A/N: This story includes nonsexual corporal punishment. If that isn't your cup of tea, please don't drink it, or don't complain about the flavor if you do!
LAST CHANCE: Turn back now if you don't like CP related stories!
It was a tired, dirty Harry Potter who confronted Voldemort in the Great Hall of Malfoy manor. He was filthy, exhausted and injured. His face was a mess of blood, dirt and bruises, he obviously hadn't bathed for weeks and he looked positively gaunt with hunger, having eaten mainly mushrooms for the past weeks.
His friends looked no better-Weasley had a nasty gash over his eye, probably from being hit with Rookwood's signet ring, and the Granger girl was shivering violently, still suffering the after effects of Bellatrix's crucio.
Voldemort swept down from the carved chair he was using as a throne. His robes rustled over the silk carpet as he approached the trio. "Why, Harry, how nice of you to join us. Mr. Weasley, Miss Granger." He inclined his head at Hermione and she snarled, knees
unstable but spirit still strong.
The Death Eaters pushed in around him, scenting blood. Bella, at his left, began cackling and rubbing her hands together with undisguised glee. Her eyes danced madly in her gaunt face, and her husband put a steadying hand on her back.
"Let them go. Your quarrel is with me."
Voldemort's jaw tightened. Impudent little whelp, he ought to--suddenly an idea, both awful and wonderful, began twisting itself together from the reaches of his consciousness. He favored Harry with a smile. A real smile, and said agreeably " You know, Harry, I think you might be right."
All three jerked in near comedic shock. The redhead looked as though he might faint. Voldemort, his plan coalescing, stood straighter and called for his inner circle.
"Malfoy senior, you and Nott take Potter. Dolohov and Selwyn, take the blood traitor. Narcissa, you and Bella take the mud blood. See they all get baths and hot meals, please. And find them some clean clothes."
Recovering from their monumental shock, the groups spread out and did as they were bidden. As Harry was frog marched down a hall to a glittering onyx bathroom, he felt certain he would never see his friends again.
Forty five minutes later, clean and dressed in warm, whole clothing, the three were served a meal of thick soup and hot buttered rolls. None would eat, until Lucius Malfoy, irritated and caught off balance by the Dark Lord's unaccustomed mercy to his foes, snatched up a spoon and took some from each bowl. He tore off pieces of each roll and popped them in his mouth.
After that, they fell ravenously on what was before them. They ate the whole pot and half of another before, full, they pushed their bowls away. Malfoy signaled the other Death Eaters, and they marched their charges back to the Hall.
"Ahh, much better. Tell me, Harry, how much to you value your friends?"
Harry blinked. "I'd die for them."
"I see. So if I gave you a chance to spare their lives, you would take it?"
"Yes. Well, unless it involved doing something really awful."
Voldemort nodded. " Like betraying the Order?"
"Suppose I asked you to do nothing at all. What then?"
"How do you mean?"
Voldemort stood and paced a little. " I'm willing to let bygones be bygones, Harry. To let your friends go home. To try to reach some kind of understanding between us. However, as they say, 'nothing is for free'. Will you do it?"
"What's my alternative?"
The Dark Lord motioned for Wormtail to open the door that connected to the library. Out strode a dirty, grinning man with wild hair. He bowed sardonically to those present and came to stand before them. As Harry watched, he bent his head to Hermione and inhaled, nostrils flaring.
"Tomorrow night is the full moon. If you chose to scorn my mercy, I would have to let Greyback persuade you . It wouldn't be quick for them, Potter. Not at all. Especially the girl. In fact, I may give her to him outright. I'm sure they would have a …ripping good time."
Harry felt sick. He couldn't let the werewolf take Hermione. By the same token, he couldn't agree to whatever Voldemort had planned. Could he? At least if he agreed, he could see that Ron and Hermione lived to fight another day.
" See, already you think the worst of me, Harry. What makes you assume I'll kill you? I think we have much in common, you and I. All I want is for us to have a chance to talk. Surely, you can spare me that?"
Harry squared his shoulders. "I suppose I have no choice. I'll do it."
Voldemort smiled that eerily sincere smile again. He gestured to Dolohov. "Take the boy off the grounds and Apparate him to his home." Ron began to protest, but Voldemort cut him off. " Of course we know where you live, foolish child. We can't cross your wards, remember?"
