*I'm far too poor to be J.K Rowling.*
Hermione called out after Harry as she watched him pull Draco and Lucius out of the Defense classroom after collapsing to the ground not five minutes before.
The class went silent as the three men disappeared, frozen in their seats as though they couldn’t believe what they had just seen. Only Ron and Hermione were used to their friend’s behavior and without saying a word to the other, they gathered their books and bags and quickly started off after Harry.
“He’s too fast.” Ron said simply once they were out in the hallway, only to find it completely devoid of Harry and his mates. Hermione wasn’t expecting her friend to be anywhere in sight: from the terror and urgency on his face, she’d be surprised if he wasn’t already in the dungeons.
“We have to go to Dumbledore, Ron, obviously something’s wrong and I have a feeling Harry isn’t heading for his office right now.” No, he was probably coming up with an incredibly ill-thought out plan that would only serve to raise Hermione’s stress levels until they were well above healthy for the baby that was currently trying to kick its way free of her stomach.
Ron must have agreed with her and after gently taking her hand and shouldering the bag he stole from her (something he had picked up from a certain alchai), he lead her through the castle’s empty hallways.
They found Dumbledore, not in his office, but a few hallways down, walking directly toward them as though on a mission to seek out the two Gryffindors. There was an unexpected look of shock and worry on the headmaster’s face and whatever fragment of peace left in Hermione, went up in metaphorical smoke.
“Come with me.” He ordered and promptly turned in the direction of his office, obviously expecting Ron and Hermione to follow him.
“Sir?” Ron said slowly, his eyes slanting over to Hermione as though waiting for her to coach him. “Something is wrong with Harry, we were just coming to-”
“I know, Mr.Weasley. I felt a disturbance in the wards as Harry, Severus, Draco, and Lucius apparated out of the castle.”
“Apparated?” Hermione asked as she replayed the numerous times people had told her that aparating anywhere near Hogwarts was impossible. How had Harry managed if no one else could, and what had terrified him so thoroughly that he needed to go through such extremes to leave the castle?
“Yes, Miss Granger, I assure you that I’m as perplexed by his actions as you are.”
Their group was suddenly plunged into silence and Ron and Hermione followed behind Dumbledore anxiously as they ascended the spiral staircase leading to his office, where Professor McGonagall was already pacing back and forth, her mouth set in a stern line and her eyebrows dipping toward the center of her forehead in worry.
“What happened, Albus?” She asked the moment Dumbledore and the two students walked in.
The headmaster didn’t answer her as he slowly walked through the office to collapse heavily in his chair. “I don’t know, Minerva.” He replied with a sigh, “I was here, doing paperwork, when the magic of the wards rippled through my office, alerting me that Mr.Potter had apparated out of the castle with his mates in tow.”
It was obvious that not knowing what was going on was weighing heavily on the aging wizard’s mind, perhaps even more so than the fact two of his students and two professors had left the castle in a near panic.
“They couldn’t have apparated out of Hogwarts!” McGonagall hissed, not paying any attention to the two students sitting in the chairs across from the headmaster. “The wards are extremely powerful and meticulously specific, no one can apparate in and out. Not even Merlin himself could break them.”
“The wards weren’t broken, dear, they were just...twisted, manipulated to allow Harry to side along his mates away from here. Though, way he would want to do such a thing is still beyond me.” With those words, Dumbledore turned to Hermione and Ron, who were watching the exchange between the two professors with an equal amount of curiosity and distress.
“He collapsed in DADA.” Hermione said quickly, her mind racing as she tried to decipher what exactly was going on with Harry. “It was only for a second and when he got up, he was absolutely frantic, like a wild animal. He took Draco and Lucius out of the class and by the time Ron and I could run after him, he was already too far for us to follow. I didn’t even imagine he’d apparate out, sir.”
“He’s been having visions,” Ron added, though Dumbledore didn’t seem the least bit surprised by that piece of news. “He must have seen something that triggered this.”
A thought crossed Hermione’s mind, wild and reckless enough that she knew Harry would try it. Especially if he thought his mates and unborn child were at risk.
“Headmaster, could Harry be travelling for Esclaria? His visions were always about elves from what he told us, if he was scared enough, could be find his way to that world? Maybe for protection or as an instinct?”
Please say no. She hoped to every god that bothered to listen, that she was wrong, that her friend wasn’t in a parallel dimension and completely out of reach.
“It’s plausible, Miss Granger.” Professor Dumbledore said and McGonagall sighed deeply before falling into one of the chairs beside the fireplace.
“What are we going to do?”
Before Dumbledore could answer Professor McGonagall’s question, one of the golden devices began to chirp and whirl around in it’s glass covering before settling down. It was shaped like a small book and it was using it’s pages to fly about, though the moment the headmaster’s eyes landed on it, the device relaxed and spread it’s binding wide for inspection.
