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The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 - Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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1. Chapter 1

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Chapter one A disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter Series, nor am I making any money from this. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP The moon hung lazily overhead casting its cold beams down to Earth. The werewolf did not think its beams cold, no they radiated with energy giving life to his limbs. He scrambled up the rocky ledge to get as physically close as possible. Here he could oversee all, his intelligent amber eyes sweeping his territory. Nothing was threatening his challenge on his land tonight, he could relax a little. It had been raining, he could smell its scent upon the cool night breeze as it ruffled his fur playfully. He wiggled his paws into the sticky mud created from soil and water, relishing the feeling between his claws. His lungs breathed in powerfully as he took in the scents of the night. There was no prey around to chase which irked him, his fangs were just dying to sink into something warm and living. His skin tingled with excitement as the moon continued bathing him in its light. He wanted to sing his joy to the Heavens, making everyone aware of his presence. Drawing his paws back he tilted his massive head back and howled at the moon. Venting his happiness in one powerful joyful call for all creatures to hear. Inside the werewolf however was one forlorn Potions Master of Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Severus Snape despised being a werewolf, they were disgusting

creatures. They lacked self control, self discipline, and many other things that he thought imperative. The things that made him human. His becoming a werewolf was not a tale he liked to relive. He wished he could boast he was bitten by the insane Greyback in a duel, but it was not the case. Neither had he been bitten by Lupin, when Potter and his friends had played that ridiculous prank on him. Even that would have been better than his stupidity. No his tale was a rather dull one and not overly eventful. He had been lost when on a raid with the Dark Lord and separated from his fellow Death Eaters in his unit. He had been starving, thirsty and probably close to death, lost deep within some forsaken forest. When he chanced upon some water on his path. It was a muddy puddle, but Severus had not been ready to die yet, and had drunk his fill, laughing in the face of death once more. But fate it seemed had another plan in mind. It was only in the few seconds before his agonizing change into the foul beast, he realized that the rainwater he had drunk was from a werewolf paw print. An uncommon way to transform into a werewolf, and one that had been disputed for many years by Wizards. Seemed there had been some truth to it after all. Even though he drank the wolfsbane Potion every month like clockwork, the beast within him could still take control of his body whilst in this form and do what it wished. The wolf had not bitten or harmed anyone yet and Severus doubted he could stop it even if he wanted to. Well, it was their own fault if they were bitten not Severus'F. Most people had the common sense to stay away from Werewolves; Severus was not going to be held accountable. The wolf scented something in the air and it filtered down into his own subconscious. A human was nearby. Severus felt his innards freeze, but the werewolf was not charging after the scent in full blood frenzy. It was taking its time drawing in the scent, mulling over it. The wolf stood and looked over the rock face trying to locate its target. Something had it very interested. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry really should not have been out this late at night. He had been informed time and time again that it was not safe outside on Hogwarts grounds late at night, but it was the only time he could be alone. Romilda Vane was very persistent and took up most of his time during the daylight hours. After her love potion attempt it had taken all of Harry's wit to stay one step ahead of her. Juggling that and his lessons and Quidditch was exhausting. The night was breathtaking, no cloud cover just a few lonely stars paying homage to the brilliance that was the moon. It was full, but Harry saw no cause for alarm. Lupin was miles away and Harry did not know of another werewolf. Not unless the Wagga Wagga werewolf was back on the prowl. He sighed sadly, kicking his feet through some brown leaves. Harry Potter was lonely and unwilling to admit it to anyone. He had his friends and his schoolmates, but no family. Friends were family you chose for yourself he had heard someone say and Harry believed it. But he wished for someone to stand by him unconditionally.

People in the school had turned their backs on him when they thought he was the Heir of Slytherin. Even Ron his first friend ever and turned his back when he thought Harry had entered the Triwizard tournament. It had shaken his belief in people. Sometimes they were fickle, and some only saw Harry as the saviour to the world. Apart from Hermione. She was a true friend in every sense of the word. She may have been bossy and obsessed with her studying, but she was a Gryffindor for a reason and had stuck loyally beside Harry every time. Even though she had feelings for Ron she had backed Harry at the Triwizard and sided with him. Harry had wondered that if Hermione hadn't been the thing Victor Krum would miss most, would she had been down in the lake awaiting Harry to rescue her, instead of rescuing Ron? Shoving his hands in his robe pocket Harry picked up his pace wanting to get warm. When would people see him as he was? Not as the hope of the world, but as someone who just wanted to finish school like everyone else, find a special someone and find a job he enjoyed. There was the secret wish of the great and indestructible Harry Potter. He wanted a family. It had probably stemmed from not having one, and had been implanted firmer in his mind when Sirius had died. But that was what he wanted. No great desire to be a powerful Wizard, or to be a famous Quidditch player. Just some close people to love him unconditionally. His heart missed a beat as he heard a howl, deep and powerful echoing across the Hogwarts grounds. No Dumbledore would have warned the students if there was something to worry about. Wouldn't he? But Harry didn't remember being warned about any tasks Dumbledore had set up for him before however. He span on his heel, wand out and crouched into his standard attack pose at the sound of footfalls. What was Dumbledore making him fight now? His eyes widened in disbelief. Lupin had never been this big. His limbs morphed into jelly with fear and he fell to his knees, propelling himself backward his fingers cutting themselves on sharp rocks. Voldemort he could handle. No that was a lie, he couldn't defeat Voldemort yet that had been proved, but at least Harry stood a chance defending himself with Voldemort, he was but a man, an insane one that never seemed to die but a man. He could see the beast's sharp fangs and his razor sharp claws dirty with mud. He wouldn't be able to react fast enough and he didn't have any gold to hand. That was what Hermione had said wasn't it? That Werewolves were weak against gold? The brute of a wolf merely looked and him unmoving, a sinister spectre in the night. Harry waited his chest heaving in panic. It was fight or flight time and he had the upper hand, the wolf was stationary which gave him the perfect chance to attack. No it was silver, silver was what Werewolves were weak against. Harry didn't know of a spell to make silver, or even transfigure something into silver.

Trembling he stood his wand shaking along with his hand. He pointed it at what he hoped was menacingly towards the wolf but still it stood, mocking him. He had known animals like to play with their food but this was torture. Locked in a stalemate neither made any sudden moves. HPHPHPHPHHPHPHPHPHP Severus was cackling with glee. He could hear it echoing in his mind shared with the wolf. Harry Potter was terrified and was scrabbling in the mud. Now this was a memory to use against the Dementors. How ironic was this? Events had turned full circle and now it was James Potter's son scared by a werewolf. He knew the wolf would not attack. If he was going to Potter would have been dead, or laying on the ground bleeding before he knew what had happened. Severus would have felt no sympathy; it served the boy right for being so conceited. Thinking he was immune to everything. Potter may have survived the killing curse, but there was not a chance Potter would survive his bone crunching jaws. Severus wouldn't have lost any sleep over it, but Dumbledore would have his hide, literally as a rug on his office floor. He wasn't sure if Dumbledore knew of his hairy problem, but it was best to assume he did. He knew everything else. Lupin knew of course the wolf in him could sense it. Thankfully Severus had not been infected by a werewolf on the night of Pettigrew's escape; otherwise he would have a pack consisting of Potter, Granger and Weasley. He could think of nothing more horrendous. He would have told Dumbledore of Severus being a potential threat. But Dumbledore would have known the honourable Snape would have taken the wolfsbane potion, loyal to the light as he was. However, Dumbledore didn't know that his werewolf did not always retain a human mind when drinking the potion. It hadn't eaten a human yet. But there were firsts for everything. He tried to urge the wolf into attacking. Nothing serious or life changing, a little tear in his trousers wouldn't harm the boy, but the wolf was steadfast in what it was doing. It stayed still as Potter moved and it could sense that the boy was terrified of him. Severus was impressed that the wolf was not attacking. Fear usually made animals attack. Something had the wolf fascinated. Even with a wand pointed at it the wolf stood still as a statue. Eventually it sat on its hindquarters to appear less intimidating to the boy, shocking both Severus and Potter. Then with a spark of intuition Severus knew what was happening and he felt sick to his stomach. He had studied Werewolves after his encounter with Lupin familiarizing himself with their rituals and habit. It had been in preparation for Lupin and his friends expulsions out of school, but it had come in handy when he was infected. The wolf could see a potential mate in Harry bloody Potter. Potter let his wand fall to his side and took a shaky step forward.

Severus was wrestling with the wolf's mind, trying to get the infernal beast to snap its jaws or snarl or something other then this soft puppy dog pose. He was a ferocious werewolf for Merlin's sake! The wolf pushed back down, securing Severus in his place of only watching. Severus may have been a skilled master of his mind, but tonight the wolf was in charge. Potter got right up close and the wolf bowed playfully wagging its tail slightly. Severus was going to be sick. This was the last time the wolf was coming outside, next time Severus would take the potion and lock himself in a silver cage. This was below him. The boy reached his hand out and once again he tried to regain control. He wouldn't kill the boy, but he could at least scare him! The wolf was a solid block against his mind and Severus could only watch in barely concealed rage at what was unfolding. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry reached his hand out hesitantly. It was obvious the wolf wasn't going to attack him, but what did it want? He was still a little nervous when it came bounding up to him and butted his hand with its huge furred head. He wriggled his fingers experimentally within its pelt and it seemed to work. The wolf sat looking at him, ears standing to attention. "What do you want with me?" He whispered, gazing deep within its ochre eyes. The wolf merely flexed its shoulders and lay down. Even lying down, its muzzle came to Harry's chest. "Either you're much bigger than the typical werewolf or I'm still very short." The beast snorted and looked back up at the moon. "Why are you not trying to bite me?" Harry asked it, but the creature didn't move. What was Harry expecting, the wolf to open its jaws and explain. It couldn't communicate with him. Sighing he sat down beside it and looked at the moon with it. "I know whoever you are the Human in you can hear me. What I don't understand is how someone at Hogwarts is hiding something like this." Swinging its big head down the creature glanced at him before shuffling forward on its paws coming closer to Harry. He could feel the warmth flowing from its huge body and he subconsciously leant towards it. Its fur was dark as the night and unbelievably silky to the touch, he concluded running his fingers through it once again. The wolf was clearly happy, its great tail thumping occasionally as it continued looking around. "Are you keeping an eye out for danger?" Harry asked, but again was met with silence. "That's something I have to do as well. The world we live in, it's not safe." The wolf growled gently, almost agreeing with him. "Are you a good werewolf then? You must be if you aren't attacking humans. Or the wolfsbane potion is living up to its name." "I wonder who you are." HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP A good werewolf? Severus thought incredulously. There were no limits to Potters stupidity. But it didn't help that the wolf was as terrifying as a Hinkypuff. Even so, had anyone in the

Wizarding world heard of a good werewolf? No they were horrifying beasts that struck terror into the hearts of man! Severus found it preposterous that Potter would think there was such a thing as a "tame" werewolf. It was the same as saying the Vampires were misunderstood creatures that only had to drink blood because they had to. Not because they desired to. However, Severus had no desire to listen to Potter whine. The boy carried on talking and no matter how Severus tried to drown it out reciting Potion ingredients, he could still hear him. He saw the boy enough in school hours, this was Severus' time and he didn't want to share it with the bloody boy who lived. Potter was now touching him, which made his skin crawl. What gave Potter the audacity to reach out and touch something that could rip his arms off effortlessly? Severus was not some pampered pet to be fawned over. Alright he was actually touching the wolf, but the wolf was a part of him, therefore indirectly Severus which meant he was touching him. Severus at the moment had to be content with thinking up ways to make Potter suffer in the next few days. When that didn't work he thought about ways to torture the boy. He had to stop with the involvement of Voldemort however. The Dark Lord was able to read his mind and probably would have gotten a few ideas. But even that couldn't shake the loathsome feeling of being touched by someone he detested. No that word was not strong enough. Hated? No despised was a much better word. "Do you have a name, besides your human one I mean?" (Let me open my mouth and tell you my name.) Severus thought thinking of all his sharp teeth, yet the wolf didn't find this amusing. What did Potter expect? He would open his jaws and speak to him. He didn't see any reason in lowering himself to talk to Potter when he was human, why start now? Besides, their was the fact Werewolves couldn't communicate with people. How much longer did this have to go on? The boy's voice grated on him and Severus couldn't care less what Potter had to say. The boy had no concept of real life; everything was always handed to him on a plate, no matter how Severus had tried to mess it up. No matter how many crimes he had pinned on the boy Dumbledore had always found a way around it. Couldn't insult the favourite golden child now could we? Severus sneered at himself. No matter how many times Dumbledore had asked him to be civil to the boy Severus couldn't do it, he actively chose not to. People like Potter like Potter Senior lived in worlds far beyond his own and had to be brought down into reality. Arrogant tossers who thought life owed them. Not like Severus who had been born with nothing and worked hard for what he had now. Where had it led him? Severus was an esteemed Potions Master, safe under Dumbledore and James Potter had ended up dead. Fame wasn't everything it seemed. "I think I'll call you Artemis." Wheedled down into his ears. Potter surely was not so dense to call him that. Beside the fact Artemis was a girl's name she had nothing to do with the moon as many people thought. Is this what they were teaching in Astrology these days? Severus assumed this was where Potter was going with this. "She is the Goddess of wild animals and later on she became identified with the Roman Goddess Diana who was also Goddess of wild animals and of the moon in Roman mythology."

Severus was shocked that Potter actually had a brain; it seemed his eyes were not the only thing he inherited from his Mother. When was this night going to end? He thought in despair this was torture. Send him on a mission for Voldemort anything but this! The wolf seemed to listen and stood pointing his muzzle to the light of the new dawn. Signalling he had to go. Potter stood as well patting his head in farewell. "Will I see you again?" (No!) Severus hollered, but the wolf just whined and rubbed his head against Harry before bounding away. Severus would not allow a next time. He had mastered all his emotions and was a master of his mind. He would find a way to master the werewolf. Regardless if it thought Harry Potter was a worthy mate. TBC Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 851 - Follows: 1,257 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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2. Chapter 2

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Chapter 2 A disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor am I making any money from this fiction. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry Potter gazed out the window dreamily. Just who was the werewolf from last night? Harry had never seen a creature so glorious. His fur had shone like fresh spun silk, glossy and as dark as a raven's wing. But it was its eyes that were burned into his mind. Unfathomable and golden.

Lupin who had been terrifying at his change paled significantly in compassion. Lavender who was sitting next to him jabbed a sharp elbow into his ribs, eliciting an annoyed grunt. Startled from his thoughts he turned to face Professor McGonagall and tried to listen. Or at least try to look like he was listening attentively. In Transfiguration he had always been paired with Ron, but today he had to suffer sitting next the blonde airhead. Eventually the bell rang letting Harry escape. He wanted to go to the library to look up Werewolves, and try to determine why they wouldn't attack humans. "Now I know something is up Harry Potter." A voice called to him, stopping him in his tracks. His quest for knowledge would have to wait, as he came face to face with another bushy haired beast. Hermione Granger. She had him pinned with her gorgeous brown eyes and a scowl upon her lips. "The Harry I know does not go running off to the library during lunch. Nor does he spend most of the day ignoring me. So, are you going to tell me what's wrong?" She demanded, not far from stamping her foot. Thinking on his feet he simply smiled, it usually worked on other girls but not Hermione. She watched him crossly. He knew he had to tell her something and it had to be good. "Alright Hermione, but not here come to the library with me." Crossing her arms she looked him up and down, seeing if his body language could give her any clues. He was revealing none, so she grumbled and nodded. Grabbing her arm at the elbow, Harry led her down the many flights of stairs to the library. They both smiled politely at Madam Pince, who greeted them with a prissy look. Well, at Harry at least she did, she thawed a little for Hermione. Bookworms tended to stick together that way. Harry found a table far away from eavesdroppers, but not secluded in a corner. Then people would know they were discussing something important. "How did you know something was wrong?" Harry whispered, pulling out a chair. "Because Harry I'm your friend. Besides, you're not subtle everyone knows when something is wrong with you. Your heart is always on your sleeve." Harry sighed and put his head in his hands. Did he lie to her? Or enlist her help? Hermione always listened to him, and she could probably find the information quicker than he could. "Alright, but this has to stay between us." He only got an annoyed look in response. "I was out late last night. On the grounds, and I saw something I probably shouldn't have." Hermione leaned forward. "Well, first of all I heard it howling and then I saw" "You're telling me you saw a werewolf?" Hermione shrieked at him, earning her a glare from the librarian. Seemed bookworms weren't that loyal to each other after all. Hermione whispered a "Sorry," before turning back to Harry. "Have you told Dumbledore? How did you get out of there alive?" She quickly looked over his available flesh, "Oh my God you weren't bitten were you?" She panicked her eyes misting over.

"Hermione just calm down would you! How did you know I saw a werewolf?" Harry demanded. He had not told anyone and Hermione was not a mind reader. "Come on Harry its me. Last night was the full moon? You heard Howling? I mean really it isn't hard." She carried on staring at his bare arms. "I wasn't bitten. The reason I'm telling you is because I wanted to do some research on the creatures. About why they wouldn't attack a human." "Harry all Werewolves attack humans its part of what makes them so terrifying. Werewolves main prey are humans, they tend to leave other animals alone, unless they're really hungry," Sceptically she looked at him. "You sure it wasn't a regular wolf you saw Harry?" Harry bristled at her condescending tone. "I know what I saw Hermione, it was as big as a horse. A normal wolf would be about this high," He gestured with his hand, placing it against his waist. "Besides, I've seen Lupin as a werewolf, that's not something you can forget." Hermione chewed her lip in thought. For some reason it made Harry remember her when her teeth were a bit large. She hadn't been a bucktooth, but her teeth had been slightly larger than average. Harry was glad she had gotten them fixed for her sake. They had been a reason for people to pick on her. Not that Harry cared. She could have buck teeth or no teeth, made no difference to their friendship. "Harry all Werewolves attack humans it part of their DNA. The werewolf that you saw must be taking the wolfsbane Potion. So, the human host was controlling the mind." "Then why was it outside? Most people that are Werewolves under the Potion stay inside to avoid getting close to people." Harry knew this particular wolf was not under the potion. He wasn't sure why he knew the wolf was wild, maybe it was the creature's eyes? They had too much wildness in them to be tame. Besides, only one person was clever enough to make wolfsbane and that was Snape. Harry could not see anyone going to Snape for the potion. Not after Snape had gotten Lupin fired for being a werewolf. The Potions Master hated Werewolves everyone now knew that. "Hermione I'm sure it wasn't under a potion. Sirius once told me that Lupin acted like a pup under the Potion. All bark and no bite. This was different, I can't explain it but something wasn't right." How could he make her understand? Artemis and Harry were linked by some means. He didn't even understand it himself. He just felt it. "Harry we should really tell someone about this. Those creatures are dangerous," She sighed at her friends unwavering face. "I'll look it up. I'll tell Professor McGonagall I need a book from the restricted section. Harry maybe you should speak to Lupin. You haven't really spoken to him since Padfoot died. He's the perfect person to ask what happened. I can only tell you what the textbooks say. Many people that write them have no idea what being a werewolf is like." Harry had avoided Lupin since Sirius's death. It was too painful; the bond between them was tainted by the death of someone they both held dear. But he was the best person to ask, Hermione was right.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP The worst part about being a werewolf was in Severus' mind simple. It wasn't the painful transformation, or the being forced to do something against his will. That was a daily occurrence. Helping Potter or any of the other students was always against his will. No it was the fur and the taste in his mouth afterwards. After that tryst with the wolf and Potter he had come across a rabbit, which was foolish enough to run out when it did. Severus had no aversion to rabbit when it was cooked. Waking up in the morning with pieces of rabbit fur in your teeth, its blood congealing in your mouth. That was just plain disgusting. The fact that he had spent part of the night, not matter how slight with Potter trumped all. Severus had brushed his teeth, flossed and repeated about six times and was now picking the dirt from under his nails. He hated getting filthy. With Potter's scent all over him, he felt positively revolting. There had to be some perks to his infection. Heightened hearing, quicker reflexes and of course an acute sense of smell. Which in this circumstance was not a desirable trait. The wolf within him was docile and content. Which was rare, normally it fought with him a lot more than this. It was a constant struggle between Man and Beast and Severus usually won. Unless the moon was full of course. A Tempus spell showed him it was just after seven. He had an hour to get down to the Great Hall which gave him time for a shower, or three. Adjusting it to a warmth that was soothing, Severus shed his clothes or what was left of them and clambered in. His limbs never worked properly after a transformation. Lupin he recalled was usually off sick after a full moon, but not Severus. Artemis snorted in contempt. That bloody name. The wolf it seemed liked it and was imposing it on Severus' brain. Severus refused to listen. It was not the full moon and it would not be for a long time. The wolf was back where it belonged and that is how it would remain. wolf not some stupid pet name. Severus moved his arm stiffly, pulling down some bottles. Smelling each he decided on the one labelled sandalwood and poured a liberal amount over his body. Working it up into a rich lather, he scrubbed his body vigorously. Eager to get the smell out of his body. The wolf growled furiously in his mind. It didn't want the smell of Potter gone. Severus however did. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Artemis had to be somewhere nearby Harry thought, looking around the Great Hall. He thought he should rule out the Ravenclaws because they would have easily made the potion. The only other people that could possibly make it were Hermione and Snape, and Harry was convinced neither of them were Artemis.

No one appeared to be looking his way, or acted different from usual he thought sadly. He really wanted to know who it was. He would have to be patient enough for the next full moon it seemed. Hermione returned from the library and sat next to him, grabbing herself some lunch. "Stop glaring at me Harry I will do the research, but I need to eat. We've got Potions next and sometimes the Potion ingredients make me sick to my stomach. I need something in there." Harry wrinkled his nose in disgust before his attention was caught by someone looking at him, someone who usually ignored him. Draco Malfoy was studying him for some reason. Not in the intense I'm plotting your destruction kind of way. Just in a I'm observing you kind of way. Harry looked over his shoulder to see if anyone was behind him, but it was only the bare wall covered by the Gryffindor tapestry. Hermione halted, her sandwich halfway to her lips as she too noticed Malfoy watching them. "Usually Malfoy is immaculate in his appearance. Why does he look so dishevelled?" He hadn't even noticed that. Malfoy did have dark rings under his eyes and his platinum hair was chaotic. That was new. Harry remembered that Lupin used to look ill and messy after a transformation. Maybe Malfoy was the werewolf. But wouldn't the werewolf have light fur? Did hair colour actually matter at all? Lupin had brown hair and tawny fur. Possibly Harry had just assumed the human would have ebony hair. Hermione was now chewing her sandwich thoughtfully, her glass raised to her lips. Her wide eyes surveyed the room mulling over potential candidates. It could have been anyone. Patience was not a virtue Harry seemed to have. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus was not going to look at the boy. Even the though the wolf was trying to gain control of his eyes to look over at him. He could feel the massive protective urges coursing through his body, but Severus knew they were not his feelings. Yes he had saved the boy once, but that was once and it was not going to happen again. He had fulfilled his debt; it was no business of his if Potter was foolishly reckless and flung himself into danger. Eating a meal that was cooked nearly had Severus smiling. Cooked food was so much more civilised. He always relished his first meal after his change. Eating bugs, raw animals and anything else the wolf felt like, always made him sick the next morning. Eventually he did look up at the students; he had to appear like he was a teacher and that cared about his students after all. Besides, how could he blame Potter for anything if he hadn't witnessed it first hand? Even if that hadn't stopped him before. Call it an act of weakness, but eventually his eyes drifted to the Gryffindor table. Potter was talking to Granger and they seemed very interested in the students around them. Granger! Severus choked on his food and had to spit it into a napkin. Civilized indeed. Potter might have been a naive imbecile but not Granger. That insufferable know it all was a genius. She alone out of Potter's year group had realised Lupin was a werewolf. She had

been a third year then! Imagine how much smarter she would be now? Potter would have told her about last night, Potter told all his friends everything. Another indication of his immaturity. Weasley might not have been flavour of the month but Granger was. Severus would have to be exceptionally vigilant. Potter would not find out who he was. He had Potions next which would be enjoyable. Potter was about to pay for last night. For the touching and boring him to death with his inane chatter. Today was a good day to be alive. The wolf growled in warning but Severus ignored it. It was the wolf's turn to watch helpless as something transpired that it did not approve of. But first he would need to return and make sure the glamour's were still holding. Granger would not put two and two together. He could not allow that to happen. Not whilst Severus was still smarter than a sixteen year old. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry looked at his potion in despair. He didn't even know what potion they were making! Snape had simply waltzed into the classroom in his usual dramatic fashion, and barked at them to get started on the potion on the board. Harry thought he had added the ingredients precisely as indicated, but that mans damn handwriting was so damn small and loopy. Everyone else had the same colour potion. Why did this always happen to him? It wasn't as if he didn't try hard in all his subjects. Well, apart from this one. This was only required for him to become an Auror. Then he would work his way up to Head Auror and strike Potions of the list of requirements. If that didn't work Hermione would probably be Minster of Magic by then so he would just ask her. It didn't help that he was the only one who had to wear glasses. Everyone else had perfect eyesight except him, then if you added the gloom Snape liked to work in and the vapours fogging his glasses up. Harry was surprised he could even see the cauldron in front of him. Snape thus far had ignored him apart from his usual scathing remarks. There had been no antagonizing yet. But the lesson was still young, and with his potion the way it was, torment was imminent. "Bottle your potions, and line them up on my desk," Snape hissed scathingly. This was it he was doomed. Everyone's potions were clear, Harry's was murky grey. He did as instructed however, waiting for a large group of people to put their potions up at the same time. Safety in numbers after all. A few steps before he reached the desk however, Snape suddenly turned towards him, nostrils flaring, dark eyes burning with hatred. Harry had never seen him so livid. The man's crooked nose creased in repugnance the closer he got. Harry didn't smell did he? He might have been out late last night, but he had showered this morning. Placing his vial on the desk and eager to make a quick escape, he turned on his heel prepared to run back to his desk. "What is this Potter? Do you seek to insult my intelligence at this abysmal attempt?" Snape whispered angrily.

Harry felt his stomach churn uncomfortably. It was always worse when Snape whispered. Shouting was not Snape; he preferred the long drawn out torture. Filled with suffering and anguish. But he was not Harry Potter, known for his courage for nothing. Bullies had to be stood up to. Otherwise they thought you weak. "My potion sir," Harry deliberately made his voice sarcastic. He was going to get it in the neck anyway, why make it fun for Snape? He cherished nothing more than watching Harry get upset. Especially if it was by his own hands. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Potter was going to fail. Potter's obvious weakness was his eyesight. This gave Severus all the motivation he needed to make the room dark and his instruction small. He awaited the boy's failure, keeping an eye on his other students. He could barely wait for the hour brewing time to be up. But good things always came to those who wait, and sure enough Potter had messed up his potion. As anticipated. Now he could make the boy suffer, while his wolf watched in anguish. Turning to the blackboard he rubbed down his chalk instructions. Suddenly something made his knees buckle. Just what was that luscious smell? Severus could hardly breathe as it assaulted his nose. It made him light headed and giddy. The wolf howled happily causing echoes inside Severus' brain. That's what the smell was then. Severus had to force the werewolf back down no matter how much pain it caused him. It was agonizing, but Severus was not going to let the wolf win. He would never mate with Potter, Severus would kill himself first. He turned and saw Potter's face stand out from the other students. Potter was a bit fearful of his expression which eased the pain he was feeling slightly. He could do this. "What is this Potter? Do you seek to insult my intelligence at this abysmal attempt?" He tried not to growl, he was human not the wolf. "My potion sir," The boy told him in defiance. The wolf broke past Severus' grasp and growled in annoyance. For once it and Severus were in agreement. Potter did not speak to them like that; they deserved more respect from the disrespectful whelp. He would be taught submission. "Why is it Potter you are the only student who failed?" Severus challenged. Potter had suddenly turned mute it seemed. "I have no desire to keep dunderheads in my class Mr Potter. If it wasn't for Professor Dumbledore you would have been out of my class a long time ago. Dumbledore may think you're talented. But all I see before me is an egotistical fool, who uses people to his advantage. Dumbledore would never have allowed you to take this class if he knew your true talents," Severus scowled at the boy.

"Well just try and remember who your boss is then Snape," Harry retorted face flushing with anger. The class had cottoned on to their fight, and all were listening with baited breath. It seemed Potter had some fight in him after all. Severus was most pleased. Torturing students who rolled over and took it was never fun. "Fifty points from Gryffindor Potter, and detention with Filch Thursday night. I've been assured Filch does a wonderful job in teaching rebellious students manners." "Does that mean you'll be joining me then, to learn some for yourself?" Harry challenged, not backing down. The growling in his head grew louder and it was aimed more at Severus this time. It did not want Severus to carry on goading the boy. It didn't want to distress Potter. Well, that was just too bad. "Make that a hundred and fifty," Severus snarled, hearing the gasps from the Gryffindors around him. Potter clamped his mouth shut. Severus could see Potter was wrestling with himself. He wanted to continue his quarrel with Severus, but his loyalty to his house was stopping him. Severus smirked as Potter walked dejectedly back to his seat. His house mates turning their backs on him. Severus knew that above everything, this would cause Potter the most anguish. Life was excellent. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP HP Harry waited for Lupin's call via the fireplace. He had sent Hedwig with a note requesting Lupin called him, that it was urgent. Harry had also told him to call Gryffindor tower at one in the morning. Ensuring all students would have gone to bed by then. He felt slightly selfish. Lupin would have been exhausted and ill, but he needed to know. He couldn't get the werewolf out of his mind. Even after everything that had happened to him today, Harry could not stop thinking about the creature. It was stupid he knew. He had only seen Artemis for a few hours, but it felt like the wolf had really understood him, which was more than anyone else around here. Staring into the burning embers Harry could feel himself drifting off. It was late and he was exhausted. He had been up till the crack of dawn with Artemis, and now he was forcing his body to stay awake now. Eventually Lupin's head appeared in the fireplace, his face frowning with concern. "Harry? Are you alright?" He whispered urgently. Pulling his dressing gown tighter to his body, Harry got off the sofa and sat in front of the fireplace. "Yes Lupin I'm fine, I just needed to ask you some questions. About Werewolves."

Lupin was taken aback for a few seconds. "Werewolves? Harry I thought something horrible had happened to you. I thought Voldemort had resumed his malevolent manipulations of your dreams again. Why are you bringing up Werewolves? Did you read about Dolores Umbridge in the Daily Prophet?" Harry felt his hand scars tingle at the mention of her name. "She was lost in the forbidden forest last I heard. Serves her right," Harry growled. "Harry I'm touched your worried about the new conditions in the anti-werewolf legislation law. I must admit I'm impressed, you're often nave about things concerning the Wizarding world." What was happening? "I have to admit I don't understand what she's trying to do. I thought I would ask a werewolf personally." Harry went along with the flow of conversation. "She's trying to change the laws so that all known Werewolves have to register with the Ministry. Then they will be bound under the protection of a Witch or Wizard. All those who don't comply will be culled." "WHAT! How can she do that?" Harry hit the chair nearest him, breaking its leg and getting splinters embedded in his arm. "That's a breach of confidentiality! What are you going to do Lupin?" "I would be more concerned about Hermione with the new Muggle-Born Registration Commission she's trying to put in place. It hasn't been agreed upon yet Fudge isn't over keen on the idea. But the new werewolf laws are going ahead. With quite a lot of public backing I might add." "What are you going to do sir?" Harry whispered, afraid for his parent's oldest friend. "Register I'm afraid. People already know I'm a werewolf. Tonks has already agreed to be my saviour. Call me Remus by the way," He laughed gently. "Remus how can you laugh at a time like this? This isn't right you have rights you know. You aren't some sub human that needs taking care of. You're not dangerous." Remus shook his head sadly. "But I am Harry. If I don't take my potion or if for some reason it doesn't work. How many people around me would I infect? Kill even? If my powers are bound to another person at least I can control the wolf. Enough not to kill or maim anyways," Remus sighed as he saw Harry was confused. "With Tonks magic adding to my own, I can retain my mind more; put more of a cage around the wolf. This way I also have someone looking out for me all the time." "Tonks will be a werewolf caretaker? Why aren't you angry about this?" Harry could not understand. The Ministry had been biased towards the Dark creatures forever. This wasn't right. "I know what your thinking Harry, but they have got a lot of public support. Tonks can help me stay in control of myself then I'm more than happy. I'll never get a job, but I already

knew that. I just hope there are not many Werewolves who refused to be registered. Those who won't will be hunted down and killed, and there is nothing I, or any werewolf can do about it." Harry felt his heart beat painfully in his chest, his palms sweaty. "If you're sure you're going to be alright," Harry trailed off. "I'll be fine Harry honest. But thank you for your concern. It really is touching," Remus smiled happily. Harry felt his stomach squirm uncomfortably. "I better be going Remus. I still have school tomorrow." "Yes of course Harry. Still going to the Burrow for Christmas?" He made himself nod when all he wanted to do was be sick. "Good I'm glad. I'll see you in a few weeks then Harry. Take care." Harry didn't even notice he was gone. He had to try and warn Artemis. TBC Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 851 - Follows: 1,257 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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3. Chapter 3

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Chapter 3 The human had really thought a cage with silver bars would work. It thought itself really intelligent, but it was no match for Artemis's claws. Artemis had burrowed into the concrete

under the bars and dug its way to freedom. To long had it watched as the human tormented his mate. Tonight Artemis would make it up to him. The wolf loved his name. He had known his mate was the one. The human in his head thought he was merely a thing, an animal that had no thoughts or feelings. Receiving a name had been very important. Artemis needed to get Harry a present, he decided on his way down into the grounds. The castle was to stifling, its walls felt like they were penning him in. He was already caged within the humans mind unable to do anything. On the night that was purely his, Artemis wanted to spend it in freedom. But he had to get something for his mate. To show his intentions and that he could provide for him. A pheasant perhaps? He had seen through the human's cold eyes that his mate enjoyed eating bird type dishes, it was the perfect present. Melding into the shadows he sniffed the air cautiously. No humans were coming, and there was no other creatures threatening him. Silently like a phantom it padded through the corridors senses on full alert. This was when the beast had to be its most careful. It had something suppressing its instincts to bite humans; it was that water the man drank before he was free. It dulled its instincts, made him tame but also vulnerable. Angry at its human counterpart the werewolf snarled, baring its yellow jagged teeth. It was always interfering. First by drinking that foul water which dulled his senses and now he was antagonizing their mate. No matter securing a mate was also a worthy endeavour, especially as one as worthy as the one he was perusing. Grinding to a halt, his claws slipping on the stone floor, the wolf was presented with a door barring its exit. It looked at the handle intently. He had watched his human self doing this countless times. Lifting a huge forepaw he rested it on the handle and pulled down, opening the door in the process. Artemis could have barked at his own cleverness, but he needed to wait till he was outside, safe within the arms of nature. Sticking his huge head out the crack in the door frame the wolf assessed its safety. His ears were raised identifying any suspicious sounds. Drawing in a deep lungful of the freezing night air he relaxed. Nothing was amiss once again. Pushing his shoulders into the gap he widened the hole just enough to pass through. The brightness of the outside world assaulted his eyes. Some sort of white leaves were covering the ground; Artemis had not seen this type of floor covering before. Dropping into a hunting crouch he stalked up to it slowly, staying on concrete steps for safety. Eventually he ran out of concrete was affronted by the white powder. Sniffing it with his nose he found it to be chilly and wet. Hesitantly he stretched forward a paw and dabbed the strange material, the same way he would jab a corpse to make sure it was lifeless. It wasn't threatening whatever it was, the human within wasn't concerned by it so Artemis wasn't worried by it. Hunching into a crouch he sprang forward, running towards the thicket of trees.

Exhilaration urged him forwards, weaving in and out of the tall trees. Other inhabitants of the forest fled from the smell of danger, as Artemis thundered through the forest. Halting in a small clearing filled with moonlight, he stopped and smelt the ground for scents. Artemis looked up at the sky; the night was still young plenty of time for his mate to come find him. Fortunately his intended did not know that Artemis shared a mind with that loathsome human. It had made his mate suffer for the past few weeks, taunting him, belittling him. He destroyed a tree trunk in fury. That was no way to win over a prospective mate! Especially one as desirable as his intended. The human had no respect for the submissive mate and it deserved respect. It deserved protecting and food provided for it. The human had even attempted to lock it in a cage for tonight, denying him of these few hours of freedom. It was not acceptable. He sat in the clearing allowing the moonlight to soak in his shadowy pelt. His mate would seek him out, Artemis was sure of it. They had only met once, but his mate was an intelligent human full of his own instincts. It was aware if only sub consciously, of the bond they shared as only true mates could. The despicable human could smell what the wolf smelt as well. Someone crafted only for him, worthy of his majesty. But the humans did not enjoy eating raw things such as he did. They preferred their food darkened by fire. He raked his claws in the soil in thought. His mate did not need food provided for him or his shelter. He was as useless as his atrocious counterpart at how to impress humans. Artemis would have gotten a wolf raw meat, still warm from its life blood. But humans did not seem to relish meat as a token. His human seemed to loathe Artemis eating other creatures. It was why Artemis always fed late in the night, so the human could enjoy his spoils in the morning. The female that his mate had spoken about before, the one also trying to court him. She had gotten him objects for his approval. Maybe that would interest his mate? He felt a growl rumbling in his chest as he thought about the female that might succeed with his mate. Why did the human in him not understand? His mate had to be secured before someone stole him away. But the human was insistent in driving him away! The human was weak, fearful of his emotions. Artemis would not let that stop him though. The humans resolve would be weakened in time, Artemis was sure of it. The human was not as adverse to his mate as he thought. He couldn't hide things in his mind as well as it thought it could. The wolf knew the human found their mate desirable, but Artemis did not understand the feelings the human had. Intense hatred, like the wolf did towards other humans courting his mate. But to the wolf they made no sense, they were only hindering the human into not obtaining something incredible for the both of them.

Where would Artemis find an object worthy of his mate? It looked on the ground smelling the scents and locking them in his brain. He could smell water not to far away but it smelt different somehow. The pale dust covering the forest was making the scents smell weird. Eventually he came to what was a small lake, but the water was not flowing like usual. It was in a hardened form and Artemis growled at it in suspicion. It was not acting the way it should. But again the human was not alarmed so he tried to ignore it, only leaving one eye on it. Artemis had only been brought into existence a few moon cycles ago. When the air was warm and the nights short, prey was plentiful and plump. But now the nights were longer, and full of surprises he had not encountered, and the prey was scarce with no meat to fatten them. He inspected the ground scanning for anything unusual to give to his mate. Partly as a token to let his mate know of his intentions, but also to make him feel better. Both human and wolf had seen his mate looking miserable recently. He came across a long branch which he chewed experimentally. It was hard and rough, a great stick for chewing. He picked it up in thought. He also pulled up some sweet smelling grass not covered in the white powder and a thistle which was amusing to dab with your paw. Now he had a small pile to choose from. Studying them intently he decided on the chewing stick. human's teeth were to dull, maybe they needed something like this to chew on. Happily he picked it up and padded back towards more open ground, content to wait for his mate. Or howl in a summon if necessary. As he was leaving the forest, his golden eyes were caught by something glimmering under the raised roots of an old tree. Intrigued he padded over to it, heedful of the mysterious dust still. It was a stone worn by time with shiny flakes in it. Maybe his mate would prefer this? It was smaller and he would still be able to sharpen his teeth on it. humans seemed to like objects they could keep. The rock would outlive the branch. He spat out the stick and picked up the stone gently in his jaws. Yes this was perfect. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Looking out the window Harry rethought his attire. It had been snowing pretty hard and it was settling, covering all the grounds. He pulled on another pair of socks and a thicker jumper. He caught himself in a mirror on the way out and stopped dead. His glamour had worn off. Malfoy had ambushed him on the stairs with a hex which caught him by surprise. The Slytherin had even landed a punch or two before he had been pulled off by Filch. Harry had been returning from yet another detention issued by Snape when he had been attacked. Harry wasn't sure what warranted the attack, but ever since his Father had been missing, Malfoy had been in a foul mood. He blamed Harry for it that much was clear. Harry was the reason Lucius was missing with the Death Eaters. It had nothing to do with that fact his

Father was as insane as Voldemort. Oh no it was Harry Potter's fault. As things often seemed to be. He had been waiting for this night for weeks. Artemis had gotten him through all the agro Snape seemed to be putting him through. That man had no excuse he was just a bastard all the time. At least Malfoy had reason to attack him. The wolf at least would listen and not speak back, it couldn't. As helpful as Hermione was she always had an opinion about everything, and for once Harry just wanted to rant and be listened to. Like Artemis had last time. The door leading out from the Great Hall was slightly a jar, which made Harry a little suspicious. Maybe one of the Professors had left recently or an Order member had come to see Dumbledore? For once Harry wasn't going to mull on it, he was meeting his werewolf and he didn't want to play investigator. There were other adult Witches and Wizards around; surely they would know the internal affairs of Hogwarts. Running outside he was immediately assaulted by the biting wind and the stark whiteness of the snow. He paused for a few moments to rub his hands together before he jogged away from Hogwarts. He did not know where to look for Artemis but he was sure the wolf would find him eventually. He stayed on the border of the forbidden forest however; too many evil creatures came to life at night. Harry peered through the gaps in the tree trunks, keeping an eye out for things skulking in the forest. The night was silent apart from the occasional calling of what Harry thought was an owl. Hedwig made similar noises so he was pretty confident it was an owl. A powerful howl tore through the silence causing Harry to jump about a foot in the air. Artemis was not patient it seemed. It sounded like the wolf was summoning Harry. Sure enough after a few moments a great dark shadow was visible on the whiteness of the snow. Harry heard Artemis before he saw him, his large paws crunching the snow as he approached Harry. He craned his neck to look into the wolf s face. Artemis barked in greeting and rubbed his muzzle over Harry's face joyfully. Harry smiled and reached up his hands, scratching either side of the massive wolf 's face. "It seems you've missed me as well." Harry laughed. The wolf halted in its happy greeting, as it came across the glamour covering Harry's eye. Opening his mouth wider Artemis dropped something to the ground and began snarling. Harry rose his hands and backed away alarmed, something had got it worked up. After a few moments however Artemis ruffled his fur irritably and sat, waiting for Harry to come to him again. Harry approached slowly and stood near the wolf . Again the wolf growled slightly and pushed its muzzle to Harry's eye, knocking over his glasses in the process. "Oh you can tell I've got a glamour on my eye." Harry realised, patting Artemis's neck.

