Title: The Rules of Life

Summary: There was no Harry Potter at the Dursley's when Dumbledore sent Hagrid to fetch him in first year. Where in the world is Harry Potter? This fic isSNARRY slash, Snape!Dom, Harry!sub.

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the other familiar characters. Harry Potter and this magical world belong to JK Rowling and her publishers. No money made from this.

Warnings: This fic is Snarry slash, which means two men in a sexual relationship – specifically, Harry and Snape. This fic also contains BDSM elements withSnape as the Dominant partner and Harry as the submissive. If you don't know what this means then please don't read the fic – you won't understand most of what happens. The fic starts out before Hogwarts and contains elements of chan (just mentioning of it), dub-con and non-con (rape). Don't read if you don't like!

Caution! Although there is no sex in this chapter – won't be for quite a while yet – there is "The Talk" which is a bit explicit so younger readers, please note that I have marked this fic as NC-17 (or MV on hpfandom and M on ) because this is not a fic suitable for younger readers. The fact that it deals with BDSM relationships alone should warn you not to read this fic but there is no way to monitor these things and I can only advise caution.

Sensitive readers should be advised to have tissues nearby.

Chapter 16

Severus gently eased himself out of Harry's mind before reaching out a hand to steady the boy.

"You're improving a great deal Harry, work at it every night and you will have no problem defending your mind by the end of the year."

Harry gave him a grateful smile for the steadying hand on his shoulder as well as for the praise that Severus so seldom gives out.

"Thank you sir. It is much easier to just redirect my thoughts whenever you are looking for something specific in my mind than it was to try and build a wall around the memories. If you can teach me how to make "fake" memories then I will be able to even better protect my secrets."

Severus nodded his head in agreement and led the boy to the kitchen for some lunch and a much needed break.

"I'm glad to see that your 'alarm' system is working so well, you caught my presence almost immediately and started leading me through the most boring, unpleasant class I have ever had the misfortune of attending. Just what is your English teacher trying to accomplish? Put you all to sleep?"

Harry snickered at Professor Snape's complaint but couldn't disagree with the man. Some of the subjects that Hogsmeade offered were vastly different from Hogwarts but still something that Harry and Severus thought a necessity. Severus had complained often enough with the Headmaster about the student's poor grasp of the English language but Albus refused to implement any plans for correcting this error.

The person teaching Harry's class English however, was old enough to be Albus's grandmother and she took delight in reading the prescribed books out loud for the class. Problem was, because of her age, she could not see very well even with her glasses, and every single word took between 3 and 7 seconds to form. If the students had the book she was reading from in their bags, they all opted to read by themselves while she droned on in front but for that specific lesson, she chose to read from one of the sixth year's prescribed books and the students were all treated to the lesson from hell.

"Albus's trial is this afternoon and although I don't think that he will end up in Azkaban as Sirius Black did, he will most likely lose his position as Headmaster and most of his other titles as well. The Wizengemot has requested the use of Veritaserum while questioning the Headmaster and I shudder to think of all the secrets that might come to light today."

Sirius Black's imprisonment was a sore subject for Severus. If it was up to him, the man would die a very slow and painful death. Unfortunately, he did not have any say in the Ministry's decision regarding the sentence of the man and could only plot and plan in his mind for if he should ever be alone in a room with that man.

"Keep working on your occlumency but first go through all your school items and make a list of what we need to buy when we go do Diagon Alley tomorrow. Your school list is in my pocket so do not worry about that, just make a list of the everyday things you might need – quill, parchment, scrap book etc…"

"Yes sir. I have a few other things that need replacement though." Harry blushed as he thought of all the things he actually needed. It was bad enough that he could not repay the Professor for all his kindness and for letting him stay with him, now he asked even more from the man!

"Well, what is it? Spit it out!"

"Er… well, my clothes have become quite worn after all the resizing's I've done on them over the years and most of them rip if I try to make them even bigger."

Severus could only stare in abject shock and dawning horror at the boy. He realised with a start that after the very first year Harry stayed with him, he had not once bought the boy any new clothes, muggle or otherwise.

"Yes, well, we'll put that on our list as well and get you some clothes that fit tomorrow. Shoes as well, I should think."

There was no way in hell that Severus was going to apologise for not getting the boy new clothes every year, he would just have to rectify it and remember to do so in future.

"Thank you Professor, that would be great."

