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Wild Child

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Thirteen years after the kidnapping of Harry Potter at the age of three. A young boy is found on a raid of one of Voldemort's strongholds. This child comes with more questions than answers as he seems more animalistic than human. Just what does the Order have that Voldemort wants back so badly? Snarry hp/ss slash AU

xXx

 

 

Potter child snatched from home!

The Potter heir was taken from his home in Godric’s Hollow late last night.  Lily and James Potter, the parents of missing Harry Potter, were found under a very powerful sleeping charm.  Aurors were called out to the Potter residence after a neighbour spotted the Dark Mark in the sky over the house.  The parents of the small three year old, Harry Potter, are urging anyone that knows where the child is to contact the Auror division of the ministry…’

-The daily Prophet.  Nov’ 31, 1983.

 

‘Dark Lord disappears!

You-know-who has not been seen for over a week, Aurors hope for the best…’

-The daily Prophet.  Feb’ 9, 1984.

 

‘Search still on for Harry Potter!

The search is still on for the missing three year old, whom was snatched from his home over three weeks ago.  Hope is dwindling for finding the child alive, but his family have not given up…’

-the daily Prophet.  Feb’ 20, 1984.

 

‘Is the Dark Lord dead?’

-The daily Prophet.  April’ 4, 1984.

 

‘Funeral for stolen child.

A private funeral is being held today for the family of missing child, Harry Potter after remains, thought to be the child were found.  The Potter heir was kidnapped from his home five months ago and has never been seen again.  The Potter family and a few close friends will be farewelling the child in a private ceremony…’

-The daily Prophet.  June’ 4, 1984.

 

‘Dark Lord back in force!’

-The daily Prophet.  July 1, 1987

 

Boy found in torture chamber!

A young boy was recovered from one of You-know-who’s torture chambers in last night's raid.  The ministry is unaware of how long the boy has been kept captive and are now trying to find out his name.  The boy has yet to waken but doctors are hopefully that he will make a full recovery….’

-The daily prophet. June 5, 1996.

 

‘Mystery boy slips into coma!

The black haired child that has captured the hearts of the wizarding world has fallen into a coma.  Healers at St. Margo’s were doing their best but that wasn’t enough last night.  The young man has not woken since he was recovered over a week ago….

-The daily Prophet.  June 28, 1996.

 

xXx

The child had been at St Mungo’s for two weeks and still showed no signs of waking, no one could understand it.  Yes, every medical person on staff would say that his injuries were extensive but they didn’t warrant for the boy’s unconsciousness.

Dr Brad Fawkner, the boy’s healer, didn’t know what to make of the dark haired child.  His scans didn’t work and kept coming up with odd readings that he’d never seen before. Any spells they tried would either bounce off the child or just fail.  The only medical remedies that would penetrate the boy’s protections were potions and muggle techniques.  He had most of the magical medical world scratching its head in puzzlement. Even more for the almost inhuman rate of healing. He was sure, if not for that healing ability, that he wouldn't be alive today. So, Brad was thankful for that at least.

The doctor picked up the boy’s chart at the end of the hospital bed and wrote, in almost unreadable handwriting, his patient's condition.  He had come out of his coma two days ago and many hoped he would wake any day now.  Brad wasn’t so sure; the boy didn’t seem to follow any normal medical timetable. He hadn't woken the whole time that he'd been at the hospital which had just caused more speculation of his identity.

Brad sighed and replaced the clipboard at the end of the bed, just as a few nurses came in to change the bedding.  Brad gave them a nod as they worked to change his bedding and hospital clothing, the muggle way. Since their normal spells refused to work. He watched for a while as the nurses worked and winced at the sight of the boy's ribs and healing injuries. His chart hadn't been a pleasant read as he moved out of the room and walked off down the hall. It was time for him to go home, he was sure that the hospital would page him if anything happened.

xXx

Emerald opened his eyes to darkness. He knew deep down that it was a few hours to dawn and that he was alone in the room.  He waited for his eyes to focus before sitting up carefully and looking around. He was in what looked like a hospital room.  He shifted onto his stomach then onto his hands and knees.  He sniffed the air as he tried to sense out if anyone else was close by. However, the room must have been warded for he couldn’t sense anything outside. 

He leaped to the ground, on all fours, sniffing the ground trying to find out where he was. It had been a long time since he was in a normal room as he looked around at everything. His vision perfect in the dark room. He took in the scents in the room from people coming and going and the clean medical smells in general. He felt stiff and sore but he was used to that.

Emerald closed in on the door and slowly stood up to stand on his two feet. He could feel the ache in his body as he stretched slightly as he stood hunched before the door.  Emerald sniffed at the magic that he could just pick up, even if he didn't know the spells. He reached out and grabbed the handle and was surprised to find that it turned easily under his hand.

Before he could open the door, however, it opened for him.  Emerald jumped back, landing in a fighting stance, low to the ground as his eyes focused. He didn't know what to expect as he touched his fingers to the vinyl flooring to balance himself. A dark haired man entered the room silently and closed the door behind him without noticing Emerald.  The man turned back as a light lit up the room and Emerald blinked quickly as his sensitive eyes were flooded with light. The man's eyes widened when he spotted him on the floor and Emerald pulled back quickly.

Emerald growled at the man that smelt like his master.  The man held up his hands and didn't move any closer.

“It's okay,” The man said quickly, his voice smooth.  “I’m not here to hurt you.”

Emerald sniffed the air but he couldn’t detect a lie. Didn't mean that he trusted the man, he was one of his master's followers.

“My name is Severus Snape.” The man told him as he knelt down on the floor before him.

Emerald had a feeling that the man was going against everything in him to kneel before him.  The man held out a hand and Emerald took in his scent as he shifted forward. Severus held still and didn't try to grab him or make any sudden moments.

Emerald slowly and cautiously crept closer to the man on the floor.  Severus just knelt there and let the wild boy move at his own pace. He had seen the file of the boy and knew of the condition that he'd been found in. He had also helped with the potion to treat him and had seen his medical file. The photos had been hard to look at as he looked at the child now. By the looks of him, he wasn't sure of the boy's sanity as those green eyes watched him warily. There was something off putting and wild in the way he moved on his hands and feet and sniffed the air. It reminded Severus of a wild animal more than a human.

The child crouched before him and Severus held still. He shifted forward and butted his head against Severus’s outstretched hand as if he was an animal wanting a pat which just concerned the older man.  Severus carefully ran a hand over the boy’s tangled hair and was surprised when he started purring like a cat. They had no idea what they were dealing with as he looked the child over. He was just skin and bone and his shirt and pants looked large and loose on his thin frame.

Emerald slowly curled up around the other man as he ran his hand over his hair and along his back.  He could still smell his master’s taint but Severus's own scent almost overrode that.  The two spent a while just sitting on the floor until Severus broke the silence.

“The Dark Lord is after you,” Severus stated suddenly.

Emerald raised his head to look Severus in the eye. He’d known that his master would want him back. His master always wanted him back and after what had happened…Emerald shivered and shielded away from those thoughts.

“I’ve come here to take you to a safe place,” Severus explained simply, unsure how much the boy could understand.

Emerald knew he wasn’t safe here in this room, but would he be any safer with Severus? He was sure that if he stayed here that his master would get him back. Did he want that or to go with Severus?

“I need to take you soon,” Severus added.

Emerald laid his head down on the man’s knee and wrapped a hand around his thigh, as if to say 'I trust you'. Severus wasn't sure how much he could interprete from the child's actions and how much reflected the torture he'd suffered.

“Does that mean you will come with me?”

Emerald rubbed his head on the man’s leg.  Severus understood what he was trying to say and reached into his pocket for something.  Emerald knew the minute Severus pulled out a portkey. Severus held out the small book for Emerald to see. The boy reached forward and took a side of the book in his small hand and with a quiet word the world dissolved into colours around the two.

When they landed; Emerald sprung away from Severus, hissing and snarling, when he smelt other people in the room.  Several people jumped back in surprise at the wild boy's actions. Severus however, quickly knelt down and held his hand out. Emerald looked around warily before slowly creeping back towards him. He moved to curl against Severus and the dark haired man ran his hands down his back. He was so tired and couldn't deal with all the people and scents in the room.

“Sh,” Severus cooed softly.

To the surprise of the room and Severus. Emerald calmed under his hands and curled up around the him. His eyes were sharp and wary as they looked around and his grip on Severus's leg was tight. They could also see how tired and worn he looked as he huddled there.

Dumbledore coughed, bringing the attention of the room back to him. 

“Well, that was unexpected.” He said, stating the obvious.

Emerald hissed at the man, making Severus rumble a soft laugh that only the wild boy could hear.  The Order looked down at the two, unsure on what to make of them.

Emerald ignored them all as they argued between themselves. He liked the feeling of magic swirling around him even if it was darkly tainted. He’d lived most of his life surrounded by dark magic and felt comfortable around it.

Emerald looked up at the man next to him as he talked about what condition he'd been found in.  Emerald hissed lightly as Severus mentioned his master and dug his nails into Severus’s leg but otherwise stayed quiet.  He wasn’t well enough to fight anyone at the moment and could already feel sleep pulling at him but he couldn't while so many people were around him.

“He will have to stay with you, Severus.” The headmaster stated as he looked down at the pair. 

Severus didn’t have to ask why.

xXx

Emerald looked around his new room, it was a nice size with big windows that overlooked the street outside.  Emerald had a feeling he would spend hours looking out that window, just because he could.  He hadn’t had a view of any kind for a very long time. He had almost forgotten what the sky looked like or the grass felt like under his feet.

That was where Severus found him, curled up on the seat before the window as he looked out at the world beyond the glass. The late afternoon sun dimming the light in the room.

“It’s not the best view,” Severus commented.

Emerald looked up at him for a minute before going back to the window. Severus moved closer as he kept an eye on him.

"Can you talk?" Severus asked.

Emerald glanced at him before curling up a little tighter on the window seat. Severus came to sit down next to him and he moved to lay his head on his knee. He could feel how tense the man was at that action but since he didn't push him away he stayed there. He looked out onto the street as Severus relaxed and laid a hand on his back.

"We are staying here for a few weeks," Severus told him after a few minutes.

Emerald curled his hand around Severus's leg.

"Albus wanted me to question you about your time with the Dark Lord," Severus said softly as he looked him over.

Now that he could see the boy clearly. He noticed how broad his shoulders were and just how thin the rest of him was. He couldn't see any injuries but knew the state they had found him in. He knew there would be scaring even with the skills of the mediwizards. He also knew that some of those scars would run deeper than just his skin. Just the way he'd acted, so far, gave away his state of mind.

"Do you have a name?" Severus tried again.

"Emerald," The boy whispered.

Severus started at the soft voice and looked down into the boy's green eyes. He could see intelligence there but also a wildness. He shivered when he remembered the boy's chart and the odd reading that had come up. They were sure that he wasn't completely human.

"Are you a wizard?" Severus asked.

Emerald just laid his chin back on his knee and looked out the window. Severus let his hand rest on his shoulder, feeling the bones under his fingers. The boy pulled his knees further under him, reminding Severus of a large cat.

"Come in," Severus called out at the knock on the door.

"I have some food here for you," Molly announced with a smile as she came through the door but her smile froze as she looked at them.

Severus could feel Emerald tense under his hand as he watched Molly, intensely.

"Thank you, Molly." Severus replied. "Please leave it on the table."

Molly gave a nod and a smile as she bustled over to the table with the food. Emerald watching her every more. She turned to look at them and Severus could feel the tension in the boy and the way he pulled back slightly.

"How are you feeling, dear?" Molly asked with a soft smile.

Emerald just looked at her as he shifted slightly so that he was facing her as his hand tightened around Severus's leg. Molly looked away from him and focused on Severus instead.

"Has he said anything, Severus?" Molly asked.

"His name is Emerald," Severus replied as he rubbed the boy's shoulder but he could still feel the tension. "He's said nothing else."

"The news reports were horrible," Molly gushed.

"Yes," Severus drawled.

Molly's eyes darted to Emerald before focusing on Severus.

"How old do you think he is?" Molly mused.

"His chart said 'unknown'," Severus sated.

"The spell didn't work?"

"They were having problems with the readings," Severus remarked and looked down at the boy. "I would guess twelve or thirteen."

Molly looked him over and gave a nod in agreement.

"Hard to tell," Severus observed. "He's just skin and bone, so he could be older."

"Once you have eaten," Molly informed him. "Everyone else is here for the meeting."

Severus gave her a nod and Molly gave them a smile before leaving them alone. Severus looked down at the boy and gave him a soft shove and his green eyes locked on him.

"Food, move." Severus ordered and the boy hissed at him slightly.

Severus just stood up and moved to the table and took a seat. He picked up a sandwich and started eating as he opened the paper. He ignored the boy and started slightly as Emerald slipped into the seat across from him. He crouched on the seat with both feet under him as he looked at the food on the table. Severus gave the odd way of sitting a glance before looking back at the paper.

"Take what you want," Severus said mildly as he made a coffee.

Emerald reached out and picked up a sandwich and looked around.

"Do not leave the table until you are finished," Severus snapped when the boy went to move.

Emerald looked over at him, bared his teeth and hissed at him. Severus raised an eyebrow in answer and the boy settled down. He slowly ate half of the sandwich as he watched Severus closely. The man poured a glass of juice and pushed it across the table towards him. Emerald took a sniff of it before pulling it closer. He took a sip and frowned at the taste as he curled his other leg under him more, until he was sitting on his legs on the chair.

"Tropical juice," Severus explained as Emerald took another sip. "I should put a potion in there to help you gain weight."

Emerald placed the cup back down and Severus pulled out his potion pouch. He laid out a few potions on the table, interested in what the boy would do. Emerald reached out and slid the nutrient potion towards him slightly and Severus raised an eyebrow. There was nothing on the vial to indicate which potion was which. He did that intentionally to his potions, unless they were too close in look and smell to another one.

"You know potions?" Severus inquired.

Emerald just went back to his sandwich as Severus uncorked the potion and tipped it into the juice. The boy's eyes watching him the whole time.

"Do you know which one is a sleeping potion?" Severus questioned.

Emerald reached out and picked one up. Severus sighed but the boy just uncorked it and took a sniff before placing it with the others and picking up the right one.

"I want you to take that one," Severus ordered. "You need sleep."

Emerald placed it next to his plate and picked up his juice without a word. Severus went back to his paper, taking his time to have his coffee. Emerald picked up another sandwich but only had a couple of bites before finishing his juice. He picked up the sleeping potion and slipped it away in his pocket. Severus watched him over the paper as the boy slipped from his chair and moved over to the window seat and curled up.

The boy moved strangely, slightly crouched over and didn't look comfortable moving on two feet and Severus frowned at that. He finished off his coffee and folded up the paper before placing it on the table. Green eyes watched him the whole time as he stood.

"I'm going to lock the door," Severus told him. "I should be back in an hour or two."

Emerald just watched him and Severus walked to the door with the boy's eyes on his back the whole time.

xXx

"How have you gone with the child?" Albus asked Severus when they were all settled at the large table.

"His name is Emerald," Severus reported. "And he knows some potions by sight and smell. That's it."

"He spoke?" Albus asked.

"Just his name," Severus replied as he ran a hand over his head. "Nothing else. He understands the questions and can show that he can talk. He is just choosing not to."

"Maybe one of the children would be able to get him to talk?" Molly suggested. "He seems calmer now than when he arrived this morning."

"We could try that," Albus consented. "We know that Voldemort wants him back. Whoever or whatever he is, we need to keep him safe. There have already been whispers of Voldemort planning on trying to get him back, hence why we moved him here."

"I could try to talk to him," Lily Potter offered from beside her husband. "He might be more comfortable around a woman."

"That would explain why he likes, Severus." Sirius remarked with a smirk and Severus glared over him. "Must be the long hair."

"The boy just has good taste," Severus drawled.

"Didn't realise you liked them that young," Sirius smirked.

"Enough," Albus snapped before Severus could retort. "Kingsley, do you have the file on the raid?"

"Yes," Kingsley confirmed as he pulled out the file. "I don't know how the boy is still alive."

Severus felt a chill at the man's words, he'd seen the photos already and had to agree.

"From the state he was in," Kingsley continued as he looked the report over. "We found the small room he was being kept in and it looks like you-know-who was doing something with him. My guess would be that he isn't completely human."

"Have we run his blood?" James asked.

"They are working with it now," Kingsley reported then looked around the table. "Just be careful with him. You-know-who has held him for a long time, the injuries to his body were done over a long period of time."

Severus shivered at those words.

"Do we have an idea of how long?" Albus asked.

"Years at least," Kingsley replied. "I spoke to the mediwizards at St Mungo's and they said that he'd been abused for over five years at least. He does have resistance to some spells that send up odd reading. He also heals faster than a normal wizard."

"How much faster?" James asked.

"A lot faster," Kingsley commented as he pulled out another file and opened it. "The coma was the strange thing. He had been healing well then for unexplained reasons he fell into that coma. The mediwizards have no idea why."

"We'll give him a couple of days to settle in," Albus announced with a sigh. "Hopefully his blood work will be back by then and we may have more of an understanding with what we are dealing with. He may be more comfortable to talk to us after he has settled in as well."

"Why was the blood work not done when they found him?" Severus questioned.

"They had to move quickly to save his life," Kingsley answered and Severus nodded in understanding.

"The healing magic flooded his system." Severus mused. "They wouldn't have gotten anything."

"Correct," Kingsley agreed. "I'll leave these here for you, Albus."

"Thank you," Albus said. "Now let's move onto the rest of the meeting."

Severus only listened with half an ear and was happy when the meeting broke up and he moved back to the room that Emerald was in. He carefully opened the door and noticed that the light had been turned off. He flicked it back on as he closed the door behind him. He pulled his wand and went to tap the door when Emerald's hand wrapped around his wrist, startling him. The boy had made no noise as his bony fingers held his wrist, with a strength that surprised Severus.

"I'm just locking the door," Severus explained.

Emerald's green eyes were locked on him and Severus noticed that when he stood up, he was taller than he first thought. He came up to his shoulder, which very few twelve year old children could manage. The grip around his wrist was strong as well before the boy released him and stepped back as he hunched his back slightly. Severus slowly placed his wand tip against the door and whispered the spell under his breath.

Emerald lifted his nose up and sniffed and Severus frowned at the action. The boy's hand darted out and grabbed his left wrist and pushed his sleeve up with his other hand. Revealing the Dark Mark on his forearm and Severus's frown deepened. Severus placed his wand away and pushed his sleeve further up and the boy laid his hand on the mark. He should keep it covered with a spell but he didn't. It reminded him of his mistakes and what he was fighting against.

"Is that why you have trusted me?" Severus inquired.

Emerald shook his head as he leaned back against the wall and Severus frowned. Did the boy find it uncomfortable to stand up straight? He couldn't recall in his medical file whether he'd suffered a spinal injury but it could have been there amongst everything else.

"Can you stand up?" Severus asked.

Emerald cocked his head to the side and wandered off on silent feet. Severus felt irritation at the boy and he curled his hand into a fist.

"Stop," Severus growled and the boy started and skipped to the side slightly.

Emerald dropped to the ground in the crouch and looked over at him with wide green eyes and Severus cursed silently. He had to remember that he wasn't dealing with one of his students. Emerald crept back slightly on his hands and knees and Severus sighed.

"Sorry," Severus said softly. "I'm not used to this."

Emerald nodded his head as he backed up to the wall and curled up against it as he watched him. Severus looked him over and was surprised that he could curl up so tightly as those green eyes stared at him. Severus looked around the room and pointed to the bed on the right.

"That is your bed," Severus ordered, then pointed to the one on the left of the room. "This one is mine, you should know that the bathroom is there. Since you are awake…you didn't take the sleeping potion and I won't ask where it is."

Severus ignored the eyes on him as he moved to the bed on the right. He picked up his bag and moved to the bathroom and shut the door and sighed. He was not the right person for this job but at the moment he was the only person that Emerald would be around. He showered quickly and slipped into some loose pants and shirt before moving back into the room.

Emerald was still curled up next to the wall as Severus clicked on the bedside lamp. He turned off the main light and walked back to the bed. He slipped under the covers and turned towards the wall. He was soon asleep even with the soft light on.

Severus woke slowly to the feeling of a small body curled into his stomach and his arm over Emerald before him. He started slightly and looked down at the messy black hair with a frown. The boy was only wearing his pants and Severus gently moved his arm to look him over. He wasn't sure when he had slipped into the bed or why. He'd squeezed himself between Severus and the wall and was curled up tightly. He was unsure how the position could be comfortable for him. Then the thought that Emerald was used to sleeping like this concerned him.

The boy moved slightly and looked over his shoulder at him. His green eyes sleepy as he looked at Severus before shifting and curling back up between him and the wall with his back to him.

"Why are you there?" Severus asked softly.

Emerald curled up a little more with his knees against his chest and one arm under his head. Severus could feel his soft hair against his arm as the boy closed his eyes. Severus wasn't sure if he should move to the other bed or stay where he was. He also had the feeling that he would wake in the same position, if he moved to the other bed.

"I do not make a habit of sleeping with children," Severus stated.

Emerald shifted and looked over his shoulder then huffed.

"Not a child," Emerald whispered and Severus started at his soft voice.

"And what age would you be then?" Severus drawled.

"Not a child," Emerald repeated, turning back to the wall.

Severus turned away from him, on the edge of the bed, and tried to forget that he was there. The bedside table lamp was annoying him so he clicked it off before settling back. A small hand rested on his back and he tensed.

"Do not touch me," Severus hissed and the hand disappeared. "I am not happy with you there but if it means that you can sleep. I will put up with it but do not touch me, understood?"

"Yes," Emerald whispered and he felt him shift slightly in the bed.

Severus tensed again but the boy didn't touch him and he closed his eyes and was soon asleep.

Severus woke with a start when he heard people banging around the house and yelling and he groaned. Bloody Weasleys were too noisy in the mornings as he heard them running up and down the stairs and he didn't understand why they were even there. Then again, he wasn't supposed to be there either but his plans had changed quickly.

"Bloody Weasleys," Severus cursed as he looked around the room.

He couldn't see Emerald and he looked over his shoulder and froze. A large black cat was curled up on the bed beside him. It slowly stretched its back and looked over at him with bright green eyes. Severus wasn't sure what he should do as the cat licked its paws as it watched him.

"Ah," Severus stuttered intelligently.

The cat suddenly changed shape and he was looking at Emerald again.

"No," Severus muttered as he pulled himself from the bed. "Too early to deal with that."

He walked straight to the bathroom as Emerald huffed a laugh behind him. Severus felt more human once he'd finished his shower and could face the boy. He walked out of the bathroom and looked down at him. Emerald had curled back up on the bed and Severus's eyes caught on the scars on his skin and also how defined his body was even if he was skin and bone. What Emerald had said last night came back to his mind. Now that he was looking at him be began to wonder about their first estimate of his age.

"You need a shower," Severus pointed out as he looked down at him.

Emerald bared his teeth at him and moved back across the bed. Severus frowned at that reaction. Those green eyes were wary now and his back was flush with the wall. Severus let it slid for now as someone ran up the stairs followed by more feet and yelling.

"Remind me to cast a silencing charm on the door," Severus muttered.

"Severus," Molly called out and knocked on the door. "Are you up? Breakfast is ready."

Severus sighed and ran a hand over his head before moving to the door and opening it. Molly stood on the other side and gave him a smile as she looked passed him to see Emerald on the bed. Severus was also sure that she was noticing that the other bed hadn't been used as the smile slipped slightly.

"Did you want me to bring you up something, dear?" Molly asked.

"Thank you, Molly." Severus replied and glanced over his shoulder at Emerald curled up on the bed.

"I'll send one of the children up with it," Molly offered with a smile and turned away.

Severus closed the door and looked over to the boy. Emerald looked at him with his chin on his arms and Severus could read nothing into his expression. He stepped towards the plastic bag on the small table and pulled out a shirt. He moved towards the bed and he could see him tensing. He lifted his head up and those green eyes watched him carefully as he held out the shirt.

"Put that on," Severus ordered. "I do not need rumours of me being a child molester going around."

Emerald cocked his head to the side with a frown as he grabbed the shirt before slipping it over his head. It was two sizes too big for him as he curled back up on the bed.

"Not a child," Emerald stated again, his voice soft.

"As you keep saying," Severus snapped.

Emerald pulled back and Severus sighed as he turned away from the bed before he said something else. He was never good in the mornings.

"Severus," Emerald whispered.

Severus turned back in surprise at his name. The boy pulled back as he crouched on the bed with his back to the wall. Severus looked the small figure over. He looked so young like that and yet he kept saying he wasn't a child. Severus didn't want to think of what had been done to him for him to think that he wasn't a child anymore.

"Come in," Severus called and Ginny Weasley moved into the room with a tray.

She gasped as Emerald bolted from the bed and behind it, much to Severus and the girls surprise.

"Place it on the table, Ms Weasley." Severus ordered. "Then leave."

"Yes, sir." Ginny uttered and placed the tray on the table then quickly rushed from the room.

Severus growled slightly when the girl left the door open. He stalked across the room and shut it loudly. He placed his wand to the door and locked it before turning back around. He couldn't see Emerald as he moved towards the table and sat down. He grabbed the coffee first and took a sip before moving one of the plates with bacon and eggs towards the chair across from him.

He finished half of the cup of coffee before picking up the paper. He ignored the boy the whole time as he flicked through the newspaper. He didn't react as Emerald slowly moved out from behind the bed and crept towards the table. Now that he had seen his cat form, he could see it in the way he moved. What had confused him about his movements and reactions, made more sense. The possibility that he was completely human had been dashed. They would be trying to work out what kind of creature blood he held.

Emerald quietly slipped up onto the seat and crossed his legs under him as he sniffed the tray and the food. Severus was sure that he was picking up on more than just the smell of the food.

"Ginny Weasley was the girl that brought the food up," Severus remarked mildly and Emerald paused in sniffing and grabbed the plate.

Severus winced as Emerald used his hands to pick up the bacon but didn't say anything. They could work on his table manners at a later date.

"I have work today," Severus told him as he placed the paper to the side. "I have left some books and other things on the desk to keep you entertained. Molly knows how to get a hold of me if you need it and will be bringing your food up."

Emerald looked him over but gave nothing away as he finished the bacon. Severus picked up the glass of juice and slipped a nutrient potion out. He showed it to Emerald before tipping it into the juice and sliding it towards him. Emerald picked up the second piece of bacon as Severus went back to the paper.

When he looked up again the juice was gone but Emerald had only eaten the two pieces of bacon. He glanced at his watch before standing and Emerald pulled back in his seat and moved his legs up in case he needed to run. Severus just looked him over.

"Stay out of trouble," Severus ordered.

Emerald ducked his head down slightly and Severus wasn't sure if that was agreement or not. Severus looked him over before shrugging into his robes and leaving the room, those eyes watching him the whole way.

xXx

Severus moved into the kitchen of the Black house then paused at the image of Lily Potter and Molly Weasley talking softly to each other. Both women looked up when he entered and he got a sinking feeling.

"Oh, Severus!" Molly cried and jumped out of her seat. "Thank goodness that you're back."

Severus flinched back at the greeting.

"What happened?" Severus demanded, already moving towards Emerald's room.

"We went in to clear the plates and to give him lunch but he ran away from us," Molly explained in a rush as she followed him with Lily a step behind.

"I tried to tell him it was okay that we were friends," Lily added. "But that just panicked him even more."

"He bolted under the bed," Molly said in a rush.

"I tried to coax him out," Lily continued. "That's when he found the cupboard."

"And the boxes in there," Molly cried. "He wouldn't come out. We didn't know what to do."

"That was at lunch time."

 "He's been in there since then."

Severus reached the door and opened it, then shut it before the two women could follow him.

"Severus Snape!" Lily snapped and Severus winced at that tone of voice and opened the door.

"Just let me deal with it," Severus snapped back and raised an eyebrow.

Lily huffed and crossed her arms before nodding and Severus shut the door. They had been close friends when they were younger but that had grown sour over the years. They could work together but Severus would be pushing it to call her a friend.

He shook those thoughts to the side as he looked around the room. The tray on the table hadn't been touched as he moved towards the open cupboard door and the fallen boxes.

"Emerald?" Severus questioned softly.

A black furry head poked itself out of the mess and Severus sighed as those green eyes focused on him. The cat untangled himself from the boxes with a soft meow. He slinked towards him on his belly and Severus crouched down. Emerald's cat form was larger than a normal cat as he bumped his head against his knee. Severus let his hand run down his soft sides, feeling ever rib and scar.

"Molly and Lily didn't mean to scare you," Severus explained as he gently rubbed the cat's ears and a soft purr sounded in the room. "They were just bringing you lunch."

If Emerald understood what he was saying, he didn't indicate it as he rubbed along Severus's thigh. The potion master sighed as he let his hand run down his back. His coat was soft, like velvet, under his hand and he'd never felt a cat's coat like it. He also noticed the slight bumps under his hand from scaring and the way his bones stuck out.

Severus just stroked the cat's fur for a while as the purr filled the air before standing and looking down at the animal.

"Severus?" Lily called softly.

Severus glared over at the door and when he looked back Emerald was standing in front of him and he started badly. The change had been silent and quick.

"You'll give me a heart attack if you keep doing that," Severus snapped and the boy grinned at him for the first time.

The smile changed his face as he pushed back his shaggy black hair. Severus's eyes caught on the scar on his brow.

"What's that?" Severus questioned as he stepped forward and Emerald stepped back, wary. "Shh, it's okay."

Severus slowly reached out and pushed Emerald's hair back from his forehead. Those green eyes focused on him completely as the boy shifted so that he could move. Severus looked at the lightning bolt scar on his brow.

"Curse scar," Severus uttered. "You have a curse scar."

Severus moved closer and Emerald had to tilt his head slightly. Severus pushed his hair back and looked closer. Emerald shifted but didn't retreat but Severus could tell he wanted to. He started slightly as Emerald's hand grabbed his left arm and he looked down before looking back to the scar, making the connection.

"The Dark Lord gave that to you?" Severus questioned.

"Master," Emerald corrected and Severus shivered.

"You call him Master?" Severus asked, feeling a coldness seeping through him.

A thought suddenly came to him and he grabbed the boy's left wrist. Emerald yelped and tried to twist away from him.

"Sh, it's okay." Severus crooned. "I just want to check you for a mark."

Emerald tugged on his arm as Severus held him. The boy had strength for his size and weight but Severus had muscle and height on his side. He slowly settled down when he realised that he wasn't going anywhere and that Severus wasn't going to hurt him.

Severus pushed his sleeve up to his elbow and ran his finger down his arm but couldn't feel anything. He pulled his wand and Emerald tensed.

"No mark," Emerald uttered and twisted his arm. "Please."

Severus paused and looked into those green eyes. They were blown wide in fear and were locked onto his wand. Severus felt a sinking feeling in his stomach. He didn't want to imagine what the boy had gone through at the hands of Voldemort and his followers.

He'd been a tightly held secret, not even Severus or his contacts had known about him. There had been a potion lab that he hadn't been aware of as well. Not that Voldemort had trusted him much over the years but he was normally called when he needed a complex potion done.

"Please," Emerald begged as he suddenly knelt before him.

Severus let him go, like he'd been burnt. Emerald turned his head away from Severus but didn't move from where he was kneeling before him. He could see the shaking in his body. Severus placed his wand away and stepped back from the kneeling figure. He just looked down at Emerald before him for a few minutes before he moved back towards the door. Emerald curled up on the floor, where he was, and let his chin rest on his arms and Severus shivered again.

Severus opened the door and looked out at the two women. They pulled back from him and he knew he must have looked a little pale and shaky.

"Is he okay?" Molly asked softly in concern.

"Yes," Severus replied, still shaken.

"Can we see him?" Lily asked, trying to look into the room.

"No," Severus snapped. "Can you call Albus? I need to talk to him."

"Of course, dear." Molly replied with a smile. "I'll call him now."

Molly turned and walked away and Severus focused on the other red head.

"Why can't we see him?" Lily demanded.

"You saw why earlier," Severus bit back. "He is unstable, Lily."

Lily huffed but didn't disagree with him.

"He looks so young," Lily whispered. "Only a child."

Emerald's words came back to him as he nodded at Lily, then he frowned at the green of her eyes. He turned back to the boy on the ground before looking back at Lily. That coldness was back as a thought came to him.

"What is it?" Lily snapped.

"How old would Harry be now?" Severus asked softly, a sore point for the woman.

Lily reeled back from the question and a hard look came into her eyes.

"Sixteen," Lily replied sharply. "He would be turning sixteen in about a week…at the end of this month."

Severus looked back at the boy and Lily sucked in a breath as she also looked at him.

"Severus?" Lily gasped. "You don't think? But they found a child's body after he went missing of the same age that he would have been and his name disappeared from the Hogwarts's enrolment book!"

"I have no doubt that many children have died in his war, Lily." Severus pointed out. "However, that boy has your eyes."

Lily looked passed him to the Emerald, curled up on the floor, watching them. The boy slowly started to creep back towards the wall as they looked at him. Even with Severus blocking the doorway, he was wary.

"No," Lily uttered and stood up straighter. "Harry is dead, that isn't my baby."

"I never said he was," Severus retorted. "Only that he has your eyes. We are still waiting for his blood results."

"He can't be," Lily denied and went to step forward but Severus blocked her and she glared at him.

"You will just scare him," Severus stated and Lily sneered.

"And you won't?" Lily snapped and shoved passed him.

Severus grabbed her arm and pulled her to a stop just inside of the doorway.

"Look at him," Severus hissed.

Lily turned back to the trembling boy as he huddled against the wall with large eyes and his legs pulled up to his chest. His age was irrelevant in the face of his fear as his eyes darted between them. Lily stepped back quickly.

"I'm sorry," Lily whispered as she crouched down. "I didn't mean to frighten you."

"Did you need to talk to me, Severus?" Albus asked as he looked the two over before his eyes were drawn to Emerald huddled against the wall. "Perhaps we can take this to another room?"

"Just give me a moment," Severus answered and the other two nodded and Severus shut the door after them.

Severus looked the shivering form over before sighing. It looked like he distrusted females more than males. That concerned Severus and made him think that Bellatrix had gotten a hold of him at some point. Severus moved towards the boy before crouching down. Emerald's eyes watched him warily but he didn't move.

"I need to talk to the Headmaster," Severus explained. "I should be back in about an hour then we'll have dinner."

Emerald nodded as he let his head rest on his arms.

"I'll lock the door when I leave," Severus advised him. "No one will bother you."

Severus reached out and touched Emerald's head. The boy rolled slightly onto his back and pushed his head forward, like a cat would, which was disconcerting to see the movements in a human. Severus gently brushed his hair back and looked at the curse scar. Only dark magic could have made that mark and from the Dark Lord it could have been anything.

Emerald wiggled forward slightly to lay his head on Severus's knee as he moved onto his hands and knees. The move made Severus's shift slightly and Emerald placed his hand on his thigh. Severus looked down at him and the thought of why Voldemort had kept him came to his mind. He knew which way Voldemort's tastes ran and he shivered.

Emerald seemed to thrive off attention and have a fear of it, both wanting and avoiding it. Severus wondered if it had anything to do with his animal form.

"Can you change into a cat?" Severus asked softly.

One second, he was looking at the boy and the next, the large cat was before him, one large paw on his leg. There was no slow shift or delay as the cat curled its tail around his form. He looked up at him with bright green eyes as he panted slightly.

"And back?"

The change was slower this time and Severus could see the tiredness in his eyes and the deeper breathing. Severus wasn't sure if it was due to the change itself or the magic required.

"I'll be back soon," Severus promised as he moved to his feet.

Emerald just sprawled out on the floor and Severus looked down at him in concern. Did changing so many times in a short period of time wear him out. Severus moved back to the door and closed it firmly behind him before locking it with his wand. They were getting more questions than answers with the boy.

Chapter Text

Emerald lay sprawled out on the floor completely exhausted. What little magic that he'd built up was almost gone. That last change had taken it out of him and the noises in the house had him on edge. He slowly crawled over to the bed and slipped under it, feeling better once he had some cover.

He would rather sit up on the seat near the window but he was still shaken by the people that had come into the room. He didn't trust women and the games they played and he shivered at the thought of the games that Bellatrix enjoyed. He pushed himself back until his back was to the wall. He could faintly smell Severus's scent on the bed and he started to relax.

xXx

"He's a shapeshifter or Animagus," Severus reported to Albus over coffee. "A large black cat."

Albus rubbed his chin in thought.

"That proves that he has magic," Albus remarked. "Do you believe that he has creature blood?"

"I am unsure at this stage," Severus replied evenly. "Albus, could it be possible that the boy is Harry Potter?"

"If Harry Potter was alive," Albus mused. "His name wouldn't have been taken out of the enrolment book at Hogwarts. His name was in the book until a few months after he was taken when it suddenly disappeared. We found the burned bones of a child shortly after that."

Severus sighed and ran a hand over his head.

"There could be other reasons why that happened," Albus conceded. "However, death is the primary one."

"He has a curse scar on his forehead," Severus continued. "Which the Dark Lord gave him."

Albus paused in rubbing his hairy chin.

"I also believe that Bellatrix may have gotten a hold of him at some point," Severus reported and the two men shared a look and a shiver.

"That is concerning," Albus commented. "Molly also expressed concern that he slept in the same bed as you?"

"He got into the bed after I fell asleep," Severus expanded with a sigh. "He was sleeping when I woke up."

Albus hummed but didn't say anything on the matter. They both knew that with what the boy had gone through that sleeping may be hard for him. Severus had expected him to have nightmares, which strangely hadn't happened.

"How is he doing?" Albus asked after a few minutes.

"He's scared," Severus replied. "As you know, just seeing Molly and Lily sent him to hide in a cupboard and even seeing Ginny Weasley had him hiding."

"Could it just be a fear of women?" Albus inquired softly with a frown. "You would think he would have a greater fear of men after being held by Voldemort."

"Have you met Bellatrix?" Severus stated mildly. "Or read her file?"

"Ah," Albus stuttered. "Hopefully he'll settle before Hogwarts starts for the year."

"You can't be thinking that he could start at Hogwarts," Severus uttered in shock.

"No, my boy." Albus said with a smile. "To stay with you."

"Albus," Severus said slowly. "I do not believe that I am the right person for this. I have already snapped at the boy a few times and sent him running."

"You may not be the right person, Severus." Albus commented. "But you are the one that he has chosen. His ability to change into a cat works in our favour as well."

Both men fell into silence for a few minutes before Albus sighed.

"Voldemort wants him back, Severus." Albus remarked. "Badly. There is something about the boy and he wants him back."

"When we found him," Severus pointed out. "From reports, he was half dead."

"Yes," Albus mused. "Both intriguing and disturbing."

xXx

Emerald started awake when the door opened and he pulled back against the wall, unsure where he was. Severus's scent touched on him, followed by the smell of food and he crawled closer to the edge of the bed. He looked out from under the bed to see Severus at the table. The man was laying out the plates and wasn't looking over at him as Emerald pulled himself out from under the bed and made his way to his feet.

He moved over to the table and folded himself into the seat across from Severus with his feet up on the chair and reached out for the juice. When Severus didn't say anything, he pulled the juice close and took a sip. He was still getting used to the sweet taste but there was no water on the table. Severus placed a nutrient potion next to him and Emerald paused to take it in his hand. He swallowed it in one go before holding the empty vial out to the other man.

Severus took it from him as he placed a plate of roast chicken and vegetables in front of him. The two men ate in silence until Emerald felt full and sleepy. He let his arms rest on the table as he laid his head down and looked over at Severus as the man ate. His eyes slipped closed and the thought that Severus had added a sleeping potion came to mind but he would have known if he had.

Severus looked over at Emerald as the boy fell asleep at the table and he was sure he couldn't be comfortable. He must have been exhausted to fall asleep like that as he looked him over. The messy black hair covered most of his features and was a tangled mess to his shoulders. Severus moved the plate away from Emerald and he didn't wake.

Severus smiled slightly at the image before gathering up the plates on the tray and moving from the table to have a shower. When he entered the room after, Emerald was still asleep on the table and he left him there as he grabbed up one of his potion's books. He flicked on the bedside table lamp to read before bed.

Severus woke in the middle of the night to the feeling of Deja vu for he had his arm around Emerald as the boy curled into him. He was bare chested again and Severus could feel every one of his ribs as he lay with his back to him and facing the wall. Severus pulled back and looked down at the messy hair as Emerald slept. The soft light from the bedside table gave him just enough light to see him curled up under the blanket with his bony back pressed into him.

He should move to the other bed but he didn't want to wake the boy since he needed the sleep to recover. Emerald had one hand touching the wall and Severus could still see the red marks around his wrists from where he'd been bound and the scaring on his skin. He'd suffered and from reports over a long period of time and Severus was surprised he could sleep so easily. Severus sighed and rolled away onto his other side, putting his back to the child. If he insisted on sleeping in his bed, he was not going to hold him as he put a little space between them.

Severus woke the next morning to someone running down the stairs and he groaned.

"Bloody Weasleys," Severus cursed and a huff had him looking over his shoulder.

Emerald was curled up away from him but looked over at him in amusement at his cursing. Severus groaned again and pulled himself to his feet and to the bathroom, it looked like this was his life for a while as those green eyes watched him and he wasn't wrong. For the next couple of weeks, life progressed in that fashion.

Severus would go to bed alone just to wake up with Emerald beside him and wake again to the sound of the Weasleys banging down the stairs. He would get on with his work at St Mungo's and come back to serve Emerald his lunch and dinner. The others left him alone and he could see Emerald relaxing more without the stress of people around him, even if he could hear them in the house.

Severus got used to Emerald's quiet and would forget he was there until he curled up next to him on the bed. Severus got into the habit of reading out loud with Emerald curled up next to him on the bed. The boy didn't talk much and had stopped answering their questions.

They both started when a knock sounded on the door to the room and Emerald tensed next to him on the bed. Severus had been reading his book to him and he placed it to the side.

"Come in," Severus called as he kept an eye on Emerald.

Albus moved through the door and closed it after him. Emerald was tense and looked ready to bolt but didn't move as he watched the old man.

"Voldemort struck one of our safe houses," Albus reported. "We lost two agents but the others got away."

They both looked at Emerald but the boy stayed curled up on the bed and hadn't reacted to the words.

"Do you think he was looking for him?" Severus questioned.

Albus nodded.

"Emerald," Severus prompted, looking down at him. "Why does he want you back?"

Emerald just huffed and curled up tighter. Severus let his hand rest on his bony shoulder.

"Do you know why he wants you back?" Albus asked instead.

"Yes," Emerald stated.

"Why?" Severus asked but Emerald didn't say any more. "Will he keep trying to find you?"

Emerald nodded.

"When we found you," Albus expanded, without moving closer. "You were not in a good state."

"Faction," Emerald stated and both men frowned.

"Explain," Severus snapped and Emerald lifted his head and bared his teeth at him. "Please?"

"Faction within the ranks," Emerald amended, the most amount of words he'd spoken at once and also ones that made both men pause.

"You were taken against orders?" Severus questioned then looked up at Albus. "That could explain why the Dark Lord was so quiet before the raid. He was trying to bring some Death Eaters into line and they took Emerald to force his hand."

"Bargaining chip," Emerald added and both men were in no doubt of his intelligence.

They hadn't been sure of Emerald's intelligence with the fact that he didn't talk often and his wild nature. Or if he understood or could comprehend everything around him, that had just been dashed. Emerald understood a power struggle and that he'd been in the middle of it. Then the thought that they now held something that Voldemort desperately wanted back came to them.

Severus frowned down at Emerald curled up on the bed beside him. He wasn't much to look at; just messy hair, skin and bones and green eyes. Yet, Voldemort had shown he was willing to kill to get him back. Emerald's eyes flicked between the two men and Severus could see the slight fear there, but wasn't sure if it was fear of the Dark Lord or of them and what they would do with him now.

"Bellatrix?" Severus questioned and Emerald hissed and shifted onto his side, his hand on his leg. "Sounds more like her husband. He's the brains of that duo."

Albus pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and moved a step forward. When Emerald didn't react, he stepped closer. He held the paper out to Severus as he looked the boy over. Severus took it in his hand and opened it as Emerald tilted his head up and gave it a sniff.

"So, he is related to the Potters," Severus said quietly as the read through his blood results.

"The possibility is there," Albus agreed. "We'll have to run it against Lily and James to get better results. He is also related to Tom Riddle."

"Through blood or dark magic?" Severus asked, then pointed at something on the paper. "What are these results?"

"We don't know," Albus replied. "They keep coming up with those odd results. I'll be sending his blood, as well as the Potter's blood, to a muggle lab. They might have a better chance at getting some more definite results."

"Have you told them?" Severus questioned as he laid a hand on top of Emerald's hand on his leg and showed him the paper.

"Not yet," Albus answered as he watched Emerald looking the paper over. "Can he read?"

Severus shrugged.

"I haven't seen him read," Severus replied. "Doesn't mean he can't. He doesn't seem to want to do anything."

Emerald just laid his head on Severus's leg and didn't seem interested in the fact that the two men were talking about him.

"If he is Harry Potter," Albus stated, looking down at the small boy. "That would make him sixteen."

"He does keep saying that he's 'not a child'," Severus pointed out and moved his hand to the boy's back.

"He acts barely human, Severus." Albus muttered and Severus had to agree. "Emerald?"

The boy didn't react to his name as he curled around Severus with his head on his knee. His green eyes still watching Albus, silently.

