed his chest, Harry locked his eyes with Tom’s again and his expression was one of complete and utter betrayal. Then his face was hidden as the smoke wound up, over and around his head. Harry’s wand whipped off of it’s cushion, flying into the twisting column of smoke. And, though neither Tom nor Harry was close enough to it to know, downstairs in the throne room, Harry’s beautiful, indestructable Genie bottle shattered into a million pieces. And then, just as suddenly as it had appeared, the cobalt-and-gold smoke vanished into nothing.

 

Harry stood in the center of the bedroom he’d shared with Tom for months, crying silently, tears streaming down his face. He was dressed in his school uniform, complete with his Gryffindor tie and robes. His wand was clenched tightly in his right hand. Harry looked up, his eyes wide and terrified and full of pain. He held out his wand with a trembling hand. “Please...” He whispered brokenly.

 

Tom didn’t hesitate; he took the wand from Harry’s shaking grip and held it loosely. Then he held his breath, waiting for Harry to revert to his Genie form. When nothing happened after several moments, he spoke; confusion laced his voice. “I don’t understand...”

 

Harry still felt cold inside; that ball of ice was sitting heavily in the pit of his stomach. And he felt empty; hollowed out. All of the power he’d learned to take for granted in the last two and a half months was simply gone; vanished with the smoke. Some part of Harry – some small, fragile part of his mind – was screaming; a maddened, desperate, anguished sort of sound. There would be no more finger-snaps and puffs of colored smoke. There would be no more coaxing of winter-dead plants to spring and summer’s bloom. There would be no cloth shoes or harem pants or vests. There would be no hiding in his bottle or spiralling into smoke. Harry would never have to grant another wish; he would never be forced to obey another order. He would never have a Master, ever again.

 

And he would never again have to look at his wand and know he couldn’t touch it. He knew this, all of this, instinctively. And while that small, secret part of himself was screaming and crying, heartbroken and grieving, because of this knowledge, the rest of him needed proof. So Harry reached out with a trembling hand and plucked his wand out of Tom’s loose grip, then stared down at the slender piece of wood and feather. He felt even emptier once it was back in his hand and that separate part of him was screaming louder now, insane with grief and loss, wishing for things to return to how they’d been just moments before. He had taken his wand without trouble. Which could mean one thing and one thing only. Tom hadn’t freed Harry with his wish; he’d stripped Harry of his Genie status entirely.

 

“I’m human.” Harry’s voice was flat; emotionless. If he let any emotion creep into his voice or onto his face, he would end up like that little part of himself; rocking in a corner, crying and screaming, completely insane. Instead, he kept staring at his wand as though it were a strange, unknown thing; as though, if he just looked at it hard enough or for long enough, it would explain everything to him. “You’ve made me human.”

 

Harry’s mind and heart raced. He remembered fear and pain and death. He remembered the smoke-filled streets as Hogsmeade burned around him. He remembered broken glass and rubble and bodies littering the streets while magic flew around him. He remembered people screaming and fleeing and fighting and dying. Harry had always remembered these things, of course, but the memories had been accompanied by a sense of detachment before. He had been above them all; apart from them. Though he knew he’d felt those things, it had been like the memory of a dream. Something unimportant; something easily dismissed. Now, that wasn’t the case. Now, Harry felt it as though no time had passed. He remembered the rage that had consumed him as he’d darted around smoldering rubble and ducked into alleys; the rage and the need to end the madness around him by killing the monster who was behind it all.

 

The monster who was now the man standing before him. The monster who had owned him, and claimed him, and mastered him; the monster who had – in a very real way – ordered Harry to not-only participate in his own rape, but also enjoy it. The man who loved him and who Harry had let – very willingly – into both his body and heart. The man who had given him a child. A sweet, innocent, unborn baby girl. Harry’s hand stole to his stomach, seeking and uncertain. But yes, the curve was still there. Harry gave a firm press against that curve...and yes, there it was. The answering flutter and pressure that meant life still grew within him. The wish hadn’t robbed him of this new life that suddenly seemed both a precious gift and a terrible curse.

 

Tom was staring at him in stunned disbelief and Harry wondered for a brief moment what Tom would say when he got past the shock. Would he apologize? Would he beg Harry to stay? Or would he say something horrible and awful and unforgivable? Harry didn’t know; he couldn’t decide, in part because he couldn’t decide if his Tom was real or if he was merely a product of Voldemort’s cunning and his own foolish desire to be loved.

 

And with that thought – with the realization that he had been so desperate for love that he had fallen for Voldemort, of all people – Harry felt, all at once, the horror and guilt and shame over having let this man inside him, in every way. He felt sick and uncertain. This wasn’t okay. None of this was okay. How could he possibly be expected to stay, now that he had the ability to leave? And how could he ever go, after everything that had happened? Harry thought of the nursery he’d spent all day fussing with and everything in him twisted. He thought of Rabastan and Diellza and felt even more torn. He thought of Neville with Malfoy and felt even more nauseated because, whether it had turned out well or not, he had turned a friend into a slave.

 

Harry met Tom’s red eyes. His heart ached and his daughter fluttered inside him. Tom opened his mouth to speak and Harry knew that, whatever Tom said, it would only make things worse. It would only confuse him more. So as Tom curled his lips and tongue warily around Harry’s name, the Gryffindor raised his wand, turned on his heel, and Apparated.

Chapter Text

Harry appeared outside the gates to Hogwarts. He stared up at the castle, with lights twinkling in many of the windows, and pushed on the gates. Nothing happened and he groaned; it had never occurred to him that the gates would be locked. Remembering what Tonks had done at the start of his 6th year, Harry pulled out his wand and aimed it towards the castle

 

“Expecto Patronum.” Harry murmured the spell, wondering briefly if he had a happy memory strong enough to overcome all of the emotions whipping around inside him just then.

 

It was the life fluttering inside him that gave his stag the push it needed to burst forth from his wand. It galloped off across the grounds, gleaming silver in the dark, and Harry sighed. He huddled inside his school robes, wishing he’d thought to grab a cloak before he’d Apparated away from the Manor. Not that he would have had time or the ability to do so, but he wished it anyway. With the cold biting through his clothing, it seemed like forever before Minerva came into view. Her eyes were wide behind her square-framed glasses as she took in his form, huddled against the cold just outside the gates. She waved her wand and the gates opened and then she was gathering Harry to her and hugging him tightly.

 

“My goodness, Harry, we never thought to see you again!” She set him back from her and took in the tears on his face and how miserable he looked. Her heart ached for the boy, who looked absolutely heartbroken and devastated, as she asked quietly. “What’s happened?”

 

“He wished me human.” Harry whispered, his voice breaking as he struggled to keep down all of the emotions bubbling just below the surface. “He...oh god, I...I can’t. I just can’t do this right now. Professor, I’m sorry. Please...can we just go inside?”

