disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter

warning: none for this chapter

Hi all. I'm happy with the positive feedback and excited that some of you who wouldn't normally read this pairing are open-minded to give it a try :) I'm currently writing chapter 10, so there is more to come. I will probably post again next week because its my last week at school before leaving for the Hols. Keep in mind for this story that the characters will be OOC, but I try to keep it as close as I can or what I believe this is how the characters would act if their lives had gone a bit better.


For a full week, Remus and Severus took care of Harry while he was healing. They would change his water daily, feed him the necessary potions, and offer just a soothing presence. They would take turns watching over Harry so each may have time to eat, shower, and sleep. Remus would talk about his time at Hogwarts and how different Severus is when he is with Remus. Or he would just make that soft growling that resembled a purr. Severus was much quieter when he sat with Harry. He would just croon to the young man, hoping to drive away nightmares and to allow Harry time to become used to him, even if Harry was sleeping. Sirius would only step in and watch Harry when it was absolutely needed. Most of the time Sirius just kept an eye out for Dumbledore or other members of the Order. He had to keep strengthening the wards to prevent anyone from coming in to protect Harry, but at the same time, Dumbledore probably guessed where Harry was. It had been discussed that they would wait for others to see Harry after he had recovered and was able to return to Hogwarts.

Sirius had just finished checking the wards when Remus walked into the sitting room, landing onto the sofa heavily. Sirius pulled out a bottle of firewhiskey and two glasses and sat next to his friend. He filled each and passed one over, both knocking back their drinks. Sirius quickly filled their glasses.

"I wish he would wake up soon Padfoot," Remus said, the heartache evident in his voice. He looked like had not slept for more than a week, even though Severus provided them with Dreamless Potion. The past week had taken its toll on everyone.

"Me too, Moony," Sirius replied, knocking back another glass full of whiskey.

"I caught him talking today," Sirius looked over at Remus with hope. "Severus. Its been getting harder on him, so he started talking to Harry."

Sirius dropped his gaze. He knew better than to hope it was Harry. Remus was too forlorn for it to have been his godson finally talking, even if it was just one word before going back to sleep. Suddenly, as Sirius's head started becoming fuzzy from the alcohol, he got an idea. "Hey Moony, the full moon is coming up right?"

"Yeah, tomorrow night. The actual Moony will probably be a wreck."

"Why don't you stay here and then Severus can go into his true form. Maybe if you're near Harry in your other forms while he is will encourage him to wake up?" Sirius looked over to Remus to see his reaction. Remus sat still for a moment before looking over to Sirius and then he looked up at the ceiling and back to Sirius. Sirius found himself with an armful of werewolf.

"Sirius you are a genius!" Remus shouted. Why did they not think of this before? They were creatures, so it would only be natural that their true selves offer more healing than sitting in a chair next to a bath.

"Naturally," Sirius said with his nose in the air causing both men to laugh.


Meanwhile, Severus was upstairs changing Harry's water. He had only filled the bath with regular freshwater so that he could wash his young mate. He used slow, gentle strokes so as not to scare Harry in the event he woke up while Severus was washing him. Severus memorized everything about Harry while he washed him. He had felt the powerful muscles in his tail that would be excellent for swimming. He felt the softness of Harry's skin clash with the silky, but raised scales that seemed to hover over his skin. Severus's favorite was washing Harry's hair. It reminded him of his own feathers, light and soft to the touch. After Severus would wash the long tresses, he would braid it. After the washing was done, Severus changed the water to fill the tub with saltwater.

When the bath was filled again, he sat back in the chair they had brought into the bathroom and watched his young mate. Severus recently had begun to hold Harry's hand, sending small amounts of magic through the touch. He did this in hopes of helping Harry heal, but also that he would recognize Severus's magic and not fear him. Severus would not want Harry to fear him.

"Harry," Severus started. He had to clear his throat as he became nervous about talking to Harry in this state. He knew Remus did it all the time, but he was unsure of doing it himself. "I hope you can hear me so I only have to say this once. I am not a man for many words, but I hope you can forgive me in the future. I treated you horribly without knowing that you had been through so much already. And I am not even talking about Voldemort."

Severus shuddered still when he said the Dark Lord's name, but he knew both his mates now would chastise him if he continued saying the Dark Lord. "Most of it was having to play the part. I had to seem like I hated you because there were always people watching me who would have reported back to him if I seemed friendly at all towards you. Or anybody really.

"I hope that after you wake up and are well again, we can talk. Anything you want, about the past, about what's happening now between the three of us, about what might happen in the future. It does not matter. I just wish to get to know you, Harry." Severus paused as he heard the door to the bedroom shut, knowing that his mate probably heard if not most, then just enough to know he needed to be alone.

"I know it may not seem fair to you that after everything you have gone through, you now have mates. I remember how I reacted when Remus said I was his mate. I'm surprised I did not kill us. Or that the Marauders did not. I tried to deny him, even though my creature side told me we were mates, I could not believe it. Me, a Slytherin who had become a Death Eater, was supposed to be mated with a Gryffindor who was a werewolf. It seems comical now.

