Thanks to Tracy, Naadi, and Little Alex for their support.

Glass

Sweet little boy, why do you accept me?

I have done nothing to bring about this sort of behaviour; in fact, I made sure this would never happen. Could never happen. Keeping myself in, hating you, pushing you far enough away so that you'd never have the chance to look, that was my goal.

It took years to erect the barriers, the fortress of my life, to keep you out. And yet you still broke through. You always do. You always could. You destroyed everything I built up, trying to protect me - you. You broke through my stone wall.

You called it glass.

So I was and so I am. You wanted to break through me the first time you came to me, and long before then. Can't help it, eh? It's natural for you to want to slash away at the resolves of those struggling to remain aloof. Like me. It's natural for you to want to turn the tables of the food chain where the lion suddenly pursues the serpent, when before they had been enemies at best.

Do you remember what I said on that crisp autumn night, as your fingers curled around the lapel of my cloak and you pulled me close? Your warm body intoxicated me, but I resisted, I pulled back.

"That may prove to be a difficult task, Mr. Potter. Are you sure you're up for the challenge?"

"When am I not?" you replied, staring me down with those famous eyes.

I had no choice but to give in. And I've given in ever since.

My eyes flicker over your pale little body asleep in the bed, and I laugh at the irony of that and marvel over it, even after all these months since I first saw you. Such a small little boy hiding so vast a power . . . I'm surprised it hasn't killed you. It might yet, and I think you fear that. I smile to think what the world might say if they knew Harry Potter was afraid of something.

Seems impossible, doesn't it?

But you've always been afraid of someone, something, holding power over you. If it was there, it was suffocating, and it remains as such even now. The Dark Lord, Dumbledore, your friends, the wizarding world . . . perhaps even me.

That's why you rarely let me hold you, why I can rarely kiss you - you must kiss me first - and why I find myself habouring a deep affinity for the lithe, little frame asleep in my bed. It can't take much more.

Whispered words to your deaf ears tell you what you don't want to know. Love, care, disgust, hate. You turn my words around in your head to mean different things . . . my undying love means omnipotent hatred to you. You turn everyone's words, because you don't want to believe them.

I love you.

You hate me for loving you.

Because you feel you can't love me back.

Do I want you to?

Yes, but I can't expect more than what I have now.

Sweet little boy, why do you accept me? I don't know, and perhaps I would not take you if I did not find your moods and actions endearing. I love you, I will protect you. Even from yourself.

You sleep on your stomach to hide from the world, and in this I also find a humour. I think you know I do, and you don't care, but you are still a foolish little boy in that tired body, which is wasting away before my stinging eyes. Insufferable boy.

The pillows won't conceal your scar and your youth forever, little one. They both burn through the fabric like acid and one day the cloth will finally fall away and everyone will see what you have always tried to hide.

I fear that day. Not for me, but for you. What it means for you, what will happen to you when the world understands the Boy Who Lived has not really lived at all. He has slept in a dungeon - not just mine - all of his life.

That is why I let you sleep on into the night, forgetting everything - anything. I do not take you at late hours; your dreams must be allowed to take form, for they are all you have. Dreamland is your only solace, the place where no one looks you in the face and expects anything. They expect nothing.

I expect nothing, but you know that's not true. I expect you to fall - you think I want you to fly. I don't, but I'll let you think that. I love you and that's all that matters. All that matters to me.

Honestly, child, where do you think you are? Are you falling, flying, suspended in the belief you will go neither up nor down and remain where you are . . . forever?

Silly, silly boy. No one stays where they are forever.

But I let you think you can be aloof. Pull down everyone else's defenses, aggrandize your own. I sit in my armchair and do nothing to drag you from your pitiful, wonderful hopes and dreams. I do not charge upon you; I learned early on that is not the way to your heart. If there even was a way, that is certainly not it. I always refrain from pushing you.

So you wonder why I pull the sheets away tonight. Why I crawl into the bed and cover your sweet body with my own. Why I whisper in your ear, "Mercy, little boy, mercy to those who save the ones in need. They are your friends, your family, your lovers. Mercy to them, dearest one, the one who is loved beyond all bounds by me, by everyone." You wonderful why I kiss you, why I touch you before you ask, before you command. This is not something I usually do, would ever do under normal circumstances.

Tonight is special, darling one. I will be the aggressor this late evening. I will hover over you, under the milky twilight coming not through the walls surrounding our lovemaking, our lives. I will make love to you like you have never wanted before, have never had before, and I will make it extraordinary for you.

You are giving in, letting me take you finally. For once, I am able to hold you first, hold you last. Our climax is ever sweet, almost forever. The mercy only takes a second, a moment of time so fast you don't see it coming. A single swipe is all it takes for me to love you that much more.

I loved you. I always will.

Your eyes beg to know why, even as your light begins to fade. The blade is just a whisper across your pale throat. You know why.

It was just a whisper. A whisper cold but welcoming. Welcome it, Harry, embrace it as you do not me, as you cannot embrace me or anyone else. No one, not even yourself, lets you do that.

You can't live this way anymore, nor can I bear to see you like you are. Tired, beaten down by not only the world but yourself and by what I stand to do to you, what you've done to me. I was lost and cracked, and you broke me further. You destroyed everything with a kiss, a few carefully chosen words, and captured my love.

This time, sweet boy, you were the glass - shattered and broken. Perhaps you always have been. Shattered, broken, lost.

You are now restored.

- fin -