I own nothing except the plot. Harry Potter and all the elements therein are the intellectual property / registered trademarks of JK Rowling, Scholastic Books, and Warner Brothers. All the quotes preceding the chapters come from Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. If you have not read it, take the time and do so. It is an . . . experience.
Summary: SS/HP slash. Voldemort can give Severus the one thing Dumbledore will not: an opportunity. What's a Slytherin to do?
Warnings: SS/HP slash, disturbing themes, underaged-ness, violence, mature content, dubious consent, abuse of power over a minor, somnophilia, bondage, improper use of Potions, and some dubious psychological torture.
Rated: R - this is the EDITED version; links to the NC-17 version can be found at my profile.
Notes: Takes place in the middle of Sixth Year.
Snape is not a warm, fluffy, insipid sap in this: he is a nasty, sadistic, greasy, arrogant, ego-centric wanker. Welcome to the land of IC.
This is absolutely, 100 un-related to any of my other fics.
To facilitate updates, these chapters will be shorter than the chapters in some of my other fics.
This story was originally launched under my secondary pen name, "Hanakai." For convenience's sake, I have decided to streamline my fics under my original pen name, Vain. SAME AUTHOR. SAME STORY. DIFFERENT NAME. As a fic is re-uploaded under my Vain pen name, I will delete it from my Hanakai profile. Eventually, Hanakai will be deleted entirely, so please update your faves and bookmarks to reflect this.
Thank you for all your previous reviews—I saved them all—and I hope you all review again. I'm greedy.
For progress notes on the pen name transition or if you have any questions, please see my Livejournal (linked both my profiles). I hope this doesn't inconvenience anyone & thank you for your patience.
Special Thanks to my betas Apapazukamori and E.E.S. snugs V
UTERRLY A GIFT with much love to EVELIA who draws me pretty pictures.
Plagiarism is no one's friend.
A Deep Kind of Something
"What had he to live for? What had he to look forward to? Why should he strive? To live in order to exist? Why, he had been ready a thousand times before to give up existence for the sake of an idea, for a hope, even for a fancy. Mere existence had always been too little for him; he had always wanted more. Perhaps it was just because of the strength of his desires that he had thought himself a man to whom more was permissible than to others.
And if only fate would have sent him repentanceburning repentance that would have torn his heart and robbed him of sleep, that repentance, the awful agony of which brings visions of hanging or drowning! Oh, he would have been glad of it! Tears and agonies would at least have been life. But he did not repent of his crime."
Crime and Punishment
The key is patience. Sitting. Waiting. Watching. Await the opportune moment and then act. Allow them to thing it's all their idea. The outcome—the final possession—is a reward in and of itself. Just . . . be patient.
And plant your seeds where and when you can. We all, after all, must reap everything that we've sown.
It began as an idea—a simple thought. I watched him in potions class as he licked a bit of the melted chocolate we were using off his fingers. Then he put his pointer finger in his mouth and sucked.
I was lost.
I'm sure that there were precursors . . . perhaps I knew what I wanted before I even saw him. Perhaps I decided all those long years ago when the words "Harry Potter lived!" were first hissed in whispers on the last day of October. Perhaps I've always known. It is, after all, the best revenge . . . To take that which is your enemy's and make it your own. To turn their strength into your advantage . . . Their joy into their downfall. The idea began to germinate—to fester like a wound in my mind. It would not let me be.
As long as even one Marauder survived, how could I ever be whole? Knowing what they were . . . those supposedly Golden Gryffindors—and they were all standing idly by as those monsters took from me the only safety I'd ever known—how could I do anything less? Potter, Evans, and Pettigrew dead . . . Black in prison . . . the werewolf vanished to no-one-knows-where. Yet it wasn't enough.
Because he was there: the cherry-cheeked, wide eyed scion of those accursed bastards. I saw him at the feast—staring at me curiously with those inhumanly innocent eyes—and I loathed him. I wanted to rage. To destroy. To torture him slowly until he begged for death.
