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AN: Thanks again for the amazing support! Now something to address in the comments. First for the smexy scenes, I will be putting a warning before they start and after they end. Two, I don't want to give spoilers, but to all that's been asking about Andre, yes I'm saving them, not together though Andre's first and his mother comes in later on starting with the next chapter.
All was quiet and serene in the small little clearing deep in the woods, the only sounds that were made were from nature itself as birds chirped from high up in the trees. It looked like a typical scene from a Disney movie as a majestic doe stepped out from the coverage of the trees to feast upon the luscious greenery on the forest floor.
Crouching down low on a small incline above the clearing watching the deer as it grazed was its hunter. This particular hunter had short messy russet brown hair with a firm set to his thin face, his small body covered almost completely by the bush he was hiding behind as his clear cobalt blue gaze settled on his intended prey. This hunters name was Daryl Dixon, the younger brother of Merle Dixon and he was currently eleven years old.
Why you ask, was a boy so young out alone in the woods hunting by himself? Well to answer that lets just say he's not exactly from a normal and loving family. His father a drunken alcoholic who was more then likely to hit you upside the head with one of his many empty deer bottles than show any form familial love or care, and his mother a cowed druggie who allowed his father to pimp her body out to his buddies for money or drugs, only reason that he and his brother was born was because they didn't care enough to prevent any pregnancy and it was a blasted miracle they hadn't come out the womb dead or deformed in some way as while she at least had the decency to slow down on the drugs she still smoked while pregnant. No, the only real family he had was his older brother Merle, who once he was born had taken over the role of raising him while still living in the toxic household, neither of them really giving a shit about their so called 'parents' instead learning to rely primarily on themselves and each other as they had caught on quickly at a young age that nobody actually cared for them but each other. Now, you ask where is this older brother of his and why is he allowing him in the woods by himself? Well since the only money that comes into their dingy little trailor household was through pimping out their Ma and Pa's shitty mechanic job, and since their parents don't really care if they starve or not they had to learn to catch and eat their own food, which meant hunting. Merle who already had years of experience that he had taught himself and perfected quickly taught him everything he knew once he was old enough to walk and understand, and set to teach him how to care for himself in case the worst happened which was a possibility with their Pa. Now don't get any ideas that Merle was dead, no, while they still had to live in the house with their parents until Merle was old enough to move out and take him with him Merle had come closer and closer to snapping on their abusive Pa with each year that went by. Realizing this after a particularly tough year, and after talking with his brother and a Dixon's farewell, he had signed up for early ignition into the Marines and left at the age of sixteen and a half years old, leaving Daryl to fend for himself as he was taught until he was discharged after his mandatory four years.
Which brought him back to the present a year later as he raised the crossbow he had been gifted by his brother after his first successful hunt at the age of seven, and took aim at the does heart. About to release the trigger when all of a sudden a young fawn came troding out from where it laid hidden in the undergrowth to stand next to it mother, nuzzling against her flank as it beated at her before copying and eating the green undergrowth beneath their hooves.
Scowling in disappointment as he lowered his crossbow when he could no longer hunt this particular doe, as he and his brother abided by certain rules whilst hunting out in the woods surrounding the area of their town. One such rule of theirs was to never kill a mother or baby animal if they could help it, as by killing the mother decreases the baby's chance of survival into adulthood and they refused to be the cause of scarcity of whatever animal they had hunted. Sitting back on his hunches as he quietly observed the interaction between the mother doe and it's fawn as he would sometimes do to happy families that passed him by to and from school when he was able to go, pondering on the supposedly natural and loving interaction that existed between the parents and their children. Wondering wistfully sometimes when it got real rough at home, when they either had to barricade themselves inside their room or run to the safety of the woods to escape their fathers alcohol fueled wrath, what exactly does the loving touch of a caring mother feel like? What did the assuredness in oneself they were loved feel like, or what would it feel like to have the warm approval of a sober father directed at him instead of the drunken rage that it was usually for his entire life? Usually he would bury these feeling deep within his subconsciousness since all they would do was distract him, and not help him in anyway, but sometimes when he was by himself as he was now they would kick themselves back to the forefront of his mind. Driving him almost mad with all the unanswered emotion based questions that he would usually fight to the back of his mind to hopefully be forgotten, making him to withdraw into himself even more and only letting Merle in.
Shaking his head to clear it of such thoughts now standing up from his crouch to his full high, which with all he's been though at home wasn't very tall at his age, drawing his crossbow to rest across his shoulder along with the string holding up two squirrels he caught earlier for tonight's dinner. Turning to face away from the two deer down in the small meadow as he braised himself to return to the hellhole that he lived in once again, hopefully his Pa would be passed out in one of his drunken stupors so he could sneak back to his and Merle's room after skinning and gutting the squirrels to cook on the small hotplate they kept in their room hidden under a loose floorboard in their closet. He didn't have to worry to much about his Ma as she was usually to drugged out to realize anything that happened around her not even to so much as twitch when his Pa would throw things at or even hit her occasionally, only sitting on the couch with sunken in dazed eyes with the only visible sign of life being the slow rise and fall of her chest.
Two and a half years later after Merle was dishonorably discharged from the Marines for pummeling his commanding officer into the ground before coming home and giving their Ma and Pa a big f*ck you before taking him and moving two towns over, never really seeing their 'parents' again after, only to be morbidly amused later on at the fact their Ma had died by burning the trailer they'd spent their childhood in down to the ground after falling asleep with a lit cigarette with their Pa following shortly after due to severe liver failure and blood poisoning from all the alcohol and questionable substances he had consumed in his life.
After taking a night out at the bar to celebrate being officially and forever out of the clutches of those two deadbeats they left the memories of them in the very back of their mind while they never thought about or even mentioned them ever again afterwards.
Now almost 15 years later, with Merle 34 and him just turning 27, sitting in front of their old timely box TV watching the News about how dead people are starting to rise in the streets and eating people as the military guns them all down as best they could when a loud bang startled him from his focused interest in the news. Registering the loud bang of their door being slammed closed followed by his brothers frantic call for him to get over there now, irritated he shut off the living room TV as he made his way to where he could hear his brother shuffling around and throwing things into bags in his room. Asking him what he wanted he was subsequently rewarded with a bag to the face as his brother ordered him to pack everything that was a necessity and could be useful. Used to his brothers odd behavior he went to do what was asked of him only to pause as he heard the sound of shuffling bodies outside their locked front door following by banging and loud moans of hunger, watching with a semi horrified transfixion as he witnesses a deathly pale hand appeared at their small side window banging on it before a man's face with half of his cheek torn or bitten off with glazed milky yellow eyes. His brother coming out from his room just in time to witness it to before cursing as he shoved at his back to get him moving down to the garage they had built themselves, which wasn't anything fancy but it did its job well over the years. Loading up the bags Merle had already packed in the back of his trunk where Merle's bike was and some other things like their tents and stuff they kept back their especially since they just came back from a two day hunt a few hours ago. Going back into their trailor house to finish packing up the rest of the nessesities and weapons they had and packing then securely into the back of his truck all the while listening closely as the banging and moaning increased at both the front and back doors.
Sliding into the drivers seat and pulling up close to the edge of the garage door and leading over to open the passenger door with a nod of confirmation to Merle as he quickly swung opened the garage door and quickly hopped into the passenger side as he pulled out. Settling into his seat as Daryl shot out of the trailer park they had found their freedom in for the last few years, not looking back as he listened to his brother explain to him the events that took place at his regular bar. As he listened something settling deep inside the pit of his gut that told him that nothing was going to be the same again, but then again what were the Dixon's brothers anything but survivalist who were used to and could adapt to change quickly.