“Harry was last seen in Canada.” He whispered and Hermione let out a relieved sigh while Ron whistled lowly at the distance the boy had travelled with three passengers.
“What do you mean ‘last seen’?” Hermione asked, “Where is he now?” If Dumbledore had a machine that could tell her where her friend was, why couldn’t the darn thing give them an exact, current, location?
“A Locus Omnium, gives the location of any being whose essence is placed within it.” Professor McGonagall said, though her voice was less “teaching” and more horrified as she advanced on the headmaster. “How did you get it to work, Albus?”
“A hair left in my office, Minni, nothing nefarious, I promise you. I felt this was a severe enough situation to call for such action.” The man’s blue eyes weren’t sparkling as they stared at the transfiguration professor, and the tension in the room became nearly unbearable.
“It doesn’t matter how it happened.” Ron said, “It’s done, what matters is where Harry is.”
“That’s just it,” Dumbledore told him, his eyes softening as they turned to Ron. “It can’t tell me where he is now, only the last place he was located while in this realm.”
“I’m going to kill that little creatin.” Hermione whispered and leaned back in her chair with a deep sigh. “He went to Esclaria didn’t he? He panicked and instead of coming to us for help, he left the damn realm!” She ran her hands down her face, pulling at her lower eyelids as a groan left her lips.
She did not need this kind of stress right now.
“What?” Ron exclaimed, and from the corner of her eye, Hermione saw her boyfriend sit straight up in his chair and look around frantically as if the answers to the world’s questions were somewhere in the headmaster’s office.
“Esclaria, Ronald. The land that all magical creatures were thought to come from. It was thought to be a myth, but apparently it’s not if Harry can’t be found in this realm.”
“But what are we going to do?”
“Nothing, Ron. There is absolutely nothing we can do, because there’s no way to go there. We can’t figure out what scared Harry so badly that he ran from the castle, and there’s absolutely no way we can help him. It’s not like we can just send him an owl.” Just as the words left her mouth, Hermione’s eyes snapped open and she sat up straight in her chair to see that both of the professors and her boyfriend were staring at her questioningly.
“Fawkes.” She whispered and looked over at the phoenix who was sitting on his perch beside the headmaster’s desk and grooming the feathers beneath his wings, seemingly without a care in the world.
“I believe you may be onto something, Ms.Granger.” Dumbledore said and raised an arm, which was the signal for the mythical bird to glide over to him from the perch.
The headmaster didn’t say a word, though he stared into the phoenix's eyes intently, as though he was trying to read his mind. After a few moments, he turned away and the bird went back it’s previous position, albeit much more alert and ready for action.
“Fawkes should be able to travel between the two realms. I don’t believe he’s attempted it, but most magical creatures have an innate ability to realm jump. He shouldn’t have a problem with it.” As though in agreement with Dumbledore’s words, Fawkes let out a soft, song-like thrum that vibrated through every surface in the room.
“Then we can write a letter.” Hermione said, mostly to herself, but loud enough for the others in the room to hear as well. She reached down toward the side of her chair, the same place she would usually place her school bag, but her hand met nothing but empty air.
“Here.” Ron handed over her bag with a crooked smile that he tried to control, but only managed to make himself look even more amused by the situation.
She snatched the item away from her boyfriend and ruffled through her belongings before pulling out a stray sheet of parchment and the charmed, ink-filled quill Harry had made her for Christmas.
It wasn’t until she placed the items on Dumbledore's desk, intent on writing an extremely strong worded letter to her best friend, that detailed exactly how she was going to kill him, when she realized that her hands were shaking so badly that there was no way she was ever going to be able to write legibly.
“I’ve got it, dear.” Professor McGonagall said as she raced over to her student and gently took the quill from her trembling fingers. “You just relax, okay?” The woman’s second hand reached up and pushed Hermione back until she was forced to slump down in her chair.
“I love you.” Harry whispered as he ran his fingers through Draco’s hair. After the excitement with the female alchai earlier, Harry and his mates had retreated to their rooms in the massive castle. Currently, Draco was curled around Harry’s form, his feet resting on Severus’ lap, while Lucius was taking a shower to calm himself down.
Harry and Draco had offered to wash his back...and a few other choice places, but the blonde had refused them. Which was a real shame in Harry’s book: all of that pale skin and blonde hair, dripping wet and covered in suds was what his dreams were made of.
“I love you, too.” Draco replied and placed a kiss on the side of Harry’s neck. “Even when you’re causing all of us a bunch of problems.”
“Which is everyday.” Severus added, and both of his teenage mates turned to him with twin glares. Whether or not he actually saw those glares or not, was up in the air, since his eyes were glued to a ratty looking book he had found in one of the dresser drawers.
“There is no need to be snippy.”