This boy who was supposed to be our savior . . . How could they all be so blind? He wasn't special or different. Just a near-sighted, knobby-kneed, too-short, wide-eyed child whose apparent ignorance was stupidly perceived as endearing and whose recklessness was misconstrued as bravery.
I had expectations! Plans.
Harry Potter was not supposed to be this vapid, insipid pseudo-muggle. He was to be an opponent—his father's son—something I could tear down and destroy. Something that I would feel accomplished in tearing apart bit by bit. He most certainly was not supposed to be this stupid, pretty, fragile flower of a child, underweight and with the faint aftertaste of abuse and misuse. What victory was there in conquering this fey creature?
And so I hated him.
He robbed me of my revenge—of my plans. There was nothing to be done with this child. He was of no use to me.
And then the "incidents" began. Quirrel. The Chamber of Secrets. And this pretty little man-child who fought basilisks and Dark Lords was so easily riled . . . Only I could make his cheeks flush like that. Only I could make him so angry. Those green eyes flashed just for me. But it was not enough. I wanted more than that. I wanted everything.
Then came Third Year. Then came Sirius Black. Afterwards, Black was a weapon to wield against him—a hostage for his temper. But he was also an opponent. I saw him—watched him—touching the boy. A hug. A pat on the head. A hand on his shoulder. I saw how the brat's eyes shined when the mutt's name was mentioned. I saw him and I knew.
The convict had to go.
How dare he of all people be the one to bring out that spark that no one else could touch. Sirius fucking Black—the beloved black sheep. Albus's poster boy for the reform of dark families. The godfather of my . . . of the boy.
Yes. Mine. I had decided by then. I knew.
The best revenge is living well. And I am not a forgiving man.
Did that idiot Black really believe I'd let him take one more thing from me?
When the boy's third year came, I knew I had to stand between him and the mutt. Only a fool could have missed how desperately lonely the boy was. He only had two friends for Merlin's sake. And every year—every incident—only isolated him a bit more. Drew him away from the herd and made him more vulnerable to me. I knew that if the boy had known that Black was his godfather—convict or not—he'd give the smarmy bastard the benefit of the doubt. Really, the child is sickeningly kind-hearted.
But the werewolf was there, too. Hovering over the child. Those private lessons. Those looks at what was mine. Why the hell did he have to return? And the stupid boy followed him everywhere like a child's pull toy—those flashing green eyes looking up at that beast-blood with empty-headed adoration, utterly unaware of the monster inside his precious Professor Lupin. I practically told him the danger the man presented, but the stupid soft-hearted whelp didn't listen.
The little fop is utterly incapable of making decisions. Twit.
So once again I had to sweep to his rescue. It does not do, after all, to allow one's things to be mistreated. And then the little ingrate had the audacity to turn his wand against me. To humiliate me. To steal from me my revenge and let that thrice damned convict go. How dare he! How dare he presume to stand in judgment over me, the one person who obviously knows what's good for him.
But the key is patience. Diligence. Persistence. And, ultimately, he's mine anyway, so anything else doesn't really matter.
Albus's pet werewolf was removed from the scene and Black, as a fugitive, couldn't go near the boy. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but he's a fickle little creature, so I knew the boy would cling only to a fantasy of Black. The reality of the man was something far different, and—though he's not remarkably bright—Potter loathes being deceived.
Fourth Year arrived. I stood waiting in the shadows, always watching and waiting. I let it slip to the boy's simple-minded House Elf that gillyweed was in my possession, once again rescuing the boy from his own lack of preparation. But Moody was a problem. He watched me too closely—would let me nowhere near the silly boy. I couldn't protect him—not the way that it needed to be done. When he vanished during the Third Trial, I knew it was Moody. The old bastard took him from me. Yet once again my boy returned to me—bent double beneath the weight of a corpse, but he returned. Alive. Whole. Well.
And then Albus—despite all my warnings—handed him right over to Moody. The fool. Though imagine my surprise to find little Barty Crouch, all grown up.