It was a few days later, since then having picked up a foreign doctor and his baby, that he noticed Merle was showing signs of interest, actual interest, in Shortcakes. Not that he had any negative feelings for his brother being interested in men in any way as he had already confided in him years ago about him being bisexual as he also had a feeling he may be to if he ever started having an interest in who he was sleeping with. Merle having confided in him a year or so after he came back from the Marines, the only reason he was discharged apparently was because the commanding officer he had beaten had made unwanted advances on him to the point he had snapped when it went to far as the guy tried to corner him up against a wall in one of the empty storage units, of course with Merle having a rough reputation and background the Marshal's had believed in the lying ass when he weaved a story about finding Merle trying to steal from the storage unit and resisting when he confronted him about it and having Merle dishonorably discharged before he completed his mandatory four years. Of course his brother knew he had been bi even before the Marines but he had to keep that a closely guarded secret in order to survive their father as surely if he knew he would have beaten him to death or worse. So he had keep quiet during it all as he knew how the world actually worked and while he knew he had to fight most times he also knew how to keep quiet if needed even if he didn't act or look like he knew how.
Although he respected his brother and would keep his secrets to his dying day that didn't necessarily mean he couldn't find entertainment in teasing him for his little 'crush' on their resident mother bear of a doctor though. Taking to teasing him in his usual small sarcastic ways as he always did only to receive irritated glares and snarky comebacks from his exasperated brother, which escalated even more when Shortcakes showed his trust in them by setting down his baby, who they knew he was obsessively protective of. Even growing closer to the doctor himself afterwords and along with Merle taught him how to hunt, skin, and generally survive out in the woods. In which Shortcakes didn't take long to pick up on suggesting he was either extremely versatile with his abilities as he should be as he was smart enough to become a doctor, or had previous personal experience inside of the woods which would explain why he survived this long but for how long exactly he doesn't know.
A few days later after settling into the quarry they had come across while hunting and having decided not to continue on to the Atlanta camp as the though set something in their guts to roaring in disagreement, which proved to be a blessing as they watched in rapt attention with blank terrified looks etched onto their faces as military choppers dropped live bombs on their own refugee camp. His earlier on feeling of change intensifying in a way that just confirmed that no matter if the geeks disappeared, or they made it to an area that was somehow unaffected, things were never going to be the same as the Before.
Later on after trudging back to camp in a dazed state, making a silent pack with each other to always stick together no matter what, having fully accepted the Shortcakes into their family fold, Daryl happy with the feeling of not being the youngest anymore. All three jumping to their feet as they heard the rumbling roar of engines coming up the dirt road of their quarry, Shortcakes taking to the trees with his bow as the brothers stood tall to confront the possible threat, a drooping feeling settling in his gut as a tall man wearing a police uniform stepped out from the police cruiser.
All was quiet, peaceful within the undisturbed forest, the only real noise made being the sounds of nature itself and the untrained footsteps of the ten year old following beside him. With his brother and Shortcakes having gone on a run to settle Merle's nerves and leaving him with their groups kids to look after until they returned, glancing down at the disconcerting added weight of the almost three year old Babycakes, as Daryl had nicknamed him after his 'Mumas' nickname, that was strapped to his chest. Unused to anything being attached to his chest as usually carried things across his shoulders he felt slightly off balanced as he silently stalked through the overgrown undergrowth of the woods around them careful not to scratch the baby's delicate skin as he passed by some low hanging branches having taken boy, Carl, out in the woods surroundings their camp to teach him how to track for a quick session to occupy themselves until the kids usual caretaker returned with his brother. Watching with keen eyes as the kid stumbled around the undergrowth like a new born foal that had yet to find it's legs no matter how many times he tried to instruct him on how to be quiet. Huffing as he set to correcting his stance while walking while staying on the balls of his feet. Feeling unsure as he instructed him on how to walk lightly but quickly on the balls of his feet as he hadn't needed to be instructed in this with him and his brother, and apparently Harry, having learned it naturally at a young age in order to be able to go by undetected by their father. But it seemed he at least marginally succeeded in his task as the kid started to walk a bit more quietly then he had before, still loud for his taste but It'll do in order to not scare off any game within a few kilometers that could hear them coming.
They continued on in silence with quiet sessions in-between as Daryl tried his best to teach or at least explain to the kid what he was doing and why for an hour or so before Daryl had them turn around and head back as he was sure it wouldn't be to long when they get back that the others will be back. Making it in time to find the first few vehicles that had gone on the run beginning to pull up, Daryl feeling a shot of worry as he couldn't see his truck they had taken with them and startling when the kid rushed passed him as he sprinted towards the parked vehicles shouting out the name, "Dad!"
Watching in stunned disbelief as the kid Shortcakes had all but adopted as his own threw himself into a strangers arms, all the while Shortcakes and his brother missing from the group that had returned. Real worry starting to take root in his stomach until he caught sight of the familiar hood of his truck came into view pulling to a stop a ways away from the other group before reverse parking. Making his way over to them and unstrapping very fussy Babycakes, who had caught sight of his 'Muma' and was struggling against him in order to reach out for him. Meeting him halfway with a conflicted expression upon his face as he kept looking back at the family reunion happing behind them and taking charge Daryl quickly switch the bags Shortcakes was carrying with Babycakes, handing him over the baby and then slipping the slightly constricting carrier off of his chest. Taking ahold of the before said bag as he walked back to camp with the exhaustingly wobbling Merle, at one point slipping under his right arm and half hauling him half walking him back to his tent where fell into an exhausted heap. Placing the bags on the ground next to him as he helped his brother settle fully into his tent worried as he all but collapsed into his bedroll. Watching as Shortcakes slipped in after them and settled next to his side placing his small hand on his brothers forehead to gage his body temperature, a few minutes later after they both slipped out from the tent with Harry stating that Merle had just passed out from over exhaustion from using up all of the extra energy he had gained from the pepper up potion.
That night slipping into his significantly cooler tent thanks to Shortcakes with a rage simmering below the surface as the events Shortcakes had informed him of the supply run ran through his mind.
The very next day, after Shortcakes had come back to camp with suspiciously pink cheeks and dazed eyes, he and a now miraculously recovered and energized Merle had gone on a hunt. Promising to Shortcakes they wouldn't be long as they were only going to hunt squirrels and possibly rabbits as they didn't really want to get to far from the camp right now. Grabbing what they needed and taking off and quickly thereafter taking out three squirrels until they caught traces of a burrow of rabbits further on all the while walking in silence as they always did as to not spook their prey so unlike the untrained feet of the ten year old from yesterday.
A fairly short time later walking back to the camp with a string of squirrels and three rabbits across their backs halfway there a stray though had the amusement he felt since this morning pike up again turning to tease his brother for what he presumed happed this morning with his usual class, "You and Shortcakes bumping uglies yet?"
Watching amused and snickering quietly as his usually stoic brother began to sputter out curses, his tanned and stubbled cheeks taking on a deeper red hue that was almost barely noticeable, good thing he waited untill they had already hunted their food as Merle began to hurl his usual loud profanities at him denying anything happened but incriminating not denying his attraction the the small doctor.
Carrying on back to the camp with a mixture of amusement from his brothers break in composure and irritation from him yelling his head off before finally yelling at him to shut up already he got the point they hadn't bumped uglies yet but he didn't have to wax poetry about the good doctor to deny it. Rolling his eyes as that set him off once again only quieting down and mi once the reached the camp's edge.
