Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Pairing: Harry Potter/Theodore Nott.
Warnings: Adult Language. Light violence.
Summary: Every Death Eater's child is told that they will become a Death Eater upon reaching seventeen. To defy their father and their Lord would bring consequences. When Theodore Nott refuses the Mark, he must deal with the consequences... all of them.
Notes: My entry for Kamerreon's Rare Pairing Alphabet Challenge. The song is 'I'm Yours', by Jason Mraz. I also couldn't resist a Monty Python reference. Choc chip cookies for those that spot it! XD
Well you done, done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks
Now I'm trying to get back
Before the cool done run out
I'll be giving it my bestest
And nothing's going to stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some
I sat in the back of the Potions classroom, praying to whichever gods just happened to be listening that Snape didn't single me out. If Snape singled me out, it would bring all their attention back to me. So I sat, and prayed.
The bell rang, signalling the end of class. I sighed in relief and started packing up as fast as I can, quickening my pace when I saw them start to walk menacingly towards me.
However, my hopes of a quick escape were dashed as Snape called out, "Mr Nott, please stay behind fort a few moments. I must talk to you about today's potion." He added a sneer for extra effect.
I sighed. What was he going to do? Would he try to threaten and intimidate me? Would he curse or hex me? Or did he really just want to talk about my potion? Not likely, I theorised. My potion, as always, had been perfect. Of course.
I sat back down, ignoring the shoves, pretending that the hiss in my ear, "We'll catch you later," didn't frighten me.
Malfoy cast me a superior smirk that left me with the feeling of wanting to knock his teeth out (hexing just wouldn't have given me as much satisfaction), before strolling out of the classroom after his friends.
Snape waited until the rest of the class was out of the door and we could no longer hear them, before turning a critical eye to me.
I stood there, warily and self-consciously, as he assessed me. Then, without a word, he opened a drawer in his desk and passed several vials to me. I recognised what they were instantly. Healing potions. I gasped. Had my glamours faded already? I had only reapplied them at lunch.
Snape seemed to know what I was thinking. "Do not worry, child. No one can see. One who is used to such pain finds a way of telling when others are suffering. You winced when you sat down, you never lifted your arm any higher than a foot at any time and you have a slight limp."
I sighed. I thought I was doing so well. You just can't fool Snape, I guessed. There was just one thing that puzzled me, though: Here was Severus Snape, Death Eater, giving me healing potions for injuries inflicted by other Death Eaters or soon-to-be Death Eaters. I'd like to say that it made sense, if only to make myself feel better. But I had to admit, it really didn't make any kind of sense. This was Snape the Head of House, where I had been expecting Snape the Death Eater.
Snape paused for a moment. "It is your seventeenth birthday soon, is it not child?"
I stiffened, nodding. "Next week, sir," I replied.
"Your father has expressed an interest in presenting you to the Dark Lord?"
I snorted. "Yes sir," I replied.
Expressed an interest...If you could call the phrase, "You're going to be marked over the Easter holidays, whether you like it or not. Don't embarrass me," 'expressing interest', then I'd have to say that yes, my father had expressed an interest.
"I assume you have informed him of your decision?"
I nodded. As if Snape didn't know. The man seemed to know everything that went off in the Slytherin dungeons. He was as omniscient as Dumbledore, but less... jolly. Besides, how did he think this whole mess started, anyway? I'd said no and he immediately asked the Death Eaters or soon-to-be Death Eaters in the school to try to 'convince' me. Even the Slytherins who weren't Death Eaters treated me like a pariah. They were too afraid of the others. Snape was probably the only Death Eater in school my father didn't inform. He would have informed the people that he knew he could intimidate into keeping it a secret; he wouldn't want the word to get out about my defiance. There wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that my father could intimidate Severus Snape, though.
"I told him no."
Snape sighed. "This puts me in a very awkward position. You know I always try to protect my snakes, even from other snakes. But you know that I cannot be seen to favour you at this time. It could ultimately put lives in danger. Mine and yours most definitely." I watched him look me over. "I will try to help you where I can, but no one must know."
I was shocked, to say the least. Was Snape on the light side? It would certainly fit with what he was telling me. But I wasn't sure why he trusted me with this, and I told him so.
My Head of House paused, and then spoke, "Because child, I was very nearly in your position twenty years ago. It only took one last thing to push me over that edge, and I have regretted it ever since. Let us hope you don't find that."
I ran down the Charms corridor at full speed, my terror lending me the energy I needed to stay ahead even though I was in so much pain I wondered how I was even still upright. They weren't that far behind. It was dinner time, so I wasn't too worried about being caught by teachers or other students. Although, if others were around, I theorised, it might have put Malfoy and his goons off... at least for a little while.