"Even though I know you're not under the influence of wolf sbane I find it interesting you can sense my magic. Well you're a sort of magical creature aren't you? Shouldn't have been surprised really." Harry brought out his wand which the wolf sniffed in interest. When Harry removed the glamour the wolf stood again snarling. Harry knew the bruise around his eye looked terrible but it would fade in time. The only reason he had a glamour concealing it was because he couldn't handle anymore attention. "I'm fine it's just a bruise." Harry tried to reassure him, as the wolf swung its huge furred head back up to the castle. Artemis's claws came out and he dropped into a crouch, ready to storm the castle. "Hold on Artemis, it's only Draco Malfoy he's not worth bothering about. I can fight my own battles, I don't need a werewolf charging up there and revealing itself. I don't want you to get caught." Harry stood in front of the wolf and held onto the hairs of his neck. The wolf turned to listen, his ochre eyes flashing in rage. But it seemed to listen. Eventually it snorted which blew Harry's hair everywhere and walked away, stopping to pick something up. It looked back at Harry, his eyes urging him to follow him. Which he did into the forest. He wasn't nervous; he had a werewolf with him that was taller then him. Creatures would be crazy to mess with a creature that had teeth the same size as Harry's forearm. Eventually they came to a break in the trees and Artemis sat. Harry saw a large branch he could sit on so he didn't have to sit on the freezing ground. Harry couldn't see the sky from here but he knew the moon was still there, burning bright pulsing with energy that made Artemis possible. The wolf suddenly turned to him and dropped something at his feet. Curious he picked it up and shook the snow from it. It was a piece of flint. Confused he looked up at Artemis who seemed pleased with himself, and suddenly Harry understood. "It's a gift." He whispered. Artemis moved his tail slightly in a wag. "Thank you it's amazing." Harry grinned. It was just a piece of flint but for the wolf to have given him anything was incredible. He placed it in his pocket for safe keeping. "Listen I need to speak to you, well the both of you actually." Harry stood and came closer to look the wolf in its amber eye. "I know the human in you can hear me and while I don't know who you are, I know you're not my enemy. I don't know why I just do. Umbridge has made changes to the anti-werewolf legislation law. It means all Werewolves need to be bound to a Witch or Wizard for their protection. If they don't you will be killed." Harry stroked the dark fur on Artemis's nose gently. "I may not know who the human is, but I don't want to lose Artemis. We may not have known each other long, but I don't want you dead. If you could let me know who you are, maybe I can help you. I know another werewolf called Lupin and" Harry stumbled backwards as Artemis leapt to his paws baring his fangs at him. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

Severus laughed so hard that if he had a body right now he was sure it would be aching. Really was Potter that dense to not realise the wolf was trying to court him? He obviously didn't as he brought up the name of another werewolf in the presence of them. wolf s did not like to be challenged and right now Artemis thought that was what Potter was doing. Severus left the two of them to battle it out as he returned to his thoughts. He never realised Werewolves would be able to dig through concrete! A werewolf paw was not designed for digging. It was designed for slashing and killing. So now he was once again helpless to watch the little drama of Potter and Artemis. Yes the name had grown on him, but it was only because the wolf kept referring to itself as that. Severus couldn't deny its existence any longer. It was an illness he would just have to live with. Just like every other problem in his miserable life. One more made no difference, he thought sighing. It intrigued him that the wolf tried so hard to get Potter a token of its intentions. What interested him more was that Potter had seemed genuine in his liking of it. The boy was not completely idiotic, he knew it was a worthless piece of flint. Why had the boy been happy about receiving that, when he had countless fans to lavish him with elaborate presents? It was no secret that Potter had countless silly females running around after him. Arrogant people always had female attention, it seemed attractive to them. Shameless creatures really. Severus had been taken aback by the eye. He hadn't even known Draco and Potter had been in a fight. To busy had he been trying to secure Artemis in his quarters for tonight. It was a nasty looking bruise but he expected Draco would have them as well. Draco was not like Potter, he didn't start fights, so it was Potter's own damn fault for assaulting Draco. He would need to see Dumbledore tomorrow about the boy's aggressive nature towards other classmates. Regardless if it was true or not. So Umbridge had changed the anti-werewolf legislation law. That made things difficult to say the least. If he wasn't infected he would have been all for killing all the mangy wolf s. But he was not going to let the fools in the ministry cull him for having an illness like this. No he had survived being murdered by Voldemort and the Order. Severus was not a man willing to give up his life now. Plans would have to be made and soon, and they had nothing to do with Harry bloody Potter. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Artemis glared down at his mate. Was it trying to insult him? That other werewolf Lupin was not worthy. It was a low ranking wolf, worthless in Artemis's opinion. He placed his paw on the boy's chest when he fell to the ground, asserting his dominance. He was the Alpha werewolf not the coward Lupin. When his mate lay still in submission he released the pressure and sat growling angrily to himself.

humans did not understand all that he did. They were too complex. The human inside locked away his emotions, and his mate did not understand what Artemis was doing. They were unusual creatures which ignored their instincts. His mate sat with his head bowed, presenting his pale neck to the wolf . His mate may not realize it but he was instinctively saying sorry by baring his neck, a vulnerable spot. Artemis felt his anger leave him. His mate was young and untrained he needed to be slower with him. But it could not stop looking at his neck. His teeth escaped his mouth. A quick bite, not one to kill but one to bring his mate closer to him. If he to was a werewolf then everything would be simple. No longer would human complexities get in his way. He stretched his own neck closer and he could smell his mate's fear. It would be gone once he understood what Artemis understood. Opening his jaws he prepared to bite, when his humans voice thundered across his brain, nearly making him whimper. The human was adamant in his decision. Artemis was not allowed to hurt the boy. Artemis growled in his mind as warning. He would never hurt his mate, he was his to protect. It insulted him greatly that the human thought he would harm him. Artemis ran his tongue over his mates neck instead. It seemed he was not the only one protective of the mate. HPHPHPHPHPHP Harry felt the warm rasping tongue of Artemis over his neck. It felt like he was saying sorry for something. It clearly despised Lupin but was that the human counterpart or the wolf . Artemis might have disliked Lupin because it was a werewolf, or because he was jealous. He held the flint in his palm, running his fingers over it. He remembered Sirius telling him that Werewolves got protective towards their intended. Lupin may not have perused Tonks to begin with, but the wolf had been tame as a lamb around her. The werewolf Lupin had wanted to be with Tonks it was the human getting in the way. Hence her Patronus had changed, she had been in love with the both of them. Is that what was happening here? Artemis saw something in him that was worthy? But the human was unsure of him. That must have been why no one had come forward to speak with him. Artemis was trying to court him. Was he surprised? No not really, he to had felt something between them. He couldn't name it in words it was a feeling he had. Like a gut feeling. Harry just wished he knew who the human was so he could get to know them to. But could he really love them? Harry wasn't sure he knew what love was. He loved his friends that was obvious. Towards them he felt loyalty and he cared what happened to them. But loving a person? Harry had never felt that before. He didn't know anything about the human part of Artemis, only that it was a male. That didn't bother Harry he knew love could not be confined to gender so that aspect was fine. But what if the human actually hated Harry and couldn't control Artemis?

Harry couldn't have been Artemis's mate if the human part hated Harry surely? Otherwise they would be incompatible. Artemis got down on his forepaws and bowed, looking at his back. "What is it?" Harry asked, worried something was wrong with his paws. But the wolf whined impatiently and hit his back with its chin. "You want me to get on?" He asked bewildered. He was answered with a bark and Harry knew that was what he wanted. Grabbing hold of the broad shoulders he hoisted himself other, trying not to pull on his fur. Once he was seated Artemis took off, sprinting through the forest. Harry yelped in panic and grabbed hold of the huge ears for stability. When he relaxed he opened his eyes and sat back a bit. Artemis wouldn't let him fall to his doom. The werewolf's great paws tossed up big flurries of snow as he ran. Its speed was amazing and Harry thought he could only match it flying on a broom. It was like riding Buckbeak once again, with all that adrenaline flowing. Expertly he dodged the tree trunks and bushes almost toying with death. Harry could hear the wind whipping past his ears and the cold pressing against his face. But under his thighs Artemis was warm, and his fur was still silk clutched by Harry's fingers. The powerful muscles under him kept tensing and unclenching as he ran, and Harry could feel first hand just how powerful his werewolf was. He seemed to have endless stamina as he ran, and Harry could feel his troubles growing smaller as they were left behind him. Who needed to talk when you could outrun your problems? Artemis charged up an old fallen tree trunk and burst out of the forbidden forest in a leap. Soaring majestically in the night air, with only the moon as a backdrop. For the first time ever, all three beings enjoyed themselves. TBC Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 -

Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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4. Chapter 4

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Chapter 4 Hermione Granger was blessed in many ways. She was intelligent, but she also had common sense. A thing many geniuses could sometimes lack. Her friends weren't many, but those she had were loyal and cared about her. Her parents had never mistreated her, and Hermione's upbringing had been full of love and care. However when Harry or Ron came to her with one of their hair brained schemes, Hermione Granger felt like her luck had left her. So here she was sat in the library, two weeks before Christmas, trying to aid Harry in becoming an Animagus. Hermione was a good student, faithful in her studies and never slacked. But even a genius such as she wanted a break during the run up to Christmas. But no, when Harry came up to her, begging for her help she had told him yes. Damn the female curse of not being able to say no. But as she sat listening to Harry explain his night with the Werewolf Artemis to her, she had begun to question her judgement. "Harry," She held up a hand to make him stop. He was excited and when Harry was excited he tended to ramble. "You sound as if you're infatuated with this being, which has to stop." "Hermione! I can't believe your prejudice against a werewolf, after knowing Lupin and all the hassle he has!" Harry whined which only increased her impending headache. Harry most of the time was an intelligent student, not as much as she, but he frequently bested her in Defence against the dark arts. Which was why she was getting irrated. "Harry I'm not prejudice, its you I have the problem with. You don't even know who the person is inside!" Hermione could have torn her hair out in sheer frustration. She tried to calm herself down, anger was never the way to go with Harry. "Just listen to me alright?" She pleaded. Harry waited and she rapidly thought how to best phrase what she was about to say. "Harry you may feel empathy towards this werewolf, but that can't constitute as feelings for it. If you knew the human behind the Wolf then I would understand. But Harry you seem to have feelings for Artemis, and he is a very small part of the human behind him." Hermione stood and gazed at the bookshelves. Harry was silent which could be a good or a bad thing, so she decided to press on. "From what you've told me, yes it does sound like the werewolf is courting you Harry. However how do you know it's not a Death Eater trap? There isn't any reason to know that its intentions are good." "Hermione your not there so you can't know. When I'm with Artemis, it's like everything feels sane in the world. No I don't know who the man behind the wolf is, but I don't care. I

need to save Artemis from the Ministry, and if his human part isn't going to explain things to him, then I want to try in animal form." Hermione sighed and placed her forehead against the cool window, just left of the bookcase. Harry made sense, she had not heard of a registered werewolf at Hogwarts, so it was safe to assume Harry's warning had gone unheeded by the human. Hermione had her suspicions as to who it was, but that was what they would stay until she proved otherwise. She had been there when Sirius had explained to the three of them about werewolf courting rituals. It hadn't started as a conversation about that, Sirius had been talking about his school days and their adventures. Hermione and Ron had been interested in Harry's parent's lives as well. But Sirius could only fill in bits and pieces from after the graduation. How James had supported Lupin finically, how Lupin had acted when he met Tonks. There was more to the conversation then that, but at the moment Lupin's lifestyle was more prominent in her mind. She also had Tonk's account of the story. How she had pined after Lupin for years even thought he wasn't interested. He had told her he was too poor and too old for her. But in reality the lyncanthropy had been too much for Lupin to even consider a relationship. But Tonks in that reckless way of hers had bombarded Lupin until he had backed down. Bill Weasley as unfortunate as he was had aided her. Fleur's declaration of love had shown Lupin that he could love Tonks, if others were willing to have relationships with those infected. It was dangerous for Harry to peruse a relationship with the werewolf, but Harry had a knack for getting into dangerous things, and he quite often came out unscathed. Hermione was powerless to stop him, but she had to protect him. This might mean she would need to aid him into becoming an Animagus after all. "We need to speak to Lupin about becoming an Animagus. I can look in the library, but I doubt there will be anything there, and I'm not going into the restricted section. I assume that becoming an animagus is some sort of transfiguration? Or maybe an extended form of charms?" Hermione muttered to herself now, more then Harry. "No it must some sort of transfiguration charm, otherwise it wouldn't have interested McGonagall." Hermione looked up at Harry, her chocolate eyes curious. "Isn't Lupin coming for Christmas at the burrow?" she asked softly. Harry nodded, eagerly accepting her train of thought. "Lets ask him then." Hermione concluded the discussion there. It was probably possible that she could discover the ways of becoming an Animagus herself without Lupin's help, but Hermione had never felt easy about breaking rules. Becoming an unregistered animagus was a pretty large rule to break. But if someone else gave Harry the meansWell then Hermione had nothing to do with it. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

Severus stood stirring his cauldron, trying to let it relax him. Usually making his potions soothed him. No matter what the day held, irritating students, Voldemort, anything could be alleviated by the art of potions. Except for this time. He was making careless mistakes in his brewing. His ingredients weren't cut thin enough; he wasn't stirring as vigorously as he needed. In short his mind was just not here today. It had been lost in the forest with Artemis and Potter. That blasted woman Umbridge. He knew she was part of the Death Eaters, she may not have been marked physically but she was as bound to the Dark Lord as much as he. The Death Eaters had a powerful ally in the woman, but Severus could not understand the reason why she had brought that blasted new law in. It was no secret Voldemort wanted the werewolves on his side. Greyback was a trusted Death Eater, and had passed on the message to other wolves. Voldemort was insane yes, but Severus did not believe he had fully lost his marbles yet. There must have been a reason he allowed Umbridge to pass the law. Thoughtfully he looked into his potion, which was completely ruined. Sudden clarity hit him, clear as Veritaserum. The werewolves didn't know Voldemort was behind the current ministry. With Voldemort and the Ministry of Magic on two opposing sides, many werewolves would be tempted by Voldemort's offer. His own little canine army. That alone could tip the scale of the war, in Severus' opinion at least. Legions of hungry wolves unleashed into the Wizarding world. Werewolves were not always as easy as wizards to kill. There only weakness seemed to be silver and when you were in a panic, Severus doubted that many people would remember that. Severus knew it was time to speak with Albus, the elder wizard probably knew of his predicament already, but Severus did not know what he should do. Should he ignore the ministry's new Werewolf legislation? Would Albus protect him from it? Or could he hide out at Hogwarts unwilling to abide by the new law and face the consequences? As always it all came down to his spying abilities. If anyone did in fact discover he was a Werewolf he would have to go on the run, leaving the safety of Hogwarts. Then he would be of no use to either of his masters. No use to anyone at all. Severus picked up the cauldron and placed it in the sink, for disposal later. He left the safety of his classroom and headed for the tower. It was dark outside now; Severus could see the darkness from the windows in the castle corridor. The lamps were all lit, offering light to all those who walked in the late hour. A few shafts of quarter moonlight beamed in from the dark night, saturating the concrete floor with its power. Severus avoided it like it was acid.

The moon would be full just after the Christmas holidays, when all the students would be back, Severus calculated quickly in his head. He would have to devise another way to keep Artemis and Potter apart. Eventually and without meeting another soul, Severus appeared at the Headmaster's tower and spoke the password to the bronze griffin standing guard. It was late but Severus had no doubt Albus would be awake at this hour. Even without his new heightened sense of smell. The stairs he walked also had patches of moonlight splayed across them and Severus eventually had to place his boot in one. Nothing happened of course but his heart rate speed up regardless. Artemis was anticipating his next taste of freedom, growling joyfully at the growing moon. The wooden door swung open before he raised his hand to knock and revealed the tired face of Albus Dumbledore. He said nothing but left it open to admit him, and sat back down at his desk. He sat opposite the Headmaster and declined the usual offer of tea. Severus had never been one for tea, Irish coffee perhaps but not tea. "Severus to what do I owe the pleasure? So close to Christmas as well." For once Severus was lost for words. Dumbledore was not prejudice, but Severus wanted desperately to keep this one aspect of his life secret. Every other aspect of his life has been bared for Dumbledore to see, he was a man without secrets to Albus Dumbledore. "I know about your problem Severus." Dumbledore told him softly. Severus had let his guard down. Dumbledore was if not more talented in the art of mind reading then himself. "Therefore Albus you know about my predicament with the ministry?" Dumbledore nodded and drank from his cup. "I'm afraid there is nothing I can do Severus." Severus fought against the urge to rage and stamp his foot. Dumbledore always annoyed him like this. Oh he was supportive Dumbledore in front of other members of the Order, but pretences aside Dumbledore did not respect Severus. His left arm burned with shame, as Severus recalled past mistakes. "You are one of the most powerful and respected wizards in our community. You who sits upon the Wizengamot council, who has a whole legion of people willing to follow you into battle. How is there nothing you cannot do about this situation?" Severus spat, angry magic crackling around the room. Dumbledore simply placed his black gnarled hand that was held victim to that damn Horcrux upon the table. "You made a vow to me and the Malfoy family to kill me if Draco could not. Either way I shall be dead soon and I am depending on you to look after the students when I am gone. You swore sixteen years ago to help protect Harry Potter, and to help him win the war."

Sighing he continued. "Tom as you are well aware, already has his hand in the dealings of the ministry. I trust that you have realized that this werewolf law is a ploy to win the support of the werewolf community." Dumbledore stood and looked out of his window, idly stroking Fawkes. "I cannot interfere I'm afraid, not this time. My main concern is Harry and the destruction of the Horcrux's. With Tom destroyed, the corrupt Ministry will fall and so will their ridiculous laws." "The choice is yours Severus. Bond with someone you trust in order to keep the werewolf tame, just in case you are discovered. Or do not, and try to remain hidden. However someone will discover your secret eventually. What are you to do if Tom holds a Death Eater meeting on a full moon? Or if Greyback or Remus sense you? The law will only hold strong until Tom is gone." "So once again I am being forced against my will to do something. Just because I am a werewolf, I can allow myself to be treated as a second class citizen? I'm still a person damn it!" Severus snarled. "As I recall Severus you are the one who treated Remus as someone underneath you. You placed hints for all the students to work out what he was. When that did not work you allowed malicious rumours to run rampant, costing a man his only source of income and the respect of many witches and wizards." Artemis growled in his head at the mention of Lupin once again. "I cannot tell you what to do Severus, but this is another sacrifice until the war is over." "Sometimes Albus I feel like I have nothing left to sacrifice." "Then you have more in common then Harry Potter then I originally thought. But I'm not asking you to give up your life, am I Severus?" HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry loved Christmas, the food the decorations but most of all the feelings of family. Currently he was sitting stuffed to the brim with pudding, relaxing in an arm chair. Ron was asleep next to him with Hermione discreetly stealing glances. He was waiting for Remus to show so he could ask about becoming an animagus. It was close to a full moon though, and Harry was worried he wouldn't be able to make it. Harry was desperate to speak to him but he knew how ill Remus got before a full moon. Harry hoped the full moon would occur when he was at Hogwarts, he wasn't confident in his abilities to predict the next full moon Astronomy was not his strongest subject. That was of course if none of his present friends were Artemis. Suddenly he had a vision of a ginger werewolf as Ron snored. No it was someone at Hogwarts, but whoever it was wanted to keep it a secret. Either that mean the human was not fond of Harry, or it was just a very secretive person. Either way it led Harry to believe Artemis was a Slytherin. The human may have believed that it disliked

Harry, but it was unlikely that he did. Artemis would not have picked him otherwise. Harry did not believe the human and werewolf mind were that far apart. The human aspect had his feelings buried very deep indeed. Perhaps so deep they were easy to ignore and unrealised. There was a knocking at the door and Harry jumped in his chair and rose, followed by Hermione. Mrs Weasley beat them to the door however and let in Lupin and Tonks. Remus smiled as Harry gave him a handshake and pulled him in for a hug. Harry let Lupin sit down and accept a drink from a smiling Mrs Weasley but he was brimming with anticipation. Hermione placed a hand on his shoulder to calm him. Lupin must have picked up on the energy Harry was giving off in waves, and deducted that Harry desperately wished to speak to him. The tired wizard whispered to Tonks who nodded and left to mingle with the other Weasley children. Lupin stood and gestured for Harry to follow him. Harry leapt to his feet and tried not to push Lupin from the room. "Is everything ok Harry? You've been staring at me intently ever since I got here. Usually that means you wish to speak with me?" Harry nodded. "And it isn't something you can say in front of the others?" Lupin questioned. "Is it about Sirius?" Lupin responded when Harry shook his head. "In a way I guess so. I want to learn how to be an animagus." Harry clutched at the flint in his pocket, hoping Lupin would not see through his lie. "I want to learn, just in case I ever have a need for a quick escape." Harry felt physically sick to be using the war as part of his lie, but Lupin would hardly agree if he explained it was to communicate with a werewolf. Lupin just gazed at him a long time, amber eyes swimming with fatigue. A ghost of a memory floated across for the barest of seconds and he nodded his tawny head slowly. "Becoming an animagus is often seen as another form of Transfiguration. Your Father who was top of our year found it easy as did Sirius. Peter however took months to learn. As you know your form will take on the form of your patronus, so you will become a stag." Lupin paused and grasped Harry's shoulders, pulling him away from the closed door. "To become an animagus is not quite the same as transfiguration. The spell needed is an enabling charm, and once activated you can change at will, without the use of a wand. Your animal form will be a creature which represents your inner animal in a way. As you know in times of extreme stress and sadness the patronus can change." "Like what happened with Tonks." Harry responded in understanding. "Exactly. Whilst your form was a stag I would not be surprised if it has changed into a dog because of your grief for Sirius."

"I've performed the spell since Sirius died. and it was still a stag." "Well I can tell you the enabling charm but it requires a hell of a lot of magic to activate it. If not done properly you might just end up with antlers on your head." Lupin paused and sternly stared at Harry. "This isn't to be used for pranks or escaping the castle just because you feel like a run. I trust you to only use this ability if absolutely necessary." Lupin looked around the gloomy room. "When we learnt it at school it was so I could have company and people to speak to, whilst I was a werewolf, if Peter hadn't learnt, then maybe things might have turned out differently. What I'm trying to say Harry is that this isn't something you learn just for the fun of it." "I understand Remus. But I want every tool I can access." Lupin nodded and bent to his ear, whispering the enabling charm. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP "You're worried about what?" Hermione demanded. It was late, she was tired and dealing with Harry Potter was more then she could handle right now. "Just come here would you!" Harry pulled her into his bedroom and locked the door. "Expecto Patronum!" Thinking of his new happy thought, the silvery light expanded into the darkness in every corner of the room. "Oh Harry." Hermione whispered flabbergasted. Harry merely blinked in shock as his wolf patronus wagged its furry tail in excitement. TBC Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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Chapter 5 The smells were intoxicating. The creature breathed in slowly, deeply memorizing them all. The concrete beneath his pads smelled a little of damp earth, the air was filled with the aroma of books. His skin itched as his fur prickled him, and he moved his shoulders irritably. "Harry?" Came the frightened whisper of Hermione, but the mere sound of his name exploded in his head. His hearing was now acute, and Hermione speaking softly seemed no different to her shouting. Harry pricked his new ears forward trying to tell Hermione this. He wagged his tail to reassure her he was alright. His limbs felt wobbly and his skin felt distorted, and didn't seem to fit quite right. He hoped he was a Wolf and not some half human hybrid. He had been sure of his magic and his ability to perform it. He went to ask for the mirror Hermione was holding, but all that came out of his mouth were barks, deeper then any dog he had heard. Pleading with his eyes Hermione seemed to get the idea and presented the mirror to him. Slowly he shuffled forward, still unsure of his four legs instead of his usual two. It took him a few moments to walk over to the mirror. A grey muzzle was visible before him, with quite a few sharp teeth within. Harry had succeeded, he was a Wolf. Not as large as Artemis but a smaller copy. His eyes had changed into deep amber with a hint of green around his pupil. His fur looked soft and warm upon his muscular body. There was a patch of black fur just near one of his pointy ears, his scar. He knew it would be his identifying mark, but it wasn't as prominent as he feared. He wriggled his claws into the concrete floor, eager to test out his new body. Standing he walked towards the door, ignoring Hermione's protests and slipped out into the corridor. He had promised Lupin this power wouldn't be used for something trivial, and he wouldn't, this was to save someone's life. But a small run in the open couldn't do him any harm; it was late enough in the night that he would not be caught. Slipping out into the night he grinned a wolfish grin and bounded off into the comfort of darkness. The ground was hard beneath his paws and allowed him to run faster. It was exhilarating travelling at this speed. He could push himself harder and faster then he could his human body. The forest expanded around him, the smells and the sounds more vibrant then before. Harry was severally handicapped as a person. There were so many things happening in the forest he had never been aware of before. He could smell the freshness of the air, could hear the water deeper within the forbidden forest.

Animals watched him wearily as he was a predator but Harry had no interest in eating them. What excited him was that he could pick up fragments of their thoughts. Just as Sirius had been able to communicate with Crookshanks, he could communicate with other animals as well. He came out of the forest once again and saw the moon was only a night shy of being full. Happiness swept into his body and escaped as one powerful howl, echoing over the Hogwarts grounds. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus sat in his room lost in his own thoughts. His fire had burned down until it was dying embers, and still he had not come up with a saviour. It was sunset out and Severus knew tonight was a full moon just as sure as his name. Artemis was prowling restlessly, desperate to leave the castle, and Severus was losing the fight he had fought over the last month. There was no one he could bond with to save him and no one he wanted to either. No one had caught his interest in years and there was none he trusted to keep him safe. None from the Order and none among the Death Eaters. Artemis was more then happy to throw up images of Harry everytime he thought about this subject, but Severus would rather die then bond with Harry Potter. He was on borrowed time anyway. But that damned promise! Severus snapped the wine glass he was holding. Of helping Draco and indirectly helping Potter. Whichever he looked at it Severus was a damned man. He could be hunted by the Werewolf law, killed from the unbreakable vow, or he could do the deed himself. What had Dumbledore meant? About asking Potter to die? Surely all his efforts to keep the child alive had not been in vain. Potter would not be fighting Voldemort alone; there was a whole army behind him. But not Dumbledore. Severus sighed and leant back against his chair. Artemis was also subdued whilst he thought of Potter. Severus did not hate the boy. Hate was such a strong word. He thought he was arrogant and spoilt yes. He didn't seem to have many academic abilities apart from in Defence against the dark arts, yet constantly seemed the jewel in everyone's eye. The boy was powerful there was no doubt, Severus didn't need a Werewolf inside him to realise that, but he was far too young to be participating in this war. The feelings of loathing stemmed from his hatred of James Potter. Severus couldn't help it; the man had made his life miserable at Hogwarts. He and his blasted friends had tormented him for years in the only safe haven he had. Severus wasn't welcome at school and he certainly wasn't welcome at home. It had only been Voldemort and the Death Eaters that made him feel welcome, but it hadn't been long before he outstayed their welcome as well.

No that wasn't true. Severus had chosen to leave the Death Eaters, or rather spy on them because he did not believe in their morals. Severus was if nothing else, a man of morals. He wasn't going to lie to himself and say he was sad over James death. Would any other school child be upset that their bully had died? Severus doubted that. He regretted the death of Lily and had been over and over it in his head. She had been pleasant women and a potential mate if Severus had been interested in female company. This is why he guarded her son, the only piece of her left. But imagine his horror of returning to Hogwarts now an adult, free of bullies, only to find the face of James still haunted him in the face of his son. Severus couldn't help but take it out on the boy. He was now the one in charge not James and he finally had to power to torment rather then be tormented. He was a sick and twisted man. Severus knew Harry was not the same as James. Harry loathed any types of bullying and always stood up for the weak, regardless of social standing or house. Harry was a valiant man, more then he or James could ever wish to be. The anger he took out on Harry was anger he could not take out on himself. It was twisted and unhealthy he knew, but Severus could not help himself. The night drew closer, the sun was melting into the horizon and Severus's mental hold upon Artemis was at breaking point. The lines between himself and Artemis were beginning to blur. His heart beat wildly in his head sending his blood faster around his body. White hot heat suddenly exploded within his body and Severus finally lost his hold on the Werewolf. Agony raced through his veins as his body was forced to undergo the transformation. Severus, who could withstand the Cruciatus curse without screaming, found the odd sound escaping from his clenched teeth. His limbs stretched and sprouted thick black fur. His fingers curled excruciatingly on themselves and claws burst through the tips of his fingers. Severus fell to the ground in agony and willed it to be over. From his jaws burst the canine teeth, and his back was forcibly bent over to allow freedom on four legs. Severus Snape was then forced inside his own mind, helpless once again. Artemis breathed in happily, tasting the smells of the night. It had been to long. He hadn't been able to see his mate in what felt like forever. His human side hadn't even seen his mate. Artemis had been forced to watch his human side suffer over the last month. Through loneliness and events from his past. Then there had been the snake like creature who had tortured him for fun. He snarled in anger. Even he who was considered a beast did not treat life like that. Artemis was a carnivore and enjoyed the odd rabbit or squirrel, but he did not play with his food and make it suffer. That was not respectful of life.

Slowly he left the castle by a passage from the dungeons this time. Artemis did not want to walk through the huge building again and give himself away. Something awful was happening to his kind he could sense it. It was best to remain hidden like always. When he burst free into the open his cautiously sniffed the air for any humans. There was none, so with caution to the wind Artemis sprinted from the castle, letting the air ruffle his fur. The moon was full as always giving him his strength. He sat and looked at it with his amber eyes. Artemis loved the moon; it was the source of his strength. How could creatures not love the moon? It was bright and beaming with energy. It was truly magical. But Artemis wished that just once he could be out in the sun. He wanted to feel the suns rays warm him, to lie on his back and let the heat warm his belly fur. He huffed slightly, the air escaping in smoky exhales. His power was tied to this one night of the month, and that was how it would remain. Artemis lay on the ground and stretched his huge paws out in front of him. If only the human counterpart would admit to himself he also held attraction to his mate. Then maybe Artemis could see him more, if only through cold dark eyes. Perhaps his mate could then persuade the counterpart to come out into the sunshine. Artemis might be able to feel some residual warmth from the counterpart's skin. His dark furry ears pricked up as he heard something running towards him. Too big for prey. In an instant Artemis was on his feet, sharp claws ready. This was his territory the Werewolf snarled. He would fight off any intruders. A wolf soon came into view bounding towards him. Artemis shifted his muscles ready to pounce, and leant back on his back legs preparing for a spring. Just as he was about to let go, the wolf changed into his human mate and the counterpart screamed "stop!" across their joined mind. Artemis whimpered and rubbed his ears across the earth. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus breathed in relief as the Werewolf didn't attack Potter. Albus would have his hide if the boy who lived became a Werewolf. Perhaps even more so if Severus presented the chewed up remains of Potter. But since when had Potter been an Animagus? Why in Merlin's name was it a wolf! Last time Severus had checked Potter had the same Patronus as his dear old father. Did Artemis really have that affect on the boy? Was the Werewolf onto something with Potter? No Artemis didn't have any reason to hide his feelings like Severus did. Severus felt angry at this revelation. Once again he was left behind as Potter and Artemis pranced about. Severus was better off staying a Werewolf, and not returning to his human form. No one ever wanted him. Severus Snape.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry ran over to Artemis and grabbed the animal around the scruff of the neck, ignoring the heavy fangs that escaped its lips. "I was worried about you." Harry breathed in relief. The Werewolf snorted and bumped its snout into Harry's stomach snuffling him. "I know you can understand me, but I can't understand you. It's not safe for Werewolves anymore. The new law states you need to be bonded to a human or you will be killed." Harry looked the wolf in the eyes willing him to understand. "The human in you is obviously not listening to me, so I became an Animagus to speak with Artemis myself!" Harry shouted angrily, causing the Wolf's ears to flatten. Harry stepped back and transformed. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Artemis wagged his tail and touched noses with his wolf mate. He knew Harry was the right mate for him. His mate was a perfect specimen of a wolf. Not as big as he, but impressive for an ordinary wolf. His mate played bowed to him and Artemis yipped back playfully also falling onto his forelegs at the knee. Harry walked over to him, head bowed respectfully. His mate had the submissive instincts as well. His tail was not held high and his eyes were downcast. He was the perfect mate. Artemis knew it was only time before the human counterpart agreed. He liked to dominate his partners as well. "Artemis?" was the hesitant word spoken softly into his head. Artemis thought how best to respond. He wasn't used to speaking as a human. He could communicate but not in a way Harry would understand. Thankfully manipulation of his human side allowed him to put his thoughts into words. "I can hear you." Wolf Harry barked happily and dug at the ground with his paws. "I'm so glad I can finally hear you speak to me. This is really important; I need to know if you understand what I've been telling you. About being bonded to a human?" "I have." "Then why haven't you done anything yet?" Harry growled. "Human does not wish to." Artemis growled sadly. "Who is your human side?" Harry pressed gently. Artemis went to tell him, but Severus pressed down with all his will power and Artemis was not able to say his name. The pressure was making his brain hurt. "Human will not say." Artemis finally conceded.

"But I don't want you to die!" Harry whined, pushing his nose into the soft fur of his neck. "I do not wish to. You are my mate you need me. You need both me's." Secretly Artemis dared whoever wanted him dead. He was a powerful Werewolf a mere human could not kill him. Artemis would crunch its bones before he let himself die. Wolf Harry sighed and looked at Artemis sadly. "I will do all I can to help Artemis, I promise." Artemis smiled his wolfish smile and licked his mate over the head, making his hair stand up funny. "For now, just be wolf with me." Artemis sprang away and allowed Harry to catch up with him. Fearful of out running his mate, Artemis swung his large head over his shoulder to look for Harry. He fell to the ground as Harry leapt onto his back, howling playfully. Artemis growled softly and threw his mate to the ground, causing him to land in a muddy puddle. Artemis pinned him down with a paw, which spanned most of Harry's stomach. Artemis pushed his nose to Harry's neck and his mate offered him access submissively. This was a good mate he had picked out. One he would protect forever, with or without his counterparts help. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry allowed Artemis to hold his jaw gently with his teeth he had complete trust in the Werewolf. He was aware he was adopting the submissive role, but at the moment he couldn't care less, it felt natural to him. He caught a whiff of something on Artemis's fur which seemed out of place. It wasn't smells of the forest, but something manmade. Harry couldn't put his finger or paw on it. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP There. That was the rafter in the ceiling that Snape hung upside down from and slept. It was the only one in the Potions classroom that had scratches and a dent in it, Harry thought miserably. It had been a gruelling Potions lesson. Snape was in a foul mood and was taking it out on every single one of them. Not the Slytherin's of course they were the "precious" students. Harry had lost points for breathing to loud, for muttering when cutting his ingredients, and finally for standing away from his cauldron when placing the ingredients in it. All in all Harry had lost about seventy house points. Every other Gryffindor had lost points for obscene things as well; even Hermione, but Harry had lost the most. He couldn't help the fact that he was dropping in potion ingredients at arms length. Everything just smelt too pungent. Ever since his Animagus form, his sense of smell had sharpened as had his hearing. It was disorientating and it made him feel slightly sick. He was unaware of the reason for Snape's bad mood. He always had it in for Harry that was obvious but it usually didn't spill to his housemates. Hermione was next to him and looked completely frazzled. Harry had just given up on his potion and was letting it quietly simmer.

He was doomed with Snape's wrath either way so he couldn't be bothered to try and fix it. He was exhausted anyway. Speaking of exhaustion, Harry glanced down from the rafter where vampire Snape must sleep and sneaked a peek at the man. He looked wretched. Snape was pale all the time so it was hard to tell but Harry could see. His eyes were drowning in exhaustion, and he was washed out. He briefly wondered what was keeping the man awake. As if sensing his green eyed gaze the Potions master looked up and glared at him. Harry quickly looked down, but by then it was too late. Snape was on his feet and striding over to him. "Something wrong Potter?" Snape all but snarled at him, from the other side of his work table. Harry was taken aback. Usually Snape was mean sometimes even cruel but he never spoke with such venom, even when talking about his expulsion. He shook his head in bewilderment wishing himself very small. "So why is it you are gazing idiotically around my classroom, instead of completing your pathetic attempt at a potion?" Snape came round the other side of the desk to where he was sitting, angrily staring him down. "I'm sorry Sir. I was justI was just" Harry stammered. "What Potter!" Harry stared at him all words spilling out of his head. He couldn't concentrate this close to Snape. He was bearing down on him, his physical presence dominating him. Usually he would come back with some quick quip or a sarcastic response, but Harry found himself powerless to fight back. All of a sudden he caught the smell of something on Snape. With that his world crashed in on him. Why the human part of Artemis would not accept his help, why Snape looked exhausted. Why Artemis smelt of Potions ingredients, and why Harry could not stand up to him. "Its you." Harry whispered standing up, coming face to face with Snape. The Potion master of course gave nothing away, but his eyes revealed everything Harry needed to know, just as they always did. Harry felt the blood leak from his body, and his head swam with dizziness. He was going to throw up. Hermione noticing Harry's predicament went to support his body, but he pushed her away and glared angrily at Snape. "You complete bastard." Harry pushed Snape away from him and stormed from the classroom, ignoring the gasps of the class and Snape's angry shouts.

TBC Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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6. Chapter 6

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Chapter 6 Severus sat alone in his Potion's room, the empty cauldrons of his previous class still strewn about. Here he had been sat for several hours now, just lost in his own thoughts, Artemis growling at him and stomping through his head. Potter had seemed almost devastated by the realisation that he was Artemis. For now Severus just allowed the Werewolf to vent out its feelings. Made no difference to him. There was nothing Severus was going to do about it. His long slender fingers grasped at the arm of his chair. What had he been expecting from Potter exactly? He didn't like the boy, and certainly didn't want Potter to know he was Artemis. He sighed before lashing out at his desk with his foot in anger. Had been the reason Severus had been so reluctant to let Potter know it was him, due to the fact Potter hated his soul? He certainly hadn't helped in that respect; he had nurtured the hatred in fact. Or maybe it was because he saw the Werewolf as a weakness, and showing a weakness to your enemies was inexcusable. Severus tightened his fist in anger. He was not weak. A sudden banging on the door only increased his bad mood. Severus was content to let whoever it was leave, but the person on the other side apparently had other ideas and swung the door open with a bang. Severus glanced up, wand in hand only to lower it again in shock.

"So you came back? I have to admit Potter I am surprised." Severus made no move to get up, and waited until Potter came to stand in front of his desk. Potter causally gestured at the door behind him with his hand, and shut it with wandless magic. Severus was not impressed with the display, he doubted the boy had even realised he had done such a thing. Potter slammed down a piece of flint down on the table. "Does this mean anything to you?" The boy growled at him. Severus knew where the flint had come from; he was surprised that Potter had kept it, a useless trinket from a mindless mutt. "It is a rock Potter." Severus told him coldly. "You know very well what it means Snape." "Professor Snape." Severus reinforced his patience rapidly thinning. "I don't care what you're called, Artemis, Snape whatever. Does this mean anything to you?" Potter was turning red from frustration. "Perhaps you need your hearing examined Potter, I've already informed you that this is a rock. Nothing more." Severus was surprised to see the slight hurt adorn the boys face; there was no reason for it. "I know you keep your mind when you transform into Artemis." Potter ground out, trying very hard to keep hold of his temper, Severus noticed. He had seen the boy explode over trivial things before; it seemed he inherited more from his mother then just her eyes. "And just how would you know that?" Severus asked quietly. "I just do. I don't know how I just do." "Well Potter I'm afraid to disappoint you once more, I have no recollection of my repulsive Werewolf self. Anything thing you and that filthy Werewolf do stays with you two. Now if you don't mind I have more interesting things to do, then listen to you harp on at me." Potter stood there dumbfounded but didn't move. "You are already serving detention, and have lost a hundred points for Gryffindor for walking out of my class early. I suggest you leave before I give you a months worth of detentions, writing lines!" Severus shouted, wanting the boy out. He noticed the boy idly rub the back of his hand as he mentioned the writing lines, but ignored it. "I don't care." Potter said softly. So softly in fact Severus almost missed it, even with his excellent hearing. "Excuse me Potter?" Severus hissed in his deadliest voice, the one reserved for his most despised students. "I don't care about writing lines or having detentions for the rest of my school life. Artemis is in danger and you aren't doing a damn thing to help him!" Potter shouted. "You know the Werewolf Law that is in place, you know you have to bond with someone. I know you haven't yet."