Daryl stood near the edge of the Atlanta groups camp taking out any walker that got to close for comfort as he waited for his brother to finish up with what he was doing with Shortcakes as he had stayed back to cover them while picking off the walkers that were straggling behind the rest of them. Catching a short break to quickly glance at where they had headed to see his brother making his way back to him while leaving Shortcakes behind to guard the front of the RV, figuring that he must have found the kids and placed them inside he glanced away as his brother made it a few feet from him. Glancing around to take stalk on his surroundings noting that the new guy, Rick, Queen Bee and Fido(Shane) were busy all the way across the other side of the camp making even more noise over all the screaming with the sounds of their loud shotguns drawing the walkers towards them and watching with a bit of surprise as the usually meek and quiet Carol began to mercilessly make her way through the walkers like a lioness on the prowl and looking for her missing cub. Redirecting his attention back to the major threat at hand he released another of his crossbow bolts taking down a lumbering male walker that was getting to close to his brothers back as he was taking down the two in front of him with his hunting knife.
Pointing down his crossbow as the last one fell, scanning the area around them once again picking up on Shortcakes helping the camp kids that he'd packed into the RV during the attack. Watching as a mixture of fury and glee settled on Shortcakes face when he hugged a pale and shaking Carl to his flank after spotting his uncaring 'parents' in the other side of the camp, Daryl himself feeling a vague sense of relief as one of their kids had returned to them. Shortcakes quickly making his way towards them and heading back to their camp with Carl in tow.
Watching as Shortcakes settled Carl into his fold up chair to calm for a bit, Merle and him heading off to check on their can system just as he started tidying up their disarrayed camp. Both him and Merle cursing in fury as they discovered the warning system that Daryl had checked on earlier today was completely missing now. Later on coming back to see the newly turned around Carol sitting next to Shortcakes in front of his tent with the kids out of sight. Only giving her a Indifferent once over he followed Merle as he dragged his seat over to sit in front of them.
End of Daryl's POV
Start of chapter 4: The CDC
The next day was filled with a somber mood as the Atlantian group pulled the bodies of both the walkers and their felled members from last night into two separate piles with one to be burned and the other much smaller pile to be buried. All the while watched by both Harry and Carol from their camp as they made to pack the rest of their peoples things into specific bags and loading them into the back of Daryl's truck while they waited for their respective kids to wake up. Him and Carol bonding over the experience by making light conversation while they worked as Merle and Daryl had left earlier on to grudgingly help the other group discharge and move the bodies of the walkers and their fallen members. At one point hearing them as they got into a row about offing Andreas sister, who she was holding tightly to her chest, as she was bound to come back any time now since she was killed by a walker. Harry smirking in mild morbid amusement as she pointed a gun at Rick when he made to approach her before once again ignoring their existence as he and Carol finished up with the packing and dismantling of Merle's and Daryl's tents. Only leaving out enough supplies to make a light breakfast for the kids when they awoke.
Settling down on Daryl's log they shared small details about themselves and their loved ones between themselves as they waited for Sophia and Carl to wake up as Teddy was already drowsily awake strapped to his chest having already feed him his morning mash, ideally rubbing his back as he listened to Carol tell the story of how Sophia discovered her favorite color was yellow while it rained at school one day while having a distinct aversion to anything with to much pink as she said to much of the bright color gave her a headache. Perking up as they heard slight groans coming from their tents as the kids woke up from their little lie in stumbling out of their respective parents tent not unlike a new born foal as the made their way towards them.
Harry patting the spot between his legs when Carl reach him while rubbing his tired eyes and handing him his breakfast of lukewarm oatmeal while gently running his fingers through his hair to get the worst of the tangles out as Carl relaxed into his legs. Humming softy to them both as he did so with his panther purring in contented satisfaction as he discreetly scent marked his wayward cub as he groomed him. Glancing over at Carol and Sophia to make sure she was alright he watched as she to languidly ate her own bowl of oatmeal while seated in her mother lap as she to combed her slim fingers through her daughters slightly longer than hers bobbed cut hair. Smiling as released the now restless Carl from his grasp after he finished his bowl and he had untangled the last strand of his dark chocolate colored hair. Pushing himself up he and Carl both took down his tent with Carol and Sophia doing the same to theirs once done standing up straight and stretching, brushing off his slightly dirty hands on his trousers before ruffling a disgruntled Carl's brunette mop as he passed him on his way to let Daryl and Merle know they were done with the packing and ready to move out whenever.
Making his way to where he could see them standing next to the rest of the Atlanta group arguing about what to do with the newly found out to have been bitten Jim. As he grew close enough to hear them he gave the downed man a apathetic once over as he caught Merle's attention from a few feet away from them, giving him a thumbs up as he pointed silently to Daryl's truck that they were ready. Merle gave a nod that he understood before turning back to face the group and nudged his brother to inform him as Harry turned to head back and away from the infected man and group of idiots.
Before he could even take a few steps back in the direction of his camp he was accosted by the shrill voice of Lori from behind him, sighting in irritated exasperation as he turned to face the new apparent problem she had with him. "You. You little b**ch! How dare you take my son back to your side. Just when I got my husband and son back you use last night's tragedy to steal my son once more! What wrong with you, you don't have any of your own so you steal others, well no more I demand you return my son to me this instant!" She all but screamed in his face as the others turned with irritated glares to see what the new drama was about today.
Giving her a droll look he replied apathetically as Shane, Merle and Rick all made their way towards them, "Oh please women, Carl's not your son he your bargaining chip. The short time you thought your husband was gone you've been ignoring your duties as a mother to him which I had to take over. I couldn't stand this so I took him in as mine when he started showing depression symptoms from you all but abandoning him to chase after Shane's ass. Which you didn't even notice until almost a month after the fact, face it Lori. Your not his mother, you only use that little boy, or even acknowledge his very existence, just because Rick's back and apparently taking over the group so you can use your connection to him to stay as top female." He leveled a Snape worthy sneer at both a infuriated Lori and pale looking Rick with Merle in the background barely holding in laughter, "Not that he's any better than you as I warned him what would happen should he be like you which both of you proved how horrible of a parent you both are last night. You both didn't even try to find him during the attack to make sure he wasn't going to die and then even after the fact you didn't even bother yourselves with making sure he didn't get bite or acknowledge his absence from your sides as it is only now the day after that you even notice anything about his whereabouts. So no I will not be handing over that sweet little boy back to you as it has been proven that you could care less about his welfare, for you to use as some sort of demented bargaining chip for power then leaving him to fend for himself once your finished" He finished as he stormed off back to his camp to check on HIS kids.
As he did he heard Merle finally let out a loud laugh from behind him as he told both a shell shocked Rick and fuming mad Lori, "Y'all better just face the fact you don't have a kid anymore as Shortcakes gets vicious when anything threatens his kids welfare. Carl is one of my groups kids now with Shortcakes looking after him and he ain't going nowhere." Before following on after him with Daryl not far behind having come up after giving up on the pointless arguing with the Atlanta group. After hearing Merle's statement that the kids and him belong to their group a small smile twitched it's way onto his face as a hot feeling settled into his gut completely different from the usual warmth as it only happened for and around Merle.
Making it back to their camp around the same time they caught up with him, giving Merle a small nudge to his side to show his gratitude for him sticking up for his claim on Carl, his panther starting to purr insistently as he could feel it's subconscious tail starting to flick back and forth from the back of his mind. Separating from them he headed towards where he could see Carol and Sophia trying to cheer up a downtrodden Carl, stepping pass them as he took a seat on the ground next to him and pulled him into a one armed hug against his side where Teddy took the chance to babble to his older brother on what he's missed since he's been gone with barely recognizable words mixed in with his usual baby babble. Rubbing up and down his shoulder a little bit he beckoned for Carol and Sophia to got help Daryl as he comforted Carl for the third time in a row as he despaired at the feeling of abandonment from his biological parents. A few minutes later perking back up as he thanked Harry by giving him a peck on the cheek and a quick hug to his front being careful of the happily squealing Teddy which had him smiling now that his elder cub felt a little bit better. Teddy clapping from his chest as he to felt happier about his Muma's and elder brother's happiness.