"But he eventually cornered me and dragged me to the Room of Requirement and kept me there for three days. Three days I had to endure him trying to woo me. I believe I broke a few of his bones trying to get away. On the third, Remus broke down. The denial had caused too much pain. Suddenly it felt like my mind had been taken over. Apparently my creature side could not watch any longer. The next thing I knew, I woke up in bed with us tangled around each other and mated.

"I was so angry I sent a stupify at Remus while he was sleeping and pushed him out of the bed. I looked over the edge of the bed and laughed. I actually laughed, I know the concept is an odd idea now, but the way he looked sprawled on the ground without his clothes with the most confused look on his face was such a sight I could not contain myself," Severus chuckled at the memory of that day, before continuing.

"Remus looked up at me when he heard me laugh, and so I think it was out of revenge or perhaps anger, I am not certain. He grabbed his own wand and pushed me out of the bed as well. It was then that I finally accepted Remus. He was not a person to be pushed around or frightened away, but was able to take every insult I ever threw at him and push right back. He may seem like a docile, old dog, but he is still every bit that seventeen year old Marauder.

"So, I hope you did hear this story because I am not sure I will ever say it again. I wanted to share it with you to let you know I am human. And to show you, you may be angry to learn you have mates, but we are still yours. We want you, and we will not give up until you accept us. Before then, at least let us protect you," Severus leaned forward and brushed his lips against Harry's hand, unable to contain himself from doing so. He became alarmed when he heard shouting coming up the stairs, but quickly became angered when he heard laughter. He dropped Harry's hand and rushed out the door, never hearing a whisper that followed him.


Severus thundered down the stairs, angry that he was revealing a large part of himself to someone who could very well hate him and his mate was down here laughing with the mutt. He probably told Black about the bit Remus heard and now they were having a laugh at his expense. He slammed the door open and glared at the two who were embracing each other.

"What is going on here?! I am upstairs taking care of him, and you two are here laughing. What is so obviously hilarious that you two loose all decorum," Severus shouted. At least they had the decency to look shameful. Remus looked up at his mate and carefully approached him.

"Severus, we have a wonderful idea that might help Harry," Remus started, gauging Severus's reaction. When all he did was raise that single eyebrow, Remus continued. "Tomorrow is the full moon and we thought if I stayed here up in the room and you were there in your true form it would help Harry. Since he is in his true form, he may feel us as a stronger presence and recognize us as mates and maybe wake up sooner."

Severus stood in the doorway, thinking about what his mate said. Could being with their young mate in their true forms really help him heal? He opened his mouth to reply, when suddenly there was a splash coming from upstairs. All three men just stared up at the ceiling. It was a comical sight as they stood there staring, mouths wide open as another splash was heard. Recovering, Severus ran out of the room and up the stairs. He barely registered Remus and Sirius following him.

He stopped outside the bathroom door, listening to ensure what they heard came from behind this door. And there it was. SPLASH. He could hear water hitting the tiled floor and a quiet moan. Severus quickly pushed open the door and stepped inside. There was Harry, fully awake, leaning over the side of the tub hanging onto it. His attention was on his tail, apparently he was trying to move it or change back to his human form. He looked up when he heard the door and gasped before sinking down into the water so only his eyes were above the water.

"You're awake," Severus whispered. Harry nodded his head once before starting to dip further into the water "Wait! Don't hide."

Harry lifted his head up so only his eyes showed again. He was not sure why he was listening to Snape, but hearing that plea made him stop. Why would Snape tell him not to hide? He was just a freak, especially now that he had a fin and scales. He knew no one would want him, just like his uncle had said. As his head filled with thoughts, he did not realize he had let out a small whimper until he heard a soft crooning sound. Nor did he realize he had his hands over his ears, until he moved them and the sound became louder. It was like a bird, a single bird that came out early in the morning. It was beautiful and he wanted to listen to it more. He looked up from the water, looking for the source of the sound. He was shocked when he realized it was not a bird, but came from Snape- Severus- his mind provided. Should he be thinking Severus now? He was not sure, but he let the thought go as he continued listening to the crooning sound.

Harry folded his arms over the edge of the tub and laid his head on them as he listened to the sound. He kept his eyes on Severus- if his instincts were telling him to say Severus, then he might as well- so he could make sure the man did not come closer until he wanted him to. And it seemed Severus respected that because he stayed standing in the doorway. Sensing that he was going to be safe in the tub, Harry started closing his eyes as he got lost in the sound. He brought his head up and snapped his eyes open when the sound stopped.

"I need to ask a few things, is that alright?" Severus asked carefully. He needed to make sure Harry did not feel any pain. He received a nod from his quiet mate. "Do you have any pain?"

Harry scrunched up his face upon hearing the question. Why would Severus care if he was in pain? He probably more than deserved it. So as not to burden the man, Harry shook his head. Severus seemed to give him a look that said 'Do not lie to me' or possibly 'I know you're lying Potter'. Which ever one it was, Harry could see that Severus knew he was lying. He gave a small sigh before dipping as close to the water as he could, but still be able to talk.

