A/N: Hello, hello! Welcome to what's probably the weirdest chapter of this fanfic aka the mandatory 'Voldemort is slowly losing his fucking shit in a way he is not used to having lost his shit before' chapter, aka the mandatory 'Things kind of go okay for Harry for once' chapter.

Please Enjoy!

Chapter Nine: A Taste of Glory – House Fossoway of Cider Hall

Voldemort had been kissed before, and been worshipped before – but never so thoroughly, and never so simultaneously. There was no beginning nor end to one or the other, with Harry. It was a sinuous overlap, a fusing of emotion that was overwhelming to behold, but welcomed despite its heady nature. The boy was his. No one else's, and it showed, in even the most subtle of ways.

Warm lips, first, against his mouth. Harry was not someone who could ever have been described as soft. He didn't have a tendency to do things halfway, and this was prevalent in his romance as much as it always had been in his fury. Passion, of course, remained passion, no matter how it chose to direct itself. Devotion, however was a more eclectic beast altogether. It came in many different metaphorical colors, shapes, and sizes – and Harry Potter, for Lord Voldemort, displayed all of them.

His kisses traveled, lips trailing against the hard and cold surface of the Dark Lord's cheek bones, his jaw, his temple – all over his face, and then back to his mouth, tongue lapping at the seam for just a moment. Never pushing, never prodding, not at all forceful, only yearning, and … visibly delighted. His fingers fluttered against Voldemort's neck, against the patterns of his veins, a subtle thump felt on the flesh there, where his own pulse beat against Harry's exploring hands.

"It's such an honor," The boy breathed, brushing his nose across his Master's cheek, and then smiling coyly, "I can touch you, now…"

The words are familiar, of course, and Voldemort allows himself to release the smallest of chuckles, shifting his position slightly and initiating his own display of … near affection. The kiss is placed not necessarily on Harry himself, but rather against his scar, and there is no illusion to be had between them of what Voldemort truly values in this boy, but there never really was in the first place. The moment the contact is made, he suddenly finds himself completely nude, and then the laugh that escapes is significantly stronger and more genuine.

"That … was an accident," Harry confessed, eyes wide open as a blush rose to quickly cover his cheeks, "I know I'm um … a little old for accidental magic, but—"

Old? The mere implication of this … infantile creature being old had Voldemort's mirth on the up and up, and his arms squeezed tightly around Harry's torso as he laid his head down on his chest and continued laughing. The boy had never bored him. Not once. Although, he was unsure if he'd be able to go through with his announced consequence if he had. There was no way on earth, heaven, or hell that Lucius would touch his Dog again.

"Your soul has … merged with my own somehow, Harry," He explained, thin pale fingers tracing the signature lightning bolt, "You would be in excruciating pain, otherwise – with us so near to one another. Don't you remember?"

He knew Harry remembered. Memory loss was not one of his many flaws, and Voldemort had certainly harmed him enough times for it to be memorable.

"What … what does that that mean? For you, I mean?" The child asked, and the Dark Lord was impressed by the wordplay. Their fates were, at this point, thoroughly entwined, and Harry knew it. He could play tactful all he liked by saying 'what does that mean for you?' even when the real inquiry was 'what does that mean for me?'

The answer to both questions was identical, of course.

"It means it is impossible for me to ever remove my horcrux from your body without destroying both of you – which leaves you forever by my side," And a very long forever, if things went as he wanted them to. Which, lately, they did, "It also means our magical cores may … leech abilities from one another. The same way you are able to speak parseltongue, you are able to perform wandless magic. Like most new abilities, it's only natural for your first few go's at it to be accidental,"

Harry's face was taking on the coloring of a beautifully ripe tomato, and Voldemort smiled against his chest, looking up at him with clear amusement.

"Are you telling me right now … that I've been able to do wandless magic this whole time, and the first thing I do … is strip?" He covers his face with obvious embarrassment and groans, and Voldemort can't be sure what prompts him to lay a soothing hand against his shoulder, but he does it. Sitting up, he leans on his free arm and gazes down at Harry. Or, gazes down at Harry's hands for long enough that the other must have felt his stare, since a few moments later Avada Kedavra eyes are peering through tan fingers.

