Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Slavery, n/c, d/c, AU
Pairings:Snape/Harry, Draco, Ron/Hermione, etc,
Summary: Harry Potter has been missing since childhood, Voldemort is on the rise again, a young Tom Riddle was resurrected when the Chamber of Secrets was opened and a child died, the prophecy says that only The Chosen One can defeat him, but where is he?......
Disclaimer: Don't own it, if i did it would NOT be PG
To Kim, for your birthday. Have a great one love! Missing you TQA.
Other chapters under the cut, linked from twenty nine
Chapter Thirty One.
Chapter Thirty Two.
Chapter Thirty Three.
When Severus awoke, the sweet weight of his boy’s head was resting on his chest. For a moment, just for a moment, he thought it was any normal day. But it wasn’t. Severus thought that things would probably never be normal again.
He stroked Farid’s cheek with the back of his hand. He ran his fingers rhythmically over the cheekbone and down to the jaw again and again, luxuriating in the soft downy smoothness. Farid still did not seem to need to shave very much and Severus had always believed that this was down to the effects of the vampire blood he had been given to inhibit maturity. Today though, there was a slight roughness, the hint of a prickle under the skin.
Severus’ own cheeks were wet again. He had not cried for so many years now, the last time being when his mother died, the last time before Farid came into his life, that is. Severus’ insides twisted with guilt once again. How could he have been so stupid? How could he have lost control like that? How could he have let himself get so fucking pissed? Especially with the father that he had had, the childhood that he had suffered, how could he have done that to Farid?
If only he could live last night over again, how differently he would do things, he told himself. Just for a second, he tried to pretend that Farid was about wake at any moment and they would start a normal day. He would snark a little bit and Farid would smile and kiss him and make sure that he had all he would need for the busy day ahead. But Farid was still unconscious. Severus could tell that from the weight of the boy’s body against his, the fact that he was floppy and unresponsive, that his skin was slightly clammy, that his gorgeous eyes were closed.
Severus gently removed himself from beneath Farid and, after first using a couple of quick spells to take care of Farid’s bodily functions, he headed for the bathroom himself. He left the door open, since Farid was lying where Severus could see him easily and could keep an eye on the sleeping boy. Severus was determined not to leave him alone, even for a moment. He was desperately worried about how Farid would be when he awoke; he was going to be there to comfort him. If Farid would have him, that is.
He cast Tempus to find out what time it was and was startled to find out that it was 3:30pm. It was afternoon, he knew that, because a dull metallic light was doing its very best to illuminate the room through the spelled windows as there were no real windows this deep in the castle. It was very grey, but probably as light as it was ever going to be on a dull November afternoon this far north.
He thought he would go through to the little kitchen and fetch some tea and then return to Farid. As he walked towards the door, he wondered what Albus had done about his classes that day. He opened the door to be confronted by the most remarkable scene. His sitting-room was crammed to the ceiling with all manner of strange and wonderful objects. Chocolate Frogs, Ever-Scented Flowers, huge boxes of chocolates with cover pictures that constantly changed, and more strange-looking cards and soft toys than Severus had ever seen in one place. Most of the toys were moving, as were some of the cards. Some of these peculiar items even seemed to be singing but they were emitting no sound at all.
In the middle of this bizarre cavalcade sat an engrossed Ron Weasley, who was turning a Quidditch magazine upside down in order to look more closely at one of the pictures.
Severus checked back over his shoulder to see that Farid was okay before hissing, “Weasley, what in Merlin’s name are you doing?” Ron smiled up at him sadly, completely unperturbed.
“’Lo, Professor,” he said calmly, obviously at ease amongst the outlandish objects that were currently taking over Severus’ chambers. “Why don’t you go and sit with Farid, and I’ll bring you something to eat and drink. Oatcakes, cheese and Earl Grey be alright?” Severus nodded dumbly. He had no idea whatsoever as to what might have happened to produce the extravaganza of awfulness that seemed to have descended on his elegant sitting-room, or how Weasley came to be part of it all, but he found that while Farid slept on, he didn’t really care all that much, either.
He made his way back to the bed, this time sitting down in the small upholstered chair that stood beside the bed. Farid would love the circus outside, he decided. Maybe he would carry him into the sitting-room later and tell him all about the bizarre happenings.