"My head and my…" Harry looked at his tail, unsure of what to really call it. It was hurting because when he woke up, it surprised him to see it again and he tried to get out of the tub, but hurt himself instead. "My tail."

"Can I cast a diagnostic spell to see what is wrong?" Severus asked. He did not bother pulling out his wand until he was certain Harry would allow him to perform magic on himself. When he got a nod, he slowly pulled out his wand so Harry could follow the movements and understand what was happening. He said the spell and watched his magic roll over Harry before producing a small parchment. He looked up when he heard a small squeak come from his mate and his eyes were wide, instantly panicking Severus thinking he had done something to upset Harry.

"You.." Harry said quietly.

"Me?" Severus asked. He was unsure of what his young mate may be accusing him of, but it put him on edge.

"The magic, your magic," Harry pointed to Severus's wand. "I felt it."

"Oh," Severus said, at a loss for words. He had sent his magic to Harry while he was asleep so he would recognize Severus, so he shouldn't be as shocked as he was now, but he could not help it. He was surprised that Harry recognized his magic. To distract himself, Severus looked back at the parchment so see what was wrong with Harry. "Ahem, well it just seems that you have a mild concussion still and a slight bruise to your tail. I would like for the concussion to heal on its own, but you tail I can put on a salve?"

"Oh, um.. If you want to," Harry said softly. He had not touched his tail since that first time on his birthday, but he could not remember how it felt. So he wasn't sure if other people would want to touch it. What if it felt gross? It would only add to all of the other disgusting things about him.

"Yes, but what do you want Harry? This is about your body, you can decide what happens to it," Severus said. He was worried about causing Harry emotional pain if he were to touch Harry while he was awake. It was obvious what Dursley had done to his young mate and he did not want to make anything worse.

"But what if you don't," Harry trailed off. He was confused by Severus. Confused by his words. Never before had anyone told him he got to decide what happened to him. It was also 'this going to happen' or 'you have to do this', but never was Harry allowed to chose something. He was only willing because he had actually calmed down when he felt Severus's magic flow over him. Harry was pulled from his thoughts when Severus turned to the side and reached into a black bag. When he pulled out a jar, Harry assumed it was the bruise salve.

"May I?" Severus gestured to Harry's tail. He knew what Harry's cut-off sentence meant, but he did not want to answer it. He wanted to show Harry that his tail was beautiful. When he got a nod, Severus pulled the chair towards the end of the tub where Harry's tail. He looked up at Harry, who had sunken back into the water. "I'm going to reach in and pull your tail up so that I may reach it better. Then I will apply the salve, alright?"

Harry nodded that he understood what was going to happen and held his breath as Severus reached into the water and wrapped his hands around his tail. When the man did not recoil in disgust, Harry let out his breath in relief. He watched, amazed as Severus seemed to caress his tail as he pulled it from the water. Harry sighed as he felt the relief from the salve, but looked up quizzically at Severus when he heard a quiet chuckle.

"Better?" Severus asked and all he got was another nod. He wished there was something he could say that would get Harry to open up more. He motioned Harry forward and moved his tail sideways so Harry would get the hint and move the same way. Once Harry was settled against the side of tub with his tail hanging over the opposite side, Severus pulled the appendage onto his lap and ran his hands over it. He smirked when he heard the loud intake of breath. "Its quite mesmerizing, you know?"

"What is?" Harry asked with wide eyes, as he watched Severus continue to stroke his tail. It felt good and made him want to purr, but he refrained from doing so.

"Your tail. You should see yourself in this form, its an amazing sight," Severus said softly. He knew he was not being himself, but Severus knew Harry would not react well to his usual snarky self.

"I wouldn't know," Harry said softly. He was not sure if he wanted to see himself in this form, as Severus called it. Going by the reaction of his uncle, his 'regular' form was not amazing. He eyed Severus warily, he must have been lying trying to make Harry feel better. Having a tail was not amazing. It was not normal.

"You're never seen yourself like this?" Severus asked. He was shocked. When Severus had gone through his inheritance the first thing he had done was stand in front of the mirror for the best part of an hour. He had never considered himself good looking, but it was the newness that made him stay in front of that mirror. When Harry shook his head, Severus quickly conjured a large standing mirror and placed it in front of Harry. "Take a look."

Harry was shocked himself. His eyes seemed to glow against all of the whiteness of his scales and the streaks of it in his hair. The silver scales along his cheekbones made them look sharper. His face looked almost unforgiving which contrasted the look of his tail. It was sleek and looked powerful, but also fragile. Severus was right, he was an amazing sight, but his spirits were dampened because he knew no body would want him. Especially not when he looked like this. He looked away, no longer wanting to look at the deceiving reflection.

Harry looked up when there was a knock on the door. Severus looked pained for a brief moment before placing Harry's tail back into the water. He looked down to Harry as he stood, looking almost saddened to be leaving. After he told Harry to stay in place, did he walk out of the bathroom. Harry leaned to the side as he tried to see who was out there, but Severus blocked his view. Harry ducked back into the water as he heard voices outside.


A/N: As Always R&R