 

“Of course.” Minerva swiftly locked the gates again and ushered Harry across the grounds and into the warmth and light of Hogwarts.

 

Albus, Poppy, and Severus were waiting in the entrance hall. Harry felt tears burn his eyes as Poppy immediately rushed over to him and began fussing. “Come on now, Harry, let me get a good look at you and run a few tests to assess the damage.”

 

Harry shook his head, shifting uncomfortably away from the Mediwitch. He wasn’t sure why, but he felt uneasy all of a sudden, with all of their eyes locked on him. “There’s no damage, Madam Pomfrey.” He told her in a flat voice, pushing down the nerves.

 

Poppy glanced at Albus – seeming to convey a world of meaning with a single, intense look – then cleared her throat. “Harry, just because you don’t think you’re injured enough to warrant a little looksee, that doesn’t mean...”

 

“He didn’t do anything to cause any damage.” Harry clarified softly, cutting her off before she could really pick up any steam. He was staring at the floor rather than looking at anyone. “No one did. I wasn’t cursed or attacked or totured, I swear. I’m fine. And human; completely. He wished me that way.”

 

Albus cleared his throat pointedly. “Well now, Harry, that’s a relief to hear. And I’d like to hear the whole tale soon, of course. Perhaps in the morning, if you’re really up for it. For now, I think it’s best if you spend the night in the infirmary. Just to ease Poppy’s mind, and my own.” When Harry nodded numbly, past caring, Albus added gently. “We’ll try to figure out tomorrow if Voldemort will be coming after you and how to proceed from here.”

 

Harry’s throat tightened painfully, tears prickling the backs of his eyes as they gathered there. His daughter shifted within him once more. In a strangled voice, Harry managed to croak out. “He’ll come for me. For us.”

 

Then, to show them what he meant, Harry tugged on his clothing. He pulled it taut against his body to reveal the growing swell of his stomach. He heard everyone gasp, but ignored it as he murmured. “Just a wish. A simple wish, really. A baby.” He stroked his hand lovingly over the curve of his belly, the tears beginning to fall.

 

“She’s...she’s his. And mine, obviously. But Tom...V-voldemort, I mean...” Harry stumbled over the name ‘Voldemort’ for the first time in his life; it just felt unnatural to call him anything but Tom. Harry cleared his throat awkwardly, but pushed on, staring down at his stomach as he stroked his hands over it. “He’s her father. And he’s going to want us back.” Harry looked up and met Albus’s eyes, tears still falling. “He’s not going to just let his daughter go.”

 

Poppy made a soft, distressed noise and placed a hand gently on Harry’s shoulder. “Well, you’re just going to rest tonight and tomorrow we’ll work on sorting everything out, Harry.” She shared a worried glance with Minerva, her heart aching for Harry. “Minerva, would you mind walking with Harry to the infirmary and getting him settled? I’d like to talk to Albus.”

 

“Of course.” And Minerva gently guided Harry – who seemed to be in a state of shock – towards the hospital wing.

 

Severus inclined his head to Albus and Poppy, then moved to follow Minerva and Harry to the hospital wing. Of course, Severus hadn’t been a spy for so long without learning to trust his instincts and something about the look on Albus Dumbledore’ s face during the whole conversation with Harry had made him uneasy. So he stopped just out of sight and listened as Poppy spoke to Albus.

 

“Albus, what are we going to do?” Poppy sounded as though she were torn between sadness and anger; her words were crisp, as always, but soft and uncertain as well. “Harry looked absolutely devastated! You don’t think...I mean, you don’t suppose he was...unwilling?” She sounded horrified by the mere possibility. “Tom was charming when we were in school, wasn’t he? And didn’t Miss Granger and Mr. Weasley say he was handsome again? So...so maybe...

 

Severus cringed at the question, mostly because he knew there wasn’t a good answer. Either Harry had been raped and impregnated against his will, or he had fallen under the charm of the Dark Lord. Neither option was pleasant to consider. In fact, both made his stomach twist uncomfortably. The very idea of Harry with Voldemort was, at best, disturbing. He honestly wasn’t sure which would be easier for the Gryffindor to get past – being raped by Voldemort or falling in love with him – so he wasn’t sure which scenario he should be hoping was the truth. Either way, it wouldn’t be good.

 

“I think it’s safe to assume he was unwilling, Poppy.” Albus sounded weary, but firm. “Harry has always been fairly naive and innocent, but he has a clearcut view of right and wrong. I cannot see him wanting Voldemort, regardless of him regaining his youthful attractiveness.”

 

Severus didn’t quite share the Headmaster’s faith in this; he, after all, had fallen for Tom’s charm and been lured into becoming a Death Eater by it and Severus had not been either naive or innocent. And that was after the man had lost his youthful good looks. The former-Death Eater knew Tom’s persuasive abilities were great. There was a very good chance Harry could have succummed to them. Apparently, Severus wasn’t the only one with doubts about Harry having been forced, because it took a few moments for Poppy to reply.

 

There was a pause, during which Poppy sniffled and apparently thought, then she asked. “So what do we do, Albus? Harry is already fond of the baby. And a decent ways along, from the looks of it.” She sounded uncertain now, something Severus had never heard before. “Farther then he should be, considering how short of a time he’s been gone for. Albus, I don’t know how to help him.”

 

“We help him by relieving him of this burden.” Dumbledore’s voice was gravely serious. Severus heard the words and felt his heart ice over; surely Albus couldn’t mean what he thought he meant?

 

Apparently, Poppy was unclear on the Headmaster’s meaning as well. “Albus, what...” The Mediwitch sounded out-of-breath and confused. “What are you saying? Surely you don’t mean...” She trailed off, as though even speaking the thought aloud was too terrible of a crime for her to commit.

 

“We cannot allow the thing to live.” Severus couldn’t remember a time when he’d heard Albus sound so firm and cold; it made him feel ill. “It is Voldemort’s heir; a monster in the making. It’s best to rid Harry of it tonight, while he sleeps. Then we can help him begin to heal.”

 

“Albus!” The shock and outrage in Poppy’s voice had Severus’s already-good opinion of the stern Mediwitch climbing several notches higher, even as his own stomach turned at the thought of what Albus was suggesting. “I will do no such thing! All life is precious!” He could practically hear as Poppy bristled with indignation. “Now, if Harry wishes to end things, I will of course send him to the proper persons to handle such a thing. But I won’t do something like that without permission, and certainly not while he sleeps! I cannot believe you would suggest such a thing.

 

The Headmaster’s voice was firm now and impatient. “Poppy, I am quite serious about this. The pregnancy must be terminated. We cannot allow Voldemort to get his hands on Harry again and so long as the child lives, he will not stop trying.” Poppy made a small, horrified sound and Albus continued. “We will tell Harry that the act of losing his Genie Magic robbed him of the child as well; he will blame Voldemort for the loss of the baby. It will give him a reason to fight again, Poppy. It will help him grow strong again, just as we will help him to grow strong.”