A short time later after helping Carl cheer up a bit more they all piled up into Daryl's truck with him driving along side Merle who had elected to take his motorcycle with Carl and Sophia up front in the passenger seats while he and Carol took to riding in the back with their bags now that Merle was riding his bike having shifted the bags around till they could lean their backs against the forest green camouflaged painted tool box. Not having to worry over the noise of the motorcycle drawing in walkers as he had secretly placed a silencing charm over it to hide the loud noise it made, after alerting Merle of course who was overjoyed at being able to ride his beloved bike without attracting any walkers with the noise as it lowered the sounds it made to a low rumbling sound. Settling back into one of the bags besides him while wrapping his arms around Teddy who was happily playing with his plushies and just as Daryl started up the truck discreetly casting a few cooling charms around him, Carol and Merle as they were exposed to the sun more and only allowing it to feel as if a cool breeze was passing through every now and then. Relaxing slightly as he felt the cool caress of the wind ruffling his already messy hair and watching with a sense of nostalgic melancholy as they pulled out behind Merle, feeling kind of sad to leave the quarry as it held so many important memories in it with no real way or promise of ever seeing the secluded area ever again but they had to find somewhere safer to raises these kids and the quarry has already proven that it wasn't exactly safe. So with a slightly heavy heart he kept watching the quarry until it disappeared into the distance then turning to face the front, stealing himself to face all new challenges ahead to make sure his new found family remained safe and to pave a way into this apocalypse for them to have a future.
A few hours later which were spent to bond even further with Carol they were all stalled on the side of the road as there were a few abandoned cars in front of them blocking them from going any further until they moved them along with the fact Dale's RV stalled. Smirking in vicious amusement as it was Merle who was the one to find the problem and fix it as he had a decent job working as a mechanic before the walkers started up, having sent Daryl to search the other cars for the right part he needed as he was disgusted, and slightly impressed, with the fact the RV was mostly held together with ducktape.
Harry hopping out of the trunk bed and helping Carol out he called for the kids to come to them as he figured this could be a good way to stretch their legs and learn how to search for valuable and useful supplies. Once they both reached him he took Carl by the shoulder and lead him to the closes car and showing him how to get in without triggering the alarm, which he learnt from Merle, and what to grab that would be useful supplies before gesturing for him and Sophia to try out what they learned on the next car watching as they struggled with inexperienced hands for a bit before finally being able to open the car door without triggering the alarm. Smiling in pride as they both looked back at him for confirmation before searching the car for what they thought would be useful coming up with a Swiss army knife, a coloring book with a pack out color pencils, a box of granola bars, a gallon of water and a few pieces of clothes that would be good for the upcoming winter for children around their sizes. Smiling as he congratulated them on their success chuckling slightly as they both puffed up their chest at his praise before helping them to carry their finding to the truck before helping them to scavenge the rest of the cars around them.
A few minutes later after Carol had came to observe them and help with carrying the supplies they could find back to the truck they finished up what they were doing with the last car near them when Daryl came back with the required part Merle had requested of him. Standing a bit away from the others as they started to push the few cars in front of them off the road to give the RV room to start up. Hopping back into the trunk bed this time with both Sophia and Carl joining them, turning to see what was the hold up he observed with exasperation as the Atlanta group started arguing between themselves about leaving behind the almost comatose Jim like he had requested of them to do. Rolling his eyes at the division inside of the group as both Merle and Daryl made their way back to them now that they were done with fixing up the RV. Daryl sliding back into the drivers seat with quick glance back at them as he cataloged the kids with them while Merle settled back onto his bike and releasing the kick stand. The sound of Daryl's engine starting had the group sending them startled looks as they quickly decided to go along with Jim's final request quickly leaning him against a near by tree with a hand pistol with a single bullet on his lap. The group hastily scurrying around like mice to get back into their vehicles and follow after the Dixon's with agitated grumbles while sending Jim pitying glances as they road pass him.
The CDC looked like an absolute dumb on the outside but appeared to be still standing with what used to be light marble grey walls stained a dirty red and brown color at least at the lower part anyway. With massive piles of dead and rotting corpse's of civilians, walkers and soldiers alike surrounding the entire building all in all a very macabre sight was the only thing Harry could think of it as Daryl pulled up a few yards in front of the massive piles and reverse parked so if they had to leave in a hurry the didn't have to waste time by turning around with Merle parking his bike right next to them hidden partly by the piles of dead bodies. Having slightly as the stench of rotting corpses hit him head on with a violent shudder of disgust going down his spine as he struggled not to vomit as the stench was so bad it completely overrides the immunity most of them had built up against the dead stained air surrounding the city. Casting an invisible bubblehead charm around himself and the others as he noticed they to were turning slightly green at the smell showing visible relief with the absence of the smell with Merle and Daryl sending his grateful looks as they composed themselves. Glancing around suspiciously as he hadn't really spotted any moving walkers ever since they had entered the city, glancing back at the similarly cautious brothers he subtlety gestured them as he brought out his wand from his holster and cast a subtle protective charm around them all. Then moving to stand next to Merle with Carl encircled in his arms just as the others finally pulled up next to them with Rick and Shane jumping out first while sending slight glares their way as they did so. Looking to Merle for their next plan of action he quietly observed how handsome he looked while concentrating on coming up with a plan as he contemplated what their next move should be only for it to be dashed as the other group started to loudly make their way towards the front of the building complaining of it being like a graveyard. The three males growling at the other groups stupidity, it was as if they forgot about the existence of walkers with the amount of noise they were making. Harry beckoning for Carol and Sophia to keep close as they made their way forward from behind the group. Pushing the two of them and Carl behind them once they made it towards the tightly shut front door and taking up defensive positions as they could faintly hear the sounds of walkers approaching from a distance. Cursing as the rest of the group started screaming like idiots with their heads cut off effectively drawing the walkers to them even faster as they all started banging on the door of the CDC. Harry and the others starting to leave for their trucks and prepared to leave the group behind as Rick started yelling about the camera moving and how they were killing them. Only making it a few feet away from them when they were partly blinded by the blinding white light of the door opening from behind them just as the walkers started making their way pass the piles of bodies out front. Taking out the few who made it to them as they rushed into the closing door that shut completely just as the closest walker started to try and reach out to grab them.
Shifting their attention away from the door to the sound of the tired voice of a male above them with tense forms as Rick stated what they wanted when the Doctor asked why they were here. Harry picking up on strange vibes coming from the Doctor who looked to have exhaustion written plainly across his face with heavy black bags under his eyes and pale skin who introduced himself as Dr. Jenner.
Harry checking up on his group as they moved through the entrance area to an elevator that lowered them down past ground level. Only frowning slightly for a few seconds at the requirement of a blood test before reminding himself that this planet was dead of anything magical except for its core long before the apocalypse was even though of by anyone as the world so far showed no sign of ever having a wizarding community and the doctor wouldn't be able to do anything with his blood if he tried. Following after them as they entered a lab and systematically one by one allowed the doctor to remove blood from their arms, steping up when it was his turn and watching Jenner like a hawk for anything suspicious as he to drew his own blackened blood and labeled it in an airtight tube with a slight uncomforted look at Harry's hard staring. Once done with drawing blood from everyone and placing the vials in a secured cabinet to test out later on tonight, Dr. Jenner lead them down towards the kitchens after witnessing that most of them became disoriented and off balanced after he drew their blood with Rick confirming his suspicions of them being g dehydrated and I need of a good meal.
