Chapter 1: C'est La Vie
Lucius had a mate.
Two of them to be precise….
Not that he knew who they were, he just knew that he had two of them.
It was like an itch on his right cheek, an ache in the bones his left hand. Things he sometimes rubbed at, but could never quite fix. It was something his mates could fix….if he ever found them. But he was fixed on never searching. He would never give into that call to just reach out with his mind and look. He had sworn to himself when he married that woman that didn't love him, but could sure as hell hurt him, that he would never get his true mates involved in the mess that was his existence….not matter how much he might need them or crave them.
Few knew that Lucius even had a "true mate"…let alone two….But the Dark Lord did, and had crucio'd Lucius for not telling him sooner. As if the two seconds between becoming a death eater and sharing his mind with the Dark Lord had been too long to hold said information. As if Lucius could even think beyond the initiation pain to tell anyone that two plus two equaled four. The only thing Voldemort hadn't done, for which Lucius would forever be grateful, was force him to reach out to them. If he couldn't see them, then no one should.
And so this is how Lucius ended up….Sitting in his study in the evening, thinking about his mates and convincing himself again just why he could never reach out beyond the passing thought and know who he was meant for.
'It's ok. I'm fine on my own. It doesn't matter.'
This had been his daily mantra for years, usually accompanied by a glass of port and a well placed locking and silencing charm on the door…just incase he yelled…which of course hedidn't… because a Malfoy doesn't pine for his mates. Never.
He finished his glass, wiped the non-existent tears from his not-so-flushed face, and headed for his adjoining bedroom. Once there, he would take a dreamless sleep potion, dress, and then sleep the next meaningless night away. It doesn't matter.
Future savior of the Wizarding World.
Five time defeater of Lord Voldemort.
The Boy-Who-Couldn't-get-his-stupid-worthless-piece-of-crap-trunk-to-shut! Harry huffed as he crouched on top of his trunk in a vain attempt to get the latches closed. It was to be his seventh year at Hogwarts, and Harry was anything but excited.
After Dumbledore's death in sixth year, Harry had sworn to himself and his friends that he would not return to Hogwarts, a place he had once thought of as home. He had wanted to hunt down the remaining Horcruxes, return all of Voldemort's soul to him, and then kill the bastard. It had taken three dreams of Dumbledore pleading with him to return to the school before Harry relented and approached McGonagall on the matter.
The heated discussion that had followed consisted of Harry declaring that he would return, and then demanding that he be allowed free reign to come and go from the school as he pleased. He refused to give up his hunt and felt that if everyone was expecting him to defeat Voldemort, then he should at least be allowed to do it on his own terms. The agreement was finalized, and it was decided that Harry's absences would be blamed on a reoccurring wizard flu that could take its' victims out for days and weeks at a time.
During the summer Harry had been staying at Grimmauld Place. He could no longer stand his relatives, and without Dumbledore specifically telling him to return Harry had decided that he would take his chances without the blood magic of his mother. He had spent hours in the library of the house, and had tried to get his hands on every kind of research about Horcruxes and the founders that he could find. With a summer of complete focus behind him, Harry now felt that he was as well prepared as he would get for the continuation of the hunt. He had also researched defense tactics, and had assigned Hermione to find every curse and counter curse known to wizards. Harry had even asked Ron to start making battle tactics for when the final confrontation came. He felt that with Ron's amazing mind for chess, that the redhead would be perfect for helping to align the ranks.
As Harry put the final touches on his packing, he felt a shift in the wards alerting him to the arrival of another Order member. Today way to be the last time the Order would meet before the beginning of the school year. They would discuss the transportation of the students to Hogwarts, the progress of the aurors in recruiting fellow wizards to the cause,….and Snape's returning roll as spy.
Yes, Snape. Harry still felt a great hate for what the man had done at the end of sixth year. After disappearing for a few weeks, Snape had shown up at the Weasley's doorstep and requested an audience with Harry. Ron had immediately hexed Snape, and told him to "bugger off!". Harry had been visiting the Weasleys, and had heard the commotion from the living room. After much yelling, hexing, and demanding Harry had finally agreed to hear Snape out, but only if the man was willing to take a truth serum. Snape had readily agreed.
Snape explained that Dumbledore had made him take an oath to kill the older man and save Draco. The arguing that Hagrid had heard in the woods that night had been Dumbledore telling Snape to take the Oath, and Snape vehemently refusing, and even begging Dumbledore to change his mind. The Weasleys and Lupin, who happened to be visiting Bill to help him with his new wolf side, felt that even if what Snape said was true it still didn't make up for what he had done. Harry had argued it over with them, and finally convinced them to let Snape in and to put him on a type of probation. Snape would be watched.
Everyone had been surprised that Harry had chosen to stand up for Snape, but Harry had reasoned that Snape had taken a truth serum. He also pointed out that Snape had not defended himself against any of the hexes the Weasleys or Lupin had thrown at him, and had even suffered their effects without complaint while answering their questions. They accepted Harry's choice, and healed Snape's wounds.
Harry thought about that day as he descended the stairs and headed to the kitchen. As he entered he happened to bump into the object of his thoughts. Snape jerked at the sudden touch, and looked almost surprised. He had been lost in thought, his head down, and had for some reason not felt a presence next to him. Harry, for his part, just looked at Snape impassively, and then continued into the kitchen. He knew Snape would not comment. His cutting remarks to Harry had stopped when Harry had accepted him back into the Order. In fact, Harry mused, Snape had barely even talked to him after that day.
"Hello, Harry dear!" Molly Weasley greeted as Harry entered. She chose to ignore Snape entirely…the Order often to do that now whenever the man entered a room. Harry for the first or second time wondered if the silent treatment Snape received affected the man. He brushed the thought off and blamed it on too little sleep.
"Hello Mrs. Weasley." Harry took a seat at the table and was given a healthy portion of the breakfast Molly had been cooking. Ron, Hermione, the Twins, Ginny, Lupin, Tonks, and a few other Order members were already at the table eating or reading the recent news from the Daily Prophet.
A few more 'pops' and the Order was complete, and the meeting began.
"I believe Tonks should begin the meeting. She has some information from the Ministry…" Lupin began.
"This hasn't reached the Prophet yet, thank Merlin, but last night there was a break from Azkaban. It's been reported that Lucius Malfoy escaped sometime in the early evening…." Tonks' report was cut short by the immediate ruckus created by the name. Everyone knew that Lucius was part of Voldemort's inner circle. His escape could spell big problems for the Order, as well as the Wizarding world. Ron, and a few of the adults turned to Snape, demanding an explanation. Harry noticed that Snape seemed just as shocked, and he realized for the first time that Snape was the only one without a chair.
" I assure you I knew nothing about this!" Snape tried to defend.
"Oh bugger off! You probably helped him walk right out! He's at your house isn't he!" Ron had gotten right in Snape's face, and it was obvious he was itching for a reason to hex his former professor.
"QUIET!" Harry bellowed, sick of the noise and angry that he couldn't get the rest of the report with everyone yelling over Tonks. The room froze, and turned to their savior. "Tonks, was it a death eater attack?"
"From what we can tell, no. It looks like some one walked in and smuggled him out with the help of a charm. The officials actually think that the Malfoy family itself might have something to do with this."
"Highly unlikely unless it was Draco." Snape said to the Order as a whole, "Narcissa hates Lucius."
"Could you ask Draco?" Harry ignored the hateful looks shooting at Snape. He might not like the man, but Snape did have a connection to Draco.
" I could try, but I'd have to get to him alone and away from the Dark Lord."
"Alone?! Hell no!" Ron was still invading Snape's personal space, and snarled the negative right into the man's face.
"What, Weasley? You want to go with me and hex Draco a few times? I'm sure Draco would love to talk after he's been mangled by a botched spell."
"I'll go with him!" Harry interjected. He was already thinking about his invisibility cloak. "We'll get our answers, Snape will not be alone, and I'll get to see just how sorry Draco is for what he did at the end of last year. Snape, you mentioned last meeting that Draco wanted a way out of Voldemort's service?" Here Snape nodded, "Then let's just see how true that sentiment is. We'll go tomorrow before the train leaves. If Draco is sincere maybe we can get him to Hogwarts somehow."
Yes. I've finally decided to upload this work to AO3. :) I've also got another chapter on the way! Whoot! Finally! It's just waiting for a few tweaks, and it will be up! I'll still be posting to FF as well, but I thought it was time to move it here.
Chapter 3: Blanket in my Dreams, Unknown
There was a reason Lucius always took a dreamless sleep potion. There was dream that haunted him, made him ache even more, a dream that would drive him to distraction upon waking from it. Though he did not have a potion to chase it away while in Azkaban, the dementors had seemed to keep it at bay, for the dream could technically be filed as a "happy" one.
Now, he was having the dream. He had been exhausted after fixing the wards around him to keep prying eyes away, and after going through his resumed habit of drinking nightly a glass of port he had fallen asleep in his chair. He had been too tired to even change into something more comfortable.