"The first thing you ever did with my wandless magic was escape Lucius. I felt it from downstairs, and knew. Right away. Exactly what you are. Tell me – do you find more relief in knowing that your betrayal of Severus was not what earned you this new life, or in knowing that your first transgression as a wielder of such powerful new skill was not for the sake of your own sexual agenda?"

Harry's hands finally abandoned his face, instead resting themselves on his Lord's chest, now bare and in clear view if he looked down at the space between them. Which, he was obviously making a point not to do, likely in consideration of what else looking in that direction would reveal.

"I think I'd find the most relief in cutting this conversation short and furthering my sexual agenda, as you so eloquently titled it," The kisses returned with a new fervor, Harry's breath warm against Voldemort's neck, and then collar bone, seemingly overcome with the want to dote on every bit of skin that he could reach, which the Dark Lord minded not at all. Such passion … the list of reasons he was on top of the world seemed to grow each moment he spent at his hound's side. The list was not the only thing he could feel growing, either. Harry had already been half-hard against his Lord's hip moments ago, but the more his lips and fingers kissed and caressed the more prominent the feeling of him became, and in what felt like no time at all, he was gasping for air.

It seemed that, quite suddenly, his silly little ward had realized some of that relief he was so desperately chasing could be gotten from rocking up – erection pressing into Voldemort's cold and scaly skin so much more fearlessly than he could recall any past lovers. Harry did not seem at all perturbed by the … paleness. The hard marble of him. The way his body felt like ice – like a corpse.

Before that fateful Halloween night, all those years ago, Voldemort's last truly pleasant sexual experience had not been his own at all. Rather, a distant memory belonging to Tom Riddle. The more immortal he became, the more grotesque his visage, and the last few romps he'd endured had been with partners that were more driven by a desire to please him than themselves. How ironic, and yet … oddly endearing, that this dog of his – trained and battered and forced to desire nothing more than his Master's pleasure … was currently rutting against him with absolutely no generosity in his motivation. Harry wanted him because Harry wanted him. It was a seed he'd planted and watered himself, of course, but it blossomed into something more honest than he had ever dreamed it would be.

After his rebirth, more snakelike and inhuman than ever before, he hadn't even thought to pursue romantic endeavors. So sure he was that he could do nothing but disgust any lover he took. They would have let him inside of them anyway, of course. Not daring to defy him … but it was not the same. The way Harry touched him now was not the same.

"My body is made of death," He uttered, staring down at Harry's squeezed shut eyes and bite-bruised lips. The Potter boy was rocking more quickly now, his cock sliding in the lubrication of his own pre-cum, nearly burning hot against the freezing cool of his Master's thigh, "How can you write against it with such … lifelike vigor?" The man mused, narrowing his gaze in genuine confusion. Knowing and witnessing Harry's want for him were two completely different things, and while he'd understood well enough that his dog craved the idea of him by now, this was not a reality he expected to see upheld in an actual sexual circumstance.

"Opposing you has always brought me death," Harry whispered, stilling himself and opening his eyes, and they were so green, as if attempting to visually accent his statement, "Adoring you, however …" He trailed off, not finishing, or not knowing how. More kisses. Always more kisses. Like he couldn't get enough of them. How could that be? He didn't care if the places on Voldemort's body that he so readily pressed his lips into were marble-smooth skin, blue-green veins, or snake-like scales. He kissed it all, touched it all, embraced it all.

"My Lord?" He finally questioned, what must have been several minutes later. He was still diamond hard and dripping, but no longer stealing his pleasure from the elder man's thigh, "I don't … Lucius never quite covered etiquette… What exactly is the next step here, I — Should I use my mouth? I do want to taste you, it's just … I can't get enough of this, but you seem bored, so–"

"I'm not bored, Harry," He reassured, readjusting his own body and letting his hips sink down against where Harry had been thrusting his up. His own arousal found friction against Harry's and it was a wonder he'd not noticed that he, too, was quite hard.

Harry, for his part, did notice, and whimpered quite prettily, jerking up against him and releasing a rather needy whine, "This is … mmmm…" His pelvis went back to rocking, blunt nails digging into Voldemort's waist for leverage as he humped himself upwards with quickly increasing urgency. The feel of him was so alive. So warm. Harry Potter, his immortality, breathing life right into him with every gasp and broken word.