"Can you change forms?" Albus requested. "Are you an Animagus?"

Emerald just kept watching the old man without replying or changing. Albus went to pull his wand.

"Stop," Severus ordered quickly and Albus paused. "He'll bolt if you pull your wand."

The two men shared a look, they both knew what that reaction meant.

"He has the same reaction when I talk about him taking a shower," Severus remarked. "Not that he really smells but he really needs one."

Severus winced as Emerald's hand tightened on his leg. He tapped the boy on the head with the paper and he unclenched his hand.

"Are you thinking water torture of something to do with his other form?" Albus mused.

"Your guess is as good as mine, Albus." Severus stated and looked down at the messy hair. "You need a haircut as well."

Emerald lifted his head and hissed at him.

"Don't take that attitude with me," Severus snapped. "I can't even see you under that hair."

Emerald huffed a laugh before shifting and putting his back to the two wizards and Albus chuckled.

"He seems comfortable enough to do that," Albus commented.

"He has a worse reaction to women than men," Severus reminded him.

"Seems odd," Albus commented and moved to sit on the other side of Severus.

Emerald looked over his shoulder then turned back to curling up.

"I think we should move him to Hogwarts soon," Albus mentioned. "It would be safer there than here."

"Getting him there, might be a problem." Severus remarked. "We would have to portkey or apparate to the front gates and you saw how he reacted to the last portkey."

"We'll give him another week then," Albus suggested. "But be ready just in case we have to move quickly."

Albus moved to his feet and those green eyes focused on him as soon as he moved. The boy rolled over and wiggled to the side of the bed, on his hands and knees, much like a cat as he tilted his head up and sniffed the old man. Albus stayed still as Emerald looked him over as he sniffed the air. Acting more animal than human, Albus held out his hand and the boy butted his head against it.

"That's not the least bit disconcerting," Albus muttered as he patted the boy's head.

Then suddenly it was a large black cat under his hand and Albus shivered at the quick change. He hadn't even felt the magic and his hand had been on his head when he changed.

"That is not an Animagus spell," Albus murmured in interest as he ran his hand over the cat's head.

The animal moved until he was standing with his front paws on Severus's leg as Albus ran his hand down his back.

"Strange isn't it?" Severus remarked, feeling the weight of those large paws on his leg.

"Maybe this accounts for his small size as a human," Albus remarked. "He is a large cat."

Severus looked the cat over as he ran a hand down his back and he purred. His head looked bigger than his body, due to his lack of weight as Albus scratched him under his chin. Severus looked at those large paws and knew the cat had more growing to do.

"He might be more comfortable at Hogwarts," Albus muttered. "There is more for him to do around the castle before the students start."

"Do you think that he would just stay within the castle?" Severus asked as the cat curled up on his lap and he felt a little uncomfortable with the thought that the cat wasn't just a cat.

"I can tie his blood to the wards," Albus stated.

"Emerald off," Severus snapped and pushed the cat.

The animal rolled from his lap and stalked across the room with his tail up and twitching and Albus huffed a laugh. They watched as the cat jumped from the end of the bed to the window seat. His movements smooth and if they didn't know he was really human, he would have passed for a cat. He sniffed the curtains and rubbed his head along the wall before settling in front of the window.

"You do know that if he's Harry Potter," Severus commented. "It's going to be hard to keep them back from him. He's already had a bad reaction from seeing Lily and he hasn't seen James yet."

"Maybe James would have better luck," Albus suggested as he moved to his feet and feline green eyes watched him. "Good afternoon, gentlemen."

Severus quirked a smile at that as Albus turned and left the room and he looked back over to the cat.

"You are going to have a shower," Severus said sternly. "Whether I have to hold you under the tap or not."

Emerald hissed at him showing fangs and Severus raised an eyebrow. The display was more impressive in his cat form than when he did it in his human form.

"It's either a shower or the floor tonight," Severus snapped.

Emerald growled at him before starting to lick his paws, his eyes fixed on Severus.

"Not good enough," Severus drawled.

Suddenly Emerald changed back into his human form and moved towards him. Severus stood up from the bed as the boy stood straight before him and looked him right in the eye. It was the first time that he had shown no fear as he stood in front of Severus. He then unbuckled his belt and Severus froze. Emerald let his pants fall before pulling his shirt over his head.

"Emerald," Severus whispered, unsure of the display.

The boy stood naked in front of him, every bone still showing and the scars all over his body. He looked at him with unreadable green eyes, while Severus was frozen to the spot, unsure what to do. He bared his teeth at Severus before turning and moving towards the bathroom and Severus winced at the sight of that abused body. Emerald was no child as he moved smoothly and Severus didn't know whether to feel better or worse for that thought as he heard the shower start up.

Severus gathered up the clothes and dropped them to the wash basket as he pulled out clean ones and moved to the bathroom. He pushed the door open and could see the boy through the curtain. He placed the clothes on the sink before moving back out.

xXx

Emerald woke to the feeling of Severus's arm over his chest and along his back. He wiggled back as he took in the man's scent. Severus muttered something in his sleep and pulled him close and Emerald growled slightly before settling. He tensed when Severus shifted slightly and he felt the hard length behind him and he whined. He tried to wiggle away but Severus's arm tightened around him.

"Severus," Emerald snapped as he struggled and the man woke with a start.

"Wha'?" Severus muttered and released him.

Emerald bolted from the bed and crouched slightly on the floor as he looked over at Severus. The man turned in the bed and his eyes darted around until he reached over and clicked the light on.

"What's wrong?" Severus asked sleepily as he rubbed his eyes.

Emerald hissed slightly before creeping backwards and Severus looked over at him with a frown. He looked over at the clock and groaned.

"Too early to deal with this," Severus muttered as he flicked the light back off and turned away in the bed.

Emerald frowned, that wasn't the normal reaction. He crept back towards the bed, expecting Severus to grab him but he could already hear that Severus's breathing had even out in sleep. He cocked his head slightly as he moved back. Severus didn't move as Emerald slinked back up the bed. He wasn't sure if he should shift forms. He knew if he'd done that with his master, he would have paid a high price but Severus was different or he hoped he was.

He looked down at the sleeping man before slipping back under the covers and curled up away from him. One side of his nature wanted to get close and the other wanted to pull away and it frustrated him. So far, Severus hadn't done anything more than growl at him but he still felt fear stirring in him as he settled. He closed his eyes and slipped into a light sleep.

He woke when Severus wrapped his arm around him in his sleep but that was all he did and Emerald relaxed into a deeper sleep. He woke slower this time with Severus's arm around him and his back tight against Severus's chest and stomach. He purred slightly at the contact and he brushed his head against Severus.

"What are you doing?" Severus said gruffly.

Emerald froze and he felt a chill in his stomach. He tried to pull away but Severus held him back.

"Were you purring?" Severus whispered sleepily.

"Too early?" Emerald suggested and Severus huffed a laugh and relaxed his hold.

A part of Emerald wanted to pull away since he could but he didn't as Severus's breathing even out. He relaxed back into the man.

xXx

Severus woke to the sound of someone banging down the stairs and he pulled himself out of the bed. He stormed over to the door and ripped it open.

"Walk like a normal damn person down the stairs!" Severus snapped at George and Fred Weasley as Ron pulled himself back before coming down. "If I have to wake to that damn racket one more time…"

"Sorry, sir." The twins said together.

Severus sighed as the twins looked passed him and into the room. Severus turned to see Emerald behind him in just his jeans and looking at the twins in interest. Severus turned to the boy.

"Emerald," Severus introduced. "These are the Weasley twins, Fred and George."

Emerald moved forward slightly as Severus stood to the side. The twins grinned but didn't move forward. Molly would have spoken to them about Emerald and there was a spell on the house to stop them from talking about anything they saw or heard in the here.

"Hey, Emerald." Fred greeted with a smile.

"I can see where you got your name from." George added.

"Shame you've been held up with Snape though."

"Didn't realise how grumpy he gets in the morning."

"Yeah, like waking a dragon."

"Enough!" Severus snapped, he hadn't gotten enough sleep to deal with the twins before coffee.

"Did you want a break from Snape?" Fred offered.

Severus looked back at Emerald as the boy looked the twins over then his eyes caught on Ron further up the stairs.

"That's Ronald," George said with a smirk. "He's afraid of the dungeon bat."

Severus glared at George but like when they were in school it just slid off the other man. He started when Emerald slipped his hand into his and he looked down at him. Like that wasn't going to start rumours. Fred held his hand out towards Emerald and Severus tensed slightly.

"Severus?" Emerald questioned softly.

Ginny suddenly appeared next to Ron and looked down at them. Emerald took one look at her and bolted back into the room and Severus sighed. Too much, too soon. The twins looked into the room before focusing on Severus.

"I have the same reaction when I see her in a rage," Fred commented with a shiver. "Scary."

Severus gave them an amused look before looking over at Emerald curled up on the window seat and watching them with wide green eyes. At least he was still in human form and not hiding under the bed.

"How about we bring you and Emerald up breakfast," George offered. "We can watch him while you're at work."

"We'll see how he goes with you two bringing up breakfast," Severus conceded. "Have breakfast with us."

"Sure thing, sir." The twins answered with a grin and wandered off.

Severus looked up at the younger Weasleys and they cringed back. They didn't have the spine that the twins had. Severus had worked with them over the years on potions while they had been at school and after they had left. Severus turned away and stepped back into the room and closed the door behind him. He looked over at Emerald curled up and the boy lifted his head to look at him.

"You were restless last night," Severus mentioned as he moved towards the bathroom.

Emerald didn't say anything as he watched him and Severus left the bathroom door open as he dressed and got ready for the day. He moved back through to the bedroom and placed his clothes in the washing basket with Emerald's eyes following him. He picked up a shirt and pants for the boy and walked over to him.

"Your turn," Severus offered and held out the clothes. "You don't have to have a shower."

Emerald sat up and took the clothes from him with an odd look in his eyes and Severus frowned. Emerald moved to his feet and reached for his belt.

"Do that in the bathroom," Severus snapped and Emerald froze.

Severus looked him over, he'd had no problems with him dressing in private until he ordered him to have a shower. He also didn't have any problems with him sleeping either. Something had changed and Severus was unsure what.

"Are you okay?" Severus asked softly and green eyes locked with him. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Emerald just turned and walked to the bathroom and Severus felt a flare of frustration at the move. He had to bite his tongue before he said something cutting. Emerald paused and turned back to him with his nose up slightly and a guarded look in his eyes and body language. Both men froze as Severus realised that Emerald could pick up on his anger. Something no human would have been able to do.

"Sorry," Severus offered. "Go dress."

Emerald stepped back carefully, keeping his eyes on him as he backed up, like a wild animal and Severus felt his gut clench at the sight. Emerald closed the door behind him and Severus sighed. He stalked to the door and down to the kitchen, he needed a strong coffee to deal with the rest of this day.

Chapter Text

Emerald eased the bathroom door open and looked around but Severus wasn't there as he moved out into the room. He curled up on the window seat and let his head rest on his arms as he looked out at the street below. He tensed when he saw someone he knew and shifted closer to the glass.

The blonde man stood across the busy street and he seemed to be staring at the house and Emerald tensed even more. He placed his hand on the glass and could feel the magic under his palm which kept them hidden from the blonde. However, as a dark haired man walked up the street and to the front door. He knew it was just a matter of time before Malfoy would be able to see through the magic.

He knew his master wanted him back and he shivered as he placed his other hand on the glass. He watched Malfoy across the road and the way no one could see him. Emerald was sure that he was under a spell or charm and he was unsure how long that he'd been there.

"What are you doing?" Severus asked and Emerald glanced over his shoulder to see him holding a coffee and looking at him with a frown.

"Malfoy," Emerald whispered.

Severus quickly placed his mug on the table and rushed over to him. Emerald shifted over for the other man to sit next to him. Severus looked out at the street and Emerald watched as Severus's eyes kept skipping over the blonde.

"Where?" Severus demanded.

Emerald grabbed his hand and moved it to the glass and Severus frowned at him. He then pushed Severus's left sleeve up and wrapped his hand around the Dark Mark.

"There," Emerald said as he pointed out the blonde and Severus started.

"He must be under a concealing charm," Severus muttered as he watched the blonde.

Emerald placed his right hand over Severus's on the glass. He then pushed the other man's left arm up until Severus placed his other hand on to the window with a frown. He now had both hands on the glass, with Emerald's hands holding them in place. Severus was concerned that they might break the glass as they sat side by side. Emerald's hands looked small on his before he focused on Malfoy across the street.

"Push magic," Emerald stated and Severus went to move his hand but Emerald held his hands in place. "Push magic."

"I need my wand," Severus told him.

"No!" Emerald snapped in frustration. "Push magic."

Severus turned to look at him, his face close to his and Emerald pushed on his hands. Emerald bared his teeth at him as he held his hands and Severus could see the frustration there. Emerald didn't have the magic but Severus did and he nodded and pulled on his magic. Slowly Emerald felt magic under his palms and he grabbed it as Severus fed his magic. Suddenly the magic flared out and Emerald stumbled back. Feeling dizzy as the floor moved under him and he landed on his ass.

He started and scrambled across the floor as Severus rushed over to him. He shook his head as he panted, the flare of magic had been unexpected.

"Emerald?" Severus questioned softly.

"He gone?" Emerald panted and squinted up at Severus.

Severus glanced over his shoulder before looking back at him. Severus moved to his feet and back to the window and looked out.

"I believe so," Severus stated.

Emerald stumbled to his feet and back to the window. His steps unsteady as he moved and Severus looked over at him in concern.

"Are you going to be sick?" Severus asked in concern. "You look pale."

Emerald shook his head and collapsed in the seat and pressed his hands to the glass and looked out. The light was too bright as he squinted but he couldn't see Malfoy anymore. He moved to the floor and curled up with his hands over his head as he tried to block out the light. His back pressed to the seat behind him.

He started when he felt Severus sit next to him on the floor and lay his hand on his back and rub it slightly. The pain of the light eased off slowly and he uncurled and the hand paused.

"What did you do?" Severus questioned. "Will he know you are here?"

Emerald shook his head then looked up at the knock at the door.

"Do you want them to stay?" Severus inquired.

Emerald just looked at the door, the light still hurting his eyes. The knock came again and Severus pulled himself to his feet. He crossed the room and opened it. Emerald watched from his place as the Weasley twins grinned and piled in with trays in their hands.

"Place everything on the table," Severus ordered.

"Okay, sir." They replied and moved to the table with a few glances at Emerald as they set up.

Severus looked over but Emerald didn't react. He waved his hand at the twins and they took their seats. They boys were quick to start talking about potions and their new store as Severus picked up his coffee. He kept an eye on Emerald but kept being drawn into the conversation. The ideas that the twins would come up with always interested him.

"We still can't get that colour changing potion right," Fred was telling him. "It just won't stick when we add it to the toffee-"

"Or chocolate."

"Or caramel."

"Or chocolate caramel."

"I would say an ingredient in the potion is reacting," Severus said mildly. "I would look there next."

They looked over when Emerald slipped up onto the seat next to Severus. He had his feet under him as he squatted on the seat with his arms on his knees as he looked over everything.

"Hey ya," George greeted with a smile.

"Do not take anything from these two," Severus warned Emerald and he cocked his head slightly.

Emerald reached out and grabbed a piece of bacon. Severus poured a glass of juice and pushed it towards him before placing a potion on the table next to it. The twins watched the exchange then opened their mouths.

"One word, Mr Weasley." Severus threatened and they grinned.

"I was just going to say that he has you well trained," Fred remarked.

"Completely domesticated really," George added.

Emerald growled suddenly and three sets of eyes turned to him.

"We were talking about Severus," George clarified with a wink. "You have him well trained."

Emerald cocked his head and looked at Severus.

"They are teasing," Severus explained as he leaned back in his chair. "A joke."

Emerald snagged up another piece of bacon without saying a word.

"How do you sit like that?" George asked as he looked him over. "How do you not fall off the chair?"

Emerald shrugged a shoulder.

"He has good balance," Severus replied. "Like a cat."

Emerald huffed a laugh as he picked up the potion and took it before grabbing the juice. He drained the cup and Severus refilled it.

"He runs like one," Fred commented with a smile.

Emerald grabbed up another piece of bacon when a knock sounded at the door and he paused. They could hear Albus on the other side.

"Come in," Severus called.

Albus moved through the door and paused before closing it behind him. He gave them a smile as he looked them over.

"Good morning, gentlemen." Albus greeted as he moved to the table then stopped when Emerald slipped from his chair. "How are we this morning?"

"Well, Albus." Severus answered quickly before the twins could say anything.

"Mr Weasley," Albus said softly. "Could you please give us a moment?"

"Of course, sir." Fred answered.

"We can cause trouble elsewhere," George added.

Albus took a seat at the table once the Weasleys were gone. Emerald slipped back up onto the seat and picked up a piece of toast as Albus looked at him.

"He spotted Malfoy across the street," Severus explained, knowing why Albus was there.

Emerald only listened with half an ear as he finished half the toast before placing it on the plate. He placed his arms on the table and rested his chin on them as the two men spoke quietly.

"I could feel your magic reinforcing the charm around the house," Albus reported as he poured two cups of tea and pushed one towards Emerald.

Emerald sniffed the cup and frowned.

"Tea," Albus intoned and pushed the milk and sugar towards him.

Emerald reached out and grabbed his wrist before he could pull back and Albus relaxed his hand. Emerald leaned forward slightly and took a sniff of him as he released his wrist and Albus left his hand there. Emerald placed his hand over Albus's. His hand looked so small resting on the older man's. The behaviour was odd to say the least.

"Emerald?" Severus questioned softly.

Emerald looked over to him, his hand still on Albus's.

"What did you do with Malfoy?" Severus asked.

"Too many people coming here," Emerald stated.

Severus frowned but could see Albus nodding in understanding.

"It's weakened the charm," Albus expanded and Emerald nodded. "We'll have to limit the amount of people coming and going via the front door. Emerald would you be comfortable coming to Hogwarts School?"

"School?" Emerald asked with a frown as he wrapped his arms around his knees.

"A place where children are taught," Albus clarified. "Severus is a teacher at Hogwarts in potions. The students don't start school for another couple of weeks."

"Why?" Emerald whispered with his head cocked to the side.

"Do they go to school or why do I want you to come to the school?" Albus asked.

"Both," Emerald whispered and shifted slightly.

Both men could see he was uncomfortable.

"The children come to the school to learn magic," Severus explained. "We want you to come to the school for we believe it will be safer there than here. We need to use a portkey or to apparate to the front gates."

Emerald frown deepened before he gave a nod and slipped from his seat. He stepped away from the table and across the room. Severus watched him carefully, since his steps still seemed unsteady as he moved up onto the bed and curled up.

"He was restless last night," Severus reported to Albus.

"He seemed okay with the Weasley twins," Albus mused as he sipped on his tea.

"He bolted when he saw Ginny Weasley."

"He seems to have a big fear of women, regardless of age." Albus remarked as he rubbed his beard. "James and Lily want to see him."

"Try James first," Severus suggested and glanced over at Emerald curled up asleep on the bed. "Tonight, after I get back from work?"

"I'll run it by him," Albus conceded as he moved to his feet.

Emerald opened his eyes and looked over at him.

"Have a good morning, gentlemen." Albus announced with a smile.

xXx

Emerald woke to the sound of a scraping at the door. He lifted his head and looked over but no one came through. Severus had already come by to bring him lunch before heading back out and Emerald had mainly been sleeping since then. The scraping at the door came again and he cocked his head at the sound before the door opened slowly. He felt fear bolt through him when he saw the red headed woman standing there.

He crept back further on the bed as he eyed her and the cupboard as she shut the door firmly behind her. He shook slightly as she turned to him. He backed up slowly towards the cupboard.

"It's okay," The red head encouraged softly with her empty hands out before her. "My name is Lily Potter."

He knew who she was. He remembered her from when her and Molly had come into the room. He ran out of bed and huddled there, he would have to make a run for it.

"Just listen okay?" Lily said softly and took a step forward. "Albus said there is a possibility that you are my son."

Emerald's eyes flicked between her and the cupboard.

"My little boy was taken by Voldemort when he was three," Lily explained in a rush and he could see tears on her cheeks. "If you are Harry…that means you have been held for thirteen years."

Emerald shifted uncomfortable and Lily took another step. He bolted for the cupboard but Lily quickly pulled her wand and the door shut before he could reach it. He crashed into the door. He quickly scrambled back and slipped under the bed. His body shaking and his mind blanking out in fear as he tried to get as far under the bed that he could and away from the woman.

He panted and whined as he hid as far as he could under the bed and wrapped his hands over his head. He waited for the spells, for a hand to lock around his wrist or ankle. For the laughter to start as he was dragged out. He shivered harder as he heard the woman's voice but not the words. Waiting for the pain and the sadistic games to start.

xXx

Severus was very happy to see the kitchen of the Black house when he stepped through the fireplace. Until he stepped into the lounge room to find Lily crying with Molly comforting her and he felt a sinking feeling. Lily looked up at him with red eyes and he felt a bolt of Deja vu.

"Oh, Severus!" Lily cried. "I'm sorry, but I had to see him."

Severus felt a chill and glared at the woman before turning on his heels and up the stairs. The day hadn't started well and was only getting worse it seemed.

"I thought if I explained…then he panicked," Lily said softly behind him as he moved up the stairs.

Severus didn't say anything for he knew if he did. He would regret it as he came to the bedroom door and pulled it open. He slipped through the door and shut it sharply behind him before the women could follow him. He quickly locked it before turning to look around the room. He had told them to leave him alone, to give him time. He was even willing for James to see him tonight and now, due to Lily, it could have all unravelled.

He took a moment to calm down and noticed the cupboard door was closed. He moved there first but it was locked with magic so he knew that Emerald wasn't in there. He moved to the beds and crouched down and looked under them.

His heart clenched at the sight of the boy curled up in a tight ball with his hands over his head and was unsure how long he'd been there.

"Emerald?" Severus said softly but the boy didn't respond. "Emerald?"

He knew that he wasn't asleep since his hands were so tight on his head. He wasn't sure whether he should touch him as he thought about his next move. He stood up and looked at the bed for a few seconds before stalking back to the door and pulling it open. Molly and Lily were still there and he could see some of the Weasleys further up the stairs.

"George come here," Severus ordered gruffly and the boy came down the stairs with Fred on his heels.

Severus waved them both in, when you asked for one twin, you got the other.

"Severus?" Lily whispered and Severus shut the door on her.

"Please lift the bed," Severus ordered. "Emerald is under it."

"Yes, sir." The twins answered.

Severus crouched down and ordered the twins to lift and move the bed slightly. Emerald didn't react at all as his cover was removed. Fred looked down at him beside him but didn't say a word or try to touch him as they placed the bed back down and moved back to the door.

"Thank you," Severus offered.

"No problems, sir."

"And nothing blew up."

"I find that a good effort-"

"On our part at least."

"Out," Severus snapped but the smirk gave him away as the twins moved to the door. "Take your mother and Lily for some tea."

"Right on it, sir."

They closed the door behind them and Severus moved towards Emerald. He shrugged out of his robes and placed them on the bed before settling on the floor. He very carefully placed a hand on the boy's bony back. He could feel the tension in the body under his hand but he didn't react. Severus stretched his legs out and laid his back against the wall with a sigh.

He gently ran his hand over Emerald's tangled hair as he spoke softly to him and he slowly relaxed under his hand. He snagged up a potion text off the table and opened it to the page he was up to and started to read out loud. He'd noticed early on that the boy would calm as he spoke or read. Two chapters later, Emerald shifted his head to rest on his leg. Those green eyes looked up at him as he read another couple of chapters.

"Lily didn't mean to frighten you," Severus explained softly as he laid the book on the bedside table and laid one of his hands on the boy's back, feeling the bumps of his spine under his palm. "I think in her heart that she always thought her son was alive."

"Not her son," Emerald whispered.

"You share DNA with the Potters," Severus pointed out, mildly.

"Not her son," Emerald repeated.

Severus sighed, there was no point arguing and until they got the DNA results back from the muggles. They only had the results from St Mungo's and those odd reading threw up doubts even if it did confirm that he was a Potter.

"Who are you then?" Severus countered.

"Emerald," He said softly as his hand curled around his leg.

Severus looked down at those hollow green eyes and had to agree. If the boy had been Harry Potter, thirteen years ago, he wasn't now. Severus didn't even want to think about the hell he had been through in that time. He touched the mess of black hair.

"You need a haircut," Severus remarked and the boy gave him a smile.

Severus returned it.

xXx

"He needs to be moved!" Severus demanded of Albus when he arrived that night. "He can't keep dealing with everyone here."

"I just wanted to talk to him," Lily cried into her husband's shoulder. "I didn't mean to scare him."

"He can't even deal with seeing Ginny Weasley!" Severus snapped. "He panicked at the sight of a fifteen-year-old girl! What did you think he was going to do when faced with a grown woman?"

"Severus," James growled in warning as he pulled Lily close.

"He can't deal with any females!" Severus continued, ignoring James.

"Do we know why?" Sirius questioned, subdued.

"No," Severus sighed in agitation. "He hasn't said a word on what has happened to him. I would say his fear of women has come from Bellatrix."

Sirius hissed at the name and Severus had to agree. The woman liked to play sadistic games even with fellow Death Eaters. His mind shied away from what she could have done to the child.

"We have his blood results back," Albus announced as he pulled out a piece of paper.

Albus passed it over to James Potter and the man took it. There was no twinkle in Albus's eyes and Severus was already sure what it would say. James looked down at the results, looking pale as Lily dissolved into tears again. James held the paper out to Sirius.

Severus wasn't sure what was worse; losing their son at three years old or finding out a wild child of sixteen was theirs. Not to mention the pain that Lily couldn't even be in the same room as him. Severus sighed and ran a hand through his hair as he tried to control his temper before looking at James.

"Do you want to see him, James?" Severus offered.

James looked at him with hollow blue eyes, the man had changed after Harry had been taken. He'd became withdrawn which had made Severus bait him even more until he lashed out and both men had come to an understanding. Where there was a distance with Lily there was a friendship between James and himself. Something that they were both been surprised at.

"Yes," James answered softly. "If you think he will be alright with that?"

"We shall see," Severus answered.

xXx

Emerald looked up from the bed as the door opened and he tensed. He braced himself to run as Severus and another man came through the door. He relaxed slightly as he sat up on the bed and sniffed the air.

"Emerald," Severus said softly. "This is James Potter."

Emerald looked the man over, he was shorter than Severus with messy dark brown hair and blue eyes behind wire rim glasses. The man gave him a soft smile and Emerald could pick up the fact that he wore some kind of uniform. He crept to the edge of the bed in interest. He could see the wand on the man's hip and a knife.

"What are you wearing?" Emerald asked as he knelt on the side of the bed.

"I'm an Auror," James replied with a smile as he stepped closer. "This is the uniform we wear on duty. I've just come from work."

Emerald tilted his head up slightly and took in his scent. Severus came to sit next to him and James stopped a few feet back. He reached into his pocket and pulled something out. He held the item out to him.

Emerald hesitated slightly before taking the item. He could feel the magic under his hand as he looked at the badge with writing on it. The leather of the wallet was soft and there was a photo of James on one side and the badge on the other.

"Do you know what an Auror is?" James asked.

Emerald looked up and shook his head as he held the badge out and James took it from his hand. Emerald sat back on his heels as he looked at the man.

"We arrest people when they break the law," James explained and shifted on his feet. "And help people in need."

Emerald cocked his head to the side with a frown as he sniffed the air. James looked him over in turn and Emerald cocked his head slightly.

"I'm your father," James stated and Emerald could pick up sadness from the man but was unsure why. "Your name is Harry Potter."

"No," Emerald stated calmly. "My name is Emerald."

"Your name was Harry Potter," James amended. "You are still my son."

Emerald frowned and looked at Severus.

"Do you know what that means?" Severus questioned.

Emerald nodded and shifted back on the bed to put his back to the wall. The two men let him.

"The red headed woman that came in here earlier," James clarified. "Is your mother, Lily Potter."

Emerald nodded, he could tell that from their scents.

"Severus tells me that you can change into a cat," James commented with a smile. "I can change into a stag."

Severus groaned and James gave him a wide grin. James stood back and changed and Emerald moved forward in interest at the magic. He sniffed the air as he looked the animal over and the stag moved forward. Emerald moved to his feet and stepped over to him until his hand touched his flanks.

"James is an Animagus," Severus explained. "Is this the same magic you use to change shape?"

Emerald shook his head; his animal form was as natural to him at his human form. He moved around the stag and ran his hand down the short and soft fur. It didn't feel right, like an image over another form. Emerald stepped back and changed his form and James brought his large head down to sniff him. James then changed back as Emerald jumped back onto the bed and crawled over to Severus. He placed his front paws on his leg and the man ran a hand down his back.

James moved forward in interest and slowly reached out. Emerald buttered his head against his hand.

"He's less afraid in this form," Severus remarked.

"I would be too with those claws," James pointed out with a smirk. "And so close to your groin, Severus."

Severus quirked a smile as James ran a hand down the cat's back.

"That's not an Animagus form," James added. "He feels just like a cat. You can normally just feel the magic, if you touch someone in an Animagus form. Look, you can feel the scars on his skin and the way his fur slides over his ribs and bones. I would say that this is a different magic or a natural form."

James moved the fur around to see the lines of scaring.

"I'm not sure how much of his human mind is there," Severus commented. "Then again, I'm not sure about his human mind when he's in his human form."

Emerald hissed and showed off his teeth before jumping off the bed and up onto the window seat. He curled up as he looked out the window, while James laughed.

"You were told," James pointed out with a smile, which faded the longer he looked at the cat. "Thirteen years, Severus."

"At the hands of the Dark Lord," Severus mentioned.

"And his Death Eaters," James added.

"And Bellatrix."

Emerald turned and hissed at them at the name as he arched his back.

"Do you think that's where his fear of women is coming from?" James asked softly as he took a seat on the bed.

"I would say so," Severus remarked. "From his reaction every time her name is mentioned."

Emerald circled around then went to claw the seat.

"Don't even think about it," Severus snapped and the cat paused. "No claw marks on the furniture."

Emerald hissed again with a glint in his green eyes before he jumped over to the other bed and stalked down its length. Sniffing as he went and rubbing his head against the wall. Before reaching up with his paws on the wall and sniffing. Severus watched him closely to make sure he wasn't digging his claws in but Emerald was being careful.

"He acts just like a cat," James pondered. "Something that you just can't master in an Animagus form. There is a very small delay as you think about how to do something with four legs when you are used to doing it with two."

"That doesn't seem to bother Black," Severus muttered and James laughed.

"He's spent too much time in that form," James remarked. "But even he has been caught out. Look at him though, every line of that animal is a cat."

They looked over at Emerald as he sat there and was licking his paws and running them over his head and ears. Severus winced at the sight of the cat's ribs and how much bigger his head and paws looked in comparison to the rest of his body.

"He's got a lot of growing to do," James said softly. "Maybe add some fish to his diet and plain meat."

"A cat's diet?" Severus questioned. "He doesn't eat much and the potions are filling in the gaps at the moment."

"Yes," James agreed. "He could probably do with a run around outside as well. Once he is at Hogwarts I'm sure I could spare some time or Sirius could, to run around with him."

Emerald paused in licking his paws and jumped across to their bed. He butted his head against Severus and he ran his hand down his back. He placed his front feet on his leg before moving across his lap to James. He flopped across their laps.

"I see what you mean," James muttered as he rubbed the cat's head. "I am not entertaining the thought that this is my son sprawled out across my lap."

Severus barked a laugh as Emerald laid a paw on his arm.

"Just don't tell Lily," Severus stated in amusement as he held the paw which was as big as his palm.

"Or that you are sleeping with him?" James added mildly.

"In the same bed is hardly the same as sex," Severus drawled.

The two men looked down at the cat and how relaxed he was. He wasn't paying them the least bit of attention unless they stopped patting him. They knew in human form he wouldn't have been this close, even if he did sleep with Severus that way.

"Have you read his medical file?" James inquired.

"I wish I didn't," Severus replied. "I'm surprised that he doesn't wake with nightmares every night."

James nodded and the two lapsed into silence. The soft purr of the cat sprawled out over their laps the only sound in the room.

Chapter Text

Emerald looked up when the door to the room opened but no one came in. Severus had only left about an hour ago so he knew it wasn't him. He jumped from the bed in his cat form and stalked towards the open door, curiosity getting the better of him.

Fred poked his head around and looked down at him and Emerald moved closer. He looked out the door to see the twins grinning at him.

"It's just us in the house," Fred told him as Emerald came closer and gave him a sniff. "Do you want to have a look around?"

Emerald strolled out of the room and onto the landing and glanced around in interest. The twins left the door open behind him. He lifted his nose up and took in the scents as the twins grinned wildly. He was sure they would get in trouble if he was found out of the room, not that he's been told he had to stay in the room, as the twins moved down the stairs. Emerald looked down at them and looked at the stairs. He slowly placed his first paw down before with a rush he bolted down the stairs.

The twins cracked up laughing as he turned and bolted back up the stairs before coming down again. It felt good to move after so long in one place. He sniffed around the next landing and the twins opened the doors for him to look around. He stuck his nose in everywhere as he took in the scents of the people that had come to the house and the ones that were living there.

He finally made it down to the living room and the kitchen. He jumped up onto the kitchen bench smoothly and sauntered down it. He was drawn to something on a plate and sniffed it.

"Go on," Fred encouraged with a grin. "It's tuna."

Emerald looked over at the red heads and plonked his bum down as his tail swished. He's been told not to eat anything that the twins gave to him.

"We haven't done anything to it," George promised. "On our magic."

Emerald huffed and turned to the tuna and gave it a lick, next time he looked it was gone. Fred opened another tin and he finished that as well. He curled up on the bench with his front paws dangling off the side as he looked around. Fred ran a hand down his back and he rolled slightly.

"He feels just like a cat," Fred commented to his brother.

Then they were both patting him and he was enjoying every moment of it. His stomach was full and he purred as the twins stroked him. One of them was playing with his paws as they spoke about his claws and were gently pushing them out while he laid on his back.

"I bet he could give that cat of Hermione's a go," George muttered. "Disgruntled beast."

"And Flinch's cat," Fred muttered. "Just wait until he grows into those paws."

"Wait until he's at Hogwarts."

"What about McGonagall!"

"What," Severus drawled from the doorway. "Are you doing?"

The twins started at his voice as Emerald tilted his head back. He lay on his back and looked at the man, a purr in his throat. He batted George's hand when he stopped patting him and the man started rubbing his belly again.

"We thought he could do with stretching his legs," Fred said quickly.

"And it's just us here," George added.

"And he had fun running up and down the stairs."

"And ate two tins of tuna."

"And if your mother or Lily had come home?" Severus drawled.

"We left the door open upstairs," George said.

"He knows where your room is," Fred joined in.

"He seems quite happy here."

"Followed us the whole way."

"Meow," Emerald added as he stretched and rolled onto his stomach and crept across the bench towards Severus.

"Do not jump at me," Severus snapped and Emerald huffed.

The three men watched him as he jumped to the floor in one move.

"I have a spell to alert me if he left the room." Severus informed them as he moved into the room and the twins grinned widely. "I had to leave St Mungo's early so I hope you are happy?"

Emerald butted his head against Severus's leg in greeting. He could smell potions on the other man as he rubbed his head against his leg before stalking towards a cupboard.

"Sorry, sir." The twins said. "We didn't know."

Severus sighed and moved towards Emerald and scooped him up before he could get into the cupboard. He had some weight to him as he dropped him on the table. Emerald didn't mind being picked up as he walked off across the table. Sniffing along the surface, picking up the smells.

"Was he in this form when you opened the door?" Severus asked as he took a seat at the table.

"Yes," George answered as he picked up a piece of string and ran it along the table.

Emerald looked over at it as George flicked it around; what was he supposed to do with that? Emerald sniffed and moved over to Severus and pushed his head into his chest and the man rubbed his ears as he flopped out over the table with a huff.

"We do not tell your mother that he has been on the bench and the table," Severus muttered.

Emerald froze when he heard voices and moved to his feet.

"Sounds like Mum's back," Fred said softly and shared a look with his brother.

"She wasn't coming back until late this afternoon," George added.

Emerald cocked his head to the side as he listened to the voices and lowered himself down as Severus laid his hand on his back. He looked over to the doorway as Molly moved through then froze at seeing the cat on the table. Emerald looked her over, he felt fear run through him but the woman couldn't do anything to him while he was in this form.

"Hey, Mum." The twins greeted together with a grin. "Have you met Emerald?"

Molly looked at the cat then Severus before looking at her sons and sighed. Severus was sure that she'd found herself in a similar situation before.

"Do you want something to eat, dear?" Molly asked Severus and Emerald.

Molly filled up a bowl with water and placed it in the middle of the table. Emerald pulled back into Severus until Molly moved away before stalking across the table and crouching down in front of the bowl. He kept an eye on Molly as he drank, he was thirsty as he finished off the water quickly.

"Meow."

Everyone paused at the sound and looked over at him and he pushed the bowl with his nose. Severus moved to his feet and picked the bowl up with a frown. He refilled it before placing it back on the table. Emerald drank half of the bowl before laying down and watching everything around him with sharp eyes. Always keeping Molly in his sights.

"What are you doing back so early, Severus?" Molly asked.

"Two boys decided to break Emerald out of my room," Severus drawled and the twins scattered before their mother could respond to that.

Molly moved back towards the table and Emerald shifted slightly. So that he could run if needed but she just placed some salmon on a plate next to the water.

"He's already had two tins of tuna," Severus drawled then added. "I have been informed."

Emerald moved to his feet and towards the plate and sniffed it. Molly moved back to the bench to make some sandwiches with the rest of the salmon from the tin.

"Can never have too much food, Severus." Molly said kindly. "He's a growing cat."

Emerald huffed as he licked the fish, his green eyes locked on Molly the whole time.

"He could use the fattening," Severus muttered.

"Yes," Molly remarked as she looked over at him. "He's not the only one."

Severus quirked a smile and watched Emerald eating the salmon. It was the most he'd seen him eat and he hoped he wasn't going to be sick. Severus pulled out a nutrient potion and showed it to Emerald before tipping it in the water. He didn't realise how thirsty Emerald had been and he made a note to bring the bowl up to their room.

"Where are the rest of the children?" Severus asked.

"I dropped them off at the cinema," Molly explained with a huff. "They were driving me up the wall."

Molly moved over to the table and Emerald paused in eating as she placed two plates down and Severus retook his seat. When Emerald didn't bolt, Molly also took a seat a few down from Severus, making sure that Severus was between them. Emerald watched her but when she did nothing more, he went back to the salmon.

"He seems better in this form," Molly observed.

"Yes," Severus remarked. "I am concerned that he is using this form as a shield, instead of dealing with his fear."

"He's been through a lot, Severus." Molly whispered. "Look at his ribs, are they as bad in his human form?"

Molly then blushed and Emerald paused and lifted his head and sniffed the air. He looked over at Severus and cocked his head slightly.

"Molly is embarrassed for the fact that I may have seen you with your shirt off," Severus drawled.

"Severus!" Molly cried. "Don't tell him that, he's just a child."

Emerald hissed at her, showing his teeth and Molly started at the display.

"I believe you were just told different," Severus drawled in amusement.

Emerald sat back and licked his paws as he eyed off the woman.

"Well," Molly gushed. "If he isn't a child, he shouldn't be on the table."

Emerald paused in licking his paws and looked around. Where else should he be? Severus reached out and ran a hand down his back and he arched it as he stood. His tail swishing behind him.

"He's a cat," Severus stated mildly and Emerald meowed in agreement.

Molly smiled as she looked them over as Emerald moved closer to Severus. He sniffed his sandwich and the man pushed him away.

"You have your food," Severus snapped. "This is mine."

Emerald turned and flicked Severus with his tail as he moved back to the bowl of water as he watched Molly.

"Those paws are huge," Molly pointed out. "He could do some real damage with them."

"I have already made it clear to him about not clawing the furniture." Severus remarked. "Thank you for the sandwich Molly, I better take him back upstairs."

"Anytime, Severus." Molly replied. "I'll pick up some more salmon and tuna."

Severus gave her a nod and moved to his feet, Emerald paused in drinking to watch him. Severus reached for the bowl and he hissed at him showing his teeth as his ears flicked back. Severus paused, his dark eyes locking with his.

"We can take this upstairs," Severus told him.

Emerald eyed him off.

"He seems a bit wild in that form," Molly pointed out.

"He is in his human form as well," Severus muttered. "He just doesn't have the teeth and claws to back him up that he has in this form."

Molly laughed at that and Emerald started at the sound. His head flicked over to her and he backed up slightly. His eyes darted to Severus when he reached out and grabbed the bowl. He backed up again and jumped to the floor. Severus looked over to him as he walked over towards the cupboard.

"No," Severus ordered.

Emerald paused and looked over his shoulder before bolting from the room with Severus cursing after him. He slowed when he moved into the living room and prowled around as Severus watched him from the doorway with the bowl in his hand. He sniffed the lounges and the fireplace before moving towards the stairs.

"I'm feeling like a butler," Severus muttered and Emerald huffed.

He bolted up the stairs and waited for Severus to catch up before bolting up the next set and into their room. Their mixed scents surrounded him as Severus closed the door behind him and he moved up onto the window seat. He curled up feeling sleepy and Severus moved over towards him. The man took a seat next to him and ran his hand down his back. He purred as he closed his eyes and was soon asleep.

xXx

Severus woke to the feeling of a small body pressed into him and his arm around a thin chest. He was starting to get used to waking up to this feeling as the messy hair brushed him. He could still feel his ribs and his sunken stomach but Emerald was slowly gaining weight. He always wore just his pants to bed, no matter how many times Severus told him to keep his shirt on.

They were planning on moving him today and Severus was a little on edge about what would happen. The body shifted slightly in his arms as he wiggled back into him. Severus's arm tightened instinctively before he moved onto his back and looked over at the clock and groaned.

Emerald glanced at him with sleepy eyes before rolling and curling into his side, Severus's arm under his neck and along his back. He looked too much like a child for Severus to be comfortable and yet he'd seen the fact that he wasn't as young as his small size would suggest. He glanced at the clock again, they didn't need to be up for another few hours and he looked down at the messy hair and sleeping face.

He couldn't sleep on his back and his arm was trapped so he only had one choice. He rolled back towards Emerald and placed his arm over the top of him. The boy snuggled into him and he heard a slight purr and he smiled softly. That sound made him feel less guilty about the fact he had a sixteen-year-old in his arms.

Severus started slightly when Emerald's leg brushed against his and his arm snaked over him. He felt a little sick at the thought that this was what Emerald was comfortable with. The fact that he had a fear of women it would have been a man that he would have curled up with.

The thought that it might have been Voldemort made him feel even worse. He'd been a death eater for a long time and had never engaged in anything that would involve rape or a child and yet here he was with a child in his arms. Emerald shifted slightly and he could hear him sniffing as he picked something up and Severus tensed.

"Severus?" Emerald whispered, his voice a little rough from sleep.

"Turn over," Severus ordered.

Emerald tensed in his arms and Severus frowned, then paled.

"I mean towards the wall," Severus amended. "Face the wall."

Emerald slowly shifted to face the wall and Severus moved his arm and put his back to the boy. He felt more comfortable now as he pulled the pillow under his head.

"Did I do something wrong?" Emerald asked softly.

"No," Severus replied. "Didn't feel comfortable."

He felt Emerald shift on the bed until his back wasn't touching him. He glanced over his shoulder to see Emerald curled up towards the wall as close as he could get and as far from Severus as the small bed allowed. Severus felt his gut clench at the sight but Emerald didn't seem to mind as he slipped into sleep quickly. Sleep came a little harder to Severus.

xXx

Emerald looked over at Severus from his place curled up on the window seat, something was bothering the other man. He watched him move to the bathroom and Emerald moved to his feet and followed him. Severus looked over at him with a frown.

"What are you doing?" Severus asked.

"Shower?" Emerald answered with a frown.

Severus looked him over and Emerald shifted. He had done something wrong, he slipped his shirt over his head and grabbed his belt. Severus's hand darted out and grabbed his wrists and he started. Emerald looked up and then flinched back at the look in Severus's eyes.

"Do not undress in front of me," Severus snapped and Emerald whined at the anger and flinched back.

Severus released him and he bolted from that anger, he knew he shouldn't. His punishment was always worse when he ran. He moved to the wall and crouched down, his eyes locked on the bathroom door. He tensed when Severus appeared and looked over at him. He frowned when Severus sighed and ran a hand over his head.

"Emerald," Severus said softly as he slowly moved towards him.

Emerald pulled back, the wall a comfort behind him. Severus stopped and crouched down before him before sitting on the floor.

"I…" Severus trailed off. "Look…"

Emerald watched him as Severus tried to find the right words as he looked him over.

"I know that you were physically abused," Severus started again. "As well as other abuse, the way that you need to sleep in the same bed as me…it tells me that you have slept with men before?"

Emerald cocked his head in confusion.

"What did you have planned before?" Severus asked instead. "In the bathroom, you said a shower and were going to undress, why?"

"I did something wrong?" Emerald asked.

"Emerald," Severus said with a sigh. "You are a child, you do not undress in front of adults."

"Not a child," Emerald uttered in confusion.

"You have had sex," Severus said bluntly. "That does not make you an adult, you are sixteen."

Emerald huffed a laugh.

"Time turner," Emerald stated and leaned forward slightly. "Not a child."

Severus pulled back with wide eyes.

