Harry was sitting in Dumbledore's office waiting for the man to arrive. This annoyed him greatly. He gets called into the office and has to sit and wait for him to show up. Why call him if he isn't going to be here? This is the fifth time in five weeks he has done it to him. He thought of ignoring the summons next time. He also hoped it's wasn't going to be a let's learn about Tom session. He had a headache as it was. He was about to leave when the Headmaster finally entered.
"My boy, I am sorry. I got held up. Lemon drop?"
"No, thank you. Why am I here?"
"I have something that I need to speak to you about. After Sirius died, we discovered a Marriage Contract."
'That is a lie' Harry knew when he went to the bank not even two weeks ago that there wasn't a Marriage Contract. He had specifically asked that question. He had used a weekend to get everything done. He had had them check through everything. He did an Inheritance Test and got healed. The goblin healers found the Horcrux. They weren't sure what would be required to remove it so he left it in his head. "Really? For whom?" He was speaking much calmer than he was feeling. Who knew Occlumency would be such a great benefit now that he could actually understand the skill.
"Why between you and Professor Snape, of course. It was arranged a long time ago. Your parents set it up to protect you." The man's eyes were twinkling.
Harry wondered if the man could even tell the truth. "If I don't marry Snape?" His parents didn't set up anything. They barely left a Will and it was sealed up until a month ago.
"Professor Snape, Harry."
"Yes, I can see that working when we are married." He was trying not to lose control but the man was pushing it.
"Harry, if you don't marry him, you will lose your magic."
"Professor Snape and no."
Another lie if the marriage contract was valid they both would lose their magic if they didn't marry. The contract was definitely not a valid contract. He wondered what is going on exactly. "When is this to happen?"
"Why in a few hours. We thought it was best to get this over with."
"Who is we?"
"The Weasley family, Hermione, and I, of course."
'Yes, all your little thieves and you. Why I am not surprised?' "Is Snape aware of this?"
"Professor Snape and no, I will inform him in a little while. He, of course, will be thrilled as you are about it. I know."
"I am not thrilled as you put it."
"It will work out for the best Harry." Harry caught a thought in Dumbledore's mind 'and when you are a widower we kill you after you kill Tom, we will be rich.' "Now why don't you go to the Tower and get ready."
Harry got up and headed to the Tower. He ignored everyone. He did wonder where the Weasleys and Granger were but realized that they must be down in the Hall getting it ready. He went straight to his trunk, removed his cloak, shrunk his trunk, and left the tower. He headed straight for the Chamber of Secrets. He had been working on cleaning it and it was now livable. He sold the Basilisk over the summer and that money was in a hidden vault that Dumbledore had no clue about. He also didn't know that Harry knew about the other vaults and had them sealed shut. He wondered what the old man would do when he found out about it. He went into the bedroom he had set up and removed his trunk from his pocket and enlarged it. He wondered if he could try that new spell and go invisible to the Great Hall and see the chaos that would happen when they realized he wasn't there. He thought of a better idea.
No one knew of his Animagus forms and grinned. Yes, he will be attending this farce. He left the Chamber and in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom asked Myrtle to do her usual guarding and changed into one of his forms. He had his parsel form which was a lovely King Cobra snake. His creature inheritance form which was a Mngwa. He could use that to turn into a small kitten. If he wanted to be a little bit showy he could use his Phoenix form thanks to the Phoenix Tears in his system. He decided to flash into the room in his Ice Phoenix form and once there change into his kitten form and he could hide that way. If anyone made a big deal he could always flash out in any form he was in. He also knew in his kitten form, Revealo wouldn't work if someone decided to see if he is an Animagus. He landed in the Great Hall and hid up behind one of the banners and changed into his kitten form and got comfortable and watched them get the Hall ready. He took a nap while he was waiting and woke up when he heard Severus' "well let's get this over with, I do have things I want to get done with tonight."
"The Minister should be here soon. Hermione and Ron are getting Harry. I sent him up to the tower to get ready. I had Ginny make sure to follow him and that was where he was a few hours ago." Dumbledore looked very happy that his plan was working.
"Of course, the great Potter can't be here in time for his own bonding." Severus snarled.
Harry noticed the man was dressed in his usual teaching robes. The man really was making the same effort Harry would have made. 'If you only knew' Harry wondered what was going to happen when they realized he wasn't around. He saw Minister Fudge arrive with his bodyguards and one of them was Kingsley Shacklebolt. They were all chatting as Ginny, Ron, and Hermione ran into the Great Hall.
"10 points each for running from Gryffindor." Some things never changed.