Once inside the spacious kitchen he made his way to a small U shaped booth situated on the other side if the room a bit away from the group with the others following in behind him. Settling into the booth with Carl next to him with Merle and Daryl on his other side with Carol sliding in after letting Sophia sit next to Carl on his other side. Giving Merle and Daryl a meaningful look as he confirmed he was ready to go with the second part of their plan should the CDC still be standing which had already proved to be true. Planning out how to get the information they came for and what supplies they could look for in the morning as he was to tuckered out from the long drive and later adrenaline rush from prepping to fend off the walkers now just wanting to enjoy the one night of relaxation. Settling back into his seat as he enjoyed the hot food set in front of him and the good cheer of his family only rejecting the offer of alcohol as he had two young kids to look after and he didn't really enjoy alcohol much anyway expect for butterbeer which honestly couldn't be considered an alcoholic drink considering they served it to young children. Though he did raise his glass of tea in a toast along with his family's as they celebrated even getting here and the prospect of getting actual answers.
Later on in the night the two groups were lead to the sleeping quarters of the CDC and directed to pick a room as some would have to share and after pointing in the direction of the separated showers with the generally unheard warning to be careful of using to much hot water that was lost on the drunk group members as most of them would pass out the second they made it to the room they were going to stay in for the night.
Deciding to head into the room he had claimed as his that was, along with the others of his group, a bit farther away from the Atlantian groups rooms. Stepping into the bare room he surveyed the plain sanitized white walls with a single twin sized bed laid smack dab in the middle of the opposing wall of the door with plain lilac colored blanket, white sheets and two pillows. Setting his seemingly ever present bag at the edge of the bed he rifled through the contents before pulling out Teddy's travel cot from the bottom placing near the side of the bed and a change of clothes for all three of them.
Satisfied he took the slightly tired looking Carl's hand before heading to the showers, picking up Carol along the way before separating from her and Sophia into the boys showers. They seemed to be the only ones in it as the others where to drunk to take advantage of the offered hot showers expect for Merle and Daryl who had yet to come out from the rooms they'd claimed. Taking two of the shower stools packed against the opposite wall and gently leading Carl to one of the slightly larger stalls on the far end entering it then shutting and locking the stall door closed from the inside as he placed their cleans cloths on a bar near the door along with their towels. After disrobing both himself and Teddy he took Carl's hand and lead him to where the shower head was and had him set the two stools down in front of them. Handing him Teddy, waiting a few seconds for him to Get a firm hold on the baby as he set the water on a mid heat temperature as any higher would affect Teddy as he was still to young to have to heated baths. Taking the generic bar of soap and shampoo he directed Carl to sit on the stool in front of him, with Teddy being placed on top of his effective elder brothers rag covered lap and lathered up both his back and hair with the soap effectively cleaning his back that was beginning to breakout with sweat bumps. Taking Teddy from him as he finished rinsing off all of the soap then moved his stool to sit in front of him directly under the gentle spray as he delicately washed Teddy's small body and sparce baby fine hair as he waited for Carl to finish with washing up his own front and privates. Startled to feel small hands beginning to wash at his back as he was going to do that himself in order to not make Carl uncomfortable but he guessed the little guy wanted to repay the favor, chuckling softly as he could feel the strain in Carl's hands as he stretched himself to wash Harry's hair too. Once they were both done with their task he handed a tiredly blinking Teddy over to Carl with a smile of appreciation before vigorously scrubbing his front and just standing beneath the spray for a minute just enjoying the warm water as it washed off the suds before turning off the knobs. Placing his hand on Carl's shoulder as he lead him back to their clothes before taking one of the towels and patting him down and drying his hair with a subtle wandless drying charm on both him and Teddy before doing the same to himself. Quickly dressing himself and Teddy and leading them back to their room, gently placing the already passed out Teddy in his travel cot near the bed and tucked Carl into the bed with the promise to be right back as the boys eyelids slid shut in a deep sleep as the warm water had drained most of the tension from his body and left him exhausted. Smiling softly down at both of them as he left the room with a powerful locking charm and a charm that would alert him if either of them woke up before heading back to the showers to discard their ruined clothes and to retrieve his suit so he could store it back into his choker as he was currently wearing one of his extras.
***Warning Merry Ahead***
Along his way back to his room after he had received his suit he was passing by one of the rooms near his when he was all of a sudden grabbed from behind and dragged into the room. The earlier feeling of peace disappearing as he tensed tighter then a spring as he readied himself to give hell to whoever had the audacity to grab him from behind with his panther raring to go giving off a deep rumbling roar that only got cut off midway as his heightened senses alerted him that it was Merle before a pair of rough calloused lips slammed down onto his and pushed him further onto the hard steel framed door behind him.
Eyes widening as shock ran through his entire system as the first person he was actively showing an interest in for the first time in years continued to press his lips further against his own as his panther started to purr and try to encourage him to reciprocate just as equally. Harry almost giving in to as his eyelids slowly started to droop in pleasure before his wartime instincts kicked themselves back to life with a vengeance telling his brain that a bigger and physically stronger male had just blindsided them by dragging him into his room and drunkenly forcing a kiss upon him while leaning over their smaller body. The information completely overriding his panther's earlier urgings of reciprocation as no matter how much he liked Merle and wanted so badly reciprocate the kiss, the fact of the matter was that Merle was drunk and he was not about to lose his V card this way without even going out on a date or even courting! Narrowing his eyes as he quickly worked to push Merle back and away from him so he could slip past him and off from the door with the help of a mild stinging hex. Now standing a few feet away from him as he watched a slightly mused up Merle irritably rub at the spot he'd cast the charm on while sending him a slight drunken glare of confusion on as to why he moved away from his advances. Seeing that the stinging hex had Merle a bit more coherent even while still drunk he asked with a demanding tone to his voice, "Merle. I'm going to ask you one time. What in Merlin's name did you think you were doing?"
Observing with keen eyes that Merle was fixating upon his lips as they moved when he spoke and then gaining a baffled look a few moments later as he replied with a gruff tone of voice from either the exhaustion of the day added with alcohol or from lust or maybe a mixture of both of them he wasn't sure, "Taking the chance to steal a kiss from the hot mama I've been eyeing up lately obviously Sugar."
Giving him a deadpanned look in order to hide the slight flush he gained from both the insinuation and from hearing that type of tone directed at him as he replied with a slightly glare, "No shit Sherlock, but why so suddenly with virtually no warning and while your clearly drunk."
Getting slightly defensive of his actions, Merle blurted out, "Because I'm not blind. I've been noticing your quick looks and apparent attraction to Ol'Merle here. Figured now was a good of a time as any to make a pass at'ch and alcohol usually helps in this situation we're in."
Mike irritated with this response Harry relaxes his stance, "Merlin's saggy balls, yes Merle I am interested in pursuing a relationship with you but it's exactly that a relationship. Not some sort of friends with benefits ordeal, that's not what I'm looking for at all."
Also beginning to get irritated Merle snaps off a "Why not?"
Harry nearly shouting now as he exploded out "Because, you bloody pigheaded arsehole, I don't want to spend my very first time as my partners drunk when it's supposed to be a special experience not to be wasted on a drunken one night stand like your trying to make it out to be!" Finishing with a loud huff as he crossed his arms over his chest while glaring at Merle from across the room.
Slightly shocked at the fact someone as good looking as Harry was still a virgin, he relaxed from his tensed form as he conceded with a rare but truley honest apology, "Oh, Yep sorry about that then Sugar. But maybe if your still interested in the morning or later on we could.. Uh talk about it then." He asked sleeishly as the alcohol mellowed him out and made him more honest, "Although until then I'm not to drunk to not regonize that I feel something for ya and think your sexy as all hell, so wanna get together with Ol'Merle still Sugar?" He asked in the typical blunt Merle fashion.