"You have travelled back in time?" Severus questioned and looked him over.

"Not human," Emerald remarked and he moved onto his hands and knees.

"That is clear to see," Severus muttered.

"Lived elsewhere," Emerald stated then frowned, he didn't know the right words to use.

"After you were taken?" Severus asked.

Emerald sat in front of Severus and placed his hand on his knee. Severus's eyes were drawn to his undone belt and how low his jeans sat. He could see the darkness of the hair of his groin but nothing more. Severus pulled his eyes away and focused on Emerald.

"Taken, found, escaped." Emerald explained in his own way then frowned.

Severus sighed and ran a hand over his head, trying to get sense out of him was hard on the best of days.

"Sorry," Emerald uttered. "Not used to words."

"How old are you then?" Severus questioned.

"Not a child," Emerald repeated with a smile.

Severus looked him over, from his broad shoulders and the strength in his body. He was still skin and bone but he would fill out and he remembered the cat's large paws and head.

"Voldemort took you from the Potters when you were three," Severus intoned. "Then you were found and taken away from that. Your cat form, then you were captured again."

Emerald nodded.

"Then Bellatrix found out about you?" Severus asked and Emerald hissed.

"Took me," Emerald said and shivered. "When she wasn't allowed."

"Then we raided that house and found you," Severus stated and Emerald nodded. "Now you are caged away again."

Emerald huffed and a glint came into his eyes.

"Not a child," Severus said before Emerald could as he looked him over. "You know how to use magic?"

Emerald quirked a smile but it was fleeting.

"Not enough," Emerald stated and patted his sunken stomach. "Not enough."

Severus moved to his feet and held out his hand to Emerald and he took it with a frown. Severus pulled him to his feet, then let him go. Emerald stood there with a slight hunch to his back and his head ducked down as he peered up at him.

"Go have a shower first," Severus suggested. "I'll use the bathroom after you."

Emerald tilted his head before moving to the bathroom and having a quick shower.

xXx

Albus knocked on the bedroom door before pushing it open. Severus was seated at the table with Emerald perched up on the seat next to him with his feet on the chair. Those green eyes locked on him as he came in, shut the door and placed a silver ball on the table. Emerald leaned forward and sniffed it slightly before reaching out. Curiosity getting to him as he picked up the ball and looked at it in his palm.

Albus looked over to Severus and frowned at the look of the man. He could tell that something was bothering him.

"Was he restless last night?" Albus asked quietly as he took a seat and poured himself a cup of tea.

"No," Severus replied shortly and Albus could tell he didn't want to talk in front of Emerald.

They looked at Emerald as he placed the silver ball onto the table and Albus smiled.

"Are you looking forward to seeing Hogwarts?" Albus asked him with a smile.

Emerald looked between the two men before slipping from his chair and over to the window seat and curling up with his back to them.

"Is he okay?" Albus questioned.

"I don't know," Severus replied. "I'll talk to you about it after we are settled in."

Albus nodded and glanced over at Emerald curled up on the seat with a frown, he'd been going so well.

xXx

Severus's arm tightened around Emerald as they portkeyed to the school and he could feel him shaking in his arms. When they landed, Severus just held him as he shook and buried his head in his chest. Severus found it hard to think of him as anything more than a child, until those eyes looked up at him.  Those were not the eyes of a child.

"Alright?" Severus whispered.

Emerald nodded and Severus released him. He looked around at the forest to his left and the castle to his right. Severus stepped forward over the wards and Emerald followed him. The afternoon was clear with a cool breeze as they walked and Severus kept a close eye on the boy beside him.

Emerald had his nose up as he moved silently without any shoes on and with a slight hunch. He didn't walk standing straight and it made him seem shorter than he was. Emerald paused as he spotted a rabbit and Severus tensed.

"You want to chase it don't you," Severus remarked

Emerald pulled his eyes away from the rabbit and looked at Severus.

"Taste nice," Emerald replied. "Fast, fun to chase."

Severus shivered at the thought of the cat chasing the rabbit down and having a meal and yet as he watched Emerald focus back on the rabbit, he was part cat.

"Go on," Severus encouraged. "Just don't go too far."

Emerald gave him a big grin and Severus heart clenched at the sight before the man changed. The large black cat went bolting after the rabbit. He was quick as the dashed across the ground, light on his feet as the rabbit weaved back and forth. Severus watched them until the rabbit dived down a hole and Emerald skidded to a stop before loping back towards him.

Those strides eating up the ground as he moved smoothly. Severus was sure that once he was back at his peak that the rabbit would have more of a challenge on its hands. Emerald drew even with him and gave him a sniff before they moved off together towards the castle.

Chapter Text

Emerald looked around the hallway as he slinked along near the wall. The castle was huge, he'd never been in a place so big and the smell of magic was everywhere. Severus had warned him that with the students starting tomorrow that he would only be allowed out at night, after curfew, and that he would be confined to Severus's rooms during the day.

He crept through the hallways until he found himself in the entranceway to the school and sprawled out in the sun. He rubbed his back along the stones as the sun warmed his fur. He knew that Severus was concerned that he was spending too much time in his cat form but he didn't understand that it was a part of him and at the moment. He felt more comfortable being a cat than human.

"Hello."

Emerald opened his eyes and looked up at the woman looking down at him and started. He hadn't smelt her coming, he flipped himself the right way up and went to bolt until a smell touched on him and he paused. He lifted his nose higher as he smelt another cat.

"Are you someone's new pet?" The woman asked softly. "Or a stray? I've been trying to get Albus to get some cats for the owlery. There are too many rats up there."

Emerald moved closer and butted his head against the woman's leg. She crouched down with a smile and ran a hand down his back. That smell of a cat calming his normal reaction to run.

"Minerva," Severus greeted. "I see you have met Emerald."

Emerald looked over to Severus, the man was frowning as Minerva rubbed his ears and he purred.

"I can understand the name," Minerva remarked. "Is he yours?"

"That's a complex answer," Severus answered. "He's not completely a cat."

Emerald butted the woman's hand when she stopped patting.

"You are also the first woman that he has come up to," Severus added.

"Oh, well." Minerva said with a smile. "I'm a cat myself."

"Ah," Severus mused. "That makes more sense. Emerald can you change?"

Emerald hissed at the man and butted Minerva's hand and the woman chuckled.

"Change?" Minerva asked. "Is he an Animagus? He doesn't feel like one. He's very skinny, have you been feeding him?"

"You could say that," Severus muttered.

Emerald huffed and moved towards Severus and wound around his legs before moving to the side and changing. He felt the fear the moment that he changed, rush back in, but that cat smell settled him as he looked at Minerva.

"Emerald," Severus introduced in amusement at the look on Minerva's face. "This is Professor Minerva McGonagall, she teachers Transfiguration. Minerva, this is Emerald."

"Are you starting this year?" Minerva asked, looking him over. "I'm sure that you would do well in Transfiguration."

"Albus will explain," Severus replied for him. "He's staying with me."

Emerald stepped closer to the woman and sniffed the air. He should run but that smell kept him calm. He held out his hand and Minerva shook it with a smile.

"Nice to meet you," Minerva said and released him and he dashed back to Severus.

Severus and Minerva shared a look.

"I think that I shall go and see Albus," Minerva announced and Severus nodded. "I'm sure he can answer my questions. Good afternoon, gentleman."

Minerva nodded at them and moved off and Emerald watched her.

"You did very well," Severus whispered and touched his arm.

Emerald looked at him and cocked his head slightly.

"With Minerva," Severus explained.

"She's a cat," Emerald replied.

Severus snorted in amusement.

"What am I?" Severus asked softly.

Emerald moved closer and stood up straight until there was no room between them.

"Mine," Emerald whispered.

"Emerald," Severus sighed, drawing out his name.

"Severus," Emerald said in the same tone.

"I am not yours," Severus stated.

Emerald huffed and gave him a smile before stepping back. He changed back into his cat form and stalked away with his tail waving behind him. Severus watched him unsure what to think of both the boy's actions and words.

xXx

Severus laid on his back that night with Emerald curled up on the other side of the bed. The last week, even if they were still sharing a bed, Emerald would stick to his side and Severus hadn't woken up with his arm around him. He hated to admit it but he missed it as he glanced over at Emerald in just his jeans.

They had finally cut his hair short and he looked very different without the tangled mess, older somehow, now that the angles of his face were easier to see. He still looked like he was closer to fourteen than the sixteen that he should be but Severus wasn't so sure. There was just something about him.

Emerald's words came back to him as he looked over at the curled-up figure in the dark. He hated himself as he wiggled across the bed and wrapped his arm around him. Emerald started slightly and glanced over at him before uncurling and wiggling backwards until they were flush together. Severus tightened his hold around his chest.

Emerald didn't say anything as he settled in and Severus could hear a slight purr. He could feel his naked skin under his arm and hand. He also felt sick at himself and his self-control. This was different, this was him making the first move and not Emerald looking for the comfort. This was him looking for it as he felt that body in his arms and he gently tangled his legs with Emerald's. He took in the feel and smell of him and he hated himself for it. Going off his birthday he wasn't even an adult in the wizarding world but at that moment, Severus didn't care.

Emerald wiggled back further as he settled in with a purr at the back of his throat before it evened out into sleep. Severus moved his hand down his ribs, feeling the bumps to his flat stomach. He was started to gain weight now that he was on a more cat based, meat diet and the potions were boosting that. Severus's hand touched the denim of his jeans and he stopped. What was he doing?

He moved his hand back up to his chest, feeling Emerald's soft breaths. The other man trusted him and Severus couldn't help but think that his trust was in the wrong person.

xXx

Emerald woke slowly, feeling hot and sneezed. He'd felt a little drained yesterday but thought it was just the stress in knowing that he was now surrounded by students but as he squinted his eyes, he knew he was sick. He sneezed again and pulled away from Severus's arm around him and to the edge of the bed. He didn't feel well.

He stumbled to his feet and carefully moved to the bathroom, attached to the bedroom and to the toilet. He made it, just in time, to throw up until only bile came up and it burnt the back of his throat. He moaned when Severus flicked on the light and he placed his head on the toilet seat.

"Are you okay?" Severus asked softly and placed a hand on his back. "You feel hot."

"Sick," Emerald whispered and threw up again.

"Did you eat anything that didn't taste right?" Severus asked then paused. "You didn't catch a rabbit, did you?"

"No," Emerald moaned.

"Have you only eaten what I have given you?"

"Yes," Emerald replied and took the glass of water Severus gave him.

He washed out his mouth before slowly drinking the water but it soon came back up again.

"I'll get you something," Severus offered and Emerald heard him leave.

He curled up on the tiles and hoped his stomach would settle as his head pounded. He hated being sick. He sniffed as he closed his eyes, the coldness of the tiles seeping into him. He started when Severus shook his shoulder and he blinked his eyes open slowly. He felt sluggish and couldn't understand what Severus was saying as he shook his shoulder. He just laid his head back down.

Severus felt a bolt of panic as those glassy green eyes looked up at him. He laid the back of his hand to Emerald's forehead and could feel the heat there before shaking him again. The thought he'd been poisoned ran through his mind but the students had only arrived a few days ago and Emerald hadn't left his rooms since. There wouldn't have been a chance for one of them to slip him something, unless it was through a house elf.

"Emerald," Severus snapped and shook him hard, he didn't react and Severus's heart dropped.

Severus fumbled the coin out of his pocket and called Albus. He pulled his wand and Emerald didn't even react to that as he ran a basic charm to pick up common poisons. He cursed at the odd results.

"What's wrong?" Albus asked as he moved through the door then froze.

"I think he may have been poisoned," Severus reported. "I can't get him to react. He's already thrown up and he's running a fever."

"We'll get him up to Poppy," Albus ordered.

"We'll have to get her to come down here," Severus countered. "If he wakes up in the hospital wing, he'll panic."

Albus looked down at him before nodding and moving from the room. He returned quickly with a confused Poppy in tow, in her dressing gown.

"What-" Poppy went to say then dropped to her knees beside Emerald and pulled her wand.

Emerald reacted to that as his eyes widened. He tried to pull away in Severus's hands before collapsing back to the floor, breathing heavily. Severus felt concern that Emerald couldn't do more than that.

"Sh," Severus cooed. "It's okay."

Poppy flicked her wand then frowned at the results. It looked like Poppy was having just as much problems as he had.

"I think he's been poisoned," Severus warned. "Focus just on that. You might get some strange results from your normal spells."

Poppy nodded and did just that.

"Yes," Poppy agreed after a few spells. "But it's faint, I would say it’s a drug to knock him out or make him more compliant. Not a poison."

Severus relaxed at those words as he ran his hand over the other man's shoulder.

"Can you tell when it was given to him?" Albus asked.

"Dinner time I would say," Poppy remarked. "It seems like his system was working against it until it was overwhelmed. I would also guess that he is fighting against a flu but the spell isn't working to pick that up."

Emerald relaxed back and his eyes were just slits as he peered up at them.

"You can give him a fever reducing potion," Poppy ordered. "And something for his stomach. Who is he?"

"Ah," Albus stuttered. "That's a complex answer."

Severus quirked his lips up at that answer.

"I coined that one first," Severus muttered as he pulled out his potion pouch and pulled out three potions.

He gently moved Emerald with Albus's help and he tried to get him to take the first one. Emerald grabbed his wrist as he struggled weakly against them. Poppy hummed and flicked her wand and the potion's contents disappeared. Emerald's struggles weakened until his eyes rolled up and he went limp. Poppy frowned and noticed the three vials.

"What was the third one?" Poppy asked.

"Pain potion," Severus replied.

With Albus's help they had to lift up Emerald manually and move him to his bed, after their spells failed. Poppy's frown deepened as she took in his state of undress. Her eyes flicked between Severus and Albus and he could see the disapproval and questions building.

"Come with me, my dear." Albus offered with a smile. "I'll explain everything. Good night, Severus."

xXx

Emerald woke slowly and feeling sluggish as he blinked his eyes open. The room was dark but that was normal for a room without a window. He glanced around but he was alone as he slowly crawled to the side of the bed. His movements off and he felt exposed as he slipped to the floor and under the bed. He felt better once he had cover as he wiggled back.

His stomach was sore and his head pounded as he moved further under the bed until his back hit the wall and he curled up. He couldn't defend himself in his state as he sneezed loudly. He groaned but at least it was quiet in the room and the cold stones felt nice against his hot skin. He closed his eyes, once he was comfortable.

"What are you doing?"

Emerald started badly at Severus's voice and clunked his head on the bed above him. His eyes watered as he looked into Severus's dark eyes.

"How did you even get under there?" Severus questioned.

Emerald shifted slightly and realised that he had wedged himself into a corner and could only just raise his head. He sneezed and sniffed slightly as he laid his head back down on his arms. Severus laid down on his stomach with a sigh and looked at him.

"Someone tried to drug you last night," Severus explained and Emerald sneezed.

"Sick," Emerald whispered, his voice hoarse.

"No, you were drugged," Severus amended. "Poppy came down and ran the spell."

"Sick," Emerald repeated and Severus sighed.

"Can you come out?"

"Water?" Emerald questioned, not moving.

"If you come out."

"Please?"

Severus started at the word and sighed, he disappeared and Emerald closed his tired eyes.

"Emerald."

He started without realising he'd fallen asleep. Severus rolled two bottles of water under the bed and two potions.

"If you want food," Severus drawled. "You have to come out."

"Thank you," Emerald whispered and grabbed the first bottle of water and slowly drank half of it.

"I'll see you after my afternoon classes," Severus told him. "If you feel well enough, there are a couple of tins of tuna on the table. Do not eat anything else."

Emerald nodded and laid his head back down, Severus looked him over before standing back up. He looked at the two potions, one was a nutrient potion and the other a fever reducing one. He took both potions before closing his eyes and curling up.

xXx

Severus was very happy to be done with his classes, he always hated the first week. The students were always overexcited and had forgotten their fear of him over their break but he was quick to remind them. Then he had to deal with his first years in Slytherin and the children that would start crying and missing their parents and home. It was always draining.

He moved back to his rooms and sighed, now he had something different to deal with. He moved into his rooms and looked around then sighed in frustration. He moved through to his bedroom before crouching down and looking under his bed.

Emerald was still squeezed into the corner and he felt a bolt of frustration go through him. He knew it wasn't the boy's fault but it frustrated him that Emerald felt more comfortable squeezed under his bed than on it. He looked him over and could tell he was deeply asleep with one of his hands over the top of a water bottle as he used his arm as a pillow.

The frustration left Severus at the sight and he felt his heart clench. He left him there as he stepped back into the main room and opened the door to his potion lab. There was nothing else he could do as he walked into the room. He had to clean it up before he could start any work.

xXx

Emerald felt better, when he woke next, and lifted his head without thinking and clunked it on the bed above him. He hissed at the pain as his eyes watered and one of the water bottles rolled out from under the bed. He rolled the other bottle out as well before grabbing the two empty vials and wiggling his way out. The bottom of the bed scrapping along his back.

He poked his head out from under the bed then looked up when he felt eyes on him. He cringed back from Severus's dark eyes looking down at him. Severus disappeared before a light lit up the room and Emerald blinked his eyes a few times from the light.

"Decided to come out," Severus said roughly.

Emerald wiggled the rest of the way out and looked down at the dirt covering him and sniffed. He brushed his hands down his arms to try and get the dirt off without success.

"You're going to have to have a shower," Severus remarked in amusement. "Good thing we cut your hair at least."

Emerald screwed up his nose as he looked at himself then started at Severus's soft laugh. He looked over at the man with large eyes.

"I may have to clean under there if you insist on making that your new home," Severus drawled.

Emerald gave him a grin as he pulled himself to his feet and looked down at the dirt on his chest and jeans. He reached for his belt before remembering Severus's words and dropped his hands. He held out the two empty vials and Severus took them from his hand and placed them on the bedside table before he moved to the bathroom.

He showered quickly, feeling better as he washed off the dirt and dust. He stepped out of the shower and looked around for clothes. Severus normally left him something and he frowned when he found nothing. He finished drying and hung the towel up before walking back to the bedroom.

Severus started when Emerald walked in naked then the other man shifted slightly as he looked at him.

"There weren't any clothes," Emerald explained simply.

Severus cursed and Emerald shifted again and gave the other man some distance. Severus moved to the cupboard and pulled open one of the drawers. He grabbed out a pair of pants and turned back to him and held them out. Emerald crept closer and grabbed the pants, he could see Severus's eyes flicking over the scars as he stood up straighter.

"Why do some of these scars look like designs?" Severus asked softly as he looked at the faint lines of scaring on his hip.

Emerald shifted slightly for Severus to see the whole scar and the other man sucked in a breath and stepped closer. He nervously fiddled with the pants as Severus's fingers touched on the area. Emerald knew that the scars would fade with time, his skin seemed to soak them in and they would disappear. He shivered slightly as Severus's fingers ran over his skin.

"It's smooth," Severus remarked. "Why is it not raised like the others?"

The design was in swirls, one line running around and around, over his hip, lower back and down his bum. He shivered as Severus's finger traced that line and the memory of the knife cutting into his skin over and over as that design was cut came to mind. He sneezed suddenly and Severus pulled back sharply and locked eyes with him.

"Someone did that to you," Severus stated then his eyes caught on the other scars.

Severus stepped closer and Emerald shifted slightly as the taller man looked him over. He'd been in his position before and stood still as he held his pants at his side. He knew it would have just been a matter of time as he held still. If he ran it would only be worse later. He tried to keep the slight shake under control as Severus's fingers touched on a scar and he didn't try to cover himself.

He let his mind drift slightly as Severus moved around him and noticed the scaring on his other hip.

"Who did this?" Severus demanded as his fingers touched on the scaring.

Emerald held still and waited. Severus looked up at him when he didn't answer then an odd look came into his eyes and Emerald retreated slightly in his mind. It was easier that way as a part of him craved the close touch of someone.

"Emerald?" Severus questioned softly. "Put your pants on, how are you feeling?"

Severus stepped back to the bed and sat down as he looked over at the clock on the bedside table. Emerald stood unsure as he looked at Severus in confusion. This wasn't how it normally went.

"You don't want anything?" Emerald questioned in confusion.

"Want anything?" Severus asked with a frown. "I want you to put those pants on so that I can get some sleep. I have classes in the morning…well four hours time at least…"

Emerald cocked his head to the side then Severus paled as he looked at him.

"You…" Severus started to say as he paled even more, then rage came into his eyes.

Emerald skipped back a step, instinctively, as he crouched slightly and his eyes widened. He'd dropped his pants as he slipped further back with his eyes locked on the other man. Severus just sighed and didn't get to his feet.

"Emerald," Severus said softly. "I do not want sex or anything sexual in nature from you. Just sleeping in the same bed is pushing the boundary."

Emerald whined at those words, if Severus took that away from him. He wasn't sure if he could cope with that. His nature pushed for that close contact with another person which his master had taken full advantage of. He crept towards Severus then stopped at the dark look in his eyes.

"Sorry," Emerald whispered roughly. "Sorry."

"Put your pants on," Severus snapped.

Emerald flinched but did as Severus ordered then looked around before crouching down and crawled forward on his hands and knees.

"Stop," Severus ordered as he stood up.

Emerald winced and curled up slightly, his stomach on the ground. Severus froze as he looked at him.

"Get in the damn bed," Severus cursed and he bolted across the floor and into the bed.

He curled up towards the wall under the covers, he felt the bed move and whined softly. Severus laid a hand on his shoulder and he started slightly before purring at the contact at the same time his body shook. The hand disappeared then he felt Severus's back against his own and he felt content at the feeling as he drifted off into sleep.

xXx

Severus cupped his head as he waited in the Headmaster's office. The events of last night kept replaying in his mind. That vacant look in Emerald's eyes and the realisation that he had expected Severus to have sex with him or demand something else. He didn't know what way to think. The sight of those scars on his hips just made his heart clench at the thought of what Emerald had been through.

"Severus, my boy." Albus greeted and he looked up from his hands. "Is everything alright?"

Severus shook his head as Albus took a seat next to him and handed him a cup of tea.

"Emerald," Severus stated, then choked on the word. "He thought that I wanted to have sex with him last night."

Albus reeled back from him and the twinkle in his eyes disappeared.

"He wanted sex?" Albus asked.

"I don't think so," Severus responded. "But he thought that I wanted sex from him and he was willing to let me have that. The look in his eyes Albus…they were empty. Blank."

Albus paled at those words.

"Please explain, Severus." Albus encouraged as he placed his hand on his arm in support.

Severus did slowly, recounting what had happened. Severus was in no doubt that if they had done anything that it would have been counted as rape. That vacant look in Emerald's eyes proved that he wouldn't have been there mentally. Severus had seen that look before at Death Eater meetings and he shivered.

"You think that Voldemort…" Albus whispered unable to finish the sentence and Severus nodded. "We need to know what kind of blood he has in his veins."

"Yes," Severus agreed hollowly. "I think that we will find that he has some kind of creature blood that pushes at him. He seems to crave physical contact."

"Which many would interpret into sexual contact," Albus summarised.

Severus nodded and buried his head into his hands as Albus laid a hand on his knee.

"I'm not the right person for this, Albus." Severus uttered.

"You are the person that he has chosen," Albus pointed out.

"I was just the one that picked him up from St Mungo's."

"He's put his trust in you, Severus."

"That trust is in the wrong person," Severus snapped.

Albus sat back in his seat and looked him over as Severus flopped back in his seat.

"You like him," Albus said softly.

Severus nodded his head.

"In a sexual way?" Albus asked carefully.

Severus hesitated then nodded his head and looked away and Albus sighed.

"Maybe we should think about moving him," Albus remarked and Severus felt his heart clench at the thought.

He had been looking after him for over two months. Sleeping in the same bed and feeling the comfort of his arm wrapped around him. It had been hard but he wouldn't have changed a moment of it. The thought of Emerald's care falling to someone else…

"Regardless of what he says, Severus." Albus pointed out and Severus focused back on him. "He is Harry Potter and is sixteen."

"I am aware of that," Severus hissed.

"Perhaps the Potters might be a better idea."

"He panics every time that he sees a woman that isn't Minerva."

"Perhaps Minerva then?" Albus suggested as he rubbed his beard. "It would keep him at the school and you could still see him."

Severus nodded and felt his heart clench at that but Emerald was a child. He shouldn't be sleeping in an adult male's bed. Not even taking into account the abuse that he would have suffered and Severus was sure in what way that he would have been used. Just the thought of that had rage flooding through him and yet was his own thoughts, that he'd had of Emerald, any different.

"I'll talk to Minerva about it," Albus offered.

Severus nodded again, he wasn't looking forward to explaining this to Emerald.

Chapter Text

A/N: I'm just not happy with this chapter. I'm not sure what doesn't sit right…but something doesn't. Anyway enjoy. I took a wander back to the first couple of chapters and fixed them up as well.

xXx

Emerald looked around Severus's lab in interest. There were two long tables set up along the length of the room with empty cauldrons, in varying sizes and compounds, under them. At one end, near the door, was a large deep sink and at one end there was a walk-in style potion ingredient cupboard. He wandered down the room and glanced into the cupboard and looked the ingredients over as he sniffed. He hadn't been told that he had to stay out of any room, only that he couldn't leave until after seven at night when curfew started.

He noticed some items that needed cleaning and headed over that way. He filled up the sink with water and cleaning liquid. He took care in what he was doing as he moved equipment around, he knew how fickle potion masters could be. He fell into the simple task and just let his thoughts drift as he worked. He was used to this kind of work. He glanced around the lab to see what else he could clean as he took care to wipe down the tables.

He looked over when Severus's scent reached him before the man appeared in the doorway and glanced around. Something was wrong and he paused in cleaning. Severus moved into the lab and his eyes darted over the work he'd done. The potion master didn't seem angry that he was in his lab but he could tell that something was troubling him. He sniffed the air but couldn't pick up on anything that would give him a clue.

"You've been busy," Severus observed.

Emerald's frown deepened as he nodded and placed the cloth, in his hand, down on the table.

"Emerald," Severus broached softly. "Albus and I were just talking and we think it would be a better idea that you stay with someone else."

Emerald froze and he pulled back slowly from Severus.

"After your reaction last night and the abuse that you have suffered," Severus continued. "We believe that you sleeping and being in close contact with a male teacher is not the best environment for a sixteen-year-old."

Emerald felt a bolt of fear at that as he moved another step back.

"Albus is going to ask Minerva if she would be willing to have you stay with her," Severus told him.

Emerald felt the blood drain from his face. They wanted him to stay with a woman, even a cat woman. He shook slightly at that but he knew it wouldn’t help.

"Do you understand?" Severus asked and Emerald nodded.

He was used to being passed around and looked away from Severus. He was surprised that it had taken this long. He started when Severus laid his hand on his arm.

"We are not getting rid of you, Emerald." Severus expanded softly. "You will still be here at the school."

Emerald nodded, he didn't understand but he was used to that.

"It's just not healthy…" Severus started then trailed off.

"I understand," Emerald whispered, for he knew that's what Severus wanted to hear and stepped back.

Severus's hand slipped off his arm and Emerald moved out of the room. Severus didn't follow him.

xXx

Severus looked down at Emerald in concern. He was curled up in his bed with his back to the door which was unlike him. He hadn't said a word since he'd spoken to him earlier and had been on the bed since then. In any other teenager, he would have thought that he was sulking and rebelling but with Emerald he was concerned.

Severus sighed and shrugged out of his robes before moving to the bathroom and a shower. When he returned, Emerald was still curled up and didn't even look over at him. Severus sat on the bed and gently laid his hand on his back.

"Emerald?" Severus whispered and the boy glanced over his shoulder at him. "Can you get under the covers?"

Emerald moved without a word and Severus frowned when he didn't take off his shirt or change into some other clothing. He always slept in either his jeans or long pants and never his shirt.

"You're not going to change?" Severus questioned.

Emerald looked over at him with a frown before changing into his cat form and Severus sighed.

"That's not what I meant," Severus grumbled softly as that large furry face stared at him before he huffed and turned away. "I guess that I'll be sleeping with a cat tonight."

Severus moved under the covers as he listened to Emerald's soft breathing. He was going to miss that.

xXx

Emerald's eyes darted around the hallway and his tail twitched in agitation as Severus waited him out. He slipped out of the man's rooms and looked around the dark hallway. He was resigned to his fate, Severus was passing his care to the cat woman and he knew it was useless to argue. He had been in this situation before.

Severus took a few steps away and Emerald just dropped his head and followed after. His eyes would dart around and he was on edge but he still followed the tall man without a sound. Severus would glance down at him every now and again as they moved along but he didn't say a word.

He paused when his sensitive ears picked up on a mouse and he swung his head that way. He sniffed then turned away, he didn't want to do anything else that Severus would get angry at. They walked up a few flights of stairs before stopping outside a door and Severus knocked. Emerald took a sniff but he had already picked up the cat woman's scent.

Minerva opened the door with a smile and Emerald ducked down.

"Good night, Gentlemen." Minerva greeted as she held the door open. "Come on in."

"Thank you, Minerva." Severus replied smoothly.

Emerald waited for Severus to enter first before slipping in behind him and sitting down. The two looked down at him and he lowered his head and looked away. He could feel the tension in the room and he knew he was the reason for it. Hand overs were like this sometimes and he was used to people talking about him as if he weren't in the room.

This was something that he understood and he would just wait for the rules and orders. He just hadn't expected it from Severus and he felt like he'd failed the man in some way. He tried not to think of that as he let his thoughts drift to other things, it was easier that way.

"I have your room all set up, Emerald." Minerva said into the awkward silence. "Severus already brought your clothes and other things up. Severus did you want a cup of tea?"

"Yes, thank you." Severus answered and shifted slightly on his feet.

Emerald just laid down with his back to the stone wall and looked at the two teachers. Minerva looked down at him and smiled. He tensed but she didn't give him any orders.

"Did you want something to eat, Emerald?" Minerva questioned.

Emerald didn't respond as his tail wiggled behind him, the only sign of his unease. Minerva turned to Severus in question and he just sighed.

"We'll let him settle in," Severus offered. "Might take him a little while."

"Very well," Minerva agreed.

Emerald just watched them as they moved over to the armchairs and settled in with tea. He felt on edge and unsure what this new move would mean for him. He sniffed the air again, picking up the scents in the room before laying his head down on his large paws. He huffed softly, it looked like this was his life now.

xXx

Severus didn't realise how much he was going to miss Emerald. It had been over a week and a half since he moved to Minerva's rooms and his rooms felt a little empty without him. He was used to reading to him at night in front of the fire and sharing a meal at the table or his eyes on him while he worked on a potion in his lab. Emerald was good at just listening when he needed to vent and he really missed curling up with him at night. The boy had slowly wiggled his way into his life and now he wasn't there.

They were all concerned with the fact that Emerald hadn't changed out of his cat form the whole time he'd been with Minerva. They were unsure just what to do with him, since this move didn't seem to be working. Severus had made a point of going up and seeing him at for a while every second night but Emerald would just lay curled up in his cat form. They were all worried that he was just hiding in that form and retreating from the world around him.

"Severus," Minerva broached softly, one morning as they had breakfast.

Severus looked over at her and raised an eyebrow in question.

"Would you consider taking Emerald back?" Minerva asked and Severus started.

"Is he alright?" Severus questioned in concern.

"He just spends his whole time in his room," Minerva explained. "I leave him books and other things but he just lays on his bed. I thought maybe he was leaving when I would have classes, but the spell I cast tells me that he just goes to the bathroom and his bed. He won't even change forms…I believe this is hurting him more."

Severus sighed and ran a hand down his face. They really didn't know what to do with him. He had a feeling that even Emerald knew that.

"I'll come and see him tonight," Severus offered.

Minerva gave him a nod of thanks and they went back to their breakfast. With a lot more on their minds then they had before.

xXx

Severus sighed before opening the door to Minerva's rooms that night. He moved through the door and looked around the tasteful living room before moving to Emerald's room and opened the door. He looked down at the curled up fur ball as those green eyes looked at him before glancing around. The bed was still made under the large form of the cat.

"Please change," Severus requested.

Emerald looked up at him and huffed before resting his head back down. He felt a sudden bolt of frustration run through him.

"Now!" Severus snapped and Emerald flinched back.

Emerald changed slowly back into his human form and pulled back against the wall. His clothes were the same that he'd been wearing when he first changed in Severus's rooms.

"You are acting like a child!" Severus shouted as he stepped closer. "Sulking and hiding away!"

Emerald pulled further back as he braced himself and Severus felt even angrier at that reaction.

"You can't just change into a cat and hide away from the world!" Severus hissed. "Minerva is trying to help you and you just sulk!"

Emerald lowered his head and curled up, his eyes large and dilated.

"You keep telling me that you're not a child," Severus snapped without thinking, his eyes flashing in anger. "Until you act like an adult, you are still a child!"

Emerald growled low in his throat and Severus paused. The growl got louder as Emerald bared his teeth and those green eyes locked with him. Severus felt a bolt of fear as the man shifted until he was on his hands and knees before him on the bed. Emerald looked feral as he stared at him with his teeth showing and that growl rumbling in the room. He'd never seen him react like this before.

Severus stepped back from the bed as Emerald stalked forward; his movements animalistic and off putting.

"You gave me to her," Emerald stated, his voice soft in contrast to the fire he could see in his eyes.

"What?" Severus stuttered in confusion.

"You gave me to her," Emerald repeated.

Severus frowned in confusion.

"You could give me back," Emerald whispered and sat back on the bed, the fire leaving him as quickly as it came.

"Give you back?" Severus uttered, even more confused. "Give you back to whom?"

"To my master," Emerald said flatly.

"No!" Severus yelped, as a chill ran through him.

Emerald cocked his head to the side.

"You don't want me," Emerald stated blandly and Severus felt his stomach drop. "They don't know what to do with me. Hand me back."

Emerald looked up at him with hollow eyes.

"You want to go back to him?" Severus whispered.

Severus could see the fear in Emerald at the possibility but also resignation. He was prepared to go back there. Back to the abuse and that scared Severus more than he would admit.

"If I have to," Emerald admitted. "If you send me back."

Severus felt faint at those words, he thought they would send him back to Voldemort. He then looked around the room at the books and other things on the table then back to him. Realisation came to him slowly as he felt a chill in his stomach.

"You're not sulking," Severus uttered. "You don't know what to do."

Emerald looked away and shifted uncomfortably. Severus heard the door open and close and watched as Emerald flinched back. He pulled further back on the bed and he could see the fear. The anger and defiance were gone but the resignation was still there. Those human emotions replaced by fear. Learned helplessness, they called it. They had unknowingly put Emerald into another cage that he didn't understand and in a twisted way he wanted to go back to something that he knew. The life he'd lead before he came to them. Severus felt that coldness spread through him at their mistake.

"How are you going, Severus?" Minerva asked kindly from beside him. "Oh, you got him to change…that's good."

Severus could see the fear as Emerald pulled further back on the bed and the way that his hands clenched in the blanket under him. He could tell he wanted to change but then his eyes would flick to him before going back to Minerva. He hadn't been rebelling, he didn't feel comfortable in human form around Minerva. He glanced over at Minerva as she stood in the doorway and looked them over. How had he missed these signs that were so easy to see now?

"Severus?" Minerva inquired. "Are you taking him back to your rooms?"

Severus looked back at Emerald and could see the fear and tension in every line of his body and silently cursed his stupidity. They had severely misjudged this.

"Yes," Severus answered. "Yes, I am."

xXx

Severus looked over to Emerald curled up in his cat form in the armchair next to him and sighed. It had taken over an hour to get him down to the dungeons from Minerva's rooms. He had started at every noise in the castle and Severus had been afraid that he would just bolt and he wouldn't be able to find him again. Severus had felt his gut clench every time that Emerald would start and he'd belly crawled a lot of the way. His green eyes wide as he'd panted, his ears flicking around. Severus was sure that the human part of him had retreat completely and it was only the cat side of him that he had been looking at.

Severus had never seen him that scared. He wasn't sure, if it was just the time with Minerva that had done it or the way that he had acted and he felt the guilt of it now. His temper could get the best of him sometimes. He had left Emerald alone once they reached his room and the cat had hidden away in his room for a while. It had been about an hour later that he'd stuck his head out and belly crawled to the armchair.

It was at that moment that Severus had realised that even if Emerald had a human form and had been born human, he wasn't now. There was a wildness to him that was as much a part of him as both his cat and human forms. For some reason, Emerald found comfort in him and as those green eyes locked on him, even if he had lost his temper with him, he had forgiven him. He sighed and tried to keep reading the book in his hands but he knew it was futile.

Severus glanced over at the cat and could see that he was still on edge as his green eyes watched him. Severus gave up on his book and moved to the shower before heading to bed. He undressed then paused when he felt eyes on him and glanced over to see Emerald in the doorway on his stomach. The cat must have pushed the door open.

Severus stood naked in the bathroom as his eyes locked with Emerald's and he sighed. He should feel anger but he'd used that up earlier in the day. He turned and looked the cat over as those green eyes stared back at him and his tail flicked behind him.

"I do not apricate being spied on," Severus stated.

Emerald meowed softly but didn't move and Severus sighed and moved to the shower. He glanced over at the cat in the doorway as he stepped into the shower and pulled the curtain closed behind him. He sighed as the water ran over his head.

"Meow."

"Get out!" Severus snapped, fed up.

When Severus stepped out of the shower. Emerald was gone and he sighed as he towelled himself off. He pulled on some pyjama bottoms but no top before moving into the living room then through to the bedroom then paused. Emerald was sprawled out on his bed in his pants and looked up at him when he appeared.

Severus eyes travelled over him before he snagged up a shirt and slipped in over his head. Emerald moved under the covers without a word and Severus followed him. He settled in with his back to the boy, reached up and clicked the light off. He felt Emerald shifting around before an arm snaked over his chest and he started. Emerald moved until he was laying along his back with his arm over him.

Severus tensed, Emerald had never done this before as he felt his legs resting against his before he relaxed. He shifted slightly for Emerald to tangle his legs with his. He could hear a soft purr behind him and he smiled. He'd missed him. He grabbed his hand and held it close to his stomach.

"I apologise," Severus whispered into the silence. "For losing my temper and for deciding to move you without taking your opinion into consideration. If you want to leave, it should be your choice and not ours."

Emerald rubbed his head against his shoulder briefly before he settled along his back. Severus hadn't been expecting an answer but he felt better saying the words. He relaxed back with that soft purr sending him into a deep sleep.

xXx

Severus was surprised how quickly they fell back into a routine over the next couple of weeks. He glanced over at the cat to the side of his lab as he worked on a potion and smiled when he could tell that Emerald had fallen asleep. He had expected Emerald to stay in his cat form and yet that had been incorrect and seemed to pick at random which form he walked around in. However, he had been quiet…well quieter than he normally was.

He placed his stirring rod down on the table and set the timer for the potion before stepping over towards the cat. He crouched down before the animal but didn't touch him.

"Emerald," Severus whispered.

The cat started and cringed back. Those green eyes locked on him before relaxing and he wiggled closer. Severus smiled and ran his hand down his back and Emerald purred.

"Come on," Severus encouraged. "Dinner time."

Severus moved to his feet and watched as Emerald stretched out before changing and Severus looked him over. He stood close to him but was looking around the lab. Severus reached out and touched his arm. Emerald's eyes locked on him at the move.

"Did you want to come with me to check the hallways tonight?" Severus asked. "You could stretch your legs out?"

"Cat?" Emerald whispered.

"Yes," Severus answered with a smile. "You can even chase a mouse or two."

Emerald's lips curled up in a smile and Severus found himself smiling as well. He slipped his hand down Emerald's arm and tangled their fingers together. Emerald frowned at the move but didn't pull back.

"I ordered some steak from the kitchens," Severus informed him. "Something different this time."

Emerald just gave him one of those smiles again in answer.

xXx

Emerald bounded after the small rat with Severus laughing behind him. The rat dived into a hole and Emerald almost collided with the wall. He sniffed around the hole for a while before turning his glare on Severus. The tall man just smirked at him.

Emerald ran back towards him, passed him and kept running down the hallway. It felt good to move as he slipped slightly on the stones as he turned and ran back the other way. Severus just leaned back against the wall and watched him. It felt more like it had before the students arrived as he ran. He had missed this as he skittered to a stop before Severus and panted.

"Right there?" Severus drawled and Emerald pranced on his feet and the man quirked a smile. "Lead the way, Mr Potter."

Emerald cocked his head to the side at his words but Severus just waved his hand.

"Well?" Severus said smoothly.

Emerald dug his claws into the stones before taking off again. Severus laughed as he followed after him at a more sedate pace. Emerald took a sniff around before focusing on another scent.

Severus watched as the cat turned the next corner and he couldn't stop the smile on his face. Emerald just looked like a darker shadow as he turned the corner and looked down the corridor. He could have used a lumos to light up the hallway but didn't want to give himself away, if there were any students around.

Emerald had frozen further down the hallway. He was sure that he had picked up on another mouse or rat and could understand Minerva's complains about the vermin. Suddenly the cat dashed off and Severus grimaced when he heard a squeak.

"Bloody animal," Severus muttered as the cat walked back towards him with a mouse hanging from his mouth. "Don't eat that!"

Emerald dropped the mouse, sat down and gave him a 'look.'

"Meow," Emerald purred, with a glint in his eyes.

"I don't want to know," Severus grumbled and walked off.

"Meow."

xXx

Albus looked up sharply when he heard a noise in the corridor and quickly pulled his wand. With a whispered spell a light appeared and he relaxed when he spotted Emerald crouched down against the wall a few feet away.

"Emerald," Albus greeted as he looked the animal over.

"Meow," Emerald uttered and moved to his feet.

He glanced over his shoulder and Albus was sure that Severus wasn't far behind him. Albus dimmed the light and Emerald silently padded closer with his ears and tail twitching.

"Severus mentioned that you have been keeping him company on his nightly walks the last week," Albus commented.

Emerald suddenly changed forms and glanced over his shoulder before focusing on him. Albus stepped closer and noticed the tension in the other man as those green eyes focused on him completely. He didn't say a word as he stood there which was a little disconcerting but Albus was getting used to his odd ways.

"He has decided that there are too many rats and mice in the castle," Severus drawled as he appeared around the corner and Emerald gave him a grin.

Albus could see the tension drain out of the younger man and he frowned. It seemed that Severus was the only person that Emerald felt completely comfortable around.

"Is that so?" Albus questioned. "Paying your way in rodents?"

Emerald tilted his head as he looked between them. Severus stepped close to Emerald and with the way that the young man stood with a slight hunch, he looked small next to the tall man.

"If he makes himself sick," Severus said smoothly. "I am not giving him a potion to settle his stomach."

Emerald huffed and gave them a grin. Albus's heart clenched at the expression, for anyone else it would be a carefree smile but for Emerald it was something different.

"What brings you out this late, Albus?" Severus questioned.

"Just out for a walk," Albus replied mildly. "It's a lovely night and I thought I would take advantage of it."

Emerald's attention drifted as they spoke and the two men watched as he changed forms and padded off on silent paws.

"How has be been?" Albus questioned, once Emerald was far enough away.

"Surprisingly very well," Severus answered. "Almost back to normal…well his normal."

"No harm done then?"

"I wouldn't say that," Severus countered.

They heard a scraping noise and glanced over as Emerald took off and Severus snorted. Albus frowned at the antics.

"He seems more cat tonight," Albus muttered.

"He is a cat," Severus pointed out and the two men fell into silence at that statement.

They watched as Emerald dashed back towards them and Severus was happy to see that he hadn't caught another mouse. The cat flopped down on the stones close to them and rubbed his back along the stones. Wiggling and rubbing his body and head in a scratch. In his own way, proving Severus's words.

"I suppose he is," Albus grumbled and Severus snorted.

xXx

Emerald woke to the feeling of Severus sprawled out over his back. He tensed slightly at the hard length he could feel. He could tell that the other man was asleep and he relaxed as Severus's scent surrounded him. He wiggled back and Severus rolled slightly, his arm tight around him in his sleep.

Severus muttered something, holding him flush with his body and that hard length between them. Emerald would have normally felt fear but as Severus's scent touched on him. He rocked his hips back and Severus groaned. He'd been back with Severus for the last few weeks and this was the second time that Emerald had woken in this situation.

He wiggled slightly as he rocked his hips and Severus pulled him close as he moaned. Emerald could feel himself responding to that sound as he panted. He craved this as much as he did physical contact as he hardened. He reached behind him and grabbed Severus's hip as he pushed back into him.

Severus suddenly started awake and Emerald froze as he panted. Severus rocked his hips forward and Emerald moaned. He felt Severus's arm tighten around him.

"Emerald?" Severus whispered.

Emerald moaned again and rocked his hips back, his hand tightened on Severus's hip and the other man groaned.

"Oh, god." Severus cursed. "Please stop."

Emerald froze and glanced behind him. He could see Severus clearly in the darkness as he looked at him.

"Please?" Emerald begged and Severus moaned.

That was his undoing as Severus growled and his hand slipped down and grabbed him. Emerald whined as Severus's hand wrapped around him and gently ran up and down as Emerald rocked his hips back into Severus. He pulled Severus close as he bucked back and Severus increased the speed until Emerald was tipping over the edge and coming with a gasp.

Emerald quickly pushed his pants down and turned in Severus's arms. Wide eyes locked on him as he pulled on Severus's pants and he lifted his hips slightly. Emerald moved down his body and took his cock in his mouth and Severus moaned loudly.

"Oh god," Severus cursed.

