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Chapter Twelve

Awakenings



By mid-day on Sunday it was time to awaken Snape. Albus Dumbledore was there in the kitchen at Grimmauld Place with Felicity, Sirius and Remus waiting for the appointed time. Felicity was thankful for Dumbledore’s presence. The last thing Snape needed was to see Sirius or Remus as soon as he awoke. A wizard’s war might break out. As it was, Felicity was still afraid of Snape’s anger when he found out how she’d saved his life and what it meant. Albus Dumbledore had promised to help her calm him when he got upset. She was sure that Severus Snape would not be happy being bound to her.

“I think that it’s time, my dear,” said Dumbledore kindly. He set down his mint chocolate delight drink and rose.

Felicity was sitting next to Remus. The two had been inseparable for almost three days. Remus was playing absently with her braid and wanting very much to go upstairs with her. He'd not forgotten what it did to him to see her lying in bed with Severus Snape. He was jealous of the man and didn’t like the fact that they now had some sort of life bond. She kissed him on the cheek and rose to follow Dumbledore out of the room.

Felicity felt doomed.

Upstairs, Severus was restlessly sleeping. Instead of lying on his back as he had for three days, he was on his side. It was time to wake him. Felicity did the same ritual of her thumbs to his eyelids with a snap of her fingers and he was awake.

“Severus, it’s me, Felicity,” she said soothingly. “It’s time for you to wake up. We think you’re well enough now.”

He smiled at first, as he had done for three days. She thought she’d miss his smile. “Felicity,” he said dreamily.

“I feel so much better.” He looked to Dumbledore and there was an obvious physical change as the old Snape reared his considerably more sober head. “Headmaster! The Dark Lord nearly killed me this time.”

“Yes, I know,” said Dumbledore kindly. “Felicity saved your life. She brought you to Grimmauld Place where she’s tended you for three days. We almost lost you.” He tried with the tone of his voice to convey to him the loss that would be felt were they to lose him, but Severus sat mute and stone faced.

He surprised that he was alive. He looked to Felicity, at first with his usual steely stare but something inside him had changed toward her. There were memories that were surely dreams. He'd flown on her dragon’s back, she had slept peacefully in his arms, and she had kissed him. Severus was puzzled by the warmth of feeling and sat perplexed.

Felicity looked to Dumbledore for strength. He made movements with his hands to encourage her to tell Severus the truth. She looked into Snape’s puzzled expectant eyes. “Voldemort brought you to near death because of me, Severus,” she said. “He thought that by threatening me with killing you, I would follow him, but when that didn’t work he nearly killed you because he knew I would do anything to save you.”

Suspicion clouded his eyes. He glared at Dumbledore. He sneered at her. “What did you do to me, Felicity?” he demanded.

“The blood magic was the only thing that would save you.”

Severus, having had the ambition to be the Dark Arts Defense Professor at Hogwarts for fourteen years, knew something of what she was talking about. “Is it binding?” His voice was icy.

“Because I'm a dragon woman and the dragon blood runs in my veins, you are bound to me for life. Wherever you go, whatever you do or whatever I want you to do you must do,” she said. Her throat was dry from nerves. She was sure he would explode on her. “But please know that I'm not Voldemort or a perversion, Severus. I have long years of training as a dragon. We are healers and sworn to serve and protect. I will not fail you in this bond. I am not evil. I am not your enemy. I will always honor you and be your friend.” She bowed her head to him in respect. Tears welled into her eyes. She could feel him wrestling with his emotions but was afraid to intrude on his mind.

He sat watching her, calculating his options, clicking off the good and bad points, and tallying his assets. He would be tied to this beautiful and powerful woman who the Dark Lord wanted to enslave. She had saved his life but the price had been very high. He was not only bound to the Dark Lord but now she, as well. Others imprisoned him and his freedom was gone forever. He smoldered beneath the yoke he’d been forced to bear again and again.

The recognition of the irony of his lot in life saved him the trouble of anger. Truly, with the way his luck was going, being tied to her for life would most likely mean only that they’d both be dead by the New Year. He looked to Dumbledore, who was watching him over his spectacles with an indulgent look on his face. No doubt, both he and Felicity were listening to his thoughts. He would never have a private moment again, it would seem.

“Thank you, for my life, Felicity,” he said diplomatically. “Though my life may still be over soon depending on the Dark Lord’s whims by next week. I do rather enjoy breathing.” He said no more. He would not give them the satisfaction of being angry. In truth, he wasn’t angry, merely stunned.