Pacified with the apology Harry muled over the request before rejecting his offer and before Merle could have enough time to get worked up or upset he quickly walked over to him and gave him a chaste kiss on the lips before leaning back, winking at him with the words, "Try asking again tomorrow when you can be a hundred percent positive you want to get together with me as once your mine I don't plan on letting go so easily. Goodnight Merle." before slipping past him and out the door.
***End of Merry Scene***
Once inside the hallway and after closing the door with a silent 'clink' sound he had to withhold an exited squeal that had bubbled up his throat as he leaned his back against the door to help compose himself before heading back to his and the boy's room with a visible pep to his steps. Silently slipping back into their room he quickly checked on both boys before settling into the bed behind Carl with a uncontrollable grin as he slowly fell asleep as the past days events caught back up with him again.
Waking up a short while later, or so he thought he did, to heavy fog covered surroundings similar to the in-between world he had visited before he defeated Voldemort and met with the spirit of Dumbledore before having a mini panic attack as thoughts of how he had somehow died In his sleep ran through his head from where he sat upright on the cold brick laid platform of this worlds version of Kings Cross station. Breathing in some of the dense light grey fog that so reminded him of the mist he had seen surrounding them before he and Teddy had been wisked away to the world they now resided in which only served to fuel his panic even further when a unfamiliar voice rang out from the fog, "Calm, my friend. Nothing will harm you within this plain of existence." Calling out for him to calm down in a bemused tone of voice.
Startled at the unexpected intrusion as his breathing quickly went back to normal when he managed to stand up which lessened his panic a bit more from the flashback before swerving around in each direction to try and spot who or what had called out to him. As if sensing what he was trying to do the fog a few feet in front of him cleared as a shadowy cloaked figure stepped out from the grey mist to stand in front of him. Tensing up in preparation to fight as he focused in on the strange figure he noticed that no matter how much he tried he could not see into the figures hood which was pulled up to cover the figures face that was attached to the long shadowy cloak that covered the persons body from view with the bottom spreading out into tendril like tears along with the long open mouth sleeves.
Once again startling from his daze as the voice once again called out from all around and right in front of him all at once, "Greetings, it's a pleasure to finally meet my master after all this time," as the figure slowly raised it's head to dramatically reveal absolutely nothing but total darkness with two electric green fireballs where the eyes where supposed to be and what could be faintly seen of sharp white teeth stretched into a cheshire cat grin. Focusing intently on the entity before him while trying to figure out how and why they were both here when the voice one again spoke with its unsettling cascadence as it moved it's long skeletal arms in a short mockery of a bow, "My name is many but I am most commonly though of as the natural state of being known as Death, at your pleasure." The figure now identifying itself to be the entity of death which didn't really surprise him as much as it normally would as to prior being located in what he thought was some type of limbo for the second time now, which seemed to please the figure now known as Death as it seemed to smile even wider if at all possible while exuding an aura of delighted excitement.
Shaking himself out of his slight shock as he straitened out of his tensed form, "If you are the being known as Death then why do you call me master?"
Right after he finished the question he could feel the air around them take on the feeling as if someone asked a dumb question they already knew the answer to which seemed to be accurate as Death responded with a dry edge to their tone, "You should already know the answer to that ridiculous question."
'Alright,' he thought dryly to himself, 'Death is apparently a sarcastic bastard, but he not necessarily wrong though.' "If your speaking of the Hallows I've lost the stone long ago when I confronted Snakeface for the last time."
Death seeming to chuckle as he said this as if he were a deluded fool, "You may have 'lost' the stone but that does not mean you didn't gain the title when you united all three when you first touched the stone while walking towards what you thought was your certain death. The very moment your fingers grazed the surface of the stone you gained the title of my master which cannot be revoked even if your 'lost' all of the hallows you still would've had the title etched into your very soul. Even now, though you suppress it to the point of not being able to feel it, you can call all three of them to your person no matter where you or they are as they recognize you as their master."
Gaining a sudden understanding on his situation as the figure in front of his explained the strange awareness he had felt ever since that night. Wanting to know more he relaxed his stance, "What does that mean for me and you?"
Seemingly delighted that he was asking such a straightforward question Death clasped their skeleton hands together as they responded with a chipper tone the role that being Death's master played, "The role of my master is to simply be my companion, a friend and a helper. I may not be a mortal along with having mental, phycological, and physical differences I still enjoy having company, which is the reason I created the Hallows in the first place to find someone worthy of the role that wouldn't abuse the advantages it came with. Which are true immortality with the possibility of choosing to carry on to the afterlife after a few hundred year of filling the role, with the added advantage of taking on a mate that would live just as long as you, knowledge of obscure and powerful magics and the ability of being the companion of Death. Along with helping me judge difficult souls every now and then as along with being the inevitable end of all things it's also my job to judge a soul on wether it goes to the good or bad type of afterlife before possibly being reborn which is where the helper part if the deal comes from. I generally decide based on how much white, grey and black makes up ones soul but every now and then there comes along a soul that comes with a unique mixture that bases on their intent which requires a moral compass to judge fairly which is where your part comes in."
Slumping back as he took a few minutes to process what the eternal being before him had explained with mixed feelings, one hand he could keep the ones he loved the most by his side so he wouldn't go mad but on the other that would be forcing both of them to live inhumanly long lives which mortals where not built to live through. Deciding to take this one step at a time as he could sympathize with what the being was basically asking for Harry then questioned if Death new how he and Teddy landed in another world which Death explained the events that took place during his disappearance and as he couldn't very well die before knowing his status and it's minimum limit, Death had moved both him and Teddy to the closest world where he felt he would find closest compatible mate possible and therefore keeping Harry to where he would want to live longer then just Teddy's lifespan as he would also grant his mate and blood/adopted children longer lives which would be a bloodline of sorts and on the plus side making it to where his mate, children and blood adopted siblings would be immune from the virus, along with informing him of the fact that the mixture in his blood can cure those bit from turning if he catches it within a few hours of being bitten as by then it would be to far gone into the victims heart and brain giving Death a stake on them. And no one stole from Death not even his Master.
Awed by this information Harry thanks Death for all he's done for him and vows to himself that he would blood adopt both Teddy and Carl as soon as he felt it was safe enough for them to go through the lengthy process of adding in the blood and biology of a third parent into their gene pool hopefully before Carl's eleventh birthday as it was concluded that muggle children beneath the age of eleven gained small magical cores if they where adopted by a magically powerful parent, which wasn't a widely known fact as most purebloods didn't care if the children gained magical cores they were originally muggles and therefore would be true half-bloods even if adopted by two parents with Harry only learning of this fact after he read through some of the more obscure medical books in the Black library.
Death and him continuing on to talk for what felt like hours as Death filled him in on some of the more finer details of what being his master entails along with answering any of Harry's questions with clear enjoyment as he conversed with someone other than the souls he judged on a daily bases only to never speak with again, carrying on like this until Harry could feel the pull of sleep tugging on his mind as he once again fell into the embrace of sleep for real this time with the vows he made in the forefront of his mind and his head spinning with the new information related to him.
Slowly coming to the next day, or what he thought was the next day as he couldn't confirm it with the lack of sunlight reaching underground having yet to cast a tempus, slightly groggy as he could barely remember what happened last night in his dreams. Flashes of memories from the previous day running quickly through his mind followed closely by the events and conversations held in his dreams last night. Languidly laying still in the position he woke up in with his eyes still closed as he contemplated the legitimacy of his dream, knowing that after high exposure to stressful situations you can fall asleep deep enough to enter the realm where you could experience a lucid dream.