"It is, yes," He agreed, rolling them over onto their sides to alleviate the tension of holding his bodyweight away from Harry's smaller and more fragile chest. This new angle allowed a lot more of that craved contact on Harry's part, and the boy seemed to discover in a single instant that he could indulge in frottage and kissing at the same time, which brought the little whimpers escaping his throat to a new volume, until with a sudden moan that sounded indicative of genuine shock, he was cumming all over both of them. And then still. Too still, considering the rapid beating of his heart against his Master's chest.

He buried his face into Voldemort's neck and laid there, frozen, and the Dark Lord could not help but roll his eyes, "You're embarrassed," He stated. It was, after all, the clear truth and not a personal opinion. Harry nodded against him, and clutched onto him more tightly.

"You've never had a single orgasm in your life brought on by more than your own imagination, it's only natural that you'd finish more quickly with the object of your wayward desires as an active participant,"

The mutt groaned, "Yeah but … you didn't um – I mean, you don't even seem close to—"

"I'm not," He confirmed, grinning madly and wondering if it even mattered to him that Harry's head wasn't up to see it, "It's a first, actually. Every other lover I've taken has always ensured my satisfaction before their own,"

This time, Harry's whimper was more mortification than arousal, and Voldemort was actually having a difficult time trying not to laugh. He tightened his embrace, and did not let himself wonder where his evil plots necessitated showing genuine consolation and comfort to this child that he didn't even refer to as human out loud. His mind, especially his subconscious mind, had an agenda of it's own, it seemed.

"I spent so long … learning how to please you," The boy sniffled, "And then I finally get the chance and … and … There's something – something in my throat, I can't … I can't breathe—"

Harry was trembling, and the hilarity of all of this vanished rather quickly, along with any sexual arousal that Voldemort was feeling only moments ago. And wasn't that strange, as well? How was Harry controlling him so effortlessly, after being taught to do the exact opposite? Never – in the history of all things, had someone else's distress laid any effect at all on The Dark Lord's mood. Maybe it was the bonding of their souls. He would attempt to diagnose it later.

"You're having a panic attack," He sighed out, "At my expense, which is utterly ridiculous, if I'm being honest. If I was displeased with you, I would punish you, obviously. I have no qualms about doing so."

Harry opened teary eyes, and Voldemort recalled one of the strange observations Lucius had pointed out to him. How the boy never cried, only screamed. Shrieked, and shrieked, and shrieked, but never a single sob of sadness – only anger, and then, later, submission. Harry only cried in his nightmares. He had cried when he'd visited the shattered pieces of his past, and now, he cried at what he perceived to be failure.

"Harry do I strike you as someone you prioritizes my physical pleasure over mental?"

A meek shake of the head is given in response, and Voldemort continues.

"What I wanted was the worship you have given me – the victory I have over your mind brings me much more joy than a few teaspoons of liquid erupting from my penis, I assure you. I have never taken a lover who did not obsess over pulling physical satisfaction from me. You are young, and headstrong, and yourself – and so enamored by me that you became … quite flatteringly overwhelmed. That pleases me. So desist immediately with all of this idiotic overreaction."

Harry relaxed, some. He remained silent but loosened his grip and eventually the trembling and shakiness in his breathing calmed as well. This, too, was pleasing for Voldemort and he rewarded his dog with another kiss. Again, to his forehead, although … he missed the scar by a few centimeters.


Getting used to having Voldemort around was strange, but not difficult. They slept in the same bed together, now – although Harry had yet to actually witness his Lord asleep. He knew the man must have done it at some point, but it seemed that even when he himself woke up in the middle of the night, there his Master was, beside him, completely awake. Sometimes, speaking in whispered hisses with Nagini (who seemed to slither about their shared owner's room at her will, seeking his attention constantly). Sometimes, reading a book, (and how odd, wasn't it, that Voldemort, who Harry had always thought of as purely an intellectual so seemed to most genuinely enjoy works of fiction). Sometimes, scribbling on parchment, complex runes and symbols decorating the page in miraculous drawings that Harry couldn't even begin to comprehend (but every single time he asked, it was explained so simply and with such understanding that it made him wonder at how he'd ever thought this miraculously ingenious man didn't have a capacity for patience).