"Lucius," A voice crooned in his ear. To his right Lucius felt the breath from the words on his cheek. It tickled, almost itched, and he hoped for a kiss to follow the breath's path, if only to take the itch away.
"Lover," Another voice growled, a little further away and right in front of him. It made Lucius shiver and hold out his left hand. His right was still holding the port, and he was not close enough to a solid surface to set it down.
He knew he was dreaming, and part of him demanded he wake up and forget this foolish dream. And yet, for all his mental protests, his heart whispered to him to be still and let this feeling continue. It had been so long, years, since he had allowed himself to dream, and what was the harm in a little comfort? Lucius settled again into his dream, and let the two phantoms that he knew represented, and were in a way, his mates do with him as they pleased.
The breath had now crept to his neck, and when a light flick of a tongue briefly touched him Lucius sucked in a breath of his own and tightened his right hand around the glass. The glass was gently removed, though no other hand yet touched his, and then he was 'shh'ed' as if he were a rather large skittish cat. He wryly thought that maybe that wasn't far from the truth. He was a tiger in anigmus form after all….ok, so his was a white tiger cub. So what? He was sure his mates would've thought it cute, if he had ever gotten the courage to show them what the 'great and powerful wizard' turned into.
"Lucius, are you wandering again?" Lucius jumped as a hand firmly grasped his outstretched one that he had left hanging. It was warm and strong…and slender for a man's. Lucius wondered if this mate that held his hand played the piano or another musical instrument. That thought threatened to make him wander again.
"It seems to me," the presence to his right commented, "that our love can't keep his mind on us….I feel that we should remedy this before he gets too lost."
Lucius' body, along with his soul and his magic, started humming in anticipation. It had been so very, very long. What was the harm? Surely the aftereffects he would feel the next morning would not be that bad? Lucius was willing to chance it.
Another hand took hold of his right hand, and he was gently helped up from his favorite chair in the study. Lucius realized with a start that his eyes had been closed this entire time. This was nothing new, and usually he would've left them closed, but this time Lucius decided that if he was going to have this dream right now, when he was under the most stress from the break and the Dark Lord, that he had the right to have a peak at his mates.
"Just a peak" He thought to himself as he tried to open his eyes. He jerked with a start when he realized he couldn't.
"Ah, so you've finally encountered the blindfold have you?" Lucius wanted to panic, and knew that these phantom mates could feel his distress. "Easy Lucius, we wouldn't ever blind you like that.."
"Without your permission" The presence on the left interjected.
"You've put that blindfold there yourself. When you really want to know us, not just see us but truly know who we are, that blindfold will fall off." Lucius leaned towards the right where the soothing explanation had come from, but he still felt it wasn't enough. His instincts riled against being physically bound in anyway, though his soul argued that these were his mates and he was okay in their more than capable hands.
"Can't you just take it off?" Lucius almost begged…but Malfoys don't beg.
"No." The voice on the left was stern and matter-of-fact, though not cruel. "And don't try yanking it off out of panic.." Lucius scoffed, "yes, panic. It will not come off until you are truly ready."
"Come, I think we've talked enough about this." The phantom on the right gently moved Lucius forward and away from the chair. " I want to pay some attention to you before you try to block me again." The left hummed in agreement.
Two sets of hands ran up Lucius' arms and to his shirt. The smaller set, coming from the right, started undoing the buttons of his shirt at the bottom. The left started at the top and soon Lucius was bare from the waist up. Hands rubbed and caressed him, enfolding him in comfort and gentleness with just the right amount of sure presence. These hands knew him, and he belonged to them. Lucius could've cried.
Realizing that it had been too long since Lucius had felt a caring touch, his phantom mates surrounded him and cuddled him between them. The smaller of the two stood in front of him, nuzzling his right cheek, while the taller held his back to a firm chest and rested its' head on his shoulder. Lucius began to tremble, and then pulled his arms in to hide them at his chest, resting his forehead on his smaller mate's shoulder. Gentle words and soft caresses were offered to him as he hid for the first time in years in the hold of his represented mates.
He never knew how long he stood there, but soon the phantom in front was nudging his head up.
"We have to go now." Lucius did whimper then, "No, Lucius. Don't. We'll see you soon. We'll be here soon after you wake." Lucius shook his head. He wouldn't wake up. He just wouldn't. He refused.
"Lucius you are going to wake up. Now, chin up. We're leaving." Lucius reached out to try and grab one of them, but they were already far away.
"We love you, Lucius" The more soothing voice said.
"We'll see you, Lover" The firmer voice faded.
And Lucius awoke. Standing in the middle of his study, the shirt he had worn when falling asleep now at his feet, Lucius wept for loneliness. He wanted his mates.
He allowed himself a few more seconds before throwing his shirt back on, charming his eyes to no longer be wet or red, and sweeping out of the room. Draco was calling, after all.
It doesn't matter.
Chapter 4: Save Us, for this House is too Cold
Snape and Harry made their way through Snape's house. Snape never really called it home. He didn't have a home. Home was a place where a person felt wanted, and Snape had never felt wanted. True, his mother had at one time loved and wanted him, but his time with her hadn't lasted long, and wasn't a home supposed to be long lasting? Permanent, even? Yes, families move, but they still have each other. Lovers travel, but their home remains in each other's arms. Snape had no home, and he had long ago resigned himself to forever be "homeless".
"Mr. Potter," Snape said, coming to a halt outside one of the upper level rooms, "There is something I must explain to you before we enter this room." Snape paused to make sure he had Harry's full attention.
Harry waited patiently for Snape to continue.
"Beyond this door lies the matching cupboard to the one in Malfoy Manor which was used on…that night." Harry's eyes widened, and Snape could feel him tense in barely checked anger. "Before you ask, I didn't tell you because one, the topic hasn't come up before in my presence, and two, I wanted to protect Draco."
The wall hangings began to shake, but Snape ploughed on. He wanted to explain his reasoning, and get his point across. "I have watched over Draco since the day he took his first breath. I will not allow him to be mangled by self-righteous aurors who think they know how to 'handle death eaters'. Draco is not a death eater, and any part he had in the raid was a direct response to the threat against his family."
"Would you have told me where the cupboard was if I had asked?" Harry was beyond angry, but he was still willing to give Snape an out.
"Yes, but only you." The house began to settle again. "I tell you this now because this is how we will reach Draco. I have the suspicion that Draco is hiding in the Manor, and I also feel that Lucius is now hiding with him. If Draco is truly behind the break out, then the Manor is where the two shall be."
" How have they managed to hide from the auror raids of the Manor?"
"The house protects its' own," was Snape's short reply. Harry accepted the answer, knowing how old the Malfoy family was.
They walked into the room, and crossed to the cupboard. Snape stepped in first and closed the door. Harry counted, then opened the door and stepped through. On the other side, Snape was waiting for him. They turned to the door leading to the rest of Malfoy Manor, and found Draco already standing there.
"I was wondering how long it would take you to come." Draco addressed Snape before turning to Harry. "I'm sure you had planned on hiding before I could catch sight of you. I'm glad the plan failed, for I have some things to speak with you about. Come."
Harry recovered from his momentary shock, and followed Snape and Draco to a sitting room across the hall. The place looked rundown and uninhabited. Harry suspected the look had something to do with the wards in and surrounding the Manor. The three each took seats, and the two Order members waited for Draco to begin.
"I feel that time is running short in this war, and so I'll cut right to the chase. You're here because you suspect that I broke my father out of Azkaban. I admit freely that I did. The woman who doesn't really like to call herself my mother ran to France right after the Dark Lord found out about my failings. He threatened her and she ran, leaving me here to pick up the pieces and try to save father.
Funny, that. She forced Lucius to become a death eater when they married, threatening him with my unborn self and claiming that she loved "Dearest Voldemort" and that Lucius was a coward if he didn't take the mark and instead tried to flee, and yet when the Dark Lord turns on her it's all of a sudden okay to turn tail and run. Lucius only ever became a death eater to save me, and has tried for years to keep me away from that monster. The Dark Lord sent my father to the ministry during our fifth year knowing full well that he could very likely be caught and sent to Azkaban…."
"But what about second year?!" Harry interrupted, "He put that diary with Ginny!"
"He put the diary there because my mother was standing a few feet away and pointing her wand in my direction. He might not care too much for his own safety, but if she had killed me ( which she would've if he hadn't done as told) it would've destroyed him. He was hoping you would catch on as you had during first year with the stone.
Back to my original thought, Narcissa and the Dark Lord were trying to get my father out of the way so that they could initiate me. Dumbledore was to be my initiation. Narcissa was so proud until the stakes were announced. When her life became threatened she made the deal with Severus that should I fail, he would be charged with finishing the task."
"This, along with the oath I made to Albus is why I did what I did."
"You could've just chosen to die!" Harry argued, and then upon realizing what he had said, began to apologize.