"I do not see how this is any of your business Potter." Severus attempted to open the door with his wand, but whatever charm the boy had used was preventing him. Blast his powerful magic. "Because Artemis is courting me, so somewhere in that twisted hateful body of yours, you must feel something for me. Artemis is a part of you!" Severus stood and walked slowly around the table, like a panther stalking a helpless deer. Potter to his credit did not move, but held his ground only trembling slightly. Artemis was impressed with his mate, but he didn't like the disrespect, and neither was Severus. "You think I would feel anything for someone like you? A mere helpless boy?" Severus stopped raking his dark eyes over Potter, his loathing evident. "Someone who could not even save his own Godfather? Who has absolutely no skill in anything magical, apart from disrespecting the rules, and who has no respect for anyone or anything? You who are filled to the brim with arrogance that you cannot see that even your own friends only spend time with you because you are famous?" Severus moved around to the back of Potter, watching the boy quiver with anger. "How could I bond with you? You scrawny excuse for a man! To bond with someone means I would have to have sexual relations with them in the future, that would mean I would need to be slightly attracted to them, and you Potter would stop any sexual feelings of mine dead in their tracks." He knew he was being a bastard, he knew he was probably causing Potter psychological strain and abuse. That he was ripping the boy's self esteem to shreds, destroying everything he held dear. But Severus wanted to be left alone. He didn't want to be forced into bonding with someone; he didn't want Artemis sharing his mind. He never wanted any of this. Severus fully expected Potter to run crying from the room in trauma, or to turn and hit him. But nothing happened. Potter just stood there, his hands tightened into fists. "Are you done?" He whispered brokenly. Potter looked up at him, his green eyes dull with pain. Artemis snarled with rage at Severus, and promised to bite himself and break bones for Severus to enjoy unless he fixed this now. Severus allowed the Werewolf to storm, but remained unwavering in his decision. He could not bond with Potter. Even if the pain in Potter's eyes made him drown with despair. "I don't care if I disgust you, or if you despise me. Artemis doesn't and he's the one who needs me. You can go ahead and rot for all I care Professor, but Artemis has chosen me as his mate and I for one don't want him killed. So I'm asking you Severus Snape if you will bond with me." Potter asked simply. "There is no chance in Hell that I will agree to bond with you Potter." Severus shot him down coldly.

"It is your life at stake as well Professor. I'm offering to save your life just as much as Artemis's. There is no one else you can bond with. Artemis will only bond with me." Now they had a stalemate. Potter was absolutely right. It was bond with him or die. Artemis would refuse anyone else and Severus would be hunted down, and there was nothing either Dumbledore or Voldemort could do about it. Severus regarded the boy, well aware of the fact that Potter was willing to do anything to save Artemis. Severus could demand anything from the boy and Potter would willingly do it. He sat on the edge of his desk in thought. Potter just watched him silently allowing him to think. Here was a saviour willing to save his life, so he could go on with his task Albus had given to him. Potter could sleep on the floor of his living room for all he cared and the boy would probably willingly do it. The boy did not have to become part of his life; he could live in the living room, staying the Hell away from him. That way his life was saved and he could make Potter's life a misery from the comfort of his very own home. The endless possibilities of what he could demand were endless. Free reign over his thoughts, a pensieve filled with all his embarrassing and shameful memories for his own personal enjoyment. Unbidden, Draco floated into his mind. It had caught his attention that young Potter had cottoned on that Draco was up to something. They had been in fights and Severus had seen Potter watching Draco. Draco had to be left alone to complete his task, the Slytherin was feeble minded enough without Potter watching him like a hawk. Perhaps if Potter left Draco alone, Draco would be able to kill the Headmaster himself without Severus having to do it. His mentor's death was not something he wanted on his hands. Severus did not want to kill anymore. When Voldemort was dead, killed by Potter, Severus could free himself of the bonding and live life a free man. He could actually help Potter speed up the process of killing the Dark Lord. Much could be gained from this bonding. However much of a nuisance Potter was. "I have my conditions Potter." He hissed angrily. Potter nodded dread evident. Severus tried not to smirk. Just how was far was he willing to go to save his Werewolf? "Draco Malfoy is one." Potter looked confused for a few moments. "You are not to approach him, speak to him or make any contact with him. You are not to follow him or spy on him. If he speaks to you, you may respond, but if he goads you into a fight you are to walk away. Understood?" "Even if he attacks first?" Potter wearily asked. "Even if he pummels you into the ground." Severus spat nastily. "You shall move into my rooms, as expected but there will be rules. Firstly you are to sleep in the living room. Secondarily you are not to bring any of your so called friends down into

my quarters. You will eat in the Great Hall, and for all intents and purposes you shall leave me alone." Severus snarled. Potter just nodded sadly. "Anything else?" "Not that I can think of. I shall speak to Professor Dumbledore about performing the ceremony. Now get out before I throw you out." Potter said nothing; he just retrieved his lump of flint from the table and walked away. Severus watched him walk away, confused about his easy acceptance. What was it the boy expected? Just because Artemis chose him, did not mean Severus did. But at least this way, Severus could keep an eye on his ticket to freedom. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry walked sadly through the halls unwilling to go to bed just yet. He just didn't understand the predicament he was now in. How could Artemis think so highly of him when he was part of Snape? Surely the two had to be linked in some way? He found himself in one of the many towers, and he sat trying to work everything out. Why did Snape have to be such a nasty bastard about everything? Harry was not happy to be bonded to Snape, but he was willing to look past it to save the mans life. It was mainly because of Artemis, but Harry wouldn't have let Snape die for no reason, just like he wouldn't want Malfoy to die, suffer horribly maybe but not die. Speaking of Malfoy, why was it Snape wanted the two of them far apart? Something was happening and Harry desperately wanted to know what it was, but he would have to stay away for now. At the present time saving Artemis's life was top priority. He might have to live in the living room, but that was no different from living in a cupboard, at least there was more space in a living room. Harry could hold out for that precious time once a month, when something valued Harry for who he was. No strings attached. That was something worth fighting for in Harry's opinion. He felt something sprinkle his hand and he looked down. Tears sparkled upon his tanned hand, and he brought his fingers up to touch the two trails from his eyes down to his jaw. Never had anyone made him feel as worthless as Severus Snape just did. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Albus started at his blackened hand, a testament that his long life was coming to an end, just as it should. Fawkes was asleep on his perch occasionally trilling as he snored. Severus was about to come see him he was certain. He knew everything that happened in his castle. He knew Severus was a Werewolf long before Severus had even thought about telling him. Albus knew that the Werewolf was making him address certain feelings and that these would scare Severus to no end.

There had always been tension between Severus and Harry, and both had buried this feeling into hatred. Harry at least had grown and matured into someone he could be proud of. Someone that would lead the Wizarding world into salvation. Yes Albus had a hand in everything Harry did, but it wasn't through choice. Someone had to take the mantle that sat heavy upon him; it was just unfortunate that it had to be a sixteen year old. Albus had probed Harry's mind and seen what had been happening with him, and the Werewolf. It hadn't surprised him; animals did not feel hatred or hold grudges like humans did. But Severus's grudge against James was once again hindering him, just as it had done for his entire life. He had been surprised it was Harry who suggested the bonding however. Albus had assumed it would have been Severus, playing on the boy's feelings for the Werewolf. That man had a knack for surviving almost as good as Peter Pettigrew. Severus could be a snake in every sense of the word. Albus brewed some coffee instead of his usual tea and opened his office door, in anticipation of Severus. Sure enough within minutes his dark frame lingered at the door way. "Come in Severus I was expecting you." He gestured with his good hand to the empty wooden seat across from him. Severus shut the door behind him and sat, looking uncomfortable. Albus took small delight in that fact. Even at his age he was still a wizard to be feared and respected. Amusing really that his life was to end at the hands of a teenager such as Draco. Albus said nothing and poured two cups of coffee. "Harry Potter came to me with the proposition I bond with him." Severus told him finally, almost fearfully. "I thought he might." Albus replied not glancing up from his drink. "He is a minor and still a student at this school." "I thought you hated Harry." Albus looked up unwilling to be drawn into Severus's conversation. Severus wanted Albus to give him a reason to back out of it, Severus wanted Albus to object and interfere saving his life. But Albus could not this time. Albus did not object to student teacher relationships as long as the student knew the consequences and was mature enough to handle a relationship with an older person. Harry was more then capable of handling the emotions involved. Severus would be the one to learn. Albus knew there would be some to oppose the bonding. Teachers and parents would oppose it. Tom would kill Severus for it. If it had been any other student Albus would have opposed it, but Harry needed Severus to win the war, and Severus needed Harry. It was a shame Severus had to be infected to realise that. "I've never hated him." Severus responded after taking a large sip of his coffee. Severus frowned and looked down at his cup, dropping it in disgust. Both men watched as it shattered on the floor.

"Now Severus I'm not going to let you bond with a minor without learning of your intentions. It was either spiking your coffee or reading your mind, but you would expect the latter." Albus smiled at Severus's outraged face, he was the Headmaster and the welfare of his students was his top priority. "Will you continue to look after Harry's welfare?" Albus began his questioning. "Yes." Severus muttered unhappily. "Will you use this bonding to cause Harry harm?" "No." "Will you hand him over to Tom?" "No!" Severus looked outraged at this. Albus held up a hand. "I am just gathering all the facts Severus. Do you object to being bonded with Harry Potter?" There was a very long silence in which Severus stared at the dark cloth that was his lap. "No." Was whispered barely loud enough to hear. Albus watched him and nodded to himself slightly. "Severus you do not have to answer any more questions. However, you have heard the truth from yourself. You do not hate Harry Potter and you have no objection to bonding with him. So for Merlin's sake don't make his life difficult. James and yourself had a difficult past I know, but stop seeing him in Harry." Severus nodded still angry with the Headmaster. "I will not interfere but I place my trust in you over this matter Severus. See Harry for who he is, or your bonding will be a miserable one. I will perform the ceremony. I trust I have no reason to tell you why this needs to be kept secret?" Albus waited till Severus nodded once again. "Very well. The bonding shall be enough to convince the Ministry not to kill you if you are ever found out. The Wizarding world does not need to know about you two until then." Albus glanced at the door. "Bring Harry to me now; I doubt very much that he is sleeping tonight." HPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus scowled and stormed along the corridors. How dare Albus use Veritaserum on him. If anyone else had Severus would be shipping them to Azkaban. Alright yes he would have lied if Albus had asked him directly if he objected to being bonded with Potter, but he was allowed to. He couldn't even admit it to himself, that he didn't mind being bonded with Potter, and now Albus had heard it first hand. Emotions made him weak, and appearing weak in front of Albus was unacceptable. Albus truly was a sneaky old man. He wanted Severus to acknowledge his feelings, to examine things that had been hidden.

Severus shared Artemis's enjoyment of a submissive mate. When Potter had looked at him, terrified in his classroom this morning, Severus wanted to protect him. He wanted Potter all to himself. To protect him from everything yet at the same time to dominate him. The depth of these feelings scared him. It had started as an inkling in the boys first year when he was still a child, and the world conspired to kill him. At first saving the boy's life had merely been to repay the debt to his father, but it had stayed long after that. Without realising it Severus had begun to keep an eye on Potter to keep him out of trouble. Artemis had just made that feeling stronger. But there was still that lingering obsession with James Potter, which Severus couldn't shake. He knew Potter was not his father, but everytime he saw him, the feelings of hatred consumed him. Severus had control over all his emotions but that one always escaped him. He couldn't bond with Potter, not him or Artemis. Not until the ghost of James left him. He would damage the boy. He could feel his mood darkening. James always spoilt everything for him. TBC Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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7. Chapter 7

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Chapter 7 Hey guys sorry this has taken so long to write. As some of you have been able to tell my grammar and punctuation isn't always spot on. There are a few of you who offered to Beta,

but unfortunately no one left an email for me to contact. If you could offer your services I would be most grateful. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry was contemplating sleep, when Snape stormed into the tower. Immediately his guard was up. Being in the tower wasn't a crime, being out after hours however was punishable. But Harry hadn't been up to anything. He stood, meeting the glowering Potions master's eyes. His eyebrows must have risen in question because Snape asked him if he was ready to bond. Honestly Harry wasn't. But Artemis had no one else to fight for him. It was up to Harry to save his Werewolf. "I'm surprised Dumbledore wants to do it now." Harry muttered, jade eyes downcast. "As was I." Snape responded, devoid of all sarcasm. Harry eyes flew up at his Potions Professor in concern. This wasn't the Snape he knew. "Are we still going ahead with this?" Harry questioned. Ashamedly part of him wanted Snape to say no, the man was going to make his life hell. "Of course." Severus told him certainly. No hint of malice was evident in his voice, just a straight forward answer. Harry was defiantly suspicious now. He defiantly had Mad Eye to thank for that. Harry shut the door to the tower with his wand, locking it with the strongest charm he knew. "Tell me Professor, what are your thoughts on Hermione Granger?" Harry questioned. "She is one of the most talented witches of the century." Snape eventually answered him, his anger apparent. The clenching of the pale fingers, and the set jaw usually alerted Harry to Snape's anger. Harry's hunch was right. Snape was under the effects of Veritaserum. He had long suspected Dumbledore of using it to discover information. Snape had successfully reduced him to a crying mess, no less then an hour ago. There was no chance on this Earth that Snape would start answering his questions without sarcasm or his usual condescending tone. He was not some timid mouse, hiding away because Snape had been hurtful. He was a Gryffindor and he was going to use this opportunity. He would pay for it later, no doubt. "Is there someone else you'd rather bond with?" Harry went straight for the kill, unsure how long Snape would stay under its effects. Also he wanted to know if Snape had someone important to him. No matter how much Artemis meant to him, Harry didn't want to break up a relationship. He could see Snape struggle with himself, trying not to answer. "No." He eventually muttered darkly, glaring at Harry with the infamous stare of his. Usually it would wither plants, but it had no affect this time. Harry was done being pushed around. He wanted his answer, and he wanted it now.

"Why me then?" Harry pushed forward. "Artemis wants you." Snape simply answered. It seemed his Death Eater spy training had taught Snape how to avoid answering certain questions, or how to make his answers vague even whilst under the truth serums effect. They had to be more to the point. "Why would you, Professor Snape want to bond with me?" The million dollar question. The room was quiet for a long time. Outside they could hear the distance cries of the night. The wind blew in through the arched window, adding a chilled touch to the dusty room. "I have to bond with someone, and I am not against bonding with you. Something inside of me knows you are my intended." Snape eventually told him. His tone was gentle, yet resigned. "Why do you hate me then?" Harry asked coming closer. Snape raised a warning hand. "I dislike you, I do not hate you. You are arrogant, lazy and fool hardy. You rush into danger without thinking, just to attain some glory. You disregard the rules and you do not try at school. You have no self discipline, something I despise." "Are you ever going to overcome these feelings?" Harry whispered to the room. This man knew nothing about him. Snape still had his own perceived ideas about who he was. True he rushed into danger without thinking, but it was usually for a good cause, not glory. As for saying he didn't try at school, well there was an element of truth in there, but Harry had good reason for that to. This bonding was going to be a miserable one. But he was willing to endure it, for his Werewolf. It was odd how Harry felt about a creature he had barely known for a few months. But sometimes you just knew when something was right, and Harry was known for following his gut instinct. Snape was watching him deep in thought. Harry forgot he had asked him a question, he hadn't anticipated the older man actually hearing him. "I do not think so." Came the eventual answer. "Trapping me into answering your petty questions has not helped you." Snape answered truthfully. Resigned Harry nodded sadly, waving his wand to unlock the door. The man couldn't lie to him so it confirmed what he already thought. Severus Snape would never accept him for who he was. Just like everybody else in the Wizarding world. Harry had hoped Artemis's human side would want him, just as the Wolf did. Giving Harry a constant companion, not just once in a full moon. They walked to the Headmasters tower in silence. Together they were lost in their respective thoughts. Both were reluctant to speak to the other, and both were slightly nervous. Harry turned his head away politely as Snape glared at him at the gargoyle standing guard. It wasn't like Harry didn't know the password anyways.

He pretended not to hear the confectionery password, and watched as the staircase to the Headmaster was revealed. Snape pushed forward first leaving Harry on his own in darkness for a few moments. This was the perfect time to run if he wanted to. No one could force him into this bonding, he still had free will. Harry looked down the corridor, his legs tense with the anticipation of running. The corridors were devoid of their usual light. Perhaps it was so late in the night that even the rule breakers had retired? All the fires had been extinguished giving Harry the perfect place to hide. He could run, and be engulfed in darkness, avoiding this whole situation altogether. Something digging into his thigh through the pocket of his trousers stopped him. Artemis was counting on him. He began walking up the stairs, noticing with surprise that Snape was only a few steps ahead of him. Had the man been waiting for him? Once again they walked in silence, Harry felt like he was marching towards his execution. Surely couples about to bonded were happier then this? It was meant to be a joyous occasion after all, the bonding of two souls, an intimate ceremony of love and commitment. Although usually the couple involved already loved each other. At present time it was only Harry and Artemis that shared any happiness over the bonding. Snape felt like an unwanted onlooker, content to spoil everything. Despite everything, Harry felt a little sympathy for his Potions Professor. It must have been apparent that he was just an accessory in all of this. No wonder he was so angry. How would Harry feel if someone he disliked fell for an aspect of his subconscious? Pretty damn upset. Maybe he had been reading Snape all wrong. The door was already open, indicating the Headmaster was already expecting them. Well of course he was, Dumbledore never missed a trick, and Harry assumed this all had to be done secretly. He was about to be bonded to an Ex Death Eater spy after all. There was the small fact of Snape being his teacher, but Harry doubted people would even notice something like that. The Ex Death Eater would be the first thing everyone noticed. Immediately Fawkes was upon his shoulder, nuzzling his jaw with his warm beak. Harry felt his spirits lift a bit, as the crimson bird comforted him. Fawkes's body was always so much warmer then Hedwig's, causing his cheeks to flush with warmth. Dumbledore smiled at the sight of them. "So I hear you are committed to bond with Severus?" Dumbledore questioned gently. "I am." Harry answered shakily. His legs suddenly thought this was a good time to turn in to jelly. Fawkes pressed his feathers further into Harry's neck.

"Are you sure about this Harry? I am well aware of your aversion to Professor Snape. It is admirable you wish to save him due to his condition, but Professor Snape has an aptitude for survival." The room was silent, all eyes on Harry. Blue warm concerned eyes and a pair of dark emotionless ones. There were no amber ones staring at him, looking at him with adoration and longing, but those were the eyes he was here for. Finding some determination mixed with courage; deep within his heart Harry nodded. "This is unexpected and sudden, but it is what I wish. I want to save Artemis." The room was still as both men regarded what he had said. Snape if anything looked more aggravated then before. "But I also wish to save Professor Snape as well sir. I am aware that he dislikes me and distrusts me, however." Harry paused, unsure where this rant was coming from. "I do not wish him dead. Many people regard him as a traitor and a coward. But he has proven to you that he is not, which in my eyes makes him trustworthy. There is also the fact that he has saved my life on more then one occasion. Severus Snape is someone worth saving, not matter how low he thinks of me." Both Professors were lost for words at his statement. But it didn't matter, it was what Harry thought and he couldn't care less if they thought he was soft for it. Here in the confines of the room, there were no House rivalries, no grudges from the past. There was just Harry and Snape, a man that could be killed for doing nothing wrong. The hero in Harry could not stand by and watch this happen. Dumbledore came close, clasping him on the shoulder. "I'm proud of you Harry." He was told gently. He looked into the cerulean eyes of his mentor for a long moment, before the old wizard turned away to sit at his desk. Harry didn't look at Snape; he couldn't face that after just baring what felt like his soul. Fawkes trilled happily, leaping from Harry's shoulder onto his wooden perch once more. "Now I'm sure I don't need to stress how important it is that this remains a secret?" Dumbledore asked the pair of them. Harry shook his head and assumed Snape did the same. "I wish that the two of you could be in love before bonding, its seems rather melancholy to be bonding two people together to save each other." Dumbledore beckoned them both forward. Snape came to stand at Harry's side. Harry was surprised to see just how tall the man was in comparison. Harry never had been tall for his age, but Snape was just gangly. Harry looked at the dark material of Snape's legs. Odd how he had never noticed it before. Usually Snape seemed in control and confident in his flesh. But then again Harry had never seen Snape in a situation like this. "Harry you can longer stay in Gryffindor Tower. You will be moved to Severus's quarters. Your schooling will remain the same and you will still interact with your friends. All that will be different is your relationship with Severus. The bonding won't change who you are." Harry smiled in relief. His thoughts must have been very prominent. "Join your hands together." Dumbledore instructed.

For a second Harry panicked, feeling the blood drain from his face. This was it; it was really going to happen. He was going to be bonded to someone who hated him. He knew it was coming, but the reality of it suddenly knocked the wind from his stomach. "You do not have to do this." Harry looked up, puzzled at the change of the Headmasters voice, but it wasn't him who had spoken. It was Snape. The man was staring down at him intently, dark eyes glimmering. Harry did trust this man he was certain. They might dislike each other on the surface, but Harry knew Severus Snape was not a malevolent person. He wasn't sure why, but that same feeling for Artemis existed for Snape as well. But he was fearful. Harry wanted someone to love him. Someone he could be a family with. Was Severus Snape really that person? Could he really stay attached to this man for the rest of his life? What if he was making a mistake and Artemis and Snape really were poles apart. What if there was someone else out there, willing to love him? Something cool clasped his hand, causing Harry to look down. Snape had entwined his fingers with his, effectively calming his rampant thoughts. Resolved Harry squeezed slightly and looked back at the Headmaster. There was no squeeze back, but Snape kept hold of his hand. Harry could do this; he could save Artemis and Snape at the same time. If he had to give up love so be it. Having his own Werewolf around would keep him company. Dumbledore rose from his seat and came around the desk, stopping in front of Harry and Snape. Suddenly Harry glanced round, wondering if the other two noticed they were forgetting something. "What is the matter Harry?" Dumbledore inquired. "Shouldn't there be witnesses or something. You know, isn't there meant to be two of them?" Harry questioned, only just realising this fact. Snape let got of his hand in irritation. "Dear Merlin I'm going to be bonded to a Muggle." The man sighed with exasperation. Harry noticed the heated look Dumbledore flashed in Snape's direction. "Harry this is different from a Muggle wedding. There does not need to be witnesses. Usually people do come to watch, like a wedding, but this is a very private experience. Many couples choose to perform it in seclusion." Harry thought this over. It made sense but there was still something weighing on his mind. "How will people know that we are bonded then? If a wizard was to catch Artemis or Professor Snape, how will they know he has followed the law?" Snape spat something under his breath but Dumbledore and Harry ignored it. "When a Witch or Wizard is bonded, their magic is tied with that other person. Almost like a tie. There will be a bond connecting you and Severus that will be seen after performing a spell. Usually we would announce it making it formal, like Tonks and Remus have done. That way no one can challenge their claim. If Severus was caught they would perform a spell to see if he had been bonded as the Anti Werewolf legislation decrees. If there was no bond, he would be exterminated on the spot."

Harry breath seized in his throat for a moment and he glanced at Snape. The man was inspecting him carefully, giving nothing away. Harry held out his hand, showing he was willing to continue. Snape stared at it for a long moment, before clasping it once again. Dumbledore placed his hands, pale and black, over their joined ones. He uttered an incantation under his breath and his palms grew hot. Harry suddenly felt himself rooted to the spot, and was suddenly very aware of Snape next to him. It seemed Snape was also feeling the same as a light flush of red was tinting his cheeks. "Do you Severus Tobias Snape, allow yourself to be tied to Harry James Potter?" Dumbledore's words sounded deep and almost saturated in magic Harry noticed. He could almost feel power vibrating in their united hands. The rest of the office melted away followed by the world, and all that was left was he and Snape holding hands overseen by Dumbledore. "I allow myself to be tied." Snape answered. "Do you accept that in tying yourself to another, you shall care for them, protect them from harm and be bound to them?" "I do accept." Snape responded quickly. Harry almost buckled in shock as an indigo ribbon of Snape's magic suddenly tied itself around Harry's hand. It was deep and pulsating, conjoined of his own powerful magic and Artemis's own. It did not move from Harry's hand, just waited. Like a snake who was pondering biting its victim. "Will you remain by his side in life's fortunate times and in times of adversity, for as long as you remain bonded?" It was only now Snape looked down at Harry, and for a split second Harry almost thought he could see Artemis glimmering in the inky depths. Slowly the man moved from Harry's face and looked back at Dumbledore. "I will." He whispered. Why did it feel like Snape was speaking to Dumbledore instead of him? "Do you Harry James Potter, allow yourself to be tied to Severus Tobias Snape?" Harry wasn't sure what he should answer, but he followed Snape's lead. "I allow myself to be tied." "Do you accept that in tying yourself to another, you shall care for them, protect them from harm and be bound to them?" Dumbledore asked softly, much more caring in response to Harry then Snape. "I Accept." Harry felt something seize into his chest and wrench at his heart, trying to coax the magic to snake down his own arm. Whilst Snapes had been quick to tie itself around their hands, Harry's magic seemed unwilling. He tried to relaxing, and slowly his own golden thread seeped down to tied itself around their hands. "Will you remain by his side in life's fortunate times and in times of adversity, for as long as you remain bonded?"

"I will." Nothing happened and Harry thought something must have gone wrong. No one had explained this blasted ceremony to him after all. He really should start researching things before charging head first into them. He could just hear Hermione's voice mocking him. Eventually the two ribbons of magic climbed up the intends arm. Harry's gold to Snape, and Snapes indigo crawled up his own. Harry waited to see what Snape would do. The man simply relaxed as the magic was absorbed into his chest, causing his sallow skin to glow gold briefly. The indigo strand paused at his chest. Harry felt the irresistible draw of it, but something inside him held back. He was anxious of accepting another wizards magic, let alone it tying itself within him. Harry watched it apprehensively as it teased at his shirt. It was strong magic, Harry could somehow sense it but whilst his gold had been infused with raw explosive power, Snapes seemed less intense. Powerful and resounding with wisdom. Without warning it struck at him, engulfing Harry with its power. He staggered to one knee, only the hand of Snape holding him upright. His eyes screwed tight, Harry tried not to fight off the overwhelming feelings. The additional magic was coursing through his veins as liquid fire. White molten pain shot through his chest, intense and unbearable. Then just as quick as it had begun it stopped, fully melded to his own magical signature. Where there had once been pain, there was now only a minor ache. He could feel the extra magic twinning around his own, somewhere deep in his heart. If he coaxed at it, he could almost follow it to Snape's body, where his own golden thread was tying itself. Never had Harry felt anything as intense as that. Any other powerful emotion he had paled in comparison. This feeling alone could have produced a whole pack of silvery wolf Patronus. He was suddenly aware of Snape's presence in proximity to his own. The magic lingered between them, and both could sense it hovering there, but it was Snape's body he could sense. The way his heart was pounding, his erratic breathing, all sounded like they were Harry's own. His skin tingled at their contact and Harry was overcome with the strong desire to meld his body against Snapes own. He felt connected to the man in such a way he never thought possible. Harry felt like he could anticipate every thought of his bonded, that Snape was merely another extension of himself. "Harry are you alright?" Dumbledore's voice echoed. He felt his head nod, but he felt far from it. He was floating on a cloud of euphoria and unsure of the reason for it. Gradually he floated down to reality and gazed at Dumbledore. "I think it would be best if Harry retired for tonight. It seems he was not prepared for events that transpired tonight." Dumbledore directed at Snape, a slight hint of venom in his voice.

"I will take him to our quarters." Snape answered shamefully. Harry had no idea what the underlying message was that was passing between the two men, all he knew was he was exhausted. It was late at night and he felt drained. Goosebumps adorned his arms as Snape guided him from the room and down the stairs. He knew not of where he was going and didn't care as long as Snape stayed nearby. After many twists and turns and a few staircases, Harry felt himself being sat on a seat. Dazed he looked up at the man, who simply stared back. Confused Harry frowned. Could Snape not feel the intensity he was feeling? Obviously not Harry thought, as Snape threw him a pillow and a blanket. "We will speak in the morning." With that he was gone, leaving Harry trembling at the loss. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Now was the time, when the veil between sleep and reality was at its thinnest. This is what Artemis was waiting for. His host was asleep, lost within his dreams. The Wolf was cautious, hesitantly taking over the Humans mind. He might not be able to transform into his Werewolf form, but he might be able to manipulate his host. Artemis was desperate to check on his mate. He was devastated on his mate's behalf. His host has purposely tried to hurt his mate, and now he forced him to sleep in a den that was cold and small. That was not looking after him. That was what had been promised by the host, and it was already breaking it. His counterpart was feeling exactly the same as his mate. Artemis knew it. He also knew his host felt the same for his mate as he did. Humans were such primitive creatures though. His host was held back by such complex feelings and thoughts that didn't need to be there. Guilt was the primary one, but also a strong hatred for someone named James. Artemis knew not of who this was. But Artemis knew this creature James was not alive anymore. It confused him as to why his host still had any feelings towards him. If he was gone then there went the feelings, simple. How could you feel hatred towards a creature that was gone? Artemis had shared the same joy as the counterpart and his mate at this bonding. The feeling of being paired eternally. Why was his host still fighting it? Why did these complex emotions exist in humans? His host found his mate physically attractive so surely that basic desire was all that mattered? But his host had tremendous will power. His desire for Harry had been overwhelming, yet he had walked away and allowed them both to suffer. The host chose suffering from their forced separation over admitting its feelings. It had fallen into a fitful slumber, trying not to listen to their mate outside also suffer. This is why Artemis needed to take control.

The hurt that all three beings were experiencing were needless. Artemis would set it right. He was not bound by intricate emotions. Opening his eyes, Artemis was concerned something was wrong with his host. Its eyesight was appalling. Nothing was sharp in focus as Artemis was used to. The colours of the room were dull, and he could no longer see far in the darkness. Drawing in air, deeply with his nose was disappointing. Humans were limited in their abilities. Artemis could barely smell his mates scent in the room next door. Just how was the host meant to look after their mate? The Wolf hurled his Human body out of its sleeping furs, falling onto all fours. Artemis felt too high and unstable on two limbs. Slowly he moved to the door, trying not to wake his host. Creeping agonizingly slowly he pushed open the door, and entered the smaller den where his mate was sleeping. He crawled over and watched his mate breathe for a few minutes. Looking as his paws, now elongated into fingers Artemis raised them to his mate's bronzed face. The skin was warm and soft to his finger pads. This was a side of his mate that Artemis could not experience. He could hear his mate's anguished cry from far away, he could smell his fear and even joy, but Artemis could never touch his mate like this. His paws were not made for caressing, but for mauling, perfect protection tools. He was jealous of the link his host and mate could share without him. HPHPHPHPHPHPHP He could feel someone watch him. Even in his sleep ridden state Harry knew something was looking at him. Slowly he opened his eyes, straight into the eyes of Severus Snape. Gasping he leapt back on the old uncomfortable sofa. Just what was the man doing now? Was he going to make him sleep on the floor instead? Harry heard the sound of his own rapid breathing, deafening in the silent room. His heart thudded painfully against his ribs. But still the man just started at him. Snape raised his hand, long and pale and placed it against Harry's cheek, still warm from sleep. Did this mean that Snape had finally felt emotions akin to what Harry had felt earlier? No something seemed wrong. His eyes were peculiar. They were pitch black as usual, but there was something glimmering in those depths. It was felt like Artemis. "Artemis?" Harry asked. The man bared all his teeth, in what appeared to be a smile. Harry threw his arms around the mans neck in excitement. Artemis wrapped his counterpart's arms around him in return, squeezing warmly. "But how?" Harry pulled back, looking deep into those eyes, down into the Werewolf. "It isn't a full moon." Nothing was spoken, but the man climbed up onto the sofa with Harry and pulled him into an embrace. Harry pressed against the mans skin, content at the closeness. It had torn at his soul when Snape had just turned and left him in the living room. Obviously Artemis

would have sensed this and somehow knew this was what he needed. He felt a check rub against his raven hair, and his eyes soon felt heavy again. As he was being pulled into sleep once again, Harry felt the blanket being pulled around the both of them. Snape was going to be furious in the morning. TBC Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 851 - Follows: 1,257 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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8. Chapter 8

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Chapter 8 Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry potter Series, nor am I making money from this Fanfiction. A Special Thank you to Frogger Jane and Silver Moonbeams for Beta reading this chapter. HPHPHPHPHPHPHP He could feel it, lurking just under his skin. His neck and lower back were pulsating with dull agony. Severus must have once again fallen asleep grading papers. This job was relentless in the amount of paper that required completion. Severus attempted to stretch with his eyes still firmly shut, when he found himself unable to move. His legs were lifeless but his hips could feel a dead weight draped across them. He was content to ignore all of this however, to get some more sleep.

But the slow heavy breathing that was not his own made his eye lids snap open in shock. Flabbergasted, Severus Snape looked down at the sleeping form of Harry Potter in his lap. How the bloody hell had that happened? Sighing irritably, Severus let his head fall to the back of the couch in despair. He didn't recall waking up in the middle of the night to sit with Potter for any reason. Perhaps it was the strength of the bond that forced him to leave his bed and join Potter on the sofa? He let his thoughts roam freely for a few minutes as he woke up fully. At the moment his head was still filled with cobwebs from sleep and it was affecting his rational brain. The boy shifted in his lap, stretching contentedly in his sleep. Against his will Severus opened his eyes once more and lifted his head to look at the boy. It was only now in the quiet recesses of his mind that Severus could admit this to himself. Harry Potter was appealing to him. It was more then likely the bond talking, as it demanded to be physically fulfilled, but Severus could no loner deny Potter was attractive to him. Potter was curled slightly in his sleep, his fists clutching at Severus's pale sleeping trousers. His cheeks were flushed in sleep, his dusky pink lips parted ever so slightly to allow air in. Potter's hair, which at the best of times was messy, seemed to suit him more in this state. It was crumpled all around his head, bringing more attention to his face. Severus had never noticed before how smooth the boy's skin was up close. How it was lightly tanned in comparison to his own pale complexion. Slowly, trying not to wake the boy Severus extended his hand, gently running a finger across his cheeks. Potter muttered in his sleep and turned slightly so his back was now pressed into Severus's lap. As if he were burnt, Severus pulled his hand away. What was he doing? Acting like a love sick fool. How had things progressed to this? Only a few months ago he was cursing Potter's name, dreading the encounters between Artemis and Potter. Then like the slow dripping of a faucet, Potter had wedged part of himself in Severus's life. At the beginning when Artemis had met Harry for the first time, Severus had truly believed he hated Harry Potter. He believed he was immature for telling his friends about every aspect of his life. He had though him spoilt and prone to acts of aggression towards other students, such as Draco. But when Artemis first clapped his amber eyes on Potter, some sort of change had occurred within him. Even the lesson after their first encounter when Severus wanted to make the boys life a misery for boring him with his endless chatter, there had been a bigger part of him that wanted Potter to submit before him. Maybe that had been the real reason all along for Severus's aggression towards the boy. James Potter did not help of course, but Harry Potter had been just as wilful and always unable to show Severus the respect he deserved. Artemis had just intensified those feelings. Just as Severus had always found himself slightly protective of the boy, because he had been Lily's son, and his only chance for survival. Artemis had heightened those as well. Severus still believed firmly however that Harry Potter was a spoilt child that had the world handed to him on a platter. He had adoring fans, Severus had seen it. How Potter was bombarded with mail sometimes, and how the rules were constantly bent for him. Severus knew that Potter had a big part in the war, that was a given, but he wasn't fighting alone.

It wasn't as if Harry Potter alone decided the fate of the world now was it? There were other members that risked their lives to bring information, and who fought against the Death Eaters on a regular basis. Severus could not remember any of them receiving honorary treatment. Then there was the attraction to the boy. Severus could honestly say he had never been aware of that before. Artemis may have felt similar things as he, but Severus must have already been harbouring the feelings. When had he in all the time he spied on Potter, developed an attraction to the boy? He had always been consumed in so much anger towards him, that Severus had never even noticed there was an underlying attraction there. But regardless of his attraction, Severus still had no desire to be bonded. It was too late now of course, but it didn't mean he was happy about it. Then there was the little stunt of the damned brat asking him questions under the remnants of the truth serum. That had infuriated him beyond belief. It was the lack of respect Severus could not handle. This in turned only fuelled his anger towards the boy. It was exhausting having all these conflicting emotions. Severus scratched his hair line in exasperation. He hadn't wanted any of this. The damned Werewolf, being bonded to Potter or any of it. He was content to play out his role in the war from the shadows, safe from people's harm. Despite being bonded that was not going to change now. Potter shifted once more, yawning this time and rubbing his eyes. Sleepily the jade eyes looked up at him, meeting his own dark ones. They remained locked for only a few seconds, but the bond tightened immediately, willing them to consummate the relationship. Everything Severus had been thinking evaporated as he looked into those huge emerald eyes. Within seconds they were saturated in lust and Severus was certain his were the same. Of their own accord, his hands grasped at Harry's waist, lifting the boy up to straddle his waist. The boy's head flew back at the contact exposing his slender throat. Severus resisted the urge to feast upon it. The boy was a bit fearful of his own reactions which made it even more exquisite. Severus laid Harry down onto his back, covering the young body with his own more experienced one. Harry shook with nerves and excitement underneath him, heightening Severus's urge to dominate him. His long fingers toured the contours of Harry's body inhaling his partners scent at the neck. Harry was willing; the scent was intoxicating, making Severus drunk with pleasure. He looked up at the boy's face enjoying the light blush splattered across his cheeks and the bridge of his nose. Severus wanted to see if he could make it extend to other parts of Harry's body. He could feel through the overly large clothes that Harry's body was lithe and toned. He wanted to feast on it with his eyes first before any other aspect of body made contact with it.

Harry had opened his eyes at this point and let out a low moan at the intensity of Severus's gaze. Severus was held fascinated by it, wanting to see if kissing the boy could elicit more responses such as that. His fingers fastened behind the boy's head, entangling them in Harry's raven locks. With applied force he brought Harry's lips to meet his own. They would have kissed had it not been for Artemis's joyful howl awakening Severus to his senses. With an excruciating jolt, Severus regained his senses and pushed Potter away from him. He rose from the sofa, panting and looked down at his confused bonded. The sounds of heavy breathing filled the air as both calmed down. "Whilst you may not have the willpower against such carnal emotions, be thankful that I do." Was all Severus offered in the way of explanation, before leaving Harry alone once more. HPHPHPHPHPHP Harry pulled his transfigured blanket around himself as he tried to figure out what had just happened there. Clearly Snape had no idea that he had joined him on the sofa last night. Artemis could be damned sneaky sometimes. But for the first time in years Harry had slept deeply. It had been uncomfortable on the sofa, springs jabbed him in the back and it was too small for the both of them to share. It was also freezing and gloomy in the living room. Clearly Snape had no idea how to accommodate guests. In the future Harry would need a lot more then one blanket. But regardless Harry had fallen asleep listening to his partners heart beat. His dreams had been undisturbed of nightmares and other such horrors, and when he awoke he was deeply shocked that Snape was still with him. When he had looked up at the man, it was not the face of someone who had just woken up. Snape had been awake for a while and he still hadn't moved. Harry heard the sound of the shower switch on and his aching muscles twitched in delight. He knew he would be waiting a long time for Snape to leave however. He took the time to look about the place that would be his home for the moment. Severus Snape believed in minimal things it seemed. In the living room there was only a small sofa, grey and moth bitten that he was currently expected to sleep on. There was a small desk in the corner of the room, carved out of a deep dark wood, covered in parchment. The floor was concrete slabs, just like his previous room had been. But whilst his dorm room had some colour to it, all Harry could see of the walls was more stone. That was in-between the thousands of bookcases that lined the walls of course. There was a small fireplace, but it looked unused. Burrowing deeper into his blanket, Harry resumed his thinking. Of how Snape had clearly wanted him, and how that had scared and excited him at the same time. Harry had no idea what was expected of him physically, but he could feel the bond tugging at him, demanding physical completion. He had surrendered himself to Snape, begging his touch yet at the same time fearful of it.

Harry had been astounded that Snape felt the same passion for him. It had been the older man who took charge but then why had he suddenly tossed Harry aside as he didn't matter anymore? The shower stopped and Harry felt his heart stop cold in his chest. He could just sense he was in for an argument, as sure as he was a Gryffindor. Quickly he looked down at his clothes which he hadn't changed from last night, quickly wondering if he should change. But Harry had none of his things down in the dungeons. He performed a quick cleaning spell to ensure he didn't smell at least, when Snape re entered the room. Harry felt his limbs turn to jelly. What was he supposed to do in a situation such as this? Say good morning and get on with his life? He had saved Artemis as was his mission. Sleeping on the couch for the rest of his life was a small price to pay. "So tell me Potter. What was going through your perverted brain last night when you dragged me into bed with you?" Snape whispered dangerously. Harry felt his brow furrow in confusion. Why would he have dragged Snape in here? Surely the man would have woken up if Harry had attempted to pull him across the floor. That was not including the fact of Snape was significantly taller than he. "I didn't drag you anywhere!" He muttered angrily in response. Seriously was this how Snape was going to start their new relationship? "I wouldn't have willingly climbed onto the sofa with you Mr Potter I can assure you." Was the dry sarcastic response. Obviously this was going to be how it was from now on. Harry had two choices. He could play the docile mate that put up with this endless abuse, or he could fight back. Well he certainly wasn't a Hufflepuff. "What makes you think I would have allowed you on the sofa with me anyway?" He shot back. That was guaranteed a response. Snape stalked up to him and Harry could feel his legs trembling. Maybe he should have been a Hufflepuff after all. He decided to try and back track a little. "Besides it wasn't either of us, it was Artemis that decided to move your body to the living room." The truth was always the best option in Harry opinion. "Preposterous even for you Potter. A full moon has only just occurred; the Werewolf is at his weakest now. The only explanation is you did something. Besides your reactions proved you are guilty." Snape invaded Harry's personal space, leaning close to his ear. "See even now I can see your body wants me." The man whispered nastily into his ear. But regardless of Snape's invasion, Harry could feel his body flush. "And what! you are totally immune?" Harry snapped, putting some distance between the pair. "I merely feel the after affects of the bond. It is you and the Werewolf that wish to complete the bond. I fulfilled my duty as the host, but I will not allow it to go any further." Snape sat at the desk in the corner of the living room and observed him, chin placed on his knitted fingers. "Who would have guessed the boy who lives is attracted to his Potions Professor?