But we got him in the end and the child was once again safe.
Or so I had thought.
With the Dark Lord's return, things changed. Albus still kept me under his watchful eye—just to be sure that I remained one of his good and faithful little soldiers—but now I was in a position of power. I was once again a spy—once again a Death Eater. I was embedded in the Order once more and sent by the Light's aged captain to kneel at the Dark Lord's throne again and again. It was on my information that coups and counterstrokes were planned. But, most importantly, I had a choice. I had options. And I fully intended to use them.
The boy was fifteen by now—not a child for much longer—and was distanced from everyone: Albus, the Order, his friends . . . But not from me. Twice a week he was given to me on a platter and so I taught him. I rooted through his mind for secrets—things that no one knew—and I planted a few seeds of my own. A suggestion here. An idea there. I cut him away from those who would take him from me. The Chinese Ravenclaw girl. The Headmaster. Even a whisper or two in his ear about Black. A warning. 'Don't blindly trust him.' 'Don't allow him to talk you into anything dangerous.' I encouraged him to look away from those crumbling pillars on which he'd rested his faith and trust and pulled him just a bit closer to me. Slowly. Subtly.
And I knew it was hurting him, but it really was necessary. I had to allow that sliver of curiosity about me and my past to grow and spread through his mind. To turn into a need to know more about me. And then it blew up in my face.
I never imagined he would dare to enter my memories. But he did. He entered and saw my ultimate humiliation. An unnecessary, but inevitable stop on a long line of humiliation and degradation at the hands of those . . . Gryffindors.
I could have killed him. Had he been anyone else, I would have killed him.
How dare he . . .
I needed time. Time away from the whelp. Time to rethink my plans and . . . decompress. Time to myself.
I don't know why I ever imagined I could take my eyes off him for a moment in good conscience. The boy is hopelessly inept in matters of his own protection. It was only a matter of time. That toad of a woman, Umbridge, caught him this time.
Really, if Albus would simply let me have the damned Defense position, he'd have no more worry about people hexing the little fool into oblivion. I have certainly never had the Dark Lord attached to the back of my skull, or turned into a werewolf, or tried to Obliviate the child into insanity, or been a Ministry mole. If Albus trusted the boy to me half as much as he claimed to, he would simply hand the boy over to me now and save us all a lot of time and bother.
But Albus can be very much a fool. He is utterly blinded by his love for this child. The boy has the old goat practically wrapped around his finger and both of them are too thickheaded to even see it. But I can see it. Harry Potter has become Albus's weakness. What kind of Slytherin would I be if I didn't use this to my advantage?
And the manipulative old git really thinks he can trust me when he stands directly in the way of what I want.
Though, I can't say he trusts me as much as he used to—not after Black's most . . . lamentable death.
It really was perfect, though. A masterstroke. Black gone, Potter wracked by guilt and depression, the Ministry mole removed, and Albus cut off from his Golden Boy. I never could have planned anything so perfect . . . or anything that left me so rigorously free of culpability. The seeds I had planted are beginning to blossom.
It's a marvelous thing to see. So beautiful to watch the fruit of one's labors ripen.
A meeting. A plan. A whisper at the hem of black robes.
They're going to lose, the so-called Light Side. I can see it. They thought to offer up a child as a sacrifice for their own sins—their hubris. But he is not theirs to give. He's mine.
And I don't share.
How could I have ever imagined things differently?
"Harry Potter lived!"
I find myself repeating the words in the darkness of my chambers at night.
"Harry Potter lived!"
I will see to it that he continues to do so. He's a pretty thing, after all. No revenge has ever been less onerous than this. I have no care for the world, as long as I can secure what is mine.
And the wolf will die of grief when he realizes what has happened.
Really . . . despite all that's happened, things simply could not be going better.
Chapter One: Poor Boys and Pilgrims
"Little Master will be a good boy eventually," the Elf said in what was no doubt supposed to be a conciliatory tone. "Master will make everything alright."