 

Severus closed his eyes; the idea that Albus would sacrifice an innocent, unborn child – as though it were a pawn in a game of chess – in order to further the ‘war effort’ was disheartening. He had thought, when he’d chosen this side – the Light side – that this sort of madness was in the past. Apparently, he’d been wrong. Poppy was just as upset and disturbed as he was, which was some small relief. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to be having any luck dissuading the Headmaster from his twisted way of thinking.

 

“Albus, you cannot mean this!” Poppy sounded close to tears. “It’s a child, Albus. A sweet, innocent, little girl. How can you mean to harm Harry’s child? A baby he so clearly already loves?”

 

“Harry has been deluded into believing he loves the child growing inside him.” Albus dismissed her words as though they were insignificant; such petty concerns were far beneath a mastermind of war like Albus Dumbledore. “What Harry feels is guilt, over the fact that a monster like Voldemort planted a child inside him. He is too noble to admit to hating and fearing the child, of course. He would do his best to raise the thing. But that’s too much to ask of a boy his age.” Dumbledore’s voice gentled. “Poppy, you will be doing this to help him. To relieve him of a burden he should never have been forced to bear. To protect him from having to face what he is nurturing inside his body; a monster.”

 

Severus was so furious that it took all of his considerable control not to storm back into the entrance hall and hex Albus on the spot. People weren’t born evil, after all; life and choices made them that way. The baby was as innocent as any other child.

 

Poppy spoke again and her voice was low, but intense and firm. “I will not do it. If you’re so eager to end the child’s life, Headmaster, then do it yourself. I refuse to be a part of such a thing. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a patient to attend to.”

 

Severus swiftly moved away from where he was hidden when he heard the brisk, clipped footsteps of the Mediwitch moving towards him. He headed quickly for the hospital wing, using a few shortcuts to get there even faster. When he arrived, Minerva was standing outside the doors looking shaken. Severus rushed to her side, worry clawing at his insides. “What is it? Is he alright?”

 

Minerva swallowed hard and nodded, but her face was tight; her mouth was pinched and her eyes were uncertain and full of concern. “He seems healthy enough, Severus. Shocked, upset, a little confused and lost – all of which is expected – but not injured or unwell. But he said...” She trailed off, then locked her eyes on Snape’s. She looked completely stunned as well as vaguely ill. “My goodness, Severus, Harry actually said he loves the Dark Lord.”

 

Severus winced inwardly, because he’d been afraid of that, but outwardly showed no reaction. In a level voice, he said. “Can you honestly say you’re surprised? You remember him from your younger days, I’m sure. Charming, handsome, incredibly charismatic...and Potter has always been quite naive. It’s no wonder he fell for it.”

 

“I suppose.” Minerva shook her head sadly, her eyes bleak. “But I would have spared him the pain of loving someone so utterly incapable of loving him in return. He doesn’t deserve to be hurt like this. And with child, on top of it all...the poor boy.”

 

Poppy bustled up just then, looking frazzled and irritated, and asked briskly. “Is he all settled in then?”

 

Minerva nodded and Severus cleared his throat, saying levely. “I’d like to sit with him through the night, Poppy. He is my godson, after all, even if I’ve never claimed the title.” He locked eyes with Poppy and said coldly. “I intend to ensure he is undisturbed through the night.”

 

Poppy immediately understood that Severus had eavesdropped and nodded, looking as relieved as she felt. She would never have let the Headmaster harm Harry – or his unborn daughter – but she also had no great desire to go toe-to-toe with Albus over anything. Now, she wouldn’t have to; Severus would handle it all. “I think that’s a lovely idea, Severus.” She gave him a small, grateful smile. “Come, then; let’s go check on Harry. Goodnight, Minerva.”

 

“Oh, yes. Goodnight, Poppy; Severus.” As she watched them disappear into the hospital wing, Minerva couldn’t help feeling like she’d missed something; something major. She just didn’t know what.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Harry finished changing into the hospital-issue pajamas, with their blue and white stripes, and sat on the neatly-made bed. The cold, hard, ball of ice inside him was starting to thaw and he was beginning to feel panicked. Why had he left Tom? He loved Tom. He had loved Tom for months and none of this changed that fact. He’d told Minerva as much, hadn’t he? And it was absolutely true. He loved Tom, even now, and he loved the daughter they’d made together. Harry stroked a hand over his belly as he leaned back against the pillows, wondering how long it would take Tom to come for them. Tom would come for them. And he would go; of course he would go. He was of age and no one could stop him. And he wasn’t going to let anyone get hurt just because he’d decided to run away instead of handling things like an adult.

 

“Stupid.” Harry muttered to himself around a yawn. “Shouldn’t have left...” He patted his stomach soothingly and talked to his daughter. “Don’t worry, princess. Daddy will come and get us soon. We’ll be home before you know it.”

 

Severus had approached the bed while Harry was murmuring to the baby. He cleared his throat, startling Harry who hadn’t heard him approach. He gasped and snapped his head up, then flushed. “Oh. Hi. I, er...I’m sorry. About...well...you know.”

                                                                                                                                       

“About telling the Dark Lord I was a spy?” Severus asked dryly. Harry flushed darker and Severus waved his hand dismissively as he sat in a chair next to Harry’s bed. “It’s fine, Potter. Genies are not known for their self-control.”

 

“Ah...yeah.” Harry bit his lip, peeking up at Severus Snape from under his eyelashes. “I made him promise not to kill you, you know. I didn’t want you dead. I just...I just didn’t want you near me.” Harry sighed and added. “I don’t suppose you’re too pleased with me, though.”

 

“How generous of you.” Severus added an eyeroll to the dry tone this time. “And no, I’m not altogether thrilled with your actions of late, but that’s besides the point. Potter, Minerva tells me you believe yourself in love with the Dark Lord.”

 

“I am in love with Tom!” Harry snapped, angry heat rising quickly inside him. He hated when people talked to him like he was too young or too stupid to know his own mind; his own heart. “And he loves me and our daughter. And when he comes to get us, everything is going to be just fine. I was just upset. I shouldn’t have left him.” Harry glared at Snape and added waspishly. “And for Merlin’s sake, could you call me Harry? I hate how you spit out my last name like it tastes bad.”

 

“Fine, Harry.” Severus stressed Harry’s first name, then continued. “ You say you love him and that you should have stayed, but the point is that you did leave.” Snape pointed this out coldly. “I have to wonder why you’re suddenly so eager to go back. What made you change your mind? Are you certain you’re not under some potion or spell?”

 

Harry made a small sound in the back of his throat, still glaring. “Of course I’m sure! I know that Tom loves me and that I love him. Everyone knows that. Everyone can see that. Ask Malfoy if you don’t believe me! Or Neville or Ron or Hermione! Or ask Char...” Harry stopped speaking, eyes wide and mouth still poised to finish the redhead’s name. “Oh crap, Charlie! I left Charlie there!”