He reached over to stroke Farid’s hair, only to jump back somewhat guiltily when Ron came into the room carrying a tray. He set it beside Severus on the small table and, after considering the bed for a moment, sat himself on the floor instead.
“He looks so peaceful, doesn’t he?” he asked Severus. “You wouldn’t think he had had to deal with such crap, would you? How is he doing, do you think? How are you doing, Professor, come to that?” Ron looked at him with something akin to concern in his eyes.
Severus couldn’t answer. For some reason, this boy, who obviously adored Farid, was being nice to him, Severus, when really he deserved a good smack. Just like the one Ron had delivered to Black just a few short weeks ago.
But Ron was still looking at him enquiringly, so he just nodded and looked away. “Drink up, sir,” he was saying, “You’ll need your strength.” Severus obeyed, but not before offering the cup to Ron.
“No, no thanks,” he said. “Can’t stand that stuff. It tastes like gnats piss, if you ask me. I’d rather have a coffee any day.”
“What’s going on?” Severus asked.
“Oh, I cast a silencing spell because all those cuddlies were doing my head in. Most of them are spelled to sing variations of ‘Get Well, Farid’ and when they all go off together, which they seem to do every few minutes, they are enough to drive anyone mental! I thought that you needed some quiet so I zapped them.”
Severus was feeling frustrated.
“I don’t just mean with the toys, you foolish boy! I mean what has happened, generally, whilst I was asleep.”
Ron grinned up at him, “You haven’t lost your snark then, Professor? The world must still be turning then?”
Severus blushed, and Ron took pity on him then because he began to talk.
“Those things have been arriving all day. Some of them were delivered by house elves. Some of them just appeared, which was a bit of a nightmare because then you are not sure if they are safe or not, and you have to try and catch them then. Took me and Neville and Hermione half the morning to check stuff over, then Herm put an exclusion spell around your rooms. Now only those that have been sent by close friends make it through. The rest are diverted to the kitchen area for the house elves to sort out. I hear that three rooms are full already. Hermione wasn’t too chuffed that the elves got involved, but she didn’t have a lot of choice. The elves are delighted, of course; it’ll keep them busy for weeks, apparently.
“Hermione calls it the ‘Farid Effect’. He does seem to have acquired a lot of friends in a very short time, doesn’t he? Quite a few of them are for you, though. That monkey had your name on it.” Severus looked at where Ron was pointing to see a hideous pink monkey, which was swinging from the back of a chair, holding up a sign that read “Hang in there, Sev. Thinking of you. From all at the ‘Fox and Ferret’.” Severus’s jaw dropped.
“I know!” Ron continued, “Weird, huh? Anyhow, I’m on duty right now, because we all decided that we couldn’t possibly leave you on your own, so we are helping you. Hermione and Draco have taken over your classes. I’m on baby-sitting service, for now at least, in case you need anything. Professors Lupin and Black will be along later, but you’ve got me for a while anyway.”
Severus was stunned.
“My baby-sitting service?” Severus asked, “Why would you..?” He was lost for words. This boy, whom he had never been particularly kind to, who he had unceremoniously thrown out his NEWT level potions class, was sitting with him? He was here for Farid, obviously, but Severus could not help being a bit touched just the same, but Ron was still speaking.
“You see, I think you have had a bit of a shit time, and that you probably need some support. Professor Lupin explained to us all about this bond that you and Farid are under. He said it is very powerful, that it acts through strong emotions, uses them to control those who have been bound by it, and that last night he thinks it probably pushed you over the edge. He thought you had been trying to control its effects for some time on your own and that finally last night you lost. So I’m here for you, and for him, of course.” His eyes softened as he looked back at Farid.
Severus’ eyes filled with tears.
“’Course, if you ever hit him again, I’ll fucking kill you.”
Severus choked on his tea, but Ron seemed not to have noticed.
“He is a really special little guy, isn’t he?
“When I first saw him I was really pissed off at him. There was this weird-looking kid, holding my girlfriend’s hand. I nearly smacked him there and then. But then, he asked me about Ginny and said he was sorry that she had died, and then I heard about some of the things he had been through in his life and I felt like a right wanker.” Ron’s eyes had filled with tears now and he was staring ahead into the near darkness that had quietly descended.
“Nobody ever talks about Ginny anymore, you know? No one even remembers her. But she was my little sister and I didn’t look after her. She was brighter than me, and funnier, and better in every way, really.”