They spent their days together, as well. Harry trailed along behind his Master. The sight of him in backless-shirts paired with slacks, or even jeans on more casual days, was something the Death Eaters were getting more and more used to, although their snickering and staring did, at times, still prove prevalent. Harry adored sitting at his Master's feet during meetings. He adored the subservience of it. He was learning not only to take pride in his submission, but to crave it, to love it. Especially when he had a chance to flaunt it.

He attended a meeting with Voldemort that was to include the entire assembled dark army, rather than the usual inner circle, and spent the entire first half of it on all fours, with his Master's feet rested quite deliberately uncomfortably on his head, forcing him to keep his shoulders stiff and support the weight of the other man's legs with his quickly-cramping neck. It hurt. He could hear Lucius' condescending tone echoing in his head, reminding him that any pain he suffered at the Malfoy patriarch's hand would be nothing compared to the pain he received from the Dark Lord.

And hadn't the blond been right? Oh, yes. It had been nothing, compared to this, because where Lucius could only ever bring him pain – the physical tortures of Voldemort's ministration brought only pleasure.

He stayed still, being used like furniture, until his Master rearranged his position to sit up straight, snapping his fingers to indicate Harry should come and sit on the floor beside him. At some point during this long ordeal, however, Harry had become unforgivingly hard. While he and Voldemort had, in the past few weeks, indulged in plenty of kisses, and quite a few more episodes of that incredible frottage business that they'd tried their first night together – it was more infrequent than Harry would have liked. Especially considering he had still never finished his Master off. The guilt at this reoccurring debacle however was quickly abated when he realized that Voldemort really, really, really did mean it when he'd alluded to a preference for Harry's own orgasms rather than having one himself. It seemed out of character, to Harry, for a man so distinctly narcissistic and selfish, but he went along with it.

But then the morning wood had started coming in to play, which complicated things, since Voldemort was an early riser (no pun intended) and did not display any intention of having morning sex before getting to more productive parts of his day. Like, for example, this meeting.

So here Harry was, sitting at his Master's feet where he so gladly belonged, only hard as a rock, and with no way of solving that problem. He'd been still and bared it for a very, very long time – but with Voldemort's hand returning to idly tug at his hair (an action that Harry was starting to realize occurred when the man was bored of what his followers were telling him, which was hilarious in and of itself) it became more and more difficult to be still.

Harry was reminded of the first Death Eater meeting he'd attended, and how he'd been squirming so much because he longed to be here, at his Lord's side. He had that now – it was selfish to be restless wanting more. Maybe, he reasoned, he was just as selfish as the man who owned him. The slight wriggling had been tolerated, although he knew his Master must have noticed, but when some lower-ranked idiot had started droning on and on about foreign exchange policy and Harry had been so bold as to exhale what could not be mistaken for anything other than an annoyed and impatient sigh, the hand in his hair tightened suddenly and he was yanked to his feet without warning.

"Master?" He squeaked, knowing well that he was in trouble, but unsure how to react. In all of their time together, Harry had never actually been punished. He had been beginning to think it was something that Voldemort just wasn't going to do, but realized that he had been quite wrong when a rib-shattering hex hit him square in the chest. He jumped back several feet, crumbling on the ground and hugging his arms to his chest desperately. He was pissed. He'd barely done anything wrong! He could hear Lucius preening in his seat, likely overjoyed to see the dog finally receiving the pain he'd always promised Voldemort would, eventually give. Harry's eyes cut over to the blond man, and his magic stirred angrily, numbing the pain and readying him to strike but then-

"You would dare consider harming one of my faithful, Zagar?" The tone was even, high, cold. Nothing like the way Voldemort spoke when he was explaining complex spells, or reading aloud from his fiction novels, or whispering to Nagini. But he was the same man, of course. Harry adored him with no regard. He did not, however, answer the question – instead bending over and heaving out blood as the remains of what was his rib cage sliced cruelly at his inner organs. He was dying. Fast. Lungs filling with blood, everything breaking down, only … no. Against all odds he was not quite dying, but his scar … was burning. Burning horribly, like it never had before – and he realized, quite suddenly, that he should have been dead, but could not die, unless his Lord allowed and intended it.

He sobbed. Not quite from relief, and certainly not from the physical pain, but from … the connection. This life they shared. His heart fluttered in his chest, but it did not stop, and he could vaguely hear Lucius' inquiring over what curse had made the dog cry like that.

