Author's Notes (please read)
This is my first attempt at a Harry Potter fic so I hope it comes out okay… I absolutely love slave fics and I don't think there's anywhere near enough of them, so I decided to attempt one myself.
I sadly don't actually have anything planned beyond the first couple of scenes of the next chapter, so suggestions are welcome and even asked for! I know, it's very naughty of me to begin a story without any idea of where I'm going…
Chronology: it's set a couple of months into Harry's seventh year, but completely ignores HBP since the events of that book would make this story really hard to write!
(Sorry for those of you who like slash – I do too actually – I just don't feel equipped to write it, and I do love the H/G relationship in canon. Besides, as much as I love stories like Deepest Bonds or LifeDebt, I don't really think it's realistic that a slave would fall in love with their master… let alone Snape fall in love with a teenage boy that he can't stand!)
Disclaimer: I have absolutely no connection to J K Rowling, her publishers, or anyone else that has anything at all to do with the Harry Potter books or films.
Snape stood silently next to the wall, watching his new master. Mr. Potter was presently sitting on an armchair, gazing into the fire, preoccupied with his thoughts… that were no doubt concentrating on their impending return to Hogwarts.
It was six weeks since Potter had destroyed the Dark Lord once and for all. Six weeks since almost all of the Death Eaters had been killed or rounded up, six weeks since Harry had been so injured that even using magic it had taken all that time for him to recover… and six weeks since Voldemort had cast an enslavement spell on Severus that had tied him firmly and irrevocably to the one person he liked less than any non-Death Eater on this planet.
Voldemort had found out about Snape's betrayal just two days before the final battle that had ended his life. As Severus had watched his former master die, he could not help gloating, showing the fading Dark Mark on his arm, and crying out that he was now free, free for the first time in two decades.
And Voldemort, being the sadistic bastard that he was, had taken one final, lasting revenge, ensuring that free was something he would never, ever be.
"Are you okay?"
The voice was soft and quiet, its owner looking worriedly at Severus. Harry was fully healed now, and grateful that Voldemort was dead, that the world was now safe again – well as safe as it could ever be – but the joy he should have been feeling was absent. How could he be happy, when one of the heroes who had sacrificed so much to spy for the Order, who should have been receiving awards and accolades, was now facing a life of slavery?
Snape glanced down at his arm, where the symbol of Harry Potter's ownership of him now resided. It was placed, naturally, in the exact same spot as the Mark he had formerly worn.
"I don't think 'okay' is the right word, Master." The tone was expressionless, the term of address forced by the enchantment that now surrounded him. "I have, however, had six weeks to prepare myself, and I am fully capable of doing what is required of me."
"I wouldn't doubt that for a second, Snape." He had, after all, been playing a part for years, doing things that he hated, but the ability to conceal his emotions hardly stopped him from having any.
Snape hesitated. He felt a compulsion to answer his master's question more fully, to obey the implicit order that came with every question or request from the man that now had absolute control over his life. "The thought of being mocked by the children I am supposed to teach does fill me with some horror, Master."
Harry sighed. "They won't mock you Snape. They may not like you, but none of them would condone slavery, and they certainly wouldn't take pleasure in anything done by Voldemort."
"Then they will pity me, which is equally reprehensible."
The door opened, and Remus Lupin appeared. "Your transport is here, Harry," he said softly.
Harry rose instantly, and Snape drew his wand, levitating their two trunks along with Hedwig's cage, and then following his master out of the house that had once belonged to Sirius Black.
It was strange, being back at Hogwarts. It had only been two months since Harry had left the school to hide from the Death Eaters whilst making plans for the final attack, but everything that had happened since made it seem far, far longer. He felt very little like a student… but then, he had been forced to grow up far younger than most.
Their trunks having already been sent to their respective rooms courtesy of the house elves, they were now entering the Great Hall, where dinner had just been served. It was noisy as they went in, full of chatting teenagers and a few equally talkative teachers, but as people realized who it was that had entered, the noise levels declined, and then pretty much stopped altogether, save for one or two quietly whispered words.