 

The Gryffindor shook his head as though to clear it, taking a deep breath to steady himself. “It’s okay, though. Dia won’t let any harm come to him and I’ll be going home soon.” He shot Snape a suspicious and annoyed look. “I can’t believe none of you asked me about Charlie!”

 

“Albus was a bit preoccupied.” Severus said, his voice low and silky. His dark eyes were hard, glittering with rage as he thought of everything he’d overheard just a short time ago. “Harry, Albus believes your pregnancy must be terminated. He is adamant about that fact.”

 

“What?” Harry demanded sharply. “That’s ridiculous! What is with people trying to kill my daughter? She isn’t a danger to me, at all. I’m handling the pregnancy just perfectly; the Healer said so! And I swear that the next person who says I should destroy my child is getting Cruciated!”

 

Severus nodded; he’d expected that reaction. Harry wasn’t the sort to give up or get rid of a child. Add in the fact that he loved Voldemort and believed the Dark Lord loved him back and it was no surprise he’d want the baby. He had not expected Harry to misunderstand why Albus wanted the baby dead, though, and he wasn’t looking forward to having to explain it. Harry was known for overreacting. Still, it had to be done.

 

Severus sighed and said. “I’m sorry, Harry, but I don’t believe Albus intends to give you a choice in the matter. He wants the child gone. That’s why I’m here; to protect you.”

 

“From Dumbledore?” Harry was floored; he couldn’t seem to wrap his mind around the idea. “You’re here to protect me from Dumbledore? He...no, he wouldn’t! I told you, the baby isn’t a danger to me. Madam Pomfrey will tell him the same thing the Healer told Tom. I’m completely safe.”

 

“And your safety is not why Albus intends to kill the child.” Severus told him. That velvety voice was a low purr, but hard as well. He needed Harry to understand. “The Headmaster has no intention of allowing a child of the Dark Lord to be born into the world, regardless of whose body it grows in.”

 

“No!” Harry felt bile rising in his throat, hot and sweet and burning. His head was spinning. “No, you’re wrong! Dumbledore wouldn’t...he would never...she’s mine! He wouldn’t hurt my baby. He wouldn’t. You...you must have misunderstood, or...or...”

 

“I assure you, I know what I heard him say.” Snape’s voice was cold as he cut Harry off, though it was the the Headmaster he was upset with, not Harry. “Ask Poppy, if you doubt me. He was ordering her to kill the baby while you sleep tonight. She refused, but I wouldn’t put it past the old man to sneak in here tonight and do it himself.”

 

Harry opened his mouth to say something else, but was cut off when Draco and Neville burst into the hospital wing. “Potter, what were you thinking?” Draco snapped as he ran, hurrying to the side of Harry’s bed with Neville hot on his heels. “I just had a house elf from the Manor come and announce your disappearance. And, of course, I figured if you were back that you’d be here. Salazar knows you spend more time in the hospital wing than anywhere else. But really, Potter! Running away? The Dark Lord is beside himself, according to Father’s message.”

 

Tears prickled at the backs of Harry’s eyes; too much was happening too fast and it was overwhelming him. “I’m so sorry...” He whispered it, sounding miserable; part of his mind was on the thought of Tom, frantic with worry for him and their child and the rest was stuck on the idea of Albus trying to kill the baby. He locked eyes with Draco and whispered. “I never meant to upset him. I just...I just panicked and ran without thinking.”

 

Neville picked up Harry’s hand and squeezed it, then said softly. “Are you going to go back? I know how much you love him. We all do.” He gave Harry a small smile; one that told Harry that, whatever he chose, Neville would be there for him. Then the teen added. “And Mr. Malfoy did say Tom is upset. Apparently he Cruciated Bellatrix and then tossed her out of the Manor because she dared to voice the opinion that Tom was better off with you and the baby gone.”

 

“Oh that psychotic bitch! I just bet she did. Harry snarled, going from upset to angry in the span of a heartbeat at the thought of Bellatrix Lestrange attempting to get close to Tom. Anyone with eyes could see she was in love with Tom and Harry would kill her with his bare hands before he let her touch what was his. “When I get home, I’ll kill her myself, I swear!”

 

“Mood swings much?” Draco drawled, quirking an eyebrow. A small smile played at his lips, though, and Harry couldn’t help smiling back. “You’re going to go back then, I take it?” Harry nodded and Draco nodded back sharply. “Good. I’d have hated to have to kidnap you.”

 

Harry couldn’t help the laughter that bubbled up and escaped; even with all the worry, the thought of Draco Malfoy kidnapping him was hilarious. “I doubt you could manage to kidnap me unless I was willing, Malfoy. And yes, I intend to go home.” He pressed a hand against his belly and fear crept into his voice, making it tremble. “Snape was just saying that the Headmaster is going to try to kill the baby. Just because it’s Tom’s.”

 

“What?” Neville’s mouth fell open in shock; he couldn’t accept it any easier than Harry had. “Why the hell would he want to do that? It’s an innocent baby! Who cares who fathered it?”

 

Snape sighed, looking much-put-upon as he shared a resigned look with Draco. “You Gryffindors are all so damned naive, I swear. The Headmaster doesn’t want to risk the threat the child poses. So long as we have his daughter, the Dark Lord will continue to come after Harry. And as long as Harry has the baby, there’s a greater chance he’ll return to the Dark Lord’s side. Albus will do whatever it takes to keep Harry firmly on the Light side.”

 

“And how does he think killing Harry’s baby is going to win him Harry’s loyalty?” Neville demanded, looking livid. “That’s just stupid! And besides that, Tom would come after Harry regardless! And he’d be furious if someone hurt his child or Harry. So all he’d be doing is pissing off both Harry and Tom, which doesn’t seem like a smart move.”

 

Draco muttered ‘Senile old codger.’ under his breath and Severus ignored the Slytherin in favor of giving everyone present an explanation. “He intends to tell Harry that when the Dark Lord stripped him of his Genie Magic it caused a miscarriage.” Severus no longer looked angry; just weary. He was so tired of this war; so tired of the fighting and death and insanity. “The goal, of course, is to make Harry blame the Dark Lord for the loss of the baby.”

 

Draco nodded thoughtfully. “Clever, actually, though I stand by my belief that the old man is completely barmy. But if Potter’s busy hating the Dark Lord, then he’ll be that much easier to control.”

 

Harry made an aggrieved noise. “Well, I’ve got no intention of letting him hurt her.” Harry stubbornly raised his chin, green eyes gleaming. “And clearly I need to get out of here, because I don’t know how long I’ll be able to protect myself. And I can’t have a guard at all times; it’s just not practical.” He ignored Draco and Neville’s snickers; they were no-doubt thinking of Rabastan. “But if he’s intent on killing her, I don’t think he’s just going to let me walk out. We’ll need help.”