Emerald swallowed him down as he rolled his balls. He swirled his tongue around the top of his cock with skill before swallowing him down again. Severus hardened even more in his mouth as he took him in and he hummed in the back of his throat and Severus came with a loud groan.

Emerald swallowed without complaint as he licked up his length, feeling satisfied and a purr in the back of his throat. Sleeping with the other man had helped but this had satisfied the part of him that craved physical contact. He curled along Severus's side with an arm over his chest. Completely relaxed.

Severus hesitated before wrapping an arm around him and he purred louder as he rubbed his head against his side.

"I am so going to hell," Severus muttered, more to himself than Emerald. "Not that what I've done before this wouldn't have sent me there, this was just the extra push off the cliff."

"Why?" Emerald asked in confusion.

"You are under age," Severus said softly. "You are not classed as an adult until you are seventeen in the magical world and eighteen in the muggle world."

"Then I am an adult," Emerald stated smugly and looked up at Severus. "We age slower than humans."

"So, you are not completely human?" Severus questioned.

Emerald huffed a laugh and Severus relaxed back. Emerald slipped a hand under Severus's shirt, feeling the soft skin under his hand. He moved until he was saddling Severus's waist and looked down at him. Severus's pants were around his thighs and his shirt was pulled up to the bottom on his ribs while Emerald was completely naked.

Severus reached out and grabbed his hips and ran his thumbs over those scars and Emerald shivered. He knew that Severus couldn't see as clearly as he could in the dark as he placed his hands on either side on his head and bent forward. Severus suddenly pulled him forward and captured his lips in a kiss and Emerald tensed.

"You're not used to that?" Severus asked as he pulled back.

"No," Emerald replied.

"You have given a blow job before?" Severus stated more than questioned.

Emerald didn't say anything as Severus's hands moved down his sides and he relaxed as he sniffed him slightly. Almost laying over the top of the older man.

"You have had sex?" Severus whispered.

"Yes," Emerald replied in amusement.

"Did you want it?" Severus asked and Emerald pulled back to look down at him.

"Now?" Emerald asked and looked down but Severus wasn't hard.

"I mean with other people," Severus said.

"Yes."

"Men?" Severus asked. "Did they force you?"

Emerald paused as he looked down at Severus, people always had so many questions.

"I try not to think about that," Emerald stated, after a few seconds.

He shifted around to curl along the other man's side. He felt a touch of magic as the sticky feeling disappeared and knew the familiar feeling of that spell. Severus pushed his pants down and slipped out of his shirt until he was naked. Emerald purred loudly as he felt that bare skin against his and Severus chuckled and pulled him tight.

"Just tonight," Severus whispered and Emerald shivered at the smooth tones.

Emerald huffed as he rolled over and Severus curled along his back. He took in the feeling as Severus laid an arm over his middle and he settled back. The feeling of skin against skin making him purr in contentment as he slipped back into sleep.

xXx

Severus woke early with Emerald in his arms and he sighed at his moment of weakness. He shouldn't have done it but that pled had undone him. He pulled back slightly from Emerald as he slept deeply and looked at the scars over his body as he pushed the blanket down. Someone had done that damage to him as his hand travelled down to his hip and the swirling lines there.

He gently moved until he could look at those scars and ran his finger over the lines. They were faint but Severus could see that someone had carved into his skin over and over. He also noticed the way that the rest of his scars were starting to fade as well, which shouldn't be possible as he ran his hand down the other man's side.

He'd gained weight and muscle over the last month and his cat form was starting to be something to fear. It seemed the more weight he gained, the more he grew into those large paws and Severus wondered again about his true age. Since his weight seemed to have more to do with his cat size than age as they first believed.

Something didn't make sense to Severus even if they knew his date of birth, that wasn't always true in the wizarding world. Not with devices like time turners and other magical items and Emerald did have creature blood even if the Potters didn't. Not to mention the fact that Emerald had mentioned a time device. They just didn't know enough and they had no idea what Voldemort could have done to him. He also had the feeling that Emerald knew a lot more than he was saying.

Severus slowly untangled himself from the bed and carefully tucked the blanket around Emerald before moving to the shower. He wasn't sure if he'd be able to look Albus in the eye this morning.

xXx

Emerald woke alone and stretched lazily. He could hear Severus in the shower as he rolled from the bed and changed forms. He padded on silent paws into the living room then into the kitchen to drink out of the bowl there for him before jumping up onto the kitchen bench. He stretched himself out before he flopped down on the edge of the bench as he watched the living room.

It felt so good to be in just his fur and without having to use extra magic to change his clothes as he waited for Severus. He felt whole for the first time in a long time. He'd been broken having to be under his master and suffered so much when Bellatrix had taken him but he tried not to think about that time and just tried to live in the now.

Everything had changed when he'd met Severus, had chosen him even if Severus didn't understand that yet. He would, it was something he had to learn over time. He watched as Severus moved out of the bathroom and took in his form. Enjoying the sight of the tall and sleek body and the way that he moved with the grace of a cat. Nothing else mattered to him as he sniffed the air and took in his scent. Severus appeared at the kitchen doorway and looked him over.

"Going cat today?" Severus drawled as he moved into the kitchen.

Emerald flopped back on the bench and watched Severus upside down as he made breakfast, his movements flowing and smooth. He perked up when Severus grabbed a large tin of tuna and he licked his lips.

"I'm thinking I might just buy some cat food if you keep eating in that form," Severus remarked and Emerald didn't have the heart to tell him that he was used to eating cat food. "At least you seem to be filling out. What kind of cat are you anyway? You are bigger than a domesticated cat but not as big as some wild cats."

Emerald turned right way up and started to eat the tuna that Severus had placed in front of him. Severus gave him a smile as he ate and sipped on his coffee. They both enjoyed the silence in the mornings.

"James and Sirius are coming around this afternoon," Severus informed him. "If you want to stretch your legs. Lily really wants to see you as well."

Emerald looked at him and nodded his head.

"Would you be willing to see Lily?" Severus asked.

Emerald hesitated and then nodded.

"In human form, Emerald."

Emerald paused and looked up at him before nodding slowly.

"I'll let her know," Severus told him and ran a hand down his back.

Emerald bit back on the growl at him touching him as he ate.

"Your coat seems softer," Severus remarked then paused. "You're naked, aren't you?"

Emerald huffed and looked at him as he licked his lips and Severus groaned.

"Please don't change forms in front of someone naked," Severus groaned and Emerald huffed.

He finished off the plate before moving to the floor and having a drink. He stalked back towards Severus and changed into his human form and the other man started.

"Does that include you?" Emerald asked with a glint in his eyes.

Severus barked a laugh then gave him a fond smile.

Chapter Text

Emerald stuck his head out of Severus's room and looked around the hallway. There were a couple of children around and they looked over at him in interest. Severus just waited for him as he glared around the hallway and the students scampered quickly. Emerald cautiously moved into the hallway and could feel the fear in his belly. Severus gently closed the door behind him and Emerald looked up at him before rubbing his head against his leg.

"You are getting too big for that," Severus muttered. "You're going to knock me over if you get any bigger."

Emerald huffed and butted his leg softly and Severus gave him an amused look, he still had growing to do. Severus walked off down the hallway with Emerald a step behind him. Whispering started up as they came across students in the hallway and Emerald kept close as he felt eyes on him. He flicked his tail in agitation but Severus's scent kept him calm.

"Whoa," James cried when he saw them. "He's gotten big."

Emerald bounded forward as James crouched down and he butted his head against his father's leg. He could hear the whispers around them as James rubbed his ears and Sirius stood a couple of feet back and watched them.

"Good afternoon, everyone."

Emerald looked up at Albus and rolled to his feet and stalked over to the old man. He rubbed his head against his leg with a soft meow and Albus smiled down at him.

"He's getting big, Severus." Albus remarked, looking him over.

"That's what I just said," James remarked. "He seemed half the size when I saw him last."

"Yes," Severus agreed. "I won't be picking him up now."

"Or messing with those claws," Sirius commented.

Emerald stepped towards him with his nose up and Sirius crouched down and held out his hand. Emerald took a sniff of him, he knew his scent from the Black house, before butting his hand and Sirius ran a hand down his back. He arched it before flopping down in front of him with a huff.

"What are you feeding him, Severus?" Minerva questioned as she moved into the entrance hall.

Emerald glanced up at her but didn't move as Sirius scratched his sides and stomach. He started purring at the attention as he rested one of his paws on the man's arm and the others spoke around him.

"Emerald."

Emerald cracked an eye open and looked up at Lily Potter. He rolled to his feet and hesitated slightly before moving towards the woman. He kept his back feet further back, just in case he needed to run. He came closer to the woman and she crouched down. He sniffed the air as he took in the scent of his mother. The smell brought back memories of a woman singing and he shuffled closer. He glanced around and noticed that the adults had created a protective circle around them as they spoke quietly. Emerald butted his head against Lily's hand before crawling closer.

"Harry," Lily whispered as Emerald rubbed his head against her leg.

Emerald huffed in amusement as he placed his front feet on her leg as Lily ran a hand down his back. He could see tears on her face and he leaned his head close and licked her chin. Lily squeaked and fell back on her bum. Sirius barked a laugh as Emerald stepped back. He huffed as he moved forward and pushed his body into her side and she laughed. He remembered that sound and he let it roll over him.

"I haven't heard her laugh like that in a long time," James commented to Severus.

Severus nodded as he watched the two as Lily patted the cat and Emerald sprawled out, half in her lap, and he was surprised by that reaction. Something had brought that out in Emerald as the cat lay there completely relaxed as Lily patted him.

"He seems to be recovering," Albus pointed out as he glanced around at the students whispering but staying well back from the adults.

"Slowly," Severus confirmed. "He still has his moments."

"He's a lot calmer," Minerva remarked. "And relaxed."

Lily giggled as Emerald licked her leg before rolling to his feet and moving smoothly over to Severus. He sat down before him with his tail swishing behind him. His green eyes locked on him as Severus looked down at him.

"Meow," Emerald demanded and Severus quirked a smile.

Emerald stood up on his back feet as he reached up with his front paws and placed them on Severus's thighs. Those claws close to something that he didn't want to lose and he realised just how big he'd grown.

"Down," Severus snapped.

"Meow."

"Now."

Emerald dropped to the stones and flicked his tail. He moved towards the front doors and Sirius and James barked a laugh. They walked towards the front doors with Emerald leading the way. He paused at the doors and looked at the students crowded around. Severus glared at the children and they parted instantly. Emerald glanced over at him and huffed before taking off. He took the stairs at speed and Severus grimaced expecting the cat to tumble but he was light on his feet. The rest of them moved out onto the front steps and watched in amusement as the cat ran.

"Gee, he's fast." Sirius gasped. "I don't think he's even going at top speed."

Sirius then gave a lopsided grin and changed into his dog form and Severus watched him in interest. The change was different to the way that Emerald changed, slower for a start. The dog turned his head with his tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth and looked over at James. They stood back as James changed into his Animagus form and the two animals bolted after the cat.

James pulled ahead of the dog, his larger form covering the ground quickly and Emerald glanced over his shoulder before bounding off. Severus could see the differences in the way the animals moved. Emerald was smooth on his feet while the other two didn't run as easily, like they had to think their movements through while Emerald acted on pure animal instinct. Severus could understand what James had been talking about before as he watched the animals.

"Wow," Lily gasped.

"I agree," Minerva uttered. "Look at his movements."

"Remus used to run like that," Lily stated. "In his wolf form."

Severus swallowed back his fear at the mention of the werewolf's name. That night had changed all their lives and he knew the werewolf's death so shortly after Harry had been taken had hit them all hard. Severus could only remember the fear of seeing the werewolf on the full moon and James pushing him out of the way. He'd almost lost his life that night but, in a way, it had been a turning point for James and himself.

He watched Emerald running circles around the stag and dog in amusement. He noticed the students laughing and watching them as well. Suddenly Emerald sprang up and landed on James's back before springing off before James could even make a move. The amount of air he gained drew a gasp from everyone before he landed easily and was off again with Sirius chasing after him. Severus quirked a smile at the carefree way that Emerald just played.

"He's going to be tired tonight," Lily remarked with a soft smile and a light in her eyes.

Emerald turned back towards the castle and kicked into another gear which drew more gasps. Emerald stretched right out and left Sirius behind easily as he bolted towards them.

"If he jumps at me…" Severus hissed and the others laughed.

They frowned when Emerald headed towards the wall and not the stairs, then the large cat pounced. He scaled the wall in one jump with the students scattering before him as he came over the top of the parapet and onto the walkway.

"Holy crap," Lily cursed as the cat moved towards them smoothly.

He was panting heavily and Albus quickly conjured a large bucket and with a water spell had it filled. Emerald drank his fill before sprawling out on the stones, panting. Sirius ran up the stairs and landed in the bucket, spraying water all over Emerald and the stones. The cat yowled loudly and skipped across the stones, hissing at the wet dog as the students laughed loudly. Sirius stood back and shook, everyone squeaked as they skipped back quickly. James moved up more smoothly and looked them all over before changing back.

"Did you see him jump?" James uttered in amazement.

They looked over to the cat, licking his coat and glaring at Sirius, whom was sprawled out on the stones, panting loudly.

"God," Severus moaned. "Black smells like wet dog."

Sirius just rolled onto his back with his legs up in the air and Severus grimaced at his gear on show.

"Sirius!" Lily hissed. "There are children present!"

Sirius rolled back to his feet and changed and gave Lily a leer.

"Comparing?" Sirius asked with a smirk.

"Mr Black!" Minerva snapped and Sirius shrunk back.

"Sorry, Professor." Sirius muttered with an innocent smile.

Severus smirked then started when Emerald yowled loudly. His head shot around to see a student stumbling back from Emerald as the cat hissed loudly. The cat pulled back with his ears back along his skull as he crouched down and looked ready to bolt.

"Mr Thomas!" Minerva's voice lashed out.

"He attacked me!" Dean yelped.

Emerald slinked back to Severus and leaned into his leg and Dean paled.

"Did you try to touch him, Mr Thomas?" McGonagall asked as she advanced on the student.

"Well…" Dean stuttered.

"Twenty points from Gryffindor," Severus drawled. "For trying to touch my familiar without permission."

Dean paled even more and backed away as he held his hand.

"Hospital wing, Mr Thomas." Minerva ordered sternly.

"Yes, Professor," Dean said quietly before quickly disappearing with his friends in tow.

Severus looked down at the large cat, leaning into him. He could feel him shaking slightly and his wet coat, soaking into his slacks, but he didn't move.

"I don't think anyone will be trying that again," James laughed. "Good on you, Emerald."

"Don't encourage him to attack students, Mr Potter." Minerva snapped but they could see the amusement in her face.

Emerald laid down over Severus's foot and he could feel him still panting as he looked down at him.

"Back to my rooms?" Severus suggested and Emerald looked at him before he rolled to his feet. "I'll see you after dinner, James and Lily?"

The Potters gave them a nod and a smile.

"Good afternoon, everyone." Severus bid before moving off with Emerald beside him.

Students scattered before him and he was sure by breakfast tomorrow, everyone in the school would know about Emerald. He opened his door and Emerald rushed in and straight into the kitchen. He closed the door and heard the fridge open before Emerald moved out with a large bottle of water in his hands.

"Impressive jump," Severus commented.

Emerald gave him a rare grin that reached his eyes as he stepped closer. He wore loose jeans and a black shirt and never wore shoes as he looked Severus over.

"Perhaps you can refrain from injuring students," Severus drawled. "Even if they deserve it."

"He startled me," Emerald stated.

Severus nodded and stepped closer to him.

"About last night," Severus broached.

"Yes?" Emerald replied.

Severus could read nothing into Emerald's expression. If fact, beside fear, Emerald didn't give much away.

"I shouldn't have done that," Severus whispered.

"Severus," Emerald purred, in that tone of voice that he loved so much. "I needed it."

"The physical or sexual contact?"

"You," Emerald replied and Severus frowned. "I needed the contact, Severus."

"Is that why you have always insisted on sleeping in the same bed?" Severus asked and Emerald nodded. "And also, why others have taken advantage of that?"

 "Yes," Emerald answered slowly as he hugged the bottle of water.

"I do not want to be like one of them," Severus whispered.

Emerald's lips curled up in a smile. Severus felt the breath catch in his throat at that look as Emerald moved forward on silent feet. He then stood on tip toes in front of him. Eye to eye and Severus resisted the temptation to step back from the intense look in Emerald's eyes.

"You are not," Emerald stated. "You are not even close to what they were like, Severus. You are mine."

Severus placed his hands on the man's hips and Emerald placed his heels back on the ground before falling into his arms. Severus chuckled as he wrapped his arms around him. He could hear a soft purr as he held him tighter and kissed the top of his head. He took comfort in the man in his arms and he could tell that Emerald did as well.

"You need a shower," Severus drawled as he pushed him back.

Emerald quirked a smile and stepped back before moving off to the bathroom, placing the water on the table on the way. Severus's watched the smooth way he moved, transfixed, and knew he was lost.

xXx

Lily nervous stood next to her husband. The last time she'd seen her son in human form, he'd run away in fear and hid himself under a bed and wouldn't come out. James reached down and grabbed her hand before knocking on the door to Severus's rooms.

"Come in."

James smile down at Lily before pushing the door open. They stepped through and closed the door firmly behind them. They both looked at Emerald, his hair had been cut short and he had a faint scar on his forehead of a lightning bolt over his right brow. He wore jeans and a black shirt that he was starting to fill out. He had board shoulders but a slim waist as he stood beside the table in the room.

He didn't look like the wild child that they had first seen but a young man in his late teens and they were both surprised at the change. His face was narrower now that his hair didn't curl around his face. Those green eyes were the same as they looked them over and he shifted slightly on his feet.

"Very impressive jump," James remarked as he released Lily's hand and stepped forward. "Sirius was even impressed."

Emerald huffed and they were learning that was his way of laughing.

"Did you want to sit at the table," Severus called out from the kitchen. "I'll bring out drinks. Do you want some scotch, James?"

"Thank you," James called back.

They moved to the table and Emerald slowly crawled up onto one of the seats, on the other side of the table to them, with his feet up on the chair. The Potters shared a look at the odd way of sitting as Emerald crouched there before sitting on his crossed legs. Severus moved over with a tray of drinks and placed a scotch in front of James, one for him and tea for Lily.

Emerald leaned over sniffing and Severus tilted the glass of scotch for him to sniff before he pulled back sharply. He screwed up his face and Severus smirked. He picked up a glass of juice and placed it in front of the boy before sitting in the seat next to him. The Potters watched the interaction in interest. Severus wasn't an easy person to deal with but he had a good heart and a dark history.

"You-know-who has been quiet lately," James said casually as he leaned back in his seat. "Has been for a while after his attempt on that safe house. The Auror department is getting edgy."

"Yes," Severus agreed. "Odd behaviour."

"Has he called you?" James asked.

"James!" Lily snapped and James looked over at her and she tilted her head at Emerald, watching them.

"He hadn't called me in a long time," Severus replied, ignoring Lily. "I think he's forgotten. Now that I'm not a part of his inner circle."

"Count that is a good thing," James mused as he sipped on his drink.

"He's losing support," Emerald stated and they started. "Losing control. Not getting what he wants."

"Bellatrix?" Severus asked and Emerald hissed.

"Yes," Emerald agreed with a dark look. "Her husband, Rodolphus."

"Did he try to take over the rest of the Death Eaters?" James inquired carefully.

Severus looked Emerald over and could see the slight tension in his body. This was the first time that he'd given information about Voldemort or his followers. Severus wasn't sure how much Emerald knew but they also knew that he'd been held for a long time and Voldemort wanted him back. It was more than if the man just wanted Emerald as a toy and he wondered, not for the first time, just how much information that Emerald held that he wasn't saying.

There was something about the boy that was making Voldemort pause and he had gone quiet, which was odd behaviour. Severus shared a look with James, Voldemort going quiet, may just mean that he was planning something. They didn't want to be caught out if that was the case but they also didn't want to push Emerald.

"They tried," Emerald admitted as he wrapped his arms around his legs. "They failed."

"They lost their bargaining chip," Severus said softly as he placed a hand on Emerald's knee.

"What was that?" James asked in interest.

"Me," Emerald said in almost a growl.

"Our raid," James muttered in thought. "Must have disrupted their plans. Kingsley was very suspicious when we received that tip off but the raid worked out well and once we had the information confirmed-"

"James Potter!" Lily snapped and Emerald started.

Severus chuckled as the two Potters stared each other down until James smiled. Severus looked over at Emerald, whom was watching the interactions in interest.

"James is too much of an Auror, Emerald." Lily offered in apology. "Please forgive him."

"For what?" Emerald asked in confusion and looked at Severus.

"Lily thinks he's being rude," Severus drawled.

"For asking about my master?" Emerald asked and Lily sucked in a breath and James gritted his teeth.

"Your-" Lily cut off when James laid a hand on her knee and gave it a hard squeeze.

"Yes," James answered but there was a hard look in his eyes and Emerald tilted his head at the smell on the air. "But let's talk about something else. Severus tells me that you know potions?"

"Yes," Emerald stated. "My master would let me watch his potion master work."

"Is that so," Severus mused as he rubbed his chin in thought. "That might explain why I haven't been called for so long."

"He's an odd man," Emerald remarked. "He talks out loud when he works, I think that's why he liked having me around."

"What did the Dark Lord think of that?" Severus asked as he sat back in his seat.

"He didn't mind," Emerald said casually with a shrug, but they could tell there was more to it than that.

"Emerald," James broached softly and leaned forward. "Where did you stay?"

"In a house," Emerald replied with a frown. "Basement, most of the time. He would let me sit near the window sometimes."

"Do you know where?"

Emerald shook his head, it was a big house and his master would come at night or weeks at a time. It was mostly just him but others would come and go until the potion master turned up and before he was taken by Bellatrix and her husband.

"Severus," Lily cut in before James could open his mouth. "How was your work at St Mungo's?"

Emerald glanced over at Severus as he placed his hand on top of the one on his knee as he listened to the three talking and catching up. He liked the sound of Severus's voice as he laid his chin on his folded arms on the table. He relaxed as he watched Lily and James, his parents. He'd been looking after himself for so long he wasn't sure what parents meant.

"Why don't you head to bed?" Severus suggested as he rubbed his leg.

Emerald looked over to him without moving his head from his arms.

"You are falling asleep," James added from across the table.

Emerald looked around, he was tired from running around. He slipped from the chair and felt a little stiff. He walked from the room without a word and to the bedroom. He closed the bedroom door and slipped out of his shirt and pants and into the bed and was out quickly.

"He seems to be doing better?" Lily remarked.

No one said anything about Emerald going into Severus's bedroom.

"He is," Severus agreed. "He is also helping with the vermin population in the castle."

James snorted a laugh as Lily thinned her lips in disapproval.

"It's been over four months," James uttered after a few minutes of silence. "I'm surprised he's doing as well as he is. It was a mess, Severus."

"That's the most I've heard him say," Severus added.  

"He doesn't talk?" Lily asked.

"No much," Severus admitted. "And not about what happened or about the Dark Lord."

"His master," James spat. "Just a child."

"I'm not too sure on that point," Severus mused.

"He is my son, Severus." Lily snapped. "I know how old he is!"

James placed his hand on her knee as Lily glared at Severus.

"I believe," Severus said slowly. "That something else is at play. He mentioned a time turner but not in what way. He also said that people like him age slower."

"He is our son, Severus." James repeated. "He is a wizard."

"That is not what his blood results show," Severus reminded them. "Something happened to him after he was taken."

"We know that!" Lily snapped and stood up sharply and her chair crashed to the ground. "But he is still our son!"

"Lily," James warned.

"No!" Lily snapped. "He is our son and we couldn't protect him and he's alive and what he has been through!"

Lily was shouting by the end and Severus glanced over to the bedroom door. Emerald was there and he wasn't wearing anything and he groaned.

"Pants!" Severus hissed and the boy disappeared.

When he looked back, Lily was pale and her eyes were darting between the bedroom and Severus. He braced himself as Lily's eyes flashed and her face screwed up.

"You!" Lily hissed at Severus. "Up to your old games!"

"Lily," James cautioned.

"No, James!" Lily cried as she pointed at Severus. "Once a Death Eater, always a Death Eater!"

A growl froze them all and they looked over to Emerald. The boy was slightly crouched with his eyes locked on Lily and his teeth bared. There was a wild look to him as he stood there. Severus sat back in his seat as he looked everything over, unsure where this could go. Lily always seemed to manage to bring a conversation back to him being a Death Eater.

"Lily gets loud," James remarked casually to Emerald. "No matter how many times I tell her to use her inside voice."

Emerald's eyes flicked to him before moving forward a few steps and Lily's eyes roamed over him. Severus could see the tears coming as her eyes caught on the scars that she could see. He also knew there was more that she couldn't see.

"We should be going anyway," James commented with a smile. "Once Lily has brought up the fact that Severus is a Death Eater. Well, it all just falls apart after that."

Emerald paused and his eyes locked on James. His father quirked a smile at him and moved to his feet and Emerald paused. He grabbed Lily's hand and gave it a slight pull. Emerald stood up a little straighter and cocked his head to the side.

"James!" Lily hissed to her husband.

"Lily," James responded mildly. "Time to leave, love."

"He's sleeping with him!" Lily spat.

"Which he has been since he picked him up from St Mungo's." James replied.

"He's having sex with him!" Lily countered. "He was naked and he's under age."

James glanced over at Severus then Emerald before turning back to his wife.

"What they do, Lily." James said after a few seconds of awkward silence. "Is working for them."

"But-"

"Come on, love." James cut Lily off. "Good night, you two."

"Good luck," Severus muttered and Lily glared at him.

James wrapped his arms around her and pulled her towards the door. Lily hissed at her husband and Severus quirked a smile behind their backs. James glanced over at him and their eyes locked and his smile faded. The man would be back and they would discuss this and he nodded. He wasn't off the hook.

Severus looked over at Emerald, once the door was closed, he had a confused look on his face as he stood there. His expressions weren't normally easy to read but the one of confusion was as he looked at the door. Severus moved to his feet and Emerald's eyes flicked to him.

Severus grabbed his hand and link their fingers together and he gave him a gentle pull. He flicked the light off as they stepped into the bedroom. Emerald's steps so quiet that if he wasn't holding his hand, he wouldn't have known he was there. They moved to the bed in the dark and Emerald slipped under the covers while Severus sat on the edge. He slipped out of his shirt and pants before pulling on some pyjama bottoms and slipped in beside Emerald.

He curled along Emerald's back and he noticed the man was naked again. He didn't say anything on that fact as he just wrapped an arm around him and held him close. He could hear the soft purr as he settled in and was quickly asleep.

Chapter Text

Severus woke slowly and frowned when he couldn't feel Emerald against him. He glanced over his shoulder to see him curled up away from him towards the wall. He rolled onto his back and towards the other man and let his hand rest on his back. Emerald was deep asleep and didn't wake at his touch. Severus pulled himself from the bed and to the bathroom. He took his time in the shower, letting the warm water run over him as his hand strayed lower and he played with his balls before taking his cock in his hand as he hardened.

He braced his hand on the wall as he slowly stroked himself, increasing the pressure. He took his time as he hardened completely and started to pant slightly as he rocked his hips into his hand. The remembered feeling of Emerald's mouth wrapped around him as he quickened his pace. Those green eyes looking up at him as he took his cock down and he moaned as he came.

He soaped himself up as the water washed over him before he stepped out of the shower and dried himself off. He walked back into the bedroom to see Emerald still curled up with his head on one of his arms as the other touched the wall. He smiled fondly at him before dressing and moving back to the bed and gently grabbed Emerald's shoulder and gave him a soft shake. Emerald woke with a start and looked up at him as he cringed back before relaxing. Severus hoped there would be a day when that wasn't an automatic response.

"Do you want breakfast?" Severus asked softly.

"No," Emerald replied. "Tired."

Severus frowned and placed the back of his hand to his forehead but he wasn't hot.

"I'll go up to the Great Hall then," Severus remarked as he sat on the bed and Emerald nodded. "There's food in the cupboard if you get hungry."

Severus stood back up but Emerald just curled up a little tighter and was asleep quickly. Much like a cat, he could fall asleep and wake quickly as Severus left him there and walked out of the room.

xXx

Emerald woke with a start as pain flared across his forehead and he groaned. He was being called. That pain flared again and he knew, that if his master was using this link to call him, then he was getting desperate. He stumbled from the bed as his head throbbed. He could go to his master as he stood in the middle of the room. He was strong enough that he could leave.

Another bolt of pain across his head had him stumbling to his knees and he whined. He knew what would await him if he went to his master and yet he also knew that staying would be another kind of punishment. The pain lessened off but he knew it would be back. He stumbled into the living room and looked around, he could already feel blood dribbling down his face from his forehead. He needed to work out what he was going to do and quickly.

He lurched towards the door to the room, the pain just a throb and laid his hand on the doorhandle. He could feel the magic under his hand but could easily break through it, then he noticed that his hand was shaking badly. He snatched it back. He couldn't do it. He couldn't go back.

He stumbled towards Severus's office instead. He broke the lock on his potion cabinet and pulled out the potions he needed. He hands shaking and covered in blood from brushing his forehead. The pain would be back.

He felt slightly dizzy as he moved back into the lounge room then into Severus's lab and shut the door firmly. He took the first potion and let it settle in his stomach as he stepped over and grabbed a mortar and pestle. Pain spiked across his forehead as he was called and he gritted his teeth. He grabbed up the ingredients he would need and threw them into the stone bowl and ground them together quickly until they were a fine powder.

He groaned and could feel his hands shaking even more as he quickly tipped half of the bowl into a stone cup and added the two potions he'd taken from Severus's cupboard. He swirled it around three times before knocking it back. He quickly placed the stone cup down and stepped back from the table. The potion took effect quickly as he fell to one knee as he felt slightly numb.

He yelled out when the pain over took his mind completely as his master turned his call into a punishment. He barely felt the ground as he hit as pain rolled through him. He sprawled out on the stones and waited for the potion to override the pain, feeling too numb to move as his eyes rolled back into his head.

xXx

Severus slammed his door behind his first class and glared out at his next class in the hallway.

"Go to the library," Severus ordered. "You have a free class."

Severus stalked past them while silence greeted his words as he moved down to his rooms. He'd felt the ward on his potion cabinet break and he was concerned. He opened the door to his rooms and stalked in, shutting it behind him.

"Emerald?" Severus called and looked around.

He walked to the bedroom first and after a quick look under the bed, moved to his office. The door to his potion cabinet was still open and he went in to close it when he noticed the blood and his stomach dropped. He rushed out of the office and to his lab.

The one door still closed and he quickly ripped it open then froze and felt faint.

"Oh, god." Severus whispered.

Emerald laid sprawled out across the floor, pale and bloody. He fumbled a coin from his pocket and pressed his thumb into it as he fell to his knees in front of Emerald. His hand shook as he placed his fingers against his throat and sighed when he felt the strong pulse. He then focused on the blood and where it was coming from. It was over his face and down his neck and naked chest. He tilted Emerald's head back slightly but the blood wasn't coming from his neck before gently moving him onto his back completely and looked at his face.

"Oh, Merlin. He didn't try to…"

Severus looked over his shoulder at Albus in the doorway. The old man was as pale as his beard and his eyes were too wide as he looked down at them.

"Can you get a wet cloth? I'm not sure where this blood is coming from." Severus requested and the old man disappeared.

Severus gently grasped Emerald's chin and tilted his head with a frown.

"Severus," Albus whispered.

Severus grabbed the cloth that Albus held out and carefully wiped Emerald's forehead. The blood was coming from the curse scar and he felt faint at what that could mean. He slowly cleaned up his face and sighed when that was the only source of the blood. He took care to make sure that there were no cuts on his neck or anywhere else and felt the tension in his shoulders ease. He could still feel that ball of coldness in his stomach but at least they could rule out that Emerald hadn't tried to harm himself.

"Severus," Albus uttered and he looked over at him. "He made something up."

Severus looked up at the older man and noticed the mortar and pestle and the empty potion vials on the table. That tension came back into his shoulders.

"Should I get Poppy down here?" Albus asked.

Severus looked back down at Emerald but beside the paleness, he just looked like he was sleeping. His breathing was even and his pulse strong under his fingers. He moved to his feet and stepped towards the bowl. He looked at what Emerald had made and sniffed the vials with a frown. What had he made?

He picked up the cup and sniffed that.

"Severus?" Albus questioned.

"I'm not sure," Severus replied. "This one smells like a pain potion and this one a numbing one. I think I can smell mint but with how fine he ground these, there could be anything mixed in."

"There's another vial here," Albus remarked as he picked up another vial from the floor and held it out.

Severus took it and took a sniff then looked at his writing on the side of it. He didn't normally write on the vials unless they were too similar to another potion.

"Blood potion," Severus muttered with a frown. "Why would he take this?"

Severus looked down at the bloody cloth, but there wasn't enough there for the need for a blood potion.

"Blood potion," Severus mused. "Pain and numbing potions."

Albus crouched down and gently touched Emerald's forehead.

"He said that Voldemort gave him this curse scar?" Albus observed.

"Yes," Severus agreed.

"Is it possible that there is a connection?"

"Like the Dark Mark?"

"Yes."

Both men fell into silence at that; did Emerald drug himself to stop the pain from the curse scar and the call from Voldemort? Severus knelt next to Emerald and gently ran a hand over his short hair.

"James spoke to me," Albus said, breaking the silence.

Severus nodded as he felt Emerald's pulse under his fingers.

"Are you having sex with him, Severus?" Albus asked straight up and Severus looked up at him.

"We have not had intercourse," Severus replied, evenly. "He woke up one night about a week ago, hard and so was I. He begged for me to help him which I did and he returned the attention. There has been nothing since."

Albus frowned at him.

"I believe," Severus said slowly. "That it is part of his nature, like sleeping in the same bed and others have taken advantage of that. I did not do anything to encourage him, Albus…or discourage him."

Both men fell silent.

"I'm already going to hell, Albus." Severus whispered.

"Come on," Albus said after a few minutes of silence. "Let's get him to your bedroom, then I'll cancel your classes for the day."

xXx

Emerald woke slowly and groaned at the lingering pain and the bitter taste at the back of his throat. What did he do wrong this time? His memories were slow to fall into place and he could feel a hand running over his head. He slowly blinked his eyes open, still feeling numb. He looked up at Severus sitting next to him on the bed and felt relief run through him.

"Hey," Severus greeted with a small smile.

"He'll be weak," Emerald whispered, a slight slur to his words. "Attack."

Severus started and pulled back, then pulled a coin from his pocket. Emerald closed his eyes as Severus ran his hand over his head. He drifted slightly with the comforting feel of Severus next to him.

"Severus?"

Emerald blinked his eyes open as Severus moved away with Albus and they spoke quietly before stepping back to the bed. Emerald couldn't move, even if he wanted to, with the potions still in his system. Albus smiled down at him.

"If you can get to him," Emerald slurred. "He'll be weak."

Albus nodded and gave him a soft smile.

"How are you feeling?" Albus asked as he sat on the side of the bed and Emerald frowned.

"Attack?" Emerald repeated.

"Voldemort?" Albus asked.

"Yes," Emerald confirmed then closed his eyes.

"Emerald?" Severus said softly and shook his shoulder.

He felt too numb and disconnected as he heard voices around him. Unable to move and unable to feel anything else as he put his trust in Severus. They could do anything to him in the state he was in and he wouldn't be able to stop them.

"James is getting his team together with Kingsley," Albus reported and looked over to the bed. "They know where Voldemort is hiding and are planning the raid now."

Emerald hadn't moved and Albus was sure that he couldn't as Severus sat beside him. His eyes were slightly open as he lay limply.

"Is he awake?" Albus asked as he stepped closer.

"I don't know," Severus replied as he ran a hand over Emerald's head. "He hasn't said any more or moved."

Severus hissed when pain flared across his Dark Mark and he grabbed his arm. Albus looked at him sharply as Emerald groaned and screwed his eyes tightly shut and shook. Severus cursed when blood slowly started to dribble from the curse scar on his brow.

"I would say the Aurors have launched their attack," Albus stated as he grabbed a cloth and held it to Emerald's forehead.

Severus nodded as the pain eased off and he grabbed Emerald's hand, feeling the shaking in his body. Severus walked over to his office and opened his potion cabinet and pulled out three potions. He walked back to the bedroom, Albus had taken his seat beside Emerald and had the cloth pressed to the boy's forehead. He took one of the potions before pulling his wand as he watched Emerald carefully. When Emerald didn't react to him pulling his wand. He held the potions in his hand and flicked his wand as he cast the spell and the contents of the vials disappeared. Emerald's shaking slowly eased off until he was laying limp again as the potions took effect.

"Pain and sleeping potion," Severus explained.

Albus nodded and lifted the cloth, the bleeding had stopped and he gently cleaned his forehead.

"I'm going to get some sleep, Albus." Severus said as the pain potion that he'd taken eased off the rest of the pain in his arm.

"Of course, my boy." Albus replied with a smile but it didn't reach his eyes. "I'll see you tomorrow morning."

Severus nodded and waited until he heard his door close before shrugging out of his robes and slowly unbuttoning his dress shirt as he looked down at Emerald. He unbuckled his belt and placed his pants to the side before stepping out of his underwear and moving closer to the bed. He didn't care that it was only before noon as the strong pain potion made him groggy.

He gently unbuckled Emerald's pants and slipped them down as he looked down at Emerald sprawled out before him. He kneeled on the bed and ran his hand down his side as he slept before moving to lay along his back. He pulled up the blanket around them as he pulled Emerald close and kissed his shoulder. His hand ran down Emerald's side until he grabbed his hip and his thumb ran over those swirling scars. He held him close so that there was no space between them. Emerald's naked skin against his own as he settled in and let the pain potion pull him down into sleep.

xXx

Emerald tensed when he felt the body wrapped around him, both of them naked and he could feel the hard length on his lower back. He felt sluggish and confused about where he was as the person behind him kissed his shoulder and pulled him close. He could feel the echo of pain in his scar as he moved onto his stomach. Since his master liked it that way.

The kisses on his shoulder paused as a hand ran down his side. He wiggled slightly and could feel a body behind him. He shifted his legs apart and placed his hands above his head as he tilted his hips. When hands didn't grab his wrists and pin him down, he frowned. He knew not to make any growls or purrs or anything that wasn't 'human' or he would be punished.

He pushed his hips back slightly and waited.

"Emerald?"

Emerald frowned at the voice. He glanced over his shoulder and looked into Severus's dark eyes. He looked around and noticed where he was as the memories filtered back in. He groaned and moved to his side as Severus watched him with a hard cock but not touching him.

"Sorry," Emerald muttered, ignoring his own hard on.

He rubbed his head as it pounded and he sprawled back on the bed. He started when Severus laid a hand on his ribs and gently ran it down his stomach. Severus shifted to straddle his waist and Emerald looked up at him in surprise at the move.

"Severus?" Emerald whispered.

Severus looked down at him with dark eyes and the breath caught in his throat at that look. He wasn't sure if he should be afraid or aroused.

"Sit up," Severus ordered gently.

Emerald nervously did as he was ordered. Severus grabbed his sides before he rolled them so that Severus was on his back and Emerald lay between his legs. Emerald looked down at him in confusion before he went to move down his body but Severus's hands on his sides stopped him. The other man wrapped his legs around his waist and Emerald started.

"Severus?" Emerald asked, unsure what the man wanted.

The older man said nothing as he reached over and grabbed up a tube. He placed some lube on his hands and Emerald pulled back slightly with wide eyes. Severus unhooked his legs, giving him an out if he wanted it. He reached between them and wrapped his hand around their cocks as the other dipped lower and Emerald stilled.

He took in the sight of Severus widening himself with a frown before his eyes darkened and desirer ran through him. He growled low in his throat as he crawled back towards him. Severus paused and removed his hands and placed them above his head. He lay sprawled out on the bed with his legs apart. He was leaving it up to Emerald what happened next as Severus grabbed the metal of the headboard behind him.

Emerald picked up the lube and slicked up his hand before placing it at Severus's entrance. He leaned forward and took his cock in his mouth and Severus groaned loudly. Emerald moved two fingers into Severus and angled them just right as he kissed his inner thigh before taking his cock in his mouth again. Severus moaned louder as he shifted his legs further apart.

Emerald pulled back and looked down at Severus laid out before him before slicking up his cock and moving between his legs. Severus watched him with dark eyes, without saying a word.

"Grab me," Emerald ordered as he lined himself up and Severus gently placed his hands on his sides. "Ready?"

Severus nodded his head and Emerald pushed forward hard and Severus gasped. His hands tightened and Emerald purred as he paused. He leaned down closer to Severus, his scent wrapping around him.

"Wrap your legs around me," Emerald purred in his ear.

Severus wrapped his legs around his waist as Emerald rocked his hips forward. Severus moaned as pleasure washed through him and pulled him tight.

"Oh, god." Severus moaned. "So, going to hell."

Emerald huffed in his ear and Severus shivered as his breath whispered across his skin. He pulled the man tightly against him as Emerald rocked his hips. He moaned as pleasure rolled through him. He was unsure what had come over him but as Emerald pulled back and he looked into those green eyes he knew.

Emerald smiled and he could feel the pleasure building as he pushed his hips up and Emerald increased his speed. Keeping him on the edge of coming and Severus knew he'd done this many times before. Then the man seemed to lose control as he growled and pulled back as much as he could before thrusting forward hard. Severus's head fell back as he moaned loudly and his hands clenched around the metal of the headboard.

He started slightly as Emerald licked up his neck as they moved together. Severus could feel himself getting close before with one thrust Emerald came. Severus came shortly after with Emerald's hand wrapped around his shaft. Emerald released him before carefully collapsing on his chest and he wrapped his arms around him tightly. Emerald purred loudly and he shivered as his breath ghosted across the sweat on his chest. The feeling that this felt so wrong and yet so right at the same time ran through him and he didn't care.

The sight of Emerald on his belly with his hands above his head, had sickened him and he'd wanted to show him there was another way. From the way that Emerald had reacted, he knew there was. Someone had shown him kindness before and he wasn't sure what to think of that.

"Too heavy?" Emerald whispered.

"No," Severus purred. "Stay there."

Severus could feel the strength in the body in his arms as he shifted his legs to a more comfortable position. Feeling satisfied and content as Emerald breathing evened out as he held him.

"Emerald," Severus whispered and the man started. "I don't want to be stuck to each other."

Emerald huffed a laugh and grabbed his wand and passed it to him. Severus gave him a grin and flicked it, casting the cleaning charm. Emerald took it from his hand and looked the wand over before placing it back on the side table.

"Have you used a wand?" Severus asked.

"No," Emerald answered.

"You have magic but have never used a wand?"

"Not allowed," Emerald remarked.

Severus just ran a hand down his side as he pulled him close. They stayed that way for a while.

xXx

Severus looked over at James seated at his table and the frown on his brow. He could tell that something was bothering the man.

"Spit it out," Severus told him and James sighed.

"What is it about Emerald that You-know-who would leave himself open to an attack?" James questioned.

"Perhaps he wasn't expecting Emerald to tell us to attack," Severus pointed out.

James sat back in his seat as he sipped on his scotch. He glanced over at the closed bedroom door.

"There is something about him," James muttered. "I haven't seen You-know-who care enough to do a raid on a safe house to get to someone. Especially someone that he has a link to."

"Yes," Severus agreed. "I am sure that Emerald has more information than he is saying."

James nodded with a frown.

"I also don't think that's why the Dark Lord wants him back," Severus added.

"He has something else in him, Severus." James muttered. "He is my son and yet not completely human. How can that be? What happened to change that?"

"I believe that there are only two people that know those answers," Severus stated. "Do you think that's why the Dark Lord wants him back? The blood or magic that he holds that isn't human?"

James shrugged and they fell into silence.

"Has he said anything about what happened?" James questioned.

"No," Severus said simply. "If I push too far…he says that he 'doesn't think of that'."

"I can understand that," James mused. "I imagine that looking back on the abuse he suffered would be hard…It doesn't seem to stop him from getting close to people."

James looked at him pointedly.

"What are you trying to say, James?" Severus drawled.

James's blue eyes settled on him as he sipped on his scotch and Severus could understand why he was such a good Auror. Severus just quirked his lips at the man and James sat forward in his chair. He gave Severus the stare that he knew so well and he was sure that he had given the same stare to many other Death Eaters before him.

"Just what do you want me to say?" Severus purred and James's eyes hardened, he wasn't looking at his friend anymore.

James looked him over before with a sigh, he moved to his feet and Severus looked at him in surprise. He stepped over towards Severus's bedroom and he tensed.

"James!" Severus hissed. "Don't wake him up."

James paused and glanced over at him and Severus held his stare without another word. The Auror took another step towards the bedroom and Severus blew out a breath. James knew just how to get him to talk. Just the right buttons to press.

"Sit back down," Severus snapped. "Just what do you want to know?"

James quirked a smile and Severus gave him a glare. The Gryffindor had won that round.

"Bloody Potters," Severus muttered.

"Don't forget," James stated, an icy tone to his voice as he pointed to the bedroom. "No matter his name, he is my son."

"Yes, yes." Severus agreed as he blew out a breath with a wave of his hand. "You both have the talent to frustrate and annoy me and yet…"

"You still love us," James finished and Severus snorted in amusement.

"That's one way to put it," Severus remarked. "Sentimental Gryffindors."

"Hard headed Slytherins," James countered.

The two men shared a look before James retook his seat and snagged up his drink. It was going to be a long night.