Lucius had walked out of the bedroom, a pair of charcoal pants that must have been transfigured since Harry knew they hadn’t brought anything like that with them, and was currently buttoning up a white shirt.
For some reason, seeing all of that beautiful skin was easily ten times more erotic when it was being covered up. Strange, but oh so true.
“I’m not being snippy, princess, I’m being honest.” Severus told Lucius, though Harry was happy to see that the vampire’s eyes did in fact rise a centimeter to look over the pages of his book and see the shear perfection that was his mate.
Lucius finished the last button and stared at Severus for a moment, his head cocked to the side, before he walked forward and forcefully pulled the book out of the potion master’s fingers and gently thumped it against the side of his mate’s dark head.
“Don’t call me, princess, darling.”
The book was placed on the coffee table in front of the couch and Lucius slowly placed one knee on either side of Severus’ hips, until he was straddling him. “And you were being snippy.” Severus didn’t have time to argue the blonde’s statement, before the veela captured his lips in a deep kiss that had Harry moaning at the mere sight of it.
There was nothing sexier than seeing his mates together.
The kiss, while steamy, only lasted a few moments before Lucius pulled back, though he didn’t move from his position on Severus’ lap.
“What was that for?” He asked, clenching his fingers into the material of Lucius’ shirt. “Not that I’m complaining, mind you.”
“Just needed a pick me up,” Lucius laughed and pressed a second kiss to Severus’ lips before rolling to the side to sit between Severus and Draco.
“Have you been feeling hungry?” Harry asked, knowing that while their healer may have been a fraud, he was correct about some things, such as the fact that Lucius would crave and hunger for sex more often.
It wasn’t an answer and Harry was just about to say something when a knock came from the front door. Odd, since they didn’t know anyone here…
His mates thought the sound was just as out of place as Harry did, if their concerned looks were anything to go by. Harry motioned for them to sit down, though he felt their eyes on his back the entire way to the door, and the tension in the room was nearly unbearable.
“Calm down.” He hissed to himself, but the sound did absolutely nothing to help.
With a sigh, he opened the door a crack to see an unknown alchai standing in the hall, his hands folded neatly in front of him, and his head swiveling back and forth as though he had other places to be and was considering leaving right then.
“Yes?” Harry asked, pulling the door open further, allowing Harry to see that a phoenix was perched on the man’s right shoulder. A phoenix that looked a lot like: “Fawkes?”
“So you do know this bird, Mr. Potter? He’s been terrorizing the owls for hours now, the wards didn’t allow him entrance into the castle and he was doing his damnest to break them.”
“Yes, I know him.” He said quickly, still in shock at seeing something familiar in this strange place. Instinctively, Harry held out his arm and Fawkes flew over to him as though it was the most natural thing in the world.
“I’ll inform the ward keepers to alter the wards to allow him future entry into the castle, sir. If there are any other creatures you plan to visit you, please let someone know in advance.” His violet eyes narrowed slightly at the phoenix on Harry’s arm, but they returned to normal quickly as he turned and retreated down the hall.
“Look who came to visit.” Harry said, holding up his arm for his mates to better see Fawkes. “The man outside said he’s been trying to get to us for hours.” As he spoke, his ran his fingers over the bird’s feathers and watched with a smile as he preened and leaned into the touch.
He didn’t even notice the way Draco and Lucius’ eyes narrowed dangerously with every caress to the magical avian.
It was halfway through one of those caresses, that Harry noticed that there was a small scroll tied tightly to the bird’s foot.
“What do you have there?” He reached forward and untied the scroll before freezing with the paper between his fingers when he realized exactly why Fawkes was here with a letter.
“We didn’t tell anyone we were leaving.” Harry said loudly enough for his mates to hear from across the room. “We just left...they’re probably going bonkers trying to figure out what happened.”
Sensing the sudden change in Harry’s mood, Fawkes flew over to one of the bookshelves in the room and perched himself on the tallest level as Harry stumbled over to the couch and retook his seat.
“Hey, we were in danger, Harry, there was no time to tell anyone. And it’s not like they could have come with us anyway! They’re safer away from us.” Severus said, reaching across his other two mates to lay a large hand on Harry’s knee. “Your responsibility was to keep us safe, not to inform all of your friends that we were leaving.”
How could that man go from being snippy and snarky one minute, to caring and sensible in the next?
Despite the change, the man’s words didn’t make the guilt in Harry lessen in the least.
Harry felt soft fingers pulling the scroll out of his grip and he let Draco have it, too frazzled and upset to actually read the damned thing at the moment.
“Severus is right, Harry. Just calm down, alright? Someone knows where we are if they thought to send Fawkes with a letter. Your friends are worried, but they know you’re okay.” Lucius told him as he came to kneel in front a shell-shocked Harry. He took the teen’s face in his hands and forced their eyes to met over the few inches separating them.