Nodding at the boy, Severus turned around to return to his room before he could make his shame and guilt evident.

The two of them were laden down with heavy bags by lunch time and Severus led the way toward a respectable restaurant for some much needed nourishment and rest. He shrank their bags while they waited for their food and Harry put most of his things in his pants' pocket while Severus put his own purchases in a big carry bag.

"The only shops we still have to go to is "Slug and Jiggers" and "Borgin and Burkes". Your potion supplies will be quick and easy to sort out so we will go there first, after that, we can go to Borgin but I warn you now, we will spend no more than 30 minutes there, is that clear?"

Harry nodded quickly, already thinking of all the books he could browse through. The Professor had given him five gallons for all of his purchases and Harry knew that there would be enough left for him to get an extra book or two after his school books had been paid.

When they had finished their shopping for the day, Severus escorted Harry to a nice coffee shop where they toasted (with non-alcoholic drinks of course) the promotion of Minerva McGonagall to Headmistress and Filius Flitwick as the new deputy headmaster of Hogwarts.

Albus Dumbledore had been found guilty of harbouring not only the criminal Sirius Black but also for harbouring one Quirinus Quirrel while knowing full well thatVoldemort (the paper used "you-know-who") was travelling on the back of his head. A few other miss-deeds and secrets also came to light which all amounted to a one year sentence in Azkaban where after he would be placed in St. Mungo's for carful observation.

Severus brandished his wand as he rushed to his feet. Harry had come running into their quarters as if a band of Death Eaters were after him.

Scowling at the boy as he saw the beaming smile on his face, Severus calmly put his wand back in his pocket, took his seat and raised an eyebrow imperiously at the boy.

"What exactly has you rushing in here as if a herd of angry hippogriffs were after you?"

Harry looked down sheepishly before saying a quiet "Sorry sir!".

His remorse didn't last long however, for in the next moment Severus had a very exited, bouncing Harry next to his chair.

A parchment was thrust into his hands as Harry started explaining the situation eagerly.

"There is going to be a school trip next month! They asked that everyone get their guardians to sign the permission slip as soon as possible so that they would have an idea of how many students will go."

Severus's heart clenched as he heard this but the hopeful look on Harry's face kept the vicious "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" from being voiced.

"And where exactly will you be going on this trip?"

"Er… Africa, South Africa to be precise. Toor-Toring, the school that participated in the Gemstone-cut tournament?, they planned something similar to an 'exchange program', but instead of only a few students going to the school with one or two teachers, they have invited our entire year to go over. The fifth and seventh year students have been invited because even though it is the OWLs and NEWTs this year, they feel that a 'hands-on' experience in some of our classes would benefit us."

Severus understood the reasoning behind the trip, there were many creatures and plants that the students learned about at Hogsmeade school (and even those at Hogwarts), but that were just impossible to grow in Europe's climate. The African school would also doubtlessly benefit from this as they would in exchange learn more about the plants and creatures of Europe.

"This is something that you really, truly wish to do?"

"Oh yes Professor! I would love to see another country and experience their culture. Did you know that they have eleven National Languages? Eleven! I can only speak one language and still have trouble with it, imagine learning eleven languages so that you can converse with everyone in your country?"

"Yes Harry, I actually did know that little tid-bit of information but I believe that almost everyone there can at least understand a little bit of English as that is a main subject in most of their schools. Just how long will this 'exchange program' last?"

"Oh, that's good; I was kind of stressed that they wouldn't understand us when we go there. It will be for a month sir."

"And just when exactly did I give you permission to go on this trip?"

Harry bit his lip and lowered his head in shame. He should have known better than to get his hopes up. Someone like him, a fr…, no, no, Edwin said you mustn't think of yourself as a freak! Harry knew that people like him didn't get to do anything or go anywhere that they really wanted, it would give him freedom, something that he could never have and would never have – he wasn't allowed freedom. Freedom would make ideas form in his non-existent brain as Master Damen always said.

A strong hand lifted his chin up and Harry fought back the tears that were stinging his eyes.

"I did not mean to crush any hope you might have had Harry. I will need to think about this and plan accordingly. You know that Voldemort has returned and although the thought of you safely squirreled away in another country appeals to me, I can't in any good conscience let you go into a foreign place without me there to….. supervise you."

Harry blinked up at the Professor. It almost sounded like the man cared for him. Well, ok, yes, Harry knew that Professor Snape cared about him, he was his charge after all, but this sounded different, this sounded deeper.

Before Harry could say anything else to plead his case, Professor Snape dropped his hand and resumed his seat.

"I will think about it and give you the answer by tomorrow. Is that satisfactory?"

"Yes sir, thank you sir."

"Do you have your tent? Do you have the moneypouch? Remember to take the Malaria potion if you go anywhere near the Kruger National Park, or just basically anywhere in the Limpopo province. I have made your potion book a portkey, if at any time you feel threatened or in any kind of danger, just tap the book three times and say "home". Now, do you have your bag and your tent?"

Harry nodded his head throughout the whole conversation but could not help but blink as the Professor repeated himself. Professor Snape had always been a very collected man and to see him unravel like this was nerve-racking.

"I will be fine Professor. I have everything I need and I know what to do if I'm in any kind of danger. Mrs Kingston is going with us, along with three other teachers for our year. There will be 30 fifth years and 27 seventh years going along with their professors. There will be more than enough people able to protect us."

Severus knew he was being unreasonable but the way Harry had sneaked into his heart and home had him on tenterhooks ever since he had agreed to this insane idea. Sure, the idea itself wasn't really insane but to let Harry go off on his own, somewhere Severus couldn't keep an eye on him, really tested his restraint.

"Yes well, be careful and make sure that you do all your homework. Now get going before I change my mind."

Harry smiled brightly before darting forward and giving him a quick hug.

"See you in a month Professor."

The month that Harry was in South Africa served as an eye opener for Severus.

He knew of course that the brat had wiggled his way into his heart and his heart refused to let go no matter what, but Harry had also made a huge impact on his home.

The scratching of a quill and shuffling of feet were missing and the silence grated on Severus's nerves. He looked up every now and then, expecting to see a shy smile directed his way but there was nothing and no-one there.

The students and teachers of Hogwarts bore the brunt of his frustration and it was the first time in years that Severus had a student in detention every single night for that whole month. Of course, it wasn't the same student every night, that would have raised more than one eyebrow but the vindictive pleasure he got from tearing students to shreds helped his mood immensely.

Severus sat patiently and listened to Harry's tale of his month in Africa.

They had gone on a trip all over the country apparently, where they learned more about the various plants and animals of that region of the country. Harry was very enthusiastic about the fact that he had even seen a Baobab tree close up, the tree that his wand was made of. Table Mountain was described in detail, as wasRobben Island although Harry complained about how much the penguins there stink.

The 'Kruger National Park' couldn't be praised enough and the beauty of the Blyde River Canyon was described in tones of awe and wonder. Harry expressed his regret in not having a camera there but apparently one of his friends took one and promised to make copies of all the photos.

The amount of plants and greenery that could be found in the canyon was phenomenal and Severus vowed to himself that he would one day take Harry there himself.

Harry explained that there was a plant called the Welwitschia mirabilis which was rumoured to live between 1000 and 2000 years. Harry could also not believe that the Cape Peninsula alone, boasts more plant species than the whole of Great Brittain.

The Augrabies waterfalls garnered a fair amount of respect from the students who all refused to go near the thundering water.

Severus marvelled at Harry's enthusiasm and non-stop talking. To think that not so long ago, the boy could not speak even one word. Severus doubted that anyone else has heard the boy speaking and was honoured to be blessed like this.

As Harry wound down his tale there was a knock on the door and Severus quickly moved to open it, already knowing that it would be Blaise for the boy had pestered him about when Harry would be back.


Harry rushed over to his friend and enveloped him in a big hug.

The shock on Blaise's face was apparent to Severus and he gave a subtle shake of his head to warn the boy not to comment on the fact that Harry said his name.

"Harry! Good to see you again. I've missed you and have so much to tell you! Let's go to your room and we can exchange stories."

The two boys hurried off to Harry's room and Severus sighed in relief at the peace and quiet that surrounded him. He might have been a bit uncomfortable with the silence in the place during Harry's trip but that did not mean that he did not still appreciate the peace that a quiet evening can bring.

"This is going to be a very uncomfortable conversation but I believe it is necessary, Harry."

After walking into the living room and finding Harry and Blaise in a lip-lock, Severus had quickly ushered Blaise out of their rooms before sitting Harry down for a long talk.