 

“We can always ask some of the other DA members to help us.” Neville suggested thoughtfully. “Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Luna, at the very least...” He grinned and added. “I bet we could get the whole DA to agree to help, if we didn’t give them specifics on what, precisely, they were helping with.” Harry laughed along with Neville because it was true; the DA would help Harry unquestioningly. “We just need a plan so we know how many people we’ll need.”

 

“Blaise can help as well.” Draco said, giving Harry a small, tight smile. Though they weren’t friends, by any means, they had been getting along well-enough since Draco got together with Neville. When you added in the fact that he was a second-generation Death Eater, Harry knew Draco would do whatever it took to bring him back to Tom. “He’s great at formulating plans. One of the best. I was in the process of recruiting him anyway, since his family is traditionally neutral. Neville and I will go and get him and the others and we’ll go from there.”

 

Draco then seemed to consider something for a moment, hesitating briefly before he tugged the ruby medallion out of his pocket and held it out to Neville. “We can get everyone faster if we split up, luv. And since I fully intend to book it with Potter rather then staying here to face the Headmaster’s wrath – and I’d imagine you do as well – I’m sure we can share a room anyway.”

 

Neville nodded as he took the medallion, kissed Draco’s lips lightly, then turned to Harry. “I’ll go and get the Gryffindors while Draco grabs Blaise and Luna. Then we’ll get you out of here.” He grinned cheekily, gave Harry’s stomach a pat, and added. “I heard Tom’s threats, after all. We’re going to get you home, safe and sound. Promise.”

 

As Draco and Neville sped out of the hospital wing, tears filled Harry’s eyes. He looked down at his hands and choked out. “I can’t believe they’re helping me. I mean, Malfoy, sure...but the others? They’re going to help me when they should be begging me to stay here.”

 

“Your friends wish to see you happy.” Severus studied Harry’s face for several moments, then he queried softly. “You are certain the Dark Lord loves you? Really certain?”

 

“Yes.” Harry glanced up and gave Snape a watery smile. “He loves me very much. I’m positive of it.” Harry looked down at his hands again and said. “I want you to know that...that I forgive you. For not taking me when I was a baby, I mean. And I swear, if you come with us, I’ll make sure you’re safe. Tom won’t hurt you if I ask him not to. I don’t...” Harry’s voice cut out on a sob, then he got himself under control and continued. “I don’t want you hurt, especially after you’ve helped me.”

 

“Thank you.” Severus reached out and patted Harry’s hand briefly. “I believe I will come with you, Harry. I have no doubt that Albus will realize I was involved when you go missing, especially since I am currently guarding you from him. I would rather not be here when he figures it out.”

 

“You’re taking me with you as well.” Poppy’s voice startled both of them; neither of them had heard her approach. She gave them both a stern look. “I mean it. Harry needs proper medical care and I mean to see that he gets it. So I’ll be tagging along. Albus will just have to find a new Mediwitch.”

 

Harry grinned at her; she was a stubborn witch, that was for sure. “That’s very kind of you, Madam Pomfrey, but I have a Healer.” Seeing how skeptical she looked, Harry added. “No, I really do. He’s an old school friend of Tom’s; Mitchell Jameson.”

 

Poppy pursed her lips, nodding thoughtfully. “Healer Jameson is very skilled.” She grudgingly admitted this fact, then added quickly. “But I still intend to ensure your health and well-being personally. You’ve been my patient for over six years, Harry, and that’s not about to change just yet. I won’t let you leave without me, so it’s better to just not argue.”

 

Harry smiled wider, chuckling. “Alright then. Looks like I’ll need to get some rooms set up for everyone once we get there. Tom’s going to have a houseful, that’s for sure.”

 

Poppy just smiled back. “I’m going to go pack some supplies. Severus, please come and let me know what the plan is once it’s worked out.” Severus and Harry both just nodded. Both men knew Poppy well enough to know she was right, it was better not to argue.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

When Albus stepped around the curtain surrounding Harry’s bed at a little after 1AM, he was startled to see Severus reading a book. “Hello, Albus.” That warm, velvety purr was at odds with the cold, hard look in his eyes.

 

“Severus.” Albus seemed genuinely startled and at least a little annoyed; his Potion’s Master was known for being protective of Harry. “What are you doing here, my boy?”

 

“I found myself quite unable to sleep, for fear of my godson coming to some harm.” Severus purred, sliding a scrap of parchment into his book to mark his page and setting the heavy tome on his lap. He folded his hands on top of it and smiled coldly. “So I decided to come and watch over him. Tell me, Albus, what brings you to Harry’s bedside at such an hour?”

 

Dumbledore’s lips pressed into a stern line and his voice was firm and admonishing. “I have a special fondness for Harry, Severus. You know that. I was simply checking in on him.”

 

Severus quirked an eyebrow at that statement. ‘A special fondness...for using him, perhaps. Not tonight, old man. And never again.’ His thoughts put a sneer on his lips. “Well, as you can see, Harry is sleeping soundly. And he has me to watch over him.”

 

“Yes, I can see that.” Albus inclined his head politely in acknowledgement of that fact and Severus wondered how hard it must have been for the old man to keep the irritation out of his voice. “Well, I’ll just be going then.” He turned to leave, then paused and said over his shoulder. “I do hope you’ll be getting some sleep tomorrow night, Severus. It wouldn’t do to have our Potion’s Master falling alseep during classes on Monday.”

 

And to allay suspicion – something Severus had become quite adept at over the years and which he knew the value of – Severus drawled smoothly. “Well, Albus, perhaps you would be so kind as to sit with him tomorrow night. To help ease my troubled mind.”

 

And the happy smile that graced the Headmaster’s face sent a shudder of fear and disgust through Severus. A gleeful light brightened the old man’s twinkling blue eyes as he spoke. “Of course, Severus. I would be perfectly happy to watch over Harry tomorrow night so that you can get some sleep. How perfect that you thought of such a solution.” Then he turned and left.

 

Severus watched him leave through narrowed eyes, then struggled to return to his book. He was doing his best to put the Headmaster’s words out of his mind. They were irrelevant because Harry wouldn’t be there tomorrow night. He – and the baby – would be safely tucked away at Riddle Manor with the Dark Lord. A strange thought to find comforting, but it was. Voldemort was not the sort to allow harm to come to something or someone he considered his. And, as disturbing as it was, Harry was most definitely his. So he would be safe. Severus sighed and rubbed his eyes for a moment; it bothered him some, but the fact of the matter was, Severus would set Harry up with the devil himself if it would keep the boy safe. Shaking his head, Severus forced his attention back to the words on the page. Worries would get him nowhere; it was time to act.

 

Several hours later, as it crept up on five in the morning, he touched Harry’s shoulder, gently shaking the boy. Harry blinked sleepily, then sat up fast as memories rushed back and he remembered what was happening and what would come next. “Is it time then?”

 

Severus just nodded.