" Bella, you and Rudolphus will be in charge of the girl. She'll stay here for now, to assure Potter's good behavior." Hermione blanched and Bella came forward, grinning. Hermione shrank back as Bella's taloned hand reached out to tangle in her damp curls. Voldemort cut her short at once.
"You are not to hurt her without provocation, Bella. And even then there are limits. We shall discuss this at length later, do you understand?" It was Bella's turn to blanch and back off.
" I would suggest you let everyone know what became of the other two, Mr, Weasley. I wouldn't get any ideas about storming the place yourself, however. That sister of yours is rather…toothsome."
Ron began to spit a retort but Dolohov grabbed him and drug him bodily from the room. The front door sounded and then they were gone.
"Take Hermione upstairs, Bella. See she's made comfortable in a guest room. Then return here. And Bella?" She turned to look at him and Voldemort gave her a penetrating, maroon snake's glare. "If you do anything to her, I will crucio you to madness."
That left Harry. Voldemort dismissed the vast bulk of the Death Eaters, save Malfoy and his wife. Lucius summoned a house elf and ordered a chair brought from the dining room. Bella returned fore with, scowling fiercely. Harry suppressed a small smile, Hermione must have given her an earful fit.
"Well then, Harry. Perhaps we can begin our--accords?"
Harru braced himself for the absolute worst. At least he would die standing up.
Voldemort stood next to Harry. He gestured expanisvely.
" I feel as though we should take things slowly. Begin by addressing the smaller issues before we attack the larger. For instance, your deplorable disrespect to your elders. What do you have to say to that?"
Harry wondered whether his mind had snapped under the strain. Voldemort, the most evil wizard of his age, had a chance to kill his hated rival and settled for scolding him about his manners instead? He gave his head a clearing shake.
"Nothing? I'm not surprised. The amount of trouble you've caused the adults around you is extraordinary. I should be ashamed, if I were you. For instance, the way you've behaved to Lucius here. It was terribly rude of you to involve yourself in his discipline of the house elf--what was it's name, Lucius ?"
"Dobby, my Lord."
"Of course. Your attitude towards professor Snape has been appalling, as well. Not studying, never doing homework, refusing to pay attention in class, pulling dangerous pranks on your school friends, particularly poor Draco--"
"Malfoy? Malfoy wants me dead!" The essential insanity of the situation would have made Harry laugh if he hadn't been so angered and confused.
"It's rude to interrupt, Harry. Anyway, Draco Malfoy has only ever wanted to be your friend. His mother assures me he finds your coldness towards him quite hurtful and confusing."
Voldemort sighed as though grieved by Harry's poor conduct. He shook his head.
"In my day, we didn't tolerate this sort of behavior in young wizards and witches, Harry. Even those, like yourself, who had been orphaned could expect a proper reward for their naughtiness. I find it sad that society has changed so much. During your time here, I'd like to help make up for this failing in any way I can."
He took the short walk to the armless chair and gestured Lucius to bring Harry to him.
Harry had no idea what to expect. Malfoy drug him over to stand at Voldemort's right side. "Remove his robe, Lucius." Lucius undid the fastenings and left Harry standing there in plain dark wool trousers and a green wool jumper.
" I don't expect you to appreciate it today, Harry, but I hope this punishment helps you to understand the consequences of your disrespect and bad attitude." His hand darted out and got a firm hold on Harry's wrist. There was a moment of dizzy non-balance, and then Harry Potter found himself lying over the lap of his greatest enemy.
He couldn't imagine what Voldemort was playing at.' Consequences?' 'Proper reward?' He felt the Dark Lord's hands fumbling his zipper and reached a conclusion at once. He began to fight, cursing and flailing with his arms.
Voldemort performed a quick legilimens and laughed aloud. " Sick what? Really, Harry, what an active imagination you have! All the same, that last word earned you a little extra." He succeeded in pulling down the boy's trousers and his pants followed quickly thereafter. The Dark Lord raised his palm and brought it down with a firm 'smack'!
Harry expected anything but this. He jerked from shock and stifled a cry. What was Voldemort doing? What was he--?