Dumbledore glanced in their direction, and then rose smoothly to his feet, clapping his hands for attention. "I see you have all noticed that Harry Potter has returned to school - in, I am glad to say, good health. You are all aware of what he has been through in the past few weeks, and of what he has achieved; I ask that you all respect his privacy on those events unless he himself volunteers information to you.
"You are no doubt also aware of the appalling fate that has been bestowed on Professor Snape. However, and I must stress how serious I am about this, you are not under any circumstance to attempt to use his new status to your advantage. He remains a teacher at this school, and as such still has full disciplinary authority over you. Before you get any bright ideas of asking Mr. Potter to get you out of any detentions you may earn, you should know that he has already signed a legal statement saying that he will not interfere in any way with Professor Snape's duties as a teacher here at Hogwarts.
"Now, I know you are all eager to begin your meal, so please, eat."
The gathered students turned back to their plates, and the hum of conversation gradually began to build once more. Harry headed over to the Gryffindor table, eagerly greeting his friends Ron and Hermione, before turning to Ginny Weasley and launching into a kiss of such ferocity and hunger that it immediately caused wolf-whistles from nearly everyone at the table.
As the two of them withdrew from each other, Severus bowed formally to the girl who was dating his master. The bond demanded his respect, even subservience toward her; it was, after all, within the realm of possibility that she would one day become his Mistress.
"You may go and eat your tea, Snape," said Harry quietly. Snape bowed again in acknowledgement and thanks for the dismissal, and quickly headed towards the top of the room where the teachers sat next to one another eating their meals. He got a few concerned looks from his colleagues, but all of them knew better than to attempt any type of conversation with him.
Sitting there in full view of the curious, sympathetic looks of the student population was a humiliating experience to say the least. He comforted himself with a number of his trademark glares at the exasperating children, although being very sure never to direct such an expression towards the table where his master sat, talking with his friends and, together with Miss Weasley, testing the limits of how much physical contact could reasonably be allowed at the dinner table.
The magic Severus was bound with was old, and understandably highly illegal, having not been (officially) used since slavery was outlawed centuries ago. It was also incredibly difficult to perform, requiring much research and study to achieve correctly, and the fact that Voldemort had managed it so easily whilst dying suggested that he had originally been planning to use the spell for a different purpose, most likely to force important and powerful people into his service.
Having never studied the spell himself, and having so far had no chance to do so whilst taking care of his injured master, Snape as yet had only a basic idea of its rules and requirements. However, one thing was for certain: it could not be ignored. It had been hoped, shortly after the spell had been cast, that Harry could simply refrain from giving him orders and that would be the only consequence… but it had soon been proven otherwise.
No, this bond required servitude, and it seemed to employ every means necessary to get it. Although it did not actually force Severus to obey orders in the style of the Imperious curse, it did give him very strong mental urges to do so, and in the event of his disobedience it demanded punishment. If the latter was not given by his master, then it would punish him itself, inflicting pain far beyond anything Harry would ever willingly allow him to experience again.
Worst of all though, it did not require specific orders to secure his servitude and submission. It insisted that he bow whenever he entered his master's presence, and ask permission before leaving; it forced him to walk behind him rather than beside or in front of him, and to do all that was possible to ensure his master's comfort and health. It also ensured that he would serve his master, to the extent that the house elves had been ordered to leave the seventh year Gryffindors' boys' dormitory out of their normal cleaning rounds, so as to give Snape a duty to perform.
Which, of course, meant that he would need to enter the Gryffindor tower on a regular basis. That was sure to be such fun.
His meal finished, he returned to the Gryffindor table, standing quietly in the required submissive posture, his head bowed, until Harry finished what he was saying to Hermione and turned towards him, granting him leave to return to his rooms. Seldom had any words been more welcome.