Chapter Text

Luna and Ginny had been placed in charge of creating a distraction. Ron, Hermione, Harry, Severus, Poppy, Draco, Neville, and Blaise would be leaving Hogwarts together, since it would likely be unsafe for those who helped him escape to stay behind. Ginny and Luna had been told to send word to Harry with Dobby if there was any sign that they were going to be held accountable for Harry’s escape. No one wanted the two young girls to shoulder the blame. Especially not since Albus was acting so unpredictable in terms of what was acceptable during war.

 

The plan was for them to slip through the statue of the one-eyed witch and follow the tunnel into Honeydukes basement. From there, their group would Apparate to Riddle Manor. Harry had been given Hermione’s ‘master’ DA coin – and Neville had given his coin to Draco and Blaise – so he could alert everyone when it was time to meet up. Though they could have simply chosen a time, Blaise had decided it was safer if only Severus knew precisely what time everything would be happening at. That way, none of them could accidentally say something. And they couldn’t be compelled to say something, should it come to that.

 

Hermione, Neville, and Ron slipped into the hospital wing about fifteen minutes after Harry sent the signal, hidden under the Cloak and bearing the Marauder’s Map. “Ginny and Luna are nearly to the Astronomy Tower.” Hermione whispered.

 

Poppy bustled over and handed a satchel to each of them. “Supplies. I refuse to do without proper medical supplies and, since we don’t know what Tom has, we’re bringing our own.” Having gone to school at the same time as him (though not precisely in the same year), Poppy had slipped easily into the habit of refering to Voldemort as ‘Tom’ instead.

 

Neville, Ron, and Hermione just nodded; it was always better not to argue with Madam Pomfrey. Draco and Blaise slipped into the room moments later and were immediately handed bags of supplies by the Mediwitch. Draco rolled his eyes, but accepted it. “Honestly.” He drawled, exasperated. “It’s not as though we’re heading into the wild! I’m certain the Dark Lord can acquire medical supplies with ease.”

 

Poppy simply looked down her nose at him. “And if that turns out to not be the case, Mr. Malfoy? Better safe then sorry, I always say.”

 

Neville chuckled, taking the bag of supplies from Draco and shouldering it along with his own. “It’s best just to smile and nod when Madam Pomfrey tells you to do something.” He advised his lover, giving the blonde a quick kiss. “Now come on; we’ve got to get ready to move.”

 

Blaise was pouring over the map with Hermione, muttering under his breath. After a few minutes, he looked up and spoke. “Okay, they’re on the Astronomy Tower now, so we need to start moving. Potter, get under that cloak of yours. I want you hidden at all times.” Blaise shot Harry a cool look with those long, tawny eyes of his, and added. “It doesn’t matter if the rest of us get caught. The goal is to get you out. So no heroics. If something happens, you dash. You can always send a contingent of Death Eaters to fetch the rest of us later.”

 

Harry nodded despite the dread sitting heavily in his stomach at the thought of leaving any of them behind; Blaise was right about him being able to send a rescue party if he could just get back to Tom. He whipped the cloak around himself, disappearing from sight. “Okay. I’m ready when you lot are.” Harry whispered and Blaise turned back to study the map again.

 

“Alright, we’re going to head down this hallway here...” Blaise shifted his finger over the parchment. “And then we’re going to take this hidden staircase. It’ll put us out here.” Blaise tapped a corridor. “Which is perfect because then we can slip through this passageway and come out just a few feet from the statue. It’s also not enroute to the Astronomy Tower, so we shouldn’t run into anyone heading towards the commotion.”

 

Everyone nodded and Blaise scanned the area around the infirmary doors. “Okay, we’re all clear. The only one nearby is the Bloody Baron and he’s not going to rat on us. Especially not since we have Professor Snape with us.”

 

Hermione and Ron slipped out of the infirmary first, followed swiftly by Poppy and Neville. Harry was hot on their heels, with Draco, Blaise, and Severus bringing up the rear. Blaise still had the map out and was keeping one eye glued to their little grouping of dots, scanning around them for potential dangers. Just as they reached the bottom of the stairs, there was a terrible sound. It was like stone being blown to pieces by dynamite and it shook the walls of the castle. Everyone listened carefully and held their breath. If this was anything other then the distraction they’d planned, they’d need to alter their course accordingly. Everyone watched Blaise as he moved his eyes rapidly over the map, analyzing the response.

 

After a few moments, Blaise looked up and grinned widely. “Looks like the girls did just what they were supposed to do. The Headmaster and Headmistress have both just taken off towards the Astronomy Tower, as did quite a few other staff members. And I should note, just because it’s interesting, that the Tower appears to be smoking on the Map.” Blaise glanced back down and added lazily. “And no worries; our girls have high-tailed it out of there and are safely on their way back to their dorms. They’ve both got clear paths, too, if they stay on course. So they shouldn’t be caught out-and-about.”

 

There was a collective sigh of relief from the group, then they all proceeded up the stairs. Though Luna and Ginny had wanted to come with them – and though Harry was worried they might be blamed – they’d decided it was safer not the bring them. Firstly because they’d needed the distraction. And secondly, the girls weren’t of age yet, which meant they could be accused of kidnapping. So, instead of coming with Harry and the others, Ginny and Luna had taken some of Fred and George’s specialty fireworks and – with the aid of Hermione, Blaise, and Severus – altered them to be more than decorative. Then they had literally blown up a portion of the Astronomy Tower’s turret wall. It seemed, from what the Marauder’s Map was showing, that they’d also managed to set the roof on fire, though that hadn’t been a part of the original plan. Still, as far as distractions went it was shaping up to be a fantastic one. And both Luna and Ginny were good at improvisation, so they’d likely just taken the opportunity when they saw it. Harry thought it was pretty unlikely the roof had caught fire by accident, after all.

 

They reached the statue without incident and Hermione quickly opened the witch’s hump. “Harry, you go first. I want you out of here, now. Don’t stop until you reach Honeydukes. We’ll be along as quick as possible, but if you’re there for more than twenty minutes and we’re not there, Apparate. Get to Tom and send a rescue team for us. Remember, our main goal is getting you and the baby home to Tom safely.” She insisted; her worry was clearly written across her face. She felt a quick squeeze to her arm and knew Harry had gone. “Okay, Professor Snape, you’re next. Make sure if we’re not along in twenty minutes that Harry goes.”

 

Severus nodded and disappeared into the statue. Blaise cleared his throat, his eyes locked on the map, which was still in his hands. “We’ve got a problem. Filch is heading this way; fast. Draco, Neville, get in there. Now.” Without hesitation, the two of them fled – one after the other – into the passage.

 

“Alright, Hermione, in you get. We’ll be along momentarily.” Blaise made a shooing motion and, though she looked like she wanted to protest, Hermione did as she was told. Blaise had proven to have a head for strategy and planning; she trusted him to handle this.

 

Blaise quickly shut the witch’s hump and muttered. “Play along, both of you.” Ron and Poppy nodded and Blaise quickly punched Ron, though not hard. Understanding quickly, Ron fought back.