Pity I have to look out for your welfare or this could have made me very popular with the Daily Prophet. The boy who livedGay." Snape chuckled nastily at him. Harry could feel his ears burn with shame as Snape ridiculed him. It was not wrong to be attracted to a guy, but Snape was making him sound like he was doing something wrong. Harry hadn't thought he was gay anyways. There had never been enough time to think of a relationship. Sure he wanted a family and if that was with a guy so be it. He had nothing to be ashamed of. "Just why did you do this Snape? Why did you bond?" "I needed a saviour and lo and behold the golden boy Potter rushes to my aid. Was it not you who said Severus Snape is someone worth saving? Well you received your wish Potter, I am now saved. Now I assume it is not too early in the morning to discuss some rules to your living here? Or does the mere presence of my body distract you?" Snape smirked sadistically. "Go ahead." Harry told him dejectedly. There was no use fighting with this man sometimes. He could run rings around you mentally and he was right. Harry did want to save both man and Werewolf and he knew it would be hard. Harry wasn't sure why he had been hoping for a miracle and Snape would change. "Firstly, this is my home and I expect you to respect it. You will sleep in here and respect my privacy, no sneaky trips into my bedroom; Merlin knows what you would get up to. That means your friends are not welcome in here. No trips to see the "bat" of Hogwarts." Harry nodded. He would transfigure the couch into something more comfortable. "Secondly I not expect to see you loitering in my rooms. You can stay out of my way until curfew. At which point you will return and go to sleep." "Am I allowed to use any of the facilities such as bathroom or kitchen?" Harry mockingly responded. "If you must use the bathroom so be it, I have no desire to smell you Potter. In regards to the kitchen there is none. You will receive your meals in the Great hall just like everyone else." "So basically I'm to stay away from you until I need to sleep?" "I'm glad to see there is some intelligence in you yet Potter." That was it? Harry expected much worse. Not being able to play Quidditch or being unable to see his friends is what he thought Snape would ask of him. His head nodded in agreement, Harry went to leave the dungeon to get his things and make up a story to tell his friends. "One other thing." Was whispered as he was about to leave. "Whilst we are bonded I expect you so stay faithful. No dalliances with other students, do I make myself clear?" Snape tone was serious and it made Harry turn around and look at the man. For some reason he could sense an underlying vulnerability to the man. It was his perfect chance for some pay back from his earlier statements but Harry was unable to do it. Instead with as

much sincerity as he could muster, he looked Severus Snape straight in the eyes and muttered, "I promise." HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP "You want to run that past us again mate?" Ron asked, mouth open in shock. "I've been moved out of Gryffindor tower for a few months. There are things I need to do for Dumbledore in the fight against you know who." Harry knew Ron was always uncomfortable with the use of Voldemort. "I need to have my own space for a few months so I can come back late and not disturb anyone." Harry did his best I'm-not-happy-withthis-either look and carried on packing his trunk. "But why now? Is everything alright?" Ron got up from his bed, face frowning in concern. Honestly Harry was surprised. He and Ron were friends but it was Hermione he felt closer to at times. She was the person he spoke to when things bothered him, Ron was the bloke friend. The one he played chess with and played Quidditch with. They didn't have the type of friendship where they talked about deep and meaningful stuff. Maybe Harry had perceived Ron wrong all along. His friends pose gave away his concern for Harry's welfare, and he suddenly felt guilty. Sure Ron had abandoned him at times, such as the dragon task, but he had opened his home to Harry, a boy that had none. Ron usually stuck by him, even now when most of Gryffindor still weren't speaking to him for losing so many points with Snape. In an unusual act of friendship Harry walked up to Ron and enveloped him in a hug. "I'll miss you too." He whispered into the ginger hair of his first friend. Ron stiffened up slightly at first, before relaxing and resting his hands on Harry's back. "Besides I only have to sleep there, I'm still your Captain. Also your going to need some back up, otherwise Hermione will make you do homework all the time." Harry sniggered, letting go. "Have you told Hermione what's going on?" Ron passed Harry the last of his clothes from his bed. "I kind of thought you guys you knowshared everything." Ron trailed off looking at the stone floor. "No I haven't told her yet. It's not like that Ron. I can talk with you its just you know, guys don't really talk about this sort of stuff." Harry fastened the clasps on his trunk. "You can you know, speak to me about things." Ron muttered quietly. Harry looked up, a smile on his lips for what felt like the first time in days. "Then I will. But at the moment I need to get this down to my quarters and then I'll join you for lunch? Then I'm free for the afternoon. Want to practice some keeping skills?" Ron's stomach growled enthusiastically and they both laughed. "Yeah sure. See you in about half hour?" "Deal." Harry shrunk his trunk down to pocket size and left his dorm room. His slow descent into the common room was a sad one and Harry felt himself wondering if he would ever live here once again. He was a bonded soul now and he would have to live

with Severus for however long it was. Harry stopped on the stairs. Maybe he should go to the library and actually look up the whole bonding process? He was more likely to run into Hermione there, and explain the situation to her in the process. His trunk could stay in his pocket for now. Besides he wasn't allowed back until curfew, so he couldn't put his stuff in Snape's quarters even if he wanted to. Entering the common room, he was greeted by the occupant's usual stony silence, which made Harry feel better about moving away from Gryffindor. He felt like shouting at them all. Did they not realise a war was raging with people dying? Instead of shunning each other house points and inter house rivalries the students of Hogwarts should have been joining forces! Not in the mood for this Harry just left despite hearing the barely concealed whispers directed at him. The ironic thing was that even as Witches and Wizards grew up many seemed not to grow out of this most basic rivalry. As years past and many grew up and got jobs, many would still not trust someone from the Slytherin house. Harry shook his head and placed his hands in his pockets. And Severus Snape thought he was immature. Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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9. Chapter 9

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Chapter 9 Sorry it has taken so long to update, things in my life have been taking up a lot of time. Here is an extra long chapter to make up for it. As always please review.

Special thank you to Silver Moonbeams for Beta reading. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP "To be bonded with another is a very deep and meaningful connection, which transcends time" With a dull thud, the book was dropped on top of a rapidly growing pile. "Both will be able to harness each other's magic, lending strength to one another. After the bonding has taken place, the immediate urge to consummate the relationship will occur, and caution will be thrown to the wind as passion overrides basic instinct." Harry snapped the book shut, and resisted the urge to break it over his knee. There was nothing of use here in the library; and anything he had read about, he had already been a victim to. The urge to consummate as it were. His fingers pulled the cumbersome glasses from his face and he rubbed the bridge of his nose in frustration. Of course, this research should have been done before he agreed to be bound to Snape for the rest of his life, not after. Slowly he picked the books back up from the shelf and put them untidily away. "Harry!" was hissed angrily from his side, and the books were immediately placed in their proper place. "What's this I hear from Ron? You're leaving Gryffindor tower?" "I have to leave for a few months to do training for Dumbledore," Harry told her vaguely, more interested in the fact that he had just seen Malfoy walk past the corridor in a stupor. "Damn it! Don't you dare lie to me, Harry Potter!" Hermione shrieked quietly, conscious of the fact that they were in the library. Harry could feel his feet itching with the want to follow the Slytherin, but he had promised Snape he wouldn't, and his body wouldn't follow through with his order. He sighed unhappily and looked down into Hermione's angry, brown eyes. "I promised not to tell anyone," he muttered finally, pushing the last book into place. "That's very well, but considering you're looking at books about Witches and Wizards being bonded, and our earlier talks about a certain Werewolf, I can pretty much work out what's happened," Hermione hissed at him. Harry sat on the floor, in-between the musty old book shelves. He had felt exhausted all day, probably from the lack of sleep. He and Snape hadn't returned to his, no their, quarters until the early hours of the morning. Wearily he raised his green eyes to look at his irritated friend. Her pale hand was on her hip; leg tense with the effort it was taking her to not stamp it. She was right, as always. Hermione had enough information to work out what had really happened, and Harry didn't want to insult her intelligence by trying to convince her otherwise. Dumbledore knew him well enough to know he would tell his friends what had happened. Alright it wasn't as if Ron knew, but Hermione had helped him with his Werewolf problem. She had stood beside him as he took a crash course in how to become an Animagus.

"I bonded with Artemis." He told her gently, waiting for her reaction. Hermione waited a few moments, the hurt showing in her face. "Why didn't you tell me?" Harry winced at the pain in her voice. "There was only a short time in-between me learning who Artemis was and me bonding with him. There wasn't time. I'm sorry." He waited for another tongue lashing, but Hermione said nothing. "Is this what you want?" Hermione crouched beside him. Her easy acceptance made Harry well up with emotion. A lump formed in his throat, and his eyes burned angrily. "I wanted to save Artemis, but I don't know what happens now. Artemis is safe like I wanted but where does that leave me?" Harry drew his knees up and rested his forehead there. He heard Hermione continue to speak, but it felt like he was underwater and he couldn't hear her properly. "Harry, what's the matter?" Hermione asked; frightened when she saw Harry sway alarmingly. I don't feel good," Harry groaned out as his vision swam in and out of focus, before finally, he felt the world fade away. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry Potter was truly intoxicating, Severus thought to himself as he walked to the Headmasters office. How he had not ravished the boy, and claimed him fully was beyond him. Even now, he could feel his fingers, itching to travel across and explore the boy's body. His lips tingled with the memory of the kiss they had shared. He was weak for allowing such a thing to happen. He was a teacher, for crying out loud! And here he was, seducing one of his students; one of the cardinal lines that you simply didn't cross. Then, there was the problem of the blasted Werewolf. He had been protective of Harry Potter, yes. Had Artemis made the feelings grow? Or had that happened by itself? Regardless Severus was now stuck within a bonding he didn't want. That was a partial lie. It wasn't Harry he minded being bonded to. He may have had feelings of dislike for the boy, but there were other worse people to be bound to. People who would exploit him or use him for their own uses. At least Harry did not have the brain to use him in such a way. It was being bonded when he wasn't ready to be bonded, that was really bothering him. How could one person in the Ministry have affected so many people with this stupid new law? Severus probably wouldn't have cared if he wasn't a Werewolf. But the Muggle born restrictions the Ministry was trying to put in place made Severus care. Even though he and Lily hadn't been on speaking terms when they last saw each other before her death, Severus was still outraged on his friend's behalf. Even if 'Mudblood' had been the last thing he had called her.

The memory of that last encounter prickled along his skin uncomfortably. He had tried to make up for it, in the protection of her son, but somewhere along the way, Severus found himself looking after the boy for his own reasons. When Harry had made that speech about Severus being someone worth saving, his initial reaction had been to scoff; what could a mere boy do? When Harry's magic had curled around his heart however, Severus knew the boy could live up to his promise. Severus had never encountered someone with such raw magic. He knew that Harry had achieved the Animagus form of a wolf fairly quickly, but it had never occurred to him that Harry had so much power. Severus had never put the two together. He could feel the golden energy within him now, quietly pulsating, awaiting use. How was it Harry wasn't at the top of his year? He had the strongest magic signature Severus thought imaginable, then why did the boy not excel in his studies? Perhaps that was something that Severus could offer Harry in their bond, the ability to do well... While he was by no means weak in power, Severus had ample wisdom and intelligence to offer. He wondered if his magic settled in Harry's being, made the boy more willing to study and explore knowledge. Loathe as he was to admit it, they actually suited each other quite well. Severus would always be the dominant of the pair as the Werewolf dictated, and Harry seemed to understand that. Severus found the irony of one of the world's strongest Wizards wanting to be dominated quite amusing. It quickly vanished as he stared into the furious face of Albus Dumbledore. Only once had he seen that face before, and that had been when he reported to Dumbledore that he was a Death Eater, and that he had handed the Potters over on a platter to the Dark Lord. "I could have you sent to Azkaban for this Severus!" Albus growled, jerking his head at the empty chair in the office. Guilty, Severus sat where he was told, wincing as Albus slammed the door shut. Even Fawkes, who usually chirped at him, was showing Severus his tail feathers. "Never in all my years of knowing you, have I been this disappointed in you. How dare you not tell Harry what was expected of him in a bonding ceremony!" Many of the odd artefacts Albus collected were beginning to rattle around dangerously. "Potter came to me with the idea of bonding. I did not force him into it," Severus said calmly; he wasn't going to be drawn into an argument, but he wasn't going to sit idly by. "No, Severus, you didn't need to. You just made him think there was no other way to save a creature he has grown to love. Now the world's only hope is bonded to someone who doesn't give a damn about him!" Albus slammed his fist on the table. Fawkes shuffled his feathers irritably, and flew away to one of the rafters in the office. "I do not hate the boy, Albus." Severus offered as an olive branch.

"No, Severus, you just told him you dislike him and that it was never going to change." Severus didn't know how Albus knew he had told Harry that, but it was the truth. Severus may feel protective for whatever reason. Be it Lily or something else deep within him, but he couldn't see the feelings of dislike disappearing anytime soon. Harry Potter was arrogant, lazy and fool hardy, all were traits that he despised in people. He was touched when Harry had admitted that he was someone worth saving, nevertheless it hadn't changed what he thought. Also, where was this nonsense coming from that Harry was the world's only hope? It infuriated him that Dumbledore thought so much of a teenage boy, and it had awakened Artemis as well. Severus had a mental picture of a sleeping Werewolf suddenly snapped to attention. "I told him the truth, Albus. You could have disagreed to the bonding. Anyway, surely branding Potter as the world's only hope is simply adding to his ego, surely?" Severus said as he reclined on his chair, stretching his legs out. Albus's eye twitched with annoyance at the lack of respect Severus was showing. He sat on his chair like the old man he was, acting as if the whole world was on his shoulders. "Have you not been listening to anything I've told you, Severus? Or has your DISLIKE of Harry simply deafened you?" Albus asked as his saddened blue eyes rose to meet Severus'. "Harry has to die, in order for Voldermort to be destroyed." Something stopped dead in his chest. Harry was supposed to die? All the blood leaked away from his body. The room was silent for a few seconds before Artemis' snarling filled his head painfully, and for once, Severus agreed with the beast. "Potter is not going to die," he coldly told the Headmaster. "What did you think I meant, when I told you I wasn't asking you to give up your life Severus? Do you not remember the talk we had at Christmas?" Vaguely Severus did, but he had thought Albus was referring to himself as the life that had to be given up. This couldn't be happening. Something painfully sharp, tugged at his heart and he realized something was wrong with Harry at the present time; his bond was tugging at Severus'. However, now was not the time; he could deal with the boy later. For now, he needed to know what the hell was going on. "But the Order! Everyone else that is fighting in this damn war! Don't we make a difference?" Severus tried not to scream. Artemis was lashing its mental tail in anger, the growls increasing into snarls. "It doesn't make a difference. Tom cannot be destroyed by any one apart from Harry. Why do you think I am seeking out the Horcruxes now whilst I am still present? The Order members have their orders, which they will follow when I am dead, but Harry will be alone."

"I will be with him," Severus snarled, feeling more and more like the beast with every minute that passed. "You think him arrogant, and fool hardy, remember?" Albus reminded him. "I do not wish him dead!" Severus shouted and stood up in fury. "No, but you will torture him mentally before he stands before Voldermort. It is only my unbreakable vow with you that causes your desire to save the boy. I allowed the bonding to take place because I believe that you can help Harry survive, for as long as he is needed. However if I hear of any harm that befalls Harry in the meantime, I will send you to Azkaban myself, bond or no bond," Albus threatened, growing angry again. Severus went to fight back but a knock on the door halted their conversation. Hermione Granger stood there. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Hermione was careful not to let Harry bang his head as she levitated him down to the dungeons. Normally, she would have taken him straight to the hospital wing, but she suspected this was just exhaustion from Harry's new bond. Ever since she had learnt about this mysterious Werewolf and the effect it had on Harry's heart, she had done her research. She had known it was Professor Snape all along. He matched the description of the Wolf Harry described. Like Harry, Hermione had deduced that the human locked within the Werewolf was a Slytherin. The fact that Snape looked ill every morning after a full moon had not escaped her attention either. Harry's outburst in Potions had simply been the icing on the cake. But as Harry's friend, she had her doubts. She was not biased like Ron and Harry when it came to Snape. Hermione had never believed that he was evil or working for You-know-who like they both believed. No, she had always seen him for the bitter man that he was, stuck in a job he didn't want to do, and trapped in a castle he didn't want to be in. An emotionless man stuck here for his safety. Hermione knew he was brave, his countless missions spying on Voldemort confirmed that. Even if she wasn't supposed to know that he was spying on the Dark lord. Whilst Harry had always thought that Snape hated him, Hermione had always thought Snape seemed almost jealous of Harry. Of what she wasn't sure. She herself had been a victim of jealously towards Harry. She had never heard of a Wizard who had learnt how to be an Animagus in just two months! Hermione had the intellect, and was secure in her place at the top of her academic studies. But she could not match Harry in raw magical power. She doubted anyone could. If he put that power to use, Harry Potter could be one of Hogwarts' greatest students. Just like Tom Riddle had been. She came to what she thought were the Professor's chambers . Now came the tricky part. How was she going to get Harry inside? Hermione knew a multitude of unlocking charms,

but she severely doubted Snape's quarters could be accessed by any spell she knew. Snape had probably changed them when he became aware of her talent in learning charms. Fortunately for her, Harry chose this time to come to, struggling against the levitating spell she had placed on him. Whispering softly to him, Hermione released the spell and supported Harry with her shoulder. For a minute, she was shocked at how light he felt, but it vanished as Harry began speaking to her. "How'd you know to come here?" He muttered sleepily, attempting to hold up some of his own weight. "I guessed a while back that Artemis was Professor Snape. Did he leave instructions on how to get in?" "Of course he didn't. He didn't even want to bond with me. I'm going to be sleeping on a sofa for the rest of my life," Harry spat out bitterly, trying to shrug Hermione away from him. Hermione allowed him to move away from her, and then sprang forward again as Harry lost his footing, stumbling against the door. In the process, Harry's hand had connected with the door handle and it had sprung open. "It seems he wants you around more then either of you realise." Hermione spoke quietly to herself and helped Harry to the sofa. Harry collapsed upon it and was asleep within a few seconds. Hermione sighed heavily to herself, transfiguring a spare pillow into a blanket to keep him warm. Whilst she was in the Potions Master's quarters, Hermione couldn't help but have a peek around. She would be mortified if she was caught, but sometimes, the Gryffindor in her took over her rational side. The bookworm within her, was automatically drawn to the many books filling the cases lined up against the walls, however she rebelled and instead she lit a small fire in the empty fire place. It was deathly cold in the room, as Harry's misty breath indicated. Once lit, the fire gave the room a slight amber glow, and Hermione could feel the heat take away some of the chill within the room. Briefly, she thought that the place could use a carpet or a rug to take away the coldness of the concrete slabs beneath her feet. 'Was she comfortable with Harry being with a man such as Severus Snape?' Hermione thought as she sat at the end of the sofa, touching Harry's feet. It went against the rules of course; thus it was something that she could never be fully comfortable with. But was Snape the sort of person Harry should be with? No, was the answer that first sprang to mind; even though Snape had proven that he had Harry's best interests at heart. He might have bullied her friend, and caused all of them emotional distress at times; but Artemis wouldn't have been drawn to Harry, unless there was something already binding the two of them together. Hermione had always found it so romantic; the way Tonks had spoken about Lupin, and how the Werewolf inside Lupin, had picked her as its mate. So romantic, in fact, that

Hermione had even had her own fantasies of some magical beast finding her, and claiming her as its mate. Of belonging to someone, of being possessed and cared for. Artemis had courted Harry as their customs predicted, but what Hermione didn't understand, was why Snape was fighting the idea? The sexual attraction must already be there, at least. What was holding the man back? Was it Harry's father? The fact that he was a teacher? Or did Dumbledore disapprove? Speaking of whom, Hermione thought it was best she alert someone to Harry's predicament. She rubbed her friend's legs gently and got up to go find the Headmaster. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP "Miss Granger?" Dumbledore inquired gently, his earlier anger diffused by the brown haired teen. "Sorry to interrupt you, Sir, but it was an emergency. It's Harry; he has fainted from exhaustion." Immediately Severus and Artemis were on alert, and Severus now knew what it was that he had felt earlier. "I see, but my dear, why have you come to find us, rather than Madam Pomfrey?" Albus asked her gently. The girl only had to look at Severus and they both knew. "You are aware of my condition." Severus spoke without looking at her. "Yes I do. Artemis." At least the girl had guts. Albus gestured for the girl to come inside his office. "Your intelligence never ceases to amaze me, Miss Granger. I trust I don't have to explain why this must be kept secret?" Granger sat down, and all Severus could now see of her was the back of her bushy, annoying, brown head. "I understand, Sir. However, from my knowledge of 'Hogwarts, a History', I didn't think student-teacher relationships were forbidden, as long as the student was of a certain age?" Severus resisted the urge to set fire to the back of her head. "No, it is frowned upon, but as the Headmaster, it is my responsibility to care for the welfare of all my students. If I believed that Professor Snape did not have Harry's well being in mind, I would not have allowed it." Severus knew what they were doing. The two of them thought they were clever, but they weren't. Harry was probably tired from the late night; it had nothing to do with him. It wasn't his responsibility to make the child go to sleep. But he couldn't shake the worried feeling he had that Harry might be more than just tired.

"Do they not have to consummate the bond? Will Harry not feel worse as time draws on?" His temper snapped. "Have you ever thought, Miss Granger that I do not wish to consummate anything with Potter?" Severus growled through clenched teeth. "A young, foolish, arrogant child? The bond we have created has nothing to do with love, but a mere concern for safety. His and my own. He was the one who came to me, and asked me to bond; I never forced him. He was idiotic not to learn about the repercussions." Granger stood and faced him. The air was tense but Albus made no move to stop her. "You think Harry is foolish?" She whispered at him. There was no malice in her voice; she was quite calm, actually "How can someone with your intelligence not think so? You nave fool, how many times has Potter dragged you and his friends into danger? On stupid, glory missions?" He spat angrily at her. "You think that he is foolish, just because he rushes into danger, do you not? Harry isn't like that though. Sure, sometimes he doesn't always think things through, but something inside him has to save people. I don't know what it is about him, but Harry doesn't do things for recognition or for any kind of warped glory. Harry Potter goes out into danger because it's the right thing to do." Granger paused, her cheeks flushed with passion. "As Gryffindors we, his friends, share the stigma of being foolishly loyal, and leaping into danger; but that's not it at all. Harry inspires people to do the right thing. To fight for their friends. I have never felt like I've been dragged into danger and Harry has never asked me to leap into battle with him, Harry always becomes distressed when Ron and I don't listen to him and follow him. With regards to Sirius, it was because he was Harry's family that we went to save him, and it was not only Gryffindors that came along. In the DA, there were at least a few members from each house, apart from Slytherin." "You will never understand the quiet loyalty of the Slytherin's," Severus hissed nastily at her. Hermione raised her hands to show she meant no disrespect. "It is none of your business; mine or Harry's life." Severus turned away ending the conversation. "I know more about Harry than anyone else, Professor; he will always be my business." The girl responded in that annoyingly calm way of hers. Severus resisted the urge to snap her neck, and tilted his head to look at Albus. "If that's all, Professor?" He snapped. Without waiting for a response, he strode from the office. Severus was furious, but he was also concerned about Harry. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

Hermione sipped her tea, minus the calming potion. Whilst waiting for the Headmaster to speak, she surveyed the office. Usually when she was in here, it was for the briefest of moments, before she would go dashing off after Harry. "How did you know?" Dumbledore eventually asked. "It was Harry who first thought Artemis was a Slytherin. Then, there was the fact that he had black fur; and Professor Snape was always tired after a full moon. Just like Professor Lupin." She drank once again from her cup, idly observing the books in the Headmaster's bookshelf. "I beg your pardon, my dear, but how did you know of Professors Snape's aversion to consummating the bond?" Hermione placed her cup down with a small clink, and tried not to blush. It was a sensitive subject, and one she wasn't overly comfortable discussing with someone like Dumbledore. "I know Professor Snape's character. Whilst he is not always an easy man to like, or even tolerate, he strikes me as someone who has morals. One of those would be to not violate someone he is teaching." Dumbledore sat back, and placed his hands on his lap. "I liked the addition that Harry needed to consummate the bond soon." She picked up her china cup once more; a smile tugging at her lips. "I cannot believe a scholar such as the Professor, did not see through that one." The Headmaster smiled, and chuckled quietly. "I hope I've done the right thing in allowing both of them to bond." Blue eyes meet her brown ones. "You may be against the idea of Harry being with a man such as Severus, but I truly believe that they are the best thing for each other now. Severus is the only one I trust to help Harry with the next stage of the war." "In some ways, I do trust Professor Snape. I just worry that he cannot overcome his hatred towards Harry. In the end, it will devastate him." Hermione looked into her tea leaves sadly. "I think, they will make their own way through life. There will be heartache, of that I am sure; but I believe their destinies were already tied, long before Artemis was born." HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus watched as his young bonded lay sleeping. So deep in sleep was he, that Harry did not even stir when Severus cleared his throat loudly, right beside him. He transfigured some off hand item into a chair to sit, and watched his partner. Even with his tanned skin, Severus could see that Harry was deathly pale; clearly exhausted. Exhausted himself, Severus rubbed at the delicate skin of his eyelids with his fingers. How had things progressed so fast? In only a day, he was able to feel when his mate was in distress. That was advanced, even for their own combined magic.

Harry rolled in his sleep, flinging his arm out to hit against his trunk. Severus perked up a little at the realisation of something. Here, he had Harry Potter's private trunk, and he was just itching to have a look inside. He was a Slytherin, after all. Silently, he opened the lid of the trunk; intrigued by what the boy could possibly own. But the contents made him furrow his brow. Was this it? A few baggy tattered clothes, school robes and a few other pieces of junk? His bewilderment turned into anger. Were his quarters not adequate enough? Could Potter not bring down his actual possessions and instead only brought down a small scruffy amount? The sheer arrogance of the boy! He pushed the clothes aside in irritation, and stumbled across something old, and very worn. It was a photo-album, filled with pictures of Lily and James. A few pages later they changed into Harry, and his friends. Severus might not have known his young mate very well, but he could understand how an item like this would be important to an orphan. With as much care as Severus would give to a rare potion's ingredient, Severus tucked it back inside the trunk, and sat back on his heels. His anger melted away as he stared at the trunk. So he had been wrong. Harry had not been arrogant, nor had he turned his nose up at Severus' quarters. This was everything the young man owned. As unwilling as he was to see it, Severus could not argue with the evidence presented to him. Harry was not the person he thought he was. There were no hordes of clothes and other such items that a spoilt child would possess. Unlike Draco, who had to be forced to send some of his things back every year. With more care, Severus folded the clothes, looking for clues to tell him about his mate. The clothes themselves were old and much too big, so they clearly weren't his. Severus knew of a fat cousin the boy lived with and he concluded that they were hand-me-downs from him. But why was Harry wearing them? He had none of his own. That thought was like a slap to the face. Severus forced back the bitter bile rising in his throat. His fingers brushed against a packet of owl treats; for Hedwig, Severus assumed. Harry clearly cared a lot about his familiar. There was the parchment from his third year. A joke map of sorts. Well, Severus knew Harry liked to pull pranks. There were no sweets or treats of any kind; so either Harry didn't have a sweet tooth or he felt he was too grown up to eat them. Severus rather thought it was the latter; as he had seen Harry eat ample amounts of chocolate desserts. His quidditch gloves were within, as well as a broom cleaning set, and also a book on Animagi. Severus packed everything away once again, apart from the book

How long had Harry been an Animagus? Severus never recalled hearing about any such talent from any of the teachers, most of whom liked to brag about Harry's achievements as if they were their own. Had Harry learnt from this book? Severus quickly thumbed through the pages. Surely not. Severus could remember his shock at Harry being a wolf. As he recalled, Harry's Patronus was a Stag, like his father's. When had it changed? He and Artemis had only known each other a few short months, and it was impossible that Harry could have mastered the skill by thenWasn't it? He could feel the magic from his partner pulsing inside him; hot and powerful. But to achieve that kind of transformation in such a short timewell that would put the boy on par with the Dark Lord, and wasn't that a terrifying thought. That jolted him uncomfortably to his earlier chat with Albus. Gently his fingers brushed back the hair across his mate's face. Harry was supposed to die? That had never been part of the plan; sure, he used to hate the boy, but he never wished him dead. Everybody depended on a young student. Artemis began to growl once again in his head, stamping around in Severus's mind angrily. The Werewolf longed to lie next to his mate and comfort him. But Severus could not allow that to happen. He would protect the boy as always, and stick by him until his task was complete. But he would not consummate a relationship with a student. No matter how much the Headmaster and Granger seemed to want it. His lip curled at the thought of those two plotting. It didn't matter what they thought; Severus had his morals and he was not going to lose them. Despite how appealing Harry looked on the sofa. He had allowed the Werewolf far too much free reign over his mind. True, he had agreed with Artemis' snarls over Harry becoming a sacrifice, but he couldn't allow any more night time trips to lie next to Harry. Severus would redouble his efforts to keep the Werewolf under his control. It would hurt Harry, only seeing Artemis once a month, but Severus would not allow the alternative to happen. Even now, he could feel Artemis' rage as he slowly bent him to his will. He could feel the urges of the Wolf to complete the bond, and those were the most dangerous. With one last look at a sleeping Harry, Severus rose and walked to his desk. He pulled out something from one of the draws and left it on the table. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry woke from what felt like a deep fog and opened his eyes to blurry surroundings. Someone had taken his glasses from him. Vaguely, he remembered Hermione bringing him down from the library, and bringing him in here. He couldn't remember ever feeling this tired before, not even after battling Voldemort.

Heavily, his head flopped back down onto the sofa, and he groped for his glasses on the table. Eventually he found them, and his world came into focus again. His wand was in his pocket, as always, and a quick spell told him it was just after four in the morning. Despite the fact that Harry had been asleep practically a whole day, he was still quite sleepy and yawned widely. He tried to sit up, and only managed a half sit up; enough to prop his upper body against the arm of the sofa. Snape's door was shut, and probably locked, so he had clearly come home, seen Harry, and gone to bed. He bit back the anger, and the bitterness he felt, and concentrated on flexing his shoulders instead. What did he expect, really? That Snape would begin to care for him? Harry assumed Hermione would have told someone that he had fainted, and he was sure Snape would have heard. Well, it just proved he was an uncaring bastard, just as he suspected. He ignored the little niggling voice in his head, reminding him of how much he enjoyed waking up to the man. Harry looked back at the table, noticing with interest, the bar of chocolate awaiting him. He smiled fondly; Hermione must have placed it there for him, for when he woke up. Even though his arms felt like lead, he pulled the chocolate towards him, and devoured it in a few big bites. He could feel the immediate affect, but Harry still wrapped the blanket around him, content to sleep some more. He would have to apologize to Ron, for not turning up, but he was sure Hermione would have said something to his friend. Besides, Ron usually understood. As Harry fell asleep, he counted his blessings once again that he had such a concerned friend as Hermione Granger. TBC Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id:


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10. Chapter 10

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Chapter 10 Hey guys, sorry for the long delay. Here is the next chapter for you all to enjoy. Thank you for being patient with me. Hope you enjoy and don't forget to review. Chapter 11 is currently being Beta'd so there will not be a big delay this time. Special thanks go to Silver Moonbeams for Beta reading. Thank you for doing such a good job HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Artemis sighed, resting his large head on his huge furred forepaws. His mate was once again in his wolf form, swimming contentedly in the lake. The Werewolf felt something akin to depression. He had been pushed so far down in his hosts mind, that all the Werewolf was able to do for weeks was watch his mate. Watch as he struggled to come to terms with the exhaustion still plaguing him, because the bond had not been completely sealed. The Werewolf exhaled loudly, his breath rising up from his nostrils. Where as before Artemis had been able to take advantage of his hosts exhausted form and creep into bed with his mate, the host was no longer allowing that. Artemis could now only watch as events unfolded. His mate was miserable; Artemis could see it through the host's eyes. He was being forced to sleep in a cold den and then his host would disappear for the remainder of the day. Artemis would sometimes catch a glimpse when the humans all converged for eating, and on occasion in the smelly room where humans created things in huge stones. The host would not speak to his mate at any other time, only when it was liquid making time. Then his mate was with his friends, and the host would upset him with cruel words that made the other humans laugh nastily. When his host returned to his den for the night he would stalk past his mate and slam the door on him. Even when they had all been eating and that sneaky female once again tried to take Harry away from him, Artemis could do nothing to prevent it. His host had also watched with narrowed eyes as the female tried to lure his mate away with funny smelling water. That had enraged the pair of them and it had been the only time Artemis had been in complete agreement with his host's actions. He had spoken with the old female that could change into a feline and gotten the younger female in lots of trouble. Then the host also ridiculed the young female at very chance he got. That had made them both feel much better. Artemis lifted his head and watched his mate powerfully swimming in the water, his tail flared out behind him. The Werewolf wished there was more he could do to protect his mate from harm. This snake human seemed to be worrying the host and his mate tremendously,

but Artemis wasn't allowed to break his neck. Artemis could do nothing but watch everything from his host's cold eyes. The Werewolf heard himself whine quietly. What use was he if he could only be allowed to appear for one night? The host wouldn't allow Artemis to share his mind. He was as useless as a cub. He stood stretching his long limbs and padded over to the water's edge. Inhaling deeply Artemis could smell that the coldness which had taken over the land for the last few months was nearly gone. The light breeze held promise of new leaf and prey was beginning to grow fat once again. It had been almost a year now that Artemis had been alive, and he was proud of what he had achieved in the short time. His mate barked happily from where he was in the dark, cold water, encouraging Artemis to come swim with him. The Werewolf wrinkled his black nose in disgust. He did not like to get his fur wet, and could not understand his mate's desire to. However if his mate was happy, then Artemis would watch him. Protecting him from what ever lurked in the lake. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Eventually Harry padded up to where Artemis was, shaking himself free of water. Harry loved to swim and what better way when you had four legs instead of two. His powerful legs designed for running glided effortlessly through the water, propelling him to great speeds. Harry had been a little upset that Artemis did not want to join him, instead choosing to sit on the muddy shore and keep an eye out for danger. "Are you alright?" Harry asked Artemis in their limited way of wolf speak. "Keeping you safe." Artemis responded in his head. Harry sat beside his mate, tail thumping the ground in affection. He pushed his muzzle into Artemis's side, who in turn licked the top of his head. Artemis pinned him down with his glowing amber eyes. "It is you who is not." For a second Harry was confused as to what Artemis was talking about, and then he remembered his earlier sentence. Harry transformed back into himself. He found it easier to talk to Artemis in this form, even if he could not understand what the Werewolf said in response. He sat beside the Werewolf and threaded his fingers into the beast's soft fur. Artemis trained his giant amber eyes upon him, before lying down to listen. Harry didn't know where to start. How could he speak his mind freely? He knew that Snape was there lurking inside Artemis's mind, eavesdropping on their only time together. In understanding, Artemis whined softly and pushed his head onto his lap, his nose breathing in his smell deeply. There was nothing Harry could say; all three beings knew why Harry was miserable. He looked up at the night sky, lit brightly by the huge moon. Harry softly scratched Artemis's ear before whispering. "I don't want to die." There! He had said it for the first time

ever. Living in Snape's quarters he could live with, being ridiculed he was used to. But Harry Potter did not want to die. Artemis suddenly reared his head up angrily, ears standing on alert. His lips drew back menacingly and his inch long fangs came out in a furious snarl. Harry momentarily wondered if Snape would have that same reaction. Harry knew it was for the good of the world. There were many people relying on him. Honestly Harry did want to do everything in his power to save this new world he had grown to love. Artemis did not settle down, he sat up-right; chest still rumbling angrily. "Even if this plan that Dumbledore has works, we all know I have to die in order for Voldemort to be finally destroyed. There is no way around it." Harry stood and walked slowly towards Artemis who was clawing the ground up in fury. "I think that I must be one of these Horcruxes he's talking about. It would make sense. It would explain why I have some of his powers and why I am linked to him in such a way. If they have to be destroyed in order to destroy him, how am I meant to survive?" Harry grabbed the angry Werewolf's head and rested his forehead against the furry one. Artemis looked impatiently at him and Harry guessed the wolf wished to speak with him. He transformed once again and looked up at the now gigantic Werewolf. Artemis stalked around him and pushed his muzzle into Harry's chest fur. "Will not die!" Artemis growled in his mind. "Others may die, you stay safe with Artemis." The voice was firm and it held no room for arguments, just like Snape's. How could you explain to a wolf that it wasn't alright to let other people die just so you could remain safe? "Others are my pack." Harry tried to explain it in wolf terms. "No. Artemis and mate are pack." Harry felt unexpected warmth spread through his body. His wish for a family had been answered in an odd way, but at least he achieved something before he died. Harry's canine ears pricked forward as he heard something shuffle in the forest. Artemis, who had also heard, had crouched down into a hunter's pose and Harry hesitantly copied. For tonight, he could forget. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry padded back up to the castle with Artemis, already sensing the Werewolf was fading away. His heart felt heavy as he realized it would be another four weeks until he could see Artemis again. The Werewolf had been the reason he had bound himself to a man who clearly still despised him despite what he said. Snape had told him before that he did not hate him, merely disliked him. It didn't seem that way to Harry. However Snape had been under the influence of Veritaserum when he admitted that he didn't hate Harry. He felt his tail droop between his legs. Surely someone as accomplished as Snape could manipulate his answers. Dislike might have been just another word for hate, or it was only a degree below hate. He had also admitted his feelings would never change, and that was something Harry just had to live with. He knew what he was getting into when he agreed to bond, there was no use complaining about it now.

Harry would move on just like always. There was still the war with Voldemort to consider and his school work. Harry felt his grey fur stiffen along his spine; the jibe that he did not try in school still lingering in his mind. He would show that arrogant bastard. Harry might not pass potions but he would sure as hell pass everything else. He still had his future to think of after all, and if he could only see Artemis once a month, then so be it. Hopefully Dumbledore would come up with a plan in order for him to survive. Then when the war was over and Snape was free from this "forced" bonding, then Harry and Artemis could visit each other. He didn't need Snape after all. Harry felt slight guilt at that statement but he pushed it away angrily. It wasn't like the man had done anything to make his stay easier, or let up on him in classes. Harry at least thought that the man could speak to him on the weekends. Once Harry had stayed in their quarters to see if the man would actually speak to him, Snape had disappeared for the entire day. So now Harry left as soon as he was able, which was six in the morning, and he returned just after curfew. That way they never saw each other. Artemis quickened his pace through the castle, and Harry knew why. The night was barely holding on by its fingertips and the Werewolf was eager to be somewhere. Briefly, Harry wondered if it was Artemis in charge or if Snape had suddenly regained control of their mind. Approaching their door, Harry transformed once again into himself, and laid his hand on the door handle, allowing them to enter. The Werewolf pushed past, almost knocking Harry to the floor in its eagerness, and Harry's question was answered. Harry shut the door behind them and picked up his wand from where he had left it. Yawning he lit the fire absentmindedly, content to get some sleep. His eyes widened in shock as he turned to get on the sofa. Artemis was a jumbled heap on the floor, writhing in what was clearly agony. Shocked, Harry knelt down, timidly holding his hands out to the beast. He had assumed Snape would just go to his room like always, shutting Harry out. Clearly, he had not had the strength and collapsed on the floor. He was a little nervous; Artemis' eyes, which were normally so clear and focused, were hazy and a little wild. His jaws were snapping in pain, his claws thrashing about dangerously. Taking a risk, Harry grabbed the wolf's massive head and laid it on his lap, holding onto Artemis as he rode out his painful transformation. The black hair of the Werewolf began to give way to the soft peach of flesh, claws and teeth retracted and the limbs began to contort into ways Harry never thought possible. Still he held on, even when the howls of agony gave way to small screams of pain. Harry waited until the spasms had subsided before looking down at the vulnerable and very naked form of Severus Snape. Exhaustedly, the man's dark eyes met his own. It had been the first time in weeks since they had held eye contact. Snape usually looked next to him or above him in classes, and they never saw each other in the quarters.