"No Harry, you're right. But Albus also made me promise to look after you. I refuse to be a ghost, and I can't very well protect you if I'm dead. I did what I was asked to do by Albus, even though the decision was hard and I often hate myself for following it."
Harry was startled. So Snape did feel guilt. Harry had never really been sure until that moment whether or not Snape was genuine in his regret. Hearing that the man even hated himself put things in a new perspective.
It was also interesting to find that Lucius and Draco had been blackmailed with each other's lives. He still didn't approve of Lucius' past, but he could understand wanting to save one's own unborn child.
"What about the anti-muggle, mudblood mantras you two seem to have?" He really wanted to be sure of where Draco stood.
"Well, you can't really support muggles and muggle-borns openly when you have a mad man out to kill anyone who does, and you happen to be in forced service for him."
Well, that definitely made sense.
"And where do you stand, Draco?"
"I'm not a complete goody two-shoes if that's what you're hoping, but I don't have a problem personally with muggles in any way. Neither does Father, though we'll never say that in public until the Dark Lord is dead for good."
Harry sat back and mulled over the information. He was willing to give second chances. Lord knew they needed all the help they could get, but he wasn't willing to trust whole hog and he made that fact clear.
"I'll need to talk to Lucius, and you WILL be watched twenty-four/seven until I feel you are trustworthy enough to be left on your own. Understood?"
Draco nodded. "When will that trust be given, do you think?"
"Probably after the war is over."
" I can accept that."
"It's all I'll give you."
Draco excused himself to find his father.
"Thank you for giving them a chance." Harry nearly fell out of his chair at Snape's 'thanks'. Today was truly a strange one.
When Lucius entered the room, Harry immediately felt something off in the man's demeanor. Where before there had been arrogance, there was now fatigue. It seemed that Azkaban had affected the man deeply. There was also something else in Lucius' walk that seemed almost off, as if something had just happened within the last twenty minutes to distract and emotionally upset the man. Harry and Snape stood, and Harry approached Lucius.
"Mr. Potter," Lucius greeted, extending his right hand.
"Mr. Malfoy," Harry shook the offered hand. "your son has explained your situation. Where do you stand?"
"I raised my son to protect himself on the outside, and know the truth on the inside. There is nothing wrong with blood, but one must protect himself in whatever way is best." Lucius did his best to focus on Harry and not the ache that had intensified since his dream.
"Spoken like a true Slytherin. I trust Draco has told you my terms?"
"Yes, and I accept."
"Alright then. Gather only what you need. You're coming with us."
Lucius and Draco gave the slightest start, and then quickly did as told. They were both ready to leave their gloomy residence. Once packed, they traveled back the way Harry and Snap had come. After they all came through to the Snape house, the cupboard was broken by Snape to prevent anyone from following them. They couldn't afford death eaters so near to Snape or the Order member assigned to him at any given time.
After bringing the Malfoys to headquarters, Harry explained the meeting, and told the Order that the Malfoys were now under his roof and his protection. Again, there was a lot of fighting and hexing, but the Malfoys took the hexes in stride, and let Harry fight it out before he healed the two. Then Harry showed them each a room for which to stay in, and after placing tracking charms on each Malfoy and letting the Order place wards around their rooms, he wished them goodnight and headed to his own bed. Tomorrow he would get more information out of them, and decide how to deal with Voldemort when he discovered the two Malfoys missing from his ranks and Azkaban cells respectively.
Chapter 5: Concerning Mates
"You left me!" Lucius accused when he realized that he had once again forgotten to take a dreamless sleep potion. He was laid out on his side in the room Harry had given to him, earlier that evening. His back was to the door, but he could feel his mates standing very close behind him. He felt the bed dip as one of his mates leaned over him.
"Oh Lucius," The gentler of the two sighed in his ear, "You were needed in the waking world. We told you that we would be with you again soon." Lucius almost gave up the argument. But here, in the only place he let his guard down and let himself feel, Lucius couldn't quite let go of the feeling that he had been abandoned almost on a whim.
"If you were going to just leave me so soon you shouldn't have come in the first place!" Lucius almost felt like a child who'd been given a toy he had wanted for ages, only to have his parents take it away and send it back after he'd just touched it for the first time. True, when he was younger he had dreamt of his mates more frequently, but with the arranged marriage to Narcissa, Lucius had taken to blocking them. He didn't like being taunted by a future he was sure he could never have, and dreaming of his mates made him feel like he was stepping into what life could've been for him. Oh, if only he had been given the freedom to search for and marry his mates instead of being forced to marry a crazed death eater woman.
"Don't be a brat." The bed dipped in front of him as his second mate sat on the bed. "We're here now, and we will continue to be here for the rest of the night, unless you feel like wasting our time by sulking."
The scolding words were clipped and irritated. Part of Lucius was reminded of someone, though he couldn't remember who. The larger part of Lucius just felt scolded. He shrank a bit back from his obviously angry mate, unconsciously retreating to the calmer one behind him.
The mate behind him had stretched out on the bed, and seemed to be propped up on an elbow or something. He, for Lucius knew both of his mates were male, pulled Lucius to him and cuddled Lucius' back to his chest. Lucius formed himself to his gentler mate's body until he was spooned from behind. He wrapped his arms around the one draped over him, and held it like one would hold onto a stuffed animal or pillow.
"Don't be so harsh with me," Lucius muttered softly.
"He doesn't mean to be, but you've been blocking us for quite some time. The parts of us that have always been with you often become stressed with the confinement, his more than mine. Don't get me wrong though, we understand the confinement."
"Though now, with your plans to divorce Narcissa, I expect you to stop blocking us." This second mate seemed to be incredibly angry with the confinement Lucius had inflicted on him.
"I'm sorry," Lucius said as he reached out his left hand, the one that wasn't trapped under his body, to his disgruntled mate.
His mate sighed and took the offered hand, kissing the back of it to show that he forgave Lucius. The gesture also conveyed that the mate understood Lucius' choice to block them for so long. The mate lay down and moved so that Lucius was once again cuddled between the two, and Lucius' constant aches were quelled for the time being. His left hand was gently held by the mate in front, while Lucius' right cheek rested on one of his other mates' hands. A big and soft comforter was levitated over to them by the mate in front of him. It was then tucked around the three figures.
"why can't I recognize your voices? I feel like I recognize something in the way you both speak, but I can never place the style with the actual person once I wake, or even here for that matter." It was a question that had bugged Lucius for quite some time.
"Same principle as the blindfold. When you're ready, you'll be able to place the voice with the actual person you know." The gentle explanation combined with the earlier kiss on the hand let Lucius know that his mate in front of him had truly given up his grudge.
Lucius sighed and settled in for a great night's sleep. He felt the arms around him tighten comfortably, and decided then and there that he would permanently stop taking the dreamless sleep potion. His mates were right, after all… With the divorce from Narcissa, and the switch to the "Light Side", he really had no reason to block his mates. He promised himself right in that moment that once the time was right, he would truly reach out and find the two people he was meant for.
"Goodnight Lucius." From behind.
"Goodnight Lover." From in front.
"goodnight…..my mates." Lucius slept, in reality and in his dream, with a soft smile on his face.
Chapter 6: Lova Me
Lucius reaps the benefits of no longer blocking his mates...;)
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Chapter six: Lova me!
Lucius awoke in his dream world first. The soft carding of a hand through his hair, and the hand that caressed his side were enough to make him interested in the world around him. He stretched and arched, before resting his arm over the mate in front and pulling himself closer to the warmth so that he could nuzzle into the chest that the warmth came from. The mate behind him kissed his ear, and then hugged his two mates to him.
Lucius was comfortable and content….and just slightly aroused. It seemed that his body appreciated having its' mates so close. Almost without his control, Lucius' hips rocked back just slightly, pressing against his mate in a small offering. His thigh drew up along his other mate's leg to hike around his hip, his foot gently kneading the thigh and back of the knee.
"Lucius," the mate in front of him warned.
"Hmm?" Lucius mumbled innocently while tilting his head up in another offering.
"Lucius, you need to wake up." Lucius whined, and started to gently rock his hips. He really hoped they would get the hint soon, or he was sure he'd go mad during his waking hours because of pent-up sexual frustration. Honestly, what more did he have to do to get the point across?!
The mate behind him chuckled, and then settled a hand on Lucius' hip. Finally! Lucius arched his hips back and waited. The mate in front sighed, and then Lucius was pushed forward so that he was flush with both bodies.
"Don't make a sound, or we'll stop. You're not the only one in this house, and I refuse to be blamed when people start to question the reasons why you were so vocal this morning." Lucius grinned, and then sighed silently as his mates started rocking him up and down in unison. He loved it when they worked together like this, and for a fleeting moment thought of all the times as a teen when they had rocked him to his core, much like they were promising to do now.
