Holy Crap! I can't believe the love I am still getting from you guys even though I've been absent for so long! Between battling mental illness and having a baby, its been hard to get back into the swing of things. Top it all off, I moved last year and lost all my notes and blurbs, so starting back up without an idea of where I was trying to go with this story has been hard. This chapter too me over a week! and not nearly as long as my others, but I think it is a good start after such a long hiatus. I hope you all still continue showing me love and are happy to see me back!
"He's a danger!" Dumbledore shouted in the courtroom.
"Just months ago you were singing his innocence and praising his heroics," a member of the Wizengamot interrupted.
"We've had two creatures brutalized on our grounds and notes were left at the scene stating it was done by a Veela. Professor Snape is the only Veela on the grounds. He needs to be removed and interrogated," Dumbledore argued.
"Is it not possible there is another? Or maybe a student that is expecting to come into a Veela inheritance and is acting preemptively?" another member offered. Others hummed their agreements, since it was already known that Snape was a mated Veela and had never acted on his instincts that had required Ministry intervention.
"No, he is the only one and no student of mine would be capable of such destruction of another creature." The headmaster was growing more frustrated. Any other time the Wizengamot would back him up and he needed to act fast. Remus had locked away his mates and no doubt contacted Black to have their lawyer escort them out. He needed them split up and a way to keep Potter at the school. That's when the light bulb went off. "Can I at least implement a lock down? Even if it is not the Professor, there is still a dangerous creature about that needs to be found."
"That is a more reasonable request." Everyone agreed to allow the lockdown, no one was to enter or leave the school until the offender was found. Dumbledore bowed, thanking the court, before nearly skipping down the hall. He would need to find a way to remove Remus from the rooms. 'Shouldn't be too difficult. Just say he should help hunt down the threat to his mates. The man will come running out'.
He only hoped that Black didn't beat him to the school while he was away. It took way too long to argue with the members of the Wizengamot. 'Idiots the lot of them', Dumbledore thought as he apparated away.
"I should go talk to the mer," Harry sighed. He was content to cuddle with his mates as they waited for Sirius to come collect them, but he needed to make sure the mer colony knew about Firth. He was the reason why his friend was murdered. If he hadn't gone into the lake, no one would have known about Firth. It wasn't fair what happened to the male. He was a teacher for their young, so gentle. He had admitted to Harry once that he didn't like fighting, but it was so ingrained in their culture to train for battle that he had no choice, so he took over teaching the young. Harry made to get up, but was stopped by Remus' arms.
"You don't need to, just stay here," Remus said, holding on tightly.
"Yes I do. Firth was only attacked because of me, they deserve to know what happened," he replied, pushing away Remus. He let out low hiss when the man tightened his grip. "Remus," Harry said lowly, "let go. This is something I need to do."
"No, Harry. This is not your fault." Remus put a finger to Harry's chin, bringing his young mate's face to his. "Just stay here, please," he pleaded.
"Remus, I have to do this." Harry pulled Remus' hands and stood up. "I'll be in the spring room and talk to them through the box. I'm not going outside if that's what you're worried about," Harry said as he walked away. He gave his mates a reassuring look before disappearing into the spring room.
"Remus! Remus are you around?" Sirius' voice could be heard calling from the floo.
"I'm here, Padfoot," Remus called out before crouching in front of the fireplace. "I'm hoping I don't have to be for much longer."
"I'm afraid you're going to be stuck there," Sirius remarked. "Just as I was trying to get you all home, Dumbledore had gone to the ministry and had the school placed on lockdown. No one can leave or enter school grounds for three days. He was told that was all the time he would be given to find the creature that is behind the killings. Since it went through the Wizengamot, there's nothing I can do to fight it and bring you home. I'm sorry, Moony."
"Damn it," Remus muttered. "No matter. We'll just stay in our rooms until the time is up."
"Where's Harry? I don't see him with you?" he asked.