Immediately, the bond was tightened once again; Harry could suddenly feel his body responding. It didn't help that the man was completely naked and that he actually found him attractive. He wasn't sure when he had realized it, but it was clear from his reaction to Snape's naked form that he definitely found him attractive. It must have been lurking there for some time, heightened by their bonding. Their union seemed to have opened Harry's eyes to who Snape really was. He was tall and broad shouldered, with dark, smouldering eyes, and a commanding voice that just begged you to listen. His nose, which Harry had once thought looked broken and hooked, now seemed regal, completing the sharp features of the man. Now naked, Harry could see that the man was lithe and sinewy, complete with a strong back and firm legs. Perhaps he had always been attracted to the man, yet years of torment had forced him to ignore his attraction. It hadn't helped that Snape had taunted him about going to the Prophet with the fact he was gay. That had been a new realization in itself. Had he always fancied men? As he recalled, he never really fancied anyone, always being too preoccupied with people trying to kill him. There had been no time for him to explore his sexuality or potential partners, until Artemis had thrust himself into his life and made him his. Harry saw that Snape was also having the same problem, if his darkening eyes were anything to go by. However, this was not the time; not when the man was drained from his transformation. Snape might not have respect for him, but Harry had too much respect to take advantage at a time like this, even with the bond screaming at him, heating his blood into a frenzy. He stood, lifting Snape with him as he went. He could see surprise lighting the man's face, but Harry didn't have the time to explain himself. Lifting the taller man's pale arm over his head, Harry supported him as he half carried, half-dragged Snape into his bedroom. Snape opened his mouth a few times to speak yet only a dry rasping sound escaped. Harry ignored him and pushed open the door he knew was Snape's with his shoulder. The door did not resist, which surprised him; Harry fully expected a ward of some description to repel him. Snape's room was simple. The floor, covered in a dark navy carpet, unlike Harry's floor of cold stone, left the room feeing a lot warmer. There were yet more books in there, and another desk covered with pieces of parchment. Harry could see a few essays there, and realized Snape had been doing marking recently. The bed was an impressive four-poster, carved from deep wood, which did nothing for Harry's predicament. Sudden images of him, being tied down to the bed, or laid out and covered by Snape suddenly filled his head. Harry could suddenly feel the tentative probing that was Snape's Legilimency and quickly replaced the image with something different. Quidditch was the first thing that came to mind, not surprising as Gryffindor had a match soon. Harry pulled back the dark bed covers, thick and soft and lay Snape down onto his comfortable looking mattress. Without looking, Harry pulled the warm covers over Snape's naked body and sighed. Not with longing, but with the effort it took to bring the man here.

Snape's eyes watched him carefully, narrowed with suspicion and Harry gave a small smile in return. When nothing was said, Harry turned to leave. He was suddenly presented with two doors, which left Harry feeling a bit confused. Come to think of it, he could never recall Snape coming out of his room to use the bathroom, maybe it lead to his own personal one? Unwilling to dwell on it, Harry picked the one on the right and was relieved to see it lead to the corridor. "You don't have to leave, you know," came the thin whispery voice of Snape. Harry paused. He could hear it in the man's voice; he wanted him as well. Harry chanced a look back, green eyes wide at the invitation. Was it a trap or had the man simply been worn down by his transformation? "Yes I do." Harry strengthened his resolve and closed the door behind him, heading towards his sofa. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Despite his overwhelming exhaustion, sleep did not come to Severus Snape. Instead, he was left troubled over what had just happened. It had been the perfect opportunity. He was vulnerable, he was naked, and yet Harry had just walked away. Why? Severus knew the bond was hurting the pair of them with its intense pull. Glowering, he looked at the ceiling. Was it him? Was he that repulsive? No the boy wanted him, Severus had seen it often enough in the boy's eyes. Harry was not subtle in his lustful looks in Potions, or even in the Great Hall. It wasn't him that was the problem. Severus sat up irritably. Why did it even matter? Severus had already decided that he was not going to complete the bond. He wasn't going to take advantage of such a student, especially one he didn't particularly like. Severus had gone out of his way to avoid him, and it had worked very well. He would retire to his rooms early, and leave before Harry was even awake. They didn't need to see each other, and Severus was now safe so it suited him just fine. Harry could carry on with his own pathetic life and Severus could with his. Now he was lying to himself, and he was usually better at it. His protective urges, which he had long been denying, kicked up a notch at the realization of Harry's death. That had been why Albus had been so quick to allow an old man like himself to bond with a mere child. No, Harry was not a child. He was seventeen, old enough to be an adult. From the snippets of the memories Severus had seen, his childhood had not been a happy one. Nevertheless, he had ignored it, blinded by his own hatred by the boy. Convinced he was a mere boy, trying to play at being a member of the Order. Foolish in risking his life at the end of nearly every school year, to prove he was as good as the rest of them. It had enraged Severus how Albus had always calmly accepted this rashness of Harry's behaviour, how the old man almost encouraged the boy not to focus on his school work, and instead play at being the hero.

Severus had been wrong. When Albus had informed him of Harry's fate, everything had clicked into place and Severus had a moment of perfect clarity. It hadn't been Harry running blind into danger. Albus had placed him in it. He had been testing the boy of his worth, but also preparing him slowly for what he had to face. Harry, a boy who had nothing to lose, had fallen for it every single time and grew stronger for it. And Severus was mated to that person. Severus had always found power irresistible and Harry was positively radiating with it. In some twisted way, he was almost drawn to Harry like a moth to a flame. Tonight had nearly broken his resolve. True he had taunted the boy for being gay, even ridiculed him on his appearance, saying that Harry would never be an adequate sexual partner. Tonight, when he had been vulnerable, he felt disgusted with himself, for allowing anyone to see him like that. No one saw Severus Snape exposed like that. He had far too many enemies and he still halfexpected Harry to take advantage of him. It would have been easy for Harry to kill him or even worse humiliate him. Harry had done neither. Instead, he had helped Severus into bed despite his natural urges. Even though Severus had been such a bastard to him If Severus were Harry, he would have left him on the cold stone floor and gone to sleep in a warm bed. There was a brief glimmer that Harry might actually care for him as well as the blasted Werewolf. It hadn't been Artemis that needed help. It caused Severus to think that maybe being bonded to Harry was better than he originally thought. That instead of ridiculing the young man, he could instead trust someone, for the first time. He could literally feel his heart opening a crack, enough to tell Harry it was ok to stay. Had it been respect for Severus that made Harry walk away? Severus locked his long fingers together and looked at them thoughtfully. Harry had guts, he gave him that. Even now, Severus was tempted to walk into the living room and take Harry as he wanted. With his messy hair that just begged Severus to run his hands through and those damn full lips that quivered on occasion. The fact that Harry was attracted to him made it all the harder to stick to his morals. He could feel himself slowly begin to trust the boy. Harry had done everything Severus had asked him to. None of his friends had been brought down to his quarters. The boy stuck to curfew and he ignored Draco. The Vow Severus had demanded of Harry prevented him from even speaking to Draco. Now knowing Harry a little better convinced Severus that he didn't need to make the boy promise. Harry had respected all of his wishes, including the strict one of no sleeping together. Harry was miserable; Severus could feel it. Yet he had still stuck to his promise. Tonight, Harry had unwittingly created a bond between himself and Severus that hadn't been forced. That had almost been Severus' undoing. Thankfully, Harry had left the bedroom; otherwise, Severus' morals would have been torn to pieces. Severus knew he was not going to get any sleep this morning, as he reached under his bed he pulled up his own version of the pepper up potion, giving him enough energy to get

through the day. Immediately he felt it flare through his veins, forcing his body into alertness. He entered the bathroom for a long hot shower and brutal tooth brushing session before he concluded he could safety go to the Great Hall for breakfast without rousing suspicion, not that he even cared. It was relativity quiet in the corridors, being a Sunday morning. When he entered the Great Hall, he noticed a few Ravenclaws were up reading books with their breakfast. Draco was up with the Slytherin Quidditch team, looking haunted and haggard as usual. Severus needed to keep a closer eye on his well being. He had promised Narcissa after all. Severus frowned at his Quidditch team. Was there a reason they were up so early on a Sunday? Did he approve a training session? Severus could not remember anyone asking him for use of the Quidditch pitch. "Now now Severus there's no need to look so proudly at your beloved team. I'm sure they might provide some entertainment for my Gryffindors. I have to say I'm looking forward to seeing what young Potter has done with the team. I heard he made some radical changes to the team," McGonagall said as she sat down next to him, wearing that superior smile she had. There was a Quidditch match on today? Harry had only gone to sleep a few hours ago! Severus instantly felt guilty. Quidditch to Severus was a complete waste of time. In Severus's opinion, people were paid too much for something as trivial as catching a small, winged ball. Yet Severus knew how important it was for Harry to enjoy something in his life. "What has Potter got to do with the team?" Severus responded in his usual drawl, helping himself to some toast. "Why Severus, have you not heard that Potter was made Quidditch Captain at the beginning of the year? Honestly Severus, we're nearly half way through the school year. I've heard he has done remarkably well. Considering Miss Bell had to be taken off the team." Ah yes. Severus remembered that Katie Bell had been under a spell trying to take a bewitched necklace to Albus. He had strict words with Draco that day. It was all well and good having someone else do your dirty work for you, but Draco had been sloppy. It was like he wanted to be caught. So Harry was Captain, was he? Severus had not been aware of that fact, usually he didn't pay much attention to what happened outside his own lessons. Had Harry told Artemis in one of their catch ups? It showed how little he really knew about his mate. "I trust the matter with Miss Vane has all been taken care of?" Severus changed the subject onto one he truly cared about. McGonagall looked surprised at Severus's concern but she nodded. Severus was satisfied with that and he resumed eating his toast. He knew instinctively when Harry had walked through the door to the Great Hall and he saw out of the corner of his eye that the boy was completely knackered. Perhaps Severus should have left a potion for his

young mate as well? Well it wasn't as if Severus forced him to stay out all night with Artemis. If the boy wanted to stay awake then that was his choice, and he would suffer the consequences. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Yawning Harry tried to pay interest to what was happening around him. He was too exhausted to even think about playing Quidditch today, let alone play a match. The sun was annoyingly bright in the sky, just as you would expect for a day in early spring. Harry had already drowned out the boos and cheers of both teams regarding Ron as a keeper. Yet Harry had seen Ron at try outs and he couldn't remember Ron being that bad. True, the fact that he was Harry's friend probably coloured Harry's view slightly, but he had been an acceptable Keeper. He sighed deeply, readjusting his grip on the warm handle of his broom. Perhaps if Harry had actually spent time coaching his team like a proper captain would, they wouldn't be losing so badly against the Slytherins, of all teams. He didn't recall the score, but he had heard enough of the crowd to realize he needed to catch the snitch and fast. Thankfully Ginny was proving to be a fantastic chaser, and had scored most of the points Gryffindor had. Almost lazily, Harry circled the pitch once more from his vantage point. Harry was usually able to function without sleep. His nightmares over the years, and visions of Voldemort had haunted his nights, and he usually only got a few hours of sleep anyways. This year had been different; Voldemort was relatively quiet and it was now Artemis that plagued his nights. Still, his limbs felt like lead, and his head ached just behind his eyes. Harry could think of nothing better then to fly down to the ground and find a patch of soft grass to sleep in. As fatigued as he was, it was nothing compared to Malfoy. Subtly he looked at his opponent who was still deathly pale. To Harry, he appeared a few steps away from death, what with those black circles under his eyes. Something was happening, Harry was sure of it. Last time he had tried to find out, he had ended up in a fight and had lost. Then Snape had made him promise not to go near Malfoy. Which he had promised and now Harry could no longer follow him or investigate. Briefly, Harry thought of asking Hermione to find out. He trusted her above all others and he was sure she could find out. Even now as he tried to fly near the Slytherin Seeker it felt as if a magnet was forcing him away and Harry could not get any closer. This now made the game impossibly harder. How was Harry meant to catch the snitch? He couldn't even go near Malfoy, Merlin help him if he found the snitch first. Harry was thankful Malfoy seemed as tired as he was. Malfoy appeared to be actively looking, but Harry had seen his eyes were unfocused and the pupils were unmoving. The Slytherin was here only for appearances sake. Harry felt the air move behind him, and fell off his broom sideways to avoid being hit by a bludger. A risky move, but one he knew he could pull off. The crowd roared as they thought their boy wonder would fall off and cheered when Harry pulled himself back up onto his broom. Paying them no attention, Harry resumed his search, now looking within the stands.

As he moved to look at the teachers stand, Snape's intense gaze caught his own. His heart sped up painfully in his chest, and his throat became dry. Images of the early morning leapt into his mind and Harry looked away, his cheeks burning. When he had calmed, he looked again, but Snape had not moved, still pinning him with a determined stare. Looking back again, Harry began to feel something that he wasn't quite sure belonged to him. It felt like concern. Concern at his well being suddenly flooded him, before being snatched away in anger. Was this what Snape was feeling? Towards him? Was this the bond's doing? Snape turned his head away first and the bond was broken, but Harry could still feel the residual effects of it. Harry had known that it was a side effect of their bonding; however he was surprised that Snape had let his guard down and let Harry feel what he was thinking. It was more likely that Snape was just as tired as he was, and hadn't realized that Harry was picking up on it. When he had finally realized that, he had abruptly slammed down his mental shields once again. Dean suddenly flew past him with the Quaffle and Harry was once again thrown back into the game. It appeared now that the tide was turning in their favour and Harry was glad that Dean had replaced Katie. Instantly he felt guilty at Katie's predicament, but the combined efforts of Dean and Ginny seemed to be pulling the team forward. Deciding to forget Snape for the moment, Harry paid real attention to the game and eventually spotted the Snitch lurking about near the Slytherin goal posts. Without wasting any time, Harry flattened himself on his broom and sped towards it. Within seconds, Malfoy seemed to have cottoned on to what was happening, and flew after Harry. Harry knew he only had seconds in which to catch the snitch, before Malfoy would be upon him and he would be forced away from the Slytherin. Thankfully his broom was the superior one, and he easily kept ahead of Malfoy, and pulled his broom upwards as the Snitch decided to fly higher. Vertically, Harry flew; higher and higher into the clouds. He could feel gravity trying to pull him from his broom, but Harry's hands kept a firm grip, his feet pushing against their rests. Harry was now standing upright, and he gingerly pushed his right arm out to brush at the snitch. Taking a hold of his courage, he pushed himself forward with a powerful thrust from his feet and caught the illustrious object. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus walked into his quarters, fully believing that Harry would be celebrating his victory with his friends. Considering it was also the weekend, Severus did not think Harry would even be back tonight. Just reliving that match had been enough to make Severus angry once again. Honestly what was Harry doing, always flying recklessly like that? For a few moments no one had been able to see the boy as he had flown so high. Severus had just made up his mind to hex the boy down and then kill him, when Harry had floated back down gently, golden ball clasped within his fingers.

The team had converged upon Harry, and they had landed as a heap together on the floor. When he finally saw Harry amidst all the crimson robes, Severus had been bewitched. The boy was laughing, a massive smile stretched across his face, his eyes alight with laughter. It was a look that Severus had never seen before, and one that would never be directed at him. Whilst everyone else was celebrating their good fortune, Severus had quietly slipped away, just as he always had. The remainder of his Sunday had been spent in his Potions lab next to his class room, where he eventually fell asleep upon his desk, among all his ingredients. He had awoken angry at himself; with a sore back and neck, and had decided to retire for the remainder of the day. If he was going to sleep, then it might as well have been in his bed. The first thing he noticed was how warm his living room was. Usually the room was ridiculously cold, so it caught him unawares. The sight of Harry made him stop dead in his tracks, his jaw slack. His young bonded was sprawled out on his stomach on a thick rug in front of a crackling fire. Clad only in a simple pair of black boxers. The room was saturated in a warm amber glow adding a flair of orange to the boy's usual olive skin. The black of the boxers contrasted sharply against the boy's supple, tanned skin, making Severus focus primarily on the firm globes of the boy's behind. Harry hadn't looked up when Severus had entered. He would wager that the boy was too engrossed in whatever he was reading. Severus circled around the boy, eager to know what had him so enthralled. Since when did Harry read anything? At Severus's footsteps the boy was instinctively on edge, looking up ready to fight. That caught Severus unaware, why was the boy so jumpy? When Harry saw who it was, he relaxed. His eyebrow rose in question, and the boy simply stared at him. It appeared his submissive mate was challenging him in a way. "What are you doing?" Severus questioned quietly. The boy remained silent, clearly thinking if he should even bother answering. Severus almost dared him to say something disrespectful. "Revising," Harry offered simply. "I meant your lack of attire." Harry looked down at his chest. "I had a shower, I wasn't tired yet, and I have a test tomorrow in Transfiguration." "Why am I not surprise? Of course, Quidditch would come first to you. How do you actually intend to move forward in any of your studies if you revise at the last minute?" Severus berated angrily. Harry didn't look up. "Actually, I've been revising all week, and I've been in the library instead of being at Quidditch practice. There's just this one thing I'm trying to get my head

around, and Professor McGonagall wasn't willing to elaborate any further." Harry said the last part more to himself, biting his lip in thought. "Why bother trying?" Severus bent down to see what text Harry was reading. He briefly caught a glimpse of the title of the page, before the boy covered the book up with his elbows, glaring at him. "To prove you wrong," Harry hissed at him angrily. Severus looked into the boy's anger infused eyes and for some reason, began to laugh. Harry's cheeks flushed with anger and he pushed himself up by his forearms. "I'm smarter than you give me credit for. Considering I've had a mad man try and kill me nearly every year I've been here, the fact that I even passed any of my O.W.L.S is a miracle, and I even got good marks." "Oh, don't be so melodramatic Potter! Some of us had school a lot harder than you. What with Dumbledore worshiping the ground you walk on, and teachers fawning all over you The only reason I allowed you to remain in my class was because Dumbledore intervened on your behalf!" "I don't recall asking him to do that. All I want is to pass school and do it on my own merit." Harry sighed irritably and rested his forehead on his book. "Not as James' or Lily's son but as Harry, then I will decide my own future." His jade eyes rose at this, glaring at the man. "Your future is that you will be tied to a Werewolf forever, an eternal zookeeper. Maybe Care of Magical Creatures should be what you focus on." Severus told him snidely. "That won't be forever. I have saved Artemis as I promised I would do. As soon as I defeat Voldemort, we are both free." Severus found himself irritated at the boy's simple tone. How arrogant was this young boy to think that he could defeat the most powerful Dark Lord at the mere age of seventeen. A small part of him was shocked at the boy's willingness to let him go after the war. "How does a mere boy propose to do that, where countless people have failed? What makes you so damn special Potter?" Severus sneered. "I am the only person with an insight to Tom's world. I have seen his thoughts, his ambitions and I understand parseltongue, and only I understand what he orders his followers to do. It is a gift any Death eater would kill me to possess, and yet I have never been swayed to join him. When I looked into the Mirror of Erised, I saw how to stop Voldemort in my first year, nothing else." Harry sat up onto his knees, closing his book with a thud. "I will destroy Voldemort. I know you know of the prophecy, everyone in the order now does. Only I can destroy him, and I will do so." The passion rang clear in his voice, and Severus was a little taken aback by it. It was true. Any Death Eater would kill, maim or destroy for the insight this young boy had. Heck, once upon a time, Severus himself would have strangled him for it. It was a tough burden on one so young. But Severus was curious, why was the boy not swayed by the

power Voldemort possessed? Severus could feel Harry's own magic pulsating through his body, and it was strong enough to rival the Dark Lord's. What was more important to Harry? "Why are you not tempted, Potter?" Severus asked him gently, no malice, no scorn, just a simple question. Severus truly wanted to understand what made this boy different. How did he keep true to his ideals when so many, including himself had fallen to the lure of the dark? Harry watched him, a little cautious. Eventually he answered, whispering so quietly that Severus had to strain to hear it. "My parents How could I join someone who killed my parents? You might not understand sir, as you disliked them, but they gave me life. They were meant to look after me and keep me safe, but he took it away from me." Harry was right, Severus could not understand. After all, his own parents did not raise him well. Severus was not raised in a loving home, filled with laughter and warmth. Severus hated his parents and they, him. Severus's ideals were his and his alone; he could not imagine fighting on someone else's behalf. Well that wasn't strictly true; he fought for the Order and for Dumbledore, who he looked up to in a strange way. He also fought for Harry, to keep the boy safe and to aid him in the war. As loathe as he was to admit it, he was protective of the boy. Who wouldn't have been? Severus could remember the boy's first year. How he had stared at everything in amazement, like he had been Muggle born. Reality came crashing down on Severus. Of course he acted Muggle born. Severus recalled the pitiful possessions of his mate, at how the boy had always worn scruffy clothes at the weekends. Severus had thought it all an act, the poor little orphan boy, desperate for attention. Severus had soon fixed that, by being abysmal to the boy in classes. He wasn't going to be taken in by the boy's act, as attention seeking as his father. No, he would bring the boy wonder down a peg. Severus had ignored the mutterings of teachers about how horrible the boy's muggle relatives were. So Harry didn't get everything he wanted, it was none of Severus' concern. But what if Harry hadn't gotten anything? The boy wasn't exactly well fed or clothed. "I still don't see how you, a mere boy is going to stop the Dark lord. Last I heard, your marks in Defence against the Dark Arts were slipping." Severus couldn't help it. He was just a nasty bastard at heart. This was precisely why he didn't want to bond with the boy. Even though he seemed to be coming to the conclusion that Harry Potter was not who he thought, he could not change his snarky ways. He would only damage the boy mentally in the end. Severus Snape could not afford to have people close to him. "It doesn't matter what you think. I've already been having meetings with Dumbledore since school started. We have a plan and I think it will work." Harry turned his wand to the fire, adding to the dying flames. Suddenly Severus was alert. He briefly remembered the old man mentioning something about Horcruxes. An image of his withered black hand suddenly sprang to mind. Surely Dumbledore was not so foolish as to include Harry on these missions, an untrained boy?

Had Albus forgotten that Harry was now the mate of a Werewolf? Even as he thought that, Severus could feel that Artemis had snapped to attention. The mere mention of the word Horcrux suddenly had the Werewolf snarling and attacking the mental hold of Severus' mind. Had Harry told it something in their last encounter? "You are not destroying the Horcruxes," Severus told him firmly. Instantly, the conversation took on a different edge. Both men could feel it in the air. "What I do with my life has nothing to do with you." Harry told him angrily. "You are not putting yourself in danger. And that is final!" Severus all but snarled. He could feel that Artemis was still struggling to take control, his concern for the boy adding fuel to the Werewolf's rage. Artemis didn't need to worry. Severus was not going to allow Harry to walk into that much danger. Who knew what would happen if they found another Horcrux. "As I recall, the instructions were to stay away from you. At no point was I told to reveal my plans to you. It doesn't concern you." Harry got up to leave. Acting on impulse Severus caught Harry's wrist, holding him into place. "It does concern me." Severus spoke firmly. "Why? As I remember you dislike me. Immensely," Harry stressed the last word, pulling away from him. Severus pulled him back onto the floor forcefully. Ignoring Harry's pained gasp when he landed on his back, Severus sat on his hips and glared down at him. "You are my mate; I will not allow you to put yourself in danger." He growled angrily. Harry frowned in irritation and struggled to get himself free. Severus pinned his tanned arms above his head and stared down into the gorgeous green eyes of his mate. His glasses had been knocked off in his fall, revealing the hidden treasure that was his eyes to Severus. Harry suddenly stopped struggling, transfixed on his face. There it was once again, the bond demanding to be fulfilled. Neither moved Harry's breathing was fast and Severus could see the boy's pulse jumping erratically in his slender throat. With his heightened sense of smell, courtesy of Artemis, Severus could literally smell the boy's desire suddenly flare up. Was it the bond that made the boy desire him? Or had it been there all along? Could someone really lust after him? With the bond tugging at him and Harry's delectable smell washing over him, Severus forcefully pushed his lips against Harry's. The smell of desire sharply rose, engulfing Severus in its warm haze. He could feel Harry beneath him responding and it urged Severus forward. Snaking his tongue out, he stroked it against Harry's warm ruby lips, demanding entrance. The boy yielded, emitting a small moan which only added fuel to Severus' desire. As he plundered the boy's warm mouth with his tongue, Severus felt all rational thought leave his

body. So what if he was meant to hate the boy? Nothing felt more right than what was happening at this moment. Harry pulled away first, ending the kiss, panting loudly. Severus offered no mercy, attacking the boy's throat with kisses and nips that had Harry writhing underneath him. Agonizingly slowly, Severus trailed his finger tips over the underside of Harry's arms still held above his head. "UghSir," Harry groaned, arching his body flush against the older man's. Severus couldn't stop, further spurred on by his young mate's actions. Severus moved to attack his collar bone, suckling gently, his hands now mapping the contours of Harry's sides. Severus could feel that Harry was in heaven with all the sensations coursing through his body. His hands tangled into the rug beneath him and his body pressed eagerly into Severus's of its own accord. Severus licked a path of flame across Harry's collar bone and the boy's hands came to grasp onto the older man's back, clinging on for dear life. Harry met the man's gaze and brought his head closer, hesitantly initiating the kiss. It was the first time Harry had kissed the man himself, and he was rewarded by a low moan in the back of Severus' throat. Harry's arms circled around Severus' neck as the man deepened the kiss, allowing his tongue to map out his younger mate's mouth. Severus' fingers tangled in the messy, raven locks, tugging gently as he forcefully continued the kiss. Harry's leg slid up of its own accord, to better accommodate Severus' weight upon him. Instantly, one of Severus' hands was freed, and it was dragged across Harry's thigh, eliciting louder and more frequent moans from him. Severus growled his approval, rubbing his finger pads over the soft skin of the top of Harry's foot. Severus's thumb pressed into the arch of Harry's foot, rubbing more firmly, drowning Harry in sensations he didn't think were possible. Both were completely lost to their lust. Severus was fighting the urge to simply grasp the boy by his hips and turn him over. In response, his hands did indeed grasp Harry's protruding hip bones but he had to fight the urge to flip Harry over. Harry was young and whilst by no means was he unwilling, the boy was inexperienced. Severus would go slowly to accommodate his mate this first time and then he would be free to satisfy his mate in whatever way he saw fit. So Severus settled for lifting the boy's hips, his fingers splaying over Harry's cheeks. Roughly, he brought the boy up to grind against himself and he was pleased to feel an equal hardness from his partner. The boy gasped aloud and buried his face into the crook of Severus' neck. Severus could feel the sweat dampening Harry's temples, and he let Harry's hips go so he could grab the boy's neck gently with one of his hands. Gently Severus prised Harry away from him, with a firm hand cradling the back of his neck.

Harry's eyes were clamped shut with a fierce blush staining his cheeks. Severus could do nothing but look on in wonder at what was presented to him. Tenderly, he kissed the skin just next to the closed eyes, which made Harry open his emerald orbs. Severus did nothing further except look in to them, stunned at the trust he could see within. Severus probed the boy's mind ever so gently so that Harry would not be aware and he could see that the boy had wanted this to happen for a while. If that was because of the bond or because of Artemis, Severus wasn't sure, but right now it was only Severus Snape that Harry was craving. He sat back and pulled Harry with him, so the boy was straddling his hips as Severus's back was turned towards the fire. The boy was swathed once again in an orange glow and he was now beginning to look hesitantly around. Severus grasped his chin and brought him in once again for a kiss. The atmosphere around them had changed once again. A few minutes earlier, their passionate union had been brought on because the pair of them had been angry, and the result had been them clashing together. Now something was different. The anger was gone but the passion still lingered, but it had taken on a new edge. Now Severus had regained control of himself. The bond between them lurked in their subconscious, demanding the two of them to complete it. Severus no longer had the anger controlling his motions. His free hand moved Harry's hips impossibly closer to his own, which made Harry break off the kiss and fling his head back. Severus could not stop himself, morals be damned. Here was someone who was immensely attractive, bending and writhing under his own touch. Severus felt an unexpected rush of protectiveness at the boy's vulnerable form, aching to be touched and satisfied by him. Not Artemis, but him. Severus's hands moved down into the boy's boxers and suddenly something in the air snapped and Harry was scrambling off of him, away from his hands and their caresses. Bewildered, Severus looked up at a breathless, who clearly wanted this as much as he himself did. "No I can't. This is too painful." With that as his only explanation, Harry grabbed his glasses and a pair of trousers from the back of the sofa and fled their quarters. HPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus waited all of five minutes to allow his body to calm down before chasing after the boy. He felt rejected and angry and despite his initial reaction to just go to bed and forget about the boy, he had gotten up and gone to look for him. What was so painful? It was clear both desired the other, wasn't it? Well, it was clear that Harry desired him, but he had no idea what the boy was thinking. Severus hoped that no teachers or students would find Harry running about the castle in only a pair of trousers. The Astronomy tower was empty, as was the room of requirement. Severus did not think Harry would go back to Gryffindor tower and truth be told, Severus did not know where to look. Where would Harry have gone if he was upset?

Trying to piece all the facts he knew about the boy, he eventually recalled that Harry was friendly with Hagrid and the house elves. Severus doubted the boy would have gone to Hagrid half naked, and the kitchens would have been empty and a place he would have never thought to look. If he had been Harry, he would have hid there. Eventually Severus found Harry, cowering within the kitchens. Clad only in his trousers the boy looked cold and miserable. His back was covered in Goosebumps and his head was bowed towards the table. Severus said nothing; he just sat opposite the boy and waited. Slowly Harry looked up at him. The air remained silent, even the house elves seemed to have retired for the night. "That's twice now." Was all Severus offered the boy. Harry sighed and looked down at the table once again. "I know." Severus folded his arms and leant back. He knew he looked intimidating in this pose, but he couldn't help it. This boy had all but rejected him twice now and his pride was wounded. Even Artemis was angry at the boy for running away; this was not how a submissive mate was supposed to act. "I'm sorry." Harry told him. Severus wanted to rage and shout at the boy. Did he not understand how it went against his morals to be with a student in this way? Did Harry not understand that Severus was beginning to see him in a different light? "Look Sir." Harry got a dose of courage from Merlin only knew where, and Severus held back on being nasty to hear what the boy had to say for himself. "I appreciate that the bond is making this really hard for you. I can only imagine what it must be like, your own body trying to be with someone you hate. It's no different from Romilda trying to put a love potion in my drink nearly every week." Harry scratched his hair line absentmindedly. "Whilst you may not like me, and I understand why I am sorry for letting you get so swept away earlier, I should have stopped you soonerbut I" Harry trailed off. Severus said nothing, but he could feel his face beginning to set in stone. "I won't let it happen again I promise you. I promised that I would stay out of your way, and I would like to be known as someone who keeps his word." Severus nodded in acceptance and felt something heavy and uncomfortable fall into his stomach. What else did he expect? Harry looked relieved and Severus was glad for his mask. He wanted to ask Harry what was so painful about their union, but he could not. "The problem with your homework earlier, what was it?" Severus asked him. Harry was visibly startled at the notion of Severus actually speaking to him. His eyes narrowed marginally as if he was trying to work out what the older man was up to. "Gamp's law of elemental transfiguration. We briefly touched upon the subject in O.W.L.S and I know

that one of the five things that you cannot transfigure is food, but I don't know if my theories for the other four are good enough." Severus laced his fingers together and rested his chin upon them. He remembered this assignment it was a very hard one unless you had the mind set for transfiguration. It wasn't something Harry would be able to find out from a book, unless he cheated and went to the restricted section. Severus knew that for all Harry's flaws he was not a cheat. "Let's hear them, then." Harry suddenly went mute, and looked nervously at the back of his hands. Severus suddenly wished he hadn't criticized the boy so much, he was genuinely interested in hearing what the boy had to say, but he had no way of conveying that to Harry. He would have to wait and hope that his Gryffindor courage would encourage him to take a risk once more. But there was still a small, niggling part of him that insisted that Harry's ideas would be stupid and that he was wasting his time. The only flair the boy seemed to have for school was within Defense against the Dark arts and that was probably the Dark Lord's influence more then his own. "I think they are love, life, information and metals." Harry rushed out in a mumbled whisper. "Why." Severus to his credit did not allow his jaw to fall slack. "You cannot recreate the feelings of love. You can, with potions; but a spell would fade in time. Life because there is nothing to bring back the dead. You can manipulate the dead but you cannot give them back their lives. Precious metals such as gold cannot be made out of thin air, otherwise there would be no need for galleons and the like, and our economy would crash. Information was the one I was stuck with. If we could recreate information then we would be able to know were Voldemort was hiding and what he was planning. We would know about Umbridge before she had a chance to do the terrible things that she did." Harry trailed of uncomfortably. Severus tried to reign his shocked mind back in. Had Harry actually always been intelligent? Or was it his own wisdom rubbing off on the boy? Or was it the boy's stubbornness to prove to Snape he wasn't who he said he was. That had been what Harry had said earlier. "I'm impressed Potter, those sound like reasonable rules." That was it. No bitterness, no belittling the boy, nothing. Severus was proud of himself. He was rewarded with a smile, like the one he had seen at the Quidditch match, but it was only meant for him. Severus Snape was losing himself. TBC Please review! Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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11. Chapter 11

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Chapter 11 "Lavender? As in Lavender brown?" Harry spluttered, fork paused halfway to his mouth. "Yes Harry that's what I've been trying to tell you. She agreed to go out with me!" Ron smiled goofily. He looked higher up the Gryffindor table and Harry followed suit. Lavender was sitting with her friends giggling and blushing. As she sensed their stares her honey blonde head turned and she smiled. "Wow Ron I mean, well that's great." Harry struggled for something to say. Had Ron always liked Lavender? He couldn't recall his friend talking about her. He had always thought Ron and Hermione would end up together. That was what Ron had portrayed anyway. With all the late night talks they had shared in their dormitory. Harry sighed sadly destroying his lunch with his fork. "Are you alright?" Ron asked, looking at him in concern as he mutilated his lunch. "I miss being in the dorm." Harry admitted, trying now to salvage his food. Deciding he wasn't hungry, He placed the fork down, looking into the blue eyes of his best friend. "It feels like I'm missing out on everything. I didn't even know you liked Lavender." Ron looked away sheepishly. "It hasn't been a long time thing. She started talking to me after the last Quidditch match, and I don't know. She was laughing and tossing her gorgeous hair back over her shoulder. I'm not sure what came over me." The red head looked back towards his new girlfriend grinning once again. Harry used this momentarily lapse in his friend's concentration to look around the great hall. For a lunch time it was quiet leaving the boy to wonder where everyone was. His gaze

drifted to the teachers table. Before long his gaze was fixated on the dark profile of his partner. Snape was currently in conversation with Flitwick, his face serious and intense as they discussed their chosen topic. Not wanting his gaze to linger, green eyes turned to his other current obsession. Sitting at the Slytherin table, Malfoy's gaze was also intent upon Harry's Mate. Did he have a crush on Snape? Or was something else going on? For a brief second Harry was overcome with intense jealous feelings. It would explain why Snape wanted him to stay away from the Slytherin. Were they or had they been secret lovers? Harry shook the thought away. He was being paranoid; Snape did not want a boy of his own age to sleep with so Harry doubted Snape would be interested in Malfoy. Especially with the boy looking the way he did. "Can I not come and see you in this new secret place you're staying at?" Ron's voice broke though his inane thoughts sharply. Harry shook his head, touched that at least Ron was willing to try. "No I promised Dumbledore that I would keep it a secret. But I'm allowed to stay in the tower until curfew, at least that's something." "It sucks though Harry." Ron seemed genuinely saddened by the fact and he was grateful that his friend wasn't pushing it. Harry had fully expected Ron to demand what was happening and why was this time different from all the other secrets Harry wasn't supposed to tell and did. Hermione knew yet Harry was unsure if he could trust Ron with the same knowledge. Hermione! He felt his stomach drop. How did she feel about Ron's new relationship? Harry wasn't as dense or as unobservant as everyone seemed to think he was. He had seen the looks she had thrown Ron's way. Hopefully Lavender would just be a passing fancy like Cho had been. As he thought about his first crush his gaze was unwillingly dragged to the Ravenclaw table. She must have sensed the look and she looked up, brown eyes wide. He offered her a smile and Cho smiled back bashfully, before looking away prettily. Books slamming down on the table had Harry jumping about a foot in the air. Hermione Granger stood before them, furious in appearance. He shifted his bag under the bench more securely to hide the transfiguration paper he had excelled at. Harry had received the best mark in the class. The first time anyone had beaten Hermione at that particular subject. He assumed that was the reason behind her bad mood, but as she tugged on his arm at the insistence they would be late for potions Harry knew it was not his fault. They left Ron behind who looked bewildered at her behaviour. After all he was in their potions class as well. As Hermione dragged him down the corridor forcefully, chatting animatedly about Ron, he felt himself detach himself from the conversation as he thought back to this morning.

He could remember the smiled that stretched across his face as he received his transfiguration paper. What was bewildering to him was the reason he was smiling. It wasn't because he was happy about the mark. He had been excited about showing it to Snape. It had glued him to the spot, earning himself annoyed comments at the small traffic jam he was creating in the corridors. Things had been changing between the two of them. Harry thought back to the night in question. Of how he had wanted Snape to desperately take him against the fireplace, on the rug, anywhere really. In that moment he had completely lost control giving himself to the older man. It was what he wanted, bond or no bond. Harry did not make it a habit to lie to himself. While it might not be love he felt for Snape, he was defiantly beginning to feel something for the man. He guessed it was lust. Having never experienced this overwhelming need to be with someone, Harry assumed that it was this he was feeling. Sure he had begun to respect Snape as the months had passed; he understood what it was like to stand amidst a sea of distrust. How many times had the Hogwarts population turned against him? On occasion it spilled out to the entire world, about how he couldn't be trusted in his facts to do with Voldemorts return. He had began to understand what life must have been like for Snape, a death eater turned spy. His desire for the man's body was something else entirely. Snape had changed since that night he had found him in the kitchens. It seemed he no longer went out of his way to avoid him in their quarters. Even one night Snape had stayed in the living room for the entire night. Harry hadn't wanted to say anything to upset this tenuous truce, so he had remained quiet, reading his book. The only sound had been the Potion master's quill as he worked, lightly scratching across the paper, or on occasion in frantic irritation. When the room dropped in temperature indicating that night was setting in, Snape had collected his papers muttering "Good night" before leaving a bemused Harry in his wake. They had continued in this odd fashion for a few days, both cautiously getting used to the others presence. Last night Harry had even summoned the courage to get up and walk over to Snape's desk, to ask him what a particular word meant. He had been pushing the boat out, perhaps a bit too far; however Snape had stopped what he was doing to overlook the passage Harry was holding out to him. Snape gave him a detailed explanation and turned back to his writing. There had been no sarcasm, no dry voice dripping with scorn just the simple explanation. That simple talk between them had been enough to fill Harry with the hope that maybe in time, he and Snape would get on, as long as he didn't push the man too far too hard. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus had wrestled with the idea of holding of this lesson towards the end of the year. Golpalott's Third law was one of the most fundamentally most difficult Potions concept to grasp and it was not one he thought Harry could understand. After understanding his Mate a

little better, he could sense the boy's desire to suddenly do well in school and become an auror. Potions were something he needed to achieve that. He had been tossing the idea over in his head. Partially exasperated for allowing developing feelings to interfere with his teachings. However as he saw his young bonded exchange glances with the Ravenclaw girl Chang he instantly decided that he would and could not make Harry's life any easier for him. Feelings of anger towards Harry suddenly surfaced as he watched the boy smile at Chang, a girl Severus knew Harry once adored. Artemis, who up until then had been subdued, suddenly reared its head in Severus's mind. Snarl's echoed around the cavity of his skull. His Mate was not to be taken by anyone. Nails began to dig into the fleshy part of his palm as the conjoined thoughts of man and Werewolf became tangled. Neither knowing who had felt the feelings of jealously first. Artemis was the first to be calmed, lying dormant once again in the deep recesses of Severus's brain. Still the feelings of jealously lingered, and there was no dark creature to blame them on this time. He urge to leave the room consumed him, and he threw down his eating utensils in anger, leaving partway through Flitwick speaking to him. Severus wasted part of time through stalking the corridors, barking out commands and warnings at students he came across. His anger had been stoked up into a burning rage, as he become unable to determine the reasons for his jealousy. When he entered his potions classroom, Harry was looking at him, his eyes huge and innocent, knowing nothing of the sudden fury Severus was feeling towards him. He turned to rid himself of his bonded's gaze and wrote upon the black board. "The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separate components." He turned back to his class which was quizzically reading the words he had just written. "Who among you understands what I have just written?" He asked angrily. As usual Granger's hand shot into the air and Severus looked around at the rest of his students, pleading with one of them to know the answer so he didn't have to ask the know it all. He was met with vacant stares including one from Harry, although the boy was chewing his lip. Severus's mood melted away a little as he saw his mate was seriously thinking about it. "Yes Granger." Severus barked, not bothering to add Miss to his sentence. "Sir it's Golpalott's Third law." Granger's voice rang shrilly across the room. "Correct." Severus answered begrudgingly. "This law is a rule for concocting antidotes. More specifically it refers to an antidote for a blended poison." Severus waited as some of his more intelligent students wrote it down and he was surprised to see Harry do the same. "A blended poison is of course a poison made up of many different poisons."