Chapter Text

Albus idlily flicked through pages of an old tome of a book after James and Kingsley had left after their latest report. The raid against Voldemort had gone better than expected, since the man hadn't joined the fighting and had fled instead. Emerald had been correct; the man had been weakened by whatever he'd done which had left him open to attack. He had abandoned his followers to fight through the Aurors and give him time to get out. He knew that move wouldn't help his already shaky hold of his followers, which worked in even more of their favour.

The thought that Emerald had helped them gave him hope about the boy which then made him think of Severus and the smile faded. He could see how much Severus cared for Emerald as he flicked through the pages of the book without seeing them. The question that plagued Albus was the fact; could Emerald understand that? With the abuse that he'd suffered and the fact that Voldemort may have kept him as a pleasure slave. Could Emerald understand that they didn't want him for that reason? He was concerned that his friend and almost son would be hurt if Emerald turned his attention elsewhere. That also didn't include if others found out that Severus was sleeping with an underage boy.

His animal side concerned Albus was well. Just how much of Emerald's mind was human and how much was animal. Albus sighed and focused back on the book before him as he flicked through a few pages. He then paused and flicked back a page and looked down on an image of a large cat. He frowned as he started to read then paled.

"Oh, Merlin." Albus whispered with wide eyes. "Severus."

xXx

Severus and Emerald looked up from the dining table when Albus burst in and quickly slammed the door behind him. He rushed over to the table with a book in his hands. Emerald pulled back in the chair at the wild look in Albus's eyes.

"You, out!" Albus snapped at him and Emerald bolted in fear.

"Albus!" Severus hissed.

Albus slammed the book in his hands onto the table as Severus looked between him and the bedroom, where Emerald had disappeared to.

"Read this!" Albus snapped as he flicked the book open to the right page.

"Albus, what is this about?" Severus demanded as he looked down at the book and his eye caught on the picture of the cat. "That looks like…"

Severus's eyes widened as he read the page in the book.

"This can't be right," Severus uttered.

"At least you haven't had sex with him," Albus sighed then sat down heavily at the look on Severus's face. "You had sex with him."

"Yes," Severus admitted, before going back to the book then frowning.

They looked over to the bedroom when they heard a slight scuff to see Emerald with his head around the doorframe looking at them, cautiously. They both looked over at him and he ducked back into the room.

"Emerald," Severus called and he appeared back at the doorway. "Come here."

Emerald slowly approached the table, his eyes locked on Albus. Severus pushed the book towards him and his eyes darted down to the picture of the cat before looking up at him.

"Read that," Severus instructed with a sigh as he ran his hand over his head.

"I can't read," Emerald countered as he looked at the pictures.

Albus grabbed the book and Emerald shielded back. He shuffled closer to Severus and Albus felt a stab of guilt at that reaction.

"My apologises, Emerald." Albus offered before focusing on the book and reciting the page. "'Cat demons are a rare breed of demon and lure their victims by their cat form. They sip on life energy while the person sleeps as they slowly gain their trust before changing to a human form to feed on their life force.'"

Albus looked up when Emerald huffed and gave him a smile. He wasn't sure which way to take that before going back to reading.

"'They are known to take their time in feeding,'" Albus read. "'They crave physical contact as they slowly drain the life from their victim until there is nothing left then they move on to their next victim.'"

Albus looked him over and even Severus was giving him an odd look. Emerald leaned closer to Albus and the book. He ran his finger over the picture of the large black cat and Albus pushed it in front of him. He looked over the writing and the pictures as he flicked through the pages.

"Emerald?" Severus said softly. "Are you a cat demon?"

"This?" Emerald asked with his finger on the page and Severus nodded. "No."

Both men relaxed.

"Cousin perhaps," Emerald mused. "Not sure."

"You crave physical contact," Severus stated and Emerald looked over at him.

"Yes."

"And sexual contact."

"Yes," Emerald replied. "Don't feed on anything. Helps to…stabilise."

"Stabilise?" Severus asked.

Emerald waved his hand as he tried to find the right words.

"Less cat," Albus mused with a frown. "More human?"

"Yes," Emerald agreed with a nod.

"You lived with them," Severus stated suddenly and tapped the book and Emerald shook his head.

"No!" Emerald snapped as he felt frustration run through him. "Cat."

"You lived as a cat?" Albus asked and Emerald nodded.

"My master took me," Emerald tried to explain then pointed at his forehead. "Marked, bound. I escaped and he found me again and again. I would flee then he would find me or call me back…"

Emerald trailed off and Severus wrapped an arm around his waist and he leaned into him.

"Until Bellatrix found you," Severus summarised and could feel the shiver go through the other man's body.

"Yes," Emerald confirmed. "Can walk the line between times. He could pull me back here, keep me here. Then she found me first, she was angry. Knew what I could do and took steps to keep me contained. She made demands to my master but something went wrong…"

Emerald shook in Severus's arm as his large green eyes locked on Albus.

"Don't feed on anything," Emerald uttered.

"What is Severus to you?" Albus questioned as he rubbed his beard.

"Mine," Emerald stated with a glint in his eyes.

"Explain, Emerald." Severus whispered.

Emerald looked at him and Severus shifted slightly so that he could look at him.

"Mine," Emerald whispered. "Yours. Bound."

Albus sucked in a breath and both men looked over to him.

"That changes everything," Albus cried. "That's why he's making you more stable. More human, he is your mate. You have a bond between you."

Severus felt his stomach dropped but at the same time he understood. An understanding that he had known from the moment that he had picked up the wild child from that room in St Mungo's hospital. Something that had called to him as he had worked at the hospital. Just on the edge of his mind from the moment that Emerald had arrived, even before he knew he was there.

The reason that Emerald had agreed to go with him after the suffering that he'd been through in his life. Why he had trusted him and slept next to him from that first night. Trusted him when he hadn't trusted anyone else and also why Severus had let the wild child past the barriers around himself. Let the man wiggle into his life.

"Is that the word?" Emerald asked and looked at Severus.

"Yes," Severus confirmed, unsure how he felt about that.

Albus sat back in his chair and looked at Severus and Emerald. The boy was almost in Severus's lap as the potion master looked like he was in shock. He felt relieved and yet tense about what this would mean. His eyes then caught on the red scar on Emerald's forehead. Albus moved to his feet and noticed the fear come into Emerald's eyes and he paused.

"I apologise for snapping at you," Albus offered softly. "I was concerned for Severus."

"Why?" Emerald questioned as he looked between them.

Albus sighed.

"Welcome to my world, Albus." Severus muttered.

Albus chuckled and stepped closer to Emerald and slowly reached a hand out. The boy's eyes grew large but he didn't pull away from Severus. Albus gently touched the curse scar and could feel the heat under his fingertips.

"When did you get this?" Albus inquired.

"When my master first took me," Emerald whispered, almost in Severus's lap now and Albus stepped back.

"That would explain why Voldemort went quiet after Harry was taken," Albus remarked. "He would have had a bad backlash from that spell. Do you know what spell it was Emerald?"

"Green spell," Emerald answered with a shrug.

Both men reeled back.

"The killing curse?" Severus demanded and Emerald shrugged again.

"Did he…" Albus trailed off before gathering his thoughts again. "Did he try that spell against you again?"

"He tried many," Emerald answered with a frown. "Some worked, some didn't."

Severus felt a chill go through him and his arm tightened around Emerald. He had said the words so casually like it was an everyday thing to have spells cast at him. To have the killing curse thrown at him without a thought.

"What was the potion master doing?" Severus asked.

"He didn't say," Emerald whispered and shifted slightly. "He just talked when he brewed, forgot I was there."

"When were you able to change?" Albus queried. "You are Harry Potter and he didn't have creature or demon blood."

Emerald frowned and looked tired, it looked like trying to answer their questions was taking its toll.

"When the pain got too much," Emerald whispered. "Couldn't deal any more, would change and they would leave me alone until…was worse when I changed back."

Severus and Albus shared a look.

"Come on, Emerald." Severus encouraged. "You need sleep."

Emerald stepped back as Severus stood up and he walked towards the bedroom with the other man on his heels. Emerald slinked towards the bed and curled up under the covers, facing the door. His green eyes locked on Severus and he gave him a small smile.

"Get some sleep," Severus suggested and Emerald nodded.

Severus walked back to the door and closed it firmly behind him before moving back to the table and just looked down at the book. Taking in the image of the large black cat.

"I imagine he has some cat demon blood, Severus." Albus remarked.

"Or something similar," Severus agreed. "What does this mean legally, Albus?"

"Mated pairs?" Albus mused as he rubbed his beard. "I would have to look at the book of the founders and the Ministry."

"What did he mean when he says he can 'walk the line between times'?" Severus asked with a frown.  "He has mentioned a time turner before."

"I'm not sure, Severus." Albus replied. "His mind doesn't work like a human mind."

"It's shattered, Albus." Severus remarked with a sigh. "He has scars on his hips, they are a pattern of lines…they have been carved into his skin, over and over."

"Someone did that to him?" Albus asked faintly and Severus nodded.

"His scars seem to be fading away, except those." Severus told him. "Someone wanted those scars to remain. Knew that he had the healing ability to make them fade."

Albus hung his head slightly as they fell into silence before Albus looked up and locked eyes with Severus.

"Could you imagine the drive to get close to people and knowing that you would be physically and sexually abused for it?" Albus whispered.

"Not to mention the thought of Bellatrix getting a hold of him…" Severus trailed off with a shiver.

"Yes," Albus agreed. "I can understand his fear of women."

"I'll have to mention to Minerva that he wasn't ignoring the books that she left him," Severus added after a few minutes with a smirk that didn't reach his hollow eyes. "He couldn't read them."

Both men fell silent at that, each thinking through what kind of life Emerald had lived after he was taken at the age of three.

xXx

Emerald looked around the dark and empty hallway in interest. It was a month after his master tried to call him back and he felt more comfortable as he sniffed along the stone wall in his cat form. He could pick up Severus's scent, stronger than the others, due to the fact that he'd just walked along here not that long ago. He huffed slightly before bounding forward after that smell.

He caught up with the man and danced around him. Severus huffed his own laugh at his antics, before he bolted up the set of stairs and sat down at the top. Severus looked up at him in amusement. The man didn't have a light but used the slight glow from the moon coming through the windows. Severus had told him it was to catch students out after curfew easier. Emerald didn't mention that he could have just sniffed them out for him but he got the feeling that Severus liked the game. Emerald could understand a good game of cat and mouse.

He glanced over his shoulder as he heard a soft noise but nothing was there as he waited for Severus. Albus had been teaching him how to read and Emerald had a feeling that it was at apologise for his behaviour or something else that Emerald didn't understand. He didn't mind, it gave him something to do while Severus had his classes.

He heard a stone click and glanced over his shoulder again before moving to his feet. He was almost up to his normal size and he could feel the strength in his body as he slinked silently down the hallway as he kept his nose up. He could faintly pick up old scents but nothing new before turning and moving back towards Severus. He froze when he heard a strange noise and tilted his head to the side as his tail swished. Something was there but he could smell or see anything.

"Meow," Emerald purred, as he padded towards the hallway where he heard shuffling.

"It's Snape's cat," He heard a male voice whisper.

"What do we do?" A female voice hissed.

Emerald paused and tilted his head, he couldn't see or smell anything there, which was confusing to him.

"We could curse it," The male voice retorted.

"Dean!" The female voice yelped.

Emerald hissed as his tail flicked.

"It will give us away," Dean added. "You know that Snape won't be far behind it, Ginny."

"Then move!" Ginny hissed.

Emerald sat down and could hear shuffling but couldn't see anything. He lowered his head and sniffed before crawling forward in curiosity. His belly low to the ground.

"Fuck," Dean cursed. "It's chasing us."

Suddenly and without waning a foot came out of nowhere.

"Yowl!" Emerald cried out and tried to twist out of the way but the foot clipped him in the side of the head and he went down.

"Dean!"

He stumbled as he flicked his head and could hear running footsteps. He brushed his head with his paws and could taste blood in his mouth. He'd copped the full brunt of the blow.

"Emerald?"

He looked up at Severus and meowed softly and the man crouched down.

"Is that blood?" Severus said softly and brushed a hand over his head. "What happened?"

Emerald gave him a glare and licked his paw and rubbed his head with it. Severus looked around the silent hallway.

"Was it a student?"

"Meow."

Severus looked down at him and cursed. Emerald could see he was torn between going after the student or staying with him. Emerald rubbed his head one more time before getting to his feet and following the slight scent of the two students. He picked up speed when Severus did as he tracked the two, he had to double back a few times as the scent would drop out then he would pick it up again. He started to get the feeling it had something to do with the way they were hiding from sight.

He flicked his tail back and forth in agitation as they went further and further up in the castle until the sounds of shuffling came to him. He picked up speed and Severus cursed. Emerald skittered around the corner then launched himself. He couldn't see the two students but he didn't need to, he could smell them now that they were running.

Dean let out a girly scream as Emerald landed on something soft under his paws and dug his claws in. He slipped off with a yowl and landed in a heap with something soft draped over him. Once the fabric landed on him, he understood why the scent was so hard to pick up as he lost his sense of smell under the covering.

"Ms Weasley and Mr Thomas," Severus drawled.

Emerald yowled as he tried to get out of the fabric and just tangled himself up even more. He tried to get his claws and teeth into it but it kept slipping away from him. The lack of scent disoriented him as well.

"Emerald!" Severus snapped and he felt a hand on his back and he settled.

Severus grabbed the fabric and pulled up. The large cat fell out, looking disgruntled and agitated and he tried not to look amused. Emerald sat down and started to clean his coat as his tail flicked behind him and Severus focused back on the two students before him.

"Which one of you kicked my familiar?" Severus questioned in a deadly tone.

Emerald licked his coat as he watched the two students as they babbled.

"Enough!" Severus snapped. "Detention for a week and fifty points each for both of you."

"But, sir." Ginny whined. "Dean kicked him."

"Ginny!" Dean hissed at the girl.

"Is that so, Mr Thomas?" Severus said silkily.

"Well-"

"Enough!" Severus cut him off. "Another fifty points and you can do Ms Weasley's detentions. Now back to your common room."

"Can we have the cloak back, sir?" Ginny asked shyly. "It's not mine."

"No," Severus snapped. "Get out of my sight."

The two students bolted as quickly as they could. Severus looked down at Emerald, still cleaning his coat in amusement. He dropped the cloak onto him.

"Yowl!" Emerald cried and Severus huffed a laugh.

Emerald grabbed the edge of the cloak and flicked it over his back before running off down the hallway with Severus's laughter following him.

xXx

Emerald touched the edge of the black eye from Dean kicking him as he heard Severus moving around in the living room. He turned away from the mirror and eyed off the shower. Severus insisted that he had to have a shower every second day, at least.

"Hurry up," Severus called. "I have class in the morning and I still need to have a shower."

Emerald huffed a laugh as he turned the shower on and stepped under the water and quickly soaped up. He started when Severus opened the shower door and looked at him and he flinched back.

"Nice black eye," Severus commented mildly as he stepped into the shower, completely naked. "That will colour up nicely."

Emerald backed up to the tiles, unsure why the man was there. Severus looked him over as he reached forward and picked up the soap that Emerald had dropped and stepped under the water.

"You were taking too long," Severus explained as he soaped himself down before stepping back. "Step under and I'll wash you down."

Emerald frowned and hesitated before stepping forward. Severus ran the soap and his hands over him and Emerald stepped closer. Severus shifted until he was behind him and he had a clear line for the shower door. Emerald groaned as Severus's hands ran over his skin and the water pounded his shoulders. Severus wrapped his arms around him and soaped up his chest before his hands strayed further down.

Emerald gasped as Severus's hands grabbed him then rolled his balls. The other man had been very sparse with any sexual contact since they'd had sex. Emerald shifted until the water wasn't hitting his head and shoulders. He leaned back into Severus's arms, feeling his lean body behind him. Severus kissed his neck before pulling back and Emerald couldn't hold back the whine.

Severus chuckled before grabbing the shampoo and running his fingers through his short hair. Emerald fell back into him with a moan.

"Like that?" Severus purred in his ear and he shivered. "Duck you head under the water."

Emerald shook slightly at the words and quickly stepped forward. He jolted slightly when Severus laid his hands on his hips and he pulled back into his body to get out from under the water. Severus kissed his neck and he relaxed again.

"Do you not like water due to your cat form or something else?" Severus whispered in his ear and he shivered.

"Something else," Emerald gasped then moaned as Severus's hand found his balls again.

Severus rolled his balls in his hand and he panted as he started to harden but the running water had him on edge. His body shook slightly as Severus ran his other hand over his bum, slightly slick with soap before moving between his crack.

"Severus," Emerald gasped, his eyes wide in both fear and pleasure.

"What?" Severus asked and kissed his neck. "What do you want?"

Emerald whined, he didn't know. Severus's finger slipped down his crack until he pushed into him and Emerald didn't know what to do. Severus had shown no interest in intercourse in the past month and only the odd touch here and there. He shifted his legs further apart, wanting the contact but the fear of the water in front of him, still tugged at him.

"Tell me what you want?" Severus purred from behind him as he added another finger.

Emerald moaned at the feeling of Severus's fingers but he was only half hard as the other man wrapped his hand around him. He could feel Severus's interest behind him and could feel the pull of that as Severus kissed up his neck. He could see that running water in front of him then moaned as Severus hit a sensitive spot on his neck. It was pleasure and torture mixed together and reminded him of the games that Bellatrix used to play and he froze. His mind blanking out slightly.

Severus paused and shut the water off as he shifted to his side and looked at him. Emerald looked at him with wide eyes as he panted.

"Too much?" Severus asked softly and Emerald nodded sharply.

Emerald's eyes darted down to Severus's hard cock, his own having gone limp and Severus gave him a lopsided grin.

"Bed instead?" Severus asked. "Or another time?"

Emerald's eyes darkened as he grabbed Severus's hand and pulled him out of the shower. The other man chuckled as he followed him to the bedroom and Emerald pushed him back onto the bed. Severus sprawled out and looked up at him as Emerald crawled onto the bed and straddled his waist. Severus groaned as Emerald palmed his cock and gave it a couple of pulls as he reached for the lube. Severus laid his head back as Emerald slicked up his length and stroked him a few times.

Severus eyes flew open as Emerald lowered himself down onto him and he looked up in surprise and groaned at that tightness around him. He bucked his hips up as the other man came down on him and he groaned before with a growl he rolled them.

Emerald looked up at him with wide eyes and he wasn't sure if this was too much. He lined himself up and pushed forward and Emerald moaned and his head tilted back. He grinned as he rocked forward at the same angle again. He felt Emerald slip his legs behind his thighs as he thrust forward and looked down at him.

He leaned forward and captured Emerald's lips in a kiss as they moved. The other man gasped and he deepened the kiss. Emerald moved his legs around his waist as they moved together, meeting him every time he pushed forward until Emerald came and tightened around him, tipping him over the edge as he came hard with a grunt. His hips twitching forward as pleasure rolled through him.

He let his forehead rest on the man's chest as he panted, Emerald's legs tight around him and his hands on his sides. He could feel the other man breathing hard and he lifted his head to look into those green eyes as he felt himself soften and slip loose.

Emerald gave him a smile and he felt content. He rolled to the side with a slight groan and Emerald huffed a laugh at him. Severus reached out and fumbled for his wand. It took him two tries to get the spell to work and Emerald huffed again.

"And you said you have class in the morning," Emerald remarked softly with a grin.

"Don't get smart," Severus panted then grabbed the man and pulled.

Emerald squeaked as Severus pulled him to lay over his chest then he purred at the contact. He kissed Severus's chest as he lay with his legs on either side of one of Severus's. He had his arms wrapped around the smaller man and they just took in the feeling of the other as Emerald laid completely limp over him.

"Why so long?" Emerald asked suddenly, breaking the silence.

"What?"

"It's been so long since we had sex," Emerald whispered. "You haven't shown much interest until now, why?"

Severus ran his hand down his side before letting it rest on his hip.

"Human reasons," Severus drawled.

Emerald laughed and Severus started at the sound, it was the first time he'd heard it.

"I like that reason," Emerald said with a smile. "Can I use 'cat reasons' as an excuse?"

"No," Severus retorted in amusement. "That would be your answer to every question."

Emerald huffed and shifted until he was curled into his side and kissed his chest.

"Sleep time now," Severus muttered. "James, Lily and Sirius are coming around after lunch tomorrow."

Chapter Text

Emerald laid sprawled out on his back with his paws up as he panted slightly. The sun warmed his belly as the teachers and others spoke around him. He could hear Sirius panting and tilted his head to look at the black dog sprawled out on the stones near him. He looked over to Severus talking to Albus and James while Lily stood further over talking with Minerva. There were more students around for a Saturday afternoon and they had gathered a crowd while they'd been running around. Now that the entertainment was over, a lot of them had drifted off.

Emerald rolled to his feet and padded over to Sirius and bumped his head against his side and the dog looked at him with soft eyes. Emerald ran his head along his side as Sirius sat up and Emerald rubbed his head against him. Sirius lowered his head and huffed and Emerald pushed himself into the dog. He could smell that Sirius wasn't sure about this and he stepped back as his tail swished.

He sat down next to Sirius but not touching him and the man changed forms. Emerald glanced over at him before rubbing his head against his leg and Sirius laughed as he rubbed his ears and he purred.

"That is disconcerting," Sirius whispered. "When you do that."

Emerald huffed and flopped down as Sirius's fingers ran over him.

"This isn't much better," Sirius added.

"Try it from my point of view," James commented.

Emerald was now sprawled out in Sirius's lap with his eyes slightly closed as he took in the attention. He purred loudly as Sirius laughed and he felt content. His nose then caught the whiff of something and he opened his eyes and looked along the walkway until his eyes caught on a young girl with fuzzy brown hair, talking to Ginny Weasley and another girl with blonde hair.

He rolled to his feet, his eyes locked. He padded away from the others along the path. Some students moving out of his way, while others watched him or ignored him. He weaved through the students, shielding slightly from some, his eyes locked on the girl that he could smell. When he reached the three girls, they hadn't seen him, as he moved up to the brown-haired girl.

He took a sniff of the three of them before bumping his head against the brown-haired girl's leg and she started. The blonde crouched down with a smile when she saw him.

"Hello, little one." The blonde purred.

"His name is Emerald, Luna." Ginny stated, as she stood further back.

"Hello, Emerald." Luna cooed and held out her hand.

Emerald hesitated slightly before butting her hand with his head and she laughed lightly. Emerald looked up at the brown-haired girl as Luna ran her hands down his back.

"Meow."

The girl's sharp eyes looked him over before she looked around nervously. Emerald stepped away from Luna and towards her as she looked down at him. He sat down and looked up at her as his tail twitched behind him.

"Meow."

The girl looked around, the adults were further along the walkway and even if they were keeping an eye on him they were also staying back. Emerald tensed and lowered his head when the girl pulled her wand. He hadn't expected that as his ear flicked back.

"Hermione!" Ginny hissed and looked over at the teachers but the other girl was keeping the wand well hidden from them.

Emerald moved to his feet, in case he needed to run, as Hermione looked him over with sharp eyes. He hissed, showing his teeth when the girl cast a spell and he felt the magic run over his body. He jumped back slightly and lowered himself to the ground with his ears back and a rumble in his throat, his eyes locked on her as the spell rolled off him. He didn't know what the spell had been.

"Yowl," Emerald rumbled.

"What is going on here," Severus demanded as he looked them all over.

Emerald crept forward towards Hermione, that feeling of the spell still on his coat.

"Nothing, sir." Ginny answered for them. "He just came over."

Hermione was still looking at him as he crept closer, his ears back with his eyes locked on her. Emerald hissed and Hermione stepped back.

"Ms Granger?" Severus questioned. "Care to explain?"

"I don't know sir," Hermione stuttered nervously.

Emerald stopped, he was scaring the girl. He could smell the fear on the air and he laid down on the stones in front of her. He glanced over at Severus and noticed the look on his face and he hissed at him. Severus raised an eyebrow at that. He then noticed the crowd they had gathered and the fear settled in his stomach.

Emerald bolted.

He ducked and weaved through the crowd of students, light on his feet as he ran back to the other adults. He skidded slightly on the stones as he ran around them before bolting out on to the grass. Sirius, in dog form, fell into step with him as he ran towards the forest. That lingering feeling of the spell on his back and he tumbled to the ground on the grass and rubbed his back and sides.

"What the hell are you doing?" Sirius hissed as Emerald rolled around.

"Yowl!" Emerald cried loudly, before taking off again.

He heard cursing from behind him as he ran into the forest, the day darkening around him as he ran. He outran Sirius easily as he headed deeper into the forest. His nose picking up the animals living there. The sound of Sirius getting fainter behind him as he went. He leapt over a small stream and kept running until he came to the edge of the wards and stopped.

He panted loudly as he looked around, the sounds of the forest calming him, like only Severus could. He was a wild creature at heart and this was a wild place. He had lived in many places like this in his life, in the times that he could get away from his master before he was called back or captured. He could hear Sirius barking and huffed in amusement. If the man used his nose instead of his voice he would be able to find him.

He looked around before stalking forward, his large paws digging into the earth. He could still hear Sirius calling but only two people could call him. His master and Severus and the latter, he was sure, didn't know how to as he enjoyed the earth under his paws after so long in the castle. He sniffed the trees and bushes as he wandered along. He paused on an interesting patch of herbs before moving on as the barking stopped.

He slowly made his way back to the edge of the forest as the sun started to set. He lifted his head when Sirius's scent touched on him and sat down and waited for the dog to appear. The black dog crashed through the bushes and Emerald huffed.

"You're mad!" Sirius snapped when he changed forms and Emerald flicked his tail. "What were you thinking! Do you know what kind of animals are in this forest?"

Emerald stood up and jumped up into the nearest tree. His claws digging in deeply as he climbed until he was laid out on a branch then changed forms.

"Yes," Emerald replied as he looked down at Sirius and he seemed to deflate at that word.

"What were you doing?" Sirius asked as he looked up at him. "It's going to be dark soon, Severus is probably worried about you."

"Why?" Emerald asked with a frown.

"You just ran off," Sirius stated. "Can you come down?"

Emerald sighed and pushed himself to his feet and with perfect balance, he calmly walked along the branch.

"Be careful you might fall," Sirius called up to him.

Emerald just huffed a laugh as he stepped along the branch before quickly climbing down.

"I am a cat," Emerald stated, once he was on the ground.

"Not in that form, you're not." Sirius pointed out.

Emerald paced closer to the dark-haired man and stood up straight. It was the closest he'd been to him in human form and Sirius shifted. He stood a little shorter than the other man but not by much.

"You do realise you're naked, right?" Sirius pointed out.

Emerald huffed and gave him a smile that had Sirius shifting again and looking at his face.

"What happened up at the school?" Sirius questioned when Emerald didn't say anything. "Did something scare you? Was it the girls?"

"No," Emerald replied. "She was scared of me and Severus."

"Severus, I can understand." Sirius said with a rough grin and Emerald huffed in agreement.

"I think he likes it," Emerald remarked softly and looked around.

The forest was starting to get dark but he could see clearly as the birds called out as they settled in for the night.

"We should get back to the school," Sirius suggested.

"You should use your nose instead of your voice," Emerald countered as he turned back to the other man. "You would have found me quicker if you had."

Sirius pulled back slightly and his pale eyes strayed slightly, before catching on the scar on his hip. He stepped forward and Emerald tensed.

"Who gave you the black eye?" Sirius questioned as he focused back on his face.

"Student kicked me," Emerald replied with a shrug.

"Which one?" Sirius said sharply.

"Severus dealt with it."

Sirius gave him a rough grin as Emerald moved off towards the castle on silent feet.

"You know," Sirius stated after a few minutes. "I don't know what's more disconcerting…you sprawled out in my lap in your cat form or walking along next to my sixteen-year-old godson, who is naked."

Emerald looked over at the other man beside him and huffed a laugh.

"Do you want me to change?" Emerald inquired.

"I'm not sure," Sirius muttered. "I can only have a one-way conversation when you're a cat."

Emerald stopped and looked the other man over. He was still dressed as an Auror since both James and him had come to the castle after work. He took a sniff of the man, picking up the familiar scent. Sirius shifted and Emerald picked up on something else.

"Stop that," Sirius snapped. "This is creepy enough."

Emerald laughed as he looked at the man in amusement and Sirius quirked a smile. He felt comfortable with the forest around him and he relaxed at the sounds. He could live in a place like this as they set off again.

Sirius looked over at his godson and tried not to look lower than his waist. He couldn't help but notice that he had a lean body and a strength that he could see in the smooth way he walked. He crouched forward slightly as he walked and Sirius's eyes kept being drawn to those scars on his hip. He had seen the photos of the scars in his file as well as the other injuries that he'd suffered but to see them in real life was different.

"Who gave you those scars on your hip?" Sirius questioned.

Emerald looked down at the scars as he shifted slightly and Sirius looked up at his face instead of everything else on show.

"Your cousin," Emerald replied as he ran a hand over his hip and Sirius shivered.

"Mad woman," Sirius muttered and Emerald looked at him.

Sirius sucked in a breath at the look in his eyes. Anyone else and he would have reached out and touched his arm but he knew that the other man wouldn't have taken that kindly. There was a raw look to him as he stood there, a pain that Sirius couldn't even begin to understand.

"Yes," Emerald agreed then tilted his head back. "People are coming."

Sirius didn't hear anyone but he trusted Emerald's ears and soon he could hear people as they moved closer. By the fact that Emerald didn't change, he knew it was Severus and the others. Which was proven correct as Severus appeared with the others behind him. The tall man groaned when he saw him and Sirius barked a laugh at the look on Severus's face.

"Oh, dear." Minerva gasped and blushed as she turned away.

"Are pants really that hard to remember?" Severus snapped.

Emerald gave him a smile.

"Yes," Emerald replied then changed forms.

He launched himself at the nearest tree and climbed up it swiftly before walking along the branch and looked down at the adults below him. Severus looked up at him with dark eyes and he could smell his frustration on the air.

"Bloody animal," Severus cursed as he looked up at the black cat in the tree, his green eyes the only thing giving him away in the dark.

"He's your animal now," Sirius remarked with a smirk and Severus groaned.

Sirius strolled off and the others looked after him.

"Where are you going?" James called.

"Back to the castle," Sirius said over his shoulder.

"What about Emerald?" Lily asked as she looked up the tree that the cat had disappeared into.

"He knows the way," Sirius said casually over his shoulder. "I think I can smell dinner is being served."

Severus looked back up the tree but couldn't even see Emerald's green eyes and he felt a stab of concern.

"Emerald," Severus called.

"Meow."

"Get down here!" Severus snapped, fed up.

Suddenly the black cat landed near him smoothly, his large paws landing without a sound. His green eyes looked up at him as his tail swished behind him and he frowned. He seemed more animal today than normal.

"Time to go back to the castle," Severus said smoothly. "We'll come out tomorrow night."

The cat butted his head against his knee before turning and following Sirius in the direction of the castle.

"He's larger than a domesticated cat," Lily muttered. "And he doesn't look like he's grown into those paws yet."

Severus had to agree, the cat could easily take on a medium sized dog. Emerald's head suddenly came up before he dropped to the ground and belly crawled forward.

"No," Severus snapped.

Emerald paused and looked over his shoulder and took one more silent step forward and Severus sighed.

"Fine," Severus sighed. "But if you catch one, you are not getting dinner."

Emerald shot off and a few minutes later they hear a rustle and a squeak.

"He didn't," Minerva gasped.

"Probably," Severus replied. "He's been eyeing them off for a while."

"Rabbit?" Albus asked mildly.

"Yes," Severus drawled and watched Lily's face screw up as James laughed.

"James!" Lily squeaked. "That's your son!"

"Only part of the time," James replied as he wrapped an arm around Lily's shoulders and steered her away. "I'm happy to claim the human part of him."

Severus stopped at the edge of the forest as Minerva and Albus paused near him.

"I'll wait for him," Severus told them and the two followed off after James and Lily.

Severus looked up at the castle and the lights as everything around him darkened. There were a few students around near the castle but they would be heading inside as dinner was served. He moved to lean against one of the trees as he looked into the dark forest.

"Waiting for me?" Emerald asked softly.

"Yes," Severus replied.

He looked him over but could see no evidence that he'd caught a rabbit before his eye caught on the black eye. Emerald stayed back in the shadows of the trees.

"Enjoy your dinner?" Severus asked and Emerald gave him a sly smile.

"Tasty," Emerald replied as he looked up at the castle.

"Are you going to tell me what that was about with Granger?" Severus questioned.

"Granger?" Emerald asked as Severus moved closer to him and into the shadows.

"Hermione Granger," Severus explained. "You went over to her, Luna Lovegood, the blonde, and Weasley."

"She cast a spell at me," Emerald huffed and Severus tensed.

"She did what," Severus hissed.

"I don't know what it was."

"Why did you go over there in the first place?" Severus inquired and placed his hand on his arm. "Are you cold?"

"A little," Emerald conceded.

"Next time wear pants then," Severus remarked and shrugged out of his robes and settled them over his shoulders and Emerald snuggled into them. "They're a bit big."

Emerald huffed and wrapped the robes around himself tightly.

"Why did you go over to those girls?"

"Hermione," Emerald stated, sounding the name out. "She interested me. Odd smell."

Emerald looked up at Severus as he frowned and stepped closer to him. They stood there together for a while as Severus glanced down at him. Emerald looked relaxed as he stood there and except for in his rooms this was the most relaxed he'd seen him. He had a feeling it had to do with the forest behind them.

"Emerald," Severus broached and those green eyes looked up at him. "You can come out here after curfew, the wards on the school are strong enough to keep you safe."

"I could feel the boundary," Emerald remarked and Severus started.

"You ran that far out?" Severus questioned and Emerald gave him a smile.

Severus resisted the temptation to wrap an arm around the boy. They were running enough of a chance standing there. He glanced at his watch.

"Dinner time," Severus announced. "Can you face the Great Hall?"

Emerald shook his head and Severus sighed. Emerald unwrapped the robes and held them out and Severus folded them over his arm as his eyes looked him over.

"Those scars are fading even more," Severus pointed out.

"They should go," Emerald stated.

"And the ones on your hips?"

"Will take a lot longer but they will fade as long as they are not cut again."

Severus's hand darted out and grabbed Emerald's arm and he looked up at him.

"That will not happen again," Severus hissed.

Emerald looked Severus over and the dark look in his eyes and he nodded. He wasn't sure he believed the other man. Bellatrix had a way of getting to him but after she took him and almost killed him. He was sure that his master would not have been pleased and the woman would have paid the price, which meant that if Bellatrix got a hold of him again he would pay as well.

"He's not getting you back," Severus told him with steel in his voice. "Do you understand?"

Emerald nodded as those dark eyes looked at him. His hand tight around his arm. Severus didn't understand and Emerald didn't know how to explain so just nodded his head again. Severus released him and Emerald stepped back as he changed into his cat form. He panted slightly at the amount of times he'd changed and laid down on the ground.

"Alright?" Severus asked as he crouched down.

Emerald shook his head and laid it down on his paws. Severus ran a hand down his back and Emerald closed his eyes at the feeling as he let the magic settle. He still wasn't up to his normal strength. He panted slightly as Severus just kept him company. He let the night wash over him before he felt comfortable enough to move to his feet.

They slowly made their way back to the castle in silence.

xXx

Severus looked down at Emerald sprawled out over his bed, deeply asleep under the covers. He was concerned since Emerald normally curled up and wasn't such a deep sleeper. He was also concerned and angry at Granger and the unknown spell that she'd used. He sat on the edge of the bed and looked at the man under the covers and reached out and ran a hand over his head. He could tell how deeply asleep he was by the fact that he didn't wake at that touch.

It had taken longer for Emerald to change both into and out of his cat form and Severus wasn't sure for the reason. He rolled the covers back and slipped into the bed and gently shifted Emerald's arm out of the way. He wouldn't be getting any answers tonight.

xXx

Severus woke with a pain in his arm and grabbed it tightly, waking Emerald as he rolled from the bed. He hissed as the pain flared before easing off. Those green eyes were watching him carefully as he clutched his arm and gritted his teeth until the pain eased off. Emerald moved on the bed so that he was kneeling on the edge.

"Come back to bed," Emerald suggested softly.

"I have to go," Severus stated.

"No," Emerald said evenly. "He knows that I am here."

Severus sighed and grabbed up a pair of pants. Emerald didn't stop him but those green eyes burned into him. He pulled the pants on and slipped the coin out of his pocket and pressed his thumb into it. He grabbed one of his dress shirts and started doing up the buttons.

"Severus," Emerald whispered and Severus shivered at the tone. "He will force you to take me to him or use you to get me to come to him."

Severus sighed and rubbed his head as the Dark Mark throbbed. It was the first time that he'd been called in over nine months.

"If that was true," Severus pointed out. "He would have called me when someone tried to drug you. He would have known you were here then."

"He is used to his favourite Death Eaters taking me," Emerald stated and Severus felt his gut clench at those words said so casually. "I didn't answer his call, Severus."

"And he knows you are here," Severus repeated.

"He would have ordered me drugged to make it easy for you," Emerald added.

"In which way?" Severus asked.

"Whatever you wanted to do," Emerald whispered.

"Does he know that we are mates?" Severus questioned then grumbled. "I'm not even sure what that means."

Emerald huffed and gave him a smile.

"He's been trying to get me to bind myself to one of his Death Eaters for a long time," Emerald admitted. "He doesn't understand but Severus I didn't answer his call and he knows that I am here."

"Why does he want you back?" Severus asked.

"Severus?"

Both men looked over at Albus's call from the other room. Emerald curled the blanket around him, knowing that Albus didn't like to see him naked. The old man appeared in the doorway and looked them over.

"The Dark Lord has called me," Severus informed him. "Emerald is putting forward good arguments on why I should not go."

"I agree with him," Albus consented.

Severus looked over at Albus and sighed before turning back to Emerald.

"Why does he want you back so badly?" Severus repeated.

"Bound," Emerald whispered and brushed his finger across his forehead. "He wants my magic. He wants me."

"He can pull on your magic?" Albus said sharply.

"Only if we are close," Emerald agreed. "And only a small amount."

"Can I?" Severus asked in interest.

"You don't know how."

"Can you pull on mine?"

"If I wanted to," Emerald confessed as he looked him in the eye. "Which I won't."

Severus paled at those words and Emerald pulled back from the look in his eyes and nervously fiddled with the blanket. Severus then hissed again as the mark flared.

"We'll have to make a decision soon," Severus snapped as he looked at Albus then Emerald. "He is not a patient man."

His eyes held Emerald's and he knew he couldn't let Voldemort use him to get to the other man. He nodded slowly and Emerald relaxed.

"He will call me next," Emerald mused.

Severus tensed and shared a look with Albus, they knew what happened last time.

"Should I contact James for another attack?" Albus suggested.

"No," Emerald answered. "He will be better protected this time and have something in place."

Emerald laid down on the bed and looked the two men over.

"When will he call?" Severus asked and Emerald shrugged.

"I'll leave you with it, Severus." Albus said. "Call me if you need anything."

"Thank you, Albus."

The door to his room closed and Severus looked at Emerald quietly.

"Come with me," Severus intoned. "Pick out the potions you will need."

Emerald pulled himself to his feet smoothly and followed the other man. He snagged up one of Severus's jackets and pulled it on. The stones cold under his feet as they walked through to his office. Severus opened the cabinet and pulled out a potion which he took then stood back for Emerald to grab the potions he needed, then they made their way to his lab.

Emerald stepped over to the bench and pulled down the mortar and pestle and the herbs he needed. Severus watched him carefully as he grabbed and mixed what he needed then looked around for the stone cup. Severus grabbed it and placed it on the table and Emerald tipped half of the herbs into it and laid the potions next to it.

"That's it?" Severus asked and he nodded. "Do you want to leave them here or the bedroom?"

"Here is fine," Emerald said. "I will have enough time to get here, it will depend on how hard he calls."

"Bed?" Severus asked, the pain potion taking effect.

"Bed," Emerald agreed.

Chapter Text

Severus woke with a wince at the pain in his arm but he knew it would ease off. He could feel Emerald along his back and breathing softly and he relaxed. He looked over to the clock to see it was heading towards lunchtime and he was glad it was a Sunday. He shifted slightly and Emerald curled up away from him in his sleep. He rolled onto his back and placed his hand on Emerald's back.

He still wasn't sure what being the other man's mate involved and Albus was still looking through the ruling for what that meant as well. The founders hadn't mention it and he was looking through the Ministry records at the moment. He was sure that the connection meant more from Emerald's point of view than his. He didn't feel much different.

Severus rolled onto his side and took in the image of Emerald curled up beside him. He was facing the wall and had one hand touching the stone and Severus could still see the slight mark on his wrists and he frowned. He ran his hand down the other man's back, pushing the covers down as he went. Emerald was deeply asleep as he lay there and Severus took in the light scars on his skin and ran his thumb over those swirling marks on his hips.

He gently traced his fingers over those lines before Emerald shifted and glanced over his shoulder at him. He gave him a soft look as ran his hand over those marks.

"Sev'rus?" Emerald whispered and the sound of his name went through him.

Severus shifted to close the gap between them and kissed his shoulder and Emerald wiggled back as Severus wrapped his arm around him. Emerald kept wiggling back and Severus knew what he was doing. The other man paused when he noticed that Severus wasn't hard as he held him. Emerald looked back over his shoulder with a look of confusion.

Severus just kissed his shoulder as he held him. He reached back and flicked the blanket over them as he felt Emerald's naked skin against his. He stroked him and a soft purr sounded on the air making him smile. He ran his hand over Emerald's soft hair and could hear the man panting slightly. That sound went through him but he grabbed a hold of that as Emerald shifted and wiggled back into him.

Severus ran his hand down Emerald's chest and flicked his fingers over his nipples as he kissed his shoulder and the other man tried to turn in his arms. Severus just ran his hand further down and grasped him. Emerald moaned as Severus ran his hand up and down as he kissed down his back.

"Severus?"

"Hmm?" Severus replied as he licked up Emerald's neck.

Emerald groaned as Severus took his ear lobe into his mouth as he stroked him. He could feel himself responding but pushed that to the side as he soon had Emerald panting and whining. Severus allowed Emerald to move onto his back and he moved to lay between his legs as he took him in a kiss. Emerald was slow to respond to that as his hands reached up to lay on his hips. Severus took in his taste as he let Emerald's hands roam over his skin before he kissed down his neck and reached between them.

He stroked Emerald as the boy shifted his legs further apart and Severus knew what he was expecting as he closed his mouth over his nipple. Emerald moaned and arched his back. Emerald's legs wrapped around his waist as he tilted his hips up towards him but Severus kept licking, kissing and nipping down his sides until Emerald whined in the back of his throat.

Severus looked up at him to look into his green eyes and Emerald bucked his hips up in invitation. Severus gave him a smile and wrapped his hand around his cock and Emerald's head fell back with a moan. He took his time to slowly bring Emerald to the edge as the man panted and was bucking his hips up into his hand.

Severus paused slightly to slick up his hand before wrapping it back around Emerald's shaft. He growl/groaned under him and Severus shifted them slightly to lay side by side and he quickened the pace and Emerald panted into his neck. He felt Emerald harden even more in his hand before he tipped over the edge with a groan as he came. Severus kissed down his neck before he heard a growl and found himself under the other man.

Severus quirked a smile as he lay out on his back with Emerald sprawled out over him and sniffing his neck. Severus just wrapped his arms around him and held him as a purr sounded on the air and he smiled. He felt himself soften as he felt satisfied in other ways and gently stopped Emerald from reaching for him.

Emerald looked at him in confusion and Severus just quirked a smile and pulled him down into a kiss. Severus took his time to taste the other man as he responded before pulling back.

"Can you reach my wand?" Severus asked and Emerald wiggled off him to grab it.

Severus took it from his hand and flicked it as he cast a cleaning charm before handing it back and Emerald placed it back on the side table. The smaller man curled back into him and Severus just wrapped his arms around him and gently ran his thumb over his skin as Emerald purred. He felt content as they lay there and he could tell when Emerald fell asleep, half sprawled out over him and Severus just smiled softly.

xXx

Emerald woke slowly to the feeling of a caress against his mind, his master was calling him. He tensed but the feeling was soft against him and he purred at the contact. This was on a higher level than a physical or sexual touch and he bathed in it for a while as it stroked over him. His master needed him and he found himself out of the bed and near the door to Severus's rooms without knowing how he got there.

He glanced over towards the bedroom as that feeling washed over him. He felt himself harden as he grabbed the door handle and slipped out of the room. He shifted once he was passed the door and bounded down the hallway. His master calling and pulling at him gently. Stroking him in just the right ways as he crept through the silent hallways and out of the castle. It was always worse this way, the slow teasing as the Dark Lord reeled him in.

He paused at the front gates of the school and felt the wards in front of him. That pull increased and he lowered himself to the ground and crept forward until his paws touched on the wards. The call washed over his back and he arched it as if it was a physical touch, his master was heading to him. Emerald glanced over his shoulder at the school behind him and the man that he was bound to. Could he risk it? Could he risk his master coming here?

He pushed against the wards and felt them cage him. The Headmaster must have tied his blood into the wards as they held him back. He rubbed his fur against the invisible wall before him, pushing against it. That call increased and covered his mind as he pushed harder against the wards but didn't break through them.

"Emerald."

Emerald looked up into the brown eyes of his master and purred, at the same time fear ran through him. The confusing feelings of affection and fear swirling within him. Voldemort crouched down on the other side of the wards and looked at him fondly. They both knew that he couldn't pull him over the blood wards.