"Harry, he's gone." Ginny managed to tell them, gasping for breath. Harry thought witches and wizards needed to exercise more.
"What do you mean gone, Ginny?" Dumbledore was trying to not panic.
"He isn't in the tower and his stuff is gone." She was huffing each word out.
Harry was looking at Severus and noticed the man smirk but it was quickly covered. The man must know it's not a valid contract too. "Severus stay here. We will go and look for him." Dumbledore didn't want Severus to escape.
Harry made his way down to the floor and slowly inched his way toward Severus and sat by his feet. He almost smirked when Severus finally noticed him sitting at his feet. Severus moved away and Harry followed him. The man's eyes narrow and he moved again, Harry did the same thing. "Revealo" Nothing happened. "I don't like cats." Severus moved away again and Harry followed him. By now Severus knew there was something up and picked the kitten up. "You know it's a lie?" Severus made sure no one was near them.
Harry nodded his head yes.
"Smarter than I thought you were. I am going to put you in my robe pocket, do stay quiet." For that, Severus got a look that said I am not stupid. "We will talk when I get us back to my quarters." He slipped Harry into his pocket.
Severus was sitting on one of the guest chairs, ignoring everyone. Dumbledore finally came back into the Hall. "I am afraid, we are going to be delayed for a bit. We need to find Harry. We can't seem to locate him in the Castle and the wards haven't said he has left."
"He could be in the ROR." Granger had followed Dumbledore into the Hall.
"I believe Ronald is checking that now. We will have him here shortly." Dumbledore reassured the witnesses that were for the ceremony.
"The elves?" Minerva was wondering what is going on.
"They are also looking for him." Dumbledore informed them.
Severus sat for another hour and finally got up. "Come and get me when you have found the boy. I will be in my lab." He left the Hall ignoring all the people calling him back and made his way to his quarters. Once there he pulled a sleeping Harry out of his pocket.
"I know you can't transform back or they will find you so I will ask simple yes or no questions." He put Harry on his desk. "I am taking it you didn't know about this contract?"
Harry shook his head no.
"It's not a valid one is it?"
Harry shook his head no.
"I had wondered about that. It appeared to be too sudden. Do you know why it's not valid?"
Harry nodded his head yes.
"That is why you are hiding. You know it's not valid so we can't lose our magic."
He nodded his head yes.
"Is there a place for us to talk without you being found?"
Harry nodded his head yes and transformed into a King Cobra. He lets out a few hisses.
Severus jumped back in surprise. "Chamber?"
The snake raised its tail and waved it up and down.
"Can you go back to your kitten form?" Harry changed back. "May we get there later without being seen?" Again, he got a yes.
"It will take a few hours before we can do that, so do you mind if I do some potions?"
Harry jumped off of the desk and headed to Severus' lab and stood by the door. "I am not letting you in there, you are a natural disaster in a lab." Severus earned a few well-placed hisses at that and Harry raised his paws and climbed up Severus' pants. Severus reached down and removed Harry's claws from his pants. "Fine." He entered the lab and put Harry down. "I am making some Pepper-Up Potions." He watched as Harry went to his potion cabinet and began to bring him what he needed, one item at a time. He looked confused as he knew he hasn't opened the recipe yet. "You know what is needed?"
He got a yes
"The O you got on your OWLs wasn't just a fluke?"
He got a no
"How come you do so bad in my classroom." He watched as Harry used the seeds to spell out Granger and Malfoy.
Harry pointed to Granger.
"I do believe we will be needing to have a long talk." Again, he got yes. They spend the next few hours working on potions and Severus was ladling the last of it when his floo chimed. He finished, picked up Harry and put him in his pocket.
"Severus, I am not sure what is going on but we can't find Harry at all."
"He hasn't left the wards? Are you sure?"
"Yes, of course, I made sure to adjust them before I told Harry about the contract. I didn't want to take the chance he would run and lose his magic."
Severus felt Harry shake his head and wondered what that is about. "I see. How are we going to make sure I don't lose my magic if we can't find the boy?"
"As I told Harry, you won't. It's part of the contract."
Severus realized what Harry meant regarding the contract not being valid because they would lose their magic if the contract wasn't fulfilled. The boy was smarter than he thought. "I see. Why do I need to do this? You also should have told me, I would have told you flat out I wasn't going to marry the boy."
"Severus, you don't want him to lose his magic? You know how important he is in defeating Tom."
"What do you expect me to do? You can't find him and I really don't want to get married to him."
"I am hoping we can find him over the next few days. He is here somewhere. We just need to locate him."