"I should have thought that would be obvious, Harry. I'm giving you a sound spanking for all the mischief you've caused. Now lie still, like a good boy, and take what's coming to you."
Smack smack smack!
Harry tried to remind himself that he was seventeen, an adult, and the worst thing about the whole experience was the humiliation. And it was bad-- not only getting smacked like a five year old, but in front of Malfoy's parents as well. The pain was still worse. Voldemort had thin, hard hands, and he used them well, swatting the same place three times before he moved on. In short order it felt as though Harry was sitting on a stove.
He fought himself not to react. He could keep his legs from kicking, restrain himself from crying out, but it was increasingly difficult not to cry. He inhaled and tried to hold his breathe, until Voldemort increased the tempo and force of his blows, and said evenly from above him "Stop fighting me and accept your punishment, Harry. I have all the time in the world, and you are only a silly little boy."
The words made Harry even more determined not to give in. He tried to hold his breath some more, but every swat burned terribly. "
"I will ask you questions and you will answer respectfully. You may address me as 'my lord'. Do you understand?" Smack!
Harry had had Qudditch injuries which he was sure hurt more, but this interminable burning sting was just as bad as any he could recall. Worse, even, because Quidditch injuries weren't this bloody humiliating.
"I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you." Smack!
"N-never, I'll n-never call you that."
Voldemort made a sound of mild annoyance and turned to Bella. "Get Tibby and have it bring your hairbrush, Bella. It would seem Harry needs more encouragement."
The hairbrush was retrieved from the quaking elf and Voldemort tightened his arm about Harry's waist harder than he had previously. " I hadn't wanted to do this, Harry, but you have simply proven that the problem has been allowed to go on much too long. I think you'll find the brush stings quite a bit more."
CRACK! Harry jumped but, through an act of Herculean will, did not cry out.
Voldemort tutted from above him. "Brave boy. You must ( CRACK) learn to ( CRACK) distinguish ( CRACK) situations ( CRACK) where it will ( CRACK) aid you and situations ( CRACK ) where it will only get you ( CRACK) in trouble."
Voldemort lifted his right leg and scooted Harry forward a bit. He didn't realize the significance of what Voldemort was doing, but Harry knew it meant no good. Voldemort hugged the boy tighter to his side and raised the brush high. He meant to humble the boy, make him scream for mercy. A simple crucio might have done just as well, but crucio tends to make its victims unresponsive to anything but their own assaulted nerves. This made the boy exquisitely aware of his utter humiliation.
Better, it confused him about Voldemort's aims and motives' leaving him rife for manipulations. And, plans aside, Voldemort was feeling a great deal of personal pleasure in watching the boy's pale backside darken under his hand.
The matron at the orphanage had felt the same way about young Tom Riddle, and had vented her frustrations on his backside the same as he was doing now, often in public. Voldemort recalled the shocking pain, the utter embarrassment, and above all the crushing powerlessness of the whole affair. He had never felt so degraded as he did after a spanking from Matron. Now, he had the chance to do it someone else, and he embraced it for all it was worth, and, with that happy thought, brought the brush swishing down on the writhing, bright pink bottom in his lap.
CRACK CRACK CRACK CRACK CRACK CRACK
Harry couldn't contain his howl. The brush tanned his sit spots without mercy, all six blows landing in the same place almost at once. Then the terrible brush was lifted and Harry got a second's relief before the proceedure was repeated. His bum was going up in flames.
"Perhaps now you're ready to talk?"
"All right, are you being punished for?"
"Disrespect! OWWW!" The Dark Lord had kept paddling his sit spots as they talked, making sure the boy wouldn't sit for some time, to remind him of his mortification.
"Good. Disrespect for whom?"
"S-Snape! Malfoy! Snape'n'Malfoy!"
"That's correct. I think it only fair you apologize after your punishment, don't you?"
Voldemort gave another gusty pretend sigh. "Harry, Harry, will you never learn? Disobedience simply makes the punishment worse." He threw his knee over the boy's legs and pushed him forward even further. The crease between his buttocks and thighs was exposed and he peppered it hard for a full minute, then, ignoring Potter's wailed protests, promptly did the other side as well. The boy's arse was throwing heat like a blast furnace. Lifting his leg even higher, the Dark Lord brought the brush down onto Harry's thighs with rapid, precise strokes that left the boy bawling incoherently. He stopped squirming, stopped protesting, stopped trying to wrench his backside out of the line of fire. He just lay there, sobbing.