 

Just as Filch rounded the corner, Poppy snapped. “Both of you, that is enough!” The boys broke apart, panting, and Poppy began to scold them. “Such behavior, and you, Ronald, being a Prefect! And right in front of me, as well! It’s a downright shame, is what it is! Now come along. I’ll patch you both right up and we’ll see about punishment.”

 

Turning, Poppy managed to look startled at the sight of Filch; she jumped a little and gasped loudly, pressing a hand to her heart. “Argus, you startled me! You’re as quiet as your cat, I swear.”

 

“Need me to take these two troublemakers?” Filch wheezed, his beady eyes gleaming. “They might be responsible for the commotion going on.”

 

“Nonsense.” Poppy declared bruskly. “Ronald was doing Prefect rounds before breakfast and Mr. Zabini was helping me. I need some books from the library and he offered to carry them for me. That they would fight right in front of me just goes to show how far this inter-House rivalry has gone!” She shook her head, giving the boys a stern look. “Now they’ll just have to spend their morning helping me rearrange my supply cabinet as punishment. Now, run along, Argus. I’m certain that commotion you mentioned will require some sort of cleaning up.”

 

And though he grumbled a bit, Argus stomped off. Poppy blew out a breath and turned back to the boys. “I suggest we catch up with the others quickly, before he tells someone where he saw us.”

 

Ron opened the passage up and waved Poppy down first. She disappeared into the hole and Ron followed, leaving Blaise to climb down last and shut the passage behind himself. Wands lit, they hurried down the tunnel as fast as they could, determined to catch up with the others. About halfway to Hogsmeade, Blaise cursed. “Filch just hit the Astronomy Tower and now the Headmaster is heading this way. We need to dash, now.”

 

Poppy nodded. “Well then, let’s start running, boys.” And grasping her robes around her knees, she hiked them up about six inches and broke into a brisk jog.

 

Ron and Blaise kept pace with her easily and it wasn’t long before they were climbing into the dusty cellar at Honeydukes. The others gaved relieved little cries. “Oh thank god!” Hermione hugged Ron tightly. “I was so afraid you’d been caught!”

 

“No, but we’re about to be.” Blaise pointed out, glaring at the map. The irritation on his face and snapping in his voice would have been funny under other, less-dire experiences. Blaise hated when someone tried to foil his plans and the fact that it was the Headmaster himself did nothing to lesson his annoyance.

 

Blaise blew out an irritated little breath and tapped the map, explaining. “Our esteemed Headmaster just entered the far end of the tunnel. We need to go, quickly.”

 

Severus grabbed both Ron and Hermione. “I’ve got these two.” He drawled, quirking an eyebrow at the others. “Draco, if you would grab Poppy, then Neville can take Blaise. Harry, we’ll meet you in the throne room.”

 

Harry nodded and the others grabbed those they’d be doing Side-Alongs for. And, with deep breaths, quick turns, and a series of pops, they were all gone in a matter of blinks. And when Albus emerged from the tunnel mere minutes later, it was to find nothing more than a few footprints, some swiftly-settling dust, and a single piece of parchment, resting in the middle of the floor. Scrawled across the parchment, in Severus Snape’s handwriting, was a simple message.

 

‘I failed to keep Harry safe from you and your schemes when he was a child. This time, I’ve protected him. ~ S.S.’

 

And Albus Dumbledore trembled.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Harry Apparated into the throne room and gasped in surprise, lurching back. There were Death Eaters everywhere. A quick glance around confirmed what Harry had suspsected. Tom had gathered all of his followers together with the intention of launching a full scale attack to get Harry back. And while he knew, logically, that he likely had some time – attacks took time to set up, after all, and he hadn’t even been gone for a full day yet – Harry felt a sense of urgency to stop this before it went any further. Because Tom was an impatient man, and an efficient one as well. Which meant that at any moment the loud, teeming mass of robed-and-hooded followers surrounding him could head out to attack the school.

 

Harry quickly whipped around, searching for his friends, knowing they’d be popping in any second if they hadn’t already. He wasn’t too worried about them being attacked, since his own appearance didn’t appear to have drawn any attention, but it might be easier to diffuse the situation if they were all togther. When he didn’t see them right saw, Harry quickly decided on a different course of action. He immediately began to push his way through the crowd, searching for Tom.

 

He shoved his way towards the throne, knowing that was his best bet. And, sure enough, there was Tom, seated on his throne. His red eyes were narrowed dangerously as he barked out orders to a few of the gathered Death Eaters. And there, beside him, was Diellza, looking anxious. Knowing her hearing was far better then Tom’s, Harry cried out. “Dia! I’m here!”

 

And though the teeming mass of followers, all of whom were talking and rushing around, mostly drowned him out, Dia’s head came up instantly. She began to scan the group, looking hopeful, and after a few seconds she caught Harry’s eye. She smiled, immensely relieved, and touched Tom’s arm, leaning down to whisper into his ear. His head snapped up and she pointed, still smiling. Tom jumped up and whirled to face Harry. Then he simply stared.

 

Harry bit his lip, looking at Tom from about twenty feet away. He felt his throat thicken with tears at the fear and uncertainty on his lover’s face. Knowing that Tom was waiting for some sign from him, Harry mouthed. “I’m sorry.”

 

Instantly, Tom smiled and his whole face softened and relaxed. He turned to face the Death Eaters and raised his hands. “SILENCE!” He roared and the entire group froze, many going so far as to holding their breaths. “It would seem my errant lover has returned.” Tom’s voice was a soft, pleased purr. “Harry, love, if you would come here, please?”

 

Tom held out his hand and Harry rushed forward. Ignoring the offered hand, he threw his arms around Tom’s neck and burrowed into his chest. “I’m so sorry!” He cried out, tears burning his eyes now as well as making his voice come out low and choked. “I just panicked, Tom, and I’m so sorry! I swear I won’t leave again. Please don’t be angry with me. Please.”

 

Tom’s arms came up around Harry’s waist and he hugged the boy tightly. “Of course I’m not angry with you, Harry. I was worried. Are you and the baby alright?”

 

Harry pulled back, sighing softly. He patted his stomach, smiling tearfully up at the older man. “She’s just fine, Tom. Though the Headmaster tried to kill her.” Harry’s expression darkened even as cold, deadly fury splashed itself across Tom’s face. “I had to get a little help in order to leave again, so I’ve got some guests. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but I didn’t feel right leaving them behind, considering.”

 

“Well, let them come forward then.” Dia’s warm voice had Harry turning in Tom’s arms to look at her. “I wish to personally thank them for helping to bring you back to us, as I am certain Tom does. And they will, of course, be welcome here.”

 

Severus was the first to reach them, with Ron and Hermione following behind. Tom’s lip curled and he spoke in a silken purr. “Severus, my little traitor.” Harry touched his arm very lightly and Tom sighed, irritated. “Apparently I must forgive your previous crimes, since you brought Harry and our child back to me. But I will be watching you, quite closely.”