"A super poison then." Severus heard the Weasley mutter under his breath and Severus wasted no time in taking points. Honestly how had that underachieving member of the Weasleys made it into his N.E.W.T class? Ah yes, Dumbledore. Some of the other offspring of the Weasleys although they had been many in number, had actually shown intelligence. This particular member only seemed to have Harry's friendship going for him. "An antidote to this poison cannot be made from simply adding many different antidotes together. Instead you must find a simple ingredient that will transform the blended antidote into a combined whole to counteract the poison. Upon my desks are the five different poisons you must first identify then you must attempt to make an antidote to combat all of them. You may use your text books as it contains more of an explanation to this law. Begin." HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus knew that things were starting to slowly change between him and Harry. After their small chat in the kitchens Severus had made himself spend time with the boy and the only way he knew of doing that was to frequent his living quarters more often. To his credit, Harry had not disturbed him in his marking nor had he interfered in any way. The boy just studied nearby silently. Severus had felt the wolf curl up contentedly in his mind. Even when Harry had troubled him with a minor question about a meaning of a word in a text book, Severus hadn't snapped at him. He found he wanted Harry to do well. It was in these peaceful evenings that Severus could subtly watch his young bonded without fear of being caught by anyone. Without the consent pressure to keep up his Death Eater appearances, Severus was in a better position to let his thoughts wander. Was Harry glad they hadn't completed the bonding? That was the only question that had plagued Severus for the last few days. The boy had been clearly willing, just thinking about Harry straddling his lap with his head thrown back, was enough to make Severus's hands sweat. The idea of being with someone like him was painful? Was he that disgusting? No. Severus could see the boy found him attractive, why he wasn't sure. Probing the boys mind had proved the young man was thinking about him. Him, Severus Snape not Artemis. Severus didn't understand what was happening. He had wanted to stay away from Harry and live their lives in relative peace, but it wasn't happening. The bond may have forced them together that time in front of the fire, yet it was Severus was the one who continued it. And he hadn't wanted to stop. Where were his morals that he was frantically trying to hold on to? They all disappeared when he looked into the green eyes of his mate, when he gazed upon his smile or heard his laugh. Severus found himself wanting to keep the boy close to him, for protection as he always he had, and for his own reassurance. Severus desperately wanted to believe that someone could actually want him, warts and all for who he was, and he was beginning to believe Harry was that person. Harry wasn't aware

that helping Severus the other day had done a lot towards the older man trusting him. It made Severus drop his faade just a little, enough to see if Harry was someone even worth pursuing. It had all been going well so far and Severus had even considered actually talking to his young mate one evening instead of marking in a comfortable silence. Severus wanted to sit with Harry and ask him, what was happening between them. Why did he not want to sleep with him when his body so desired it? How could he ask such a question, when he himself had been fighting against it? He had pushed the boy away and ridiculed him. It was only now after rooting though the boy's possessions and watching him, that Severus was willing to give up his morals for a chance at something potentially amazing. How did you tell someone, "The reason I made your life unbearable at Hogwarts, was because you are the son of a man that made my own school experience a living nightmare. However I have now decided to treat you with some respect befitting a human, due to the fact I rummaged through your few precious possessions, therefore informing me you are no longer the arrogant brat I once thought you to be." How had Severus been so blind and stupid, he who was a scholar? Harry had not been on a quest for glory he had wanted to be a normal person. This was exactly what Harry had been telling Artemis all along. However then he had seen Harry smile at that one girl. The one girl Severus knew to be a threat and suddenly he was swamped with all these ugly emotions. The kind he had not felt since the time James and Lily had been alive. Jealousy. It was the lowest of all feelings and one he despised among men. Yet here he was, a man jealous of a teenage girl. Even now as he watched Harry concentrate on his potion, occasionally glancing up to talk to Granger and Weasley, Severus felt uncontrollable rage towards the boy. Would he run off with Chang into the sunset after the war was won? Would he forget about his bond to Artemis and indirectly himself? Harry would leave him behind just as everyone else had and would. It was probably why Harry was refusing to complete the bond, who would want to be stuck with anyone like him? Snape subtly pulled the knife he used to cut ingredients with over to himself. Glancing up to make sure none of the students were looking up, Severus angled it so he could see his profile. It revealed all that he needed to know. Staring back at him was the face that everyone had rejected. His nose, hideously big and bent to the side, looked enormous within the shiny metal of the knife. Topping his head and framing his face was the greasy excuse for hair. Severus was not deaf; he knew that was what many students ridiculed him for. No matter what he seemed

to do or how often he washed it, it remained the same. He just wished the dunderheads would put two and two together realizing it was potion fumes and not him. The only time it resembled normal hair was at the weekend, when it had chance to recover. His skin was pale and milky; he could probably give a vampire a run for its money at how ghastly his skin tone was. Coal black eyes glittered at him, menacing and powerful. Severus would have more luck frightening people away than he had luring them into his bed. And his lips. Thin and tight, with the bare minimal amount of colour. The knife was flung away in disgust, startling those nearest him. When did he become vain? Severus rested his arms on the table, looking at his forearms. He had forgotten the biggest thing that would drive people away Covered by his robes was the one thing Severus was constantly aware of. The sinister evil presence, continuously pulsating on his left arm. That alone was the foremost important thing to drive people away. Oh Severus had shared his bed with a few fellow death eaters in the past, bound together by their ideals and quest for power. That was a different time; he was a different person now. The brand which could act as an aphrodisiac for people lured by the dark, acted as a deterrent now he worked for the light. Now he was bonded to the prime fighter for the light. Severus knew if Harry ever saw his bare arms it would send the boy running. That was even if he looked past the malicious nature of Severus and saw the real person inside. If he even existed. None knew of the real him not even himself on occasion. He had been so twisted by both wars against the Dark Lord and committed crimes that would twist anyone's stomach. Too late had he tried to rectify his mistakes which left a stain upon his soul. No one within the light order trusted him, and Severus couldn't blame them. He wouldn't have trusted him either. That would only be made worse in time. Severus glanced up at Draco who was working on his antidote alone. He truly detested the boy. Primarily for putting him in this damn position with Albus. Why was the young man so instant on becoming a death eater? Probably his father's doing. The Malfoy's didn't seem to realize the Dark Lord was only using Draco as revenge against Lucius. He knew at when the time came he would fail. Draco did not have it within him to kill. He was a selfish, egotistical, spoilt brat who knew nothing of the world around him and was only playing at being an adult. Ironically it had been the same reason he hated Harry. Severus was just better at hiding his hatred of Draco. Also the young blonde reminded Severus of his former self. Though at least he had worked his way up the Death Eater ranks himself, without his fathers influence and without his mother looking over him. Severus had done everything himself. There was no one else to rely on except for himself.

If it hadn't been for that blasted Werewolf that was probably how Severus would have stayed. Alone. As Severus swept the classroom he focused on his mate. This was a new development and one he had originally fought. His heart had already accepted he was bonded, Artemis had seen to that. The insane jealously and anger he was feeling was a combination of the pair of them. Would Severus's mind ever catch up and accept Harry? That was something he couldn't answer. Or was it he didn't want to? HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry looked down into his potion. His confused reflection was shown back at him. He had identified the five poisons at the front of the class as had most of the class, but he could not understand how he was meant to make a potion to counteract all of them at once. Hermione next to him was frantic, her hair was curled around her head in a crazed fashion and she had a mad glint in her eye. Ron on the other side of him had adopted the same sort of pose, staring uselessly into his own attempt. As hard as Harry tried with this class he could just not understand what it was they were trying to teach him. Potion making was not something that came easily to him. He much preferred fighting with his wand not with the aid of liquids. "Is the amazing Potter having trouble with his Potion?" Harry glanced up from his antidote and into the furious eyes of Snape. Harry felt his body literally move back away from the vehemence in Snape's glare. He had understood the need for insult in Potions. However in lessons since their last incident Snape's words had lacked the complete malice they usually held for him. What had he done now? Harry was caught between ignoring the Professor and being sarcastic. Was this part of the, berate Harry in front of the Slytherin's game they usually played? "I'm thinking Sir." Harry offered the man. "Not your strongest strength. I hope no one ever has to rely on you for an antidote Potter. They'd be better off taking their chances alone, rather than a pathetic boy who cannot brew a simple antidote." Snape sneered at him. Had Snape not seen the classroom around him? No one had been able to complete the assignment required of them. Not Hermione who was top of the class, not even the favored Draco. The entire class was in disarray as they tried in vain to attempt to do what was asked. Harry pushed away from the table and stood glaring at his mate. A deathly silence fell across the classroom as the students watched. Convinced Harry Potter was going to deck one of the Professors. Harry glared into the dark eyes of his mate, who in turn was glaring back in barely controlled animosity. Harry knew his mate wanted him to submit before him, he was not going to submit to someone who set out to ridicule him. He could feel the pressure Snape was exerting on the bond, trying to bend him to his will.

Harry broke the gaze first and walked away, much to the shock and dismay of the other students. He did not exit the classroom; instead he entered the student store cupboard in search of something. He could hear Snape say something detrimental about him and the answering laughter of the Slytherin's. Finally finding the hairy item he was looking for, Harry reentered the classroom and stalked straight up to the imposing teacher. Snape raised his eyebrow sarcastically. Harry dropped the bezoar onto the table. The classroom waited on tenterhooks as the professor looked down at it. "As you once told me, a bezoar will cure almost any type of poison. It will cure all five of the ones of the front desk, blended or not." Hermione sighed and slumped to her seat, unwilling to try any more. Ron was holding back a smug smile as were most of the Gryffindors. Snape ignored them and stalked to the front of the class. "Potter is right. A bezoar will cure the majority of poisons but not all. However Potter I will not accept such disrespect from you, nor will I ignore that you have not completed the lesson. Fifty points from Gryffindor and a detention with Filch this Saturday." HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry stormed away from the classroom with Ron in tow. His hands were clenched and he could feel his body flushed with furious heat. Why was it every single time he thought there was a breaking point with this man, Snape acted like a complete bastard? In his haste he realized he had picked up the bezoar again, and hadn't returned it. Well it served Snape right, he thought childishly. Let the greasy old man search his stores for it. He had no idea what he was meant to have done to anger Snape this time and he was fed up of trying to understand the older mans strange moods. Pushing open the door to the Great Hall Harry resolved not to return to the man's quarters that night. The room of requirement was always available or even his old bed in the tower. He was not a door mat to be stood on any longer. Sitting down for dinner, he paid no mind to his fellow Gryffindors backing away and finding new seats. Only those closest to him dared his wrath, hesitantly sitting next to him. Harry ignored everyone, his eyes fixed directly on the middle of the table waiting for food to appear. "Oh dear Harry, whatever has you so upset?" A dreamy voice interrupted his thoughts of torturing Snape long enough for him to turn around. The blue uniform informed him it was a Ravenclaw; his brain took longer to process why she was holding a box of chocolates and why Luna was carrying them. "Hi Luna, it's nothing just a bad lesson that's all." Harry exhaled deeply and focused on his friend. "Can I help you with something?" Harry glanced around to see if anyone was annoyed that a girl from another house was visiting. They had all seemed to except that this strange Ravenclaw was one of Harry's friends. "Yes." Luna extended her long pale arms and deposited the box in Harry's lap. "These are for you." She smiled and waited.

Confused he picked up the box and turned them over in his hands. "Thank you Luna, but it's not my birthday or anything." Harry placed them on the table next to Ron. "They're not from me, I found them on my way here and they were addressed to you, so I thought you might have dropped them." Luna carried on smiling in that slightly vacant way of hers before skipping off to her own house table. "That girl is so weird." Hermione voiced cattily, looking at the box Harry had received. "Who would send you chocolate? Why not just deliver them with the owls in the morning?" Hermione thought aloud, picking them up with her slender hand. Harry shrugged not really interested. It quickly crossed his mind that they may be a trap, or something Voldemort had devised to kill him. Hermione and Luna had already handled them so he assumed they were safe. Harry wasn't in the mood for chocolate and didn't protest when Ron began to eat them. He barely stirred when Snape entered the hall to eat, still silently furious at the older man. Hermione noticed his change in mood and looked up at the table. Her gaze softened as she looked at him. Harry shrugged it off, not wanting her pity. He would be fine. "Isn't she amazing?" Ron gasped in barely concealed wonderment. Both Hermione and Harry turned to face him. Harry confused, Hermione with barely concealed rage. "Who?" Harry looked down the table. "Lavender's not here Ron." Hermione spat. "Romilda, look at her with her gorgeous thick hair and brown eyes. Do you think she likes me? Look she's looking down here." Ron whispered. Hermione picked up the chocolates and flung them on the floor in disgust. "Again Romilda? How many times until you learn that you can't make Harry fall in love with you!" Hermione stood from the table shrieking at the younger girl. Harry stood as well, holding a hand on Ron's shoulder to stop the love struck boy. "Is there a problem here?" They all heard the silky voice of Snape. "Isn't she beautiful?" Ron asked Snape, looking straight at Romilda. "I thought that this problem had been sorted." Snape turned to look at McGonagall who had just joined them. The Animagus looked at her students and with one look at Ron who was still looking adoringly at Romilda her face cleared in understanding. "It will be. Miss Vane you will report straight to Dumbledore's office. Granger and Potter, bring Weasley down to my office. Professor Snape if you would be so kind as to bring me an antidote for Mr Weasley?" Snape to his credit didn't object he simply nodded and after a lingering look at Harry left.

Harry and Hermione each grabbed one of Ron's arms and directed him out of the hall. Just before them was a red faced and very teary eyed Romilda. At the stairs she turned for Dumbledore's office, and Ron started to follow her. "No no Ron we're going this way." Hermione told him, digging in with her feet. "Why? She's going that way." The word "she" was drawn out, filled with a loving sigh. "She's just taking a quick trip to the bathroom room Ron. To make herself look pretty before she meets you in Professor McGonagall's office." Hermione wheedled as Harry kept hold of Ron. "Oh is she? Well we better not keep her waiting." Ron marched ahead, now dragging his two friends with him. Both Snape and McGonagall were awaiting them and Ron looked around the room expectantly. "I thought you said she was getting ready." Ron turned to Harry grabbing the front of his robes in desperation. "She is Ron. We thought that you might like to take a breath freshening potion that Professor Snape has made for you. After all you have just eaten a lot of chocolate." Harry reasoned with him. Ron nodded happily and Harry found himself nodding along with him. The antidote was passed to Harry and he assisted Ron in pouring it down his throat. McGonagall gestured to the sofa in the office and Harry and Hermione helped their friend into it. Within seconds the eagerly expecting Ron, morphed into a paler, exhausted more normal version of himself. "What's happening?" He asked thickly, looking at his friends and then the intimidating potions master. "You Mr Weasley were subjected to a love potion. Perhaps if you did not stuff your face so much with chocolates so much, this fate could have been avoided?" McGonagall told him with a raised eyebrow. Their head of house was stern and all three knew it was out of concern rather than annoyance. She sat next to Ron and placed a hand on her students shoulder, noticing his pale face. "I have something you might need Mr Weasley." The head of Gryffindor got up and the three students watched her as did Snape. Harry had forgotten the man was there as he had been so quiet. Harry chanced a look up at the man, who was also looking at him. Harry hadn't forgiven him for being a total jerk, but Snape had gotten the antidote without a fuss, something he would not have done in previous years. Harry nodded his head in thanks and turned away. Ron was very pale even for him. Hermione had taken up residence next to the sweating red head and was holding his clammy hand in hers gently. Neither of them was looking his way, Hermione was totally transfixed on Ron who was lying back, exhausted his eyes clamped shut. "Here you are young Weasley." McGonagall came back and pressed a glass tumbler filled with amber liquid into Hermione's hand. "Its mead, a perfect pick me up for someone who

has just been something as traumatic as you." Hermione looked down at the glass and helped Ron to drink it. Snape cleared his throat loudly in clear disdain. The older woman turned and looked, challenging him with her eyes. Harry shook his head and looked towards his friends. He saw that Ron was gulping down the mead in huge gulps and Harry felt relived that he was alright. He stood to leave, wanting to leave Hermione alone with Ron. As he turned Hermione's scream made him spin around again, wand instantly ready. Everyone's attention was on Ron as he convulsed dropping to the floor. "Ron!" Hermione dropped to the floor next to him. Her eyes brimmed with tears and her body shook as Ron became an unusual shade of green. Froth appeared at the corner of his mouth causing Harry to fall to his knees as well. "Severus!" McGonagall shouted, pulling Hermione out of the way to stare at her convulsing student. Snape knelt down and peered into Ron's face checking his skin temperature and breathing. "It is poison Minerva." Snape picked up the glass tumbler and inhaled deeply. "It will take me a while to determine what type of poison Weasley has ingested, by that time he will already be dead." Snape told the group gravely. "No Severus you have to do something!" McGonagall wailed, holding a sobbing Hermione close to her chest. The older Witch started down at her student, horror tightening her facial features. Harry felt numb inside, his body cold and unresponsive. Trembling he looked up into the eyes of his mate, pleading with his own green ones. Harry hesitantly reached a hand out and it was taken by Snape's larger one. "Harry there is not enough time for me to do something." Snape turned and gave him his full attention. No Ron could not be dying, not like this not by a cowardly poison. Poison! Harry grabbed Ron's form, barely breathing, and draped it across his legs. He could feel Snape's hands on his shoulders trying to pull him away. Harry shrugged them off; reaching into his pocket he brought out the bezoar from his earlier lesson and wrenched open Ron's mouth. The two Professors realizing what it was, helped hold Ron's body still as Harry attempted to make Ron swallow the hairy lump. Eventually he felt his friend swallowing and his breathing slowly became stronger. Relived he exhaled and fell to his forearms on the floor. Ron was safe. Vaguely he could feel Hermione squeezing him, before draping herself over Ron's body and crying. Weakley Harry looked up into the proud eyes of his head of house before she came over and also embraced him. "Miss Granger? Do you think you will be able to levitate Mr Weasley to the hospital wing? I'll need to fire call his parents and inform the headmaster." Hermione collected herself and rose, pointing her wand at Ron. Harry watched them go from his vantage point on the floor.

"Poison in my own rooms?" McGonagall brought down the bottle of mead and handed it over to Snape. "Did you buy this for yourself?" Snape turned the bottle over in his hands, paying special attention to the seal. The Transfiguration teacher made a strangled sort of gasp, hand flying to her throat. "Severus. I brought that as a birthday present for Albus." Shakily she sat on her sofa. Harry sat down on the floor and brought his knees up to rest his forehead on them. Yet another attempt on Dumbledore's life. Harry didn't know why but he was sure Malfoy had something to do with them. His whirling brain quickly put together that Snape might have been in league with Malfoy, and that they were both trying to kill Dumbledore. No, he shooed the thought away Dumbledore trusted Snape, Harry trusted Snape. Otherwise Harry would not have bonded with him. Yet there was still the matter of someone was trying to kill Dumbledore. As this thoughts continued to swirl in his head, something that started a whisper suddenly became louder. The words, "Promise you will leave Malfoy alone. You will not speak to him or antagonize him." Soon as he remembered the promise he had made Snape, his stomach flooded with cold realization. Snape wouldn't allow him to talk to Malfoy. Not because of some house rivalry or favoritism as he originally thought. After looking at Snape's calm face at another attempt on the headmaster's life Harry knew he knew something about it. The pieces suddenly fit together. Harry stood, swaying on his feet and looked at Snape angrily. The man looked back with a question in his eyes and slowly understanding dawned. "Harry." Snape started out walking towards his Mate. He put up a hand to ward him off. "Stay the Hell away from me! I began to trust you! Merlin, how could I have been so stupid? To think I'd even started to have" Harry broke off abruptly; face flushing at anger. Snape came towards him, hope flaring in his eyes at Harry's slip of the tongue. "Go away!" He felt the skin on his nose wrinkle as he pulled a disgusted face that might have been more menacing if he was in wolf form. It worked as the older man stopped. "Dumbledore trusts you!" Harry spat in disgust. "That's why he agreed to let you bond with me." He shouted in despair as an idea began to form. Dumbledore knew there was something good in Snape otherwise he wouldn't let Harry bond with him. Surely Dumbledore the greatest Headmaster ever, would know if there was a plot against his life? If Snape really wanted him dead then Dumbledore wouldn't have agreed to the union? What if Dumbledore could not match the sneakiness of Severus Snape? Harry felt his heart burn uncomfortably. Had Snape really pulled the wool over both their eyes? As he looked into the dark eyes of his Mate, he sensed the older man was indeed hiding something from him, confirming his suspicions.

He spread his arms dramatically, ignoring the bewildered McGonagall. "I guess congratulations are in order. You finally did it. The ultimate revenge on James Potter. His son shall be forever stuck in a bond with a man working for the deranged psycho that killed him and his wife. Let's just play with Harry Potter's emotions, why not everyone else seems to!" He had no control over his words; they just flowed from him as his rage built. "Well you finally got what you wanted, someone to save your pathetic life. You wanted me kept away from you, well that's just fine with me. I won't be coming back." He snarled threateningly and left the room. Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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12. Chapter 12

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Chapter 12 Hi everyone sorry for the delay, some of you have been Emailing asking where this next chapter was and I can only say events at home have had me preoccupied for the time being. Everything is sorted now and Chapter 13 and part of 14 are already written. Thank you to: StarDuchess and Puzzle me this, for the work that went into this chapter. HPHPHPHPHPHPHP Shifting slightly in her dreams, Hermione rolled around in her bed. Her body jerked awake as the mattress dipped sharply, and instantly her wand was drawn. A soft whine echoed within the confines of her drapes, and she softly uttered a "Lumos." The soft grey muzzle of

a wolf was instantly visible, its amber eyes wide, the pupils dilated from the bright light. A lock of ruffled black fur told her all she needed to know. Hermione stretched her hand out towards the canine. Gently she scratched the large, furred ear, feeling her heart squeeze as it whined again pitifully. Opening her warm bedcovers, she allowed the large animal to crawl in beside her, thankful that Harry was mindful of his sharp claws around her delicate body. Now was not the time to ask questions, they could wait until morning. Steadily she stroked the grey pelt, until Harry's breathing evened out into sleep. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP "Explain, Severus." Minerva's voice was sharp, like a cracked whip, and Severus knew he had to approach this topic sensitively. While Albus may have approved of their strange union, it was still against school rules and Severus doubted Minerva would approve of his bond to her golden Gryffindor. "I have with its retiring turning found myself in a relationship with Harry Potter," he stated simply, his voice filled usual amount of scorn and sarcasm. "If you will excuse me Minerva, I will be now." He graced the older woman with a respectful inclination of the head, before to leave.

As expected, the door to her chambers flew shut with a fury of magic. Severus sighed and sat down on one of the sofas. If a professor was seeing one of his Slytherins he would be inclined to act the same way, however at this current moment in time, his only concern was Harry and where he had gone. Did the boy really mean it about not retuning? Why did that affect Severus so much? He could actually feel icy cold dread climb up his body at the thought of the boy being unprotected in the castle. At least in his quarters he could keep an eye on his young mate. Immediately, Severus scolded himself. Hogwarts was a perfect safe haven; Harry was more than adequately protected here. But what if there was a slight chance he wasn't? "You have about thirty seconds to explain Professor Snape, before I change you into a rat and proceed to eat you." Minerva sat, eyes brimming with hostility. "I am a werewolf, Minerva." There was a sharp intake of breath and the hostility melted partially away. There was a slight pause as she contemplated his predicament. "Oh that dreadful woman!" The Transfiguration professor rose to her feet and began pacing in front of her fire, heels clicking across the stone floor. "It's the Law, isn't it? Oh don't look at me so surprised, Severus. While I am not privy to all the information, I am aware that you and Albus are collaborating. I know he has a plan for Harry and it somehow involves you." She stopped pacing and walked to an oak cabinet in the corner of her room, where slender wine glasses stood. She picked up two and a bottle of red wine, and sat beside Severus.

He took the offering. Severus had mistaken this old woman to be less informed then she was. He had greatly underestimated her, which was a mistake he rarely made. His respect for his fellow professor increased, and he thought that just maybe he had found a confidant. "Harry found Artemis a few months ago. That's what he calls the blasted beast," he added quickly at the look of shock in her face. "Now it will not answer to anything but that damned name." Severus whispered angrily. "The werewolf immediately latched onto something within the boy, and something within Harry responded to the back." "A werewolf and its mate that's a complex and intricate bond," Minerva muttered quietly, while thinking she drank deeply from her wine, leaving a faint stain upon her thin lips. "Immediately, I fought against the bond, even attempting to seal the werewolf away, but to no avail. It was Harry that came to me with the proposition of bonding, and Dumbledore forced the issue not me." "He needs to keep you safe for something," Minerva caught on, realisation dawning on her face. "Indeed." Severus emptied his full wine glass and didn't protest when she filled it up again. (Protect Mate) thundered through his head in Artemis's limited way of speaking. It might have only been two words, but to Severus, who shared a mind with the wolf, he knew it was referring to the fact that Severus wanted to protect Harry. "I don't agree with the bonding. It's against the rules. It's inappropriate and it completely oversteps the bounds of a teacher and his or her student. The idea is quite frankly, Severus, disgusting." Fury rose up into his throat, partly because of what she had said and partially because that was what he had originally thought himself. But then, Harry was not just a regular student. He was a man in a boy's body, shouldering the responsibility of the world on his slender shoulders. A dull pain spread through his stomach as though a Hippogriff had plowed into him. Oh, sweet Merlinit couldn't be. Minerva held up a hand mistaking his silence for anger. "However, despite my feelings, I am not one to question Albus Dumbledore. He would not put a student at risk, especially not Harry. I will not stand in the way of a werewolf bond, Severus, interestingly enough knowing you I can deduce that you have not completed the bond. Oh, don't look so coy." She smiled at his expression. "I've got life in these old eyes yet. I believe you to be a man of morals, Severus, and I have seen Harry looking pale and tired, a classic side effect of too much strain on a person's magic. His magic is sustaining him until the bond has been completely formed, then he will rely on your magic as well. Instead of helping him Severus, you are putting your young mate at risk. How do you expect him to defend himself, if all his magic is being used to sustain him?" "He is at Hogwarts; he is safe here." Severus answered with Artemis echoing his words.

"Hogwarts, yes, I doubt that any of the students pose Harry much of a threat, but what about outside? It is not uncommon for Death Eaters to attack Hogsmead, or the area just outside Privet Drive." Severus was silent with shock. Why hadn't he considered that? (Keep Mate in den.) Artemis answered, and for once Severus was in complete agreement. Harry had no reason to ever leave Hogwarts now that he was bonded. Except to fight the war and hunt for Horcruxes , his inner voice scolded him nastily. "I have my morals, Minerva. I intend to keep them." "Why? You're already part way to damnation for bonding with a student, why not fall all the way and enjoy yourself?" She told him with a slight smirk lifting the corners of her mouth. Severus smiled at her. "Food for thought, my dear Minerva. May I just say that this is the best conversation I have held with someone for sometime now." Severus took a chance in being genuine, interested to see how the Head of Gryffindor would react. "I am honored Severus. You are always welcome," she informed him warmly. "I hope Dumbledore trusts you enough to care for Harry's wellbeing," she asked, a slight bite back in her voice, "and that you will keep this relationship secret?" "You can trust me." Her blue eyes sparkled with concern before she nodded and looked away. "Damn Umbridge to Hell!" Minerva suddenly blurted out. "How can she even get away with this? That damn ministry does nothing but cause trouble for good people. They spark fear into the hearts of the Wizarding community when they should be educating them. They will drive the werewolves straight to You-Know-Who." Casually Severus flicked his hand over towards the dying fire and it roared back into life. She looked down into her wrinkled hands. "Remus Lupin was one of the most gifted students I ever taught, similar in fact to Hermione Granger. If it hadn't been for James Potter supporting him finically, I dread to think what would have happened to him." Severus resisted the urge to snap his wine glass. So Potter had given the werewolf charity, how quaint. Severus refused to acknowledge that it was in fact quite an honorable thing to do, and one he could see Harry doing for his friends. "Well of course you must have seen the scar on the back of poor Harry's hand," Minerva carried on. "What scar?" "That infernal woman made Harry sit detention, with a blood quill. He was made to write over and over again, "'I must not tell lies,'" until it scared into his hand." Severus rose to his feet and flung his glass into the fireplace. An image of Harry rubbing the back of his hand suddenly surfaced. "When all this is over I will personally see to Dolores Umbridge." Severus growled with animalistic undertones.

"So just how was it you became a werewolf, Severus? I never heard of any attacks in the last year or two, and you're not exhibiting any scars." Severus sat back down and looked at his fellow professor gravely. "My infection happened like this" HPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus looked around wildly, dark hair whipping around his face. Blast the Dark Lord for putting him in this situation. He was lost somewhere deep within a forest with no chance of getting back to the safe house. Fleetingly Severus thought that the whole mission might have been a trap so the Dark Lord could kill him once and for all. It had been a raid on some member within the Ministry of Magic, the instructions had been vague as Severus was not told any details. Greyback had been in charge, that mangy, fleabitten coward, and Severus had done nothing but stun members of the light as he tried desperately to salvage some information to take back to Dumbledore. When the tide had turned in the favor of the Death Eaters, they had been too arrogant to notice that the full moon had begun to rise and that Greyback had transformed into that terrifying alter ego of his. Unable to distinguish friend from foe, the werewolf had begun tearing into anyone near him, so everyone had fled the scene. Stray curses were fired, one lacerating Severus's calf. Now here he was in the forest, cut off from the Death Eaters and lost. His wound was dripping with blood, slowly draining his life force from him. His wand was useless as his magic focused on keeping him alive, making apparition out of the question. His robes were torn from battle, his face cut and bruised, and his mouth parched with thirst. Severus Snape was going to die. Unwilling to move any further, Severus sat against the trunk of a tree, feeling the rough bark through his torn clothes. Was this how it was going to end? Severus doubted the light would find another such as he he, who had been deemed coward by many, who risked his life to undo the wrong he had once committed. Severus wrapped his arms around himself in an effort to keep warm. He needed to find water but his body was uncooperative. All he could think about was Lily Evans, and how he had betrayed the only friend he once had on a misguided quest for power. He was to blame for her death, and he still hadn't fixed the damage he had caused. Her son was still his responsibility. The Dark Lord was not going to murder the only thing he had left of her. She would have wanted Severus to keep her child safe, and Severus would fulfill that wish until his body gave up on him. Here, all alone in the wild with only the night creatures to keep him company he didn't need to pretend he hated the boy. Disliked him, perhaps, but there was a grudging respect somewhere within his body. No Severus was not going to die here and leave his best friend's son unprotected. Harry needed protection from Voldemort and Dumbledore, both of which were using him.

Out of the corner of his eye he noticed a reflection of light on the ground, which might have meant a puddle of water was nearby. Pulling himself up, ignoring his screaming, protesting muscles, Severus limped over to the spark of light. He laughed in relief; it was a puddle filled with water. Dignity aside, he flung himself to the muddy floor and touched his lips to the life liquid. This would prolong his suffering, but it would give someone the chance to find him alive. Drinking until mud entered his mouth, Severus gasped and rolled onto his back. Looking up at the fathomless sky, he waited for the pain to subside. The rustling of leaves above began to irritate him, and Severus wondered why it was suddenly so loud. Within his chest his heart began to race and his skin began to feel sweaty. A powerful howling ripped across the noise, and Severus sat up alarmed. Next to him, devoid of water was a paw print he had mistakenly thought was a normal puddle. Within his head an alarm bell began to ring. Surely not. He had been that idiotic? Blinded by his mistakes of the past and filled with the insatiable urge to live so he could save Harry Potter, Severus had allowed his guard to drop. Within his body his blood began to burn and his muscles became alight with pain. Flipping onto his side so he could devoid his stomach did not help as his bones began to creak and bend. Opening his mouth to give voice to his pain, Severus was helpless within agony's grasp as his body melded and conformed to shapes he had never thought possible. His hands began to gnarl and curl inwards, claws bursting from the ends of his fingertips. Black fur sprouted from the back of his hands and crept up the length of his arms. Severus's jaw was forced open as fangs distended and his mouth was forced to accommodate them, warping and stretching. Severus's spinal column curled over, forcing him to his hands and feet and his screams of pain morphed into inhuman snarls. Then it was done. The large, black werewolf shook himself and sniffed the ground. It smelt the trail of another of its kind. The wolf placed its own larger paw over the paw print of its breathen, warning it not to come near. Satisfied with its handiwork, the wolf reared back its head and howled, long and deep into the night. With a powerful push from its hind legs, it ran towards its territory. HPHPHPHPHPHPHP "Drinking water from a werewolf paw, I didn't think that was possible. I thought it to be a myth with which we scared children." McGonagall whispered. She looked off into space thoughtfully for a few moments, before rising and getting Severus another glass. "It seems more research into the subject is needed." Severus accepted the glass. "Not only am I infected with this infernal beast, it doesn't seem to fit the perimeters of what I understand a werewolf to be." Severus drank deeply. "Whatever do you mean, Severus?"

"Artemis is proportionally bigger than most Werewolves; every full moon it retains its full mind it is not subdued by the Wolfsbane potion." He raised a pale hand at the older woman's look of shock. "Artemis is not interested in humans, until Potter came along that is." Minerva rose and pulled out yet another bottle of wine. "How do you feel about this, Severus?" she asked quietly. "He is James's son," Severus whispered, alcohol loosening his tongue. "You do not still harbor a grudge, surely, Severus. I know neither of you were amicable during your school years, but Harry is nothing like his father. They share courage and ambition yes, but Harry has always been a more thoughtful boy." "But where was my choice!" Severus rose, pacing the floor angrily. "Imagine for one moment that your body was taken over for a night! Then, in order to protect yourself you have to bond with someone and that someone was the son of your enemy. Minerva, how would you perceive Trelawney's son to behave?" "I would hazard a guess that, if she indeed had a son, he would be just as crazy as his mother to be." Her eyebrows furrowed with the question. "Not a child I would ever like to meet." "Can you imagine what it would be like? In order to save yourself you had to bond with him!" Severus sat down ungracefully next to her. "He's only a child." Severus moaned, holding his head in his hands. "A child that I cannot remove from my head. Every fiber of my being screams at me to consummate the bond, to protect him." "Harry Potter was never a child, Severus. While I cannot approve of a relationship of this nature, I cannot deny what I see. You have always protected that boy, for what reasons I am not aware. I saw you earlier with each other Severus, you care for the boy." Severus said nothing. "You are harming him more by not completing the bond. Dumbledore would not have allowed this union if he did not approve, and I might be an old fool Severus but he would have known what that entails. You are a teacher and his teacher, but you are also Artemis. You cannot fight against a bond of that nature and it pointless to carry on doing so." She placed a hand on his arm, surprised when he didn't flinch away. "You are a man of morals, Severus, and you can still continue to be so, by committing yourself fully to your bond as you promised to do so when you bonded. That takes more courage and morality then avoiding the situation." Severus rose abruptly, his arms folded. He placed his wine glass down with force indicating the conversation was over. "My door is always open, Severus. However, if you ever hurt him, I will turn you into a rat," she warned him once again. Severus could feel the corners of his mouth twitch despite the fact she was being serious.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP "Do you want to talk about it?" Hermione's whispered voice floated down to where he was lying in the grass. Harry kept his eyes firmly shut trying to ignore everything that had happened. He had half expected Snape to come drag him out of Gryffindor tower. Currently, they were sitting out in the grounds. It was only mid afternoon and the sun was weak in the sky. Hermione had already visited Ron in the Infirmary while Harry in wolf form had waited upon her bed. Ron was not due to be released until tomorrow, which meant Harry had Hermione's undivided attention. "He's hiding something from me," Harry muttered, furious green eyes staring up at her face. "When has Severus Snape not hid something from you?" Hermione countered thoughtfully, wrapping her coat more firmly around her body. "This time it's different." Harry sat up in the grass and looked towards the lake. "I think Malfoy is up to something regarding the Headmaster. I know Snape is involved." "Have you thought, that maybe it's something to do with the Order and Snape cannot tell you?" "But what if we were right all along and Snape is in fact still working for Voldemort?" Hermione sighed and moved closer to Harry. "Harry, you wouldn't have bonded with Professor Snape if you thought he was evil. Dumbledore wouldn't have allowed it if he thought there was the slightest chance Snape couldn't be trusted. You are now the closest thing to family he's ever going to get; no one apart from you can read his moods and access his magic." Harry scowled angrily. Hermione was right. If Snape was truly trying to kill Dumbledore, he would have done so by now, and Harry would have seen his intentions. There was still the feeling that he was in the dark about something big, though. Hermione sighed and Harry quickly tried to mask his features into a neutral expression. "I'm a little worried about you." Her voice was filled with concern, surprising him. He had fully expected Hermione to keep on at him about Snape's good points. Harry sat up so they were eye level. "Why?" "You've been bonded a few months now and you haven't consummated the relationship. I know you're strong Harry, but it isn't healthy for either of you to stay away from each other like this. Your magic might be sustaining you for now, but for how much longer? What happens if you cannot defend yourself? Or you can't transform back?" Hermione's brown eyes were wide with worry, forcing Harry to finally think on the subject he had been avoiding. He and Hermione had never talked about sex or people they fancied. They never spoke about her feelings for Ron, or Harry's lack of romantic partners. It was just an unspeakable

truce that hung between them. "It's not me that's opposed; it's Snape," Harry forced out from gritted teeth. "I was the one who approached him about the bonding; it was me that was interested in saving the both of them. Snape once told me he could never get hard with me as a sexual partner. The first time the bondmade us do things," Harry struggled with the words, feeling his face flush, "he pushed me away and told me at least he could control his desires." Hermione said nothing, yet the telltale pink blush revealed lots. "I'm sorry. This is a hard subject," Harry muttered, content to drop it and ignore it as always. "Harry Potter, don't you dare stop now. You need to talk about it, and you need someone to help you. What sort of friend can't talk about intimacy issues?" Hermione smiled a hint of a laugh in her voice. "After another one of Artemis's transformations, I had to help Snape back into bed. It was the first time I had seen him naked.and I wasn't shocked by it." "Sounds to me like you're attracted to our greasy Potion's master." Hermione playfully pushed his shoulder. Harry's green eyes widened, before narrowing thoughtfully. He supposed he should have been disgusted by this revelation, but no feelings of repulsion were felt. "One night I was studying by the fire and it was Snape that initiated something. We started off arguing, which usually makes the bond react by forcing us together. However it was different somehow." Harry paused trying to find the right words. "It was as if both of us were in our right minds for once. It was calmer, and I couldn't take it, I ran off." "Oh, Harry, why?" "It scared me in a way, and I don't want Snape to regret it. He's already said he doesn't want me, how do I know it's not the bond making him do it?" "It might be. Has Professor Snape acted any differently with you since then?" "What does that have to do with anything?"" Hermione sighed and rolled her eyes. "Harry, Severus Snape is a man of his morals. He's not going to jump into bed with a student; it goes against everything teachers stand for. However, if he were, to, say develop feelings for you, that might change." "He started spending time with me in the evenings," Harry reluctantly told her. Hermione resisted the urge to hit her friend. Honestly, why did men have to make everything so complicated? It was clear to her that both were beginning to develop feelings, yet here they were both skirting around the subject. Eventually, the bond was going to cause harm to one of them. It sounded to her like the bond was getting stronger; it was only a matter of time before one of them snapped.

"Harry, you have to trust that Snape has your best interests at heart. I honestly believe that. He might be hiding something from you, but you don't know that he hasn't been ordered to. What if it's a secret plan involving You-Know-Who?" Harry hung his head, still silently angry at the man, but at least he was willing to listen to her. "You can't sleep on my bed every night; you need to speak to him about it." "That's not going to happen. Snape and I don't talk about anything." "Then maybe this is the time to start?" Hermione noticed that Harry was beginning to withdraw in on himself. This conversation was practically over in his mind. She stood, gesturing with her hand. "Come on, it will be dinner soon. You need to keep your strength up." "I'm not going. What if he's there?" Harry sulked. "So what? Don't look at him. Talk to your friends. You're going to see him sooner or later Harry, either in your chambers or in a lesson." She pulled her reluctant friend to his feet. Hermione started a brand new topic, marching Harry back to the castle. "I was thinking we need to give your wolf a name." "I can't think of one." Harry was clearly not playing game. "I was thinking along your lines of Gods and Goddess's." Hermione continued brightly, ignoring Harry's stormy face. "I came up with Apollo, you know, the twin to Artemis. What do you think?" Harry rammed his hands into his pockets, despite Hermione's arm linked around his. Defeated, he looked at her. "Sounds like a possibility. I quite like it." HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus entered his chamber quietly. He was a little worse for wear after the bottles of wine he and Minerva had consumed, and he didn't want Harry to see him like this. Severus didn't believe for one second that Harry would not return to his rooms, so he was aghast to see that his living room was empty. Artemis was strangely silent within his head, and Severus was aware of just how alone he was. He had finally done it; he had finally driven Harry away. Sadly, he sat on the couch and stared into the empty fireplace. The silence pressed around him, and the only thing he could hear was his rapidly growing heartbeat. Harry would come back surely? They were bonded. He just needed time to cool down. Severus rose and retired to his bed, trying not to think about how much Harry's disappearance was bothering him. Especially now that he was aware of his feelings, and had his morals realigned. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

Snape hadn't even been at dinner. Harry found himself raging as he walked along the corridors, killing time until curfew. He must have realized that Harry hadn't returned last night. Was he not even a little bit curious to see him at dinner? Harry had noticed that his hearing had sharpened with his Animagus form as had his sense of smell. The only thing that hadn't improved was his vision. As Harry walked past a bathroom, he was certain he could hear Myrtle speaking to someone who was clearly distraught. His more sympathetic nature kicked in and he wanted to know if he could help. It was a well known fact among the students at Hogwarts that you avoided this bathroom at all costs. Not only did Myrtle haunt the place, but she liked to spend her life clogging the pipes. But it was defiantly a guy's voice Harry could hear talking, and it was a girls' bathroom. He had no reason to be in there. The only reason Harry had ever entered a girls bathroom was because of the polyjuice incident and it also served as the only entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. Harry was suddenly seized with the fear that it might be some younger year trying to find the chamber and Harry pushed open the door. The sobbing was louder in here, punctuated with painful gasps and moans. Instantly, Harry's wand was out as he searched the gloomy bathroom. It sounded like someone was hurt. Damn those reckless young students. He called out a greeting, asking the injured student where they were, but all he received in return was a long drawn out breath before the person remained silent. Treading carefully around the puddles, Harry looked around the stalls. The gloom wasn't helping him, and he found himself cursing his glasses. "Hello!" He shouted out experimentally. All he heard was the sound of his echo vibrating through the room. Even Myrtle was silent. Harry pulled out his wand and crept further into the dingy room. After a few footsteps he saw the outline of someone near the mirrors. On the side of caution he waited until Draco Malfoy's face came into view. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Artemis was currently curled up within his host's mind. If he so desired he could view the outside world through the cruel black eyes of his host, but he had seen enough recently. The werewolf was coming to the conclusion that his host would never accept his mate. Try as he might, Artemis just didn't understand the complex emotions running through the cold human's head. Attraction was there as well as protection, but the host was also concealing a secret, one that was hurting his mate. Now his mate doubted them and had run away. Artemis huffed within the darkness. His host was upset, more than Artemis had ever thought possible, yet Artemis had enough of him. He burrowed deeper into their joined sub consciousness.