Their movements against him were maddeningly slow and incredibly powerful. Lucius' eyes rolled back as the mate behind him gripped his hip and bum with one hand and used the other to grip is hair and turn his head for a kiss. When his other mate bit down on his throat and started playing with his nipples through his shirt Lucius open his mouth in a silent cry, which the mate kissing him took advantage of. Lucius breathed heavy and trembled with the effort of keeping himself from crying out. When his mates started to pound into him without warning, shoving him up against the pillow, Lucius gripped the cloth covering each of his mates, one hand to each mate, and silently howled in victory. He had been dying for his mates to pound into him, and they had finally given him what he wanted…needed. Lucius writhed weakly against them as his release took hold of him. He felt his mates pound harder into him, and rode out their releases as well, rejoicing in this dream joining. Even with their clothes still on (for his mates refused to completely bond with him until he was with their actual bodies, and awake) Lucius still felt like his world had been rocked and tilted until he wasn't even sure what the common language of England was anymore. He huffed and sighed in his delight, and cuddled even closer to his mates, almost hoping to climb into them and never come out. He was a little confused when he felt them chuckle against him, and even more so when they burst out laughing at his befuddled expression.
"You were muttering in French, our lover," the mate behind him whispered. Their laughter grew even more when Lucius felt himself blush.
"Awe, we love you," His mates hugged him tight and rubbed his muscles into submission.
The mate in front of him cast cleaning spells, and then dropped a kiss to Lucius' head.
Lucius smiled. They let him rest for a little longer, and then began to move off the bed. When he reached for them, they each took a hand and kissed it.
"It's time for us to go. We'll see you soon, lover" The more gruff of the two whispered against his hand.
"We love you, Lucius." The younger kissed his hand again.
"See you soon," Lucius whispered, and then his eyes opened, and he was in the waking world.
Again, this is a cross-post. I may simply continue the story, here, once I've caught up to the current chapter on FF.net.
Chapter 7: Look You Arm Yourself
The first sound that Lucius registered upon waking was that of raised voices. He sat up quickly, thinking that maybe the Order had been found by death eaters, but upon listening further he realized that the Order members were fighting with each other.
'Oh great,' He thought, 'I go from a crazed lunatic to a bunch of squabbling children. Can I please go back to sleep?' He heard no answer from his mates, but knew they might be cross with him if he returned so soon after they had told him he was needed in the waking world.
"You may NOT keep them here, Harry!" Lucius wondered who was telling their 'savior' off.
"And who are you to tell me what I can and can't do in MY HOUSE! It's best if they stay here where we can keep and eye on them!" Lucius snorted. Where else would he and his son go?
"They're death eaters!" that was definitely Molly Weasley.
"Think of what Draco did!... FINE correction, TRIED TO DO!" And her youngest boy, if Lucius was correct.
"Look, I'm not saying I trust them! I'm just saying that they need to be watched, there are plenty of people to do that here, AND with this war going on we need all the help we can get!"
"The only help we'll get out of those two is a helping hand into an early grave!" Lucius was almost surprised by the sarcasm that laced the angry words. He stood and headed to the adjoining bedroom. He needed to see if his son was awake, and if so, how he was faring with the words being yelled about them.
Lucius found his son sitting up in bed staring intently at the door. He could tell that Draco desperately wanted to defend himself, but knew better than to charge downstairs. He sat next to his son, and waited.
"And what about Lucius?! He escaped from PRISON!….WITH DRACO'S HELP! What if they find Lucius here?"
"Who's willing to tell the ministry where MY HOME and OUR HEADQUATERS are? I have only one secret keeper, and if word got out as to where I live, I'd know who it was. We'll feed a story about Lucius being taken by death eaters. Voldemort isn't going to deny the claim, and it'll buy us some time. Maybe we can even say that after he was attacked he came to us for protection because he knew that if they could pull him out of Azkaban once then they could do it again. We could say that we are holding him, and that he is willing to give us names or something…battle tactics. I'm pretty sure he could give us those anyway."
"What about Draco?" Lucius felt his son tense, and pulled him into a one armed embrace. If the Order didn't think of something, he would. He refused to let the Dark Lord have any kind of sway over his son ever again!
"He'll come back to school. No one really knows of his involvement at the end of last year, and we can just give him his own room saying we're protecting him from the death eaters that took his father. Surely Voldemort would take Lucius' family to hurt Lucius, and everyone knows how much he treasures his only heir." There was some mumbling, and then everyone went quiet.
"Are we agreed? I'll even room with him.."
"Yes, I'll stay with him, and see where his loyalties really lie. Are we agreed?"
"Are we agreed?!"
A unanimous "YES" and things went still. Lucius decided it was safe to travel downstairs, and went to change for the day.
As soon as Lucius opened the door to his room, Harry felt the wards surrounding it shift. He had a pretty good feeling that Lucius had heard most of the argument, and from the look on Snape's face it seemed that the other man knew as well. He gave Lucius no time to school his features before he strode to the bottom of the stairs.
"I know you heard, and I feel that now I want to know were you stand on my decisions. I don't trust you, but this is you life as well as mine."
"I agree to stay here, and I'll give you any information you need. I also agree to stick by your death eater story, and am willing to stand a trial where I will denounce the Dark Lord, and even show some scars if you feel it necessary." The thought of Lucius having scars unsettled Harry for some reason.
"What about Draco?" Harry felt the wards shift again as Draco joined his father at the top of the stairs.
"I also agree to your story. It's probably a good idea to keep me away from most of the other Slytherins anyway once I openly denounce the Dark Lord." Harry seemed pleased for a moment, before his face went serious again.
"Call him Voldemort. Saying "The Dark Lord" makes it sound like you still follow him." When Harry saw them flinch at the name he said, "I guess you could say 'He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named', but I really do hate that. It's almost like giving him power, showing him we're afraid."
"But we are." Draco said. Harry started. And then thought about what Voldemort did to deserters.
"Yes, I guess you would be."
"Aren't you?" My, Draco was being very open.
Harry paused to think it over.
"No. I've faced him too many times, and seen too much of what he can do to feel anything but anger and injustice." Lucius realized then how much Harry had grown. The young man was way too old for his seventeen years. He didn't know why, but that thought hurt. "We're leaving for Hogwarts soon. I suggest you be ready." To Lucius he said, "Anything that will help your case, or us, I suggest you start making a list of now. You both know you will be watched at all times, so don't make me regret my decision. Snape will also be living here for the same reasons. He was under an Oath by Dumbledore to do what he did, and we are going to present that in court. I warn you now that if the three of you are working together for Voldemort, I'll kill you one by one. Good day." And with that Harry strode off to another part of the house.
The Malfoys looked at each other, not knowing what to think, but knowing that they were definitely going to have to prove that their intentions were true. They both prayed that they would be accepted, for their safety as well as their sanity. After all, Lucius needed his mates…and Draco could definitely use some true friends for once in his life.
Chapter 8: Pardon Me, Boys
Harry, his two best friends, and Draco stepped onto Platform 9 and ¾ the next day, all looking worse for the wear. For the safety of its students, the departure time for the Hogwarts Express had been moved to very early in the morning. The staff and faculty, as well as many of the parents, had felt that it would be better if the students arrived at school when it was still light outside. One never knew when the death eaters might decide to attack carriages and boats traveling after dark.
Draco had agreed to travel with Harry, both for the protection and also for his image. He really wanted to separate himself from the future death eaters in Slytherin, and what better way than to travel with the hero of Gryffindor? Ron and Hermione hadn't been thrilled with the idea, but they were willing to tolerate Draco for Harry's sake. Not to mention that they weren't willing to leave their best friend alone with the son of an "ex"-death eater.
The four teens boarded the train after securing their trunks, and set off to find an empty compartment. Once finding one towards the middle of the train, the four settled in for a long and rather silent ride. The silence was broken only once when Ron and Hermione headed off for the Prefect meeting. Ron threatened Draco with a painful death, sounding much like "Wat" from A Knight's Tale, before he and Hermione headed off.
Harry and Draco spent the ride avoiding each other's gaze. When they reached the platform near Hogwarts, the teens met up again, and climbed into on of the carriages. Draco was just thinking on the lack of Slytherin interference when he heard Millicent Bulstrode call his name.
'Speak of the Devil," Draco thought.
"Oy, Malfoy!" The Slytherins snickered at the way the words rhymed. Draco rolled his eyes. "What're you doing with those namby-pamby Gryffindors? Trying to desert us, now?"
"I was never with you to begin with. How, then, can I desert you? Hmm?" Draco started to climb into the carriage when Nott grabbed his arm.
"Oh really, now? So you didn't lead us around, didn't brag to us on the train last year, didn't run to 'Daddy dearest, death eater', hmm?" Draco almost winced.
"Leave him be," Hermione, Draco realized, had seen his reaction in his eyes. He was a bit thrown off that she defended him now. The irony of it was not lost on him.
"Oh ho! Having Mudbloods fight your battles now Draco? Tisk, tisk."