"Are you ready now?"
Voldemort stopped. He calmly gestured for Bella to come forward and handed her the brush. "Thank you, Bella. It served its purpose rather well."
Harry was awash with so much shame and confusion he wanted to die. He was embarrassed at what had happened, humiliated that he had wept over something this stupid, he was in awful pain and now Voldemort was touching him.
The Dark Lord was indeed touching him. Voldemort rested his hand firmly on the boy's heaving back. After a moment, he began to rub. A smile played across his features, contemplating the coup he would make with this, his enemy. Yes, indeed, the future could prove rather bright.
Voldemort spelled his clothes back to rights and then set him on his feet. The boy was swaying wildly, face white except for two fiery red patched on his cheeks. He looked ready to sick up.
"Harry, wasn't there something you wished to say to Lucius?"
Harry walked gingerly over to Malfoy and muttered something. "Like you mean it, please."
"I'm s-sorry. I'm sorry."
Lucius couldn't decide whether he was pleased or horrified by the spectacle he had witnessed. The whole thing just seemed…uncharacteristic. He had an idea that Dark Lord was forming a plan. A plan which could be his ticket back to the Dark Lord's affections… or prove his doom, if played the wrong way.
Lucius shot Voldemort a cautious look. Voldemort nodded once, and Lucius, straining to make his voice avuncular and kind, said brightly "It's all right, Harry. We all make mistakes when we're young."
Voldemort nudged Harry gently and directed him towards the stairs. The endless night was nearly done, it seemed. Harry wondered whether Voldemort would kill him that night or tomorrow. The adrenaline was leaving his system; it was hard to summon the energy to care.
The party wasn't quite done, it seemed. Severus Snape stood at the foot of the stairs, arms folded, face inscrutable. Harry felt his stomach drop. Had the Greasy Git heard him getting-- of course he had, Voldemort had set it up that way.
Snape licked his lips. He was filled with trepidation and relief. Relief the boy still lived, trepidation at what the Dark Lord would do to him once he'd had his fun. He was also honest enough to admit to himself that he felt a small thrill of pleasure as well; he had to guard the boy, that was his duty, but hearing the little monster who had tormented him all these years getting his arse blistered had rather improved his day.
"Harry, wouldn't you like to say something to Severus as well?"
"Sorry, sir. For, uh, everything." The boy, shamefaced, hung his head. Snape could have reveled in it, but he was surprised to find the experience was less than satisfying for no reason he could name.
" Quite all right, Potter." Snape bowed to Voldemort. The Dark Lord waved him regally back, and led the boy upstairs. The first guest room on the left, one with no windows and only one door. He'd have to ask to go to the bathroom, to stretch his legs. To Harry, who feared being caged ever again, it looked like a plush, gilded Hell. He froze momentarily at the door, and Voldemort made a soft noise of encouragement and pushed him lightly into the room.
They were alone. "How long will you keep us here?"
" 'How long will you keep us here, my lord?'"
Voldemort nodded. This was already an improvement. "Until I believe you and I have come to an understanding, Harry."
He used to wand to transfigure the boy's clothes to pajamas and pointed to the bed. "Get in, Harry. I shall send an elf for you when it's time to come down for breakfast."
"What about Hermione?" Voldemort quirked an eyebrow at him dangerously, and Harry felt himself swallow hard. "My lord."
"You'll see her at meals, and once I decide you can be trusted not to collude on any escape attempts. Don't worry about her--Bella and Rudolphus will give her the best of care."
Harry wasn't sure that was comforting but he had little choice. He climbed into the warm bed and got under the covers. He folded his glasses and placed them on the night table.
Voldemort switched off the lights and closed the door. He felt pleased with himself. Clever for having thought up such a brilliant plan, and delighted to have such a satisfying diversion.
Still the boy would take much more handling. Voldemort was unconcerned; he'd only borrow Bella's brush again, seeing as it had worked a treat.
He heard a noise from down the hall and warded the door to Harry's room with a silencio. It sounded to him as though the brush were not quite down with its night's work