The Prince and the Slave
They next day, Harry was sitting with his father in the throne room where his father was holding court. Harry was thinking over the situation with Draco. When he had returned to his room a few hour later, he had noticed that Draco had not moved an inch and he still would not talk. Harry had given Draco his space. When dinner arrived, Draco had refused to eat. Harry sent the dish away, telling him that he can just be hungry. Now Harry regretted doing that. He had been debating all morning if he had done the wrong thing.
Harry remembered this morning clearly. He had woken in his bed to find himself the only occupant. In the past, Draco always seemed to snuggle up to Harry during the night. Of course, they never started the night that way but it never failed to happen. But this morning he had awoken to find Draco sleeping in a ball on the floor. Harry had berated himself. Had he really pushed Draco that far away? Was he doing the right thing? He had moved Draco to the bed. Since Draco was such a heavy sleeper, he didn’t wake. But this still brought him back to the main issue. What to do about Draco? Maybe he should take a different approach. As a mater of fact, he would. After he was done here with his father, he would go up and take Draco off the leash and sit down for another talk.
He was brought out of his thoughts by a nudge in his ribs. He turned his head to look at his father. James leaned down to Harry. “Are you paying attention?” Harry could tell by the look on his fathers face that he already knew the answer to that question.
Harry looked sheepishly at his father. “Sorry, father.”
James just grinned at him. “It’s ok.” James turned his view back down the main floor, which was just a few steps below them. “Sirius, who is next?”
Sirius looked down at the list. The king had already seen over ten people and all for different reasons. He looked at the next name on the list then raised his voice to announce him. “I GIVE YO-” Sirius was cut off by the doors slamming open and two cloaked figures entered. His hand automatically went to his sword as the two hooded figures walked towards the throne. Sirius stepped between them and the king, making sure that they could not reach James without going through him first.
The hooded figures stopped right in front of Sirius. The tallest figure brought his hands up and pulled his hood back so that his face was in view. A gasp escaped past Sirius lips. “Severus!”
Severus stared a moment at Sirius before speaking. “I need to speak to the king immediately. Something very bad and dangerous has happened.”
Sirius still had not gotten over his shock of seeing Severus, but nodded and motioned for him to stay where he is while he walked up to the king. Once there, he bowed once and then whispered into James ear. “Severus is here, Your Majesty. He says he has very bad news and wants to talk to you right away.”
“Of course.” James stood up and addressed the crowds and told them they would adjourn for the day. He then turned to his son. “Harry, I want you to come along as well.” He then looked to the figure standing next to Harry. “And you too, Ron.” At their nods, James walked down the steps and stopped in front of Sirius. “Sirius, I want you and Moony in there as well.” After seeing Sirius nod and head off to find Moony, James turned to address Severus. “It is good to see you again. Please follow me.” James led Severus out of the hall with the still-cloaked figure following behind.
James led them to a room that had a long table in it. This way there would be enough seats for everyone. He took his seat at the head of the table and watched as Harry took a seat to his left and Ron next to Harry. Severus and the second cloaked figure sat down a little ways down the table. James held up his hand. “Let’s just wait one moment for Sirius and Remus to get here.” James felt a tug on his arm and turned towards Harry. “Yes, son?”
Harry looked at Severus before turning back to his father. “Father, may I ask who this is? I don’t remember him, though the name does sound familiar.”
James nodded his head. “Of course you can, Harry. Severus is our spy in Slytherin. He forwards us important information on what is going on in the country.”
“Oh.” Harry leaned back in his chair and pondered this. So they had a spy in Slytherin. It made sense. He was unable to ask any more questions, since the door opened and Sirius and Remus walked in. He noticed Sirius and Severus share a glance and part of him wondered what that was about. He didn’t have long to think, though, for his father began the meeting.
James raised his hands to signal everyone to pay attention. “Severus, maybe you should start by introducing your companion.”
Severus nodded. “Of course, Your Highness.” He turned to the figure sitting beside him. “Hermione, you can pull back the hood now, you are safe.”