"Better Mudbloods than brainless twits who can't think without a mob backing them up, or a hard-handed leader in front of them. Tell me, who do you follow around? Who does your homework, Parkinson? Nott?" No answer met his questions, but their faces turned a nice shade of purple.
Nott pulled his fist back, aiming a punch at Draco's face, when a hand stopped him. When Draco felt no fist connecting with his face he opened his eyes to see Crabbe holding Nott back.
"Not here, Theo, not here." Was all the teen said. Draco took the opportunity as it came, and wrenched his arm away, climbing quickly into the carriage. As it pulled away, Draco caught Crabbe's eye, and could've sworn he saw the other boy wink.
Once at Hogwarts, time started to go almost at light speed. Before he knew it, Draco was being ushered into his new room that he would share with Harry. It was actually a suite of rooms consisting of a common room, a bathroom, study, and two bedrooms.
"These rooms used to belong to a professor who kept his family here with him," Was the explanation Harry gave him at his questioning look. Draco noted that Harry seemed good at telling what people wanted to know. He also noticed that Harry seemed to tell people only what he was willing to tell them, and didn't let people push information out of him. How very Slytherin of Harry…how very strange: Harry acting like a Slytherin.
By silent agreement, the boys split and went to the bedrooms closest to them, Harry on the right and Draco on the left. It didn't matter who got what room, for they were both the same. Draco snorted when he noticed that the color scheme was that of Gryffindor, but he didn't complain. Better that then living in a den of backstabbing snakes who now knew where he really stood. He wouldn't like to wake up with a hole in his chest, thanks.
Hermione and Ron stopped by before rounds, and wished Harry a goodnight.
Ron completely ignored Draco, but as they left gave him on last death warning should something happen to Harry. Hermione, though she also eluded to pain should Harry suddenly become hurt, had more decency than Ron and wished Draco a "goodnight" and "sweet dreams". Draco wished her the same, and made an effort to smile, if only for her sake.
Once they left, Harry and Draco readied themselves for bed, wished each other a strained "goodnight", and headed to their respective rooms.
As Draco closed his eyes, one thought remained with him.
'This is going to be a long and interesting year.'
Chapter 9: I Know You'll Find a Way
"LUCIUS!" The shout shook Lucius from his sleep, and made him jump from the desk chair he currently occupied. He looked around, sat back down, and then growled. He knew who had shouted. His mates hadn't let him have much sleep for the past few weeks. They had even resorted to not joining him in dreams, and instead left him in darkness for a quick powernap before shouting in his head to wake him again.
He was cranky, he was tired, and he was so close to polishing off his defense that his meddlesome mates refused to let him rest until he had a truly infallible case on which to present his innocence. His mates truly loved him and couldn't bear to lose him to Azkaban for a second time. Lucius was sure that if he was near his mates real bodies he would truly kill them with his bare hands! He was just so tired.
Lucius returned his focus to the papers and books in front of him. He was in the midst of documenting every curse he could remember Vo…Vol…The Dar…Voldemort (even thinking the name made Lucius want to flinch) using. He was also making a list of the death eaters in the 'Inner Circle'.
He and Severus, who was seated at another desk in the Black (now Potter) library, had taken Harry's words to heart. They were determined to present perfect cases of, if not innocence, their unwillingness to be death eaters. They were set on showing how much threat Voldemort had held over each of their heads, and how willing they were to help bring him down. They also wanted to prove to Harry that his trust in them was not misplaced.
With Draco rooming with Harry, Lucius felt that he could now really help bring Voldemort down and not worry that Narcissa would touch his son. In the Wizarding World, if a couple divorced the heir usually went to the custody of the Father. It also helped that Draco was going to come of age in December. Narcissa had no hold on the one person besides his mates that Lucius would give anything for, would die for if necessary, and that suited Lucius just fine.
"Done," Severus announced, cracking his back as he stood.
'Lucky,' Lucius grumbled in his head.
"Need any assistance?" Severus asked as he moved over to Lucius on he way out of the library. "Want some coffee? Or maybe some real food instead of the apple you've been poking at for almost an hour?" Severus curled his lips as he threw the apple away with a flick of his wand.
"I'm not really hungry, but if you're willing to help me finish this list of curses, and check over that list of names on the edge of the desk, there, it'd be much appreciated."
Without a word, Severus took the list of names and settled down in a nearby chair to check it over. Lucius saw him nod out of the corner of his eye, and then felt him look over his shoulder to the curse list. After a few minutes, in which Severus occasionally mentioned a few forgotten curses, Lucius felt Severus move away.
"Looks pretty complete to me. Is this the last of your case preparation?"
"Yes. I've already outlined what Narcissa did, as well as how Voldemort tried to use me to get to Draco. My marking, as well as any of my involvement in raids has been explained to the best of my ability. These two lists are my final touches."
"Excellent," The word was the most praise Lucius had gotten in a very long time. "Let's say you and I go and celebrate with a few sandwiches, and a nice long rest. I know you don't feel hungry now, but we both need our strength in the days to come."
Lucius sighed, organized his papers into the case folder, and then stood and stretched before following Severus to the kitchen. Once they arrived at their destination, Severus set to making a couple sandwiches while Lucius dropped gracefully into a chair at the table. He so desperately wanted to rest his head on the table and just sleep, but for the sake of politeness he held his desire at bay.
They ate together in silence, both too tired to really come up with anything worth while or uncase related to talk about. Lucius thanked Severus for the dinner, offered to clean (which was promptly brushed off with a "Go to bed."), and headed for his much wanted bed. Those mates of his were going to get an earful…if he even had the energy for that that is.
"Lucius," Lucius moaned and buried his head deeper into the pillow. He knew that he was already asleep, but he was as mentally exhausted as he was physically, and he really didn't want to hear his mates give pointers on his case anymore. He just wanted to have a peaceful night's sleep, and then maybe take a day to rest and nap until he felt up to snuff again.
"Lucius," He could hear the smile in the gentle call, and scowled into his pillow. They had no right to be cheerful, or playful, or cajoling, or anything resembling pleasant after the sleep depravation they had caused him. When he felt a hand on his back, he growled and burrowed deeper into the blankets. He would not wake up.
'Not for thy Fairy Kingdom!' He mentally grouched at them, strangely proud of himself for still being able to quote Shakespeare in his worn out state.
A body lay down behind him and molded itself to his back, cuddling him until he was spooned against a warm chest.
"Don't be so angry. We aren't here to try and wake you again, and we're very pleased with the work you've put into finishing the case preparations for your defense. Excellent job, Lucius." The gruffer of the two mates said as he molded himself to Lucius' front. "We understand that you have every right to be cross with us, but we knew you'd find a way to make an excellent case for yourself if given the right motivation."
"And what, exactly, was my motivation, hmm?" Lucius grouched into his pillow. He refused to give them the pleasure of seeing his face.
"The promise of sleep, should you finish." Mr. Gruff, as Lucius had dubbed the mate in his tired state, stated very matter-of-factly. Lucius snorted. Then he growled again for good measure. He wanted to make sure that they knew how very unhappy he was with them.
Very gently, his mates started to nuzzle their heads against his head and neck. Their hands started to rub out the knots that stress and lack of sleep had created in his body. He made a whining noise, not wanting to give in, but feeling so good.
"Come on, Lucius. Don't stay cross with us. We're here now, and we promise not to do that again in this dream world." The gentler mate cooed into his ear.
"What about in the waking world?" His gentler mate chuckled softly.
"We don't control our waking selves. We are only an extension of them."
"Do you dream of me then? Or of each other?" Lucius was tired, but still curious.
"Sometimes, but not as often or as clearly as you dream of us."
"Because one of us has blocked his emotions almost completely, and the other is…..shall we say, preoccupied."
"Another lover?" Lucius couldn't help feeling a little jealous.
"Hell NO!" It was said so adamantly that Lucius felt silly that he had asked in the first place. "We love you, and only you. And, luckily, neither of us can be forced into a marriage like you were. We are free, and waiting for you." Lucius sighed, and finally relaxed into his mates.
"There you go, lover." Mr. Gruff didn't seem to say much tonight, but it was nice to hear his voice. His mates stilled their work, and settled him between them. They prepared for a long sleep, and cuddled Lucius until he drifted away on oceans of peace and deep sleep.
As he drifted he heard them whisper, "We love you, Lucius." and "Forever, lover. Goodnight"
This was it. The day. Lucius and Severus would make their way to the Ministry of Magic, present their cases, and either leave as free men or condemned prisoners. Lucius refused to admit it out loud, but he was terrified. His mates had had to pry him from the bed and stand him up before they woke him, knowing that if he woke lying down he would refuse to get out of bed. They had cuddled, cajoled, pleaded, and finally threatened him before he finally woke in his standing position.