"It's useless to shout at a mutt for misbehaving," Voldemort sighed out, standing and coming over to where Harry still lay, in euphoric defeat, bleeding out and undead, "The dog looks up at you, as you scream and wail, and only thinks: there is my beloved Master, talking to me, looking right at me, noticing me – I must have done something right."

He bends at the waist, takes Harry's hand in his own and pulls him up in a surprisingly gentle motion, "But if you constantly beat the beast, it will only learn to bite," He conjures a damp cloth, and begins to wipe the blood away from Harry's mouth, and there is agony. Terrible, crippling agony as Harry feels his ribs recomposing and shifting back into place, "Nurture the creature with affection, and it remains loyal even if you take it away," He banishes the cloth and then his hand comes down hard, slapping Harry with enough force that he nearly falls back over.

"The dog does not think to strike me back, he wants only to feel my hand again on his worthless skin," As if to prove a point, Voldemort hits him again, and Harry is, despite himself, despite his near death just moments ago – growing hard once more. How fucking pathetic. How horrific that the Dark Lord is right. Harry would take any form of touch from him. No matter how it came, and interpret it as pleasure. When had he become so brainwashed? He wondered. How was it fair to only hold on to enough of himself to recognize that this was not natural – but never enough to want it any other way?

Voldemort, of course, always feels the need to show off. He takes out his wand, the Elder Wand, and hands it to Harry, "Hold this for me," He commands, and Harry grasps the death stick wearily, "Point it at my heart," With a shaking hand, Harry again does as he's told, and the Death Eaters are disturbingly silent, some of their mouths gaping open. Are they more surprised by their Lord's trust, or by Harry's failure to break it?

"Spells read intention, yes?" Red eyes trail over the crowd, and there are a few hesitant nods, all of them nervous. Harry feels tears streaking at his face again, and silently pleads with his Master not to ask him to do what he knows is about to be asked of him. He does not trust himself – does not trust in this magic trick to work. What if he accidentally—

"Say it, Zagar," Voldemort jeers, and Harry shakes his head 'no', earning himself another hard smack that almost causes the wand to slip from its position, "Show them who my most loyal is, Harry. Say it,"

He gulps, winces his eyes shut, "Avada Kedavra," It's more a whimper, less a spell – no conviction, not even the slightest twitch of action.

"Like you mean it, Harry. You know how to cast a spell, don't you?"

The mockery annoys him, and he opens his eyes again to glare, rudely, and speaks evenly the next time. Declaratively. Clearly. Cruelly, "Avada Kedavra!"

Nothing happens. Nothing at all. Not a flinch, not a nosebleed, and Harry realizes that … this supreme show of power is not actually meant to boast Voldemort's immortality. It's meant to boast his own complete and utter devotion. He tries it again, and again, and again, and the Death Eaters get more and more antsy as he goes on, and there's a moment where he wonders if maybe he's not even able to cast the killing curse. Unable to resist with the chance so fleeting, he turns quickly – pointing the wand at Lucius instead, and lets the deathly phrase fall from his lips once more:

"Avada Kedavra,"

And there the blond lay, a moment later. Dead in a flash of green light. They were all staring at him in shock and mild terror, and Harry's own eyes widened right back at them, clearing his throat, "Sorry I – erm – I thought maybe it was just me, but um … aha, I guess it's not,"

Voldemort looked noticeably perturbed, but returned to his seat without a comment, and Harry quickly handed his wand back and shuffled to his own designated spot as well. The meeting carried on, as if nothing horribly important had occurred, everyone afraid to bring it up in conversation. No one looking to where Lucius Malfoy's body lay still on the marble ground of his own floor. This, small moment, felt like justice. It felt good, and right, and like everything was coming full circle. Harry could not be killed, because Voldemort was too fierce a protector of his soul. Harry could not kill Voldemort, because at some point he had genuinely lost the will to do so.

But Lucius. Harry would kill him again, and again, and again if he could. Each and every day, for the rest of his life. For now, however – just today would have to suffice.

A/N: I know that it's kind of ooc for Voldemort to let Harry do something like that but … there is some growth in him that is not as obviously apparent as the actions and behaviors it's encouraging.

A big thanks to you guys for always waiting so patiently for these updates, I REALLY appreciate it! Also, massive thank you to all of those who read, subscribe, favorite, and review! You are my life blood and I thank you for keeping this lonesome writer afloat!

With love,