"Have you used any tracking charms? Locating spells? The elves have any luck?" Severus was thankful he wasn't going to have to search for Harry. Perhaps he should.
"We have tried the charms and spells and the elves can't find him either."
"I would tell you that the boy isn't in the Castle."
"He has to be. The wards would have alerted me to his leaving."
"Really? What is telling you that he is? Because everything you have just told me is saying that he isn't. Is the Minister still here? Maybe he can see if the boy has used his wand." Severus just wanted Dumbledore out of his floo.
"Minister Fudge left a while ago. There is nothing telling me that Harry is still here. I will go to the Ministry in the morning and see about his wand."
"Goodnight Albus." He cut the man off and closed his floo. "Well, kitten, are you ready?"
Harry climbed out of his pocket and worked his way up to his shoulder, once there he transformed into his Phoenix form. "No wonder you can get around." They are flashed down to the Chamber. Once they land, Harry flew away and changed into his human self.
"Hello Professor. Come let's go and get comfortable." Harry lead Severus over to the sitting area.
"I believe you have some explaining to do."
"Most likely and you won't enjoy it either. It's not too long of an explanation." Harry gave him a small smile. "Kreacher."
Kreacher appeared. "Master Kitten?"
"Kreacher, may we get some tea and an update on what is happening?"
"Sure." Kreacher snapped his fingers and tea appeared. "I had it ready and waiting for you. Cracker is going nuts. So is Voice, she is upset that you were getting married to Smells and not Trashy like she was promised. Moron Twins were the ones who made that contract and signed it as you and they acted as witnesses, it was done this morning in Cracker's office. Wolfboy knew and didn't care. Red Twins not happy about what happened, Cat didn't know but Reds they say they are going to talk to her. Book moron tried to crack your vault passwords when it failed they got to the idea of his marriage contract. They figured you both would be dead after the final battle. Can't Decide knew too and doesn't care, she is trying to still get into Wolfboy pants."
Harry snickered. "Dung?"
"Caught him with the silver, he won't be touching it again, gave him a nice shock treatment."
"Thank you, Kreacher keep an ear and eye open on those clowns."
"Will do, Master Kitten." Kreacher popped away.
"I am going to need you to translate what he said."
"OK Crackers is short for his cheese slide off of the cracker, that is Dumbledore. Voice is Molly Weasley, can't stand her voice, it is grating, Trash is Ginny, I think you know why, Moron Twins are Ron and Hermione, Wolfboy I am sure you figured out is Lupin, Red Twins is Fred and George, Can't Decide is Tonks. Kreacher calls you Smells, something about lavender the day we created the names."
"The names sure fit."
"Yes, Kreacher and I came up with a few good ones, Black, we left as Mutt, we liked that one."
"I thought you loved that Mutt."
"Please, he was so far up Dumbledore's backside, I wondered if he knew when Dumbledore was a quart low on his donkey shit meter."
"How long?" Severus tried not to laugh at that.
"How long have I known about his lies and misdirections? Since my first year, you don't burn a man to death with the power of love. You don't send a child after a Troll by using a compulsion spell though that did take me a while to realize what happened. You also don't send a child back to an abusive home especially when their letter was addressed to the cupboard under the stairs and tell everyone he was treated like a Prince. I heard him tell you and McGonagall that there wasn't anything wrong with me and that my relatives treated me like a Prince."
"What relatives did he put you with?"
"My Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon."
"PETUNIA?" Severus snarled, all of his loathing and hatred of her coming out. He wanted to kill the man. He knew the old coot knew Petunia hated magic.
"I take it you know her?"
"I know her from when we were children. Those images last year during our lessons, the ones who tried so hard to hide, I saw some flashes. They didn't make sense but now they do."
"One of the many reasons why those lessons failed."
"You know why they failed? I think that needs explaining."
"Blood Quill, lack of sleep, visions, nightmares, and your lessons on top of it with me trying to keep you from seeing those images. I was lucky to get an hour of sleep every three days."
Severus looked at him. "The detentions with Umbridge? The Blood Quill rumor was true?"
"Very true." Harry held up his hand and Severus could see the scars.
"I can heal those."
"I can do it now that no one will notice." Harry replied. "The reason for my Phoenix form is I have Phoenix tears in my blood."
"Yes. Basilisk blood and being a parseltongue allowed for the snake form. When my relatives killed me over the summer, it released my creature inheritance, I am a Mngwa, hence I can be a kitten. My true Animagus form is really the fun one, it's a Pegasus."