"Dumbledore must have used your blood in the wards," Voldemort commented. "You can still step through them, you know how."

Emerald changed into his human form and crouched naked in front of Voldemort and other man's eyes ran over him. There was hunger in that stare and anger as his eyes touched on the marks on his hips. Only Voldemort was allowed to punish him and Bellatrix had overstepped that line many times before.

"Fucking Bellatrix," Voldemort hissed. "Should have killed her. Come on, let's go."

"No," Emerald whispered and tried to pull back but Voldemort's hold on his mind sharpened.

He whined slightly as pain mingled with pleasure as Voldemort stroked him. He could bring terrible pain or have him patting in pleasure with a thought and Emerald was painfully hard already.

"You can pass through these wards, Emerald." Voldemort hissed in anger.

Emerald pulled back and moaned as it felt like a hand clamped around the base of his cock and his eyes watered from the pain.

"Emerald, I'm warning you."

"No," Emerald stated and pulled back further.

He whimpered as that hand tightened around him. Voldemort smiled a deadly smile before that invisible hand loosened and ran over him. He panted as his eyes dilated as pleasure rolled through him, both in his mind and over his skin. He whined and groaned at the contact, unable to hold back.

"Come on," Voldemort purred, with those invisible hands running over his skin. "Let's go home."

Voldemort knew just what turned him on and he was panting heavily and pushing against the wards but held himself back from breaking through them. The invisible fingers wrapped around the base of his cock, stopping him from getting any relief as Voldemort watched him from the other side of the wards and he whimpered. He knew what awaited him if he went with the other man.

"Emerald!" Severus called out.

Emerald placed his hands on the wards, on his knees, as he panted and Voldemort's eyes left him to look over his shoulder. Emerald knew Severus was coming closer, could feel him as much as Voldemort's invisible hands on his skin. His mind was consumed with what those hands were doing and yet, he knew he wouldn't find any relief. The pleasure tipping into the painful need to come.

"Severus," Voldemort purred and Emerald winced as that hand on his cock tightened. "Has Emerald been keeping you company?"

Emerald curled up on the ground and panted as his hands dug into the earth. He knew that touching himself wouldn't help him find any relief as Voldemort held him back. The Dark Lord stroked him and he moaned and pushed against the wards.

"You can't have him, Tom." Albus stated firmly and tried not to look down at Emerald.

Voldemort's lips curled up and Emerald cried out but neither man knew if it was in pain or pleasure.

"He is mine!" Voldemort hissed and Emerald cried out in pain this time as Severus dropped to his knees and grabbed his shoulder. "He is my property and you have stolen him."

"He is a child," Albus snapped as he stepped closer and Voldemort's chilling laughter rang out.

Emerald moaned and they weren't sure if it was in pain or not as Severus held him tightly. The boy dug his hands into the earth as he curled up before crying out in pain.

"He can't pass over the wards, Tom." Albus snarled as he pulled his wand. "You are just torturing him."

"He can step over any ward," Voldemort hissed. "He's just being stubborn."

Voldemort's lips curled up and Emerald yelled out and tried to get out of Severus's hands. He kicked out and Severus went sprawling as Emerald foot clipped him. Emerald smashed into the wards with his shoulder and Voldemort chuckled.

"He always comes back," Voldemort taunted and gave the man a fond smile. "Part of the game really."

Emerald froze on his hands and knees before the wards and panted. His green eyes locked on Voldemort.

"No," Emerald uttered hoarsely.

"Just keep saying it, love." Voldemort purred. "Now, hurry up before the Aurors get here and ruin the fun."

"No!" Emerald snarled, his green eyes flashing.

Voldemort frowned then a cold smile came across his face and Emerald moaned and arched his back.

"Stop it," Emerald hissed.

"Step over and make me, Emerald." Voldemort sneered.

Emerald bared his teeth and changed forms before launching himself at Voldemort. Severus smashed into him and knocking him to the ground. Emerald went down hard and felt something crack as he hit and he yelped as pain flared across his chest and shoulder, blocking everything else out. He didn't get back up.

"He's mine now!" Severus snarled, standing before him, in front of Voldemort.

Amused brown eyes looked at him as Voldemort's lips curled up.

"I don't mind sharing, Severus." Voldemort stated calmly. "I didn't realise that you have formed an attachment to the boy. Is that why you haven't answered my summons? And here I thought Dumbledore had tightened his collar around your neck. Looks like it was the boy around your cock."

Severus panted slightly and glanced over at Emerald in concern. He hadn't moved since he knocked him down and he wasn't sure if he'd passed out. Albus stood close with his wand out, the first crack of apparation startled them all.

Voldemort gave them a nod before dissapparating. Severus ran over to Emerald and fell to his knees beside him. The cat was panting loudly and his eyes were screwed shut.

"Emerald?" Severus whispered and grabbed the cat's shoulder and shook him.

Emerald yelped sharply and pain filled eyes blinked open and looked up at him. Severus knew there was something wrong as the cat panted harshly.

"Albus," Severus hissed.

The old man rushed over and knelt down beside him.

"Can you change?" Severus whispered.

The change was slow as he shifted forms as Emerald whimpered and cried out. Severus wasn't sure he was going to be able to change completely. Once he was in human form he went limp, his breathing ragged and painful. Albus conjured a stretcher for him.

"Can you move?" Severus questioned.

He could see blood, from his scar, running down his forehead but was unsure of any other injuries. Emerald tried to move then hissed and laid back on the ground.

"I'm going to give you a sleeping potion," Severus said softly, unsure if Emerald could hear him or not.

He started when James appeared next to him and pulled his wand. Emerald's green eyes widened but Severus could tell he couldn't move as he looked up at his father.

"Sh," James cooed as he held his wand casually. "It's okay, Harry. Just relax, I'm not going to hurt you."

Severus ran his hand down his arm before releasing him and letting James turn his wand on Emerald. The boy tried to shuffle back then whimpered and went limp, his green eyes wide in fear and pain. James laid his hand on his shoulder and placed his wand away.

"We'll do this the muggle way then," James stated as those wide eyes looked up at them.

James carefully ran his hands over Emerald as Severus gave him room. He looked around to see Albus talking to Kingsley and the Aurors. He shifted slightly and focused on James as he gently worked, whispering something under his breath to Emerald. Those green eyes were watching him and Severus could see the fear receding as James ran his hands down his body.

Severus shrugged out of his robes as James gently rolled Emerald onto his back and held them out to the other man. James took them and laid them over Emerald's waist as he focused on the man's right shoulder and Severus winced at the look of it.

"Severus, can you give him a sleeping and pain potion?" James requested softly over his shoulder. "It's better that he's out for the next part. You'll have to spell it into his stomach."

Severus pulled the two potions and his wand and looked at Emerald. His green eyes were focused on him. Severus quickly whispered the spell and flicked his wand. They watched as Emerald's eyes slowly slipped closed as the potions took effect. Severus gently tangled his fingers with Emerald's as the potions took him down.

"Dislocated shoulder and I think a broken collar bone," James reported. "Where are we taking him? Muggle hospital or St Mungo's?"

"Muggle hospital," Severus replied. "Spells won't work for him and he'll panic when he sees a wand. We can only hope that the Dark Lord has had his fun and won't come for him while he's there."

James pulled his wand, now that Emerald was out, and tried the first charm and sighed at the results.

"Muggle hospital it is," James agreed. "It's going to be a long night."

xXx

Emerald woke slowly and knew he'd been drugged as he blinked his eyes open. He knew the feeling well and was unsure what was going to greet him as he shifted and pain flared across his chest and shoulder. That was something else that he was used to.

"Just lay still," Severus said softly and he felt a hand in his.

He rolled his head slightly to see Severus beside him and he frowned, unsure what had happened.

"Where?" Emerald whispered, his head swimming.

"Muggle hospital," Severus answered and leaned forward. "You broke your collar bone and dislocated your shoulder."

Slowly memories dribbled into his mind around the cotton balls stuffing it and he nodded slightly.

"Dad?" Emerald questioned.

"Just outside the room on guard," Severus replied, giving him an odd look.

Emerald's eyes noticed the drip in the back of his hand and the bag hanging up on a hook.

"How long?" Emerald uttered

"Couple of hours," Severus said.

"Can we leave?"

"Not yet," Severus answered and ran his thumb over his hand. "Try to get some sleep."

Emerald's eyes slipped closed and Severus gently untangled his fingers, once he was sure that he was asleep. He walked to the door to the room and looked out at James.

"He woke up," Severus reported. "He asked where you were."

"Did he?" James said in surprise.

"He said 'Dad'," Severus remarked and the other man started and looked at him with large eyes.

Severus leaned in the doorway, so that he could see both James and Emerald.

"He said that?" James whispered.

Severus nodded and looked at James, they had been through a lot since the night that Remus had almost killed him after Sirius's bad taste prank. Severus had been there in the months following Harry's disappearance as he tried to get as much information that he could in the ranks of the Death Eaters. Going deeper than he had ever had to no avail. It was as if the child had just disappeared without a trace.

Looking at Emerald and knowing he was born Harry Potter didn't ease that in his mind. The man was too wild and too much like his cat form to be classed as human and yet they had his blood results to say that he was James and Lily's son. He looked at James and could see his own thoughts reflected there.

"It's hard to see that boy in him," James admitted. "He was such a happy child and he loved playing with Sirius in his dog form but to see him now."

James sighed and rubbed a hand over his head, messing up his dark brown, shaggy hair, so much like Emerald's had been when they first rescued him.

"You called him Harry," Severus commented and James started.

"Did I?" James questioned with a frown.

"Yes."

"Should I apologise to him?" James inquired softly and looked into the room. "He's almost an adult, Severus. I'm not too sure he has a need for a father now."

Severus snorted and looked at James in amusement.

"Of course, he has a need for a father," Severus countered.

"And you Severus?" James questioned. "Do you know what being his mate means?"

"No idea," Severus replied honestly. "I'm surprised that Lily hasn't come after me with a sharp knife and calling for my balls though."

James barked a laugh and a few nurses looked over at them.

xXx

Emerald woke groggy but sighed when he recognised Severus's rooms. He gently rolled onto his side and hissed a breath but could already feel the broken bone mending. He slowly sat on the edge of the bed and held his arm close to his body. It wouldn't take long for the bone to mend as he moved to his feet. A glance at the clock told him that Severus would still be in class as he made his way to the bathroom.

He stopped when he picked up James's scent and walked towards the main room to see his father sprawled out on the lounge and fast asleep with his arm over his stomach. He could see himself in James as he looked down at the man as he snored softly and wondered why he was there. He continued on to the bathroom before coming back and pulling out a tin of salmon then cursed when he tried to open it.

"Need a hand?"

Emerald looked up to see James looking at him in amusement. Emerald stepped back from the bench as James moved over and picked up the tin and the opener.

"You heal quickly," James remarked. "The muggles had never seen anything like it. They also did x-rays and they could see other times that you have broken bones."

James placed the tin down and Emerald pulled out a fork without saying a word. James crossed over to the cupboard and fridge before starting to make a sandwich.

"I'm sorry that I called you Harry," James offered after a few minutes of silence.

"I don't mind," Emerald replied.

"Do you remember us?"

"I'm not sure," Emerald said slowly as he leaned into the bench. "I think so. I remember Lily singing."

James gave him a soft smile before he pulled a wand and Emerald paused in eating and tensed. James placed it on the table and rolled it towards him. Emerald didn't pick it up.

"That wand used to work for you," James commented and Emerald frowned.

"Why do I need a wand?" Emerald asked mildly and continued to eat the salmon.

"You are a wizard," James pointed out. "You should learn to use it, you need more than claws to defend yourself."

Emerald huffed a laugh as he looked at his father.

"I don't want a wand," Emerald stated.

"I could teach you," James offered as he looked at him.

"Wrong words, I don't need a wand."

James frowned.

"You can do magic without a wand?" James asked and Emerald smiled. "I mean besides your cat form."

Emerald's smile widened and James could see his son in that smile and his heart clenched at the thought and he smiled back.

"Do you want anything else, except that salmon to eat?" James asked.

Chapter Text

Emerald stood near the wards at the school with Severus close to him. It had been over a week since Voldemort had come to this spot and he could feel Severus's nervousness. He looked over at the man and grinned.

"What are you planning?" Severus drawled and crossed his arms.

Emerald walked up to the wards and placed his hand on them, they felt like a solid wall to him. His blood in the wards, stopping him from stepping over.

"Emerald," Severus warned.

Emerald ran his hand down that barrier and could feel very slight holes, just pin pricks in it really. Nothing that would mean anything…to anyone else.

"Do you know what I am?" Emerald questioned and Severus looked taken aback then his eyes narrowed.

"Do you?" Severus countered.

Emerald gave a wide grin, then he was standing on the other side of the wards. What he had done would have been too quick for Severus to see due to the fact he'd stepped out of time to do it.

Severus lunged forward over the wards and grabbed his wrist. He looked pale as his eyes darted around but the night was silent around them. Emerald just stood there as Severus's eyes roamed over him.

"What did you do?" Severus uttered. "What are you?"

"Shadow cat," Emerald answered.

They looked over when Albus appeared, looking pale and tense before he saw them and relaxed.

"How did you do that?" Albus demanded. "I know that Voldemort said that you could pass through the wards…"

"How long would it take for you to pick that apart?" Emerald asked Albus.

"The ward I placed?"

"Yes."

"Five or ten minutes," Albus replied.

"He just appeared on the other side," Severus reported. "Less than a second."

"I am a shadow cat," Emerald stated. "Something happened when my master cast that green spell at me. It opened my mind."

"It shattered your mind," Severus amended.

Emerald tipped his head in agreement.

"What is a shadow cat?" Albus asked.

"Cousin to the cat demon you found," Emerald replied as if they should have worked that out.

Severus and Albus paused as they looked him over. He stood straighter with loose jeans and shirt on with no shoes. He looked almost human and sounded that way. Severus thinking got there first.

"I am balancing you out," Severus summarised. "You are acting more human."

Emerald nodded.

"Through the bond," Emerald admitted. "I am not a full blood. Probably only hold a small amount of that blood somewhere."

"It was the dark curse that awakened it," Albus suggested and Emerald nodded. "You have thought about this a long time."

"I have had a long time to think on it," Emerald replied.

"Time," Severus said slowly. "You spoke of a time turner and aging slower than humans. 'Walking a line between times'."

"Yes," Emerald agreed. "It took me the same amount of time to get passed that ward as it would have taken you to bring it down."

Severus froze, his hand still wrapped around his wrist. Emerald gave him an amused glance before stepping forward over the ward and Severus released him. The ward only worked one way, it was designed to stop him from leaving, not the other way around.

He looked at Albus then Severus before stepping into the world out of time. Everything fell into shadows as Severus and Albus stopped, that world almost frozen as Emerald slowly unwound his form into the shadows around him as he slipped through those very small pin prick holes and cracks. Taking his time, since it meant nothing to him in this world, until he stood on the other side of the ward and back into a solid form before stepping back to the real world.

Severus started as he appeared next to him and Albus gasped with wide eyes, he'd shocked the man. To them it would have looked like he'd moved half a foot without moving.

"Walk between times," Emerald explained with a smile. "Only forward. Time moves forward."

"Are there more like you?" Albus asked softly.

"Of course," Emerald scoffed.

"But without the bond," Severus added and Emerald could see he understood more than Albus. "In awakening the blood of the shadow cat, the Dark Lord also bound you to a more human life. Bound you via the scar."

"Yes," Emerald said.

"Is he your mate as well?" Severus asked, looking pale.

"No," Emerald snapped and stepped back over the ward. "That was a forced binding, not what we have."

"He was still able to cause you pain," Albus stated then shifted slightly. "And pleasure."

"Yes," Emerald agreed, without any feeling in his voice then tapped his forehead.

"You have had sex with him," Severus stated more than questioned.

Emerald looked at Severus and could see the anger there and almost taste it on the air as he lifted his nose slightly.

"That makes you angry?" Emerald asked and noticed Albus shift and his eyes darted over to him.

"It does if he rapped you," Albus remarked coldly.

Emerald cocked his head slightly in question.

"Had sex with you without your consent," Severus whispered.

Emerald nodded, he understood the anger now. It wasn't the act of sex, it was the way it was done.

"I try not to think of that," Emerald replied. "I don't look back on that."

"You will have to work through it one day," Albus stated.

Emerald gave him a sharp look but he let it go, they wouldn't understand.

"You said that the Dark Lord can use your power when he is close to you," Severus said. "Can he walk between times?"

"No," Emerald replied. "He is not my mate."

Severus paled as his eyes grew wide and Emerald gave him an amused smile. Severus was working this out quickly, understanding what Emerald couldn't put into words.

"Have you had a mate before?" Albus asked.

"No," Emerald answered plainly. "It has to be from both sides. Severus called to me and I called to him."

"When?" Severus asked with a frown.

"Before you came to my room in the hospital," Emerald stated. "Before you took me to the Black house."

"I called to you?"

"Yes."

"How?"

Emerald just looked at him then shrugged, he didn't know how to explain that. Severus was the one that called to him, he should know how he did it.

"You said this bond makes you more stable, more human." Albus wondered. "What will it do to Severus?"

Emerald frowned and looked at Severus.

"I don't know," Emerald said with a shrug. "Something, nothing."

"It's done nothing so far," Severus admitted. "I don't feel any different."

Emerald looked over at the man and called to him softly in his mind, just a slight brush against him and Severus started.

"What was that?" Severus demanded, his eyes wide

"I called you," Emerald explained. "Over time you will learn how to do that back."

"Like Voldemort did?" Albus asked as he tensed. "You would be able to do to Severus what Voldemort did to you."

Emerald quickly stepped back from that anger and crouched slightly as his eyes darted between the men. He took another step back from that anger in Albus. He didn't understand the change the old man could take. He was just trying to explain something that he understood instinctively and say them in words that they would understand.

"Albus," Severus warned.

"Don't you understand, Severus!" Albus said quickly. "You saw the pain that Voldemort inflicted on him. Emerald would be able to do the same to you."

Emerald's eyes grew wide, he thought that he would do that.

"No!" Emerald cried.

"But you could?" Albus questioned, taking a step forward. "If you got angry with him, you could inflict pain on him."

Emerald stumbled back until his back hit the ward.

"Could you?" Albus insisted.

"Yes," Emerald uttered and Severus sucked in a breath.

"Is there a way to break through the bond?" Albus demanded.

"I don't know," Emerald whispered. "It just happened. I didn't do anything."

Albus looked him over and Emerald crouched down with his back to the wards. Those blue eyes boring into him and he got the feeling that he'd done something wrong. So far, he hadn't been punished for anything but as those blue eyes stared at him, he got the feeling that it was coming. He ducked his head slightly.

"Emerald," Severus whispered and his eyes darted to him before focusing back on Albus. "This is new for us and hard to understand."

Emerald nodded his head, but he didn't know if he should stay here or run. That anger was still there, on the air, and he wasn't sure where it was coming from or why. He did get the feeling that it was directed at him.

"We need to find a way to break through the bond," Albus mused.

"I agree," Severus whispered and Emerald felt his stomach drop.

He changed and bolted, he could hear shouting behind him but he didn't slow. His movements were off, since he was still recovering, but the bones had mended enough as he ran. His muscles, however, slowed him down but he still easily slipped into the forest. He ran until he couldn't anymore. They wanted to cut through the bond and just the thought terrified him, blanking out every other thought in his head.

Albus sighed and lowered his wand and looked over to Severus, the man looked pale.

"He took that the wrong way," Albus stated.

Severus glared at him, they had both seen the fear in Emerald's eyes and the way that he'd run. It would have caused him pain and yet he had run away from them.

"Which way was he supposed to take it?" Severus snarled as he ran a hand over his head.

"Severus," Albus said softly. "He holds power over you."

"From what he has said, Albus. He has held that power since the moment that we met." Severus snapped. "And that I would be able to call to him as well."

"Both ways," Albus gasped. "A bond both ways. That's why he couldn't defend himself against Voldemort, that link is only one way."

"A forced bond."

"We would have to research this," Albus pointed out. "We only have his word so far."

They fell into silence as Severus looked over towards the forest.

"Albus," Severus uttered, drawing out the man's name. "Do you think that he will come back? Knowing we want to cut through the bond?"

Albus cursed.

"I'll call James and Sirius."

xXx

Emerald shivered slightly as they sky started to lighten. It was the first night that he hadn't spent curled up with Severus and it was taking its toll. He had lasted a whole week with Minerva but that was while the bond was still weak, they'd had sex since then which had strengthened it.

He crawled out of the log that he'd wedged himself into, feeling stiff and he took his weight off his front right leg. He looked around and sniffed the air, he didn't normally sleep on the ground in cat form, preferring to sleep in a tree but he hadn't felt up to climbing. He slowly moved off with a limp, he knew he wouldn't be getting too far today.

xXx

Severus sipped on his coffee, he would need it to deal with his classes today. He had not slept well and Sirius had arrived early that morning to help find Emerald in the Forbidden Forest. They knew he hadn't stepped over the wards but the fact that he could, scared the shit out of him. He glanced over to Albus and could see that he hadn't slept well either. He got some satisfaction from that.

Severus couldn't understand the man's anger. Emerald had shown no signs of wanting to hurt him or control him and yet Albus seemed to have an anger and yet compassion towards the young man that was confusing. If it was confusing for Severus he could only imagine what Emerald thought. He wasn't sure if it was the bond or the fact that Emerald wasn't completely human or something else that had Albus on edge. Or just the fact that this was something that Albus didn't know or understand.

Albus had been happy to teach Emerald to read and from all reports, he was a fast learner and yet he looked for reasons to also resent the boy. It was nearing the end of breakfast when James appeared at the doors to the Great Hall and the noise dimmed slightly. The man was starting to become a regular guest as he walked up to the Head table. James greeted them with a smile but Severus could see it didn't reach his eyes.

"Would you like something to eat?" Albus offered.

"No," James replied. "I'm going to head out to look for him. Just wanted to check in first. I'll see you after at lunch, Severus?"

Severus nodded.

"Thank you," Severus said softly and James nodded.

The two Animagi would have better luck finding Emerald than he would. He wasn't even sure if the man wanted to see him after last night.

"Don't worry," James said with a soft smile. "We'll find him."

"I'll help after lunch," Minerva offered. "I don't have classes in the afternoon."

James nodded with a soft 'thanks' and strolled out of the Hall. Severus sighed, it was going to be a long day.

xXx

Sirius sniffed along the ground as he picked up Emerald's scent and followed after it for a while until it cross back on itself and he huffed. He'd been picking up the cat's scent all day but kept losing it and he was beginning to think that Emerald didn't want to be found. He lifted his head in the air and howled before sitting down and waiting for James to appear. The sky was staring to darken as the sun set and twilight set in.

"I don’t think he wants to be found," Sirius suggested when James appeared.

"I agree," James confirmed as he stood near his best friend. "And he has more experience in hiding then we do."

They looked around the forest as the night animals started to wake up and the birds were chirping loudly as they settled in for the night. James ran a hand through his hair and Sirius grabbed his shoulder.

"He knows where the edge of the wards are," Sirius offered in comfort. "And Albus will know if he steps over them. I'm sure he will come back when he feels more comfortable."

"And Severus?" James asked softly.

Sirius sighed, he still didn't know what to think of that situation. The thought that his godson was alive, still hadn't worked its way into his mind. They looked over when a tabby cat walked into the clearing and changed into the form of Minerva.

"I keep losing his scent," Minerva reported with a frown and the two men nodded in agreement.

"We'll leave him be and try again tomorrow," James suggested after a few minutes of silence. "He doesn't want to be found tonight."

The three looked around the forest, it wasn't a place for the child to spend the night and yet, it was a perfect place for the large cat.

xXx

Emerald crawled slowly forward on his belly, his eyes locked on the rat as it ate something on the ground. These wild rats were harder than the ones in the castle to hunt as his eyes locked on the small animal. He stalked forward, his ears twitching as he kept low to the ground and the rat paused. He froze as well and held still, his shoulder and chest burning but he pushed that to the side.

He crept a few steps forward before rushing forward. With one squeak, he had the rat as he chomped down hard. His ears flicked around but he couldn't hear anything out of the normal as he crouched there before starting on his meal. This would be his third night in the forest and he felt a lot calmer now but the pull was stronger. He knew that it would stay that way until he went back to the castle but he wasn't ready to face that yet. Face those human feelings.

He was sure that Severus needed time as well and he hadn't felt a pull from the other man. He did miss him and he was feeling lonely, but he was also a cat and used to living alone. That didn't mean he didn't crave that physical touch, he did. The thought of curling up with Severus pulled at him more than the bond did.

Emerald finished his meal before he paced to a low tree and looked up. He'd pushed the shoulder and chest muscles and they were aching and sore but he couldn't stay on the ground. There were too many animals that could harm him there. A branch breaking had him tensing as his ears flicked in that direction as he focused his eyes that way. He dropped to his belly and crawled into cover as he tried to pick up the scent of the thing that had made the noise.

He could hear talking and he tensed even more, at this time of night there shouldn't be anyone out. Then he recognised the scent of the half giant and relaxed. He relaxed as Hagrid appeared being tailed by three students. Probably a detention as they picked up sticks as they walked and Emerald looked them over. Hermione, Ron and Ginny trailed behind and Emerald watched them.

They were talking softly but the words meant nothing to him as he followed them from a distance, limping slightly. Hermione paused and looked over her shoulder and Emerald dropped to the ground. His ears up and tail swishing slightly along the ground. The girl pulled her wand and he tensed but she just held it up and a light appeared.

Hagrid and the two Weasleys had walked further off as Hermione looked around then her eyes focused on him. Emerald moved to his feet and limped forward and Hermione frowned.

"What are you doing out here?" Hermione asked quietly and knelt down.

Emerald sniffed the air, her scent interested him as he slinked closer but out of her reach. She placed the basket of sticks to the side and looked him over as he sat down and took his weight off his leg.

"Are you hurt?" Hermione asked with a frown.

Emerald just looked at her, sniffing the air.

"Hermione?"

Hermione looked over her shoulder at the call and Emerald could hear the others coming back. His ears flicked back as he lowered his head.

"Oh!" Hagrid cried as he appeared with the Weasleys behind him. "Professor Snape 'as been looking for 'im."

"He looks hurt," Hermione said in concern.

Hagrid stepped forward and Emerald bared his teeth at the half giant and hissed. Hagrid stopped moving as Emerald pulled himself to his feet and lowered his head. Hagrid paused as the Weasleys shared a look. Emerald knew that they were both aware of the fact he wasn't a cat, but were held under a spell that stopped them from saying anything.

Emerald crept back slowly.

"Doesn't look like he wants our help," Ron grumbled.

Emerald twitched his tail and went to run off, then paused and turned back. Hermione was looking at him with a frown and he flicked his tail. Emerald bounded off, his gait off slightly as he blended with the shadows. The first tree he found, and could climb, he was up it and he settled in for the night.

xXx

Severus wandered out of the castle's front doors and looked around as the sun set. It was the fourth day since Emerald had run off and he missed having the man close to him. He looked over to the forest before walking in that direction as he had been doing for the last four days.

"Professor Snape."

Severus paused and looked over to see Hermione Granger and his jaw tightened. She was not the person that he wanted to see at the moment.

"Yes, Ms Granger?" Severus drawled as he crossed his arms over his chest.

"Is your cat okay?" Hermione asked and Severus tensed. "I saw him last night when we were helping Hagrid and he was limping."

Severus looked down his nose at the young woman and she shifted.

"You saw Emerald last night?" Severus questioned silkily.

"Yes, sir." Hermione replied. "He was watching us."

"Show me where," Severus ordered and Hermione started.

"Um, yes, sir." Hermione stuttered and lead the way with Severus following behind.

He could see how nervous Granger was as she fiddled with her robes and would glance over her shoulder now and again.

"Did he run off?" Hermione asked, breaking the awkward silence. "Crookshanks does that every now and again. He'll be gone for a week at a time, sometimes, before just appearing again."

Severus let her natter as they walked and he kept an eye out. She weaved through the forest easily and he was sure that she'd helped Hagrid more than once as she came to a spot and stopped.

"Just there, sir." Hermione said softly and he knelt down.

He could see Emerald's large paws prints in the damp dirt. He looked around but couldn't see the cat and Hermione frowned at him.

"You can go now," Severus ordered as he stood up.

"What kind of cat is he?" Hermione asked with slight hesitation.

Severus looked over at the girl and she shifted slightly.

"He's a lot bigger than Crookshanks," Hermione continued. "And he's big for a normal cat."

"He's a stray," Severus answered. "He turned up one day and didn't leave."

"Oh."

"What spell did you cast at him?" Severus drawled and Hermione started before blushing.

"Animagus reveal spell," Hermione muttered and Severus snorted.

"You thought that he is an Animagus?" Severus scoffed in amusement.

"It's his eyes," Hermione stated in her defence as she stood up straighter.

A slight rustle had them looking over and Severus felt a bolt of relief run through him as he looked into Emerald's green eyes. He felt the tension ease from his shoulders as he knelt down. Emerald belly crawled towards him. Severus frowned in concern at the way he walked on his right leg and the way that he moved. His coat was a little bit dirty and mattered and he frowned. Emerald always kept his coat clean and looked after.

"What did you get into?" Severus muttered as Emerald stopped in front of him.

He gently ran a hand over his back and Emerald rolled over. He held his right leg close as Severus ran his hand over his belly. He gently rubbed him under the chin and a purr sounded and he smiled.

"Ready to come home?" Severus asked softly and Emerald looked at him and hissed.

He pulled back in surprise and looked down at the cat as he laid sprawled out before him. Emerald rolled onto his belly before sitting up and taking his weight off his right leg and Severus's concern grew. He reached out and touched his shoulder and Emerald hissed with his ears back.

"That's the 'I'm warning you hiss'," Hermione explained, from behind him and Severus looked over at her. "It's normally followed up by a paw swipe."

"Thank you for that enlightening insight, Ms Granger." Severus drawled and Emerald growled. "Don't you start."

Hermione snorted and covered her mouth to hide her smile.

"He suits you," Hermione stated.

Severus snorted, "Dark and mysterious or disgruntled and snarky?"

Hermione giggled and Severus noticed how calm he felt as he stroked Emerald's fur and listened to his soft purr. Severus shifted to sit on the ground and Emerald crawled into his lap and sprawled out. Like a black rug, completely limp as he purred.

"I'm not sure that you'll be able to move him, sir." Hermione remarked and Severus looked up at her.

He never thought he would find himself in his position in front of a student but then, he didn't think he would have a mate that was part cat and part wild child.

"He's been eating too many rabbits," Severus muttered and Emerald huffed.

"Crookshanks has been working his way through the mice in the castle," Hermione said in amusement and took a seat on the ground and Emerald moved slightly so that he was sprawled between them.

"If you tell anyone about this…" Severus threatened and Hermione gave him a smile.

"Wouldn't dream of it, sir." Hermione uttered as she ran her hand through Emerald's fur. "He's all muscle."

Severus didn't say anything to that, just enjoyed the twilight as it grew dark around them with Emerald's warm body laying along his leg. They had things that they had to talk about but for now, he was just happy to have him back.

"Alright," Severus announced after a while. "Time to get back to the castle."

Emerald rolled to his feet and limped forward. Severus pulled himself to his feet and held his hand out to Granger. The girl looked at him in surprise before taking his hand with a thanks. They looked at Emerald as he limped slightly as he lead the way towards the castle and the two fell in behind him.

"Should we carry him?" Hermione asked in concern.

"You can try, Ms Granger." Severus told her with a smirk. "However, I believe that he weighs more than some first years."

Emerald glanced over his shoulder at the two of them and meowed softly before picking up the speed. Severus watched the way he walked carefully and knew that he was in pain but he would be too heavy to carry and he doubted that magic would work.

"We could use a floating charm," Hermione suggested and went to grab her wand.

Severus's hand darted out and grabbed her wrist and she squeaked. Emerald paused and looked over his shoulder at them.

"He will bolt if you pull your wand," Severus warned and released her. "He was not treated well before I owned him."

Emerald huffed and limped off and the other two watched him as they walked across the lawn and up towards the castle. Emerald's tail started to flick in agitation as they left the cover of the forest.

"Was he a wild cat?" Hermione questioned in interest.

Severus snorted and muttered, "He's still is a wild cat."

"Meow," Emerald added and picked up speed.

"And you wondered why I thought he was an Animagus," Hermione muttered under her breath and Severus looked at her in amusement.

They reached the bottom of the stairs and Emerald waited as he looked at the stairs and Severus sighed.

"You are too heavy," Severus told him.

"Yowl," Emerald hissed before limping up the stairs, slowly.

Severus knew it would have been easier if Emerald had changed forms but with Hermione next to him and the students still out. It would have been hard to explain him. Emerald paused at the top of the stairs and panted with wide eyes and his right leg off the ground.

"Would Poppy be able to look at him?" Hermione asked in concern.

"I'll get him looked at," Severus promised. "Thank you, Ms Granger. You can go now."

Hermione started and looked at him with wide eyes.

"You're welcome, sir." Hermione stuttered and knelt down in front of Emerald and gave him a quick ear rub. "Good night."

"Good night, Ms Granger." Severus muttered.

Hermione gave him another smile before walking off and Severus looked down at Emerald.

"Can you keep going?" Severus questioned softly. "Or do you need a moment?"

Emerald turned and stalked off but he was favouring his leg even more. Severus quickly opened his door when they reached it and Emerald moved through and headed to the bedroom. Severus was surprised that he didn't change. The cat looked up at the bed and Severus stepped forward to help him up, when the cat jumped.

Emerald yelped as he landed and Severus flinched at the sound. Emerald collapsed on his side and panted. Severus knew why he hadn't changed; the pain would have been too much.

"Do you want a pain potion?" Severus asked softly.

Emerald just closed his eyes in answer and Severus looked at him in even more concern. He sat on the edge of the bed and gently ran a hand down his side.

"I've missed you," Severus admitted. "You concerned us all when you ran off like that. James and Sirius have been here looking for you as well as Minerva."

Emerald's green eyes blinked open and he nodded slightly as he panted.

"Please, don't do that again," Severus pleaded.

Emerald screwed his eyes shut and slowly changed his form. Whimpering and whining the whole time and every sound cut through Severus until Emerald lay sprawled out on his side. Emerald panted loudly and Severus gently unbuttoned his shirt and slipped it off his shoulder and winced at the swelling he could see.

"I'll get you an anti-inflammatory potion," Severus said and moved to his feet.

"Severus," Emerald whispered, his voice rough.

Severus turned back at his name and looked into those green eyes but Emerald didn't say anything else.

"Just relax," Severus said smoothly. "I'll be back soon."

Emerald watched the other man leave the room and eased onto his back. His shoulder and chest on fire, he'd pushed too far after breaking the bone and dislocating his shoulder. He slipped his other arm out of the shirt before reaching for his pants and hissed and just laid back. The stairs had done him in.

He started slightly then hissed as Severus placed his hand on his shoulder and held out the potion. Emerald took it and swallowed it down slowly, he handed the vial back and Severus held out another and he took it. He swallowed the pain potion down and it worked into his system quickly as he looked up at Severus.

The man looked down at him with dark eyes and he blinked slightly as he felt something caress his mind and he shield back with a hiss. He couldn't take his master's attention now. Severus sat down on the side of the bed and gently unbuckled his pants. That touch on his mind stayed soft and he frowned.

Severus helped him out of the pants as the potion made him sluggish. He carefully rolled onto his left side and Severus slipped his shirt off. He snagged up the blanket at the end of the bed and draped it over him.

"I'm going to the Great Hall for dinner," Severus told him. "I'll be back soon."

Emerald curled up slightly as Severus rubbed his shoulder and that touch on his mind rubbed him the same way. A comfort to him as his eyes slipped closed and sleep overtook his mind.

Chapter Text

Severus woke with a start with Emerald in his arms and he frowned, unsure what had woken him. He laid there and took in the feeling of the man in his arms as he relaxed. Feeling calmer than he had over the last few days as he ran his hand down Emerald's chest and stomach.

Emerald whined slightly and he frowned and carefully pulled back. He flicked the bedside light on and looked down at Emerald. The man was asleep and had a frown on his brow and his hands were twitching slightly. Emerald growled in the back of his throat and Severus laid his hand on his side and gently rubbed his skin.

"Sh," Severus cooed as he stroked his side and down to his hip.

Emerald kicked out slightly with his leg with a whine. Severus was sure that he was having a nightmare as he whispered to him and rubbed his skin. Emerald hadn't had a nightmare, the whole time that they had slept together, which had been surprising. Severus wondered what had brought on the nightmare tonight as Emerald cried out softly.

"Emerald," Severus whispered and ran a hand over his head.

Emerald woke with a start and pulled away from him without thinking then hissed in pain. Wide green eyes focused on him and Severus could tell that he wasn't seeing him. He didn't reach for him, not wanting him to panic and hurt himself even more.

"It's okay," Severus whispered. "You're safe. Just relax, you hurt your shoulder."

Slowly Emerald relaxed and he looked around before focusing back on him. Without a word he curled into Severus and the other man wrapped his arms around him. He started when he felt him shaking and the first tears. He whispered nonsense in his ear as he rubbed his back.

Something had upset him as Emerald silently cried and his heart went out to him. He'd expected this from the moment that they'd taken him from St Mungo's but besides the fear. Emerald had acted like the torture, that he'd suffered, hadn't touched him. He'd wondered, at the time, if that was the cat part of him that had over ruled that, supressing the human reaction.

Emerald shaking slowly eased and Severus kept rubbing his back as his breathing even out into sleep. They could only guess what he'd been through since he was three. Severus knew first-hand what Death Eaters were capable of and as his hand touched on the scars on the man's skin. His own memories and nightmare pushed at him.

"You're safe now," Severus whispered. "I'm not letting you go."

xXx

Emerald laid curled up in a blanket, in front of the fire in contentment, feeling warm, full and sleepy. He'd spent most of the day sleeping, James and Sirius had come to see him but he'd stayed silent throughout. There was nothing he wanted to say and the two men quickly worked out that he was tired and still in pain and had left quickly.

Severus had been giving him concerned looks all morning before his first class and had been reluctant to leave. He'd taken the potions that he'd been given and Severus had tried to get him to talk but he just wasn't up to it. Talking just got him into trouble. The door to the room opened and Emerald looked over to see Albus. He tensed slightly but didn't move from his place in front of the fire. He just didn't have it in him at the moment.

"I've brought you another book," Albus explained as he stepped into the room and looked him over. "You got through the other one quickly, this one is harder."

Emerald nodded slightly and pulled the blanket tighter around himself. Albus walked over to the armchair and sat down. He placed the book on the coffee table before him. Emerald watched him the whole time as Albus sighed and focused on him.

"I apologise," Albus said gently. "I spoke without thinking it through. I have known Severus since he started here in his first year. When he finished his masters in potions, I offered him a job and we became close friends. We have worked together both here and against Voldemort. I was concerned about him and didn't think through your feelings."

Emerald just looked at him, he didn't know what to say.

"You were trying to explain," Albus added with a sigh. "Trying to tell us what happened to you and I was more concerned with what this meant for Severus and the bond that you have and how to break it."

Emerald tensed but he'd given up. If that's what Severus wanted, the bond could be broken or he was sure that's what could happen, since they both willingly created the bond to begin with.

"I have been researching," Albus continued, when Emerald said nothing. "There are bonds and mates with people with creature blood or magical creatures in general and they all work differently. I have also been looking into shadow cats and your talents but there is even less information there."

Emerald shifted and bit back on the hiss of pain, he knew when not to show a weakness.

"As far as I can find," Albus said calmly. "This bond was willingly agreed to and since you have had sex with Severus, there is a stronger bond as mates."

Emerald nodded slightly.

"From a legal stand point," Albus stated. "It's a bit of a grey zone. Mated pairs are allowed to share rooms at Hogwarts but since you are underage someone can dispute it. It can then go before the Ministry and their views on people with creature blood are not favourable, even if you are a Potter."

"Seventeen is an adult?" Emerald whispered.

"Correct," Albus agreed. "At seventeen you are an adult in the wizarding world and are able to do magic outside of Hogwarts. However, at seventeen it would be frowned upon to have a relationship with a teacher at this school."

"I am not a student," Emerald pointed out.

"That is not the issue. The issue is that Severus is having sex with a boy that is the same age as the students that he teaches." Albus explained. "That does not look good for this school or for Severus and the board could call for his resignation."

"I am not a child," Emerald hissed.

"Your birth certificate says you are."

"It is wrong."

"You are Harry Potter."

"Yes," Emerald consented. "But I am not his age."

Albus sat back in his seat and looked at him.

"Can you prove that?" Albus questioned then he frowned. "The age spell didn't work."

"I can walk between time," Emerald tried to explain. "Live hours in seconds."

Albus started then a glint came into his eyes and Emerald shifted. He braced himself for what came next. He was too tired to run, he would just take whatever the old man dished out.

"I have something in mind," Albus remarked. "I'll be back after dinner."

Albus stood up and Emerald shrunk back and ignored the pain that flared across his chest. Albus saw those movements and he felt his heart clench. He had a feeling he had undone the trust that Emerald had had in him. With a few careless words, he'd shattered what he'd built with the boy and as those fearful green eyes locked onto him.

He wondered how he could have thought that he would inflict pain on Severus through the bond. He knew it had to do with seeing Voldemort inflict pain on Emerald through the bond but that was no excuse for his actions.

"I'm sorry," Albus offered. "I hope we can continue our reading classes?"

Emerald didn't say anything or indicate either way how he felt on that. Albus felt a chill and he sighed. It felt like they were back where they had started.

"I'll see you tonight," Albus whispered. "Have a good afternoon, Emerald."

Albus felt those eyes on him the whole way out of Severus's rooms.

xXx

Severus looked at the bundle of blankets before the fire and sighed. It amazed him the way that Emerald could do nothing all day and not be bored out of his mind. He looked down and could only just see Emerald's short hair in the mess of blankets, but at least he had gotten some sleep. He crouched down and gently laid his hand on Emerald's head.

The man started badly and cringed back with a hiss as wide green eyes locked on him. Severus felt a chill at that reaction as Emerald pulled back before recognition came to him and he stopped trying to get out of the blanket. Severus held out the two potions in his hand and a slim hand grabbed them. Severus didn't let them go and a guarded look came into Emerald's eyes. That hadn't been there before.

"You need to eat something," Severus suggested and released the potions and they disappeared.

Emerald nodded and Severus stood as the other man untangled himself from the blanket and got to his feet. He was just wearing jeans and Severus looked him over. He had a couple of scraps and cuts on his skin, but otherwise didn't look too bad for spending so long alone in the Forbidden Forest.

Emerald didn't say a word as they walked into the kitchen and he slipped into the seat at the table. He watched him as Severus grabbed up the tin of tuna.

"Did you want something else?" Severus asked as he held up the tin. "I could make you a sandwich?"

Emerald just watched him and he was reminded of when they first picked him up and he felt a chill.

"Albus said he came to see you," Severus remarked. "That he has a device that will be able to judge your age better."

Emerald just hunched slightly as he looked at the table. Severus sighed and placed the plate down, just far enough away from Emerald that he had to reach for it but he didn't. He just sat there, his green eyes guarded and wary. Severus stepped closer to him.

"Can I see how your shoulder is?" Severus requested. "Just tell me if something hurts."

Emerald nodded slightly and Severus gently grabbed his wrist as he tested his arm and shoulder. Emerald would hiss if he touched the wrong spot or moved it the wrong way. Severus frowned in concern as he touched on one spot and Emerald whined softly. He would guess that he'd damaged it further in his cat form. In his human form, he wouldn't have had to put weight on it but as a cat he would have.

"Have the potions and something to eat," Severus suggested. "I'm going to be in the lab."

Severus then tilted Emerald's face up with his fingers under his chin and those green eyes locked with him. He gave him a small smile before giving him a kiss. Emerald whined softly at the contact and he felt a hand come up to his cheek. Emerald's mouth opened under his and he deepened the kiss.

Severus wrapped one arm around his back as Emerald pulled him closer. When the need to breath became more important. Severus pulled back then suddenly he was seated in the other chair with Emerald in his lap and he laughed. Emerald rubbed his head against his chest as he purred. The boy's hands were pawing at his robes as he whined softly and kissed his neck. Severus gently captured his wrists and held them still. Emerald's eyes darted up at him at that move and he smiled at him.

"What do you want?" Severus whispered and he saw the shiver go down the other man's back.

Emerald wiggled until he was straddling Severus's thighs and tucked his head under his chin as Severus wrapped his arms around him and held him close. He was shaking but Severus wasn't sure about the reason as he just held him close and rubbed his back. Emerald didn't say a word or anything else as Severus just held him.

xXx

Albus knocked on Severus's door and waited for the man to call out before entering. He closed the door firmly behind him and looked over to Severus in the armchair with Emerald curled up in the blanket on the floor. He noticed that the book that he'd brought down earlier was still where he'd left it as he stepped towards Severus. Those green eyes watched his every move. He reached into his robes and noticed Emerald tensed. Albus pulled out a gold object and held it out to Severus.

"This should give us a better indicator of his age," Albus explained as Severus took the device in his hand. "I borrowed this from the Ministry. They use this to determine if someone has used a time turner and how long they have used it for. Whatever it tells us for Emerald will be written down in their records."

"So, if it indicates that he is older than eighteen?" Severus said slowly.