Lucius looked so sure, so utterly perfect, that Harry couldn’t help but believe every word that left his mouth and sank into the man’s embrace without bothering to fight it.
“The headmaster, along with Hermione, the weasel and McGonagall; have correctly guessed as to your location.” Draco said absent mindedly, and Harry turned his head, which was lying against Lucius’ shoulder, to look over at the blonde. He had the scroll completely unraveled and his grey eyes were scanning the written words with mild interest.
“They just want to make sure you’re okay and are wondering what caused you to run off in the first place.” Draco finished and rolled up the parchment with a practiced flick of his wrist.
“That’s it?” Harry asked skeptically, his eyes narrowing in Draco’s direction until the older teen gave an annoyed huff and sent the scroll flying over to Harry.
“Of course that’s not ‘it’, Harry. It’s nearly two feet of parchment, and most of it is complete drivel, but the jist of it is that they’re worried about you.” Draco told him as Harry pulled away from Lucius to grab the missive from the air. “As they should be, since you brought us into a fucking war zone.”
The last part was whispered, obviously not meant for anyone’s ears other than his own, but the three other men in the room heard it loud and clear.
“Draco-” Severus began, reaching out toward the young veela and quite obviously annoyed that the teen was bringing this up, again.
Draco evaded Severus’ hand and stepped away from his mates. “Just write back to them and tell them we’re okay, alright? Make sure to add in a good dollop of Gryffindor sentiment and tell Hermione ‘hello’ for me.”
With that said, the teen turned on his heel and walked into the bedroom, closing the door softly behind himself.
“I thought he was over that.” Lucius sighed a few moments later. “Though it was obviously misguided of me to believe Draco would let anything drop without drawing it out for several days and ensuring all of us feel exceptionally guilty.”
“He can pout all he wants, but I refuse to feel a shred of guilt over his childishness.” Severus replied while Harry unrolled his letter and began reading Hermione’s neat script. “If he thinks being angry and throwing temper tantrums will solve our troubles, then he’s as stupid as his mother.”
“Sev.” Harry chided sharply without looking up from the parchment. “Simmer down.”
Just as Draco had said, there was indeed, quite a bit of information crammed onto the large piece of parchment. Statements that expressed just how worried everyone was by his sudden departure were intermittently interrupted by questions asking just what had scared him enough to run off, when he’d be back, if he needed their help, and a plethora of others.
He felt horrible that he had left them to worry about him, mostly because he knew how worried and panicked he’d be if Hermione or Ron suddenly disappeared into a mysterious realm that was impossible to get to. However, Lucius and Severus had a point when they said Harry hadn’t had a choice in the matter, it was a life and death situation and if he had to pick between keeping his mates safe and preventing his friends from worrying, then it was no contest at all.
“I’m going to write a reply to this.” Harry held up the scroll as though neither of the two older men would know what he was talking about otherwise, and headed toward the bedroom door where he had seen a quill and an ink well. “Play nice.” was the last thing he said before stepping into the bedroom, fully expecting a hex to fly this way.
But nothing happened. At all.
All of the lights were on in the room and Draco was sitting in the center of the bed reading a transfigured book with a scowl on his beautiful face, but he didn’t look nearly as upset as he had earlier that day.
Merlin, Harry hoped that was a good sign, because he could not deal with an upset veela right now.
“You okay?” Harry asked stupidly and mentally cursed himself for opening up a potentially massive can of worms.
“Fine. I’m not happy, but I’m fine.” Draco replied absentmindedly.
How in the world was he supposed to respond to that?!
“I’ll be out in a bit.” Draco continued, even after Harry’s stupid reply. “I just need to collect myself first.”
Harry nodded, still unsure that anything he could say would be acceptable or even wanted at the moment, and gently took the quill and ink off the desk and made a beeline for the door.
For some ungodly reason, he stopped at the side of the bed and before Draco could curse him or he could think better of his actions, he climbed up on the bed just enough to lean over and press a soft kiss to the side of Draco’s head.
“I love you.”
“So you’ve said, dear.” Draco laughed sarcastically and he opened his mouth as though to say something else, only to slam it shut and sit straight up on the bed.
“You might want to stay in here with me for awhile if you want to get any work done.” He finally laughed, “Sev and Lucius are otherwise engaged.” Draco chuckled to himself as though he had just told a rather funny joke before relaxing back into the pillows behind him.
To be quite honest, Harry wasn’t sure if he really wanted to finish the letter that badly (and to be quite honest, he wasn’t sure if Draco was that upset either), but after a few moments of internal struggle, he decided to reply to his friends and to leave his two older mates to themselves. It was rare for any of them to get one on one time with another of their mates, and Severus and Lucius deserved a moment without their younger mates hanging around.