Title: Gravity

Author: Yaoi no Megami

Rating: R

Disclaimer: I don't own it. Get over it.

Word Count: 3,514

Summary: What will the Boy Who Lived do when the very darkness he tried so desperately to escape returns with a vengeance to tear at the crevices of his mind, ravage his body, and engulf his very soul? PreHBP. Eventual HPDM.

Warnings: Torture, Non-consensual sex/rape…

Notes: You guys are so discouraging. Two reviews. I am now thoroughly depressed. Please, I beg of you, go to my livejournal! The link can be found in my profile.

Cheers to: FroBoy and angel74 for reviewing.

-:- .:. -:- On and on, does anybody know what we are living for? -:- .:. -:-

Chapter Three: The Show Must Go On

The next morning Harry pushed his food around on his plate out of sheer boredom, ignoring the obvious stares in his direction and urgent whispers surrounding him. He tuned out the fierce debate between Ron and Hermione in favor of observing the Head Table, his gaze lingering slightly on the empty seat where the DADA teacher normally sat.

"Hermione, did Professor Martinelli resign?" Harry asked, attempting to seem hopeful for her sake.

She looked a bit startled but Harry couldn't distinguish whether it was from being so rudely interrupted or the fact that he was actually initiating a conversation. Still eyeing him oddly, she responded, "Yes, I thought you knew, she's been replaced by Professor Stryker. He's actually an exceptional teacher compared to that old hag…"

Unable to prevent the snicker that passed his lips, Harry let her return to her speech to Ron on house elf rights. Last year DADA was his favorite class, Professor Martinelli didn't do anything all year except read cheesy muggle romance novels. It irked Hermione beyond all reason; the only thing the old woman had them do was read the DADA textbook from cover to cover over the course of the year— taking notes and all. Of course the majority of the students spent their time working on forgotten homework or goofing off with their friends, but Professor Martinelli was none the wiser. He could only hope the new teacher would be as lenient…

Harry pulled himself out of his reverie when someone tapped him on the shoulder. Blinking uncertainly when the conversation around him abruptly died away, he turned to come face to face with his Head of House.

"Good morning, Professor McGonagall." Harry eyed her curiously, wondering what he could've possibly done to receive such attention. In response she handed him a piece of parchment he recognized as his timetable, a small smile gracing her face.

"It's good to have you back, Mr. Potter."

Nodding in recognition and thanks, Harry turned back to his uneaten breakfast, peering at his timetable curiously. His eyes went straight towards today's schedule, Thursday, only to sigh in disappointment; his first class of the day was Double NEWT Potions. After Potions he had NEWT Transfiguration, lunch, followed by a free period, and NEWT Defense Against the Dark Arts as the final class of the day. He had to congratulate himself on having some luck; after all he managed to get out of the Hospital Wing just in time for the weekend, not to mention the fact that it was a Hogsmeade weekend.

-:- .:. -:- .:. -:-

Shivering unconsciously from the frigid dungeon air, Harry tried hopelessly to focus on the potion he was supposed to be concocting. After Snape entered— robes billowing behind him as usual— he briskly spelled the directions for a standard sleeping draught onto the board and assigned them partners. He proceeded to bark at them to get started while he began to grade papers with a zeal that could only mean somebody was failing. As if trying to prove he was in a truly foul mood, Snape paired Harry with Blaise Zabini, who was known to be the worst potion maker out of all the Slytherins.

To tell the truth, Harry was fairing much better than he would have with Malfoy. The dark haired boy, much quieter than Harry anticipated, seemed to be pensive throughout the entire class, like he was in a world of his own. Perhaps that was his problem. All in all, there wasn't much work for Harry to do; even after years of Potions he still hadn't improved much. Zabini proposed that Harry could stir the potion while he took care of the ingredients— which was fine with Harry because the instructions for this potion seemed rather complicated.

Much to Harry's delight, everything appeared to be going fine. They had several close calls, but with Harry going over the instructions continually, he managed to prevent most of the mishaps that would've normally occurred. Their potion was the correct color, Snape wasn't breathing down his neck (though Harry figured it was only a matter of time,) and Harry had yet to get into a fight with anyone. Even Malfoy seemed unnervingly calm.

Harry watched anxiously as Zabini dropped the last ingredient into the simmering potion: chopped asphodel roots. The change was immediate. The potion began bubbling unpleasantly and gradually changed from light blue to a troubling violet.

"What did you do?" Harry hissed, just loud enough for the inattentive boy to hear.

