- Vain


Standard Disclaimer:
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, frottage, improper use of Potions, and dubious psychological torture.
Rated: R (this is the edited version)

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 is also available on Skyehawke dot com.

Please read the warnings above before reading this chapter.

Special Thanks to my betas Apapazukamori and E.E.S. snugs V All remaining errors are my own.

This fic is UTERRLY A GIFT with much love to EVELIA who draws me pretty pictures.

Plagiarism is no one's friend.


Chapter Six:
And He Went Forth Conquering and to Conquer


""To be pitied! Why am I to be pitied?" Marmeladov suddenly declaimed, standing up with his arms outstretched, as though he had been only waiting for that question.

"Why am I to be pitied, you say? Yes! there's nothing to pity me for! I ought to be crucified, crucified on a cross, not pitied! Crucify me, oh judge, crucify me but pity me! And then I will go of myself to be crucified, for it's not merry-making I seek but tears and affliction! Do you suppose, you that sell, that this pint of yours has been sweet to me? It was affliction I sought at the bottom of it, tears and affliction, and have found it, and I have tasted it; but He will pity us Who has had pity on all men, Who has understood all men and all things, He is the One, He too is the judge. . . . And He will judge and will forgive all, the good and the evil, the wise and the meek. . . . And when He has done with all of them, then He will summon us. 'You too come forth,' He will say, 'Come forth ye drunkards, come forth, ye weak ones, come forth, ye children of shame!' And we shall all come forth, without shame and shall stand before him. And He will say unto us, 'Ye are swine, made in the Image of the Beast and with his mark; but come ye also!' And the wise ones and those of understanding will say, 'Oh Lord, why dost Thou receive these men?' And He will say, 'This is why I receive them, oh ye wise, this is why I receive them, oh ye of understanding: because not one of them believed himself to be worthy of this.' And He will hold out His hands to us and we shall fall down before him . . . and we shall weep . . . and we shall understand all things! Then we shall understand all! . . . Lord, Thy kingdom come!" And he sank down on the bench exhausted, and helpless, looking at no one, apparently oblivious of his surroundings and plunged in deep thought. "

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment

"If I can remove Harry Potter as a threat indefinitely, may I have him to do with as I please without any interference?"

". . . You are in no position to bargain for anything, Sssseveruss . . . Not when your own status is so . . . contested."

"Forgive me my impertinence, my Lord. However, even with the support you've been gaining recently, you yourself have said that much remains uncertain while Potter is still unaccounted for."

"Perhaps. But you of all people should know that any Potter is best accounted for in a hole in the earth or a funeral pyre."

Dark eyes rose suddenly, an act of surprising daring. "In some cases, my Lord. Nonetheless, the boy's powers and talents are a resource that could potentially be exploited to great benefit."

"You truly are impertinent today, Severus. Potter—in all his foolhardy Gryffindor bravery—would die before accepting an alliance with me. Tell me why I should indulge your madness further."

"Potter has been . . . misinformed, my Lord. He could be . . . 'corrected' with the proper guidance. Though strong, he lacks the discipline and skill to organize his abilities. It would not be overly difficult to 'adjust' his way of thinking, my Lord."

"And you so graciously offer yourself as his proctor?"

"His keeper, my Lord. Anything else, I should not presume."

There was a long moment of silence.

Then: "You are dismissed, Severus. I will be expecting a far more thorough report on that fool Dumbledore's actions when next I call you. Oh, and Severus? . . . Your impertinence can occasionally be quite endearing. Crucio!


The touching started.

Or maybe it had started before and Harry just hadn't noticed. Things were different at Snape Hall. There was a set routine and they did not once, not ever deviate from that routine. Once he had the big things down, it was easy to notice the small things. Like the touching.

In Harry's admittedly limited experience, Snape was not a tactile person. The man covered nearly every inch of his body in layers of the most imposing looking robes available. He intentionally skirted past people in the halls, leaving nothing tangible but the quiet snap of his robes and the scent of almonds in his wake. Watching him stride through the Great Hall was like watching the Red Sea part. If his foreboding expressions didn't put someone off, the air of thinly veiled violence certainly did the trick. Snape was . . . untouchable.

. . . Which was probably why it had taken Harry so long to notice.

They began to have dueling lessons every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. Snape would stand behind him, so close that Harry almost choked on the man's overwhelming presence, and would put a hand on his hip to shift his stance. Or sometimes, standing at his ward's back, he would take Harry's right hand in his own and adjust the boy's grip on the wand. Occasionally, he did both at once.

The first time that happened, Harry's breath caught in his throat and he jerked away, only to stumble on his own robes and lose his balance. Snape caught him by the waist and jerked his backwards so that Harry ended up with his feet dangling an inch above the ground and his entire body pressed flush against that of his instructor. The heat from the Potions Master enveloped him in an almond-scented cloud and went straight to the Gryffindor's groin, making him gasp aloud at the almost painful tension suddenly strumming through him. And then Snape released him, barking some insult that Harry couldn't quite hear. The incident had left Harry dazed and breathless for the rest of the day.

In Arithmancy and Defense studies, the Professor would walk around his work area like a hawk circling prey, and the area of his pacing seemed to come closer and closer to the boy's chair everyday. Then there were the Potions lessons. Again, Snape would directly stand behind him, overwhelming his pupil with his body heat, and adjust the speed at which the teen stirred the cauldron, or bend down slightly to add an ingredient, his breath whispering over Harry's cheek as he did so. He always seemed to be behind the boy, just out of his ward's line of sight. Their proximity was such that, had Harry turned to confront the professor about something, their faces would have touched.

At times, laboring over a cauldron, or even alone in the Library during his free study periods, the idea would cross the Potter heir's mind and a slow, strange kind of shiver would move through him. The thought made him feel both slightly ill and overheated at the same time, as though he were fevered, and as time passed Snape's presence slowly became all-encompassing when they were together. The idea began to emerge more and more frequently, preying on Harry at strange moments and making him feel even more restless than he already was.

Every brush of contact made the boy feel hot and dizzy—like that time he had taken a great big swig of fire whiskey and almost passed out as a result. Even the near misses, those moments where Snape seemed a hair's breath from touching him, only to suddenly deviate, left the younger man almost gasping for air. His skin felt perpetually electrified, tight, and uncomfortable. Not even sleep was an escape. Harry's dreams were restless, vivid, and fleeting, and every day he woke up groggy, unrested, and bewildered. Even worse than these strange half-nightmares, however, were the waking memories of that terrible Dark Room Snape had put him in.

At times, walking down the hallway to the Blue Room for his lessons with Flicker perpetually in tow, the memory would come upon him all at once and he could literally feel the pounding in his head once more and the cold, damp air, and his vision would go black and that horrid, clawing, crawling feeling would resume. Each time, the air would thin and Harry would drop to his knees, unable to cry out as his treacherous mind forced him to relive the horror all over again. When the attacks came, Flicker would remain by his side, soothing him with House Elf magic until Snape arrived and force fed the boy a potion that would calm him.

The very first time this occurred, Harry awoke on the floor of the third floor hallway, sweating and panting and utterly ashamed to realize that his body had betrayed him in a panic and he'd soiled himself. Snape, however, merely took it in stride. Ignoring the boy's humiliation, he summoned Fiddle for a clean set of clothes, and taught his charge a special cleaning spell reserved for small children. Too embarrassed and confused to form the words, Harry had simply held still as the man cast the spell and allowed Flicker to shuffle him off to the third floor toilet. It was decorated with pink roses. The scent clung to the walls and made the boy nauseous.

Flicker remained silent as he helped the youth into a clean pair of slacks, his enormous blue eyes doleful.

Harry avoided the Elf's gaze. "Aren't you going to ask me what happened?"

Ever helpful, the servant buttoned the boy's pants and gently drew up the zipper as Harry's arms hung limply at his side. His small, nimble fingers clasped the belt buckle closed. "Master is not liking bad boys," he murmured sadly. His bat-like ears were almost flat on his head. "Flicker is telling Little Master. Little Master must be being a good boy from now on. Flicker is not wanting his Little Master to be going to the Dark Place again . . ."

And Harry nodded numbly, ignoring the tremor in his legs and the perfume and anxiety induced roiling of his stomach. He didn't want to go back to the Dark Place again, either. Ever. It had been without a doubt one of the most terrible moments of his life.

He'd do almost anything to never see that room again.

Almost anything.

Neither he nor Flicker mentioned the room again, nor did Snape make any reference to it. In Harry's mind, though, that somehow made it worse. The threat of another punishment in that place hung over him like the sword of Damocles and—combined with his almost perpetual anxiety and exhaustion—made him bite back his words and protests.

And thus Harry learned. Learned to go through the motions. Learned to not speak out or fight. Learned to relax his hand in place of clenching his fist. Learned to swallow the ache inside him.

It was hard lesson. Sometimes, he would bite his tongue or the inside of his cheek until he tasted the hot, coppery tang of blood. Other times, he would push the words down so hard, he felt as though he were choking on them.

It was as though his life were being bleached—like all the color and reality of everything were being leached away. A thin, slippery film of gray seemed to coat the world and sometime Harry felt as though, if he reached out to touch something, it would simply ghost through his fingers like a three dimensional shadow. Nothing was solid. Nothing was tangible. Nothing seemed real anymore. Harry felt disconnected and isolated and Hogwarts and his life seemed like a dream that some other person had had and shared one day over lunch. It seemed synthetic somehow, as though the harder he tried to grasp it, the more quickly it slid away. A part of him wanted to confront Snape about this, but every time he got near the man his head felt tight and overheated and he choked on the words.

He didn't talk to Snape . . . not even to argue. In fact, he didn't really talk to anyone, really. Truth be told, he was terribly lonely. And very much alone.

In this manner the days dragged on for a week, and then two, each day passing more slowly than the last. Time smeared together into nothing more than a recycled routine. It stopped being Monday or Tuesday; instead becoming Dueling day or Potions day, or his favorite day of all: Free Day. Sunday. The day when he was free of Snape. The day when he could read what he wanted and was even allowed outside. The one day of the week he had to pretend that he was someone else somewhere else, far away from the Harry Potter who was locked in the White Tower of Snape Hall.

Occasionally it worked. He would forget himself in the woods that surrounded the Hall, losing himself among the strange plants and small, magical animals that inhabited the outer ring of the forest. He came to live for those day and looked forward to them all week. The peace and clarity they instilled in his was almost enough to carry him into the next day.

Until Snape touched him.

The hand on his hip. The brush of their fingers as Snape gripped him. The sheer heat the other man radiated . . . It was terrible. It was distracting. It was humiliating. It was . . . arousing.

He hated it. He hated Snape and Snape Hall, but he hated the touching the most. And he really hated the fact that he was starting to like it. Crave it, even. Deprived of even a moment's privacy to masturbate without Flicker or Snape there to see him, and lacking the company of any other human being, Snape's touches were like fire. Harry's knees would tremble slightly, and his mouth would become inexplicably dry, and his belly would quiver.

It was mortifying.

He tried to tell himself that it was a normal reaction. After all, he was a teenage boy. He had . . . urges, just like anyone else. But it didn't change the reality of the situation. It Snape, for Merlin's sake! That nose. Those teeth. Those filthy, long, thin, stained fingers . . . The man's body burnt like a furnace and his personality was more twisted than a pretzel.

But it felt good.

So good . . .

And sometimes, when those beetle black eyes were locked on his and the scent of almonds was so powerful that he couldn't breath, the air thickened between them and he couldn't help but wonder if maybe . . . just maybe . . . Snape thought that he felt good, too.

The situation was intolerable and seemed to worsen each day. Things simply could not continue like this. It was no surprise then, when the Harry reached his breaking point one day during dueling. In retrospect, the Gryffindor would look back and say that it wasn't his fault, but it was useless to place blame. It happened and the bell could not be un-rung.

It was muggy on that day. Even in the atmosphere-controlled Manor the air seemed a bit stickier than usual. Then tension had been worse than usual. Snape had moved his Potions class to the morning and pushed dueling back to immediately after the Potions lesson. The result was that Harry ended up spending half the morning half hard and frustrated. By the time dueling came around, he felt as though he were going to lose his mind if he couldn't do something soon. He was hopelessly distracted, which was probably why Snape was so sharp about correcting him.

His stance was off and his wrist was weak and wavering. In a real duel, he probably would have been killed. The Potion's Master stepped close to him from behind and slid his right leg between Harry's parted legs in such a way that the boy was practically sitting on Snape's thigh. Strong hands grabbed Harry's hips, jerking him slightly to adjust his dueling stance—"Like this, you idiot boy!"—and Harry's knees suddenly gave way.

The teen fell back into Snape, supported only by the solid reality of Snape's thigh between his legs and those hot, hot, long-fingered hands gripping his hips with painful force. The smell of almonds choked him and his eyes teared up as that smoke and liquor voice was next to his cheek, puff after citrus scented puff of breath grazing his ear and cheek as harsh, incomprehensible words were spoken in his ear. A very quiet moan slipped from Harry's lips and the boy was instantly, painfully hard.

And then the hands and the leg and the breath and Snape were gone, sending Harry crashing to the floor in a flushed and aroused heap. Never in his life had he been more grateful for wizarding robes. He was so hard, it hurt.

The swaying hem of Snape's black robes appeared in his line of vision and the boy squirmed painfully. The pressure of his pant zipper restraining his erection was so maddening that tears welled up in his eyes. If it hadn't been so painful, he would have simply died of embarrassment.

"What has gotten into you today, boy?" The man sounded angry.

Harry squeezed his eyes tightly shut behind his thick glasses and shook his head almost frantically to avoid explaining himself. His lips were slightly parted and he licked at the insides of his lips and cheeks because he inexplicably craved the sensation of having something solid in his mouth.

And Snape was stepping even closer now and Harry knew it because he could smell his caretaker in the tiny space between them and the realization made the boy both hot and cold at once.

The cold contempt in the man's voice was almost enough to overpower his body heat. "Answer me, Potter!"

Another shake of the head. Harry's hands fluttered up helplessly, both desperate to touch himself and desperate not to touch himself as weeks of pent up arousal and frustration and rage boiled over into a strange white hot need that made him bite his own tongue to hold back a wanton moan.

"Do you want another punishment?"

If a fission of pure terror hadn't flashed through him, the low, smoky words might have been enough to make Harry come. Instead, a violent shiver wracked the youth, agitating his arousal even more, and he shook his head again. It was too much. Entirely too much. He didn't dare face the man.

The words broke free of him in a choked whisper and he felt as though he were losing something dear. "Please don't touch me."

Please don't touch . . .

The scent of almond was suffocating as Snape dropped down to a relaxed crouch in front of him and a hand suddenly gripped Harry's chin painfully, forcing the boy's head up. Unable to bear the darkness any longer, Harry opened his eyes.

Snape was staring at him with an almost crazed expression, dark eyes enormous and gleaming like those of a predator. Harry's chest heaved as though to cry out, but somehow all that happened was his hips jerked slightly forward as Snape pulled his chin up even higher, forcing the boy into a kneeling position so that they were nearly eyelevel.

Harry was beyond coherence. "Please don't touch me," he whimpered in a barely audible mantra. Flashed of half remembered dreams danced on the edge of his awareness and the memory of phantom hands moving over his body made him jerk madly like a windblown leaf. ". . . don't touch . . ."

Snape smiled and it was hideous, his face seeming to split open with the expression. "Don't touch?"

Harry's hands suddenly flew to his lap and he was almost blinded by the tears gathering in his eyes and the fog forming on his glasses.

The Potions Master's left hand snaked out, easily ensnaring both of his ward's hands in his large grip and holding those thin wrists painfully. But his hold on Harry's chin remained firm and gentle, neither hurting nor yielding, merely controlling.

"Don't touch?" the professor repeated in a frighteningly dark voice. His right pointer finger gently glided over the swell of Harry's left cheek. "Like this?"

This time, the moan broke free and the Gryffindor leaned forward into the stroke, hips involuntarily surging up.

Snape responded by pressing the boy's captured wrists down directly onto the youth's tented trousers, forcing the boy's hips back. Harry almost wailed at the resulting sensation.

Snape's breath puffed over Harry's face, forcing his ward to inhale the scent, and he was so close and his voice was so low . . . "Like this?" And he used his grip on the boy's trembling wrists to force his captive's bundled hands and wrists to rub in slow, even circles over the area of the boy's erection. Harry whined, flushed face twisting in what looked like pain.

His lips parted in an aborted cry and then Snape was there, a sallow cheek pressed against Harry's own as the man softly whispered: "Or like this . . . ?" And then a thumb slipped over from Harry's right cheek and into his mouth, pressing down hard on the youth's tongue, almost gagging him.

Don'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouch . . .

The boy's mouth closed instantly, the vibration of some animalistic noise moving through him, and he tried to both chew and suck on the bitter tasting digit between his jaws but couldn't quite manage to focus on either. Saliva slicked his lips and the older man's other hand pushed down hard against his jean-clad erection, making his hips dance and surge. The Gryffindor twisted miserably, desperately seeking more friction than the pressure of Snape forcing his hips back or making him rub his bound wrists against himself. His chin was wet and his entire body shook and sweat soaked him and Snape seemed to be everywhere, panting lightly in his ear and whispering: "Just let me . . . Just . . . Just let me . . ." And Harry wanted to shake his head, but that thumb was in his mouth, and the man was pressing so hard against his erection, and it was so unbearably hot . . .


Harry tossed his head back suddenly, Snape's thumb slipping from his mouth with a wet 'pop' and the teen back arced slightly as the man pushed down hard, earning a single choked cry of both pain and need before the boy came, lithe body jerking almost spastically.

A hot, wet stain spread almost instantly along the front of Harry's trousers and the professor released him entirely, allowing the spent teenager to fall gracelessly onto the floor, glasses hopelessly askew and cries still straggling out of his throat as his hips shook ever so slightly with the end of his release. Snape's knees gave out and the man dropped all the way to the ground, breathing heavily as he watched the flushed, gasping youth on the floor.

For a long time neither of them spoke.

Harry was the first to move, slowly drawing his legs up to his chest in a fetal position, eyes squeezed tightly shut as tremors crept through his wiry frame. Snape remained seated awkwardly on the floor, either unwilling or unable to move.

Finally Snape spoke, his voice loud in the quiet of the room. His dark eyes bore into his ward painfully and his voice was colder and more distant than Harry had ever before known. "Is this what you've been after?" He sneered. "The Great Harry Potter. You are like an animal—rutting against anything available."

Harry flinched as though struck and drew his legs up tighter, almost as though trying to hide. Snape pushed himself up and his knees popped loudly in the still room. He drew his wand and pointed it at the boy, face impassive.

Surprisingly, this time his voice was free of contempt. "Do you want me to take this all away? Do you want me to make it better?"

Harry pulled into himself even more, trying to make himself as small as possible. A strange, whispery noise left the boy in an even rhythm, but the sound was too faint to be heard.

"Do you want me to take it away?" his guardian repeated when there was no reply, wand still pointed at the boy.

Again, that strange, whispery noise. Snape's dark eyes narrowed and he leaned closer until could faintly make out a tiny plea: "Don'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouch . . ."

His wand hand dropped heavily to his side and he stared down at the boy for a moment.

"Don'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouchdon'ttouch . . ."

Then he turned and left Harry trembling and alone on the floor, tears of shame, fear and confusion streaming down the boy's hidden face.


Snape did not make his presence known for the rest of the day and—after the Master of the Hall had departed—Flicker sat silently by the boy for several hours as the young man lay limp on the floor. When Harry finally had the strength to rise and stagger back to the White Room, the Elf attended to him in patient, supportive silence, running his charge a hot bath and summoning a light supper of porridge, weak tea laced with potion, fruit, and lightly sweetened biscuits when evening fell. The young man accepted it all wordlessly, preferring to spend the evening curled up in the window seat of his room and stare out at the forest with vacant, distant eyes.

It was just as well.

According to Fetch, Master Snape had flown into a rage downstairs in his workroom and destroyed everything he could get his hands on. Flicker had grown intensely fond of his Little Master and had no desire to see the boy on the receiving end of the fearsome Snape temper. It was a relief when he could finally tuck his shell shocked human into bed without incident. The potions put the little human right to sleep and it was not until the lines of pain and hurt were fully smoothed from the child's forehead that the Elf was fully relaxed.

It hurt the servant to see his master in pain, but there was little he could do about it. If only the boy would stop trying to be so defiant . . . Perhaps it was a common trait in human young, though. Master Snape had been rebellious at this age and his father had disciplined him quite often. Master Snape had been put in the Dark Place at least once a week for years . . . sometimes even when he hadn't been naughty. And Master Snape was a kind and wonderful master. Flicker loved Master Snape. Compared with Master Snape's stormy adolescence, the Little Master was actually a very, very good boy.

Flicker reminded himself of this as he put more of the special potion that the Master had made into the censers around his charge's room. Master Harry just had to learn how to behave. Once he understood the way things were and that he belonged to Master Snape now, everything would be fine. And then the Little Master would stay at Snape Hall forever and Flicker could always serve him. That was what the Master had promised and that was what Flicker wanted. He would not give up his Little Master willingly. None of the Elves would. Harry Potter belonged here now. With them. Always.

When Master Severus quietly entered the boy's room later on in the night and climbed into bed with the sleeping youth, the Elf remained quiet, slipping into the shadows without a sound. As he always did, Flicker remained perfectly silent when his Master divested the Little Master of his clothing, and pet and kissed the teen until those green eyes opened blurrily and watched the man without a trace of comprehension. The Master whispered apologies and promises and licked at the smaller human's pebbled nipples and bit lightly at his neck and told him that he had tried to control himself and it really was all Harry's fault for pushing him like that.

It was actually fascinating to see. Flicker had never before heard Master apologize. He had never seen the Master look so sad or weary. The Little Master would be good for Master Snape. Even if Flickered had questioned that once, the Master's nightly visits to the White Room had been enough to convince the Elf otherwise. Gentleness and care marked the Master's every move, from the way his hands moved over the Little Master's body to the way the Master took the smaller human's secret part into his mouth. And when they were done, he always held the boy, petting and soothing him until sleep returned.

It had been a long time since light and life had been brought to Snape Hall. Flicker was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Harry Potter would be the one to bring that all back. It would just take the boy a bit to adjust.

When Master Snape left, he gently patted Flicker's head and whispered, "Look after him."

The Elf nodded dutifully as the heavy oak door opened and closed. He would look after the Little Master. Always. He would protect the Little Master with his very life and in doing so would protect all of Snape Hall. They needed the boy now. The Master needed the boy.

And a House Elf always served his Master.


"What is happening to me!"

- Coming as soon as I finish it. Promise.