"I know that you have experienced certain 'intimacies' when you were younger but I also know that you have absolutely no idea about a romantic relationship between two people.

What Damen Nott did to you is something that should have never happened. To give yourself to someone in that way is sacred and should only be done with someone you truly love and wish to spend your life with."

Severus stopped here to see if Harry was still keeping up and even though there was a frown on the boy's face, he nodded for Severus to continue.

"I know that Blaise is your friend and that you care for him deeply, and he for you. I just want you to be careful with how far you let this relationship develop. Do not do anything that you feel uncomfortable with, even though you have been penetrated before does not mean that anyone who wants to be intimate with you should get the chance to do so.

It is your choice, and yours alone, to decide how far you are willing to go in any relationship, be it with Blaise or with someone else. No one should ever force you to do something you don't want to.

I want you to promise me something Harry."

Severus paused to make sure he had Harry's undivided attention.

"Promise me that if you are ever in a situation where your heart screams at you that you don't want to do this, but your mind tries to force you to comply because of all you have experienced, promise me that you will listen to your heart and come look for me immediately. Can you promise me that?"

Harry considered the words carefully before nodding.

"Yes sir, I can do that. If something bothers me but I feel that I must do it anyway because it is something I'm used to doing, I will turn away and come look for you. Is that right?"

"That is all I can ask Harry. Now, if you wish to have a relationship with Blaise, to get to know him better then you are free to do so but you WILL NOT progress to intercourse while you are still a student, is that clear? I will have a similar conversation with Blaise to impart on him these same rules."

Harry blushed to the roots of his hair but nodded his agreement. He was not even close to ready for such an intimate relationship but he knew that caution was to be advised.

"Good, now get to bed, you have school tomorrow."

"er… Professor, sir, sorry to bother but, er.."

"What is it Harry? Spit it out!"

"Well sir, you said I must come to you if I'm uncomfortable or uncertain about something…."

"What happened? Are you alright, are you hurt? Did Blaise do something?"

Harry blinked before lowering his head blushing.

"Well, er… sort of, it's just, I don't think he did it on purpose sir, er… I'm pretty sure he didn't even realise that anything happened. I'm just not sure what to do sir."

"Please Harry, speak clearly before I go and find Blaise and give him a thorough spanking!"

"NO! No, sir! Really, he didn't do anything, well, I don't think he did, it's just that, well, I don't know exactly what happened sir but er… my er… dick sir, something happened and I'm not sure exactly what. It was quite uncomfortable for a while sir, and you said if anything made me uncomfortable that I should come and tell you."

Severus rubbed his temples and heaved a huge sigh.

"Come and sit here next to me Harry."

"From what I understood with that ramble, you experienced something that was new to you, something that made your penis uncomfortable and you rushed here the first chance you got."

"Er… basically, yes…."

"Ok, Harry, tell me, the uncomfortable feeling you had, did it make your penis hard, did it make your pants feel a bit tighter and thus made you uncomfortable?"

"Yes sir! That's exactly it!"

Harry sounded so relieved that Severus understood that the man could not help but chuckle at Harry's naivety.

"Harry, what you experienced was an erection. Because you were young when Damen took you from your relatives, you never really knew exactly what happened to you, did you? No, don't answer, it was a rhetorical question. Harry, when two people like each other and want to show their appreciation of each other, they experience physical effects of that attraction. For a man, if they like someone and appreciate their body, they develop an erection…"

As Severus continued his explanation, Harry's eyes got bigger and bigger and in the end he looked like he might faint.

"That, that was what he put there, behind I mean? His penis was actually inside me? But, but you said that only if you like someone and want to experience pleasure together would that happen. I, I didn't want that, I didn't like him doing it to me! Never! Why, why did he do that when I didn't like it?"

Severus wrapped his arms around Harry as the boy broke down. It was not something that Severus wanted to do, to describe to Harry exactly what had been done to him and exactly what he had lost due to perverted men who only wanted to satisfy their own needs.

"Ssshh, Harry. You're not there anymore, you're safe and I will do everything in my power to make sure that nothing like that ever happens to you again."

End Chapter 16

We are going to visit my sisters this weekend so I can't promise when the next chapter will be up but it won't be any later than Monday.

Cape Peninsula: .org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1d/Satellite_image_of_Cape_/350px-Satellite_image_of_Cape_

Augrabies falls: