Off Topic

By: Song

Summary: It wasn't that hard. Write an essay about what he had done wrong- surely Potter could not fail at something so simple.

A/U: Bad Song, I know. Not updating HaBM, IaSF or even LtLA. Shame on me. On the uphand though, you (the potionsandsnitches people/HP fanfiction community) finally get to read a oneshot of mine that's not a character sketch :) Written on a Monday, edited throughout the following month and a half. Yes, I do realise that this is atypical characterisation of a victim, but it makes for a good fic ;) Sadly, still not mine.

Warnings: If the alusion to sexual abuse bothers you, please don't read any further.

Things like this do happen. In the words of one of my reviewers, sometimes good people suffer. If you ever suspect anything of this nature happening to a anyone, report it immediately.

And remember to review!

The boy had sat, quill in hand, finishing the scribbled essay.

Potter stood, handing him the parchment.

Severus sighed, and readied himself for torture.

The first time it happened I was seven, and I cried.

The instructions were simple enough. Write an essay on what was done wrong. How could the boy mess something so simple up?

I was promptly hit and told not to be such a sniveling waste of space.

And yet, he had. Even through the untidy scrawl, he could tell there was not a single mention of anything even remotely related. Simply more proof of Potter's ineptitude.

The second time it happened was a few months later and I held my tears until I was stuffed in the cupboard. The sight of my blood still haunts it.

'Sight of my blood' What the bloody hell was the boy talking about? Perfect prissy Potter had never to endure the gripping fear and morbid fascination as one watches the sickly crimson liquid pumping from his own body to stain anything it touches.

The third time it happened I was almost eight. We talked in school about guardians that hurt children, and why it was wrong. I tried explaining it to him, but he told me that it didn't apply to freaks.

And yet, as plain as day the implications were stated in India ink.

The fourth time it happened was my birthday, I opened my big mouth and offended him and his generosity. He told me that I didn't deserve such a good present, that most boys didn't get to do this for years. I kept my mouth shut after that.

Surely the boy had not been...

The fifth time it happened I was ten. He had had a bad day at work... he said it was my fault he got a pay cut... my chores not being finished were just the excuse.

The sixth time it happened was after I set the boa constrictor on his son. He was stressed, and needed to take it out on something. That something was me.

The seventh time it happened was after I got back from Diagon Alley the first time. He told me it was a reminder to behave, and to never tell anyone.

The eight time it happened I had just come home from school, and Dumbledore had sent a letter explaining what happened. He told me it was congratulating me on messing up so spectacularly.

The ninth time it happened I was at school. I thought I was safe... I wasn't. He was different this time. His voice was kind, explaining that I should feel privileged to have this happen to me, a no body. Repeating the other man's words, explaining that most little boys had to wait years to do what I was doing. That I should thank him for his generosity. I stayed quiet.

Was it possible that he had..?

The tenth time was the week before his sister came to stay. He told me to be good for her, and to behave myself, reminding me that I was a freak and not good enough for such a kind punishment.

The memories seemed familiar, but the barely described acts of...

The eleventh time was after Cedric died. I woke him up with my screams and he told me to stay silent, and that this was far better than anything I ever got with him. That this was how a real man took it.

He never saw any of this.

The twelfth and thirteenth time was after the dementor incident last Summer. He showed his son how to do it properly, and then let Dudley have a try. He gets joy out of seeing my blood and groveling like a dog. They all do.

Could the boy be far better at shielding his thoughts better than he had ever imagined?

One might think after thirteen times I would have gotten used to it.... I haven't. It still hurts just as much as it did the first time even though I have grown. I still feel as if I was being ripped apart, a basalisk fang piercing my skin without the numbing venom to prevent the rawness of the whole thing. Perhaps it is the soft scar tissue that is broken and healed again and again, or the raw nerve endings in contact with flesh. Maybe in some way I want it to happen. Maybe I want to feel the pain, and the smell of my own fluids covering my body. Maybe deep down I feel I deserve it. Maybe I...I just don't know.

"Potter, what is this essay about?" He asked, silkily.

The boy mumbled something that he could not make out.

"Potter, do I need to repeat myself?"

The scraggly boy ground his teeth.

"I said it was an overlook of what lessons I've learned, and what I've done wrong."

For a brief moment obsidian met emerald, and the dour potions master could see truth reflected in his student's soul. His eyes were so like Lily's, and yet not at all. His eyes held no joy or curiosity, just pain and sorrow.

"You know, you're the first one I've ever told... or who has ever asked for that matter. Not even Sirius knew about what happened there..." he whispered, eyes turning away in shame.

And yet, it had, undoubtedly... happened.

Horrified the professor looked to the paper in his hand, the gravity of the situation having finally settling in.

Why had the boy chosen him? Of all people to spill dark secrets to, why tell him? He had no emotional relation to the boy (at least that Potter knew of), and he was the head of Slytherin. The greasy git that no one gave a damn about, only a nuisance at best, and a bastard of a spy who no one quite knew who's side he affiliated with. Snakes were solitary after all.

He looked up again, but his student was gone. The soft slap-slap-slap of trainers on the cold dungeon floor was the only company. All he could do was watch as the boy ran down the hallway disappearing into the darkness.