Puzzles and Love, Chapter 21/? Title:Puzzles and Love, Chapter 21/? Author:blueskyecloud9 Pairings: Severus Snape/Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy Word Count:3,720 Rating: PG-13 Warning(s): Threesome A/N: Any mistakes are my own! Summary: When a 500 year old contract thrusts Harry, Severus and Draco into cohabitation, the two Slytherins learn new and intruiging things that define the puzzle that is Harry Potter. And Slytherins do love puzzles. Disclaimer: The Harry Potter Universe belongs to JKR and anyone she legally lets use them. Not me. Chapter 21
Harry groaned and buried his head in his hands. So, they had to kill Vela to release him from the spell, or at least lock her up so she could never get out and reactivate the curse, Justin was either jealous or crazy, and Draco and Severus found threesomes normal.
Dear Merlin, help me. I'm never going to make it through this week.
How was it possible to have these many life altering events in one week?
Fate was against him. Scowling at his surroundings, Harry began to move around the room, pulling robes and shoes out of the closet and preparing for the day. He could not stay in this house for a moment longer. Harry was going to lose his mind. And all his secrets.
But what to do? Where to go?
Luckily, the answer was made for him. A chestnut colored owl flew in through the window and a red Howler was placed in his lap. Wincing as he recognized the handwriting on the front, Harry squeezed his eyes shut as the low, disappointed voice of Remus Lupin came through. Harry James Potter. You get married, get attacked, end up in the hospital, and then get attacked again and DO NOT INFORM ME? That is it young man. I see that my time in the States has made you lax in your attitude towards informing me of the events occurring in your life. Lucky for you, I already had plans to move back. I will be arriving at Grimmauld Place at precisely 12 pm. Have your excuses ready!
Harry winced. He had hoped not to bother Remus with the mundane happenings of his life. The werewolf had enough to deal with. Tonks and Remus had split after their brief but happy interlude that had concluded with the birth of a wonderful child and them amicably parting ways. Personally, Harry had always thought that Remus had a thing for Sirius but never had had the courage to ask him. Tonks, on the other hand, was now happily dating Charlie Weasley and pursuing a career as an Auror in Romania in order to stay near him. Her job left her little time to take care of a small child, and after weeks of trials and arguing with the Ministry, Remus, with Harry's glowing endorsement and the fact that he was Teddy's godfather, had been given custody of Teddy.
Ten months ago, Remus had been offered a teaching job at the Salem Institute in the States where werewolves were not so widely persecuted. Harry had hoped that by only giving Remus good news, he'd be able to assuage all of Remus's concerns about leaving him behind in Britain.
Apparently, all of his careful manipulations had just gone up in flames.
At exactly noon, the parlor Floo activated and Remus Lupin stepped through, charcoal robes new for once, a silent, angry expression on his face.
Harry had almost fainted in relief when he'd realized that Snape was holed up in his lab and Malfoy had gone to the hospital. They had picked the perfect day to resume their normal daily functions.
"Remus," Harry said, smiling nervously, awkwardly standing in front of the fireplace.
Remus glared at him for a moment before enfolding the younger man in a tight embrace. Harry clung to the man he considered a godfather, reveling in the parental love he felt in those arms.
"You didn't bring Teddy?" Harry said softly, braced for the scolding he knew he deserved.
"Next time I will. This time I'm here to give you a piece of my mind!," Remus growled, crossing his arms. "What exactly were you thinking, not telling me anything!"
Harry winced, "I know, I know…I just didn't want to bother you."
"Bother me?" Remus said, incredulously, "Harry, you got married! To Severus! Events like those are generally announced to family at least!"
Harry sighed, "Yes, I got married…but only because I had to. There was this contract, ancient really, it said I had to marry the youngest Snape…long story short, Snape and I are married, but Snape is with Malfoy."
Remus looked at Harry in surprise, "Lucius?"
Shaking his head, Harry gave Remus a wry smile, "No, Draco."
Remus froze, "What?"
Harry nodded, his fingers twisting in Remus's robe, "Yea."
And suddenly it all came pouring out, Vela's crazy love, Snape's snooping, the damned photograph, Pansy and threesomes, everything just fell from his mouth into his godfather's ears. He always forgot how relieved he felt after telling Remus everything.
"Oh Harry," Remus whispered, embracing Harry once more. "I knew I shouldn't have left you here…"
Harry laughed, "Ah, Remus, I'm a big boy. I can take care of myself."
Remus gave him a sad smile, "Yes, but I should've been here to help you with all this. At the least, I should have been here to tell you about wizarding customs and beliefs about things like threesomes. Especially in your situation."
Harry shrugged, "I didn't tell you, it's not your fault. But you're here now, that's what matters."
Remus smiled, ruffling Harry's hair, "So, Vela Lestrange is in love with you?"
Harry winced, "Yea, Snape said—" Harry broke off, remembering the earlier part of his conversation with Snape that day.
"Yes?" Remus asked.
Harry swallowed deeply, raising pained eyes to meet Remus's amber ones, "Remus…Snape told me how…how Dad humiliated him for being gay."
Remus's eyes widened before he nodded slowly, "Yes, he did."
Harry swallowed again, "Would Dad have…" He couldn't even voice his concern, afraid that saying it aloud would make it true.
Remus sighed, clasping Harry's hand in his, "No, no he wouldn't have. Harry, James never had anything against being gay. He was open to it. James, simply, always found a way to humiliate Severus no matter what it was about. But, know this, your father loved you, and would have continued to love you, no matter who you were."
Harry choked back a sob, his heart relaxing as he finally, finally, got some reassurance that his parents would not have cared who he loved.
Remus folded his arms over his chest once more, "I am, however, disappointed in you, Harry James Potter. You didn't even tell me about your promotion! I found out from Kingsley over dinner! Along with the attacks and this Vela. I looked like a right idiot, and a negligent godfather, when he told me and I didn't know what he was talking about!"
Harry winced and bit his lip, "I just didn't want to bother you. Teaching and Teddy were so important…"
Remus took both of Harry's hands in his and spoke calmly, "Harry Potter. I may not have been the godfather that your parents chose for you, but after Sirius" Remus broke off to swallow deeply, "after Sirius died, I took it upon myself to be the godfather he couldn't. We are family, Harry, and it is devastating for me to find out that you've been in and out of the hospital and no one even THOUGHT to tell me!"
Harry winced again, feeling immense guilt over the fact that he had obviously worried the other man, "I'm sorry Remus. I'll be better now! I promise!"
Remus chuckled lightly, sighing, and hugged Harry once more, Harry's answer reminding him of something Teddy would say.
Harry smirked evilly, as Remus's comment from before processed, "Kingsley? Tell me Remus, why were you talking to Kingsley? Better yet, why were you having dinner with Kingsley?"
Remus's cheeks turned pink as he coughed to clear his throat. "Kingsley and I are friends. We have dinner together once in a while."
However, his tone suggest far more than friendship was between the two men. And Harry, noticing a topic that would neatly divert Remus's attention, couldn't help but take advantage of it. "Sure, you're just friends. Uh huh. Friends who have intimate dinners."
Remus choked on the water he was drinking, his amber eyes wide with a hint of panic, "Who told you it was intimate!"
Harry smirked, "You did."
Remus glowered as he used a napkin to soak up the spilled water, his cheeks deepening to a nice cherry red. Coughing again uncomfortably, Remus sighed, "I was unsure how to approach the topic with you. About how…"
"You're quite obviously gay?" Harry completed, his amusement apparent in his grin. Sobering a bit, he toned the smile down and asked, "I'd always gotten the feeling you were, but then the thing with Tonks…?"
Remus sighed, "Dora was my last attempt at finding some sort of normalcy in my life. I apparently have a terrible choice in men and always go for the ones that have the craziest, most insane lives."
Harry smiled, taking pity on his godfather, "Like Sirius? And Kingsley, for that matter."
Remus looked at Harry sadly, "I didn't know how you would react to that. Sirius was what I would call an equal opportunity lover. He had his fair share of men and women both. But, yes, I was his lover for a time. When you yourself came out, I was still with Tonks, and then I just wasn't sure how to tell you"
Harry laughed, "Shouldn't that have been my line when I came out?"
Remus rolled his eyes, "I do believe you said 'Girls just don't do it for me Remus. I guess that means I'm into boys.'"
Harry flushed, "Oy! I was seventeen! And you still remember that?"
Remus laughed, "It was the most amusing thing I'd heard in weeks."
Harry smiled, "Well, let me ease your fears. I love you still Remus, even if you are dating my boss."
Remus glared at Harry, blushing again, "I am not dating Kingsley!"
Harry smirked and nodded, "Sure, keep telling yourself that."
Remus rolled his eyes and sighed in resignation. There would be no convincing Harry otherwise.
Harry grinned as he saw the acceptance in Remus's eyes, "So, can I come over and see Teddy? Are you staying with Andromeda?"
Remus nodded, "Hmm, yes. Very awkward living with your former mother-in-law, but she wanted to see her grandson so I'm suffering through it."
Laughing, Harry stood, "So, shall we?"
Remus frowned and put his hand on Harry's arm, tugging him back into the chair, "Harry….the photograph?"
Harry froze as he was reminded, once again, of what Snape now suspected.
Wrapping an arm around Harry, Remus began to say, softly, "I know that living with the two men that—"
Harry clamped his hand over Remus's mouth, his eyes widely flying between the two doors.
Harry glared at Remus and hissed, "Remus! They both live here! What if they OVERHEAR!" Harry waved his wand to cast a silent Muffliato and then waved his hand for Remus to continue, his breathing normaling again.
"As I was saying, living with the two men that you had such strong feelings for cannot be easy. And…especially since Severus is with Draco, who you were very close to." Remus paused and glanced down at Harry, "I may not know the details but I've seen that photograph Harry, and I know what it looks like. I'm surprised Severus hasn't figured it out yet." With a sigh Remus took Harry's hand and rubbed it gently, "When Ronald Wealsey, the most dense man in the universe, sends me a letter requesting I stage an intervention, I know there's something wrong."
Harry's eyes widened as he turned a lovely shade of magenta, "Ron is so dead."
"Even I only know so much, because of that spell and because I've seen the photograph, but even I can tell that these secrets have been eating away at you. Your relationships never last, you don't even try half the time." Harry opened his mouth to object but Remus silenced his with a look, "Don't deny it Harry. You know it's true." Harry shifted and sighed, and Remus gave him a moment before saying, "Perhaps if you tell Severus whatever it is you're hiding, it will help you move on. And, truthfully, I think keeping this secret is doing you more harm than good. I can imagine the emotional strain it must put on you." Tugging him closer into a hug, Remus whispered, "You of all people, Harry, deserve to be happy. If you can give up your secrets, then perhaps your heart can move on." Remus pressed a kiss to Harry head, and murmured into the boy's wild hair, "I just want to see you happy cub. It's been too long. And it's been long enough."
Severus brewed absentmindedly for hours, his mind incapable of wrapping itself around the insanity he had stumbled upon.
There were only so many reasons Potter would have Draco's memories. Only so many reasons that Severus would have trusted Potter with them.
Bottling the Pepper Up he'd made for Poppy, Severus drew his robes close to him and swept up the stairs intent on confronting Potter, possibly insulting him in an angry rage, then proceeding to tie him to a chair, shove Veritaserum down his throat, find those memories and figure out what the hell he was missing.
Severus Snape was only so patient.
Unfortunately, Severus found Potter's room devoid of the blasted, irritating, annoying, confounding brat.
And a brat Potter was. No matter how absolutely delicious he looked in Slytherin green pajamas.
Severus ignored his own rambling thoughts as his eyes keenly analyzed every section of the room. Was Potter hiding the memories here? Or were they locked up in Gringotts?
Fingers brushing against the small table near the doorway, a note for them left there, Severus contemplated where Potter would put such obviously important and precious memories.
Gone to see Teddy. Will be back after dinner. I took my potions with me. -HP
Barely restraining himself from banging his head against the wall, Severus sighed as he silently prayed that Vela Lestrange didn't track Potter to wherever Lupin and his spawn were staying.
Rubbing his forefinger against his lips, Severus returned to pondering the situation. If Potter was keeping the Pensieve in the house, it made sense that the memories were here too.
But how to find them…
Severus's eyes honed in on the locked upper drawer of the nightstand. If the Pensieve was in the second drawer…what was in the first? Tugging gently on the drawer handle, he affirmed that the drawer was indeed locked.
"What are you doing Snape?" Severus spun around to come face to face with an angry Potter. "Snooping again? I am telling you, you won't like what you find. Stop this."
Well Potter, you're not the only one who has reason to be angry. Striding over to the Gryffindor, Severus clenched his long fingers in Potter's collar and hauled him up, shoving him against the wall. His voice low and dark, Severus let his eyes blaze with the frustration and anger that was burning within him. "Potter. You stole Draco's memories."
Potter's eyes widened, "What?"
"Don't lie to me!" Severus snarled, nose to nose with Potter, "Draco says he was in a coma for a month before his seventh year. Something I apparently told him, yet I do not remember this little incident."
Pressing his body close to Potter's, Severus whispered darkly, "Tell me Potter. Tell me what happened."
Potter pursed his lips, "I can't."
"Bullshit," Potter's eyes widened at Severus low, dangerous hiss. "You and I know that is completely untrue. You cannot tell me what it is that you are hiding. But how we hid it, you can tell me that. The parameters of the spell will allow that."
Potter clenched his jaw, "Snape, I am warning you one last time. Let me go. You don't want to know this. I'm telling you, you don't."
"You have memories of Draco's that he does not remember having. Where is your Gryffindor morality now Potter?" Severus snarled again, his fingers pressing down on Potter's throat.
Suddenly he was thrown across the room, foreign magic burning against his skin as he was slammed against the opposite wall.
"Stop. Please Snape. Please. Just. Stop." Potter was practically begging him, colorful, immensely powerful magic swirling around him as he fought apparent anger and misery.