"That would indicate that he is past the age of being a student," Albus confirmed. "And the board can't call for your resignation. He would be of age and not able to attend Hogwarts."

Emerald had untangled himself from the blanket and crept closer with his nose up and Albus looked him over. He hadn't faired too badly in the forest but he did look a little on the skinny side and had a few scrapes and bruises on his skin.

Severus held the device out to him and Emerald hesitated slightly before taking it in his hand. Albus frowned at that and the wary look that he gave both of them as he sniffed the device. It seemed that Albus wasn't the only one that he was wary of and that concerned him.

"Just flick the switch on the side and hold it in your hands," Albus instructed.

Emerald did just that and a soft golden light pulsed from the small device in his hands before a small piece of paper fell out. Emerald picked it up in puzzlement as he placed the device to the side and held the paper out to Severus. Emerald didn't even try to read it and Albus felt his heart clench again. Severus looked it over then Emerald before holding it out to Albus.

"Looks like I won't be going to hell after all," Severus muttered. "At least not for having sex with a child."

Albus looked down at the paper and the readings. It stated Emerald's date of birth then the years he'd spent out of time or relived time. They could easily double his age. That didn't mean that his maturity was at the level of his age and Albus was sure that it wasn't. It just gave them an indicator of how long he'd lived in a more lineal sense.

"Eighteen years out of time," Albus said to Emerald. "You have spent over eighteen years on top of your sixteen years of true age."

Emerald sat back on his heels as those green eyes looked at him. Albus got the feeling that he wasn't telling the man anything that he didn't already know. Albus had fallen into the trap of just because Emerald didn't speak often. That didn't mean he didn't have a sharp mind. Emerald already knew his age and had been trying to tell them that. They just hadn't understood what he'd been trying to say.

Albus then looked at the date of birth on the piece of paper, this proved without a doubt that Emerald was Harry Potter. Not that he'd really doubted it, after the blood tests, it was just something else that confirmed it. Emerald slinked back to the fire and the blanket and curled back up. He'd said nothing the whole time and he looked over to Severus to see the concern there.

Emerald just didn't seem to care or have any fight in him anymore as he shifted around in the blanket and just watched them. Albus slowly pulled his wand and flicked it as he pulled up a silencing charm around Severus and himself.

"How is he?" Albus asked Severus.

"He had a nightmare last night," Severus whispered and ran a hand over his head.

"Not surprising."

"His only nightmare, Albus." Severus stated with dark eyes. "He hasn't had a nightmare before last night. He then curled into me and cried."

Albus felt a chill at those words and glanced over at Emerald but it looked like he'd fallen back asleep in the mess of blankets.

"Maybe it all just caught up with him," Albus suggested. "It's not like he would talk to a therapist."

Severus snorted.

"I could imagine how that would go," Severus drawled. "They would cart him off and lock him up next to the Longbottoms."

Albus winced at the reminder.

"What do you want to do about this bond, Severus?" Albus questioned in interest.

"Nothing," Severus replied, instantly. "That piece of paper proves that he's not a child."

"This piece of paper proves that he's spent over eighteen years out of his own timeline," Albus amended. "It doesn't prove that his maturity is that of an adult or his thinking. Not to mention the fact that he still has the appearance of a teenager."

"Albus," Severus said slowly, with intense black eyes. "Can you look at him and say he is a child? After reading his medical file and the file on the raid. Can you say, without a doubt, that he is still a child?"

Albus sighed and rubbed his beard.

"No," Albus admitted. "What I can say is that he is a very unstable young man. That his ideas of what is right and wrong are compromised. He has been physically, mentally and sexually abused since the age of three."

"And that has caused damage," Severus agreed. "Everyone that has met him is aware of that."

Albus sighed and looked over at the pile of blankets and the dark hair which was the only part of Emerald that was visible.

"Yes," Albus intoned. "You are correct."

xXx

Emerald woke slowly with Severus wrapped around him and he purred at the contact of his skin against Severus. He gently wiggled around in his arms, trying not to wake him as he carefully pushed Severus. The other man rolled limply onto his back in his sleep. Emerald kissed his chest as he looked up at Severus's sleeping face.

He slowly kissed along his ribs before licking his nipple and Severus shifted slightly but didn't wake. Emerald ran his hand down his side as he licked and sucked one nipple before moving to the other until they were both hard points. His hand slid down to Severus's crotch as he gently rolled his balls as his cock started to harden.

He knew just how to keep Severus on the edge of sleep as he worked on his body and his cock hardened. He reached over and snagged up the lube before pushing a finger into himself as his other wrapped around Severus's hard cock. He worked to widen himself as he ducked forward and took the head of Severus's cock into his mouth and teased it with his tongue and Severus groaned.

He pushed the blanket down and straddled his waist as he moved up and then bit down a little harder on his side. Severus moaned as he woke and his hands came up and grabbed his sides. Emerald pushed Severus's hands down into place on his hips as dark eyes peered up at him, aroused and sleepy. Emerald gently guided Severus's shaft into place before slowly going down on him and Severus's hands tightened on him.

Emerald leaned forward over Severus and grabbed the metal of the head board. He eased back and shifted his legs on either side of the taller man. He ignored the pain in his shoulder as he slowly rocked his hips and Severus looked up at him with intense eyes. Emerald gave him a smile and Severus groaned and his hands tightened on his hips.

Emerald pulled himself up on the head of Severus's cock and rocked his hips there. Severus panted loudly as his hands slipped down to his thighs. Emerald kept him just on the edge of coming as he slowly rode him and Severus started to wiggle under him and he knew that he was close to begging.

"Emerald," Severus hissed.

Emerald ducked his head down.

"What do you want?" Emerald whispered in his ear and Severus shivered under him.

Severus's hands tightened around his hips and pulled him down hard and Emerald picked up the speed. Severus panted and groaned as he pushed up and his hands on his hips dictating the speed as Emerald complied, until both men were panting hard. Emerald could feel the pleasure building as he shifted and Severus hit just the right spot as pleasure bolted through him. Emerald tipped over the edge and came with a soft cry.

Severus rolled them as he grabbed his wrists above his head as Emerald panted and came down from his high. Severus slammed into him hard as Emerald moaned and he could feel himself hardening again. Emerald moved his legs up on either side on Severus as the other man lost all control, taking him hard and fast until with a loud grunt he came. Emerald moaned at the feeling as Severus braced himself. His grip around his wrists tight as his hips twitched forward a few times and Emerald groaned at the feeling as his head fell back on the bed.

Both men tried to get their breath back as Emerald shifted his legs and winced at the pain. Severus looked up sharply and noticed how he held him and quickly let go of his hands, then started at the red marks around Emerald's wrists. Severus gently pulled back and Emerald winced again as he slipped lose and Severus snagged up his wand. Emerald tensed but Severus just cast the cleaning spell.

"Are you alright?" Severus asked in concern.

Emerald nodded and bit back on the hiss of pain as he moved his shoulder.

"I'll get you a heat pack," Severus said quickly and before Emerald could say anything the man was gone.

Severus couldn't stop the shaking his hands as he grabbed out a wheat pack. He wasn't sure what had overcome him, but he had hurt the other man. It had felt like two desires had pushed on him and only part of that had been his own. He'd felt nothing like it before and it scared him. He placed the wheat pack down and looked at his shaking hands. He started when hands wrapped around his own and he slowly looked up into Emerald's green eyes.

"Are you okay?" Emerald asked softly.

Severus gave a shaky laugh as his eyes were caught on the red marks on Emerald's wrists from his own hands. He felt sick in the pit of his stomach from the sight. Emerald then pulled on his hands and he stumbled forward. Emerald wrapped his arms around his waist as he stood on his toes and kissed his neck. Severus could feel himself trembling as he placed his hands on Emerald's sides.

"What's wrong?" Emerald whispered in his ear.

"I hurt you," Severus said softly as he placed his chin on the man's shoulder and Emerald huffed.

"You call that hurting me?" Emerald asked, amusement in his voice.

Severus pulled back and looked down into Emerald's face and he gave him a smile. He relaxed at that expression.

"You have a lot to learn then," Emerald purred with a glint in his eyes and Severus shifted.

"I don't want to hurt you," Severus whispered.

Emerald laughed and Severus wasn't sure which way to take that as one of Emerald's hands came up. He cupped his face as his fingers ran into his hair.

"Severus," Emerald purred and Severus shivered at his tone.

Emerald pulled his face down and kissed his cheek before resting his forehead against his. His eyes boring into him and Severus was unsure who was comforting whom. Emerald's lips curled up in a smile and Severus felt a bolt go through him at that expression.

"Back to bed, love." Emerald purred and Severus's eyes darkened.

Severus let everything else go as he pulled the smaller man to him and kissed him deeply. Feeling whole for the first time in his life.

Chapter Text

Severus cursed and grabbed the doorframe before he could trip on Emerald as the cat barged past him and into the hallway. The cat huffed and looked over at him from the other side of the hallway as Severus glared. Giggles made him turn the glare on a group of Slytherin second years. They quickly looked away and hurried off but the laughter still came back to him.

Emerald flicked his tail and gave him a look before limping off down the hallway. It looked like the cat had had enough lazing around his room which he'd done for the last week. Severus strolled after him as he headed to his first class. The hallways were full of students and Severus could see the agitation in the lines of Emerald's back and the way his tail twitched. The students gave them both a wide berth as whispers started up.

Emerald stopped outside his classroom door and looked over at him. The fifth year Gryffindor and Slytherin class stood around the corridor. Severus watched in amusement as Emerald stretched up and dug his claws into the wood of the door. He could easily reach the handle as Severus looked him over. He was just at that size that he could do some real damage if pushed.

"Get down," Severus snapped.

Emerald hissed but complied and Severus opened the door. The cat ran into the room and up onto his desk. He sat down on the wooden top and stared at him as his tail flicked behind him.

"Everyone in," Severus called, dryly. "Emerald has decided that he will be conducing today's lesson."

His Slytherins snickered as they moved in and Severus eyed off the cat. He was unsure what the man was up to but felt better that Emerald was facing the children without as much fear as he normally showed. Emerald curled up on his desk and looked around in interest. He hadn't been in Severus's classroom before as his nose twitched at the different smells.

Severus closed the door behind him and went on with the class. He pulled his wand and flicked it towards the blackboard. Emerald watched him for a while before laying his head down on his large paws. Severus found himself leaning back on the desk with his hand on Emerald's back as he watched the students or explained something that he was trying to teach them. Emerald's soft fur, calming him, when students would ask him stupid questions.

Emerald let Severus's voice roll over him as he looked at the board. He tried to work out the words as Severus taught his classes. The potion master's curling writing making it hard to work out the letters and words and he soon gave up. He just watched the class and sniffed the air as they worked on potions. When lunch rolled around, Severus looked down at him, after the last student had left.

"Feel up to facing the Great Hall?" Severus asked, softly.

Emerald stood and stretched out his back, the muscles rippling under his fur. Severus watched him before Emerald carefully stepped down to the chair then the floor. Normally he would be able to jump straight up onto the desk and off but he was still sore as his muscles mended. Severus held the door open for him and he stalked out into the hall.

The students gave them space and even more space when they spotted Severus. They slowly made their way up to the Great Hall. There were only had one set of stairs which Emerald was grateful for as more and more students clogged the hallways but Severus created a space around him. Emerald brushed his fur against the man's leg as he kept close.

His ears twitched as they reached the doors and Severus paused to the side as Emerald looked around. The room was huge and noisy as he shrunk back against Severus's leg. The man just let him take it all in, he'd never seen anything like it before as he looked around with large eyes. He'd seen it at night before, when he'd been out with Severus, but that was nothing to seeing it full of students.

His ears flicked around at the noise as his nose picked up all the scents before he slinked forward and Severus fell into step with him. He kept the wall on one side of him and Severus on the other as they slowly crept towards the table at the front of the room. He could feel eyes on him and knew that the students were watching him. He ducked further down, until his stomach was brushing the ground.

Severus stopped and he dropped to his belly as his looked around and panted slightly. Severus just waited for him, he didn't say a word or touch him. Emerald slowly started to relax when no one tried to do anything. He crept forward and Severus kept pace with him until he could duck under the table at the front of the room and curl up at Minerva's feet.

"Hello, Emerald." Minerva greeted as she looked down at him with a smile.

"Meow," Emerald replied as Severus took a seat next to her.

"Emerald decided that he'd had enough of my rooms," Severus drawled. "And that my classroom was the better place to be."

"Did he now?" Minerva said with a laugh. "I hope he learnt more than how to terrorise children."

Severus glared over at her as she filled a bowl with water and placed it down near Emerald. The cat looked up at her with wide eyes as he panted. He looked terrified and yet he was there, so that was a step in the right direction.

Minerva turned back to her cup of tea and ignored the cat at her feet, allowing him to relax. Emerald let the noise roll over him and learnt quickly, that if he ducked down, he could see the hall through the gap at the bottom of the table and floor. He laid down on his belly and looked out at the mass of students as they talked and laughed. It intrigued him, he's never been around children when he'd been one. They were different and loud.

"Emerald."

Emerald look over his shoulder at Severus as he placed a bowl down on the ground next to the water. He crawled over and took a sniff, he was sure it was some kind of meat, beef maybe, as he licked it. He didn't get beef often as he lapped up the broth around it.

"Like that?" Severus asked in amusement and went to grab the bowl.

Emerald growled and showed his teeth and Severus pulled back.

"He doesn't like you touching his food?" Minerva questioned, casually.

"No," Severus replied. "I must admit that I forget."

Minerva gave a laugh and Severus waited for Emerald to finish before reaching for the bowl again. The cat let him take it and he filled it back up with the broth and placed it down. He pulled out two vials and showed them to Emerald before tipping them in with the broth.

Emerald watched him carefully with sharp green eyes, he was very much a wild cat when there was food involved. He hadn't bitten or scratched him but Severus was sure that he would, if pushed. He pulled back and slipped the vials away as he looked down at Emerald fondly. He could see that he was still agitated by the twitching of his tail but he was more relaxed then when they'd arrived.

"He might want some milk," Minerva suggested as she looked down at the cat as well.

"He'll be lucky to walk after having that," Severus pointed out and Minerva laughed.

They went back to their lunch, he could almost forget the cat was there. If his tail didn't hit his leg every now and again.

xXx

The days and weeks rolled along as Emerald fell into the routine of laying on Severus's desk for the man's classes and forcing himself to get used to the Great Hall at lunch. He just couldn't do it for breakfast or dinner but he was starting to feel calmer and more stable as the bond between Severus and himself strengthened.

Until something changed.

Emerald watched as something green and sparkling hung from the doorway. He paused as he watched it swing back and forth and Severus watched him in amusement. He belly crawled closer as he eyed it off. It was just out of his reach as he watched it swing, while students stepped around him, some stopping to watch. The thing swung back and he froze then slowly stepped forward.

With the rush, he dashed forward and jumped, grabbed a hold of it and pulled. He let out a startled yowl as it came loose and he twisted his body as he fell with students laughing around him. The thing was some kind of ribbon but it twinkled as he pulled.

"It's tinsel," Severus muttered. "Filius must have put it up for Christmas."

Emerald pulled back with the tinsel in his mouth but it was stuck fast. It then became a game of tug of war. He twisted and turned until it came loose and he bolted off down the hall with it in his mouth as students laughed. Severus leaned back on the wall and watched him. He tensed when Draco Malfoy stepped on one end of the tinsel. Emerald came to a sudden stop as he slid along the floor. Severus felt a bolt of anger go through him until he saw the smile on Draco's face.

Emerald growled and pulled on the tinsel as Draco picked up his end. Emerald paused when he noticed the boy had picked it up before pulling harder. The tug of war was on and Severus could see Draco straining to hold his end when suddenly it snapped. Emerald went sprawling backwards as the tinsel landed around him. The cat looked around him before grabbing up the tinsel and trying to run off but just tangled himself as he tripped. Severus quirked a smile as the cat pawed the tinsel off.

Then the cat froze and his eyes locked on something. Severus looked over to see Draco holding up his end of the tinsel. Emerald's eyes watched it swing back and forth. The cat stalked forward with his belly down and ears twitching. His eyes completely locked on Draco and the tinsel.

"Emerald," Severus warned.

The cat's ears flicked to him but he kept stalking forward. Draco held the tinsel out to his side. With a jump, Emerald lunged and Draco pulled it up and out of his reach. Emerald landed smoothly on the stones and turned.

"Draco," Severus warned and the boy looked over at him. "He's a wild cat."

Draco turned back to the cat as Emerald lowered himself down and launched at him. With a yelp, Draco went sprawling in the hallway with Emerald sitting on his chest and a smug look on his face. Draco blushed bright red and Severus could see the anger building until Emerald ducked forward and licked his chin.

"Eugh," Draco squeaked and Emerald jumped off him and let the blonde sit up.

Emerald then stalked over to him and sprawled out in Draco's lap and the blonde grinned. Severus looked them over in amusement as Draco picked up the tinsel and bobbed it in front of the cat. He tried to grab it with his large paws as he lay on his back. Severus hadn't seen Draco so carefree since he was a young child. He could also see how far Emerald had come since they had rescued him as the cat chased after the tinsel.

They were in the hallway outside of the Great Hall and had gathered a crowd. Emerald paused when he spotted Hermione Granger and she came over to them. Emerald pranced over to her and pushed into her leg and the girl stumbled. She swatted him and he dived back towards Draco and the tinsel, sliding on the flagstones.

"He's full of energy today," Minerva remarked next to him as she watched the two students and cat.

"Yes," Severus purred with a smirk her way.

"Severus!" Minerva admonished but her smile gave her away.

Emerald suddenly took off down the hallway. They watched him run smoothly before skidding around the corner then bolting back the other way.

"You might need to call Sirius to help him out with that energy," Minerva remarked.

"Or he could sit in one of Binn's classes and fall asleep," Severus muttered and Minerva swatted his shoulder.

"James and Lily want to take him for the week of Christmas," Severus said softly as the cat ran back and forth.

"Have you spoken to him about it?" Minerva asked.

"Not yet," Severus replied then stumbled as Emerald ran into him and he grabbed the cat by the scuff of the neck. "Settle down."

Emerald flopped as he panted and Severus grunted as the cat got heavy in his hands.

"What is wrong with you," Severus snapped and Emerald just flopped onto his back when Severus let him go and he looked down his nose at the pile of black fur. "Bloody animal."

Minerva snorted next to him as Emerald panted before stretching out with his back paws against the wall and pushed off while Severus groaned. Hermione moved over and sat down on the floor and Emerald wiggled along on his back until he could reach the girl. She giggled when Emerald licked her knee and Severus looked down at the two of them in disdain.

"When do you leave to see your sister?" Severus asked Minerva as Emerald wiggled along until he was sprawled out in Hermione's lap.

"Tomorrow after the students leave," Minerva replied and Emerald looked over at them. "Does he know about Christmas?"

Severus frowned as Draco strolled over with the tinsel. Emerald's eyes darted over there as he rolled to his feet.

"My guess," Severus drawled. "Would be no."

xXx

Emerald sat on the front steps of the school as the students made their way towards the train while his tail swished behind him. He wasn't sure what this Christmas thing was about as he watched them joke and talk as they walked away. He laid down and looked out onto the front lawn as his ears twisted around and his nose twitched.

"What are you doing out here, Emerald?"

Emerald looked over his shoulder as Albus walked towards him. The old man looked around but he couldn't see Severus, which was odd. Since Emerald normally stayed close to Severus outside of the man's rooms. Albus came to stand next to him as the last of the students disappeared and Emerald glanced around before changing. Albus started at the move before looking him over. He was looking a lot better and calmer and standing straighter as he looked over towards where the students had gone.

"There are still a few students staying here," Albus warned.

"You never said that I couldn't change outside of Severus's rooms?" Emerald remarked.

"We would prefer that you wouldn't," Albus said. "Too many questions would be asked about who you are. How have you been?"

Emerald cocked his head at that question before leaning on the stone wall and looking Albus over.

"You look unwell," Emerald stated, instead of answering.

"Been a little under the weather," Albus admitted. "Did you finish that book I gave you?"

"Do you want it back?" Emerald countered.

"Once you are done," Albus said softly. "I'm happy to help you if you need it?"

"Do you have a more difficult one?"

"Of course."

"Minerva gave me a book on transfiguration as well," Emerald told him then gave him a smirk. "And one on Animagus."

Albus chuckled.

"Professor Dumbledore?"

Both men turned to see Hermione Granger walking towards them with a book in her hands. She looked Emerald over in interest as she came to stand before them.

"Ms Granger," Albus greeted with a smile. "Shouldn't you be at the station?"

"I just wanted to give you back your book, sir." Hermione replied then turned to Emerald. "Hi, I'm Hermione Granger."

"Harry," Emerald introduced.

Albus started at that but quickly covered it up with a slight cough.

"Harry is my nephew," Albus made up quickly with a smile. "He's come to stay over the break for some work experience, since his father works in Hogsmeade."

Hermione looked him over before focusing on his eyes and a frown came to her brow. At that moment, Severus stalked out of the castle and paused when he saw them before moving over. Hermione's eyes darted over to him before focusing back on Harry.

"Are you only staying for Christmas?" Hermione asked in interest. "You're not starting at Hogwarts?"

"Harry graduated a couple of years ago from a small school in England," Albus lied easily.

"Oh," Hermione cried. "What was that like?"

"Different," Emerald muttered.

"Don't you have a train to catch, Ms Granger?" Severus drawled.

"Ah, yes." Hermione exclaimed and held out the book, Emerald took it from her before Albus could. "Nice meeting you, Harry."

Hermione dashed off and Emerald watched her.

"Harry?" Severus asked.

Emerald glanced over at him and gave him a grin and Severus groaned.

"My nephew, Harry." Albus introduced with a smile and clapped a hand to Emerald's shoulder without thinking.

Emerald started badly at the contact and Albus quickly removed his hand as Emerald took a quick step to the side.

"Apologises, my boy." Albus murmured as the smile slipped. "I'll see you two later."

Albus walked off and Severus came to stand next to Emerald.

"I didn't expect to see you out here," Severus remarked. "I thought you had gone for a walk in the forest."

"I was watching the students leaving," Emerald replied. "They go back to their families?"

"Yes," Severus answered then shifted slightly. "James and Lily want to know if you want to spend a week with them?"

Emerald looked over at him with a frown.

"Why?" Emerald asked.

"So, you can spend Christmas with them," Severus expanded. "They could get to know you better. James said if you don't want to stay with them that long, we can just see them on Christmas? It's up to you."

"Do you have a family to go to?" Emerald asked, instead.

"No, my parents died a long time ago and I have no siblings."

Emerald looked Severus over but he didn't seem broken up over the fact his parents were gone. Emerald stepped closer and Severus stepped back and he paused.

"Not out here," Severus whispered, as his dark eyes bore into his.

Emerald nodded and stepped back as he looked around the school grounds. He was used to these kinds of rules being placed on him. Emerald turned and walked back towards the castle's front doors.

"Where are you going?" Severus called.

Emerald looked over his shoulder and smirked.

"Somewhere that's not out here," Emerald purred and Severus mirrored his smirk and hurried after him.

Emerald had just enough time to place the book in his hand onto the table, in Severus's rooms, before Severus grabbed him and swung him around and he laughed.

"Hey!" Emerald yelped and Severus kissed up his neck before his hands wondered lower and rubbed him through his pants.

Emerald laid his head back on Severus's chest and moaned as Severus rubbed him. He could feel a slight touch on his mind and he frowned.

"Do you know you are doing that?" Emerald muttered.

"Of course," Severus whispered, his breath ghosting over his neck as he rubbed him harder. "I can feel you hardening."

"I mean," Emerald panted. "You are touching my mind."

Severus stilled.

"I'm what?" Severus asked and stepped back enough so that he could look at him and Emerald tapped a finger to his temple.

"You are touching my mind," Emerald repeated then gently reached out and brushed against Severus's mind.

Severus gasped and his eyes widened. Emerald stepped further back, the last time he'd done that, it had not gone well. Then he felt that gentle touch on his mind and his eyes locked with Severus's dark eyes.

Pain, never ending pain and laughter. So cold as a sharp knife cut into his skin again and again as a woman whispered and sung. That knife dug in deeper with each pass over his skin. He whimpered and tried to pull away but he was bound in both the physical and magical sense. He tried to pull his mind away from what was happening to his body.

He felt the magic wash over him and he groaned. It was just a matter of time until he was drugged again. He was pulled up from the floor and to the bed then tied hand and foot. The dark-haired woman gave him a cruel smile as she held up the vial.

"Time for your treat," She whispered with a glint in her eyes.

Emerald ripped himself away from the memory. He blocked his mind and landed hard on the ground. Panting and whimpering as he curled up with his hands over his head, his whole body shaking. He felt a hand on his back and he cried out. He scrambled across the floor until the wall stopped him. He lay panting in a heap as he shivered and shook.

Severus didn't know what to do as he looked down at Emerald. He'd looked into his mind, without meaning to, and his hands were still shaking. He'd recognised Bellatrix and the potion and he felt sick to his stomach. He fumbled in his pocket and pulled out the coin then looked at Emerald as he shook. He couldn't add Albus to the mix as he slipped the coin away.

Acting on instinct alone, he stepped over to Emerald. He settled on the ground before him, making sure not to touch the man. He could tell that Emerald wasn't mentally there with him in the room. He carefully pulled out a book from his pocket and resized it before starting to read. Two chapters in Emerald's shaking stopped and by the time that he got to the exciting part, Emerald had slowly uncurled. Severus gently placed his hand on Emerald's head as he read.

Slowly, the other man relaxed, before those green eyes looked up at him and he gave him a soft smile as he closed the book.

"Sorry," Severus whispered. "I think I may have used my Legilimency when I reached out to you."

Emerald just nodded, his eyes hollow, and Severus could understand why.

"You blocked your mind," Severus uttered. "Where did you learn that?"

"My master is a Legilimens," Emerald stated tonelessly and Severus felt his stomach drop.

Emerald had learnt to block his mind to save himself from having it as an open book to Voldemort. Severus swallowed hard as he looked down at Emerald.

"Bellatrix was going to give you Loverose Potion," Severus said before he could stop himself.

"Yes," Emerald confirmed. "She would dose me, then place a ring around me. Kept me hard as she took her pleasure."

Severus wasn't sure if he was going to be sick as he swallowed back the bile and felt faint. Knowing that Emerald had suffered abuse was different than hearing him explain it. Of seeing the look on Bellatrix's face and knowing what that potion would do.

"Just pain," Emerald muttered, his eyes distant. "No relief, just pain."

"Sh," Severus cooed and gently rubbed his shoulder. "She's never going to touch you again."

Emerald slowly shifted around until he was straddling Severus's lap and rested his head on his shoulder. Severus just leaned back into the wall behind him and wrapped his arms around the smaller man. Emerald lay there on his chest and he kept his arms loose but tight enough on his back. They sat there for a while as Severus gave comfort and Emerald took it in.

"I might have nightmares tonight," Emerald warned. "Always worse when the memories get stirred up."

"Have you caged them up?" Severus questioned in concern.

"In a way," Emerald whispered.

"That isn't healthy," Severus cautioned. "If they break through, your mind could be overcome and snap."

"I have dealt with them, Severus." Emerald stated without emotion in his voice. "I just don't understand why."

"That's why you retreat into your cat form, so that you can see them through the eyes of a cat."

"I suppose," Emerald remarked as he pulled back to look at him. "Is it a human way to treat a person that way?"

"No," Severus snapped and cupped the man's face. "Those people are sick and twisted. I…I couldn't tell how old you were in the memory?"

"Time doesn't mean much to me," Emerald admitted. "You would say a child? I was young."

Severus felt a chill in his stomach at those words said so calmly.

"The threat of Bellatrix kept me in line, you could say. My master would only hand me to her if I had done something worth severe punishment." Emerald said hollowly, then added. "Sometimes I wasn't sure what I had done."

"Would he give you to other people?" Severus forced himself to ask.

"Sometimes," Emerald answered, plainly. "Sometimes for punishment, sometimes as a reward for them."

"Someone showed you kindness," Severus pushed gently, while Emerald was forthcoming with information.

"Yes," Emerald confirmed. "Sometimes I was rewarded with sex without pain."

"Off!" Severus quickly ordered and pushed him and Emerald quickly scrambled off him.

Severus stumbled to the bathroom and had just enough time to land on his knees before the toilet before he was sick. He started when he felt Emerald's hand rub his back before gentle hands pulled his hair back. Severus spat into the toilet bowl and looked at the man beside him.

"Oh, god." Severus moaned. "Sex, should not be a reward for a child, when he has followed his master's orders. You shouldn't even have a master and be punished in such a sick and perverted way!"

Emerald pulled back slightly with large eyes. Severus reached out and touched his knee.

"You are mine," Severus confirmed for the first time and Emerald's eyes grew guarded. "And I am yours."

Severus sat back on his heels and closed his eyes. He very gently reached out to the fine thread that he could feel in the back of his mind. That he'd become aware of but hadn't understood. He grabbed a hold of it and brushed his magic against it. Emerald shivered and moaned slightly beside him.

He felt a touch back and surrendered to it and felt Emerald moving closer to him. His mind rubbed against him, like his cat form would, and he smiled as he opened his eyes. Emerald's green eyes were locked on him, he could feel that bond between them. Something that had been there for a while but he hadn't wanted to recognise what it was until now. Emerald gave him a smile and Severus gently wrapped his arms around him. Those images in his mind still haunting him and he knew that Emerald wouldn't be the only one with nightmares that night.

Chapter Text

Severus cupped his head as Albus made up tea the next morning. Both Emerald and himself hadn't gotten much sleep as Emerald whimpered and cried out in his sleep most of the night and Severus just held him. Those hollow green eyes haunting him when he did fall asleep.

"Here, Severus." Albus offered and he took the cup of tea that Albus held out. "Is Emerald alright?"

Severus nodded slowly as Albus took a seat in the armchair across from him.

"Are you alright?" Albus asked as his blue eyes looked him over.

"I accidently looked into his mind," Severus whispered. "I saw a memory of Bellatrix…"

Albus gently placed his hand on Severus's arm as the younger man explained what had happened and what he'd seen.

"The worse part," Severus uttered. "Is that he knew it was coming, that it was just a matter of time until he was tied down and drugged…a different type of pain."

Albus wasn't sure what to say as he looked at Severus and knowing the other man's own abuse at the hands of his father. It had never touched on physical abuse for the other man but there were other ways to leave scars.

"I could feel what he was thinking and feeling," Severus expanded, hoarsely. "That need for close contact and yet revulsion at the same time…just a child."

"We need to find a way to break that bond," Albus remarked and Severus looked at him sharply. "With Voldemort and him."

Severus nodded, while that bond was still in place. Voldemort could pull on Emerald and they might lose him again. That image of him pushing against the wards came to him as a coldness settled in his stomach.

"Is there a way for my bond with him to be stronger than with the Dark Lord?" Severus asked. "For it to cut through that connection?"

Albus sighed.

"I don't have an answer to that, my boy." Albus replied, sadly. "That connection was made with dark magic, possibly the killing curse."

Severus nodded and Albus laid his hand on his arm in support.

"We can only try," Albus stated with a soft smile and Severus nodded.

xXx

Emerald looked around the cosy house, done up for Christmas and his nose sniffed the air as he stood next to Severus. He was on edge and he could feel the tension in his shoulders and down his back. It was only Severus, next to him, keeping him in place.

"James?" Severus called out and they heard a crash somewhere and Emerald stepped back behind Severus slightly.

"Hold on," James called back.

Sirius appeared in the doorway in his dog form with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth and gave a bark. He rushed forward and Emerald knelt down for Sirius to lick his face while the man squirmed and laughed and Severus relaxed. The mutt was good for one thing at least as Severus stepped out of their way.

"James is trying to put the bed together," Lily said from the doorway with a soft smile as she looked at the dog and Emerald as they wrestled. "I remember when he was a child and they would do that."

Lily locked eyes with Severus and he braced himself for the insults but they didn't come. Either James had had a long talk with her or she was waiting for Emerald to not to be in the room.

"Would you like a coffee?" Lily asked politely.

"Yes, thank you." Severus replied as Emerald changed forms and the two animals tangled on the floor and Severus sighed. "I hope you have the first aid kit ready."

Lily gave him a smile and he was reminded of the time when they used to be friends. It was a fleeting glimpse before she turned away and walked into the kitchen.

"Already?!" James cried when he stepped into the living room and looked at the cat and dog.

"Black started it," Severus drawled.

"I'm not surprised," James remarked and strolled over and pulled Severus into a hug before stepping back. "Merry Christmas."

"And to you," Severus replied and looked around.

"Yeah," James said as he rubbed his messy hair. "Lily went a little crazy with the decorations."

Severus snorted as he looked around at the tinsel and the large Christmas tree. The whole room was filled with decorations.

"Emerald has a little bit of a fetish for the tinsel," Severus warned. "Flitwick had to place a charm on it to stop him from pulling it all down. He then took it as a challenge to get his teeth or claws into it. It's a good thing that Flitwick has a soft spot for cats."

"Ah," James muttered and looked around. "Oh, well. I did warn her about cats and Christmas trees but she didn't listen."

Severus snorted and looked James over, he could see Emerald in the man. They had the same messy hair, height and broad shoulders, but Emerald was slimmer with a narrower face and Lily's green eyes. Sirius suddenly let out a yelp and they looked over. It looked like Emerald had bitten him a little too hard and he was licking it better. Sirius looked frozen, unsure what he should do, as the cat licked him. Severus smirked at the scene.

"Like that Black?" Severus purred and if a dog could glare, Sirius was doing it.

Lily appeared with a tray of drinks and some sandwiches and placed them on the table. She looked down at the pile of fur and Sirius shrunk back as Emerald paused in licking his leg and looked up.

"Human time," Lily said, sternly. "You can play in the backyard later."

Sirius shook Emerald off and stood up. He changed form and gave Lily a leer.

"Don't you start, Sirius Black!" Lily snapped before Sirius could open his mouth.

Sirius just grabbed the woman up and spun her around as James laughed and Lily squeaked. Emerald jumped out of the way and over to Severus before changing. He watched the others in interest as Sirius placed her on the ground and Lily whacked his arm with a grin.

"Is this normal?" Emerald whispered to Severus.

"For them?" Severus replied with a smirk. "Most likely."

They all sat down at the table and Emerald stuck close to Severus and watched everything while the other spoke. Severus could tell the man was a little overwhelmed and he shared a look with James. They didn't try to draw Emerald into the conversation, just let him take it all in as he sat perched in his seat with his feet under him.

xXx

"How's he doing?" James asked Severus later that night.

Emerald was curled up asleep, in his cat form, on the lounge with his head resting against Severus's leg. He rubbed his soft fur as he snored softly.

"He has his moments," Severus admitted. "He's coming to the Great Hall for lunch and sits on my desk during my classes."

"That's a step in the right direction," James agreed and toasted him with his scotch. "What about in human form?"

"I caught him talking to Albus and Hermione Granger just before the students left," Severus said mildly. "He introduced himself as 'Harry'."

Lily sucked in a breath next to her husband and Severus could see that she was holding back tears. James didn't look much better.

"Albus spun a story to Granger that he was his nephew," Severus continued with a smirk. "I think the old man has a scheme in mind."

"When doesn't he," James muttered.

"James!" Lily hissed and James smiled at her.

"It's a good way for him to be seen in human form without having to explain why he isn't a student," James remarked and looked down at the cat. "Without an education, I'm not sure how he's going live in the wizarding world. We would support him, of course…"

"I think that's something we don't have to worry about yet," Severus mused as he rubbed Emerald's head.

"He can't just live in your room, Severus!" Lily snapped. "He might want a life away from Hogwarts."

"And here I thought that I could keep him locked up in the dungeons for the rest of his life," Severus drawled with a hard look in his eyes.

"You would like that!" Lily retorted.

"Very much," Severus replied and leaned forward. "But if the Dark Lord had trouble keeping him contained. I doubt that I would have any better luck."

Lily reeled back like she's been hit and looked at James for support but he just shrugged a shoulder as he took a sip of his drink. Lily glared at both of them, which both men just ignored.

"He can walk through the blood wards that Albus placed on the castle grounds," James pointed out. "I'm sure a wooden door and stone walls wouldn't stop him. He has a type of magic that we don't understand, so it would be hard to stop him if he wanted to leave. He stays with Severus because he wants to, Lily."

Lily huffed and looked at Emerald and the way that Severus rubbed his fur. Sirius suddenly snorted as he woke up from his own armchair and looked around.

"I'm going to bed," Sirius announced as he pulled himself up. "I'm not cut out to be a dog."

"I don't know," Severus disagreed. "I think it suits you."

"Shut it," Sirius muttered. "My room is next to yours, Severus. Keep the noise down."

"Sirius!" Lily squeaked then blushed. "That's my son you are talking about!"

"Severus, use silencing charms then." Sirius leered and quickly dashed out of the room before Lily could curse him as James laughed.

Emerald brushed his head against Severus's leg and he looked down into those sleepy green eyes.

"Shower?" Severus asked and Emerald hissed at him as he stood and stretched his back.

"Does he still have a fear of water?" James asked as Emerald jumped down to the floor and brushed against his leg before leaping up onto James's lap.

"Yes," Severus replied.

Emerald butted his head against James's chest. The man tried to save his drink at the same time as he tried to stop the cat from stepping on anything vital. Emerald just casually sat down in his lap as James ran a hand down his back before he crept over James's chair and towards Lily. He hesitated slightly before stepping onto her leg. Severus could understand that, after seeing his memory, about his fear of women as Emerald rubbed his head against Lily.

"This is disconcerting," Lily muttered.

"At least you don't have something that's painful if he steps on it," James grumbled and Lily glared over at him.

Emerald flopped out over Lily's lap and she gently ran her fingers through his fur and he purred. Severus looked at that smile on Lily's face and he was reminded of what she was like before Harry had been taken.

"His fur is so soft," Lily remarked.

Severus bit his lip before he could say it was softer when he was naked under the fur. Lily started to look uncomfortable as Emerald sprawled out further in her lap.

"How do I get him off?" Lily whispered.

"Emerald, down." Severus ordered.

Emerald looked at him with one lazy eye before rolling off Lily's lap and to the floor while James laughed. Emerald crouched down and looked at Severus with his tail twitching behind him. His green eyes focused.

"Time for bed?" Severus asked.

"Meow."

"Well," Severus announced as he got to his feet. "That's us."

"Good night," James offered as he leaned back in his seat and looked them over.

Severus gave them a nod before leaving the room with Emerald on his heels.

xXx

"Get up, Snape!"

Severus started awake as Sirius banged his fist on the wall and he groaned.

"Bloody, Black." Severus muttered.

Emerald huffed a laugh and rolled over to face him.

"At least it's not the Weasleys," Emerald pointed out as he curled into his side.

"It's debatable on which one is worse," Severus muttered as he wrapped his arm around the smaller man as Emerald snuggled into his chest and rubbed his head against him. "If we don't get up quick enough, Sirius will be in here."

Emerald snickered then purred as Severus ran his hand down his bare back to the top of his pants and up again.

"What happens now?" Emerald asked after a while.

"Before or after Sirius comes to find out where we are?" Severus asked.

They had decided to stay for four days, Severus was sure that Emerald wouldn't have been able to take a whole week. The comprise had been Severus staying those nights and by the look on the other man's face. It looked like he was stuck with the Potters for another two days. Not that he minded James, it was Sirius and Lily that would start to grate on his nerves, Lily mostly. He was just waiting for her to bring up his past.

"After," Emerald answered.

"Well I'm not sure what James and Lily have planned." Severus replied. "Lily has a sister but I don't think they have much to do with her and James doesn't have any family except Sirius."

"They are related?" Emerald asked with a frown. "Sirius said he was my godfather?"

"Yes, that's right." Severus answered. "There is no blood between them, they are family by choice."

Emerald nodded, he had no idea what that meant so let it go. He didn't even know the right terms for family members. He did know that the Black family were dark and that Bellatrix was Sirius's cousin and that the man had a brother and other family but not so much the connections.

"So," Emerald commented after a few minutes. "Christmas is about family?"

"Well," Severus drew out the word. "It's about a lot of things but we'll just say that it's when family and friends meet over food and drink."

Emerald had a feeling that Severus was making it simple for him to understand and he let he let it slid. He curled into his side and just enjoyed the closeness.

"It also means you need a shower," Severus said mildly.

Emerald groaned and Severus gave him a smirk.

"I could help?" Severus offered.

Emerald shook his head, his fear of water still at the front of his mind. He gently untangled himself and faced the door before looking over at Severus, still sprawled out on the bed. He gave Severus a sly smile and stepped back towards the bed. He slowly lowered his pants down his hips, and watched Severus's eyes darken.

"Shower, Mr Potter." Severus remarked in his 'Professor' voice. "You're not getting out of it with sex."

Emerald paused as he looked at Severus. The smile on his lips started to slip as Emerald just looked frozen with his hands on his pants.

"Ah, right." Emerald stuttered and pulled his pants higher and slipped from the room.

Severus cursed once Emerald was gone. He wasn't sure which part of what he'd said had unsettled the man. He reached out to the link and softly brushed it and felt a brush back. He pulled himself from the bed with a soft groan and dressed. He wasn't sure what the rest of the day would hold.

xXx

Emerald took in the house in interest as people started to arrive. He'd retreated to the back lounge room and took in the scents around him. He could tell that Sirius spent a lot of time here as well as Lily and James. He took in the sight of the decorations and the Christmas tree in the corner and the wrapped gifts over in interest. This Christmas thing was new to him but if he thought back, it also looked familiar to him.

"Okay, Emerald?"

Emerald glanced over his shoulder at his father and nodded.

"How long have you lived here?" Emerald asked with a frown.

"About ten years," James replied as he stepped closer. "Do you remember our house in Godric's hollow?"

Emerald's frown deepened as he tried to remember a time before he had been taken.

"I'm not sure," Emerald replied and glanced around.

"What do you think of Christmas so far?" James asked in interest.

"I like the tinsel," Emerald said with a grin and a light in his eyes.

James gave a laugh then reached out to him. Emerald didn't move and James let his hand rest on his shoulder. He wasn't used to casual innocent touches as James gave him a smile. He relaxed at that expression on his father's face.

"I'm sure that Lily won't mind if a little tinsel disappeared," James said with a smirk on his lips.

"Severus found the last piece that I stole," Emerald remarked. "It's banded from his rooms now."

James chuckled and let his hand drop from his shoulder.

"We have kept the gathering small today," James told him. "If you need time alone, you can go to the room that you are sharing with Severus. We placed a ward on it, so that only select people can go in there."

Emerald nodded as his eyes took in the cosy room and his thoughts turned to another time. Another place and another person and he shivered.

"Are you cold?" James asked.

Emerald startled and looked at him and shook his head.

"Just thinking," Emerald uttered and James nodded.

"James!" Sirius called from somewhere in the house. "Regulus is here."

Emerald felt a chill run through him at the name.

"I better go," James said as he turned back to him. "God only knows what those two will get into without supervision."

Emerald nodded and James gave him a nod before leaving. Emerald stood there for a while until Severus found him some time later.

xXx

Severus looked over to Emerald sprawled out in a chair as far from the pool that he could get while still in the yard. Not that they had to worry about it, since it was frozen over but just the sight of it had Emerald eyeing it off like it was going to attack. The others had all been having fun in the snow but Emerald refused to step out in it and Severus was sure that the pool had something to do with it. Since, Emerald had no problems stepping out in the snow at the school.

James and Lily had kept it low key with a few of Lily and James's friends coming and going and they had kept an eye on Emerald, throughout the day. Severus had made sure that Emerald knew that if it got too much that he could retreat to their bedroom but so far, he had stayed with everyone. He looked over to Emerald again and noticed that he'd curled up on the chair. It still surprised the way that he could fold himself into a chair with his legs under him and make it look natural. He leaned on the arm of it and let his head rest there as he watched everyone.

Severus got drawn back into a conversation with an Auror friend of James's that he'd taught. When he looked back over to the chair, Emerald was gone. He started and looked around but he couldn't see him and he wasn't sure if he should go and look for him.

"Have you seen the new work on the wolfsbane?" Leon asked and Severus turned back to him.

xXx

"Emerald," A voice purred.

Emerald looked up at the dark-haired man with large eyes as the man gave him a soft smile.

"When are you coming home?" The man asked and Emerald shivered. "You know that he would welcome you back. He always welcomes you back."

"By giving me to Bellatrix?" Emerald stated.

Regulus gave him a fond smile.

"No, love." Regulus purred as he stepped closer.

They were in a secluded part of the back garden and Emerald could feel the wards brushing his arm as he stood there. His eyes darted around but he was far enough away from the pool and the people in the house. He focused back on the man before him as Regulus gave him a soft smile. His scent and looks were similar to his older brother, Sirius, but he had a different feel around him. A rough edge and a dark taint.

"Why are you here?" Emerald asked.

"I'm Sirius's brother," Regulus replied with a smile. "You know that."

Emerald looked over at the rest of the people. He could just see them through the bushes and trees as Regulus and him stood alone in the back garden.

"They don't know," Emerald summarised with a frown.

Regulus stepped closer and laid a hand on his hip and Emerald looked at him.

"You won't be telling them. Now will you, love?" Regulus whispered as he placed his other hand on his other hip and held him still. "You haven't told them what you know. You hold so many secrets."

Regulus dipped forward and kissed his neck and Emerald tensed under his hands. Regulus pulled him flush with his body and moaned as his hands slipped under his shirt and touched on his skin.