He looked back to the instructions and bit back a groan. Crushed asphodel roots… not chopped! One bubble popped particularly loudly, piercing the near-silence in the Potions classroom and gaining the attention of several students close by. Harry blushed scarlet, inwardly groaning in defeat at the obvious failed attempt to make the simple sleeping draught.

Harry wasted no time in ducking under the desk, pretending to tie his shoe laces as the potion bubbled ominously. A few seconds later a loud explosion sounded, closely followed by the splatter of their potion across the ceiling.

-:- .:. -:- .:. -:-

Feeling oddly content approaching the final class of the day, Harry jogged to catch up with Ron and Hermione before they made it to Defense Against the Dark Arts. After the explosion in Advanced Potions, things weren't exactly what you'd call pretty.

"Where were you at lunch, mate?"

"Zabini made our potion explode and Snape had us clean up the mess without our wands. Let me tell you, it is not easy to half scrape, half scrub a congealed purple potion off the ceiling…" At this the red head burst out laughing, drawing the attention of people in the hallway before Harry and Hermione slowly joined in as they neared the classroom.

However, upon entering Harry stood in the doorway of the DADA classroom, frozen in shock, unable to tear his eyes away from their new teacher. Fate certainly had a way of throwing curveballs his way didn't it…?

Ron and Hermione's laughter died down as they turned to stare at him questioningly when they realized he was no longer following them.

"Harry?"

Hermione's voice sounded faint in comparison to the resonating thud of his erratic heartbeat in his head. He tried, without avail, to swallow the lump rapidly forming in the back of his throat, looking at the man he thought he'd never have to lay eyes on again. In a daze, he allowed Hermione to tug him by the hand to the nearest seat.

"What is it?" She whispered quietly, if not a bit anxiously.

Her voice was tight with anxiety and the alarm she felt was quite clear in her eyes. Harry could see Ron take the empty seat in front of them, gazing back at him in worry. But he wasn't focused on them. Sitting behind the desk in front of the class, an all too familiar pair of amethyst eyes watched him smugly.

Watching him as if he'd planned it all along.

It was just like the first day Harry saw him. Still as confident as ever, his feet resting atop the desk with the wooden chair tilted dangerously, shoes glinting at him under the bright sunlight streaming in through the window. Dressed in expensive black robes not unlike the ones he was wearing… that day. Rich, honey bangs fell messily into his eyes, though he made no move to brush them away, and his eyes shone with a predatory gleam Harry had come to know oh-so-well.

Harry mindlessly took out a piece parchment and tried to appear busy taking notes as soon as the lesson began. He caught himself unconsciously tugging down sleeve on more than one occasion as the lesson dragged on. The class stretched into an eternity for Harry, full of systematic nudges from Hermione and concerned glances from Ron. Fear coursed through Harry's veins of its own accord, constantly replenished through subtle brushes against him and devious smirks in his direction. His body was taut as a bowstring, only tremors of trepidation disturbing his marble-like appearance. It was much like being in a trance— he couldn't summon the strength to move or speak… his pounding heart drowned out any thoughts he might have had.

He really should've seen this coming.

Anticipation filled him as the end of the period neared; Harry was glad it was the last class of the day. A familiar feeling of exhaustion had been ebbing away at his patience since the disaster in Potions. He unconsciously pushed his sleeve back a bit to trace the edge of his scar, memories still fresh in his mind.

The moment that 'Professor Stryker,' as he was apparently being called, dismissed the class Harry bolted from his seat and hastily made his way towards the door, visibly anxious to leave.

"Mr. Potter… a word?"

He froze in the doorway at Michael's words, alarms sounding in his head as the hairs on the back of his neck rose. Harry expertly ignored the students that brushed past him on their way to the Great Hall and their questioning backward glances. Slowly turning to face Michael, who was leaning casually against his cluttered desk, Harry warily made his way back into the classroom. Harry didn't like the look in his eyes— it was much too familiar. Harry kept his eyes trained on Michael's obviously taller figure as he ambled closer, stopping only a few feet before Harry.

"Did you enjoy your little vacation? Two weeks is an awfully long time Potter." Shifting uneasily under the intense stare of his 'professor,' Harry resolutely stepped back every time Michael nonchalantly moved forward.

"You really thought I'd give up so easily?"