He had made his mates promise him that, should he be condemned, they would find a way to visit him at least one last time. He knew that if he was found guilty he would receive the kiss, and he couldn't bear the thought that the morning of his trial was to be the last time he would ever see them should he fail. He had silently cried (Though a Malfoy never cries, of course) in the shower, thinking of the possible worst scenario.
For the first time in years, Lucius most desperately wanted and needed his mates with him right now! Of course he wanted them all the time, and of course he needed them always, but in this moment where he faced the possibility of losing his very soul Lucius craved a supporting hand and a comforting touch.
The words 'It doesn't matter' had somehow been replaced with 'What if?' in the past few hours. What if he failed? What if he never got to see his mates in person? What if he never saw Draco again?
Lucius and Severus had been preparing for this day for weeks, and had recently held a small press conference outlining their cases. Severus almost felt relieved. He would never have to spy again after this mess. That was one major point on him where Dumbledore and Harry seemed to split. Dumbledore had been O.K. with subjecting him to Voldemort "for the cause", whereas Harry seemed to loathe the idea of someone getting tortured for "the good of the group". Harry had felt that, with the final battle being so close now, there was no need for someone other than Harry himself to keep an eye on Voldemort.
"When the battle comes, it comes, and we will be ready." Harry had said at the last meeting. And honestly, it wasn't hard to find Voldemort these days. Harry had mastered Occlumency, and had even found a way to use the dreams Voldemort sent him to his advantage. The Order now went off Harry when they needed to save a group of unsuspecting muggles or wayward wizards. Yes, when they needed to find Voldemort, Harry would know where to look.
This new way of tracking that red-eyed madman had given Severus his freedom. Severus did not envy Harry, or the young man's dreams. He saw this trial as his last 'test' before he would be able to really rise up and fight for the Light. He might not be a goody goody Gryffindor, but he knew where he wanted to lay his loyalties and Harry was where freedom held base.
As the two men neared the Ministry, Lucius thought once more of his son, Draco. It seemed that his son and the Boy-Who-Lived had finally gotten over their differences, and were now actually becoming quite good friends with each other. Granted, there were still times when Lucius received an owl bearing a rant about Harry from Draco, but now it seemed that those rants consisted of Draco's worry for Harry's welfare, and Harry's seeming carelessness for it. After a month of Harry disappearing for no reason, Draco had confronted the other boy in a panic, and Harry had yelled a confession about his hunt for Horcruxes. It seemed that Harry thought if he just told Draco, then the other boy would just shut up about it. Obviously, Lucius thought, Harry didn't know his son well enough yet.
When Draco finally decided that someone was worth his concern and friendship, he would protect them from anything he considered a threat… Even if that meant protecting them from 'their own lack of self-preservation and common sense' as Draco often deemed it when talking about the Boy Wonder. Draco had taken to watching over Harry when the other boy went to meals, making sure he was eating and taking care of himself. He offered to help with homework (for Draco was second in their class…everyone knew who was first), and proved to be an excellent study partner for Harry because he was somehow always able to keep Harry focused and interested.
Draco had slowly gotten on Ron and Hermione's good sides, and now the trio turned quartet were nearly inseparable when Harry wasn't on a hunt. Draco also seemed to know when Harry just needed a break or a silent presence.
There was, of course, one huge fight between the two formal rivals. Harry had come back two days late from a hunt, and Draco had been so freaked out that he pounced on the other boy to check for wounds. Harry had stood the attack for about ten seconds before his tiredness had gotten the better of him and he snapped at the former Slytherin. Draco had been offended, and it had taken Ron, Hermione, and Crabbe and Goyle (who had openly defended Draco and turned to the light for their childhood friend) to get the two boys to talk to each other again and apologize for their actions. Harry now stood Draco's scrutiny when he returned, and Draco was more calm when assessing the damage or lack there of. Even Ron and Hermione had been subject to Draco's mothering when they returned from a small mission for the Order, though Ron had a feeling that Draco's gentle treatment of Hermione had nothing to do with the small cut above the brilliant girl's eye.
Over all, Lucius was pleased with the way Draco's seventh year at Hogwarts was progressing. True, the Slytherins still tried to bait him, but it seemed that no one was really willing to cross Harry Potter, his two brilliant and magically talented friends, and the two strongest boys in Slytherin to get to the former Ice Prince. In the span of three and a half months, Draco had managed to cut his dark ties and find the most loyal and loving friends a young man could ask for. The positive attention had definitely done wonders for the boy's disposition and self-image, and it was obvious that Draco was becoming well liked by his peers.
These random thoughts about the past few months helped bolster Lucius' spirit. He and Severus could see the Ministry front door now. There was a light flurry of snow, and the weather seemed to threaten a big storm on the horizon. Lucius hoped the trail would be quick, both for his own sanity and so that he and Severus wouldn't have the chance of getting caught in the storm on their way out of court.
Lucius and Severus were about twenty feet away from the door, surrounded by press, a few aurors, and those few curious wizards when there was a flash of light and a loud explosion. Lucius was knocked to the ground, his eyes temporarily blinded by the flash. When he became aware again, not ten seconds later, he realized that he was laying in the middle of a death eater attack. He and Severus had been told to leave their wands back at Grimmauld Place, and Lucius now cursed Ministry protocol for rendering the two of them helpless. Before Lucius could get a firm grip on his bearings, he was hauled to his feet, and felt something forced into his hand. Lucius glanced up as he felt the tug of a portkey, and found himself staring into the angry eyes of a masked death eater.
'Well I'm screwed….' Was his last thought before he landed and was knocked unconscious.
When Lucius came to again, it was to the sight of unblinking black eyes. He would've jerked if it hadn't been for his years as a death eater. He wouldn't let whoever else was there with him know he was awake until he was ready. After a few seconds he realized the eyes were Severus', and that the other man was trying to communicate to him using legilimency. Hence the lack of blinking. It was easier to get a person's attention when they saw you with wide eyes.
'Stay still.' Well thank you, Lucius had figured that one. 'We are tied down, so there's no point, unless you want to give Voldemort the satisfaction of watching you flop around like a trapped animal.'
Lucius suppressed the urge to sigh. He had had a feeling this day would end badly, he just hadn't known this morning what manner the 'bad ending' would take. He took a quick physical assessment of himself and Severus and found that, as of yet, they hadn't been injured.
"Welcome back Lucius, Severus." And the 'yet' went out the window, along with Lucius' hopes that maybe they had just been stranded somewhere for the Order to find. It seemed that Voldemort had learned that monologuing before torture often gave his victims a slim margin of chance for escape. He immediately launched into a slew of curses and hexes, holding off his monologue until his two new victims were in the throws of a well placed Cruciatus.
Lucius vaguely heard him droning on over his and Severus' screams, but he honestly couldn't have cared less what the madman was yapping about. Probably some "You deserved this, I am God, it's the end of the world as you know it and I feel fine, but you obviously don't" lecture on how "That Potter boy" would die and they wouldn't be there to see it. Well he had one thing right, at this rate they wouldn't be at the last battle. Lucius barely even noticed when the hexes and curses stopped. His body still twitched painfully in response to what it had been through.
Lucius was untied, dragged, and then held up by his arms in front of Voldemort. "You've turned on me, you've turned on your fellow death eaters, and you've signed your own death warrant." Voldemort then addressed his followers. "This is what happens to those who desert me. This is what will happen to your family if you desert me. I will hunt you down, and I will not rest until you are nothing more than a pile of dust at my feet." Voldemort then turned to Lucius.
"Your son will not survive this war. I will find him, and when I do, I will kill him slowly and more painfully than I will kill you." Voldemort raised his wand to Lucius' temple. Lucius braced himself, and sent a final prayer for Draco's protection.
"Oh yes!… You had a couple of mates didn't you?" Lucius wanted to hurl.
'Not my mates, you bastard! Don't you TOUCH them!' He threw in his mind. Voldemort smacked him.
"I'll do what I want, you insignificant insect! But, don't you want to see them before you die? I know you never reached for them…How about I say the incantation for you hmm? It'll be easy, I'll just force my way into your tiny little mind, and out will come the words you were too CHICKEN to speak of your own free will."
Voldemort started muttering an incantation that Lucius couldn't decipher. He felt a push at the edge of his mind, and then the push became a shove, the shove a banging, and all of a sudden another presence was there. Lucius felt like his skin was on fire, a headache burst forth as he tried desperately to shove the intruder out. This was like rape, only of Lucius' mind instead of his body. He almost wished for the latter if it meant he could keep his mates safe.
'You will bow to me!' The thought was shouted in his head.
'NEVER' Lucius fought with all his might, but the curses had worn him down.
To his horror, Lucius started mouthing, and then saying the words that would conjure an image of his mate at their current state. It was like watching a hologram come into focus.
Features defined themselves, and an image of a man standing with a look of rage on his face came into focus. Lucius didn't want to look, but he knew that everyone else there could also see the image, and so keeping his eyes closed would do no good. A collective gasp rose through the death eaters as they recognized the person, and as they realized that said person was in their midst.