Freezing in place as he felt a cold wiggling sensation in the back of his head forming into something much like his mental link to his panther, whimpering quietly as he felt it snap almost painfully into place as the deep raspy voice he heard from inside his dream last night whisper into his mind that it was done. Bolting to sit upright in the bed he was laying in he had to calm his breathing as he started gasping for air, only calming down when he felt the warm body of his eldest cub settle himself against his side while still asleep even though he could still feel the mind link with the immortal entity that apparently wanted him as a friend. Slightly shaken up he put it off to focus on till later as he honed in on his two cubs with Carl still curled up against his side still asleep with Teddy right next to the bed also peacefully asleep with his tiny chest rise and falling as he breathed. Smiling softly as he rose up from the bed, replacing his body with that of a pillow, and slipping into his trunk to fix up Teddy's food for the day alongside organizing Carl's snacks. Slipping back out he'd just put the food down and shrunken his trunk back into his choker when Carl started to stir from his sleep.
Smiling as he pressed a soft kiss to Carl's forehead as he opened his eyes and sleepily blinked up at him as he asked him if he was feeling OK. Carl giving him a sleepy smile as he replied with a yes. Harry humming quietly as he ran his tanning fingers through Carl's now soft hair as he asked him if he wanted to help him with breakfast. Gaining a sleepy affirmative he helped Carl out of bed with a quick hair brushing for the both of them before picking up Teddy's carry cot and heading towards the kitchen area.
Setting the cot down on top of island In front of the cooking station, pulling up one of the four legged chairs for Carl to stand on comfortably before setting to work. A hour or so later Harry set out diffrent plates of food with the help of Carl which was individually slap full of slightly burnt scrambled eggs(of which Carl was really proud of having mixed the eggs himself and having helped with the scrambling process under Harry's strict supervision), sausage, bacon and toast with different types of jam he had found in the fridge and room temp butter. Settling Carl on the booth seat next to him that he and the group had claimed for themselves the night before with his plate of food and Teddy's cot beside him as he set to make two different pitchers of both OJ(which he spicked with a bit of sobering potion as he was feeling generous), Milk and a hot pot of tea and coffee. Taking his groups plates over to the booth just as some of the Atlantian group started to rise to the scent of breakfast.
Placing three glasses of the OJ onto their booths table as Lori made a snide comment about there being to many plates out with a jealous look shot at him and Carl. Slamming down the empty glasses he was carrying over to their booth for him, Carl and Sophia just as he caught sight of Carl shrinking in on himself before werling around to snarl out at her, "I don't know if you have some type of short term memory problem or what but unless you've forgot we are a guest here. Me and Carl both made this breakfast today in a way to show our gratitude to the Doctor who let us in last night and you have the audacity to say there's to many plates. We could've very well just've cooked for ourselves and Dr. Jenner but no! We were feeling slightly generous this morning so if it's not up to your prissy standards than kindly make your own and piss off." He smiled chillingly as he finally succeeded in making her go pale and scurry off to go complain to whoever before running a reassuring hand through Carl's hair once again getting a small smile for the boy. Taking his seat next him and lightly tapping at Teddy's cheek to wake him up much to his disgruntlement that was almost immediately replaced by a happy squeal as he was picked up and fed a spoon full of mashed kiwi and banana. Finishing him off with a small bottle of milk and helping him burp before eating his own breakfast just as the rest of his group and Dr. Jenner arrived. Immediately handing a miserably groaning Merle and Daryl the sobering OJ with a commanding look as and uncomfortable looking Carol sat in front of him with he'd own glass and little Sophia who immediately started chattering away with Carl, just catching onto the tail end of a strange look the doctor was giving him before focusing back on his food. Raising an eyebrow at this weird action but intending to ignore it for now as he focused in on his own plate of food and his own group.
Later on dragging them all into the room he and the boys had slept in, briefly noticing a clock on the far wall that was counting down from 42 hours before closing the door with a silencing and locking charm. Satisfied that they wouldn't be overheard by the Atlantian group once they came back from consulting Dr. Jenner about what he found on their blood test he turned back to face his group as he settled on top of the bed along with Carl, Teddy and Sophia as the other adults had brought in chairs to sit on when Harry had made an announcement to his group that he wanted to speak to them about something. Settling in and taking a deep breath while drawing mild comfort from his panther and the brothers presence before explaining as he had to the brothers to Carl, Carol and Sophia that he was a wizard that could do all types of magic, not that he's used any on them, and that he and Teddy had lived in a small community of hidden wizards before leaving to America as the virus spread throughout Europe in its early stages. The three of them gaining dazed looks before Carl broke it by launching himself at him and asking him a million questions a minute as he gained literal stars in his eyes that made Sophia exited to as she picked up on Carl's energy and she to questioned him on his 'super powers' with Carol looking on in bemusement. Sending her a look she only shook her head as she answered his unvoiced question, that while strange, she had already accepted him as a friend, "And besides," she says as she gained a wide grin that she copied from him, "with all that magic it'll be an extra unpridictable protection for the kids right?" as she had noticed the strange dome thing that had covered them from the walkers outside of the CDC. Harry gaining a sheepish look while rubbing the back of his head as he had thought he was being subtle but oh well, before answering back with a grin of his own with the brothers looking on in amusement.
Relaxing totally now that he knew he wasn't going to be rejected as he settled into answering more of Carl's and Sophia's questions with the adults listening in with interest written across their faces. Noticing that Carol was glancing between his slightly brusied lips and Merle before blushing as she smiled a shark like grin at him before he was distracted with one of the questions catching his attention.
Cursing himself for forgetting to show the brothers a fundamental fact of his being when he first informed them of his magic, he explained to them that he was an animagus and what being on entitled to more animalistic instincts and thinking before transforming in front of them. Standing slightly above Merle's hip as he stood up to inspect his form with an impressed whistle which made him puff up his chest with his panther's pride at his beautiful form being appreciated before licking Carl and Sophia on the cheek with his rough tongue along with giving Teddy a soft nuzzle with the end of his snout before changing back and explaining that he was still trying to figure out a name for his form. After a little bit with Carl and Sophia launching into a long list of names the next sounding more ridiculous then the last Daryl piped up with the name Ebony after after a long pause as he considered possible names. Harry contemplating the name as Merle also voiced his opinion on the name with a shake of his head in agreement, considering it even more now as he heard a pleased purr coming from his panther as he accepted the name as its own. Smiling brightly in contentment as he leaned back into the pillows and enjoyed being surrounded by people who accepted him as he was.
Later on in the day after answering a few more questions for all of them, Harry set out to investigate the labs and gather whatever medical information as he could while in this literal goldmine of medical knowledge. Reaching one of the main sections housing the labs by using his magic to get pass the many security features in place and pulled out one of his recording crystals, one of the new genius inventions that both Fred and George had worked on and perfected before they died leaving notes and instructions on how to make them and many of their other inventions to him in their will. The invention itself looked like an ordinary clear blue crystal expect for once it was activated it worked as a 4-D recording device that recorded anything the user wished within a few feet of the room and to see the recording you would have to activate its projector program via a hidden rune etched into the surface of the crystal. Using this to record his actions in case he missed anything at a later date then using a copying spell on all of the physical files he could find, shrinking them into his choker so he could look through them at a later date and 'uploading' all of the files on the computer into the crystal before leaving without a trace that he was ever there. Grinning brightly to himself at his accomplishment before joining all of the others who had gathered in one of the available lab rooms near the kitchen and stepping up to stand besides Merle as he listened closely to what Dr. Jenner was explaining to the group as to what was happening in the video he was showing them of the x-rayed insides of the human skull that showed all of the electrical impulses of the brain, it was apparently a vigil of someone who had been bitten during the initial outbreak and offered up their bodies to be examined. Startling a bit as the white image imprint of a gun muzzle showed through the video and blowed a hole through the patients head a few seconds after reanimation that showed ony a fraction of the electrical impulses as it did when alive, all centralized through the brain stem. Sending Andrea a irritated look as she accused Jenner of shooting his patient like he could help not giving his patient that small mercy of not continuing on as a walker after they died before rolling his eyes and focusing in on the clock on the wall that was slowly counting down from 14 hours now. Emerald green eyes narrowing in suspicion as he nudged Merle from besides him as he pointed towards the clock, Merle's own dark blue eyes widening as he grabbed his brother and Harry before firmly leading them out of the room with Carol following closely after them with the Atlantian group and Jenner looking on after them in suspicion.