Severus frowned, his anger lowering to a simmer. Threatening Potter was just going to end up with him being slammed against more furniture. Time to change tactics.
"Potter…you and I both know it is ethically wrong for you to hold these memories without informing Draco. Especially since he has no idea that you have them. Something I still do not understand."
Potter laughed bitterly, "Snape, you don't know what you're doing. Once you open this Pandora's Box…you're not going to like what you find."
Severus was starting to get very anxious. What exactly was it that Potter was hiding? How could it be that dangerous?
"Potter, you must realize that this a quandary I do not wish to be in, but I am, nonetheless. The memories you have are of my lover, are apparently of very important events, and you seem to feel that they will alter the status quo. Surely you understand my predicament? I cannot, in good will, allow you to continue to deceive Draco."
Potter sighed and held his head in his hands as he sunk onto the bed. Sighing, he murmured, "I can't tell you what is in those memories Snape."
Severus frowned, "What can you tell me? You know I will simply continue to hound you until I find everything. This much even you ought to realize."
Potter laughed, "I know you well enough to know that Snape. These memories…they are not bad. They are not…dangerous. Well…" Potter sighed, "I'm not explaining this very well."
Severus sat slowly in an armchair, steepling his fingers. It seemed he had finally worn down Potter's resolve to keep him in the dark. "It is seven thirty. Draco will be gone for another one and half hours. Take all the time you need." Severus was far too intrigued in the memories to let this chance go. If being nice to Potter was going to help, by Merlin, he'd do it!
Potter sighed and rubbed his face, "I can tell you that even if I were to give Draco his memories back, he couldn't…have them back in his head."
Severus cocked his eyebrow, "Oh?"
Potter shook his head, "We screwed up Severus."
Severus flinched at the use of his first name, his eyes narrowing as Potter looked out the window, a faraway look in his eyes. It was obvious that he was remembering the past. Hmm…so, Potter is using Draco's and my first name. In the past he was comfortable enough to do so? Perhaps I even gave him permission. Severus filed away the possible clue as Potter continued.
"We removed Draco's memories and then cast the spell. You told Draco that he was in a coma and he left." Potter gave him an assessing look, "I presume you watched that scene and that's how you made your conclusions?"
Severus nodded slowly, wary of what Potter was about to tell him.
Potter sighed, "At first it seemed like whatever we did was fine. And then things happened, you guys left, and I was left with Draco's memories." Potter pursed his lips, "I didn't know what to do with them. And then…I began reading research done on the inner workings of the mind." Potter closed his eyes, but not before Severus caught the emotional pain that passed through them, "Pensieves can be used because even when we remove a memory, although the details of the exact event are now absent from our minds, we still have a vague remembrance of what the memory was of. Enough to be able to place it in our minds once again." Frowning, Potter rubbed his cheek, turning his head to face Severus, "Think of it…as a zipper."
Severus quirked an eyebrow, a zipper? The intricacies of the mind analogous to something so Muggle and mundane?
Potter shrugged, "It's the best analogy. Zippers have two sides. They fit precisely together, that's why they close. When you remove a memory it's like taking away half of the zipper. So, when you put it back in your mind, the half that was left there binds with the half the zipper you took out, and you seamlessly remember the event."
Severus nodded, understanding the premise of Potter's explanation. The books on the brain and the mind in Potter's shelves now made sense.
"But, when we cast the Fidelius on those memories, we basically shielded those half zippers in Draco's mind, making him forget even the vague remembrance of those memories."
Frowning, Severus shifted in his seat, his mind starting to connect the dots that Potter was handing him.
"Now he has eight years of memories on top of those hidden zippers. At first, it wouldn't have mattered as much because it was less time between the removal of the memories and when he was supposed to get them back."
Severus sat back, understanding now the consequences of their apparent actions, "But he did not. And now that those recollections are cloaked by new memories…"
Potter nodded, "If we were to give him those memories back, it could cause a number of terrible side effects. He could forget the last eight years, he could forget everything! He might lose all or part of his Healer training." Potter turned to Severus, giving him a harsh look, "He might forget you and all that you are to him."
Severus looked at Potter in surprise, "You mean…"
Potter turned towards Severus, giving him a pleading look, "Snape, those memories…they are not worth eight years of Draco's life."
Severus cocked his head, "And yet, those memories are obviously important to you." Keen eyes took in the tense figure, and Severus finally voiced the question that had been ringing in his brain for hours, "Potter, when did Draco's wellbeing become so important to you? When did Draco become so important to you?"
He was not prepared, however, for the stunned expression that appeared on Potter's face, nor for the way the Gryffindor's face turned pale or for his eyes to roll back into his head and his body to crumple onto the floor, unconscious.