He looked at Severus, his eyes glittering with more tears, ready to join the ones making their way unchecked down Ron’s cheeks.
“It should have been me that died. I wouldn’t have been missed as much as she was, I wasn’t as precious.”
Severus tried to say something, but Ron stilled him with a fierce look.
“Don’t try and deny it, because it is true. But this one, this funny, brave strong little kid, he gave me reason to live again. In some ways it’s like having Gin back, ‘cause she was like he is in some ways. I’d do anything for him. He is so strong, so full of life. He is stronger than us all. You know that, don’t you?”
Severus smiled wryly and nodded.
“He is going to be alright, you know,” Ron was continuing. “He has survived so fucking much, you know, that bastard of an uncle, the vampires, V….Voldemort. A little shit like Nott isn’t going to stop him for long. We’ll get him back; we’ll look after him. Yeah, and we’ll look after you too, Professor.” Ron stood up and squeezed Severus’ shoulder.
“Wwhy would you?” Severus whispered. “Why would anyone care about me?”
“I don’t rightly know,” Ron answered honestly, “Personally, I was never able to stand you. You were always a right nasty git to me and my brothers. But Farid loves you, s’obvious, shines out of him. Which make me think you must be alright, because he is a good judge of character, I think. And of course it’s obvious that you love him too. It sort of shines out of you too. You have been good to him, and loving, and you have really allowed him to grow. We’ve all watched that, s’impressive, considering how damaged he was when he first came.
Everything he does, it’s, ‘Must tell Master,’ or ‘Master says this, Master says that’. He fucking adores you. But this time you don’t have to look after him on your own cause we are here as well, for as long as you need us.”
He bent and picked up the tray. “I think that I’ll keep the others away, you look completely knackered. Tomorrow’ll be soon enough for visitors, I think.”
Severus watched him turn to leave, but just before the red haired man got to the door, Severus called him back.
“Ron,” he asked, “What happened to Nott and, erm and the others?”
When Ron turned back, Severus actually flinched, as the look on the normally cheerful face was nothing less than murderous.
“They are in the Room of Requirement. It is the only place in the castle that is strong enough to protect them. Professor Dumbledore wants to speak to you before he makes a decision. He better hurry up though, I reckon. The room won’t stop us getting to them forever. But you need to be there too, I think, so rest yeah?”
Severus nodded, too overcome to speak.
He sat and watched Farid for a while, turning over everything in his head, trying to make sense of everything that Ron had said and what it might mean. Sometime earlier the fire had been lit. Severus hadn’t noticed who had done it, probably Ron. But the dancing flames now provided the only illumination. He closed his eyes and massaged his temples. He didn’t know what time it was now, how long he and Ron had talked.
He buried his face in his hands and gave a deep sigh, who knew what the next day would bring?
He looked up to find himself being watched. Reflecting the firelight was a pair of multifaceted emerald eyes, regarding him with puzzlement.
“Farid?” he breathed, “Farid?”
Severus stifled a sob. He did not want to frighten the boy. So gently, carefully, he made his way over to the bed. Farid was lying on one side, facing him, still looking confused.
“Shush, Darling, oh shush. It’ll be alright.” He was patting Farid’s face, touching his hair, reassuring himself that what he was seeing was real. “I’m here now. I am so sorry, but you are safe now, it’s alright, my love, alright.”
Carefully he wrapped his arms around the boy, cradling him to his chest, as he scooted onto the bed beside him. Farid looked up at him. He was obviously bewildered.
“Masteerr, I’m sor…”
“Oh no, you don’t,” Severus said, gently placing a finger on the boy’s lips. “You have nothing whatsoever to be sorry for, my precious love, nothing to be sorry for. It is me that should be sorry, but we’ll not talk tonight, just rest right now.”
Farid’s brow was wrinkled, like he was desperately trying to remember something, but couldn’t think what it was.
After gazing at Severus for a moment or two though, he seemed to come to a decision and closing his eyes, he wrapped his arm around Severus’ waist and snuggled closer. His breathing slowed and seconds later he was asleep.
Severus sat like that holding him for hours, stroking his hair. Silent sobs wracked his body. He had never felt so happy and yet so sad in all his life. After all that had happened, Farid had still turned to him. Farid had woken and known who he was. Farid was battered, confused and still dozy from whatever potion he had been given, but he was alive. He was himself, it seemed, he had not been lost.
And tonight, for Severus, that was more than enough.