Harry backed up until his back hit the cold stone wall, heart beating wildly in his chest. He could only watch with wide eyes as Michael strode closer, smirk firmly in place as he pinned him against the wall. With that suffocating presence that made him cringe pressing his freshly healed back into the wall, Harry could only avert his eyes so he didn't have to look into those laughing amethyst eyes. Laughing at him for thinking it was over, for thinking he could really get away. He searched desperately for a way out, struggling against his captor with no avail. Honestly, what kind of match was he for a man a full head taller than him?

"Do you think I'm stupid? Did you honestly think you'd never see me again? I knew you'd escape before long… and come running right back here," Michael hissed vehemently in his ear. The other man's breath ghosted over his skin, causing a shiver to run down his spine unpleasantly. He paused to compose himself and Harry's quick, uneven breathing seemed to echo in the quiet room.

"Oh, the wonders a simple Polyjuice Potion can work…" Michael muttered cryptically, a chuckle of private amusement escaping his lips. Running his fingers down the side of Harry's face gently, ignoring the way Harry tried to cringe away from his touch, Michael fixed him with an intense stare.

He abruptly gripped Harry's chin with bruising force and tilted his face towards the light, "You might make a lovely present yet…"

-:- .:. -:- .:. -:-

Harry stumbled into the Room of Requirement, tripping over his own feet in his haste, blinking away the tears that were steadily forming. Biting his lip in a futile attempt to prevent a sob from escaping, he gratefully sank into the warm sheets of the bed in the center of the room. Trembling uncontrollably, he slipped beneath the black sheets— his body felt warm enough but he felt inexplicably numb all the same. His eyes stung at the onslaught of a fresh wave of tears.

Fate certainly had a unique way of toying with him.

It was funny how you could so suddenly be overwhelmed by memories… no matter what he did he was forever reminded of the past. Was he really expected to look at Michael everyday? To remember the unspeakable things he'd suffered at the hands of the Death Eater day after day?

The solid ground his world once rested upon was crumbling beneath his feet, as it had been since Sirius' death two years ago, and he was finally reaching his breaking point. He had so many scars… wounds on the surface as well as beneath the skin that would never heal, that would continue to torment him for as long as he lived.

There had to be a solution. There was always a solution. Had he finally backed himself into a corner?

No. He couldn't accept that.

Dumbledore. He had to go to Dumbledore. He'd always helped him before, right? His gut clenched at the idea of having to tell him everything that happened a mere two weeks ago. Harry had a terrible feeling that it wouldn't matter, even if he did speak to Dumbledore about his dilemma. Something about the way Michael spoke to him, he was so smug, like he had nothing to worry about.

It wasn't clear how long Harry had been the Room of Requirement, clutching the sheets while his shoulders shook with silent sobs, thoughts racing.

Dumbledore. He would speak to Dumbledore in the morning.

With that thought he slipped into a fitful sleep.

-:- .:. -:- .:. -:-

When Harry awoke, after a quickly muttered "Tempus" he realized that he'd already missed breakfast as well half of his first class; History of Magic. But, Harry reassured himself, even if by some miracle Professor Binns did realize he wasn't in class, Harry was confident that he'd be excused.

After a quick trip to the kitchens to sate his hunger (after all he'd skipped lunch and dinner the previous day,) he anxiously walked towards the Headmaster's office. It had taken him nearly 10 minutes to guess the password— Tangerine Taffy Tart— and travel up the steps until he was standing before a door, attempting to muster the courage to knock.

Harry took a calming deep breath, trying to prepare himself mentally for what he was about to reveal. He was more than uncomfortable with the idea of having to talk to the Headmaster about what had actually occurred during his absence from school a few short weeks ago, but it was something he needed to do. Despite the feeling of unease rising in his chest, he forced himself to raise a hand to knock firmly on the wooden door. At the faint consent of entrance which drifted through the thick door, Harry complied, albeit a bit unwillingly.

The old man seemed vaguely surprised to see him— perhaps because he should be in class— but welcomed him inside warmly nevertheless, neatly tucking some papers he'd been leaning over into a drawer. Dumbledore pushed his half spectacles up the bridge of his nose and offered Harry a lemon drop, which he politely declined.

"What can I do for you, my boy?"

Harry didn't know where to start. Color rose to his cheeks at his own lack of response and a thousand possibilities of conversation starters raced through his mind. None of them seemed appealing. Staring at the Headmaster's intertwined fingers seemed to be the best way to go, until he spoke again.

"Is there a reason you're not in class?" Dumbledore asked in what he probably thought was a gentle tone. It only came off as impatient to Harry though.