Here he could sense his mate's magic, powerful and golden, and almost as blinding as the moon. The wolf curled up near it, content for the moment. He could stay here until it was his time. Yawning loudly, hearing his massive jaw creak, Artemis prepared to sleep. As he was drifting away, his breathing deepening, his large dark ears pricked up in alarm. Something was wrong. His amber eyes snapped open and he looked towards the blinding ribbon that was his mate, entwined with his own magical signature and that of his host. The wolf waited, aware that the host was also alarmed. After a few tense seconds the magic quivered again making Artemis snarl. His mate was in danger. Power surged through the beast as he attempted to free himself of the mental restraints, hardly noticing that the host was releasing his hold on him. "What is happening?" the host whispered across their link. "Mate in trouble," Artemis growled, furious at how sluggish his host was being. Looking through the dark eyes he noticed once again just how limited humans were. His host immediately rose out of his sleeping position. "You will assist me in locating him." Artemis was stunned. Never before had he and his host worked together. They may have shared the same mind, but his host had always held a mental bind over the wolf, restricting his actions. The wolf basked in a rare moment of elation before allowing their minds to merge. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry tried to walk away, but his legs were rooted to the spot. The boy looked like a ghoul in the mirror, deathly pale with dark shadows under his eyes. He had been crying; the twin wet trails down the side of his cheeks were evidence of that. He wanted to speak, to ask Malfoy what was wrong, as well as millions of other questions, but his voice was mute. "What's the matter, Potter? Dragon got your tongue?" Malfoy snarled at him, moving menacingly round the sinks. Harry was transfixed. Once again Snape echoed in his mind. "You will not speak to him, or follow him." Harry had to get out of here. Eventually the signal reached his feet and he began to back away towards the door. "Precious Potter, who has no idea about the real world." Malfoy carried on spitting his words at him, advancing on him like a predator. What had gotten into the Slytherin? This was not the school bully he knew, but a frightened animal, cornered into lashing out. Harry moved around the back of the stalls to put some space between the two of them, he had the feeling this was not some school rivalry they were dealing with. Harry opened his mouth to speak, in an attempt to calm the frantic boy down, but no words were uttered. "Snape!" Harry hissed angrily. Was this the plan? Cut of Harry's defences and

let him get murdered in Hogwarts? Harry felt along the bond until he came into contact with the violet pulsating strand that was Snape. No, Snape did not want him dead. Harry was sure of it. Snape needed him alive. Harry tugged at the bond with his own magic until he could feel Artemis start to respond. Hopefully the stubborn man would listen to his werewolf for once. Harry was aware of Malfoy still babbling, throwing curses at the wooden stalls. Using stealth he crept away from the boy, attempting to get closer to the door. "You hide here in your castle, protected by Dumbledore, while the rest of us fight for our families," Malfoy suddenly screamed. Harry stopped. Bristling with anger, he left the safety of the stalls and faced his deranged classmate. "Oh touched a nerve have I? One day your world will crumble around you, just like you caused mine to do, and I, Draco, will watch you suffer. Crucio!" Harry's reflexes were as amazing as always. He pulled his wand up fast enough to form a shield, but for the first time in years, his magic failed him. All he could do was watch in horror as the light from the curse sped towards him. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus hurried down the corridors, all his restraint being used not to run. Thankfully the castle was relatively empty, it being an hour before curfew. He could feel his body break into a cold sweat as Harry's side of the bond became more distressed. Severus could actually feel what the boy was feeling as if they were his own emotions. His heart began to pound as Severus felt a fear unlike one he had ever felt. Why hadn't Harry returned? Why had Severus not at least looked for him? His damn foolish pride had prevented it and now here he was. Harry was in jeopardy because of Severus's stubbornness. (Calm yourself. We will find him.) Artemis's gruff voice cut across his panic. (I assured Dumbledore I would be responsible for his safety.) Severus snarled in return. (The elder?) Artemis questioned. (You do not worry because of him. You worry because he is our mate. Turn) Severus turned on command, noticing Harry's lingering scent in the hallway, thanks to Artemis's heightened sense of smell. He recognized this corridor about the same time Artemis recognized it from his memories. (Not safe, large snakes.) Severus picked up his pace, still the epitome of the calm Potions professor, but one who was on a clear mission. Surely Harry was not seeking solace in that blasted chamber? His robes billowed around him as Artemis gave him a boost of his own magical signature. Once again they acknowledged the extra scent at the same time. Draco. Dread trickled into his stomach. "Even if he starts it?" echoed Harry's voice. "Even if he pummels you into the ground." Severus schooled his expression and blasted open the bathroom door. There was Ha Harry, screaming and writhing on the floor, with Draco standing above him.

"Draco, desist this instance," Severus bellowed, thanking his iron grip on his temper. Artemis was howling for blood, trying to use their new found closeness to rip out the boy's throat. Severus curled his hands into fists within the confines of his robe, as far away from his wand as possible. Shaken, Draco called off the spell, and his arm hung limp at his side. "Just what do you think you are doing?" Severus asked quietly, scaring his student even more. "Why, it looks to me that you are playing at being a Death Eater." Severus stalked around the boy. The air was rank with Draco's fear. "You are more dim-witted than I believed you to be, attacking Potter under Dumbledore's watch, with an Unforgivable!" The doors of the stalls flew open with the wrath of his words, yet Severus paid it no mind as he grabbed the pale boy's forearm in a vice grip. The boy, no child, winced, and Severus grasped it tighter. "Idiot boy! I promised your mother I would watch over you, but I cannot protect you from this." Severus flung the offending boy away from him. "You have sealed our fate. The castle is warded in such a way that Unforgivables automatically send up an alarm. You'll be lucky if you escape this room without a barrage of Auror's bearing down on you." "Potter started it; he flung the first curse, Professor. I only cast Crucio out of self defence!" Draco stuttered, glancing over at his victim. "How long will you be willing to stick to that with a Dementor hovering over you?" Severus hissed. "Professor, we both know the Dark Lord has the Dementors and the Ministry working for him." Severus really wanted nothing more than to kill this boy. He was nothing more than a burden. "The Dark Lord wants Potter for himself. He will hear of this unpleasant incident and seek you out. Leave. I will attempt to clear up your mess, then I will summon you later." Severus could still hear Artemis growling and his fingers twitched involuntarily. Draco looked up at his most trusted professor with alarm. Severus had no time for this; Harry was still breathing which was all Severus could determine from here. He had been keeping an eye on Harry during his conflict with Draco, but he needed medical attention. Bewildered Draco looked around before rushing from the bathroom. Severus had to wait agonizing minutes before he was finally able to cast a locking charm upon the door and rush over to Harry. Severus had seen dead bodies, both intact and mutilated. He had seen victims of Death Eaters, Muggles tortured to death and fallen comrades, and always he approached them with the same stony expression, unwilling to feel anything for a lifeless corpse. Not even that had made him feel horror like he was experiencing now. His eyes probed Harry's body, accessing the damage. Ragged gasps were the only sound in the room and they weren't coming from Harry. A trembling hand checked his mate's pulse, causing him to shudder with relief when he found a strong steady one. Severus forced his breathing to quieten, so he could attempt to hear Harry's quiet breaths.

He had done this. Severus had taken Harry's only defence, leaving him vulnerable. He had not listened when Harry had said Draco started fights. His mate had been unable to defend himself and he hadn't called for help from Severus. His unconscious mind had sought out the werewolf as if knowing Severus would not help. He had made Harry promise not to defend himself against the Slytherin, unwillingly forming an unbreakable bond between them. Yet what if it had been a Death Eater attack? Harry's magic was beginning to falter due to the large amount of strain the bond was placing on them to consummate. Crucio was agonizing yes, but the victim should not have lost consciousness like this. He gingerly lifted the boy into his arms, burying his long nose into Harry's neck. He inhaled deeply to reassure both himself and the wolf. The musky scent of Harry melted away some of the furious rage he was feeling. Opening his eyes, he pulled back and looked at the boy's face. Harry's olive skin looked pale and sickly, his lips devoid of there usual rosy colour. Severus leant down and gently brushed those lips with his own. Harry would not leave his sight again. Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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13. Chapter 13

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Chapter 13 Thank you to Puzzle me this for Beta reading. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

"Severus? What's happened?" Harry could make out the concerned shrill tones of one Madame Pomfrey. The familiar smell of antiseptic combined with the heavy smells of potions informed him that he was in the hospital wing. His body was leaden, his eyes refusing to open. Floating within his cocoon of darkness, Harry could feel pressure on his back, someone was carrying him. "He's been placed under the Cruciatus curse." That baritone voice was none other than Snape, what was he doing carrying him? Harry felt himself be positioned upon a soft surface. "You need to inform the Headmaster, I'll keep an eye on Potter." There was an annoyed hiss, "I am the mediwitch Severus Snape, I need to see to Harry, you inform Albus. Now leave," Harry heard the shuffling of feet, before cool hands began to probe him. "Seems to be no permanent damage." Harry heard Pomfrey whispering. He felt cold glass against his lips, and a thick liquid began working its way down his throat. Within seconds Harry felt sleep overcome him. When he came around from his dreamless sleep he now felt more in control of his body. Harry could move his head and even wiggle his limbs. Hesitantly he opened his eyes, but all he was greeted with was the fuzzy outline of the curtain screens. He was alone. "How could you let this happen!" Harry had never heard that tone in Dumbledore's voice before. It was coldly furious and even Harry felt himself flinch away. Sitting up he could see dark shadows moving on the floor, their makers hidden behind the screen. "How could I?" Snape snapped back. "You were the one who insisted Draco stay at Hogwarts despite everything!" "You are supposed to be protecting Harry! First you trap him into making an unbreakable vow leaving him defenceless, and then you leave him vulnerable with his magic. Your bonding was a mistake!" Harry felt coldness settle in his stomach, the bond between him and Artemis wasn't a mistake. However he and Snape were a different story altogether. "I am protecting him! I'm protecting him from my lecherous feelings. If you told Harry about what was happening with Draco then I wouldn't have to lie for you. I had Harry's curfew in place so I had him safe with me. Your manipulation caused Harry to wander into danger, just like usual." Harry held his breath. What kind of feelings? Sexual? Romantic? Why was Dumbledore keeping him in the dark? Harry tried to sit up a little straighter in bed. Dumbledore knew all about Malfoy? And he was asking Snape to keep it a secret? He gave it a few minutes to sink in, then waves of shame washed over him. Hermione was right; there were things that Dumbledore still kept him in the dark about. Snape was acting under orders, and Harry had gone and accused him of some dreadful things.

"I wasn't aware you could feel anything Severus. After Harry has recovered, I will offer him a way out of your hands." "You can't do that!" Harry felt his heart squeeze in sympathy at the desperation in Snape's voice. "You do not need Harry's bond; I will attempt to find a way to keep you and the werewolf safe." "This isn't about Artemis, I don't want to lose Harry," Snape's last words were rushed. Harry felt his heart leap into his throat, where it beat painfully. Harry looked back towards the curtains. It might have been a trick of the dim light, but he was sure a flash of blue could be seen looking at him. "That remains to be seen. I will see Harry when he recovers. I'm sure Remus will want to see him as well." Panicking Harry tried to quietly settle back into bed, just managing to jam his eyes shut at the sound of the curtains being drawn back. He evened out his breath to give the illusion of sleep, not flinching when he heard a chair being moved, the scraping of its legs on the concrete floor, deafeningly loud. Why was Snape staying with him? What was he doing? Was he just sitting there watching him? Harry shifted slightly, uncomfortable with all the questions burning in his brain. He needed to "wake up," Snape and he needed a talk, but Harry couldn't speak to him about what he had overheard. Harry wanted to apologize to the man, he had been an idiot. Fear was beginning to settle within his stomach, Snape admitting he felt something left Harry vulnerable to his own emotions. While Harry was trying to muster courage to confront his teacher, he heard the chair scrape again, louder this time. There was a rustle of fabric, and then a warm calloused hand could be felt on his forehead. "This shouldn't have happened. I won't fail you again." The hand trailed over his face, fingers tickling his skin. "If you desire the termination of our bond, I will support it." Snape whispered somewhere above his head. Something ghosted over his lips, followed by warm breath. Snape was kissing him! Of his own accord! Harry could feel his body respond, despite the fact he was supposed to be asleep. Opening his eyes he was just in time to see Snape pull away in surprise. His arms still felt heavy with the after effects of the curse, yet he was able to place one hand behind Snape's head. Black eyes glittered in confusion, and neither moved. Harry's head felt too heavy to lift, Snape didn't seem to responding, and Harry let his hand slip. That got a reaction. Snape moved his hand to capture it. The older man squeezed it experimentally, almost testing the strength of it. Harry pressed back in response, attempting to lift his head once again despite his exhaustion. Snape seemed to catch his meaning and brought his own head down to meet his in a soft kiss. Snape moaned deep in his throat, eliciting a reaction from Harry. He attempted to deepen the kiss but Snape was the one in control.

The man drew away but retained his grip on Harry's hand, "How are you feeling?" "Exhausted." "You're extremely lucky that exhaustion is all you feel." Snape dropped his hand and resumed sitting, this time on the edge of Harry's bed. "I'm glad you reached out to me," Snape muttered quietly. Snape drew out his wand and muttered a silencing charm as well as a charm Harry didn't recognize. Harry looked away guilty. "Actually it was Artemis I was reaching out to." Harry could only see a fuzzy dark outline of the man; nevertheless he could feel the man's hurt and annoyance. The bed shifted as Snape got up to leave. "I didn't think you would come," Harry hated the pathetic whimper to his voice. Snape turned slightly, but remained sitting. "Despite our differences I don't want harm to come to you, it is what I agreed to after all." Harry pulled himself up in the bed, and attempted to locate his glasses. He flinched slightly in surprise as Snape placed them across the bridge of his nose. "I'm sorry." Snape raised an eyebrow. "I accused you of something terrible, without all the facts." "A typical brainless Gryffindor reaction." Harry sighed. "You don't understand Sir. All my life I've been in the dark about important things. I never knew the reason my parents died and then suddenly I find out someone murdered them. I found out I was a Wizard and that magic was real, then I found out I would eventually have to die. Having you of all people hide things from me hurts me!" "Hurts you?" Snape's response was almost innocent. "I was, or am beginning to trust you. It's hard to be kept in the dark about things, especially when they concern me." "I see." Snape seemed to be in thought. "I can understand your dilemma. Despite appearances I do have your best interests at heart." "I know." Harry stretched his hand across the white bed linen. Snape looked down at it, his stern features softening. "However Harry, I doubt your maturity for a relationship such as this. There are aspects to me that you cannot understand. Aspects that I have to keep secret for everyone's safety." Snape brushed a finger across Harry's knuckles. "When you recover Professor Dumbledore will terminate the bond." "Is that what you want?" Harry grabbed hold of Snape's hand, desperate to keep him from leaving.

"It doesn't concern you what I want, Artemis will be safe." Snape didn't pull away. "I'm not talking about Artemis, I'm talking about you. I don't want to dissolve our bond, not because of Artemis, but because of you. Give me the chance to know you." Harry glared up at him defiantly. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus looked down at Harry in his bed. He was paler than he had ever seen him, and he looked frail and tiny in the hospital bed. Within his face his emerald eyes burned with a fiery passion. It was a close to as a confession as Snape was going to get and he could tell by his young mates eyes that Harry meant it. Harry wanted him, not just the werewolf. He could feel his hold on his morals finally break. Why would Harry want him? Severus was a broken, twisted shell of a man, with nothing to offer. Ex Death Eater, current spy, infected with a beast. Yet Harry wanted him. Severus should march the boy down to Albus and set him free, but instead he lowered himself down to Harry. Harry looked a little bewildered as Severus kissed him, but it didn't last long. All too soon Harry's arms were wrapped around his back, holding on in desperation. At first Severus was content with only kissing, but when Harry made a noise of desperate want, Severus couldn't stop himself, even though Harry's arms were heavy from fatigue. He held his young mates arms down and peppered Harry's neck with kisses. To his dismay he felt Harry weakly attempt to push him away. "What's the matter?" Severus muttered thickly, still licking the skin of Harry's bare neck. "No stop." Severus pulled away. "Why Harry, don't you want this?" He bit down on the boy's collar bone, causing him to gasp. "Do you not want to give into your body's desire?" He whispered huskily into Harry's ear, surprised at the reaction his voice had. Severus made a mental note, as his fingers traced the plains of Harry's chest underneath his shirt. Harry was putty beneath him, and even Artemis had retreated from Severus's mind to give them space. Severus's fingers lightly traced a nipple, causing Harry to arch into the touch, his moan captured by Severus's mouth. He had never been with someone so receptive to his touch. Harry's moans only heightened his desire and he was filled with the need to pleasure his mate, instead of taking his own satisfaction as he usually did with sexual partners. "Sir stop!" Severus pulled back, regaining his senses once again, he could have been hurting Harry. "This is becoming a habit Harry. This was what I meant by your maturity." Harry looked away, skin flushed with embarrassment. Severus pulled him back to face him with a slender finger to the chin. "You want to keep our bond Harry, you will answer me." "You don't really want me; it's the bond making you." Harry blurted in a fearful rush.

"Why would you say that?" Severus felt confused, hadn't he already proved himself in his actions? "You said that you would never get hard with me as a bed partner." Harry looked at him, his eyes beginning to water. Severus sat up, experiencing a moment of clarity. He really was dealing with a delicate situation. Deep within his chest he felt a stirring at the sight of Harry's emotions. For the first time in his life he was overcome with the urge to comfort someone. "That statement was never true." "And everything else Sir? The dislike and disdain?" Harry's voice gained strength. "It seems preconceptions can change." Severus Snape was not a man to talk about his feelings, especially ones such as this. Harry to his credit seemed to understand this as he pushed Severus to the bed. It seemed Harry was more resilient than Severus thought. It had only been a simple sentence, but to Harry it seemed to be enough. He flashed Severus a smile meant only for him, and lifted himself up to sit on the older man. Had Severus been blind all along? Harry had not been pushing him away because he was disgusted by the idea of Severus of an older lover, but because he thought the bond was making Severus act this way. Did his comments said in the heat of his anger, really have the ability to cut so deeply into the boy? He recalled the first time they had kissed and that had been fuelled by the bond, but the bond hadn't made Severus think about it the days that followed. He had only said those harmful comments in an attempt to put distance between the two of them. Every time Harry had pushed him away, the boy had unknowingly confirmed what Severus thought he knew. The image of Harry's shirt undone, presenting bare, toned abdominals, straddling his hips held Severus breathless. The pale light they were in only enhanced Harry's green eyes, wide with lust. The boy's glasses had fallen off at some point, leaving Severus's gaze unobstructed. His hands encircled Harry's slender hips, and he dug his nails in slightly. Using force, he ground Harry against him, watching with rapture the boy's head fling back with pleasure. This youthful beautiful person was sat across him, begging for his touch. Severus knew that in all the years to come he would never bore of Harry. The boy looked shyly back at him; it seemed his silence was making him nervous. "Sir, are you sure?" Was he sure? How could Harry even ask a question such as that? Was he not aware of how breathtaking he looked right at this moment? Could he not feel the pounding of Severus's and Artemis's combined heart? "Severus Harry, and yes I've never been more certain." Severus sat up so Harry was now in his lap. "I want you, not Artemis, me." His hands entangled in Harry's hair, pulling the boy in for a kiss. Harry responded immediately, both finally giving into what they were feeling. Severus's hands travelled up the inside of Harry's thigh, teasingly close before moving away again. Harry mewed in disappointment, his face blushing once again. Severus waited until the green eyes opened, trying to reassure the boy in some way. "Never before have I

wanted someone as tempting as you," he whispered, rubbing circles on Harry's thighs. "For the longest time now I've hid my lust, burying it with emotions of hate," his hands moved to caress Harry's backside. "Now that I have you, you are mine Harry Potter." Severus was surprised at his own possessiveness, but as he looked down at the panting boy, his hands clinging desperately to Severus's arms, he knew that no truer words had been spoken. He was never going to let Harry go. His morals no longer mattered, Harry was going to be made his. Running his large hands up Harry's back, he was horrified to see pain flash across Harry's face. "Harry?" "I'm fine." "Your body says otherwise," Severus plucked the boy's hands from his forearms. He pressed his lips to Harry's temple. "I apologize, you need your rest, you were attacked after all." Severus lifted Harry effortlessly from him, placing him back on the bed. Harry opened his mouth to speak and Severus put a finger across it. "When you are better I promise." Harry hesitated, his face clouding with what Severus had come to identify as worry, before nodding and getting back into the covers. "Will you be coming back to the dungeons tomorrow?" Severus asked rather than commanded. "Yes I'll come home. I guess you will be teaching tomorrow morning?" "No those lessons are free for planning. I will be there when you return." Severus straightened his robes. It was late and they both needed to rest, but he found it difficult to leave the boy alone in his hospital bed. He would never admit it to anyone, not even to Harry but he had gotten used to the boy sharing his quarters. Having to return once again to empty rooms would be difficult. "I made a promise too didn't I? I'll be back as soon as I can." Harry informed him, cheeks still flushed by their activities. Severus nodded, and with a last lingering look at Harry he left. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP "Harry?" Harry turned at the sound of Hermione's voice. He had gotten out of bed when Madame Pomfrey had given him the all clear, complete with the usual watery eyed look of concern. "What are you doing here?" Hermione's brown eyes gave him a quick appraisal. "Malfoy happened to me. What are you doing here?" "Visiting Ron. He's meant to be leaving today, I came before Lavender. She's still in the dorm, beautifying herself." She rolled her eyes. "What happened with Malfoy?" "I stumbled into him in Myrtle's bathroom. I made a vow with Snape that I wouldn't speak to him of defend myself against him, I was helpless as he placed the Cruciatus curse on me."

"Without completing the bond your magic is volatile, which would have left you vulnerable." Hermione deduced snappily as if solving a riddle. "And what bond would this be?" A new voice interrupted from behind the curtain as Ron peered around, blue eyes narrowed in annoyance. "Care to let me in on the conspiracy?" Hermione looked at Harry, her hands flying to her chest. Harry sat on the bed heavily. "I wasn't allowed to tell anyone." "Don't give me that!" Ron snapped, famous red hair temper rising. "You and Hermione have been leaving me out of your little conversations for months now." It was directed more at Hermione, but Harry knew his friend better than this. "I've bonded with Snape." Harry ended the staring contest between his two friends. Ron pulled away first, his anger still directed at Hermione. Slowly his face became cloudy with confusion as what Harry had said sunk in. "Sit down." Harry jerked his head towards the bed, waiting until his friend fell heavily on his behind. Hermione moved subtly behind Harry until he raised his hand and she moved away again. "A few months ago when I was walking in the grounds, I was ambushed by a huge black Werewolf. It didn't attack me and for the next few months I met it on the full moon. Eventually I called him Artemis. I can't explain my feelings fully, but I was drawn to the creature. My Patronus changed and I became an Animagus to communicate." It was the truth in a nut shell. "Just like Tonks." Ron muttered to himself. He looked up, eyes questioning. "You didn't bond with the Werewolf just to save it from the new laws did you? Or did Dumbledore ask you to help Snape? That would be just like him. Mum always said Dumbledore asked too much of you." Ron blurted out his words, despite Harry opening his mouth to answer. "You can't rescue everyone, especially someone like Snape." He hissed the last part, as if the man could actually hear him. "I'm surprised you even knew about the new law." Hermione jumped in cattily. "Lavender and I do more than just make out you know, we do talk." Ron spat back at her. "Enough!" Harry wanted to rip out his hair. "You wanted to know what the deal was, and all you do is bicker." Both his friends went red in the face. "I didn't save Artemis out of some hero honour; I did it because my heart told me to. Yes he turned out to be Snape, but I couldn't let him be taken by the ministry." "That's why you moved out of the Dorm. Why didn't you tell me what was going on?" "Ron I wasn't certain myself, about what was happening to me. How was I supposed to come up to you and say, 'Hi Ron, I'm about to become bonded with the greasy Potions Professor!'" "You found a way to tell Hermione." Ron told him, sulky in his response.

"Maybe because I make an effort with our friendship." Hermione leapt to his defence. "You're not exactly well known for supporting Harry when things get a little crazy, or have you forgotten the Triwizard tournament?" Harry waited for Ron's explosive reaction, but his friend merely sat there taking it in. "It wasn't that," Harry eventually broke the silence. "I knew that Hermione would be accepting of my sexuality." "Why? Because you were both Muggle raised?" "Perhaps. I don't know how me being gay will be accepted by the Wizarding society. I'm sorry for not telling you, but I didn't want our friendship to become weird." "I don't care about you being gay but really Harry, Snape? I mean come on; he isn't exactly a nice guy. Have you forgotten about what happened with Snuffles last year, how he wouldn't help us? Then there is the fact of him being a Death Eater, how do you know that this isn't some trick to help You-Know-Bloody-Who!" "Ron!" Hermione scolded him. To his credit Ron's ears turned pink, showing his remorse and the air became thick with tension. Both his friends looked at him nervously. "I understand where you're coming from. In fact a few nights ago I accused Snape of the very same thing. There is much I don't know about the man, and I'm not denying the fact that he has been a complete bastard to us over the years. But I can't help how I feel towards Artemis, it would be like taking away my love of flying, it's just there within me." Harry ran his hand through his hair thoughtfully. "I don't sense any maliciousness from his side of the bond, and Dumbledore must trust him. That was enough for me. After spending time with him I began to trust him, we have a tentative friendship." Harry spoke truthfully, leaving out the fact that he wasn't completely averse to sleeping with the man. It might have started out being the bond making him feel attraction, yet Harry knew it was partly him as well now. "Why did Malfoy attack you? How come you didn't fight back?" "Harry and Snape haven't fully completed their bond." Hermione interjected. Ron nodded in understanding. "I need to digest this." He rose and stepped in front of Harry. "Not because I'm disgusted by you, although the idea of Snape turns my stomach, but because it's a lot of information to take in at once." He put his hand on Harry's shoulder. "You can talk to me too. Hermione, brilliant as she is, will only ever understand things from a girl's perspective. Guy's feelings are.A little more complicated." With a brief look over his shoulder at Hermione he left. "I need to get going as well. I promised Snape I would return to our quarters. Although they will probably be empty by now." Harry sighed; it was already past lunch time, well past the time he was meant to be back. "He wasn't teaching this morning I heard. The third years were celebrating." Hermione gave him an apologetic smile.

Alarm set in, was the older man sick? No Snape had never missed a lesson, even after a transformation. Had he taken the day off for him? The conversation with Dumbledore played in his head. Snape wasn't going to end the bond. Was he? HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry walked down to the dungeon, his stomach twisted in knots. How was Snape going to greet him? He really should start calling him Severus, but it still felt weird to Harry. As he walked down the flights of stairs to their quarters, he could feel himself slowing. Had Snape really taken the morning off teaching just to check on him? It wasn't something he could see the snarky professor doing. No matter what his new found feelings might be. He couldn't see Snape suddenly changing because of the new developments in their relationship. It would take time Harry guessed; after all he was still apprehensive about how to treat the older man. Images of last night weren't helping anything. He could feel his face burn as he walked, and his stomach suddenly seemed to drop, not in a sinking horrible sort of feeling, more of an exciting nervous one. Harry dawdled outside the door. How should he act? Was he still meant to be sleeping on the sofa? Had anything truly changed between them? Maybe they had just both realized that they had to sleep together, as it was affecting their magic. It was a good thing Snape's quarters were located in a place were students hardly came to; otherwise Harry would have appeared to be lurking in the corridors. The door opened just as Harry was gathering up the courage needed to enter. "Is there a reason you're loitering outside our quarters Harry?" The sarcastic tone was present, but it wasn't lost on Harry that Snape had used the word "our". He shook his head causing his hair to fall over his glasses. Snape moved aside and Harry entered. The quarters seemed different somehow. Everything was where it was supposed to be, and the dcor was still the same, but Harry seemed to be viewing them in a different light. It seemed natural for Harry to be here now. A log in the fire place crackled and spit, and Harry realised the fire had been lit for the first time by someone other than him. As he was looking around he hadn't noticed Snape standing behind him. Harry jumped at the older man's proximity, before backing away a few steps. Snape exhaled quietly but came no further. "Are you healed?" Harry was asked rather gruffly. "Everything seems to be in working order. I'll be alright to go back to classes tomorrow." Harry sat down on his sofa. Snape nodded and sat down at his table in the corner of the room. "Have you eaten?" "No, I can always go down to the kitchens later." Harry turned so he could view Snape over the back of the sofa. The man wasn't looking in his direction; he had picked up a dark feathered quill and began marking.

"I've had food brought up for you." Snape gestured to the seat in front of him. By the tone in his voice, Harry didn't think he was going to get away with a "no thank you," Harry was a little hungry, and if Snape had gone through the trouble It was a simple plate of sandwiches and a goblet of water. Harry was surprised to see a slice of treacle tart present as well. Did Snape know that this was his favourite? Harry peeped though his fringe of hair, but Snape was looking down at his parchment. He waited for a few seconds to see if they were going to have a conversation, yet nothing happened. Pulling his wand out of his sleeve, Harry summoned the latest book he had been reading to keep him company. Opening it he propped it against his legs, as he leant back on his chair, idly chewing through his sandwiches as he read. "Do you understand what is written in that book?" Snape asked him after a time. "The book we use in Defence Against the Dark Arts isn't advanced enough for what I want. In this N.E.W.T level book, the spells are a little more advanced but still not what I'm looking for." "You are not required to learn those types of spells for your current academic year." "Perhaps not, but I doubt we're going to learn combat spells anytime soon. Once I've finished this I'll find a better book from the library." Harry looked up, Snape hadn't moved from where Harry had seen him last. "How can you even tell what I'm doing? Your eyes haven't moved since I sat down." Harry closed his book and drank from the goblet. "Just because I'm not looking does not mean I cannot see." Snape placed his quill down and looked up at Harry. For a few seconds Harry was captivated by the man's dark, glittering eyes. "I'm always watching." Harry was speechless. Who was talking to him? Was Artemis sharing the man's brain again? Harry could feel himself trembling under the man's stare. Angry at himself Harry suddenly got up from the table. He wasn't a blushing girl for Merlin's sake, he knew what he wanted, and he knew Snape wanted it too. Snape tilted his head up as he stood, and Harry could tell by the tightening of the man's mouth that Snape was concerned about what he had said. Despite the atmosphere, Harry felt himself smiling. He knew things about the older man too. Harry walked slowly over to Snape's side of the table, allowing Snape to tell him to stop if he wanted to. The man did not. When Harry reached Snape's side, the older man twisted in his seat so he was facing Harry. He had to resist the urge to shuffle his feet as his nerves seemed to surface once again. Snape parted his legs and gently pulled Harry by his hips, so he could stand in the space he had created. "I will get better at this I promise." Harry suddenly blurted out. "I sincerely hope this behaviour of yours will continue for some time at least." Harry wasn't sure, but it sounded like Snape had made a joke. "Severus?" Harry whispered, still afraid to use the older man's name. His ego got a boost as he saw that Snape liked Harry using his name. "Is thisstill alright with you?"

Snape growled and pulled Harry forcefully into a kiss. Harry could never stay in control for long though, Snape's dominant nature always took over and Harry always let him. Harry felt his nerves begin to wash away with pleasant sensations. Apart from the weird tingling sensation in his head. "Stop!" Harry broke away rather forcefully out of Severus's grasp. The older man looked shocked and then angry. "No it's not that." Harry slapped a hand to his forehead as fire began to split his head in two. Screaming in pain, Harry dropped to his knees, vaguely aware of Severus supporting his body. "Harry!" Severus tried to pry his hands away from his head, but Harry wouldn't let him. Voldemort was clearly calling a meeting, and using their link once again to inflict pain. He must know about his weakened state. Eventually the molten pain subsided, causing to Harry lay limply in Severus's arms. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus felt his heart freeze as Harry backed away from him, before screaming and falling to the floor. In seconds he was there supporting the boy, bewildered as to what was happening. Was Harry still suffering from the effects of the curse? Surely not, Harry was far stronger than that after all. Harry had his eyes screwed up, attempting to hold the tears back, Severus could smell the salt from them. He wouldn't release the iron grip he had on his forehead either. Just as suddenly as the pain came on, Harry collapsed, laying in his arms for comfort. "Tell me what's happening?" Severus ground out from clenched teeth. If this was still Draco's doing than Severus was going to let Artemis rip the child limb from limb, he would even tie the brat to the tree if need be. Severus pulled gently at one of Harry's hands, relieved that he was given no resistance. "Sweet Merlin." The lightening bolt was a furious red, with raging red lines radiating out from it. What was happening? As Severus tried to place a finger on it to examine it, he felt his own forearm smoulder with the pain of a summoning. As he rode out the pain, Severus vaguely remembered Albus telling the Order about Harry being linked with the Dark Lord. He never mentioned anything about Harry being tortured each time. Harry looked up at him, green eyes watering. "You have to go." That was it. Four simple words. No begging Severus to stay, no whimpering, just simple understanding. Although Harry was in pain and could do with watching over, he knew Severus had to go. Severus crushed his mate to him, relieved when the felt Harry's arm hold him in response. Severus rose, carrying Harry with him, to his bedroom. There he deposited Harry on the bed. "Stay there." Entering his own bathroom, he came back with vials, one for pain and one to induce dreamless sleep. "Take these and rest. I should not be long. It is unusual for the Dark Lord to call me whilst at Hogwarts, the meeting cannot last hours. Stay here and be safe." Harry nodded and drank the pain relief potion. Severus took a moment to marvel at how his mate was acting before leaving.

TBC As always please review. Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 850 - Follows: 1,258 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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14. Chapter 14

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Chapter 14 Hi guys, sorry for the long wait in chapters, I just got married yesterday and I'm going on Honeymoon this evening, and the chapter might seem a bit rushed, but I wanted to leave you with something before I left for three weeks. Thanks to Puzzle me this, for endeavouring to have this chapter Beta'd by today so I could leave my readers with something to read. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus apparated into the gravesite that the Dark Lord had been using for so many of his meetings now. Even though it had been a bright sunny day when he had left Hogwarts, it was dark and gloomy here. There was no reason for this place to always be so cloudy; Severus suspected Voldemort had his reasons for wanting the sky so dark. Slipping his Death Eater mask into place he strode to the edge of the clearing, mindful of the raised earth, littered with tree branches. There were others following him, some maintaining a respectful distance, others with scornful expressions. Severus paid them no mind. Both types of Death Eater kept him on his toes. Being so close to the Lord's inner circle was bound to incur such responses.

A small circle was forming ahead, and Severus recognized even from this distance, the platinum blonde hair of the youngest Malfoy. So that was the reason for the summoning at this time. Artemis watched through his dark eyes. Severus could hear him snarling at the mere sight of the boy, but the beast understood that they were in a perilous situation. He could no longer force the beast back into the recesses of his mind like he was once able to. Severus would be a fool to keep fighting against something that was integral to his being. They had reached a loose understanding of sorts. Severus knew that Artemis had heard of Voldemort from Harry, and the wolf wanted to see the potential threat to their mate. Severus trusted the beast not to take over his body and lash out at what Artemis had dubbed "snake man," because otherwise neither of them would survive. The wolf was underestimating the Dark Lord. He took his place between fellow Death Eaters, and waited patiently along with them. Draco was in the middle of the circle and Severus was a little concerned. While he might not particularly care what happened to his student, he had made a promise to Albus and an unbreakable to Narcissa. If the boy was to be murdered thenNo Severus couldn't think about that now, not here. Everything had to be suppressed, further down than usual. Brief resentment flared up at Harry, if Severus had been alone like usual then there were no complications. Now there were two people to consider. The Dark Lord appeared at the head of the circle, and Severus felt his body fall into the familiar position of bowing before his Lord. As he straightened, the feral eyes of Greyback caught his. Artemis snarled at the offending werewolf, but it seemed Greyback hadn't discovered him just yet. His eyes moved on to the people standing near Severus. The werewolf suspected them, but he wasn't sure who it was. "My followers, I summon you here to bear witness to this boy's actions." Ruby red eyes burned into Draco's silver ones. "It seems that our youngest member is not satisfied with only killing Dumbledore, he has given himself the task of killing Harry Potter as well." There were murmurs on the breeze, some were appreciative, some condescending. "I would have finished him as well, if Snape hadn't stopped me." Draco boosted, clearly eager to gain some respect. How like his father he was. Both were foolishly arrogant. Had the boy not realised that killing Dumbledore was an impossible task? Draco was Lucius' punishment, at least Narcissa had realised. "Crucio," Voldemort causally whispered, watching as Draco writhed on the ground. "Severus?" All eyes turned on him. Severus sunk to one knee, aware of Greyback's eyes. He couldn't leave the circle and be singled out, Artemis would be discovered. "Yes my Lord?" "Is what young Draco says true?" Severus looked at the pitiful boy on the muddy ground. "Yes, I stopped him from killing Harry Potter." Severus answered truthfully, aware that Voldemort would be probing his mind. Artemis leapt to his defence, helping to shield his memories with Harry.

"Traitor!" Bellatrix screamed her mask in her hands as usual. Her black hair was wild around her face, her vehemence for Harry clear in her ugly face. Voldemort raised his hand for silence, and the circle collectively held its breath. "Why?" The word was hissed out and lingered in the tense air. "I thought it was best that a lowlife like Malfoy did not have the honour of killing Potter." That at least was the truth. There was a stunned silence once again, broken only by Draco pulling himself painfully off the floor. A dry rasping sound filled the silence as Voldemort laughed. "Ah Severus, my ever faithful servant. You at least remember my desire to kill Harry by myself. I trust you informed Draco of my trivial small wish?" "Yes my Lord." The Dark Lord stalked towards Draco, Nagini slithering around his feet. "My pet informs me that she would like to eat you, in punishment for your defiance." Voldemort whispered to the blond boy. "Is there any reason why I should refuse her? She gets very hungry." The snake hissed maliciously and lashed out at Draco's feet. "I'm sorry my Lord." Draco's voice squeaked with terror. "I wasn't thinking. Potter snuck up on me and I lashed out, it wont happen again." Red eyes narrowed thoughtfully, and he hissed down at his familiar. The snake seemed to scowl, before slithering away into the nearby Muggle village. "Very well Draco. You still have a task to perform for me. After you complete it we will discuss your fate." Voldemort moved to the head of the circle once again. "Greyback? How goes your mission?" "Many of the werewolves are pledging themselves to you my Lord." Greyback as usual, spoke with a bark in his voice. Artemis had perked up at this. Severus recoiled at the fact that his own wolf seemed to be interested in the Dark Lord. Was it his power? Or the promise the Lord had made the wolves? "The Snake man is strong." Artemis commented at last. "Yes, but his intent is to kill our mate." Artemis huffed haughtily at what Severus seemed to be implying. "I cannot kill him alone." Artemis seemed to sigh. "We will need to assist Harry and protect him." "Until death." Artemis answered forcefully. "Our next stage of this attack is with the Ministry directly. Umbridge is undoing all of the pitiful work of the minister, and it will not be long before the Muggle laws are put into place.

The Muggle born witches and wizards will be collared like the mongrels they are. Unfortunately a lot is waiting on young Draco here." Voldemort informed his troops. "With Dumbledore dead we can achieve so much more." He looked into the sky and Severus knew there were more plans in action then he was letting on. "You are dismissed for now. Next time we meet, it shall be to celebrate Albus Dumbledore's death!" He crowed triumphantly. Severus took his leave with everyone else, careful to stay near a group of other members. When he apparated back to Hogwarts the sun was beginning to set. He had been gone longer than he thought. He could sense Draco's presence nearby and ignored it. That brat tried to make him into a sacrificial lamb in order to attain some glory. The grounds were quiet, bathed with the golden rays of the dying sun. The full moon was only tomorrow, Severus could sense it and for once it wasn't accompanied by dread. Entering the castle he avoided the Great Hall, which was filled with the noise of dinner. Harry shouldn't be in there anyway. Severus could smell a familiar smell in the corridors as he walked towards his quarters. Yet another werewolf was in close proximity which was driving Artemis crazy. Ignoring his animal urges to seek and destroy those who dared trespass onto his territory, Severus exhaustedly entered his quarters. Harry was still here, just not in the place he was supposed to be. Harry was knocked out cold, dreamless sleep no doubt. But he was on the sofa. Severus rid himself of the mask he was carrying within his pocket, and his clock and moved over to the sofa. He had told Harry to stay in his bedroom. Why had the boy moved? Moving Harry's legs Severus sat, allowing his head to fall against the back of the grey sofa. Harry didn't stir, still breathing in the same steady pattern. The older man allowed him to sleep, silently keeping watch over what was his. Severus had never been with someone such as this. All his partners had been to satisfy his own lust or theirs. Here he was presented with someone that clearly lacked confidence. Something he would never had thought about in regards to Potter. He had always thought him arrogant and fool hardy, quick to leap into action. The reality was far from what he had thought. Harry wasn't so sure of himself. It made sense after all. People seemed to use the name Potter as a figure head. Severus doubted many people actually got close to the boy. He hadn't realised his own actions might have attributed to this. The boy was being respectful by returning to sleep in here, either that or he was terrified of Severus and he didn't believe that. They were all things Harry had promised to uphold and Severus found himself touched. Even after his magic was failing him Harry still wasn't flinging himself at the older man. Severus lifted his head and looked at the boy. They still had much to learn. He raked his long fingers through the mop of raven hair, surprised at the softness of it. A comment from years ago by Dumbledore suddenly surfaced. " You don't mean to tell me you actually care about Harry now?" Back then it had mattered to him what happened to Lily's child.