Severus Snape stood in the image as well as in the center of the circle, shock clearly written on his face before the rage took back its place. Before the death eaters could even comprehend that their other captive had some how become loose of his bonds, Severus knocked Voldemort away from Lucius, grabbed up the fellow captive, and wandlessly apparated away from the crowd of their would be killers. They apparated to three different locations before landing at Grimmauld Place. Upon spotting them, and their state of injury, the Order sprung into action. Medical supplies were rushed down to the kitchen, and torn robes were slowly removed. Severus was definitely in better shape than Lucius, and after a few healing spells he joined in the effort to save Lucius.
"Stop!" Lucius yelled.
"What?! Lucius you..!" Lucius cut Molly off.
"He forced me to find one of my mates…Yes, I have two destined mates. Severus is one of them," there was a murmur of shock, but they let him continue. "I want to know the other one."
It saddened the Order that Lucius had been forced to start the incantation to find his mates, but they knew that if he didn't finish it he would slowly go crazy. Mates were rare, but if a person had them and started the incantation to find them, then that person must finish the incantation soon or risk the chance of never finishing it. The person had to start off at the place where they had been interrupted.
Lucius started to murmur the words. His words were resigned, and everyone in the room felt an ache for him. It was horrible to force a person to find their mates before they felt ready, almost like stealing something from them. As the image began to take form, the front door opened and shut, and footsteps could be heard heading to the kitchen at a fast pace. Harry walked through the door, and right into the image. Image and person blended, and then the image was made clear over Harry's features.
The Order gasped, and Lucius sagged back on the table he was lying on. The image and the man standing behind it matched. Harry Potter was Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape's second mate. Severus fainted.
Chapter 11: I'm Just not the Same Since there's Rain in My Head pt. 1
Harry heaved a sigh as he plopped down onto a window seat in the Potter Library. It had rained everyday since Lucius and Severus' rescue, and Harry was starting to think that the weather's behavior was more than just coincidence. It seemed as if mother nature had gotten an urge to mirror the feelings of three of her most beloved wizards at Grimmauld Place.
After Lucius had finished the incantation, the abused wizard had slumped into a coma right on top of the kitchen table. The Order had rushed to revive Severus and heal Lucius' wounds, but it was obvious after Lucius' body was healed that the coma had nothing to do with his injuries and everything to do with his mates. They had moved him to his bed, where he immediately began to thrash as if in the throws of an argument. The Order had encouraged Severus and Harry both to talk to Lucius, but after Lucius replied with repeated and urgent "I'm sorry's" and "Forgive me's" the Order had realized that the coma was a type self-induced punishment.
They all reasoned that maybe Lucius was punishing himself for not being strong enough to reach out to his mates on his own. Maybe he felt that he had let his mates down by "letting" Voldemort force him to reveal them. There were so many maybes, and Harry and Severus, separately of course, had tried to reason with their distraught and unconscious mate. They had tried everything from "It's ok, I forgive you" to "Wake up, damn you!", but Lucius continued on in his coma, seemingly unaware of his surroundings.
Though Harry and Severus knew that they were each others mates, they still avoided each other at all costs. Yes, Severus did admire Harry for his courage and intelligence, but he still couldn't reconcile the knowledge he had of the young man and his hate for the young man's father. Even now, just hearing the last name "Potter" seemed to make him stand on edge, angry and irritated over old hurts. A huge part of him still saw a mini-me James, and was not willing to look for differences instead of similarities.
For his part, Harry had just chosen to ignore the "Snape as a mate" issue all together. Though he had learned to forgive Severus for Albus' death and had become rather fond of Lucius over the past few months, Harry was still not willing to just throw years of baggage out the window. Severus had given Harry hell at school for years, and had often made the young man miserable. Harry of course knew that this treatment was so that Severus could save face in front of the soon-to-be death eaters in the class, but knowing still didn't take the sting out of some of Severus' actions. Severus could be downright cruel when he wanted to be and, acting or not, his words often hurt. Harry didn't want to be bonded to someone who would hurt him like that.
Draco was now a great friend of Harry, and for that Harry was more inclined to give Lucius a shot. The fact that the man had been tortured definitely gave him a card of sympathy from Harry, but that, too, couldn't cover for everything the elder Malfoy had done. Yes, Harry knew the man had been threatened and forced, but the episode with the diary still made Harry a bit queasy when he remembered it. Also, Harry wondered about Lucius' treatment of Dobby. Had the man really beaten another living being? Harry remember that Dobby had been terrified of Lucius. Was there a violent side to the man that Harry just hadn't seen in a while? All of these were questions to be answered before he agreed to give the "mate thing" a go.
"I am sick of hearing that man say 'sorry'. One more time and I might just shake him."
Harry turned to see Severus sweeping into the library. The older man had been in with Lucius for an hour trying to see if today would be the day his friend finally woke.
"I don't think violence is the answer." Harry deadpanned. The shaking idea had crossed his mind, also. "Besides, he already thrashes enough to constitute as a good shaking. I'm often surprised that he doesn't wake himself up with all that tossing and turning….I wonder what he's dreaming."
Severus sighed, himself, as he eased into a chair near Harry's perch. "Who knows. I thought to use a spell and enter his dreams, but with the forced entering from Voldemort that he recently experienced, I didn't want to stress him even more, or worse, lose his trust when he realizes what I've done."
Harry nodded in agreement. There was a lull of silence, and then Harry sat up straighter and turned to Severus.
"Are you ever sorry?" He suddenly asked. Severus gave a start and turned to face Harry more fully.
"Sorry? About what?"
"Sorry for the things you've said." Harry said this as if it were obvious what Severus should be sorry for.
"Mr. Pot..." Severus paused, took a breath, and started again. "Harry…There are many things I am sorry for. You have to specify…And if this is about Albus, then you already know that I regret that moment with every fiber of my being." Harry took a pause, and then tried to clarify what he meant about "being sorry".
"…..Were you ever sorry for the things you said and did to me when you were my professor?" Severus blinked.
"No…" Harry stood, ready to storm angrily from the room, but Severus reached out to catch Harry's wrist. He ended up latching onto the young man's hand instead. "At the time, no. Harry,…what you have to realize is that I didn't know your background… No, let me finish…Albus had told me that you were spoiled. He described to me a youth that was a carbon copy of his father, arrogant and self-centered." Severus gently moved Harry back to his seat. "I didn't know about the Dursleys , or the cupboard, or anything for that matter. All I knew when I walked into that office the day before you arrived was that I couldn't be cruel to a boy who had been made an orphan….Albus had prepared for this, and had just pushed the right buttons needed for me to save face… I realize now that he was just feeding me what I needed to hear, and if I had looked I would've recognized that, but I was desperate for a way to cover my sympathy for an eleven year old child…No, I wasn't ever sorry…and I'm not sorry that it helped me save face.
Now, if you're asking me if I'm sorry that I hurt you…yes, I can see that I must've hurt you if you feel the need to ask for my apology…then yes, I am sorry that I have hurt you. As I get to know your true background and you….You, Harry, not a mini-me James…I find that you are nothing like you father except for the courage and determination that you have.
Truly, you don't really look that much like him, either. Your features are finer, you're of a slighter build than he was, and your eyes are definitely everything and nothing like your mother's. Now that your glasses are gone, I really only see him in your hair and a few of your expressions." Harry had calmed, and was now listening intently to Severus. Neither noticed that the former professor still held the younger man's hand in a gentle grasp. "I am sorry for many of the things I have done in my life, and I am sorry that I have hurt you…Can you forgive me?" Severus waited for Harry to process his soft and sincere speech.
"Yes…I think I can forgive you." They sat together for a long time, lost in their own thoughts and for the first time truly comfortable in each other's presence.
"I still wonder what he dreams."
Chapter 12: I'm Just not the Same Since there's Rain in My Head pt. 2
Lucius sat curled on the window seat in his bedroom, unconsciously mirroring his youngest mate who was currently one floor down and on the opposite side of the house. He heaved a sighed as he watched the rain run down the windowpane in gentle sheets. He was still in his dream world, but had figured out a way to move in the dream without moving his actual body. He just wasn't ready to show how aware he really was of the outside world.
The real Severus had left the room not too long ago, but Lucius could still feel the representation's eyes watching him. He just sighed again, and shifted his place. He didn't really want to talk to any of his mates, dreamed or not. He didn't want to face their accusing eyes, or hear their reproachful words. He knew he had failed, no need to keep reminding him.
When he had first fallen into unconsciousness, his mates (who he could now see, much to his despair) had immediately come to him looking for wounds and trying to check him over. He had shied away from them, crying and begging forgiveness, thinking that they were charging him in anger. It had taken hours for them to calm him enough to tell him that they weren't mad, just worried. Then their sentences had started cutting out in the middle, and changing subjects halfway through. Lucius was so confused that first time when dream Harry had been checking his right hand for injury and talking to him softly, only to stop mid-sentence and look up sharply, demanding that he wake up in a harsher and more desperate tone. Lucius had yipped and, jerking his hand away, had fallen off the bed. The demanding had continued for a few minutes before dream Harry returned to his usual, gentle self. Not five minutes later, dream Severus had done the same demanding…also mid-sentence.