“Severus,” said Felicity. “I will not fail you.”

“See that you don’t,” he said pompously. “The Dark Lord is enough of a madman pulling my strings. With you in the mix, I’ll feel that I’m a frigging puppet.” He smirked at her. He knew it would make her feel better to think him unimpressed.

“Well, then,” said Dumbledore satisfied that Professor Snape was not going to explode. “Can you walk, do you think? We’ve got to be back to Hogwarts within the hour.”

Felicity stood up to help him out of bed but he slapped her hands away. “I’m perfectly capable,” he said nastily. He put his legs to the floor, testing his weight. She handed him his robes. He had been dressed while a bed in his black undershirt. He gave her a calculating look. “We are bound for life?”

She nodded.

He put on his robes never taking his eyes from her face. “I suppose that you’ll still be pestering me constantly with your silly thoughts and worries, as you’ve done the last month?”

She nodded and looked into his emotionless stare.

“So nothing much has changed then, has it?” he smirked and raised an eyebrow in mock distain. He was really rather pleased with his whole control over the situation. She seemed suitably humble and guilty, as she should be. And, indeed, he did feel very much better.

She smirked back at him.

“Stop that!” he glared at her harder. She was listening to his thoughts again. She was a sneak.

She laughed at him and he had to hold back from his first inclination to smile at her. Her damned laugh was so appealing.

“Dumbledore is watching us, Professor,” she said gaily, knowing he’d forgiven her. “He’s waiting for you.” She looked over at the Headmaster, who was trying mightily not to laugh out loud.

Snape glared at both of them and walked to the door where stood Remus having been unable to bear Felicity away from him and with Snape. He got glared at, as well. “I suppose you were here to witness the whole silly saga, Lupin?”

“I was,” said Lupin looking toward Felicity. Unlike Snape, he wore his emotions on his face. His intimacy and longing for her was palpable.

“I imagine that it was quite the opportunity for you,” said Severus meanly. He looked back a Felicity with a dry withering glance.

“We need to go now,” said Dumbledore coming up behind him and pushing, ever so slightly the Potions Professor past Lupin and down the stairs before he hexed someone or someone hexed him.

When Snape and Dumbledore were gone, Felicity and Remus stood looking at each other across the room from one another. “You couldn’t resist coming to my rescue could you, Remus?” she asked smiling seductively and flipping her braid in her fingers.

They felt mutually pulled together, somehow covering the distance between them without effort. “No, I couldn’t help it,” he said hugging her, kissing her. “I can’t stand the fact that you’re now tied to that man. Of all the men in the world, Severus Snape would be my last choice.”

She held him back from kissing her and looked seriously into his eyes. “You mustn’t be jealous, Remus,” she said with severity. “Jealousy and hatred are soul destroyers. He's not you and will never be you, but I'm bound to him and he is and will always be my friend.” She let him kiss her again because she couldn’t resist his magnetism any longer. He made her knees buckle whenever he was near.

It was even harder when she had to disapparate a few hours later to go back to Hogwarts. She’d spent three days in his arms and had no idea when they’d be able to see each other again. There was no question that she would not be able to meet with him in Hogsmeade, for the pink troglodytes’ spies could be anywhere. He couldn’t even write to her or use the floo network because she would find out about them. Dumbledore had forbid her from endangering her position. He needed her at the school to watch over the students. The school term was in full swing and the holidays seemed a long way off. Remus Lupin seemed so far away from her and she longed for him.



Things returned to the mundane at the school. She secretly watched Harry Potter and his friends as they skirted around school furtively putting together their little Defense Against the Dark Arts club. She didn’t know the particulars, but she could tell that the small band of brethren in Gryffindor House were feeling better shielded in their solidarity under Dolores Umbridge’s reign of terror within the school. She envied them that.

Felicity was dying to escape to London for a weekend to see Remus but the pink idiot seemed to constantly be watching everyone suspiciously. Any student or teacher that moved a toe from the Ministry’s line was reprimanded or bullied. There was a siege mentality throughout the school, especially amongst the teachers. All the Professors had taken to Headmaster Dumbledore’s office to complain one by one. He refused to do anything about her. Felicity just could not understand his reasoning, but he seemed to feel that her presence was needed as a distraction for the Ministry while they were guarding whatever it was that they were guarding from Voldemort.

She and Severus fell back into their previous routine. She persuaded him to let her seal the Dark Mark from Voldemort’s call until the holidays because she was afraid that he couldn’t take another lengthy bout with pain before he fully recovered.