"I overslept." Came the absently mumbled response, a pregnant silence following in its wake. "I— I wanted to…" Harry began weakly, searching for the right words to tell his sordid story. "That is," he fumbled over his words again, taking a deep breath to quell the anxiety coursing through his veins.

"It all started on the ride to King's Cross…" Once he started, he couldn't stop. The worlds just kept tumbling from his lips with a life of their own. Speaking about it wasn't easy of course, but it did feel good to let out all the pent up emotions.

Dumbledore lapsed into silence after hearing Harry's account of the previous two weeks, drawing his hands into his lap before letting his poignant blue eyes to rest on Harry. "I'm afraid that's impossible, my boy." Before Harry could even endeavor to protest, Dumbledore held up a hand to silence him. "While it is a fascinating story," here he paused to look at him meaningfully, "None of the things you've told me quite add up."

Feeling his gut clench at the unpleasant turn of the conversation, the feeling he had last night intensified tenfold at the Headmaster's words. He stared at the old man he'd once considered a friend in disbelief.

"While I don't doubt that a Death Eater kidnapped you or any of the things you've told me about the past two weeks, I'm afraid you must be mistaken. Perhaps the Death Eater simply reminds you of Professor Stryker? Perhaps a spell the Death Eater cast on you misleads you to think that your Professor did these things to you? Among other things, Professor Stryker arrived at Hogwarts approximately two weeks before the term began and has only left grounds on two separate occasions to run errands for less than an hour. I hardly think that is enough time for what you've described to take place. It is highly unlikely that Professor Stryker is a Death Eater as you say; throughout his time here countless people have had opportunities to see his Dark Mark and it has not been reported. Furthermore, I have seen his unmarred arm myself; I have no reason to believe he is a Death Eater. You have absolutely no proof on which to stake your claim, Mr. Potter."

Harry's cheeks began to flush in anger and embarrassment as he noticed the subtle change back to his surname. This was what he got for going out on a limb to ask for help? "But— I… Look at the bruises on my face! Do you think I did this to myself?" Harry sputtered indignantly, hands clenching the armrests of the chair tightly.

True, the dark purple bruises on his jaw were peculiarly shaped like someone's fingers, but the Headmaster seemed to brush it off. "Of course not, Mr. Potter." At Harry's hopeful look, he quickly continued, "However, anyone could have given you those bruises. I can't dismiss the first competent DADA teacher we've had in years just because of your accusations."

Harry's knuckles were white from gripping the arms of the chair at this point, struggling to keep himself in check. Through clenched teeth he managed to grind out, "So then you're saying that you think I'm lying."

It was more of a statement than a question.

Harry took Dumbledore's silence as a yes and rose from his seat without a moment's hesitation, glaring resentfully at the Headmaster before turning on his heel and storming out of the office as quickly as his feet could carry him. Angry tears of frustration coursed down his cheeks unbridled as he wandered the halls aimlessly, ducking into empty classrooms every time a student ambled by. It had to be time for lunch. A frown was etched onto his flushed, tearstained face as he reflected on his situation.

How could Dumbledore brush him off so easily? He just told the Headmaster that he was tortured, raped even! He didn't respond with compassion or concern, just cold logic. It wasn't like him at all. Something strange was going on and Harry was positive that Michael was involved.

How did he do it? That was the question of the hour.

Without warning, someone tightly wrenched his arm until he stumbled into a dimly lit classroom, flush against a hard body. The blood drained from his face when he found himself staring into a familiar pair of smug heliotrope eyes, fear gripping his heart as he struggled to free himself from the vice like grip around his waist. Harry recoiled when Michael bent down, and for a moment cold terror gripped him. Harry was positive he was about to kiss him but instead his lips only grazed his cheek.

"Didn't I tell you it wouldn't be that easy?"

It came out as a harsh whisper, ghosting over his ear before Michael bit down hard enough to draw blood. From there his tongue trailed along his jaw line, nipping painfully at the delicate skin, and a hand slipped into his messy hair to hold him in place as he was forcibly kissed. For a moment the hand around his waist disappeared, only to slide inside his robes a second later. Harry couldn't help but wince, suppressing a shudder when Michael's cold fingers slipped beneath his shirt so he could rake his nails up and down Harry's back.

Harry was startled and relieved when he finally pulled away, withdrawing so quickly that Harry's knees buckled and he landed on the floor without Michael supporting his weight. Michael smiled down at his kneeling figure, a twisted sort of affection shining in his eyes.

"You'd better get used to being on your knees."