Stepping back shortly after Merle released both him and Daryl and hurrying into their rooms to gather their bottomless bags and shoving it to their chest with the orders to gather everything and anything they could find that they could use as all of their things were already in their own perspective bags having charmed one for both Carol and Sophia and one for Carl. Merle urging them to hurry as that clock could only mean one thing, that was the CDC running out of fuel and once it hit zero it would do something that would destroy and decontaminate the building. Understanding hit them like a speeding semi-truck as they all hurried to do as Merle had asked with Carol grabbing Sophia and hitting the kitchen, Merle and Daryl the armory while he ran into his room where they had left the kids to play. Strapping Teddy to his chest once again as he had Carl help him clear out the storage rooms where they kept the medications and medical supplies.
Once finished he sent Carl with the bag back to Merle as he started going through the specialized rooms that were dedicated to finding cures that would need special handling. Summoning a storage stone that was specially used by healers and unspeakables that was basically like a zero gravity sanitized container that held specialized cures and such. Going through each room carefully as he numbered and placed both the test files and viles into the stones, even taking the frozen eggs and sperm cells from the fertility room and placing them in a separate stone with charms in place to make sure they stay frozen. Once done he regrouped with Merle and Daryl in the kitchen as they all helped with putting the preservable food into Carol's and Sophia's bag and taking the non preservable under a few stasis charms that he shrunked and placed into his choker much to the delighted awe of Carl and Sophia who watched as the shrunken food basically looked as if it flew and disappeared into his choker. All in all taking up to five hours to complete which left them with nine hours to spare sharing looks with each other they all followed after Harry as he made to find Jenner. Catching him still inside the room staring unseeingly at the videoed vigil before snapping back to look up at Harry who gave him a searching look as he once again gave him a weird look before looking away. Startling slightly as Jenner blurted out that we are all infected.
Warily stepping further into the room Harry asked, "What do you mean by that?"
Turning to face him with a weary gleam to his eyes Jenner said with a bit of hysteria in his voice as he said, "We were studying this thing ever since it first cropped up but it was elusive to all of our attempts without even knowing for sure how it spread only speculating that it's airborn but is weak inside an living host so at the first sign of severe infection as that of a walker bite it will encourage it to strengthen as the host dies before taking complete control over the motor functions of the brain."
Only slightly stunned at this Harry nodded his head as he had already theorized on how the virus had spread so quickly. Jenner once again going on with a slightly broken maniac look as he said, "All but you, oh if only you had been here at the start or if I had more time to study what's in your blood that makes you immune to this virus I could've made a cure. But that's not possible now not anymore."
Stepping back slightly at the crazed look entering the Doctors eyes as Merle placed a sturdy hand on his shoulder as he stepped in front of him to block off the crazed looking Doctor, "Back off Doc, there's nothing you can do now as you've just said. Now I gather from your little speech that the clock counting down on the wall means exactly what I think it does. What exactly were you thinking when you let us in when this buildings gonna blow in a few hours?"
Jenner shrugged unconcerned as he said, "Standard automatic containment procedures will activate, in the case of this building the air we breathe with ignite and exploded in a relatively quick and painless death."
Merle swearing loudly as he demanded to know how to get out of the building as the Atlanta group sprinkled in to see what the commotion was about with Rick looking like he was about to get in between a furiously cursing Merle and apathetic Jenner while Shane looked smug.
Jenner leaning against his desk, "There is no way out right now as to conserve power VI cut the power to the upstairs, as I said when I first let you in once those doors were closed they were going to stay closed."
Harry taking the lead as he was furious that the doctor was willing to kill the kids with what his twisted mind thought was a mercy and cast a strong compulsion spell on him as he asked if the elevator still worked and after getting a confirmation started leading his family out of the room when the doors closed on them. Furious he turned to see that Jenner had locked them all into the room, cursing at him as he leapt at him intending to beat the ever loving shit out of the Doctor only to be restrained by Merle who held him from behind to his chest. The Atlanta group starting to look worried as they asked what was going on with Harry spitting out at them that Jenner was going to set the air on fire with them still inside once that clock that was slowly ticking down to seven hours reached zero. Shock prevalent on their faces as they started to panic shouting and screaming to be let out. Growling feraly as Daryl took to bashing at the door followed swiftly by Shane, tapping at Merle's arms to let him know he was calm now and to release him. Turning around to face him and asking if he should just make the 'good' doctor open the doors. Merle taking a few minutes of contemplation before waving Carol closer to them in order to shield Harry from the other group seeing his magic as he cast a compelling charm that was strong enough to make him strongly want to open the door. One that was done Daryl, Merle, Harry(and Teddy of course), Carl, Carol and Sophia all raced past the Atlanta group, who were scurrying around like rats in a panic, to their rooms to grab their bags reaching one of the two large elevators and headed for the ground floor.
Racing towards the entrance to see that it was firmly locked with one big glass panel on the side that Merle said would be able to take a rocket launcher, Harry taking the lead as he instructed them to get down with a shielding charm on him and Teddy before he cast a strong bombarda which instantly shattered the thick reinforced glass as the second elevator with the Atlanta group opened up. The Atlanta group rushing past them with Harry angrily noticing that Lori had tried to drag Carl along with her once she got close enough before giving up as Carl snatched his arm back. Snarling at her and Rick as they passed, he and the others all shared a look that they were going with their original plan as the hopped over the sharp glass and sprinted back to their truck just as walkers started to head towards them drawn by the noise. One look at the Atlanta group who had sped off the moment their vehicles were filled had them speeding in the opposite direction as they finally comensed with their original plan of separating from the infuriating group.
Five and a half hours later not even looking back as they heard a muffled boom go off in the distance as they covered the miles on the outskirts of the city as they headed towards one of the areas clearly marked on their map.
AN: So what do you think? And yes before you ask they will be getting a RV in the next chapter along with Andre. Also no they will not be taking over a fort as so many others have had them do that so I'm making them take over a larger gated community that, with inspiration from Debstheslytherinsnapefan during the walling in the kingdom part of Walking Dead Wizard, Harry will wall in and fortify with the help of storage crystals prepared beforehand. Also this will be a bit later on but who should I havethem take in? And should I make some OC's? Y'all going to have to help me out with the people thing because the furthest my knowledge of the Walking Dead goes is them meeting Adam(I think his name was the gay recruiter for Alexandria?) And a little bit about Jesus again because of all the reading I do. Also how does one acquire a beta?
PS. Just to let you guys in on my writing style I have the next chapter generally planned out with a few of your ideas saved away for later, and I'm pretty good with writing out the chapter it's the editing and adding details & dialogue that takes me so long to upload especially with these wisdom teeth giving me head splitting headaches. So I should get the basic format of the next chapter written out two or three days after I upload this one with the editing taking maybe a week or so, so hang in there I swear I'm not abandoning this work it just takes me a while to get anything out along with other interesting prompts that my mind takes on that makes me daydream through them. Seriously don't be surprised if I post a prompt work sometime to get them off my mind till later and maybe inspiring someone else to write them!