"I've missed you," Regulus whispered in his ear. "Come back with me."

"He sent you, didn't he?" Emerald inquired. "He's tried everything else, so you were the next chance."

"At great risk," Regulus agreed, before kissing up his neck as his hands wandered down to his ass. "If they find out…"

"Stop," Emerald ordered.

"Why?" Regulus purred as he found the front of his pants and rubbed him. "I know just how you like it. What makes you pant and purr."

"I am bound to Severus," Emerald stated as he stepped back.

Regulus hands slid back to his hips as he looked at him with wide eyes.

"A mate-bond?" Regulus demanded.

"Yes," Emerald confirmed, calmly.

"Why him?" Regulus snapped. "I have looked after you and cared for you."

"You are not my mate," Emerald snapped in anger as he pushed the man back.

"I could have been," Regulus hissed lowly.

"No," Emerald snarled.

"Emerald," Regulus whispered and looked around. "Don't make me force you."

Emerald stepped forward, his green eyes flashing in anger and Regulus stood up straight.

"You do not have the power," Emerald snarled.

"But I do have a portkey."

Regulus lunged forward and grabbed him. Emerald snarled and flared out his magic at the same time as he felt the pull of a portkey. The wards held for a second before cracking and Emerald stepped to the side into the shadows between times. He gave a sharp pull on Regulus's wrist and the man stumbled forward as he looked around with wide eyes. They stood in the shadow world.

"What did you do?" Regulus snapped and tried to twist out of his hold.

"If I let you go," Emerald told him calmly. "You will be lost here."

Regulus stopped struggling and fear came into his expression as he grabbed Emerald's arm. He looked around at the shadow street as people moved in slow motion, without seeing them.

"Where are we?" Regulus uttered with wide eyes.

"I don't know," Emerald replied. "Somewhere between the Potter's house and where your portkey was going to take us."

"Not the location, Emerald." Regulus snapped in frustration. "I mean, where are we?"

Emerald frowned and looked around.

"Shadows of time," Emerald muttered. "The line between time. Shadow world."

Regulus sighed and ran his free hand over his head in agitation.

"Can't get any sense out of you sometimes," Regulus grumbled.

"Somewhere that my master can't walk," Emerald stated instead and Regulus looked at him sharply.

"This is where you used to disappear to," Regulus mused as he looked out on the shadow street. "When you would escape and we couldn't find you."

It was like looking out on shadows of light and dark with ghost people, walking in slow motion around them. Emerald could feel the ticking of time in his mind as he kept tabs of how much time had passed. Regulus suddenly pulled him into his arms and Emerald tensed. The other man was always very hands on.

"I thought I had lost you," Regulus whispered as he held him tightly. "When I found out that Bellatrix had taken you. I thought for sure that she would kill you this time."

"She almost did," Emerald remarked as he took in the familiar scent of the other man.

Regulus pulled him close until he was flush with the taller man and he could feel the strength in his body. Knew how that body felt on his. Of his hands sliding over him and the pleasure that he could bring. He knew what the other man liked as much as Regulus knew what he liked.

"I couldn't get to you," Regulus explained. "I did the next best thing."

Emerald tensed and pulled back to look into Regulus's soft brown eyes. He could read the man clearly after the years they had known each other.

"You tipped the Aurors off," Emerald stated and Regulus slowly nodded.

"They had a better chance to get to you and the skills to heal what Bellatrix would have done," Regulus expanded. "The Dark Lord almost killed her…I thought he was going to kill her. He is very focused in getting you back, almost to the point of madness."

Regulus cupped his cheek before he dipped forward and kissed him. Emerald stepped back but made sure that he kept his hand wrapped around the other man's wrist as Regulus let him with a sigh.

"Emerald, please." Regulus pleaded. "Come back with me, he'll kill me if I don't come back with you."

xXx

"Severus!" James hissed and the man looked over at him.

Severus excused himself from the conversation and stepped over to James. The man grabbed his arm and pulled him further into the house.

"Emerald passed through the wards," James said quickly and Severus tensed. "I felt a portkey then a flare of magic before the wards cracked."

"You think he was taken?" Severus hissed and grabbed James's arm.

"Yes," James replied as his eyes watched the garden and people moving around. "I think they took the chance with so many people and the fact that he's away from the castle. Albus laid the wards here and tied Emerald's blood into them. They would have needed a powerful portkey to crack the wards like that."

Severus paled with each word and he instinctively reached out to the bond with Emerald and it felt different.

"Give me a second," Severus requested then closed his eyes.

He focused on the bond, the thin thread that joined Emerald and himself in the back of his mind. The more he focused on it, the stronger it became, and he could feel a slight pull but it didn't seem to be pulling in any direction. He gently sent a feeling of worry and concern over the connection and instantly got reassurance back and he sighed. Voldemort didn't have him.

He wasn't sure what else he could do as he felt that link and reassurance. He must have leaked over impatience and frustration for the feeling changed slightly to patience and he seemed to get an image of Emerald telling him to wait. He opened his eyes to see James's watching him with concern.

"The Dark Lord doesn't have him," Severus reported and James sagged in relief. "I'm not sure where he is but he wants us to wait."

"You can get that across the bond?" James asked in surprise.

"Apparently," Severus drawled.

James gave him a tense smile and clapped a hand to his shoulder.

"We'll have to wait for him then," James replied, but he didn't look happy at the prospect.

Chapter Text

Emerald looked Regulus over before slipping his hand down to the other man's hand and tangling their fingers together. He gave a pull as he stepped forward and everything swirled around them in a twist of shadows. Regulus gasped as the Hogwarts castle came into view and he looked behind him at the path down to Hogsmeade. The street they'd been standing on was nowhere to be seen.

"How did you do that?" Regulus gasped.

"Time means nothing here," Emerald explained. "Distance and time."

Regulus just stared up at the ghostly image of the castle of Hogwarts. Emerald placed his hand on the wards and pushed slightly and waited. He knew it wouldn't take long for Albus to appear, even if it was Christmas day.

"Why are we here?" Regulus questioned.

"You betrayed him," Emerald told him. "This is your choice…your chance."

Albus appeared in the distance and Regulus sucked in a breath and paled. He pulled back and Emerald tightened his hold on his hand. The other man looked at him with wild eyes, his fear easy to see and Emerald paused. He cocked his head slightly as Regulus's eyes were locked on Albus.

"It would be my death," Regulus uttered.

"Or your freedom," Emerald countered just as softly and Regulus looked at him in surprise. "The bond."

Regulus nodded slowly but Emerald could tell that he didn't understand completely.

"Not my wild child anymore," Regulus stated.

"Still wild," Emerald remarked with a glint in his eyes.

Regulus gave him a soft smile as Albus stopped on the other side of the wards and looked around with a frown. Emerald pulled Regulus's hand as he stepped forward into the real world then released him. Regulus stumbled as Emerald stepped away from him and Albus started as they appeared.

"Emerald?" Albus asked then looked at Regulus. "Mr Black?"

Emerald stepped forward over the wards then looked back at Regulus. His eyes travelled over him from head to foot until he shifted uncomfortably under his stare. He could see the indecision there as he looked between Albus and Emerald. Regulus had to make his choice; death or atonement.

Emerald turned on his heels and walked away from the two men.

"Emerald!" Regulus yelled after him but he didn't turn back.

Albus looked at Emerald's retreating back then back to Regulus Black in confusion. He had no idea what was going on and he didn't like the feeling. However, as he looked between Emerald and Regulus. He started to feel a coldness in the pit of his stomach. He had a feeling that he wouldn't like what he was about to find out.

"Emerald!" Regulus yelled out again but Emerald didn't even look over his shoulder.

"Mr Black?" Albus questioned. "Why are you here?"

Regulus's eyes darted to the Headmaster and he was unsure what the old man could do for him as his eyes was drawn back to Emerald. He'd stopped a distance off and was sitting down on the ground and just watched them. His one chance to get Emerald back had failed and he knew his life would be forfeit. He looked back at Albus and his eyes hardened. He took a step forward, through the front gates of Hogwarts.

"I think we have matters to talk about, Headmaster." Regulus announced as he came to a decision but his eyes kept darting to Emerald. "Yes, a lot of things to talk about."

xXx

Severus started when he felt the coin in his pocket get hot and he pulled it out. He shared a look with James.

"I think we know where he is now," James pointed out. "You can use my fireplace."

Severus nodded in thanks and soon he was stepping through into Albus's office. He frowned as he locked eyes with Regulus Black. He had never liked the man, there was always something off about him.

"He's in your rooms," Albus answered without Severus asking and with no twinkle in his eyes.

Severus looked the two men over before walking to the door.

"Snape," Regulus called out and Severus turned back to him. "You hurt him and I'll kill you myself."

Severus could see the truth in the other man's eyes and felt a chill in his stomach, then a hardness came into his eyes. His mind already making the connections as he stalked back to Regulus and the man jumped to his feet quickly.

"I am not like the people that have been in his life before," Severus hissed, his eyes flashing. "He is mine and I am his."

Regulus paled as Severus glared down his nose at him.

"It is about us," Severus continued in a deadly whisper. "We are bound and if I hurt him, I would only be hurting myself. If you touch him, I will kill you where you stand. Be damned the consequences."

Regulus stumbled back and his legs hit the chair and he fell into it. Severus sneered down at the man as he looked up at him with fear. He knew that Severus didn't make idle threats.

"I do not take my pleasure then put him away until I want to play again," Severus snarled.

Severus turned on his heels, his robes flaring around him as he stalked from the room. Anger burning in him as he made his way down the castle to his rooms. When he reached his door, he took a deep breath to calm down. He couldn't walk in there while anger rolled off him. The door suddenly opened in front of him and Emerald stood there.

He grabbed the man and pulled him into a tight hug as Emerald squeaked. He took in the smell of him as Emerald wiggled but he wasn't going to let him go.

"Severus!" Emerald yelped.

"Get used to it," Severus muttered and Emerald relaxed into his hold.

Severus ran his hands down Emerald's sides then pushed him back enough to look down into his eyes. Emerald gave him a smile and Severus realised they were standing in the hallway and there were still students at the school. He stepped the other man back into him rooms and closed the door.

Severus cupped Emerald's face then leaned forward and kissed him softly before deepening it as Emerald's hands ran under his shirt. He pulled back and let his forehead rest on Emerald's as he stared into his eyes.

"You scared me," Severus whispered. "And freaked James out."

Emerald quirked a smile as Severus held him gently.

"What happened?" Severus questioned.

"My master gave Regulus a mission," Emerald explained as he stepped back and Severus let him. "To bring me back to him."

Severus nodded sharply as anger bolted through him and Emerald lifted his nose slightly.

"That is at the Dark Lord and Black," Severus clarified and Emerald nodded. "I didn't know he was a Death Eater. The Black family have always been dark but Sirius was different. When Regulus seemed to follow Sirius, we thought he had turned away from the Dark Lord and his family."

"No, he has always followed him but my master didn't inform him of my skills," Emerald told him and Severus clenched his hands. "When he tried to use the portkey. I stepped us out of time before it could take us the whole way."

Severus nodded, he didn't understand that completely but knew that Emerald had problems explaining things. He had explained it the best that he could.

"Why is he here?" Severus asked as his thoughts darkened on what he wanted to do to Regulus and Emerald shifted nervously. "Those feeling are for Regulus."

"Yes," Emerald agreed. "He is choosing a side."

"I threatened to kill him if he touches you," Severus confessed and Emerald started before giving him a sly smile.

"Is that so?" Emerald said smoothly and slipped closer until there was no room between them. "And I thought I was the one with claws."

Severus barked a laugh and Emerald took in the sight as he felt Severus's feelings along the bond. It was different but felt right as he laid his cheek against Severus's chest as his arms wrapped around him, holding him tight. He could feel a purr in his chest as he took in the feeling of Severus around him.

Emerald then stood back and gave Severus a crooked smile. He picked up Severus's hands and then stepped back and pulled the man forward as he stepped out of time. Severus started as he looked around with wide eyes and Emerald let his hands go. Severus stood there with the bond between them feeling solid and real. Severus looked at him before taking in the images of the world around him. His rooms were in black and white with wisps of mists curling around them.

"I call it a shadow world," Emerald explained. "Time in between. Just don't step forward or back."

Severus just looked around and Emerald could feel his wonder and shock over the bond. There was no fear of where he stood now and Emerald gave him a soft smile.

"Time has stopped?" Severus asked and Emerald knew he could feel the time inside and outside of the shadow world.

"Yes and no." Emerald said softly. "Time can never stop, it still moves forward. It just depends on the rate, it moves faster on this side than the real world. Can you feel it?"

"Yes," Severus uttered and waved his hand in front of him and Emerald grinned.

"The bond allows you to tap into this power, Severus." Emerald stated. "This is yours."

"You said you brought Regulus here?" Severus questioned.

"If I had let him go," Emerald confessed. "He would have been lost, he doesn't have the protection that we have. This is a strange place and has its dangers. We can't live here, we are a part of the shadows but not of the shadows."

Severus nodded and could feel that, just on the edge of what he could see around him. He could feel the time around him as well as the time of the real world and it gave him a bit of a headache. He could also feel Emerald like never before. The wildness to the man that he had always known was there but as he looked around, he could understand it. Time was wild and Emerald was a shadow cat, this place felt like him. The other man could never be fully human while he held this in him.

He looked back at Emerald and he quirked a smile. He felt his heart beat a little faster as he grabbed that bond and brushed against it and Emerald's eyes darkened. He understood that better now as well as they stood surrounded by the shadows of his rooms. He stepped forward without thinking and everything wobbled. Severus quickly grabbed the image of Emerald and his room then he was standing in his rooms on solid stone.

Emerald appeared beside him then grinned when he saw him.

"You'll get used to it," Emerald commented.

"Bed," Severus gasped and grabbed him.

Emerald just laughed.

xXx

James looked through the one-way glass and stared at Regulus. A man that he thought he knew and felt that sick feeling of betrayal in his stomach. He was reminded of Peter's betrayal which had led to Harry being taken. He turned away unable to look at the man anymore as rage ran through him.

God only knew what Emerald had thought when he'd seen the man. Severus had told him that Emerald seemed okay but James knew how deep those scars ran.

"Go home, James." Kingsley stated from beside him. "Go and see your son."

James nodded sharply in agreement and started walking.

He found himself outside of Hogwarts and just looked up at the castle. It was mostly in darkness due to the students still being away on holidays. He sighed and walked up to the open doors and down to the dungeons. It wasn't until he reached Severus's door that he thought he should have called ahead.

He startled when the door opened and Severus stood there but he was looking behind him.

"Hi, Severus." James greeted and smirked when Severus's started and turned to him in surprise.

"James!" Severus exclaimed. "I wasn't expecting you."

Emerald stepped up beside Severus in interest and James looked him over. He didn't look any different than he did at his house yesterday.

"Emerald," James whispered and Severus pushed the door open wide.

"I just have to speak to the Headmaster," Severus commented and James gave him a nod of thanks.

Severus slipped past him and walked off down the hallway. James watched Emerald carefully but his son didn't give anything away.

"Can I come in?" James questioned and Emerald cocked his head to the side.

Emerald stepped back, leaving the door open and James took that as an invitation. He looked around as he stepped in and shut the door behind him. Emerald walked toward the lounge and James looked him over as he curled up in the armchair.

"I wish to apologise," James offered as he took a seat on the lounge.

"For what?" Emerald asked.

"We have no idea about Regulus," James explained. "We thought that we'd been so careful after Peter."

"Peter?"

James rubbed his face as he blew out a breath, he didn't know where to start.

"Peter Pettigrew," James expanded and winced slightly when he could tell that Emerald recognised the name. "The night that you were taken…"

James trailed off as his emotions got the best of him and he looked at Emerald, looked at his son.

"I know Peter," Emerald whispered. "My master's little pet."

James snorted at that description then felt a chill.

"Did he…" James couldn't finished the sentence.

"He would bring tapes for me to watch," Emerald said and James didn't want to think about what type of tapes. "Cartoon and other shows."

James relaxed at that.

"The Dark Lord let you watch television?" James questioned.

"Yes," Emerald answered. "He said that my English skills needed work."

"We are off topic," James stated. "Do you know about Peter's role in your kidnapping?"

Emerald tilted his head before slowly shaking it.

"We were planning on casting a spell that would have allowed us to hide from the Dark Lord," James explained. "Sirius and I had been called away on a mission and it went wrong. I had been hit with a bad cutting curse and ended up at St Mungo's hospital. Peter had been at the house when Lily got the call. He offered to look after you while Lily went to the hospital…."

James trailed off and looked down at the floor. He had trusted his best friend, they all had. He knew that Lily would never forgive Peter for taking Harry and neither would James. It had been the start of the wedge between Lily and Severus as well and it had only festered over time. Peter was a Death Eater and Lily saw Severus in the same light.

James started when Emerald placed his hand on his knee and he looked into his green eyes.

"When Lily returned home," James continued. "Peter was long gone with you."

"He was strange," Emerald whispered. "He would bring me things."

"The Dark Lord let him?"

Emerald shrugged a shoulder and removed his hand. James reached out this time and grabbed his hand.

"We almost lost you again," James uttered.

"No," Emerald replied, evenly. "Only two people can call me."

James felt a shiver run down his back at those words.

"In that case," James remarked. "We need to make that just one, even if he's a snarky Slytherin."

Emerald gave him a lopsided grin and tightened his hold of James's hand.

xXx

Emerald looked down at Severus's sleeping face, the students were due back tomorrow. He felt a little on edge but also was looking forward to sitting in on Severus's classes. He gently brushed some hair out of Severus's face before moving from the bed and pulled on a pair of jeans and a shirt.

He made his way out of Severus's rooms and into the hallway before making his way through the castle. His steps were quiet and he loved the feeling of the stones under his bare feet as much as he did under his paws as the castle woke up around him.

He stopped outside of the golden griffin and looked the statue over.

"I wish to talk to Albus Dumbledore," Emerald stated and waited.

The golden griffin jumped to the side and Emerald made his way up the stairs. Albus was waiting for him in his office, even at this early hour, and he gave Emerald a smile when he stepped off the last step.

"Emerald," Albus greeted with a smile. "Have a seat, would you like tea or coffee?"

"Water please," Emerald replied as he curled up in one of the armchairs.

"What bring you up here?" Albus asked, once they were settled with drinks.

"Regulus," Emerald answered and Albus tensed. "Did he speak to you?"

"Yes," Albus confirmed. "He had some disturbing stories to tell."

Emerald nodded and he could see the look in Albus's eyes. Regulus had informed the old man about what had happened to him. He could also see the wary look that he was giving him as well. Albus got to his feet and stepped over to his desk before moving back and holding out a piece of paper folded in half. Emerald took the paper and flicked it open then looked up at Albus.

"That was a prophecy that was made before you were born," Albus told him. "At the time, I didn't think much of it. After seeing that mark on your brow and your date of birth…"

Emerald looked down at the words and slowly worked his way through them. He was still learning and what it said confused him.

"When you spoke about a forced bond between Voldemort and yourself, this came to mind." Albus continued. "Do you want me to read it?"

"No," Emerald said. "I don't understand."

"Emerald," Albus whispered and sat forward in his seat. "That prophecy could be speaking about you."

"I understand that," Emerald replied. "I don't understand how this helps you."

Albus chuckled and sat back in his seat as he looked him over with a twinkle in his eyes. Emerald slowly read the words again, making sure he got them right.

"He caused you pain," Albus broached gently. "Could you do that back?"

Emerald frowned as he looked at Albus.

"I don't know," Emerald replied.

"Have you tried?"

Emerald shivered, he had tried and also didn't want to remember what came after. Albus sat back in his seat.

"His hold over his followers is breaking up," Albus remarked. "It's been too long and he doesn't have the Ministry in his pocket or ruling the wizarding world and they are seeing that. However, he is still a powerful wizard."

"And you think I can change that?" Emerald questioned.

Albus gave him a smile.

"I think you can change that," Albus stated. "From what Regulus has told me, you have a magic that I have never seen before."

"My master is well aware of my magic," Emerald pointed out and held up the paper.

"But can he harness it?" Albus asked. "Can he wield that magic?"

"Of the shadow cat, no," Emerald replied. "He can dip into it slightly but we do not have a mate bond."

Albus went to say something then paused.

"Severus?"

Emerald nodded.

"Severus can do the same magic as you can?" Albus questioned.

"Yes," Emerald confirmed. "We are a mated pair. What Severus can do, I can do."

"And what you can do, he can do." Albus mused and Emerald nodded. "But that is off topic."

"Regulus," Emerald reminded.

"Ah, yes." Albus remarked. "I must admit I didn't see that, even if Sirius and Regulus were close. When Sirius fell out with his family and went to live with James, he stayed in contact with him. After Pettigrew's betrayal, both James and Sirius were very careful about who they dealt with."

Emerald nodded, he didn't know the full story. Regulus would talk about his brother which also brought up memories of what they had done and he curled up a little tighter in the chair. Albus must have read his body language for he gave him a few minutes to collect himself.

"Regulus also spoke of your treatment," Albus confirmed. "And his role in it."

Emerald nodded and Albus watched him carefully.

"Would you be willing to talk to someone about it?" Albus offered.

"No," Emerald said flatly.

"It could help you."

"No," Emerald repeated with more steel in his voice.

"Severus spoke to me about that memory that he saw," Albus confessed. "It really shook him."

Emerald nodded, Severus hadn't been the only one that had been shaken.

"Please think about it," Albus advised.

"Where is Regulus now?" Emerald asked instead.

"Safe house," Albus replied. "He has agreed to give us all the information that he holds in exchange for sanctuary."

Emerald nodded.

"He is also aware that he will be put on trial for the crimes that he has performed." Albus stated. "As well as his role in your abuse."

Emerald cocked his head at that.

"He was the only one that showed kindness," Emerald remarked and noticed Albus tense.

"That was not kindness," Albus retorted.

Emerald pulled back in his seat at the look in Albus's eyes.

"That was child abuse," Albus stated. "He took advantage of the situation that you were in."

"Albus," Emerald drew the man's name out. "We have been through this."

Albus didn't say any more, but Emerald could tell that he wanted to as he looked at him. He still felt nervous around the old man but not the fear he once had. He was sure that bled over from Severus and his love for the old man.

"I want to see him," Emerald requested and Albus tensed.

"That would not be a good idea, Emerald." Albus sighed.

Emerald cocked his head to the side as he looked at Albus and the old man sighed.

"Just give it some time," Albus consented.

Emerald looked him over before nodding sharply.

"I should be going," Emerald announced as he stood.

He started when Albus grabbed his hand and he looked at him.

"Take care," Albus warned. "Voldemort may get even more desperate now."

Emerald nodded his head sharply and Albus released him.

xXx

James sighed loudly and picked up the glass of scotch and gulped it down. The burn of alcohol distracting him from the pain and sickness in his stomach. He rubbed his eyes before tipping his head back.

"I brought another bottle. I thought that yours would be looking a little sad."

James looked over at Sirius standing in the doorway with a bottle in his hand and an empty look in his eyes. James waved him in and Sirius stepped into the office and brought up a silencing charm behind him. James let his elbows rest on the desk as Sirius settled into the chair across from him.

"Have you spoken to Lily yet?" Sirius asked.

"No," James replied, his voice hoarse. "I don't know what I'm going to say. She'll want to see the file and I won't be able to show her."

"I still haven't wrapped my mind around it," Sirius admitted.

"I thought we were being so careful after Harry was taken and Peter's betrayal," James muttered as Sirius grabbed the file off his table.

James filled up his cup with scotch and another cup for Sirius. He could see the frown on Sirius's pale face.

"It says in here that Regulus met Emerald about five years ago," Sirius read out. "He said he didn't make the connection between Emerald and Harry due to the fact that he looked the same now as he did then."

James ran his hand through his hair as Sirius kept reading.

"He says in here that whenever he saw him that he seemed to have wet hair," Sirius continued with a frown. "And a bracelet or a type of collar around his neck-"

"Sirius," James pleaded.

"We found him with a bracelet," Sirius ploughed on. "He said that the bracelet or collar wasn't always the same but always seemed to be rounded, as if there was something in it."

James then frowned as well.

"Harry would have only been eleven, five years ago." James pointed out. "Just a child."

"Yes!" Sirius exclaimed as he placed his finger on the paper in the file. "He said he would have guessed his age to be mid-teens…and he was experienced."

James sighed and picked up his glass and knocked the alcohol back and just looked at the cup. Knowing about the abuse his son had suffered was one thing, reading the first-hand account of it was ripping him apart.

"He says in here that once the collar was made from glass," Sirius remarked.

"Glass?" James questioned in confusion. "Why would you make a collar from glass?"

"Yes," Sirius agreed. "He said he could see water in it."

James froze and felt a chill.

"Emerald has a fear of water," James reminded him. "Severus says that his fear of water goes past what is rational."

Sirius looked up with hollow eyes.

"Do you think that's how You-who-who would keep him contained?" Sirius uttered and that chill spread through James. "Could water stop him from stepping into that other place that he does? Could even stop him from changing forms?"

James groaned and ran a hand over his head.

"I'll talk to Kingsley about seeing that bracelet," James mused.

They both fell into silence as they slowly made their way through the bottle of scotch. The alcohol burning through the chill in their bones.

"He calls him a 'wild child'," Sirius whispered. "Said that he was always wild."

James shivered at the thought, they both remembered what Emerald had been like and how much he'd changed.

"'Never quite human'," Sirius recited, hoarsely.

"I've looked back in the Potter records," James commented after a few minutes of silence. "I can't find anything about creature blood."

"Could have come from Lily," Sirius pointed out. "They still don't know why muggleborns turn up."

James nodded and silence overcame them again until Sirius snorted.

"What?" James asked.

"At least Snape is good for one thing," Sirius muttered.

"He's a good man, Sirius." James argued.

Sirius waved his hand in answer as he sipped on his drink.

"We have him now," James said with steel in his eyes. "And I am not letting my son go without a fight."

"Someone would have to get passed Severus first," Sirius remarked. "And he has claws sharper than Harry's."

James chuckled darkly at that.

xXx

James held a silver bracelet in his hand and slowly looked it over.

"What are you thinking, James?" Kingsley asked with a frown.

"It didn't need to be cut off?" James asked in interest.

"No," Kingsley replied. "A simple expanding charm and we just slipped it off his wrist."

James frown deepened and he brought it up to his ear and shook it, he could hear something and that chill came back to his stomach.

"Do you mind if I cut it?" James requested.

"No problem," Kingsley replied as he leaned back on the bench behind him. "What do you think that it will tell us?"

"I'm not sure," James answered.

He stepped over to a bench and placed a sticking charm on the bracelet. He placed it on the table with half of it hanging over the side. He picked up a saw and put up a barrier charm, just in case something went wrong. He placed the saw to the silver and started to cut. He kept going until suddenly water dripped down the blade and he stopped. There wasn't much water in it but it was there. Just enough for that coldness to seep into him as a hunch was confirmed.

"What's that?" Kingsley asked.

"Water, I think." James replied as he grabbed up a vial and managed to get a few drops into it. "I'll get the lab to test it."

"Why would there be water in there?" Kingsley asked.

James didn't answer as he held up the vial and looked at the liquid with a sinking feeling in his stomach.

"You-know-who knows that we have Regulus Black," Kingsley remarked and James focused on him.

"Does he seem inclined to get him back?" James questioned.

Kingsley shrugged his shoulder.

"That remains unknown at this stage," Kingsley told him. "The information that he had given us has been verified so he is holding up his side of the deal."

"I would be happy to throw him back to the Dark Lord," James said darkly.

"How is Emerald doing?"

James sighed and ran a hand through his messy hair.

"It's hard to tell with him," James remarked. "He's hard to read but it seems like this business with Regulus hasn't touched him."

Kingsley nodded and looked him over and James knew that the other man was seeing what it was doing to him.

"Did you want to be taken off this case, James?" Kingsley questioned. "I'm sure I can-"

"No," James cut in roughly. "He is my son and I want to be a part of bringing these people down!"

Kingsley nodded and gave him a rough grin.

"And we will, James."

Chapter Text

Emerald woke with a cry of pain and grabbed his head. Pain blurred out everything as he screamed. He felt hands grab his wrists as he bucked and struggled. The pain was blinding as it ran through his body and he thought he was on fire. Nothing else could enter his mind and he felt more hands on him, holding him down. He struggled as the pain overtook everything else. It ripped his head apart and he screamed until his voice gave out and yet it kept coming.

He could feel his movements getting sluggish but didn't know if it was the pain or a drug as he tried to pull out of the hands on him. The pain started to ease and he knew it was a potion as he started to shake. He blinked his eyes open and could see a red haze around his sight as his eyes locked onto Severus's pale face. He was safe. Nothing would be done to him while the potions were in his system. He relaxed into the potion's embrace at that thought.

"I've given you the drugs you took last time but not the herb mixture," Severus said quickly and he could feel his eyelids getting heavy. "Do you need the mixture? Emerald!"

Emerald could feel Severus shaking him hard. His eyes blinked open, he felt numb and disconnected. The residue of pain making his thoughts slow.

"Do you need the herbs!" Severus snapped.

Emerald flinched as pain flashed across his mind but the potions had worked to block it. His eyes rolled up as the darkness took him down.

Severus looked down at Emerald, his heart thumping a hundred miles a minute while Albus held the man's wrists and Minerva and Poppy held his ankles. There was blood on his face from his scar and his skin from where he had scrapped it on the stones as he'd struggled. Severus could feel a slight echo of that pain and his own hands shook as much as Emerald's body did.

Pain suddenly flared up his arm. He grabbed the tattoo and hissed a breath.

"Severus!" Albus cried and quickly released Emerald as he grabbed his shoulder.

The pain zipped up his arm to his shoulder and he gritted his teeth. It would seem that Voldemort had turned his attention on him. He stumbled to his knees as the pain buckled him. He fumbled in his potion's pouch and pulled out a pain killer and quickly knocked it back. He squeezed his eyes shut as the potion slowly worked into his system and the pain eased off.

He sat back on the stones and let his back rest against the wall before blinking his eyes open and looking at Albus and the two women. They were pale as they looked between him and Emerald. Minerva then blushed and grabbed the blanket off the bed and laid it over Emerald's waist.

"I've seen too much of him already," Minerva muttered and Severus quirked a smile as the pain eased off.

"I wonder what made him attack now?" Albus mused as he sat down on the bed. "We’ve had Regulus Black for three weeks."

Severus just waved his hand as he looked at the tattoo on his arm. It was red and inflamed and he snagged up his potion's pouch and slipped out an anti-inflammatory and knocked it back. He then looked down at Emerald.

"Could you get me a cloth and a bowl of water, please?" Severus requested and Poppy quickly left the room.

Severus gently placed his hand on Emerald's shoulder and Minerva thinned her lips. She pushed herself to her feet as Albus sat down on the bed.

"Do you need my help anymore?" Minerva questioned.

"No," Severus replied as he laid his head back against the wall. "Thank you, Minerva."

"Good night, Severus." Minerva whispered before leaving as Poppy entered with a bowl of water and a cloth.

Poppy knelt down and gently washed the blood off Emerald's face and cleaned the scapes.

"He's still twitching," Poppy said gently and Severus sighed.

"I would say that the herb mixture must boost the numbing and pain potions," Severus remarked. "Without it, the pain is still getting through."

"Can you block it with your connection?" Albus questioned.

"Not with the headache I have at the moment," Severus replied. "I would say that's why the Dark Lord turned his attention on me. Even if I knew how, I wouldn't be able to concentrate."

Poppy pulled her wand and turned it on Emerald and cast a couple of charms before pausing. Both men looked at her.

"The magic is working," Poppy said and quickly started to work on him and Severus frowned and looked at Albus.

The old man shrugged.

"Just count it as a blessing," Albus muttered.

Suddenly a spell rebounded and Poppy yelped as it shocked her. Severus snorted and the woman turned her glare on him.

"Well," Poppy snapped. "Worked for a while there."

Albus stood up and pulled his wand and with a flick. Emerald slowly lifted up from his place on the floor and to the bed. He flicked his wand again and a blanket fell over him.

"That worked," Albus commented. "Good night, Severus. Come on Poppy, there's not much more we can do."

Severus watched them leave as he sat on the floor before flicking his own wand. He cleaned up everything before easing himself up until he stood. His head pounded as he curled up with Emerald on the bed.

xXx

Emerald rolled from the bed and landed on the floor on his hands and knees. He shook his head, still feeling a little numb but without the added boost of the herbs it wasn't as bad as normal. A hand suddenly landed on his back and he startled badly. He flattened himself to the floor with a soft hiss.

"Sorry," Severus apologised, from the bed.

Emerald nodded and slowly crawled back to his hands and knees before pulling himself up then closed his eyes as his head spun. Severus didn't touch him this time but he could feel the comfort over the bond. He slowly blinked his eyes open and looked at him and noticed how pale he looked. His eyes caught on the reddened tattoo and anger bolted through him. His master hadn't just attacked him and he straightened up.

Severus frowned as he looked up at him before following where his eyes were locked on his arm.

"He attacked you?" Emerald whispered, his throat feeling raw.

"He flared the mark after he attacked you," Severus replied.

Emerald felt rage bolt through him. Severus grabbed his wrist, he must have felt his feeling over the bond.

"Sit down," Severus snapped and Emerald complied without thought.

He groaned and grabbed his head as Severus rubbed his back. The bond may stabilise him but it also made him more human and prone to human emotions. It was easier when it had been filtered through his shadow cat blood first. When he felt better, he raised his head and moved to his feet again, he felt dirty.

"Where are you going?" Severus purred.

"Shower," Emerald whispered and Severus's lips quirked.

"Is that what it takes to make you have a shower?" Severus questioned in amusement.

Emerald gave him a smile before he walked into the bathroom.

xXx

Emerald laid on his back, in his cat form, on Severus's desk. The man's voice rolled over him as he taught his class. He opened one eye and looked at Severus as he stood near the black board and was running the students through the potion. Emerald closed his eyes again. He was tired and had almost stayed in bed but he wanted to learn the potion that Severus was working on with the third years and he liked listening to Severus's voice.

Voldemort had been calling him and inflicting pain on both him and Severus over the last week. It was draining both of them but Severus had his classes and Emerald didn't want to be caged to his rooms. He also thought it helped that they were close to each other and the bond. Severus paused and Emerald opened his eyes and could tell the man was having trouble. He rolled to his feet and jumped from the table.

The students started at that, since he spent most of the lesson on Severus's desk or chair. He jumped up onto a student's desk in front of Severus and laid down, his eyes locked on the potion master. The boy at the desk pulled back from him and he glanced over his shoulder at him before focusing back on Severus.

The man gritted his teeth before continuing with the class as the boy at the desk patted his back. Emerald rolled onto his back as the boy ran his fingers through his fur. He just watched Severus in case the pain increased. The closeness was enough for Severus to finished the class.

Severus quickly had the students leaving and closed his door behind the last one before turning to Emerald. He walked back to the desk that Emerald was on and settled into the seat. He ran a hand over the fur on Emerald's stomach.

"Thanks," Severus said softly.

Emerald jumped from the desk and changed into his human form. He looked him over before he wandered over to his potion cabinet and picked out a pain potion. He held the potion out to the seated man without a word and Severus nodded in thanks.

"Is it becoming more regular?" Emerald asked.

"More frequent," Severus replied. "The timing is different."

"He must have found a death eater that he wanted to torture then," Emerald remarked. "The Dark Mark needs a link to inflict pain."

"Yes," Severus agreed.

Emerald leaned on the desk that Severus was behind and he gave him a grin.

"Do you feel like a student there?" Emerald asked in amusement.

"Don't you start, Mr Potter." Severus snapped, but with a smile.

Emerald chuckled as he looked at him. They both looked up when the door of the classroom opened. Draco Malfoy paused in the doorway as he stared at them.

"Oh," Draco stuttered as he looked them over with a couple of students behind him. "Sorry, sir. Do you want us to wait?"

Severus just waved his hand as he moved to his feet.

"Come in," Severus ordered.

Draco gave him a smile and strolled into the room with the rest of sixth-year potion class behind him. Hermione paused when she saw Emerald before moving to her seat. Emerald strolled over to Severus's desk and took a seat behind it with his legs folded under him. The students tensed and waited for Snape to lose it but Severus just waved his wand. The blackboard cleaned off before the potion they were working on wrote itself up and the class started.

Emerald slowly slid down to sprawl out in Severus's chair as he watched the class. He felt a little exposed as the students would glance over at him every now and again. Severus leaned back on the front of his desk as he watched the class work. Emerald could feel the bond between them stronger this way as he shifted to curled his legs under him. He leaned forward on the desk and rested his folded arms on the top and Severus glanced at him. Emerald laid his head down on his arms and Severus turned back to the class as the students worked.

"Did you want to help, Ms Granger?" Severus suggested after a few minutes.

Emerald started and looked at him before moving his feet. He made his way towards Hermione and the girl looked over at him in surprise.

"Hello, Harry." Hermione greeted and Emerald gave her a nod.

He grabbed up a cutting board and helped Hermione prepare the ingredients as Hermione worked on the potion itself. The other students would glance over at him every now and again. Emerald worked quietly next to Hermione as she took the ingredients that Emerald had prepared for her.

"Are you here for long?" Hermione asked.

"For a while," Emerald evaded.

"To get some work experience?"

"You could say that," Emerald replied as he looked up at the black board.

Severus's curling writing making it harder for him to read than he was used to as he squinted.

"Does that say two centimetres pieces or one?" Emerald asked.

"Two centimetres," Severus remarked as he looked their desk over. "You need more ginger root powder."

Emerald looked into the cauldron and sniffed slightly.

"Not peppercorn and dried ditty?" Emerald asked. "If we add that after the brown snake skin it would even out the ground Dougson root."

The class went silent as Severus looked him over.

"Why complicate it?" Severus asked mildly.

"Well, the ginger root would limit the healing properties while the peppercorn and ditty would enhance it." Emerald stated with a shrug.

"Very well," Severus drawled. "Watch the timing, I do not wish to be cleaning up your mess."

Severus strolled back to the front of the class. Hermione grabbed his wrist when he went to walk to the potion cabinet. He started at the touch and Hermione let him go quickly.

"How did you know that?" Hermione questioned.

Emerald frowned.

"I have already finished school," Emerald reminded her, sticking with the lie that Albus had spun.

"Oh, sorry." Hermione gushed with a blush. "I forgot."

Emerald looked her over before weaving his way through the tables to the potion cupboard. He grabbed the right ingredients and walked back to the table with Hermione and the class finished without an issue.

"Did you want to come to the Great Hall for lunch?" Hermione offered as he filled a few vials with the potion.

"No," Emerald replied and glanced over at Severus.

"Harry has work to complete," Severus drawled.

"Yes," Emerald agreed.

"Thank you for your help then," Hermione said with a grin and Emerald nodded and walked back to Severus's desk and took a seat.

"Class dismissed," Severus snapped and everyone packed up.

Severus closed the door after the last student and looked at Emerald with his feet up on his chair, under him and he smirked.

"Good to know that you have learnt something from my classes and haven't just been sleeping the whole time," Severus drawled.

Emerald gave a laugh and Severus smiled.

xXx

Emerald panted at the pain then winced as it changed to pleasure and he moaned. Severus tightened his hand around his. He had already given him a pain potion and without knocking him out. They just had to ride it out.

"Oh, god." Emerald moaned.

He screwed his eyes shut as the feeling kept changing and it was messing with his head. Voldemort would send pain across the link just long enough to set his nerves on fire before changing it to pleasure and that was just another kind of torture. The only upside was that Voldemort couldn't keep it up for long and it would pass. The question was for how long? They were already heading to the half an hour mark, fifteen minutes longer than his last attack.

He curled his body around Severus as the man held his hand and rubbed his back as he rocked his hips slightly. He wouldn't be able to find relief before Voldemort would change it back to pain. He moaned as he got close before groaning as it switched to pain and he yelped. He tightened the hold on Severus's hand as the man gently ran his hand over his head. Emerald panted, he could end it, if he just went to Voldemort but he couldn't as he moaned in pain.

Severus just held Emerald's hand as they waited for it to end. They couldn't keep this up and Severus just hoped that neither could Voldemort. He'd never seen the Dark Lord try so hard to get to someone before. Even betraying him wouldn't cause the pain that he was putting Emerald through. Emerald suddenly moaned and Severus wasn't sure if it was in pain or pleasure. He gritted his teeth as frustration ran through him. He pushed Emerald onto his back and could see the hard on and knew in what way Voldemort was teasing his mind. The man's body was shaking badly and his eyes were screw shut.

"Open your eyes," Severus snapped.

Emerald blinked open his eyes, they were blown wide as they looked up at him.

"I'm sorry," Severus whispered and pulled his wand.

Before he could change his mind, he locked his eyes with Emerald's.

"Legilimens," Severus whispered

Severus felt a slight barrier before Emerald let him in. He pulled the bond they had around him as Emerald's memories rolled over his mind. He pushed as many of them to the side as he could then grabbed the bond between them tightly. Emerald helped as much as he could but Severus could feel how much of a mess his mind was from Voldemort's attacks.

He found the place that Voldemort was using to access Emerald's mind and tried to slammed the door closed with the bond. He heard Emerald yell out but he couldn't think of that. He pushed against Voldemort as he held the bond close. He snarled and pushed harder and it felt like he was trying to close a door made from stone then Emerald was beside him and pushing.

He could feel how tired the man was beside him. How much he'd been worn down as the pain and suffering of the memories around him tried to flood into his own mind.

"He's mine," Severus snarled with Emerald beside him.

With one last push they managed to close the door and lock it tight, then Severus felt Emerald's energy give out. He quickly pulled himself from the man's mind. He came back to himself, panting heavily and looking down into Emerald's slack face and closed eyes.

He'd passed out and Severus wasn't sure if that was a blessing or not.

He slowly lowered his wand to the ground and placed a shaking hand to Emerald's neck and felt his pulse. It was still racing and he wasn't sure what the man was going to be like when he woke up as his hands shook. They could have done something very smart or very stupid.

Suddenly Emerald's memories rolled over Severus's mind and it registered what he'd seen. He was racing from the room and just made it to the toilet before throwing up. The images that he'd picked up, coming up in vivid detail, as he kept throwing up until it was just bile and he was gasping.

"Oh, god." Severus wheezed, he'd only glimpsed a few memories but they were enough.

He could feel his body shaking from the abuse that he'd seen inflicted on Emerald. He was amazed that the man was as sane as he was. He fumbled the coin from his pocket and pressed his thumb into it as he laid his head on the toilet seat. Feeling hot and cold at the same time and hollow to the core. He'd known how cruel and perverted that Voldemort could be but that was nothing compared to what he'd picked up from Emerald's mind.

xXx

"Severus?" Albus called as he came into the man's rooms.

He heard the shower turn on and frowned as he headed that way. He walked in to see Severus pull back from sticking his head under the water and push his wet hair back. He took in the image of Severus's pale and shaking form and felt a chill. The other man's dark eyes were hollow as water soaked into the shirt that he was wearing.

"Emerald?" Albus questioned.

"Bedroom," Severus replied, his voice rough.

Albus gave Severus a moment to compose himself as he walked into the bedroom and stopped dead.

"Oh, Merlin." Albus whispered and hurried forward.

Albus eased himself down to his knee as he knelt down and pressed his fingers to Emerald's throat. The man was paper white which made the red of his blood, as it dribbled down his face from the curse scar, stand out even more. He was also naked and he could see scrapes on his skin from the bare stone floor.

"The Dark Lord kept attacking him," Severus reported softly as he entered the room with a wet cloth. "Kept changing from pain to pleasure then back again."

Albus nodded as he pulled the blanket off the bed and draped it over Emerald's waist.

"It was starting to drive him mad," Severus whispered. "It was getting worse, stronger."

"What did you do?" Albus insisted as Severus gently washed Emerald's face.

"I broke into his mind," Severus uttered. "Oh god, Albus. We had no idea of what he has suffered…I think we may have been able to block the Dark Lord."

"You think?" Albus pressed.

"I'm not sure," Severus admitted and looked at Albus and the old man sucked in a breath.

Albus grabbed his shoulder and Severus sighed and bowed his head. He was shaking and he wasn't sure if he was going to be sick again or not. Albus just rubbed his back as Severus picked up one of Emerald's hands and squeezed it.

"I used the bond between us," Severus whispered. "To block him with Emerald's help."

Albus just rubbed his back as Severus bowed his head over Emerald's hand in his. The ticking of the clock, the only other sound in the room.

"I don't know what he's going to be like when he wakes up," Severus croaked. "I couldn't ask his permission before I did it. I was just so angry and frustrated."

"I'm sure he would have felt that," Albus offered in comfort. "You are bound."

Severus nodded slowly but with Emerald out he couldn't feel him over that bond.

"Can you move him to the bed, please?" Severus requested.

Severus pulled himself to his feet and plucked the blanket off Emerald and Albus floated Emerald up and into the bed. Severus placed the blanket over him before standing back, he could still feel himself shaking. He wasn't sure if he could stop as he felt cold to the core.

"I'll cancel your classes tomorrow," Albus stated. "Good thing it's a Friday."

Severus nodded, his eyes never leaving Emerald. Albus clasped his shoulder and he turned to the older man slowly. He felt drained in every sense.

"I believe a sleeping potion wouldn't go amiss tonight, my boy." Albus suggested.

Severus nodded slowly.

"Call me if you need me," Albus whispered.

"Thank you."

Albus clapped his shoulder again before leaving the room. Severus stood there a while just looking down at Emerald's pale face.