Everyone watched as the second smaller figure pulled back her hood to reveal the face of young women of about the same age as Harry and Ron. Harry heard a gasp beside him and looked over to see Ron staring at the new figure. He could tell just by looking at Ron that he was already fixated with her. He wore the same facial expression that Harry did when he watched Draco. He turned his attention away from Ron when Severus started to speak again.
“This young lady is Hermione Granger, Your Highness. I will explain more about her in a moment, but right now there are some things you need to know of first.”
James nodded his head. “Go ahead, Severus.”
Severus took a breath and looked over at Remus. “Remus, I take it you have noticed that Slytherin troops have moved away from the border?”
Remus gave Severus a thoughtful expression. “Yes, we just found that out yesterday. That was why James was having court today. We were getting ready for possible defense against an invasion.”
Severus gave a short sarcastic laugh. “I doubt you have to worry about an invasion.”
This perked James’s interest. “Why is that?”
Severus looked directly into James’s eyes. “Slytherin has broken out into civil war.”
A pin could have been heard in the room after that statement the shock was so paramount. Sirius and Remus were just floored and James was leaning back in his chair with his own shocked face. It took a moment for James to recover. “What of the royal family?”
Severus bowed his head a moment. “The Queen and King have been assassinated.”
James brought his hands up to cover his face. “My God.”
Severus spoke up again. “That is not the worst of it.” He waited for James to bring his hands down and made sure he had everyone’s attention. “Slytherin has been invaded by the Dark Kingdom. This is what sparked the civil war. Half of the army of Slytherin has joined the Dark Kingdom’s forces and the other half are fighting against them. Although they do fight, they have hardly any chance of success.”
Sirius was the next to speak. “Why the hell would the Dark Kingdom invade Slytherin? They were practically allies.”
Severus shook his head. “That information I do not have. All I know is that the King and Queen were killed, and then almost immediately the Dark Kingdom crossed the border.”
Everyone was quiet for a moment before James spoke again. “What about Lucius’ heir?”
Severus brought his hands up and cupped them underneath his chin with his elbows on the table. “This is why I have brought Hermione. I rescued her from the dungeons of the castle before I made my escape. She says she was the heir’s personal servant. She may very well be the only living person who has ever seen the heir.”
James turned to look at the lady sitting next to Severus. “Is this true?”
Hermione nodded her head. “It is true, Your Highness. Lucius had a son. The Prince of Slytherin.”
James looked at her for a moment. “A son. This is the first we have heard of the gender. Lucius hid him so well.”
“That is understandable, sir. The Prince was never allowed outside his wing of the castle and no one was allowed to see him except for me and his mother and father. Oh, and of course, the physician, but she died in the attack.”
“Do you know where the Prince is or if he even is alive?”
Hermione glanced around the room for a moment. “He is alive, as far as I know. I helped him run away a couple of weeks before everything happened.”
Now this did shock James. “Why would he want to run away?”
Hermione shrugged. “I don’t know. All I know is that I walked into his room one day and he was hysterical. He kept going on about that he had found something out that he was not supposed to know. He pleaded with me to help him escape the castle and I did what he asked. After he escaped I was thrown in the dungeons.”
James rubbed his chin. “What proof do you have of all this?”
Hermione brought her hand up and took of a ring. She tossed it onto the table in front of Harry and James. “This was the Prince’s ring. He gave it to me and I hid it before I was thrown in the dungeons. It has his family crest on it.”
Harry for this whole time had remained quiet. He was shocked by all the turn of events. But what really shocked him was when Hermione had thrown the ring on the table. Actually it wasn’t the ring that caught his interest, it was the crest. For there on the ring was the letter “M”. And it was formed by two snakes entwined with each other. He knew of only one other place he had seen this design. He gulped and looked up at Hermione. “May I ask what the Prince’s name is?”
A/N: I just could not help that cliff hanger, sorry.
Now for the very dreaded teaser:
Hermione then remembered that Draco had said he had gotten beat up last night. She started to see red again. She dropped the leach and turned around to face Harry and Ron. They had followed her around the bed when she had gone to Draco. She looked directly into Harry’s eyes. “HOW COULD YOU, YOU BASTARD.” Only seconds later the rooms was filled with the sound of a loud smack.
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