He, in turn, had not been changed a bit by his near death experience and seemed to approach each day with new vigor for the malicious aspects of his nature. He was just as mean and spiteful toward any of the houses other than Slytherin as he’d always been. It was all she could do not to strangle him the way he terrorized the Gryffindor students.

There was a Slytherin vs. Gryffindor Quidditch match in November that Professor McGonagall and Snape seemed to be at a face-off over. To two Professors seemed to be using their rivalry as a distraction from the absurdities that they suffered under the Madame Inquisitor’s constant rules and regulations. The competition between the houses was both extreme and ridiculous. Despite her relation to Oliver Wood, she had never been a huge Quidditch fan. When Severus seemed to encourage some sort of weird song to intimidate the Gryffindor keeper, Mr. Weasley, she refused to even attend the match in protest. It was too cold and wet to bother, anyway. Quidditch was a silly game.

Everyone else had gone to the match and she wandered around in her rooms for a few minutes before she realized that she was the only teacher not interested in Quidditch. If she hurried, she could apparate from the gates of Hogwarts to Grimmauld Place to be with Remus for a few hours and no one would be the wiser. She hadn’t been allowed to speak to him for nearly a month. Professor Dumbledore had even decided that it was too suspicious for her ever to leave to attend the Order of the Phoenix meetings, as well. She’d felt isolated and alone with only the uncooperative Severus to distract her.

She snuck out the front gate and was two blocks away from Grimmauld Place within minutes. There was a light snow falling in London and the air had that heavy feel of town, so different than the clean air of Scotland. Even though it was barely two in the afternoon, it was already getting darker. She rushed up the steps of the house and let herself inside quickly. There was a stillness about the place, and it was very gloomy in the hall.

Stepping into the kitchen she found Sirius alone. He looked almost unwell and his depression seemed to fill the room. He looked up dully. There was the staleness of beer and smoke in the air and he looked like he hadn’t shaved in several days.

“Sirius,” she said. “Are you all right?” He looked up at her and smiled at first then frowned.

“Felicity, what are you doing here?” he asked standing up.

“I escaped from the Hogwarts prison guard just to see if I could see Remus for an hour or two. I haven’t seen you or he in a month and I’ve missed you.”

Sirius frowned. “Me? No one misses me,” he said sullenly sitting down.

She rushed to his side, sitting close to him and taking his face in her hands. “Sirius, is it that bad here?” she asked. “Are you trapped in a sunless place with no hope of recovery?”

“How did you know?” he asked defeated. “Is it that obvious? Mundungus Fletcher just left and I’ve been drinking beer and smelling his smoke for hours. Felicity, I want so much to run outdoors I could scream!!!” He put his head in his hands, miserable.

“I’m so sorry, Sirius,” she said. “I do know what you mean. I haven’t been able to fly as my dragon since I came to England. I’m not allowed to change out of doors. Dumbledore has forbidden it. It’s like a prison.”

He looked at her sad face, a reflection of his own. “Yes, Felicity, a prison,” he whispered. He kissed her forehead. “Remus is upstairs,” he said with a half smile. “You’ve come at the full moon, though Felicity. He’s already taken his wolfsbane potion and is probably half asleep.”

“May I go up and see him?” She was so excited to see Remus she didn’t care what state he was in.

Sirius smiled enviously and nodded.

She crept into the Lupin’s darkened room. He was asleep in the bed, naked in anticipation of his change. She stood admiring him awhile then sitting down next to him on the bed, she stroked his shoulder. “Remus, can you hear me?” she whispered in his ear. “It’s Felicity.”

He opened his eyes still in a groggy sleep. “Ah, Felicity, am I dreaming?” She kissed him. “What are you doing here?”

“Aren’t you glad to see me?” She cocked her head; his head was too heavy with the potion to leave the pillow.

“It’s the full moon,” he stumbled. “My change is only hours away.” He frowned. “I’ve missed you.” He tried to rise but fell back down to the pillow. “I hate for you to see me like this, you should leave.” He was miserable.

She stood up and started removing her robe. She laid out her clothes across a chair at the far corner of the room.

He watched dreamily admiring.

“Felicity,” he sighed. “You must leave, even in my changed state I could scratch you.”

She ignored him, smiling mischievously and slipped into bed with him. She wriggled her toes on his legs and wrapped her body around his, kissing him on the nose. He moaned in protest. Even in his semi-conscious state she made his body tingle.

“Felicity, don’t! It would kill me if I hurt you,” he said.