 

Severus simply inclined his head and Tom smiled genuinely at Harry’s friends. “Mr. Weasley; Miss Granger. It’s a pleasure to have you back in my home, regardless of the circumstances. And my sincerest thanks for your help.”

 

“Ron! Mum is going to murder you!” Charlie pushed forward, emerging from the crowd and grabbing his brother in a fierce hug. “And then, of course, she’ll thank you for helping save Harry’s baby, but still. You’ll be dead first.”

 

“Yeah, well, I figured it was worth the risk.” Ron shoved Charlie off him, chuckling and flushing darkly in embarrassed pleasure. “And I ought to get points for making sure Ginny stayed at school, if nothing else, right? Cause she wanted to come, you know.”

 

“Fat lot of good it’ll do you.” Charlie laughed, rolling his eyes. “Mum’s going to skin you alive anyway. But I’m glad you got Harry back here safely, anyway.”

 

Just then, Draco and Poppy made it to the front of the room. “Sorry,” Draco gasped, red-faced and out of breath. “I expected the crowed and popped us in at the back of the room.” He bowed low to Tom. “My lord, I live to serve you, as always. This is Madam Poppy Pomfrey. She’s the school’s Mediwitch and insisted on coming along to see to Harry.”

 

“So I see, Draco.” Tom smiled at Poppy. “Welcome, Poppy. I believe we were in school together, though you were a few years above me.” Then he frowned, turning back to Draco. “Where is your little slave? I do hope all is well with him.”

 

“Right here!” Neville called out cheerfully from the other side of the room. Blaise was following him as they moved closer, weaving through Death Eaters. “And I’ve brought Blaise Zabini, who Masterminded our scheme to get Harry home.”

 

Blaise inclined his head in a show of respect. “A pleasure to help, I assure you. To be honest, this is the most fun I’ve had all year. It turns out that a school year without a little Potter-based-drama just isn’t interesting enough for me.”

 

Harry blushed and protested. “Hey, there was no drama last year!”

 

“I know.” Blaise looked positively mournful, though his golden eyes glittered with amusement. “And the thought of two years without anything interesting – beyond your capture, that is – was sure to have me expiring from boredom.”

 

Tom smiled, then touched Harry’s cheek lightly, turning the teen’s face back towards him. “Harry, pet, why don’t you get your guests settled while I handle everything here? Charlie and Rabastan can help you, I’m sure. Then you should rest. I’ll be up as soon as possible.”

 

Harry nodded, brushing a soft kiss over Tom’s lips. Then he gestured for everyone to follow him. Before he left, Dia pressed a kiss to each of his cheeks, murmuring. “I’m pleased you came back, një pak.”

 

Once everyone was in the hallway, Rabastan stood before him, shuffling his feet. Harry, knowing what was wrong, hugged Rabastan tightly. “I don’t hate you, ‘Bastan. I promise.” He assured his guard, refering to Rabastan’s fears, which had been voiced only the day before in the nursery. “I just panicked a little, is all. I blame the horomones.”

 

Rabastan hugged Harry back, saying with a grin. “Well, let’s get everyone settled then.” He turned to leer at the group. “How many of you are sharing?”

 

Charlie chuckled and rolled his eyes. “Come on, then. Draco and Neville already have a room assigned to them, so that’s one down, at least. And the room across from theirs will suit nicely for you, Madam Pomfrey. I’m just up the hall. I’ll show you the way.”

 

Poppy patted Harry’s head and said she’d check on him later, then she followed Charlie, Draco, and Neville up the stairs. Rabastan tipped his head questioningly at Harry. “Should I put Ron and Hermione in the room they had for their last stay?”

 

“That would be lovely.” Hermione spoke before Harry could. She placed her hand on Ron’s arm and smiled easily at Rabastan. “I remember where it is and we can walk Harry to his and Tom’s room, if you wouldn’t mind taking care of Zabini and Professor Snape for Harry. He really should rest. The last 12 hours have been so stressful for him, after all.”

 

Harry hugged Rabastan one last time, thanked Severus and Blaise for their help, and followed Hermione and Ron up the stairs and down the correct corridor to get to the room he shared with Tom.

 

Once the others were gone, Rabastan sneered at Severus. “So, you’ve picked a side at last, have you, dearest Severus?” The disdain in his voice was clear to hear, as if the sneer hadn’t made it clear enough already. “Ought to room you in the basement, but Harry’d be upset. Lucky you.”

 

“Really, Rabastan, you must learn to control your tongue.” Severus drawled coolly, pointing his wand at the other man. “I’d hate to have to cut it out for you. As you’ve said, Harry would be most upset if I was forced to harm you.”

 

Rabastan laughed wildly, then shook his head. A mad light danced in his dark eyes and an insane smile curved his full lips upwards. “Come on then, dearest Severus. Let’s get you and this young one settled into rooms. I’ll be putting you near Queen Diellza, if you don’t mind.”

 

Blaise quirked an eyebrow at Rabastan, intrigued both by his words and by this clearly-insane man’s interactions with his Head of House. “She’s the vampire Potter was talking about, right?” When Rabastan simply nodded, Blaise grinned wickedly. “Lovely. I wonder if she’d be willing to turn me. I’d love to stay gorgeous forever.”

 

Severus snorted and rolled his eyes while Rabastan shrugged absently. “Don’t know. You could ask her, I suppose, if you like. She’s easy enough to find as most times she’s with the Dark Lord or our Harry, unless she’s sleeping.”

 

After assigning them to their rooms and leaving them there to settle in, Rabastan headed back towards the Dark Lord’s rooms. He knew it wasn’t really necessary to guard Harry anymore; none of the Death Eaters would dare to attack him. Harry carried the Dark Lord’s child within his body, after all. Even his bone-stupid sister-in-law knew better by now. But he had been so afraid that the boy was gone forever and there was relief and joy in the simple, familiar task of sitting outside the big double-doors, knowing Harry was inside. And when Tom came up and dismissed him a few hours later, it was with a light heart that Rabastan sought his own bed.

 

Harry woke the instant Tom climbed onto their bed. He turned, spooning back against Tom and smiling when Tom’s arm settled across his waist, his hand resting on Harry’s stomach. Tom nuzzled his neck and whispered. “We need to talk about this later today, Harry, because I can’t just let it lie. You know that, don’t you, my love?” Harry nodded, saying nothing, and Tom sighed softly, letting his hand stroke Harry’s stomach lightly. “Alright then. Later. For now, just know that I’m happy you’re home.”

 

And Harry smiled because it was true; he was home. And if it was strange that he’d found a home – and a family – here, with Voldemort, than that was okay; he had faith that it would all work itself out. And as his lover kissed his hair and his daughter fluttered inside him, he replied. “I’m happy to be home.”

 

And in that moment, there was not a single thing either of them would have wished for. Not one, single thing.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

The End