Now in a strange turn of events he did care about him. He wanted to know Harry better; he wanted to make Harry his. Severus's body stirred at the thought. He wanted nothing more then to wake Harry up and bend him over the sofa. Now that he knew that was what Harry desired as well, he was having a hard time controlling his urges. He would wait though. His fingers lingered over Harry's face, delicately probing at the scar that gave the boy his fame. Severus had underestimated the bond Harry shared with the Dark lord and now he could finally see the reasoning behind Albus' insistence of occlumency lessons. Severus himself had suffered from nightmares involving past crimes he had committed and those that he was still forced to watch now. It had gotten easier as time passed and he had a focus, but what of Harry? How long had he been forced to watch images of Muggles being tortured and killed? Merlincould the boy witness the people he loved be murdered and tortured? The Potions master rested his hand on the young man's shoulder. Such fragility belying immense strength. Severus had always maintained a cool distance from everyone, apart from Lily and he had been torn apart by her death, and he hadn't even been there to witness it. Harry by all accounts should be a raving lunatic, locked up in Azkaban. Now here he was, forced into a bonding he probably didn't want in the first place, and stuck with a miserable old git who made his life a living misery. Not only that, it had all been down to Severus that Harry had been harmed. Severus grabbed hold of his sleeping mate's hand. "I release you from your promise. If Draco Malfoy comes anywhere near youdo not hesitate in defending yourself." The tone of his voice made Harry frown in his sleep, and Severus forced himself to relax. To distract him from his mental ramblings, Severus decided to take himself off to bed. He would let Harry come to him as he still wasn't sure of himself. Severus couldn't blame his mate; he wouldn't have wanted to be close to him either. But if there was one thing you could say about Harry Potter it was this: He was bloody persistent. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry awoke with a start, heart beating wildly, and sweat covering his brow. He didn't know what time it was, or even if the older man had gotten back. He had come into the living room to wait for his mate to come back after his mission, and must have fallen asleep. Pulling out his wand from his safe place within his sleeve, he performed the tempus spell and found it was well after six. This was usually when Harry got up to get ready for the day, normally Severus had already left the quarters before this. Harry swung his legs from the sofa, pushing aside his rough woollen blanket. The chill from the stone floor was present as always and Harry rushed to the bathroom, hearing his feet slap as he walked. Severus still hadn't made an entrance and Harry lingered

near the man's door. Had he made it back safely? Tentatively Harry grasped the handle of the door before letting it drop again. Things might have changed between them, but it probably wasn't ok for him to be entering Severus's bedroom uninvited. Harry could feel through their delicate bond that Severus was in no immediate harm and that would have to satisfy him for now. Walking into the bathroom, he quickly used the toilet and brushed his teeth before entering the welcoming warm arms of the shower. He took his time, washing himself carefully with the soap, and then with shower gel for good measure. After revolving a few times under the spray, he applied shampoo into his dark locks. That was plenty of time for Severus to get out of bed and speak to him. Harry turned the shower off and wrapped a towel round his hips. Torn between entering the living room clad only in his towel, or getting dressed Harry chickened out and dressed into his school robes. Deeming himself presentable, despite his messy hair Harry left to face the world. The living room was still empty. Sighing, Harry picked up his book bag from beside the entryway, quickly checking it held the relevant material, he took a last look towards Severus's bedroom before exiting. The corridors were silent as usual at this time in the morning. Harry hurried through this part of the castle like always, eager not be caught in the dungeons. He should probably have used his invisibility cloak, but things had been on his mind this morning. Eventually he reached neutral ground; no-one looked at him strangely as he joined the crowd of people making their way to breakfast. Smiling his thanks to the Hufflepuff who held open the door for him, Harry entered the Great Hall and instead of immediately looking for his friends, his gaze swung to the teachers table. Harry breathed a sigh of relief as he saw the dark figure of Severus sitting there, scowling as always. There was the briefest of exchanged looks before Severus glowered at him, and Harry had to try hard not to smile. There was a faint twitch around Severus's pale lips in return, before the man returned to his drink. Harry walked towards the Gryffindor table, his stomach flopping uncomfortably as Ron looked up. "Surprised to see you up so early." Harry offered the first olive branch. "Couldn't sleep that well. It lonely not having you in the dorm." Ron smiled and gestured the seat in front of him with his hand. Harry grinned in return, and sat, pulling some pieces of toast nearer. The Hall was still relatively empty; lessons were not due to start for another forty minutes at least. "Harry?" Ron's whispered voice caught his attention, and he leaned across the table to hear his friend better. "I'm sorry you knowabout not being a good friend and all" A pink tinge blushed across Ron's cheeks. "I'm sorry too. For keeping secrets and stuff."

"So you up for a bit of flying later? It's been ages since we had a team meeting and wellI'm worried I'm getting a little rusty." Harry took a bite of his toast, chewing thoughtfully. "Sure, sounds good. I should probably book the pitch for a training session; I'll talk to Madame Hooch in-between classes and organize something. Could you possibly let the others on the team know?" "Know what?" Ginny's voice floated down to him. "Harry's talking about scheduling a training session." Ron told his sister, through a mouthful of breakfast. Ginny pulled a face at her brother's eating habits and sat next to Harry. "It's about time, it's been ages since we had a proper session." Ginny studied the food that was presented before her. Harry chuckled at her approach. The girl held no punches. He carried on eating his breakfast, just enjoying the peaceful morning atmosphere with his friends. He suspected the Headmaster would be calling on him soon, to discuss what happened with Malfoy and Harry knew that this peace wouldn't last much longer. When Hermione sat beside him, he gave her a smile and passed her the juice, and watched the interaction between his two best friends. How much longer would it take? He thought to himself. Harry wanted to see his friends together and happy. It made his burden easier to bear if he knew the people he was leaving behind would survive. Harry had no intentions of returning in the next school year. People might have pegged him as dense, but he knew things were changing around him. He knew what he had to do and he wasn't helping anyone by being in school. His plans had been a little foiled by his current state of affairs with Severus and Harry wasn't sure how he could deal with it. He knew Severus was a spy and that he would have to stay in the castle for both Dumbledore's and Voldemort's sake. It put there tentative bond at a risk, and Harry didn't even know if he could leave Severus and Artemis for that long. Perhaps the werewolf could seek him out, wherever he might be in the future. "So what do you say Harry?" He suddenly heard Ginny say. "About what?" "Oh honestly Harry do try and listen." Hermione scolded him, and it was only now that Harry noticed he had a small audience looking him, now also involving Neville, Seamus and Dean. "Sorry guys, I've only just got out of the infirmary." Harry drank from his goblet to hide his blush. "What was the question?" "Ginny has been asking about the possibility of us restarting the DA. There are quite a few of us that wish to carry on with you Harry." Dean allowed Ginny to lean into his shoulder.

Harry frowned at what he saw before him. Were they a couple? He kept missing out on everything around him. "Restarting the DA?" Harry asked himself. He'd never really given it much thought. It had been fun teaching his friends to defend themselves, and it might give him peace of mind to know that the ones he cared about stood a fighting chance in the war that was eventually going to occur. As he opened his mouth to answer, the bell signalling the start of lessons began to ring and the students started to move. "Come find me later Ginny, and we'll discuss who's interested and how we can make it happen." Harry told the young witch with a smile, suppressing a giggle as he saw her blush. "Oh Ron-won!" Shudders fluttered across Harry's skin and he allowed Hermione to pull him forcefully from the hall. Walking down to Herbology; Hermione pointedly ignoring Lavender, Harry allowed himself to enjoy the sounds of the Scottish morning, until it was broken by the irritating sound of Malfoy's voice. He waited to feel the effects of the bond, forcing him to stay away from the blond ferret, but nothing happened. Intrigued Harry moved closer and still he felt nothing. The slytherin had his back turned to Harry and hadn't noticed his arrival. He tried to think of a low level jinx that could be cast to test his theory. The jelly leg curse seemed innocent enough, and Harry concealed his wand within his robe so not to be caught. Doubting his magic could even work against the boy, Harry was surprised to see the arrogant slytherin crash to the floor in horror. Malfoy looked around and locked eyes with him. Harry smirked, readying himself for a fight. It was time for payback. Despite the obvious anger the blond boy was showing, he simply turned and ignored them. Hermione looked at Harry, having watched everything. "I thought you couldn't go anywhere near Malfoy?" Hermione hissed quietly. "I couldn't before. Something's changed!" Harry whispered back. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP "Ah Remus! It's good to see you." Albus warmly shook the werewolf's hand, gesturing that he sit in front of his desk. "Can I offer you some tea? Or perhaps something stronger?" "It all depends on what you have to tell me Albus, your call only indicated it was about Harry." Remus sat in the designated chair, his usual kind face pinched with worry. "Ah yes, sorry I could not be more specific, but as you are well aware, you never know who else is listening. Harry got into a minor mishap and spent the night in the Hospital wing." "Better make it something stronger than." Remus sighed. "Is Harry alright?" "Yes," He pressed a tumbler of fire whisky into the man's hand. The Headmaster sat and gazed at his old student. Remus was in better health since his bonding with Tonks, a clear

testament to the wondrous powers of a healthy bond. Albus sipped his own liquor thoughtfully. There were many things that he had done that he wasn't proud of, and a great deal of those involved Harry. Should he tell Remus himself about Harry's new status as a werewolf mate? Surely as the boy's new unofficial Godfather, Remus had the right to know. Yet Albus did not want to deprive Harry of the chance to speak for himself. Then there was the bonding itself. Albus downed his fire whisky in a quick mouthful. He had been aware that Harry was listening in on the conversation involving him and Severus, he was no fool. He had no wish to terminate their new found relationship, but if Severus was going to carry on with this charade then Albus had no choice. The old man knew of how Severus felt towards the boy. He had seen the man grow from feelings of hatred to a mutual understanding, and that was before he had been a werewolf. It had shocked him to learn of Artemis's intentions and it confirmed what he already knew. He had suspected Severus of feeling attracted to the boy, yet he wasn't completely sure if they could grow into feelings of love. Harry on the other hand was a different matter. Albus had no idea that the young man was gay, and he doubted that even Harry himself knew. With the world the way it was at the moment, Albus doubted the boy even had time to figure it out for himself. It had taken a dark creature to see past complex emotions and give Harry what he clearly wanted. "Are you going to tell me then?" Remus interrupted him from his thoughts. "Harry was involved with a dispute concerning Draco Malfoy. It seems the two got into a fight and Harry came off worse for wear." Albus didn't see the need to tell him it was by an unforgivable curse, the less people knew the better. How could he explain that he needed to keep Draco here, where he could see him. The student should have been expelled and imprisoned in Azkaban for that matter. Albus couldn't punish Draco for his actions, he trusted Severus to deal with the boy on that matter, and he doubted Tom would let it go unpunished. Remus narrowed his eyes, before placing his glass on the desk half empty. "I don't mean to sound disrespectful Albus, but there isn't a chance in hell that Harry would come off worse in a fight then Draco Malfoy. The boy has fought against You-Know-Who and lived." Albus sighed and leant back in his chair. Remus always was too intelligent for his own good. "Harry is safe within the castle, and he has recovered well. If you want further details you'll need to speak with him directly." Remus deserved to know, but Harry needed to be the one to tell him, Albus didn't want to meddle much further into the boy's life. Remus could tell something was happening, Albus could read the man's thoughts like an open book. "Would it be alright then Headmaster if I stayed at Hogwarts for a few days? The full moon is tomorrow and I would like to spend some time with Harry before then." Albus nodded, "The usual guest quarters you stay in will be adequate I assume?"

"They will do nicely thank you." Remus stood to leave. "Thank you for letting me know, about Harry I mean." The man hesitated before leaving. "Was there something else Remus?" Albus had already guessed, he had seen the nostrils flare. "Is there another werewolf on the grounds Albus?" Albus nodded. "Than perhaps I will be leaving tonight after allare you sure it is safe? For the students?" "I have as much faith in him as I did in you. If you feel it is best that you leave tonight, then you must do what you think is wise. However the room is always ready for you. Lunch will be served shortly, why don't you try and find Harry then?" Albus watched as the man nodded and left him alone in his room. Albus really didn't try to meddle too much, but if opportunity arosewho was he to let it slip by? He just hoped Harry would eventually attain some happiness. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus had decided not to wake up Harry when he got up for the morning. His mate needed rest; they would be able to talk at some point. It was the day of the full moon which meant there talk might be postponed for a while, but Severus could wait, he was a patient man. When he sat for breakfast, the first thing he noticed was Draco watching him like a hawk. He needed to be careful, the boy was a bigger liability then he had first thought. Sipping his hot coffee he saw that Albus was also keeping an eye on him. He needed to report back as to what happened yesterday and also on how Harry was doing. Severus was in no mood to speak to the old wizard now however. Severus knew when Harry entered the Great Hall, feeling a sort of foreign pleasure at the simple act of the boy walking in. Seeing the look of worry on his young mate's face, Severus frowned. It was worry for him. Artemis made a contended noise in their shared mind and settled back down. Under the pretence of drinking his coffee he observed Harry speaking with his friends, admiring the way his mate held himself. He was small for his age and a little underweight, yet his robes showed his toned body perfectly. Severus had seen that body first hand, true his boxers had still been on, but he would be the only one to see Harry like that. His hands sweated a little as Severus continued to observe Harry, inserting images of their last time together. Who would have thought that a skinny little eleven year old would mature into someone he found desirable? True none of his bed partners had been what Severus dubbed unattractive, however Harry was breathtaking. Just thinking about the eventuality of having that lithe, toned body writhing under his, with green eyes saturated by lust, rosebud lips parted with the murmur of his nameWell it was

enough to make Severus serious contemplate putting the boy in detention for the day, with Severus to oversee it of course. Strange how a few months ago Severus was doing everything in his power to avoid the boy, and ignore the attraction. Now his thoughts were filled with completing the bond. Within his stomach a slow heat burned which could not be extinguished until he had claimed the boy as his own. Truly he was as blind as Dumbledore thought, if Artemis had not made him see what Harry could be, and then Severus would have ignored his lust forever. There was a small knot of Gryffindor's pushing Harry for an answer to something and Severus felt yet another tendril of rage as he saw the female weasel converse with Harry. She wanted him, there was no doubt about it, Severus could see by her body language, let alone the Hogwarts gossip that she liked Harry. Unlike the Ravenclaw Miss Chang Severus felt himself grow more concerned over this contender. The girl was pretty in her own way and a fiery red head, just as Lily had been. She was also a Gryffindor, therefore sharing the same ideals of that idiotic house. Harry might have been attracted to Severus now, but that didn't mean he was adverse to the female form. Especially a Weasley. Artemis didn't approve of the girl either, which only made Severus feel worse about their interactions. When the bell sounded, it gave him the perfect reason to stop harming himself with 'what if's'? HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry had told his friends to go ahead while he sought out Madam Hooch. With everything that was happening in his life recently, he had totally neglected other aspects of his life. Qudditch, friends and lessons. He had been so consumed by Artemis and what Severus had thought of him. Trivial things aside, what about his prophecy? Dumbledore had mentioned meeting Voldemort a long time ago, and nothing had happened. Madam Hooch wasn't by the pitch or the storing shed for supplies. When his stomach growled he realized that she might be at lunch along with everybody else. He would find her later and start taking an interest in his team. As he walked back to the castle he thought about the name Hermione had given his animagus form. It had grown on him, but it had also brought back memories of Snuffles. The noon day sun was warm and Harry slowed his pace, enjoying the warmth. He wished Sirius was here. A smiled crept across his face as he thought about the explosive reaction his Godfather would have to his bonding. Despite that, Harry missed having someone impartial to talk to about things. An older influence in his life might have helped sort the mess it was in. It would have also helped to have a person to speak to about his role concerning Voldemort. When speaking to Dumbledore, Harry felt like he was continually being accessed as to his readiness to kill the deranged wizard. Hagrid's hut was visible in the distance and he made a mental note to visit his giant friend, maybe later after lessons. He really needed to get his life into order. Getting nearer to the

castle, he noticed a familiar brown haired wizard, his steps increased in sped as the man recognized him. Remus looked the same shabby self, but Harry was happy to see him. He allowed the man to pull him into a tight hug, smelling the familiar scent of musky earth that the werewolf always seemed to smell of. "Harry it's good to see you. How are you feeling?" Remus pulled back, holding Harry at arms length, brown eyes seeking out vulnerabilities. Harry remembered that he had been in the hospital wing the day before. "Better thank you ProfessorI mean Remus," he added at the man's raised eyebrows. "Sorry old habit." Harry did some studying of his own. Wavy brown hair seemed in better condition then when he saw him at Christmas. Tonks was clearly good for him. Warm mahogany eyes didn't seem to have the same weary look to them anymore. Remus's nostrils flared and Harry remembered that it was the full moon tonight, and the Werewolf's sense of smell would be heightened. Harry wished he knew enough about werewolves to understand if this was going to be a problem or not. He needed to tell Remus about his new status, he didn't want the man to find out just by looking at him. Besides, would Artemis even share his territory with Remus? "Something's different about you." Remus told him, finally letting go. Harry drew in a breath; debating if now was the time to tell him. If the older man was staying at Hogwarts he would eventually run into Artemis, and Harry couldn't see Severus agreeing to Harry telling Remus about his condition. "You smell of werewolf." Remus finally concluded a slight bite to his voice. He turned to look at the castle. "I can see why Albus wanted me to speak with you." Harry forgot that he might smell of Severus, he was after all living in the man's quarters. Remus seemed to sense something and spun on his heel. Wide eyes Harry jogged after him. Remus strode up the stairs, robes billowing in a Snape like fashion. "Remus wait, I'll tell you, don't do this!" Harry tried to clutch at the man's robes, but Remus had already opened the doors to the Great Hall. A few students looked towards them, the older students recognising Lupin from his teaching days. Their faces brightened, but Remus wasn't paying attention, his eyes were narrowed in fury until he clasped eyes with the dark ones of his mate. "I think you'd better talk to me Harry." Remus glared nastily up at the Potion's teacher and Severus narrowed his eyes dangerously in response, his gaze shifting from Remus and back to Harry. Harry allowed Remus to pull him away, the hand around the back of his throat heavy. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Artemis had been the first to realize Lupin was lurking around Hogwarts. Severus had been in the middle of teaching his third year Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff when he was made aware.

The idea that another werewolf would dare approach his territory was making Artemis edgy, the fact that it was Lupin made Severus nervous. Thankfully the class had been in its final stages of brewing and he could kick them out shortly, it also gave him the chance to brood. What possible reason could there be for Lupin's presence at Hogwarts? Order meetings took place at the Black family residence, and Severus saw no reason why Albus would need to see the man. Could it be a mission regarding the werewolves Voldemort was recruiting? Artemis had growled at his lack of intelligence, thinking of a picture of their green eyed partner. Oh of course, Lupin had taken on the parental role in Harry's life after all. Neither the man nor the werewolf liked it though. There seemed to be an element of meddling behind his visit. It just happened to coincide with the occasion of a full moon? While Artemis was at his strongest, and the protective instincts heightened? Severus was having to battle against Artemis wanting to take control of their body and seek out Harry. (Keep mate protected.) Was all the wolf kept saying in that growling tone of his. The beast wouldn't listen to reason that Lupin thought of Harry as family, even when Severus tried to explain it in terms the wolf would understand. Telling Artemis that Lupin thought of Harry as his cub only enraged Artemis further. Their mate needed no one but them. Artemis had been snarling for the remainder of the morning, already preparing to battle with the inferior werewolf over a potential mate. Severus doubted Lupin wanted Harry in that way, but the small insecure part of him began to wonder if Lupin's wolf could see in Harry what Artemis saw. That train of thinking wasn't helping Artemis. Lupin grabbing the back of Harry's throat possessively when they finally saw each other at lunch hadn't helped Severus either. Books Harry Potter

The Curse of Artemis Author: Shortsnout PM The werewolf within Severus Snape has located a mate worthy of its magnificence, Harry Potter. The problem is Severus would rather be held under the cruciatus curse. Forced into bonding, they struggle to fight their desire towards each other, and eventually their feelings. Follow/FavoriteRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Harry P. & Severus S. - Chapters: 33 - Words: 174,401 Reviews: 849 - Favs: 851 - Follows: 1,257 - Updated: 08-29-13 - Published: 10-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6415023

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15. Chapter 15

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Chapter 15 Hi everyone, thank you so much for everybody's well wishes regarding my marriage, it was very touching to have so many people wishing me well. Thank you to puzzle me this for Beta reading. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP "I think you'd better explain." Remus shut the door to his borrowed quarters behind Harry, leaving the boy standing in the entryway. Harry wrung his hands and entered the room, noticing the claw marks etched into the floors and walls. The living room was minimal, and he could smell the fresh air escaping one of the smaller doors in the wall. "Is this where you used to come? When you were a student I mean?" Remus followed Harry's line of vision and nodded. "It has direct access onto the grounds, less chance of hurting someone that way. Come sit." Remus settled into an old arm chair beside the empty fire place, ignoring the way the fabric was ripped into strips, and that springs had escaped their confines. Feeling younger than his years, Harry had to purposely pick his feet up to stop them from dragging and sat opposite his old professor in an equally destroyed sofa. He watched as the werewolf rubbed his temples, an act he had seen the man perform when he used to have a particularly trying class. "I'm sorry that I didn't tell you Remus." He told him softly. Remus looked up, eyes more amber than brown and sighed. "How about you start at the beginning Harry, then we can go from there." "A few months before Christmas I was out on the Hogwarts grounds after curfew to think about things. Romilda Vane kept trying to poison me with love potions, I was upset about Sirius's death and I was a total mess Remus." Harry noticed the tightening around the man's eyes at the mention of his best friend, but he didn't stop Harry from speaking. "Feeling sorry for myself, I didn't notice Artemis until he was right in front of me." "Artemis would be?" "The werewolf. He didn't try to attack me, he just sat there, studying me. After a time I moved closer to him and he reminded sitting. I remember thinking how large he was, because he was almost twice as big as you were. I sat there the whole night talking with the creature and he listened to me Remus, truly listened! Without judgement or any advice about what I, The- Boy- Who- Lived should be doing." "That wasn't hard considering he couldn't speak back to you Harry." Remus snapped irritably.

Harry looked down at his knees feeling stupid. "I apologize Harry; I'm trying to understand why this led you into getting bonded with the creature. Could you not speak to Hermione or Ron, or even me for that matter?" "And who truly understands?" Harry's temper flared. "Ron who gets jealous every time something new happens to me? Hermione is a loyal friend yes, but speaking about your desire to want someone to love you and accept you isn't an easy topic to bring up. You Remus, you've always been hard to contact, even when Sirius was still alive." Harry ground out furiously. "No one can understand what its like to have people around you die, to watch people at night time being tortured. I'm supposed to survive through it all and still carry on with a normal life? How am I supposed to have a normal life when I'm the only one who can kill him Remus?" He stood and began pacing the floor. "Harry we all care for you because of who you are, not because of some damn prophecy you're meant to fulfil. No it's not fair that you have to bear it alone, but it's not fair on all those who have given up their lives to stop Voldemort from taking over. We all have our part to play Harry, and this just happens to be yours." Harry stopped pacing and looked at the man. It was the sternest he had seen Remus in all the time he had known him and it calmed him for some reason. He sat back down. "I didn't know Artemis was Snape, all I knew was about this werewolf law and I somehow had to save the creature. I can't explain it, but something drew me to Artemis, it didn't matter who the person was inside. I could already feel a bond tying me to him." "Strangely enough, I do know what you mean." Remus told him with a hint of a smile. "I learnt to become an Animagus after Christmas, so I could communicate with the wolf. I didn't know who the human was to warn him so this seemed like the only way." "You say learnt like its some casual test you revised for." Remus rested his head on his hand, sighing deeply. "It took your father and Sirius months to learn to master that kind of magic and they were both talented Wizards. Still I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, your magic is greater then most. Can I see?" Harry rose and morphed into his wolf form, wagging his tail at Remus. "Your patronus changed as well I assume?" Remus got up from the chair and walked a full circle around the grey wolf. Harry allowed his mouth to be opened so Remus could inspect his teeth, and he didn't flinch when the man ran a heavy hand down his back. "Congratulations Harry, it's a perfect transformation. We always knew your scar would give you away." Remus ran his fingers through the black tuft of hair on his forehead. "This suits you better than a stag I think." Remus sat in his chair and Harry transformed back. "Now I could communicate with Artemis I tried to warn him, but he already knew what was happening. Snape still hid himself from me and it wasn't till the morning after I realized it was him." "Your sense of smell would have sharpened." Remus nodded thoughtfully. "I approached Snape about the offer to bond to save Artemis' life. He was reluctant at first, but he did accept on some conditions."

"Such as?" "I wasn't allowed to go near Malfoy, even if he attacked me first. I was to sleep on the couch in the living room, and I wasn't allowed to bring any of my friends down to his chambers." "The plot thickens I see. Which is why you were in the infirmary the other day? You would have been unable to attack Malfoy back, leaving you vulnerable to his attack." Remus answered his own question. Both sat in silence for a few moments, only interrupted by the bell signalling the start of afternoon lessons. Harry fidgeted, unsure if he should leave or stay. "I'm sure Albus won't mind me keeping you, although be sure to catch up on your lessons." "You should have been a Ravenclaw Remus." Harry grinned. "So I've been informed many a time. Carry on with your story." "Snape agreed to do the bonding, even though he told me he and Artemis were separate beings and Dumbledore agreed to do the ceremony." "Did anyone inform you of what it entailed? Or did you even look it up before you rushed into this decision?" "No." Harry answered after a painful silence. "I remember Dumbledore was furious at Snape afterwards and he told him to explain everything to me." "Did he?" "Well no, but I did go look it up in the library afterwards, and Hermione helped me understand some things about the bonding." "Such as if you don't complete the bond your magic starts to suffer? Alright Harry I think I've heard enough." "Wait Remus you don't understand, things have changed since then. Snape told me he couldn't be intimate with me because of his morals and I respected him. We have grown closer since then, he even offered to terminate the bond because it was affecting me, and he's released me from my promise about Malfoy." "That's because Severus Snape is the best manipulator in the wizarding world! He tricked you Harry into saving his own skin and then he doesn't even fulfil the bond." Remus snarled into the air. "We are not separate beings from our wolves Harry; they are as much a part of us as we are of it. They are dangerous creatures that will stop at nothing to survive." "That's not true! Artemis isn't like that!" Harry raised his own voice. "Harry you have to believe me, who knows better than I?" "Then why did you bond with Tonks then?" Harry asked sarcastically.

"Because I loved her, I always have done. The fact that the werewolf accepted her as well made it possible for me to save my life." "Is Tonks your mate?" Harry asked. "No, but she is acceptable. The wolf wants to survive Harry so it allowed itself to be bonded." "You're saying that both Snape and Artemis just wanted to survive?" Harry growled out dangerously. "I'm saying it could be possible that Snape had an attraction to you and the werewolf wanted to survive. Or perhaps the wolf saw something in you and that's what you responded to." "You just said you weren't separate beings, now you're saying this?" Harry clenched his fists in frustration. "We're not. It's hard to explain." Remus thought for a few moments. "Let me explain it this way. The werewolf can control my body and take over every full moon, but in between time I control my own body. We are one combined being, but we can still think separately. We are both different sides of the same coin, making one full person." "That still doesn't make sense, but whatever." "Harry I know you need to save everyone and that you believe there is good in all, but I honestly believe Severus Snape is using you to save his own skin and that want would have transferred over to Artemis as well. It had nothing to do with attraction or love." Harry sat deflated on the couch. "There is something between me and Artemis, I know it." Harry tried to reassure himself. "I am surprised that Artemis did not attempt to bite you. It is within our nature to infect as many people as possible. It is only through wolfsbane that I myself am able to kerb this particular desire." "Why are you so against me saving him?" "Because Harry, Severus Snape might not be acting in your best interests. He left you vulnerable to Draco Malfoy and he is harming you now. I always thought that you would end up with someone like Ginny." Remus looked liked he suddenly had a brain wave. "Do you want to be with an older man because you are missing this from your life?" "No Remus." Harry could feel his face scrunch up in disgust. "I honestly believe Dumbledore when he trusts in Snape. The man is a manipulative bastard and he certainly doesn't win any brownie points for his sunny disposition, but he is someone worth saving to me. We cannot understand what courage it takes to play on both sides to help us win this war. I don't know what made him switch from Voldemort to us, but something did and that must have taken guts."

Harry waited for the explosion to once again come from Remus but the man was silent. "I hadn't thought of that." Remus finally concluded, and Harry had the distinct impression that the man was speaking about something else. "I'm sorry for getting angry Harry, but I more than anyone understand what its like to be stuck with a werewolf. It's not something I wish for you. How I wish that the world was different and you could enjoy Hogwarts in safety, perhaps dating a few people before being forced into something for the rest of your life." "But life isn't like that Remus." "No it isn't Harry. But you had family here all along; you didn't need to go make your own. Hermione and Ron are both different in their maturity, yet I have no doubt either own would sacrifice there life for you as would many others." Remus raised his hand to stop Harry's outbursts. "That's what families do Harry. As much as I would like to terminate your bond with someone much older than you, it is done and I'm sure Albus had his reasons for it." Harry didn't miss the way Remus snarled the word "Albus" with scorn. Remus might be trying to understand for Harry's sake, but the boy knew it was all an act. Remus didn't approve of his bond, and Harry tried to understand that from the man's perspective. "I will stay at Hogwarts for a while longer, it is unsafe for me to travel tonight and we need to discuss this matter further. For now, let us have some space and resume this conversation with clearer heads at a different time." Remus stood and gestured to the door. Harry knew when he was being dismissed and happily got up to leave. "Remus, I am sorry I didn't tell you." He tried once again to smooth over their argument. "I believe you." HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Severus had been lurking around Lupin's quarters for what felt like hours. Another teacher could cover his lesson for the afternoon; it wasn't as if this was a regular occurrence. Knowing Albus, he had orchestrated this whole event and some other teacher had already been informed of his absence. With the moon full tonight it was taking every bit of his will power not to storm in and snatch Harry away. He didn't trust Lupin, he never had done and Artemis being territorial only made matters worse. What was Albus doing bringing another werewolf here this close to their night of changing? Had the old man finally lost it? First he approved of the bonding, and then he was talking about breaking it and now this? What was he trying to make Severus do? Every now and then he could hear snatches of their conversation. He could smell Lupin's growing anger and his attempts to hide it as to not scare his young mate. Severus could just picture the two of them, Lupin trying desperately to convince Harry to leave him, that he was just using him. Severus cursed everyone for forcing his hand in this, he and Harry were taking their new relationship slowly, both delicately addressing new emotions as and when they turned up. Then this happened! Artemis was furious at him for not completing the bond. Harry could still be taken away from him by another, less superior wolf and Severus would have no one

to blame but himself. Severus had tried to reassure Artemis that Lupin was already bonded, until the wolf had pointed out in return the enormous benefit someone like Harry had. The boy was attractive and young, his magic unlike any other. It would be like a flame to other creatures, regardless if they were mated or not. Severus thought the wolf might be over reacting but Artemis was still agitated. There would be a fight tonight. The door suddenly swung open and Severus melted into the shadows, watching as his young mate left the room. Lupin watched as he went and it was only when Harry was gone, did he turn in Severus' direction, eyes flashing with barely concealed rage of both man and beast. Severus had no time for this; he rounded the corner and easily caught up to where his young mate was dawdling. In true intimidating fashion, Severus swooped down and grabbed his mate by the elbow, effortlessly propelling him down towards the dungeons. His mate struggled for a few moments before realising who it was, and allowed himself to be led to their quarters. If anyone had seen them it would have looked like the nasty sadistic Potions teacher was escorting Harry Potter to his office for a stern lecture. Thankfully they encountered no one and Severus pushed the boy gently into their rooms. "What happened?" Severus barked, harsher then intended. "Nothing, Remus came to visit me and we talked." The boy's defences were immediately up because of the way Severus was talking to him, but Severus had no time to placate him. "Another werewolf came all this way just to talk with you?" Severus asked angrily, closing in on Harry's personal space. Was it the man talking or the beast? It felt like both parts of him had finally and fully come together in anger. It wasn't supposed to be like this. "He came to visit me because I was in the Hospital wing. He's the only guardian figure I have left, and he was concerned because I was injured, which I might add, wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for you." Severus pushed Harry forcefully up against the wall. "Do I not protect you now? Everything I have done has been for your own good, your own safety. You dare infer that the lower creature is better for you than me?" Severus snarled. "Why though? Because your werewolf saw me as a ticket to freedom? Because you yourself saw me as a way to repent for your sins? If Harry Potter bonded with you then no one would even dare question your motives!" Severus fought against the rage he was feeling. How dare this boy show him such disrespect! Could he be that unsatisfied with him as a mate that he had to seek out a wolf such as Lupin? He grabbed the boy by the robes at the front of his neck, sliding him up the cold concrete wall so they were face to face. Harry's eyes were narrowed defiantly, no trace of fear on his face. Severus ignored the sudden proud feeling that surfaced and concentrated at the task at hand. "I bonded with you because I, Severus Snape wanted to, Artemis be damned!" Ignoring the shock that this

piece of information had on the boy, Severus placed his leg in between Harry's to hold him into place, before kissing him forcefully. The boy was not going to run this time; he was trapped and ready for the taking. Severus had waited to long and he was not going to be denied any longer. Lips were eagerly mashed together, painfully as their want got stronger. Harry broke away first, hitting his head on the stone wall as he breathed out a moan. Severus wrapped the boy's legs around his waist before ripping open the front of Harry's robes. Severus attacked with fervour, leaving bite marks all along the tanned column of Harry's throat. Harry let out a wanton moan, eyes firmly shut as he pushed his body into the willing hands of Severus. With one hand wrapped around the boy's thighs to keep him in place, his leg acting as a place to sit, allowed Severus to have one hand free to explore the tender flesh that was Harry. There was no delicate mapping; no tentative touches to reassure his mate, Severus' long fingers went straight to the dusky pink nipple, toying with it expertly. Harry let out a sound halfway between a whine and a protest and Severus could see the boy was coming back to his senses. Severus pushed his thin lips against Harry's own, thrusting his tongue past the tight lips and into the confines of his mouth. Harry tried to turn his head away in protest, but Severus merely growled and reclaimed his treasure. Gradually Harry succumbed once more and Severus used this time to remove Harry's trousers and boxer shorts. In dismay the boy shook his head, a ruby flush straining his cheeks in his embarrassment. "You are my mate, and I have waited too long." Severus growled huskily, unsure as to which part of him was talking. He spread the muscled thighs open, allowing his knuckles to brush past Harry's swollen member. Somewhere deep inside his subconscious part of Severus was screaming, that this was too quick that the boy was not adequately prepared, that this ultimately was wrong. However the voice was minuscule and in no way impacted on what Severus was doing. A deep roaring was louder, filling Severus's muscles and setting his blood on fire. Without being fully aware of it, he had penetrated Harry and for the first time they were truly joined. The boy's head was resting on his shoulder, his arms wrapped around Severus' muscled shoulders for support. He was muttering in-between his pants for breath and Severus could just make out his mate's plea for him to move. Slowly at first due to his mate's body being unaccustomed to the intrusion rather than any gentleness on Severus' part, he moved within Harry's body. After a few thrust's, Harry relaxed and Severus was finally able to move at the speed and force he wanted, growling with approval when Harry moaned out loud. Harry rested his head against Severus' neck, his hands embedded within the dark hair of the older man. In turn Severus placed his own mouth against the salty skin of Harry's own neck, biting the skin there. He could feel the tightening of Harry's legs around his waist and the small shudders that danced across his arms. His mate was close, as was he.

After a few seconds Harry became taught as a bowstring, his back arching as his impending orgasm approached. Severus increased his speed, ploughing into Harry's body with wild abandon. Both could feel their magic's twin closer together, purple curling itself around gold as their bond strengthened itself. Across the bond they could feel phantom traces of the others pleasure which spurred them even faster into orgasm. Harry was the first to break, flinging himself from the wall, bearing his full weight on Severus' hips. Severus had never felt this close to another being; Harry was simply another extension of himself, a perfect powerful being that belonged to him. His for all eternity. The thought that he alone would have access to a body as flawless and as willing as this had him exploding into orgasm. Their frenzied coupling had only lasted a few minutes at the most, yet Severus had never felt such intense gratification such as this. All that could be heard within the darkness of Severus Snape's living room was the shuddering breaths of both men trying to catch their breath. Harry was the first to move, his legs struggling to hold his weight. It was only at this movement that Severus had realized what he had done. He peeled his mate's legs away from him, trying to ignore the copper smell of blood that filled the small space between them. What had he done? Tucking himself away in his robes, he rapidly stepped away from the boy, who was now using his arms to prop himself up against the wall. His green eyes were wide with what? Accusation, mistrust? Severus was a monster. A sick despicable monster, who had no right to live, he had basically taken Harry against his will, a young man who was beginning to trust him. Artemis snarled within his head, Harry had been more than willing, the wolf argued, and it was about time they consummated their bond. As if sensing Severus' internal conflict, Harry raised a hand towards the man, attempting to stand on shaky legs. "Severus?" "No don't Harrywhat happenedwhat I did!" For once words escaped Severus. The image before him of a young man lips and neck bruised was beginning to torture him. "Severus I wanted it as well." Harry's voice was raspy from his cries of pleasure, but his eyes were firm. Even if the boy had wanted it, Severus should have done more, prepared the boy more. This was his first and last time with anyone. As a human being he deserved more, as his mate Harry deserved his first time to be special at least. Severus looked down at his hands, which he only noticed now were trembling. He could feel it rising in the sky, and it had to be now at the worst possible time. "Severus?" Harry moved towards him slowly, clearly in pain only to be firmly pushed away by the man. He ignored the fear and hurt that was evident by Harry's body language and propelled himself far away from his mate as possible. Severus could feel himself slipping

away as Artemis took control for the night and he could feel himself fighting against angry tears. Across from him in obvious pain and fear of him was Harry, while he had to spend the night locked away, unable to reassure him. His body was forcibly pushed to the floor by some invisible hand, causing him to adopt a hand and knee position. His back burned with the molten pain he was becoming accustomed to every month, limbs burning as fire replaced blood. Faintly he could hear Harry calling his name, cool hands upon his heated flesh, and once again Severus pushed him away with force. Could the boy not sense how dangerous this was for him? Robes now split open, revealing his pale skin now covered with soft black fur, which was growing at an alarming rate. Bones cracked, the sound echoing across the living room, claws now making their presence known across the concrete floor. Severus felt himself being forced further and further into the recesses of their combined mind, unable to do anything but merely watch through the amber of Artemis' eye. Transformation complete, Severus could do nothing to right what had transpired between the two of them and Artemis for the first time was not interested in Harry. A powerful challenging howl was heard by all of them in the dungeons, and Artemis gnashed his teeth together in irritation. Pushing past Harry, with only a cursory glance to check his mate was not injured, the werewolf left the dungeon. HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP Harry watched painfully from his position on the bare living room floor, his body aching all over. He had barely had time to recover before he and Severus had been at it like rabbits. His cheeks felt warm as he thought about what had happened a few moments ago. It wasn't as though he regretted it, he had always thought his first time might have been a bit moregentle. It had been perfect and intense. Harry had no idea sex could feel like that. He was a virgin yes, but he had an idea what it might have been like. He pulled himself up onto the sofa to lay back and rest. The best moment had of course been when Severus admitted to him finally that he had also wanted to bond with him, and it wasn't just the wolf in him that made him do it. In a daze he began to button up his robe, as the chill from the dungeon was starting to leave goose bumps on his skin. Hopefully his magic would now right itself and he would be able to go back to the way he was before. Without feeling lethargic and having spells backfire on him, and if Malfoy ever thought about attacking him again, well Harry would be ready. Harry felt different in a way. The bond had always been there, lurking about in the back of his mind, now it was more prominent but not intrusive, he could feel extra magic within his body, ready for use at his command. Perhaps like his friends had suggested he could carry on teaching the DA. He felt like he had infinite magic to spare, and Harry was sure that Severus would be able to feel the same. At the mention of the man's name, he felt a goofy smile threaten to split his face. He might have been a powerful Wizard, and one destined for

great things at that, but at the moment Harry Potter was extremely happy to feel like he finally belonged to someone. He laughed aloud into the empty room, wondering what people would think of him if they knew. Harry had known that Remus was wrong about his bond with Severus. Alarmed Harry suddenly sat bolt upright, ignoring the painful twinges that shot down his body. Remus! Harry had thought it strange that Artemis had left without waiting for him, Harry had thought that the werewolf was going out first to let him recover with the intent that they would meet up later. How had Harry forgotten that there was another werewolf on the grounds tonight, he had even heard him howl for Merlin's sake! Harry pulled himself onto the floor, trying not to faint with exhaustion, and stood. There was no way that either Artemis or Remus would be civil to each other, both were angry with the other and they would fight. Fighting the rising panic, and he bile that was trying to creep up into his throat, Harry left the dungeons. He had to stop them. He wouldn't be responsible for either one of them getting hurt, and Harry knew that Artemis wouldn't stop because he felt threatened. Remus was just as angry at Artemis. Harry walked down the corridor, wincing with every step. He was in agony, his body wanting him to stop and rest, his willpower the only thing making him carry on. His imaginings were terrifying, the images of Artemis ripping out Remus' throat, or even the brown werewolf hurting his mate was enough to spur Harry on. Eventually Harry reached the grounds, drawing on his magic as a source of energy. The grounds were empty, but the forbidden forest was thrumming with energy, as if the inhabitants were agitated. Pulling his robes closer to himself and affirming to himself that he did indeed still have his wand on him, Harry limped into the forbidden forest. Please review: Also please check out my new blog site, the address is on my profile page!