Lucius was so freaked out that he had hidden under the bed for a day.
Later that night, his dream mates had explained that the sentence changing was due to his live mates talking to him. Lucius had listened the next time it had happened, and realized that his dream mates were right. He also noticed that the living mates never came together, always separate. That had increased his guilt tenfold.
He knew that Harry and Severus couldn't stand each other. How horrible of a person he must be to force them together as soul mates of all things! How his living mates must hate him! He just couldn't face them knowing what a disaster he had caused. If only he had reached out sooner, when he was alone, he could've prevented them from ever knowing. Lucius took a shuddering breath, determined not to cry again.
As dream Severus, as well as waking Severus, had said, "What's done is done, and cannot be undone." Lucius would've found the Shakespeare comment funny in most other circumstances. As it was, Lucius desperately wished he could go back and stop Voldemort doing "what was done."
Lucius felt a bit bad for pushing his dream mates away, but felt that it was almost like feeding a worthless hope. The mates here seemed to love each other as much as they loved him. Even now they held each other as they watched him brood. After the first few days, Lucius had stopped accepting their touches, and had rejected their attempts to talk. Until he passed away in this self-induced coma, or until living mates approached him together Lucius would not give himself the pleasure of speech or affection. He didn't deserve it. Not even the thought of Draco could pull him out. He knew Harry and Severus would care for his son…not to mention that muggleborn, walking library that Draco seemed particularly fond of.
"Lucius, you must wake up!" Ah…so Severus was back again. Lucius had become rather adept at telling who was talking, dream or live mate. "You can't stay in there forever, your son needs you!"
'What Severus?' Lucius thought, 'You know that I won't come out for that. He had you, and…and Harry….He doesn't run the risk of your rejection.'
"Lucius Malfoy! If you do not wake up this instant I'll…I'll strangle you!" Well, at least Lucius now knew that his mates really did want him dead. "And don't you dare think that that threat is because I want you dead! I just want you awake, and usually people wake up when their life is THREATENED!…COME ON!" What was so important, other than Lucius' mistake, that could warrant Severus' demand. He just sighed again.
"Severus, I really don't think that's going to make him want to wake." Lucius gave a start. His mates were here…Together?! Wow, it must be important for them to be in the same room of their own choice. Lucius listened more carefully.
"Well, what do you suggest? Hmm?" There was a pause, and then Lucius was all of a sudden face first on the bed, feeling it dip to his right.
"Maybe something gentler." A hand was laid on his back, and Lucius felt it start rubbing circles into his sore and upset muscles. That was definitely the Harry approach to things. Gentle and firm. Lucius sighed again, this time in the beginnings of relaxation. "Come on, Lucius. Wake up sweetheart." Ok, something was weird. Something had changed. Lucius knew by his soul that these were his mates, but the approach was different from anything they had tried so far.
Severus sighed, and then took the other side of the bed. Lucius felt his hand join Harry's. Oh, God. "Lucius, whatever it is you feel you've done wrong, forget it. You haven't done anything wrong. So what you didn't reach out to us? I'm sure you had your reasons, and We're more than willing to hear them if you'd just come out of that coma. Harry and I? We've worked a good deal of our issues out. You and I? I forgave you for not reaching out to me the moment I realized that you were mine. The two of you? If your what I get stuck with for the rest of eternity and beyond, then I am one lucky man. Gorgeous, brilliant…I'm set. You just need to wake up so that I can actually see those nice greys. They complement Harry's green nicely I'm sure."
"And Severus' black eyes." Harry muttered. "Come on, Lucius. Just wake up to us. We want to complete this trio, but we need you."
"Wake up, Lover."
The pleas were just too much, and that last endearment sent Lucius over the edge. He felt himself rising to the surface, and his breathing quickened in slight panic, fear, and anticipation. When he could no longer keep himself unconscious, or keep his eyes closed, he gave a start and gasped into awareness….And there were Harry's eyes, looking right back at him, not with anger, but with praise and gentle joy.
"Hello, Lucius." Harry said, and then closed the distance between them to close his gaping mouth in a gentle and soothing kiss. When they broke apart, Harry smiled and Lucius looked on in shock. The blonde turned his head to Severus, and found the other man smiling…smiling!…a self-satisfied smile, much like Harry's after their first kiss.
"Good afternoon, Lover." Severus said, before proceeding to kiss him senseless….again much like Harry, but a bit more self-assured than the younger man. When they broke apart, Lucius felt like he couldn't breathe.
"I'm forgiven?" He whispered.
"There is nothing to forgive." Severus assured him before Lucius' two mates bundled him into their arms and prepared for a long talk.
Lucius was sure of it now….He could fly. He was doing it right now.
Chapter 13: Chapter 13: Speak in Gentle Voices
Chapter 13: Speak in Gentle Voices
It was understood between the three mates that their relationship could stand a few days to work on its own before they started hashing what would be what. As much as the three would've loved to sit and get to know each other, there was still a great threat hanging over their heads. Yes, as much as they might hate it, Voldemort had to be the main topic of conversation for this first trio conference.
While still stroking Lucius' back, Harry filled his two mates in on hunt for the last horcruxe, and told how much time he estimated they had before the final showdown. Severus wasted no time after Harry finished speaking to take center stage, and immediately demanded to know the state of Harry's Occlumency. The potions master swore that the ability would be one of Harry's greatest aids.
"If your mental shields drop, even for a second, you'll not stand a chance. I'm sorry to use Lucius as an example, but his shields did drop. We've lost days because of his resulting coma. Guilt induced or not, that coma was an aftereffect of a mental violation. If Voldemort breaks your shields like he did Lucius', I doubt a coma and a couple extra mates will be the final result."
Lucius whined, and tried to shrink into the bed. His shame started to reappear, and he almost wished he hadn't woken up. With his mistake laid out so plainly, he felt like a complete failure.
His mates felt his withdrawal immediately and surged into him, sandwiching him more securely between them. They nuzzled him and cuddled him, wrapping him up until he wasn't exactly sure where he ended and they began.
"Don't you dare retreat back into that coma! You stay right here! With us!" Harry's demand was so strong that Lucius instantly obeyed. He stopped retreating, and just settled into their embrace. "Because of you, I agree with Severus. I wouldn't have agreed with him so readily if I didn't have proof of what Voldemort can do. Yes I get dreams from Voldemort, and yes my Occlumency has improved massively through my own efforts, but to see the effects of what he can do to a waking person makes me more inclined to study Occlumency more seriously and accept any help I can get... though the added bonus of getting my mate's will probably make me improve tenfold."
"Do you truly mean that?" Lucius asked after a bit of hesitation.
"With all my heart, our love." And Harry did. Lucius sighed, and his guilt left him for good.
"You will both work with me to improve your skills. Lucius, I know you were beaten and distracted by the possible threat to us, but you need to rebuild your shields after that horrid attack. I'm sure that Voldemort reeked some damage with his forceful entry. I'd like to assess that damage and help fix it, if you'll let me…. I swear to be gentler in my teaching techniques than I usually am," Harry snorted. Severus shot him a halfhearted glare. "IF you both work with me and, especially in your case Harry, pay attention !"
"I can pay attention. I taught myself didn't I?" Harry sniffed. Lucius wondered for a moment if his mates would start arguing over his back. He was more than a little surprised when Harry leaned over him and, instead biting Severus or snipping at him, Harry kissed the end of Severus' nose. Lucius was even more floored when Severus just smiled and continued on with his lecture of the importance of mental shields and how he was going to make theirs perfect.
They talked until late into the evening, Severus and Harry filling Lucius and each other in on how the war effort was progressing and Lucius giving his ideas and opinions on what should be done. With his wide range of curses and hexes, Lucius supplemented Harry's ideas of defense for the Order while Severus suggested possible potions to destroy the horcruxe, as well as possible potions to boost Harry's physical stamina in battle. They knew that Harry would need all the strength he could get to face Voldemort.
Around ten in the evening, Harry demanded that the conversation be put on hold in favor of a nice meal and sleep. The young man headed to the kitchen while Severus and Lucius prepared for bed. When Harry returned, the two older mates arranged the food while Harry got ready. By mutual silent agreement, all three lovers would be sleeping in Lucius' bed. It was the biggest, after all.
Dinner passed quickly and pleasantly, and then the dishes were spelled to the kitchen, and the three mates settled in. Lucius was cuddled between the other two, and after a rather lengthy goodnight kiss shared with both his mates, the blonde molded himself into the middle of the embrace. It seemed as if there was a Lucius sized hole between them just for him. They all three slept their first peaceful sleep in years tangled in each others' arms.