"In the spring," Remus explained. "Said he needed to tell the mer what happened to his friend. I tried to get him to stay with Severus and I, but he wouldn't listen."
Sirius shrugged, "as long as he stays in the rooms, let him be."
"He blames himself. I don't like him being by himself while he feels like this." Remus looked up as Severus handed him a glass of whiskey. "Little early isn't it?" He chuckled, but took a sip anyway. He sighed deeply, scrubbing a hand down his face before turning back to Sirius in the flames. "What a fucking mess."
"I know. Hopefully we can get this cleared up quickly. I have another meeting with the lawyer today, see if we can get a court date sooner. The whole system is backed up with people filing against each other after the war, so we're not scheduled until towards the end of the school year. I doubt I can get Harry out of school permanently, but I can at least get rid of Dumbledore," Sirius explained.
"I don't want Harry out of school anyway, I'd like him to finish," the werewolf agreed. Taking another sip, he announced "I should let Harry know we're going to be here-"
A loud knock interrupted him. Remus stayed still as Severus walked to the entrance to their quarters, ready to jump up if needed as the Veela slipped his wand in his hand. Severus barely opened the door to look out into the hall, Remus felt his body tighten as he waited. Severus sighed in relief and frustration as he threw open the door to reveal a group of Slytherin students. They all jumped back to avoid being hit, and some out of fear of the professor. "And why would students from my house be bothering me at my private rooms?" he asked with obvious disdain for being disturbed. Really, his students should know better.
"Apologies sir, but it's about Malfoy," Zabini stepped forward. He paused as he saw Professor Lupin, but with a nod from his head of house he knew he could talk in front of the werewolf. "We've all written him off since his outburst against inheritances, but we keep an eye on him. He hasn't been seen for three days, sir. I should also note that he had been acting erratically before his disappearance."
"Zabini, come in and tell me more. The rest of you are dismissed," Severus barked. He stood to the side to allow the student through. He glared at the rest of the group as they stayed in their spots. "Go! Let me know if you catch sight of him." The others finally took the hint and left. Turning, he motioned for his student to have a seat. He talked in a softer tone, he always did when he was advising them on a one-to-one meeting, "tell me what you've noticed Mister Zabini".
"He's unkempt, hair long and uneven, jumping at every noise." Zabini thought for a moment, remembering Malfoy's behaviors. "It wasn't so much paranoia, but as if he was sensitive to sounds. Although the last day I saw him he was talking to himself and pacing, so maybe he was paranoid. I should also mention there has been an air about him, I can't explain it. I wanted to get close to figure it out, but it was disturbing so I didn't dare."
"An air.." Severus trailed off. It was puzzling. What on Earth did Zabini mean, an air about him? Something that would make the boy want to be close. 'No" thought Severus with dread. It was impossible, absolutely mad to even think. What Zabini was describing sounded like a creature lure, a haze of pheromones to attract a mate. However, Malfoy never inherited a creature, his family having bred out the Veela. Sure, heritage testing would reveal that Veela had been in the bloodline, but there was no way that he knew of to grow on that trace amount. But he did know someone who had that ability. The man accusing him of attacking and mangling a deer and Harry's friend. He couldn't think of how the headmaster did it, but Severus was certain he was behind it. He needed to act quickly to find Malfoy, from Zabini's description the boy was not well. He was not meant to inherit a Veela and here he had been forced into one. There would be no mate to ground him. He would be looking for one to try to fill that void and it was obvious Harry was his target.
"Severus?" The Veela looked up at his name to see Remus had walked over, obviously concerned. The wolf was not going to like this. If Malfoy or Dumbledore were even close enough to scent, there was going to be no holding back. Severus knew he had to get Zabini out of their rooms first.
"Mister Zabini, go back to the dorm. Let your housemates know to stay there until myself or Professor McGonegall enters. If Malfoy happens to enter, get a message to me as quickly as possible," he ordered. His student left quickly, and with no questions. Running a hand through his hair in frustration, he turned and saw his concerned mate. Remus needed to know, but he needed to ensure Harry was going to be safe before unleashing the wolf on the school. Severus went to the door to the spring, ignoring Remus calling after him and popped his head in. "Harry, I need you to stay in our rooms. Call Granger and Weasley if you must. I have an idea who has been behind the attacks and I need you to stay safe. Am I understood?"
"Yes Severus. But"- Severus cut Harry off when he closed the door. His young mate didn't need to know and definitely did not need to see what was about to happen. He was spun around by the shoulders to face his angry mate.
"What is going on?" Remus growled. Severus had to avert his eyes as Remus' stared at him with golden eyes. He took a deep breath.
"Dumbledore found a way to force Malfoy into a Veela inheritance." That was all the information Remus needed and the wolf was out the door. Severus cursed under his breath as he gave chase. He could feel his Veela half rising to match Remus, not to stop his mate. No, that would be an offense more grievous than taking the dark mark. He knew he would not be able to stop his mate, but he could make sure no one interred in this fight. With quick thinking, Severus summoned his patronus. The wolf of his patronus kept in pace with his running while he gave it orders. "Go through the school and announce that all students are to return to their dorms."
"What in the world was that all about?" Harry wondered out loud as he watched Severus' head disappear as quickly as it had appeared. He turned back to the clan leader he had been speaking to and apologized for his quick departure, explaining that his mate may know what, or rather who, happened to Firth. The leader, Myyrdin, gave a snarl in response and demanded Harry find him when they had someone in custody as it was only right that the merfolk of the Lake have a chance at revenge. After promising he would, Harry got out of the spring and quickly turned back into his normal self. Just as he was leaving the spring room, he heard frantic knocking at the door.
"Harry, it's us! Open up!" Hermione's voice was heard. Harry waited as Hermione and Ron caught their breaths before she spoke. "We heard some Slytherins and then Professor Snape's patronus went through the whole school telling students to go back to their dorms."
"Severus and Remus just left saying they thought they know who is behind the attacks," Harry explained as he got his shoes on. "What did the Slytherins say?"
"Malfoy's been missing," Ron stated. He leveled his gaze at Harry. Knowing that Severus and Remus took off because they know who is behind the attacks and with the Slytherins mentioning Malfoy missing, it wasn't hard to figure out. Harry seemed to think the same at the hard look he returned. Of course it had to be Malfoy, aside from Voldemort, and recently Dumbledore, he was the only other person to make Harry's life Hell. He grabbed Harry when his friend went to run out the door. "Use the map, see if we can get to him first."
"There's a reason why you're my best friend," Harry smirked. He quickly ran to his trunk in the bedroom, rummaging to the bottom for the Maruaders' Map. Back in third year, Remus had confiscated it only for Sirius to give it back to him at the start of the next term. Thanking his meddling godfather, he ran back into the living room and spread out the map. "Mischief Managed." He watched closely as ink spread, showing hundreds of little footprints of everyone in the castle. He waited until the grounds appeared, he didn't think Malfoy would be hiding inside of the castle. Both attacks happened outside and if no one saw him recently, it had to be outside. He looked closely at the Whomping Willow and the tunnel that ran to the Shrieking Shack, it was an obvious hiding place since very few people knew about it. Which is where Severus and Remus were heading, thinking the same. But Harry couldn't see Malfoy. Scanning further, Harry looked to the Forbidden Forest. There it was, the spot where Malfoy was hiding. On the other side of the lake, where Remus took him for the full moon, Malfoy was standing still. That made Harry even more suspicious, he figured Malfoy would be pacing or at least shuffling back and forth on his feet. But there was no movement. Dropping the map, he turned to Ron and Hermione, "let's go".
"Shouldn't you let Severus and Remus handle this?" Hermione asked. She didn't try to stop Harry or Ron. She knew they were out for blood just as much as Harry's mates, but she could try to reason with them.
"I'm not letting him get away," Harry said through clenched teeth. Not again.