"They killed you? No one noticed that they killed you." Severus was trying to recover from that. "I am not familiar with a Mngwa." He buried his rage and focused on what he could do now. He looked at Harry and he realized that Harry accepted that his relatives could care less about him. He wanted to kill Albus for that alone.
Harry summoned a book to him and flipped through the pages. He handed it to Severus who read the page. Mngwa (the strange one) or Nunda is a gigantic, ferocious, dark gray or black nocturnal feline about the size of a donkey. Severus read and looked up. "May I see this form?"
"Yes." Harry changed into a Mngwa and Severus looked surprised to see a deadlier bigger version of his kitten form.
Severus continued reading. William Hichens, a British Muggle administrator, reported that several people were attacked by this overly-aggressive animal. He thought it to be a giant, man-eating lion that was responsible, but both fur samples and tracks were different from those of a lion. The Mngwa was also described to have brindled fur that was visibly different from that of a leopard. This feline was so strong and ferocious that it could kill a person with a single bite or strike of its paws. It is mightier than the powerful lion, faster and deadlier than a leopard. No one has ever survived an attack or successfully captured this beast. It is said no one has been able to ever kill a Mngwa, a team of over 100 wizards was found with their bodies strewn about clutching tufts of hair, they were killed with either one swipe of their razor-sharp claws or their throats ripped out with one bite of their deadly teeth. No one in the Ministry has tried to hunt a Mngwa since. It is called a great grey ghost for it's silent but deadly night attacks. A Mngwa doesn't have a large core of magic, it's is believed the core of magic allows for the silent approach at night. Severus patted Harry's head and Harry turned back to human. "If they couldn't kill a squib version of you, they have no chance against a full wizard Mngwa do they?"
"No. There is a lot of things we will need to discover. Some I already have the answers to and have learned them over the years. Some I am hoping you can provide."
"I can't stay down here. We are going to have to figure out how to work this. We can use your Phoenix form to come and go out of here but your kitten form? Will it grow? I know I cast a Revealo on you and it didn't work. Is there any spell that will force a change?"
"I have grown a little bit, I just discovered the kitten form a few weeks ago. It took me a while to figure out what was going on and how to switch my forms. Revealo and other spells haven't worked yet so I don't think so."
"You will have to pretend to be my familiar until we can figure everything out. I really don't want to have to deal with that farce that Dumbledore is trying to make us do."
"I don't either. I am not worried about it since it's not a valid contract. He can't make one either since I am Lord Black. In the family charter, no one can make a marriage contract for a Black without the Lord's permission. I became an adult when my relatives killed me and I got my creature inheritance. I would have been one when I hit 21 because of the creature inheritance."
"That helps a lot." Severus said. "Where are you going to be sleeping?"
"Down here" Harry pointed to the statue that the Basilisk came out of. "Behind that statue is a bedroom. I just finished it. I was going to hide here when the idiot was going to demand I start Horcrux hunting."
"Yes, I am one. The diary in my second year was one. The Slytherin Locket I found in Headquarters was another, and he found Ravenclaw Diadem last week in the ROR. Now based on what Dumbledore thinks I don't know, there are another three out. I believe Nagini is one since I saw the Ministry and Arthur Weasley's attack through her eyes, she felt familiar like a Horcrux does. That leaves two to find. Now, the good news is each time one is destroyed, his Darkness there gets that part of his soul back."
"Which explains why he isn't as insane as he was when he first returned or all those years ago."
"Correct. Slughorn was the one to give him the book on Horcruxes."
"Slughorn? That doesn't make any sense."
"He seems like an idiot to me, keeps trying to be my friend. Reminds me of Lockhart."
"Yes, he can't even do his Mastery because he is too busy collecting famous people I can't imagine him knowing about Horcruxes. He is really a very naive man."
"Unless Dumbledore put him up to it. Why else bring the man here when he is going to start pushing me to hunt them?"
"You sure he is going to make you hunt them?"
"Yes, and he has an idea of you killing him this year. Everyone will believe you killed him but he is going to fake his death. You will be forced back to his Darkness. He believes Darkness there will kill you, leaving me a widower. When I die in the final battle, they will get your titles and mine, along with our money."
"How do you know that?"
"He doesn't protect his mind when he meets with me. He thinks I can't read the surface thoughts that go through his head. It is how I have known for a few years what is going on. I didn't know what it was called until last year. Information like that is hard to find when you have no idea where to look."
"The money from me would be from my family and my potion patterns, between the both of us they would be very rich."
"My seats would make it impossible for anyone to oppose him too."
They look at each other, they smirk. "Tom." Harry told him and Severus nodded his head in agreement.