“Silly man,” she said smugly. “I’m a dragon! You can’t hurt me.” She continued kissing him until he ceased thinking of protesting.



Several hours later, Sirius tipped-toed to the door of the room and peeked inside. The moon had long since risen and Felicity hadn’t come back down stairs. He’d begun to worry about her.

The sight that greeted him stunned him. Lupin was in his werewolf state asleep on the floor curled up next to a dragon. Felicity looked up, having heard Sirius at the door. She lifted her long and elegant head and fixed her opalescent eyes on him. Her dragon body was not as gigantic as those he’d seen in Romania; she was more slender and smooth. She was about half the length of the room from head to tail with green and gold scales that shimmered in the soft light. Her wings looked like oversized fairy wings, they were transparent. She stretched them out and flapped the air in greeting. They glittered with her magic. She was magnificent.

He stood watching her for several minutes on the threshold. She was a creature, not human. Moody had been right. There was something not ‘us’ about her. She glittered with a magic dragon’s strength. He was mesmerized and realized that she really did understand his prison, just as he had just then understood himself. We are not entirely human anymore.

His realization evolved within minutes in his psyche as he watched her. He remembered the years of trying to become an animagus, the reality that their animal selves were from within each of their very natures, and most difficult to comprehend, that they each had become the animal that they were, apart from their human selves.

Apart.

He remembered all those years that he’d spent in Azkaban as a bloody dog in order to survive the torment of the Dementors, as well as the insanity of grief and of revenge that had devastated his world and it struck him as epiphany. He was Padfoot the dog almost more than the human that he also was. He missed himself as the dog almost as much as he missed his human self. The prison of this house had kept them both from him and he was but a shadow of whom he had been before the war, before the deaths of his beloved friends and before prison.

Felicity let out roar of welcome to Sirius, not sure if he would recognize it as friendly. Her eyesight was very different in her dragon state and she couldn’t quite read his mood.

She had called to him and his heart called back. He was drawn to her. His Padfoot yearned to run with her. He missed the werewolf that Remus was, just as he missed Prongs. The tears began to fall from eyes that had not cried in years. He missed James. He missed what they had been. The hope of their youth had been striped from them. She called to him again and he could feel the welcome from her creature eyes. He yearned to run to her.

Then suddenly Sirius became a large black shaggy dog that shook itself and jumped toward her wagging its tail. He moved around her timidly at first until she reached out her slender neck to nudge him gently. He whimpered and hung his muzzle close to hers. She recognized the need of him as he rubbed her. She reached out to him dragon to human dog.

“Shhhhh,” she soothed into his mind. “We are here, Padfoot. We are together.”

His mind whimpered again and she nudged at his interior. She caught only sadness and need from him. His human self hid within the dog. Her heart broke. Sirius was so very damaged. How she wanted to help him, too.

He licked Remus’ muzzle and she understood how much they missed of this part of themselves, as well. Remus’ with the drug in him was not really his werewolf at all. They needed their creatures and didn’t even realize that that was what was missing from their lives.

She whacked Sirius playfully with her tail. He panted, suddenly jittery and expectant. He jumped about lightheartedly trying to get her to play. He barked and Remus let out a feeble answering wolf call. She laughed her dragon laugh at him and smacked Sirius again, lightly. He jumped and pounced on her tail then back again, barking excitedly in anticipation of play.

She got up and lumbered over to Sirius. She wasn’t exactly graceful unless she was flying in the sky. He licked her face. She felt his gratefulness and she tried to show him her love and caring for him by nuzzling him in return. He was such a nice dog. She garbled in her dragon laughter when he barked and tried to nip at her long and slender ear.

He was being a scamp and she lunged at him knocking him off his feet. He was back up and barking excitedly. Remus watched them in a semi-conscious daze. How sad that he couldn’t join them in their fun. He was fully in his wolf form but he was semi-conscious as a man, under the enforced limbo of the wolfsbane. He could only watch.

Felicity and Sirius played with each other until they were tired. Sirius nudged Remus, who had fallen back into a deep sleep. Sirius lay down next to him nose to nose, missing his friend dragged away by the drugged sleep. Felicity lay down on the other side of Remus circling them both with her long body. She draped her glittering wing over them and laid her nose next theirs. As they fell asleep together, Sirius put his muzzle to hers rubbing it tenderly. They were a makeshift family, of sorts, bonded by their need of each other. Sirius and Felicity slept that night with Remus between them, a rumpled lump of magic creatures, just happy to be together. They forgot for one small moment the human world that swirled around menacingly outside.



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Please leave me with what you think. Pru

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