I turned the corner and ran straight into something that felt as solid as a brick wall. The force of it repelled me back a few inches and I slowly looked up with dread. Crabbe. Oh, fuck. They must have used a short cut to head me off.
Malfoy stepped from behind the hulking figure with a smirk on his face. "Oh you're a spoilsport, Nott. We haven't nearly finished with you yet." He threw a curse at me and I was too close to dive out of the way; not quick enough to draw my wand to shield. The curse hit my chest. It felt as though invisible knives were slashing through my skin. Blood soaked through my clothing as I gasped with pain. I blinked back tears. I wouldn't give the bastards the satisfaction.
Malfoy pouted, mock pityingly. "Aw, what's the matter, Nott? Does the widdle baby not want to play with the big boys?" His expression changed into a harsh, cruel sneer. "Tough," he spat. "You defied our lord. You will pay the consequences."
Crabbe and Goyle both grabbed me before I could make another run for it, pinning me against the wall with enough force to knock the wind out of me. Malfoy raised his wand. I braced myself for more pain. I wasn't going to get off lightly this time.
Malfoy span around in shock as his wand flew out of his hand. Potter was stood at the end of the corridor, wand aimed at Malfoy. It took Malfoy less than half a second once Potter started to sprint down the corridor to decide to grab his wand and run for it, Crabbe and Goyle quickly in tow.
Without Crabbe and Goyle to hold me up, I slid down the wall. I took a deep breath and grimaced as it aggravated the cuts. My whole shirt was covered in blood by now and my head was swimming. Things were getting fuzzier by the second.
Potter had reached me and was knelt on the ground beside me. His hand hovered over my arm for a second, as if he was unsure and thinking what to do. "Shit, the bastards... Come on, Nott. I need to get you to the Hospital Wing."
Panic gripped me and I started to shake. I grabbed hold of his arm tightly. "N-no," I managed, starting to hyperventilate. "Not h-hospital wing. P-please Potter." I looked up into concerned emerald eyes. "P-please promise me, P-Potter. Anywhere b-but there. I'll be f-fine." My panic was rising even faster now, and the hyperventilating was getting worse, too. My head was spinning and I felt so lightheaded. I felt as if I was barely connected to my body. The warmth of Potter's arm against my hand was the only connection to reality. "P-please..." I felt as if I was floating, and slowly, my vision blacked out.
When I woke up, I felt... strange. As if I was wrapped from head to toe in cotton wool. There was a horrible taste in my mouth that it took me a few seconds to place. A painkiller. Panic took hold of me once more. Had Potter taken me to the Hospital Wing after all? I opened my eyes and looked around.
It wasn't the Hospital Wing. I didn't know where it was. I hadn't seen anything like it in the castle before. It was a large bedroom, done in neutral colours. Warm beiges, soft browns. I was laid on a four poster bed in the centre of the room. There was a movement to the side of me and I immediately swivelled myself to face it, regretting it instantly as a burning sensation sparked across my torso, making me hiss with the pain.
The figure in the chair next to the bed (for that's what the movement had been) was by my side at once. It was Potter.
"Thank you," I said hoarsely, my heart swelling with gratitude for the Gryffindor. "For not taking me to the Hospital Wing."
Potter glanced up at me from where he had been checking on the bandages across my chest. "You asked," he said simply.
I looked at Potter in amazement, yet I knew the absolute truth of that statement. It was simple in his mind. I had asked not to go to the Hospital Wing, and Potter had complied with my wishes... just like that. Because I had asked.
"Why are you frightened of Hospitals, anyway?" Potter asked.
I opened my mouth to deny the claim, but knew it would be fruitless. He had seen me panic at the mere possibility of going to the Hospital Wing. "My Mother," I admitted grudgingly. "She practically lived in St Mungo's when I was a child. The Healers could not figure out what was wrong with her. I spent over two years, in and out visiting her whenever I was permitted. I watched her waste away in that tiny room with the whitewashed walls..."
Potter said nothing, pretending not to notice as I wiped my eyes furiously, which I was very grateful for. He stepped back from me, seemingly satisfied with the bandages. "Well, Nott... You'll survive. It's going to scar. I'm only a beginner at this, after all."
I blinked. "Y-you did this yourself?" I asked. I thought that Potter would have fetched Pomfrey or someone.
Potter shook his head. "You were losing a lot of blood. The Room provided me with stuff I needed. Potions, spellbooks with healing charms, and the lot." He sat on the edge of the bed. "The Room of Requirement," Potter answered my unasked question. "It literally becomes what you require. We used it for the DA meetings back in fifth year."
"That secret club you organised?" I asked. Potter nodded.
There was silence for a little while. I sighed and tried to prop myself up a bit more. "I'll bet you are loving this, eh Potter?" I winced and was startled when I felt hands grasping me firmly, helping me up. When I was settled in my new position, I looked up at him. He was wearing a carefully blank expression, worthy of any Slytherin. "Seeing the proud Slytherin reduced to House Elf standards."
Potter stilled and looked at me with a look that chilled me to the bone. "You don't know anything about me, Nott, so don't assume anything," he said coldly.
I blinked. Potter seemed to be set on surprising me at every turn. I tried to pull myself together. I wouldn't let Potter see just how much he was unnerving me by acting like this. "Of course I know about you, Potter. The whole world knows about you. You're in the spotlight so much... Everyone is looking at you all the time."
Potter tilted his head and the corner of his lips twitched. This, of course, drew my attention to his lips and the first thing that came to mind was how it would feel if Potter kissed me right now. As I had every time in the last few weeks when the thought had come up, I quickly cursed myself and my overactive imagination. Potter? Kissing me? Well done, Theodore Nott. You have reached a whole new level of stupidity. As if Potter would show any interest in you at all. You're just his little charity case. His Gryffindor good deed for the day.
He took you to a secret room and healed you, a voice inside my head piped up. He took care of you. A Slytherin. When has any Gryffindor ever cared for a Slytherin in need? Your own father doesn't even care for you.
"They might be looking at me all the time, Nott, but are they looking closely enough?"
I scoffed. "Oh, come off it, Potter. Are you really going to feed me some tripe about how everybody looks at you, but nobody sees the real you?"
Potter shifted on the bed, leaning closer to me. My breath caught in my throat and I couldn't help but look into his eyes. The green gaze pierced me and I felt as though I had been petrified. I couldn't have possibly moved at that particular moment, even if someone put four thousand volts through me.
"No, but I know that you've been looking. Haven't you, Nott?" Potter said softly. "You think that I hadn't noticed? You think that I haven't been paying attention? I know a lot more than I ever let on, Nott. Just like I know that you've refused to be a Death Eater so all the wannabes are after your hide. I think it's rather amusing that some people are watching me so well, but not one of them have ever realised that I've been watching back. Some might say that it's my Slytherin side showing through, but I just call it being well informed."
My surprise must have shown on my face, because Potter chuckled. "You think I haven't been watching you too, Nott? You think that I haven't had to restrain myself from killing those bastards this past week? This is the first time I've been able to get close enough to think about doing damage. Little shits. Nobody touches what's mine."
Inwardly, I felt a little thrill at that. Mine, he'd said. But my Slytherin pride wouldn't leave it at that. Damn thing. "Yours, Potter?" I sneered, unable to help myself. "I assure you, Potter. I do not belong to anyone. Why do you think I defied the Dark Lord in the first place? What makes you think that I want to be yours?"
Potter smiled then. It was a tender smile. One that made me feel warm inside to the very tips of my toes. He leaned even closer, putting one hand on the mattress at each side of me. He was directly in front of me; his face inches from my own. I could have counted the faint freckles on his nose if I so wished.
"Because, Theo..." My name rolled off his tongue, sounding like music to my ears. The sensuousness of it made me shiver. "You do want it. Every time I get close to you, you itch to be closer to me. Every time I walk by, your eyes follow me. Every time I'm not around, your thoughts are fixated on me. Every time you restrain yourself from kissing or grabbing me, your eyes show such a longing..." His hand came up to graze the side of my face, and I unconsciously leaned into it.
"H-how do you know all this?" I asked, my heart pounding so fast and so loud, that I wondered if Potter could hear it.
Potter's fingertips softly traced the shape of my face and down the side of my neck, until his hand came to rest at the back of my neck, cupping my head. "Because..." Potter began slowly, his eyes flicking down to my lips and then back up to my eyes, sending a thrill through me. "It's exactly how I feel."
And, with that, Potter crossed the last few inches between us and covered my lips with his. It seemed as though, as good with words as he was, Potter was trying to convey all that he could not express in words into an action. The kiss was many things, all at the same time: sweet, hot, exciting. Above all, it felt... right. I returned the kiss with relish, safe in the knowledge that I was cared for and that, come what may, it seemed that Potter and I would be facing it together.
I broke the kiss gently, whispering into Potter's ear the two words that we both needed to hear.
So I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours