Title: The Briarwood Elf

Author: by Fitful

Pairings: Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Harry/Snape

Warning: Slash(although it's mostly PG) which means boys kissing boys, Slavery, Adultery, creatureharry, creaturesnape. Sorta D/s( Actually kinda just a teasing nod in that direction.) HBP and DH compliant with a few adjustments( Yes I know, Potter probably doesn't speak Parseltongue anymore.) And there are OC's. They're really there to make the plot move along, and I'm not to shabby at making them, but if you don't read because of them I understand.

Summary: A mad dark wizard's curse hits Harry. Harry becomes very small in Snape's eyes. Snape is alive when he shouldn't be and just a little pissy. SLASH. HP/SS. slavery, not D/s but sorta teasing that way. HPB and DH compliant.

The large summary is in my profile so if you don't want to know all the details of whats going to happen in the story you don't have to. If you do wish to spoil all my surprises go and read the notes that inspired this fic. 

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, Severus Snape or anything you recognize, those belong to JKR. I do lay claim to The Devil's Crown and it's idea, Briarwood Cottage and it's idea, the aliases Paddy, Ossian Patrick Prince, and Salem L. Rose, the characters Bryn, Goby, Egeus Morgan, and Valeray Mathias Chickering, and probably half a dozen other things I can't remember right now. Ask before borrowing please.

Rating: M This fic is rated for adult matters, content, innuendo, and just in case my mad little mind comes up with something unsuitable for little ears and eyes. Please respect the rating and don't read if you think something here will offend you. Most likely something will so I will shout a little warning before each chapter if I think it's necessary.

Author's Note: I could care less about editing, mostly cause I hate doing it, but if you want to beta let me know. This fic is complete and the wordcount comes to just under 60 thousand. It is slash, READ ABOVE, so keep that in mind if you want to beta. Also let me know if I messed up on something you think I didn't mean to. Helpful criticism and all that.

This story will be posted, the first three chapters all at once, then one a day or two if they're short. It comes out at Twenty Three Chapters.

The Briarwood Elf

by Fitful

warning: here harry is oblivious.

Chapter One

Ginny was gone again.

Harry could always tell when the house was empty. The moment he stepped into it, whether by floo or walking in the front door or occasionally apparition. The house would feel empty. Quiet. Almost unwelcoming. As with all muggle houses he could always hear the whine and hum of appliances, the tick tick tick of the clock, the drip of the kitchen faucet that stubbornly refused to be fixed. As familiar as these noises were they seemed to make the house all the more empty because when Ginny was home he could never hear them over her activities.

Harry had bought this house for Ginny. It was smaller than he would have liked. He had always wanted a big house filled with rooms that only snobbish people new the use of. He wanted there to be more than enough room for family and friends to stay oven whenever they wanted and not feel squished. He wanted there to plenty of rooms for children how every many they might have.

Harry supposed it went back to the Dursleys, they were usually the root of most of his issues. Living a cupboard for ten years had made him slightly claustrophobic; not enough to interfere with his Auror duties, he wouldn't allow himself that kind of weakness, but enough that when he thought about buying a house it was a large one, with tall ceilings, and large hallways, and a living room that echoed when one shouted in it.

But Ginny had seen their little house and fallen in love with it. After being raised in the ram-shackle rambling thing that was the Burrow she had craved normalcy. The little muggle house in the middle of a little muggle town was perfect. Quite proper and small enough to ensure she felt snug inside. Unlike him Ginny didn't like large spaces. She preferred something tight and cramped. If Malfoy knew he might have made a reference to weasels.

Their bed, for instance, wasn't very big. She complained when he'd brought up getting a large one, claiming she liked to snuggle at night, that he kept her warm. That might have been the case but in actuality she usually ended up sleeping on top of him. He'd wake in the night hardly able to breathe with the weight of her on his chest and her long hair nearly strangling him. Ron said him and Hermione had stopped sleeping so close together about six months into their marriage. Hermione had complained that Ron moved about to much to sleep that way anymore. He said it'd ease up eventually.

It had been four years now and Harry was still sleeping in a tiny bed with Ginny practically smothering him in his sleep.

A part of him liked it, after all he had grown up with a distinct lack of physical intimacy with anyone. The Dursleys never offered anything like a hug, not that he would have accepted one if they had, and the fleeting ones from people like Mrs. Figg, Mrs. Weasley and Hermione were always bittersweet. They tended to remind Harry of his lack of hugs instead of comfort as they were meant to. Sirius' hugs were more the thing. Strong and tight and slightly clinging. Almost enough to fill that ache he always carried as a child but never quiet enough. Even with Sirius he never let himself hug back too hard, lest he never let go.

With Ginny he could hug her whenever he wanted. In fact half the time she hugged him, which still came as a small surprise to Harry. It was slightly gratifying to have someone like Ginny. To even have the luxury of taking someone for granted, not that he ever did. But, try as he might to ignore it, there was always the lingering small ache that whispered the hug wasn't strong enough. It wasn't enough to convince him he wasn't alone.

It was an unusual feeling, being alone when he really wasn't. He felt it most strongly when it was just him and Ginny. It puzzled him until he thought one day that perhaps something was missing. It took him weeks to peg down what it was. When he figured it out he could have laughed at his stupidity. Hermione did, actually. He wanted a child. Well children. He wanted Ginny to get pregnant.

At first it was dismissed as an impossibility, he had married far to young, at 17 in fact, and gone straight into Auror training. Ginny had actually gone into professional Quidditch. With her pursuing her career and him pursuing his having a child was impractical. He knew all this and never said anything to her about his wanting one. But then, he'd finished Auror training and spent more time at home. At home with Ginny in their little muggle house. At it was just too quiet.

Finally one day his control on this impractical desire had snapped and he'd blurted out, rather abruptly, that he thought they should get pregnant. Ginny had stared at him then beamed. "Of course Harry," she'd said softly, as if it were an obvious course of action and for the next hour they talked about names and gender and where they'd put the child. Until bedtime when he mentioned getting started and Ginny had looked confused.

Then it all went downhill. She had said she thought he had meant in the future, at some undetermined time. She said she would love to have a child, but it wasn't the right time. She didn't want to be like her mother and make having children her career and put her dreams on hold or put them off altogether. Ginny had talked about how she wanted to have her career in Quidditch first, and when she wasn't old enough to play anymore, then would be the time to have a child.

They'd argued, perhaps their first serious one.

And a few months later she had a Quidditch accident. She fell from her broom in the middle of a game. After a few tense hours at St. Mungos they'd been informed she'd fainted. And broken quite a few bones in the fall. But both Ginny and the baby would be fine.

That was how he'd been informed of Ginny being pregnant. She hadn't been very far along and it had been all the healers could do to make sure she didn't abort.

She'd been upset about the child though. Cried about how her future was ruined, rather incoherently, and how Quidditch was over for her. Harry had put up with it for a few hours but when he'd asked if she was even happy about the baby and received no answer he snapped something cruel to her and left.

They made up when she apologized and said of course she was happy about the baby. Harry had tried to convince her that she could be a mother and play Quidditch too but she'd shaken her head and refused to listen. Harry had told her she was being stupid and they'd argued again.

After they made up the second time he didn't mention Quidditch.

It was around that time when she began disappearing.

He worked irregular hours. That first year as a new Auror the Ministry used him as a promotional tool. They gave him assignments as the Boy-Who-Lived, as the Chosen One, as the Vanquisher of Voldemort. He wasn't taken seriously despite his hard work. The Minister told him it was necessary for him to be the face of the Auror's rather than an actual one. And so his hours were quite irregular. They sent him to other magical communities in France, Spain, Russia, Japan, Africa, and even America. It got so he had to take sleeping potions to readjust to normal hours upon returning.

And when he'd pop in during the day Ginny would be missing.

She said she was shopping, or visiting family and friends. At first he'd taken her word. Why not? She was his wife. She loved him and at first it never occurred to him that she'd lie. Until the day he caught her in one.

She had said she'd been visiting Ron in Hong Kong, where he'd gone to start up a new branch of Weasley Wizarding Wheezes. A few weeks later Ron had come back, bubbling with delight over the success he'd had with Japanese witches. Apparently they like jokes a lot, the shop a lot, and his unusual red hair. He's been quick to assure Harry that he hadn't done anything inappropriate but Harry could tell he'd been flattered by the attention. Smiling Harry had asked, jealously aroused, how the wizards had liked Ginny?

Ron had scratched his head and looked confused. He said he hadn't seen Ginny in weeks, that he was actually looking forward to see his little sister again.

Harry had brushed it off. Perhaps she'd missed Ron in the hubbub of everything. Perhaps she'd been arranging something secret for his birthday. Whatever it was, Ginny had kept it secret for a reason, and he trusted her. After all he had things he hadn't told her. And he wasn't one of those husbands that demanded full disclosure of every aspect of their partner's lives. He had put his worry aside and made certain to spend a little extra time with his pregnant wife.

What he hadn't acknowledged was the small kernel of doubt that crept into the space where he never had enough hugs. Stupid Dursleys.

But it happened again, and then twice more. And it became more and more obvious that she was lying. And Harry began to worry for the baby. Perhaps she was having problems and she didn't want him to know? What if she dying and she didn't want to tell him. Harry really didn't know what to do and so he fell back on habit. He went to Hermione.

Hermione had frowned while she listened to Harry. Harry had been very careful not to accuse Ginny of anything, he really didn't believe it was anything bad anyway. Hermione had noticed though, of course she had, and had asked him outright if he thought Ginny was cheating on him. Harry's mind had gone blank. He couldn't imagine. He couldn't even contemplate thinking such a think. Hermione had pressed, despite his lack of an answer which she said actually was an answer, and told him gently if he suspected Ginny of something he should ask Ginny and not sneak around talking to her about it.

Harry didn't think he had been sneaking but hadn't said anything. He also never got up the courage to confront Ginny. That had been nearly a month ago.

And now Ginny was gone again.

Harry had popped in with apparition this time. He hadn't the time to deal with floo powder and ashes at the moment, he was supposed to be in Plymouth shortly to apprehend a dark wizard. His first real assignment. With the Minister finally on board he'd begun taking real Auror assignments but always with an older partner. Now, though, Octavia Edith had finally retired and Harry was free, well until they assigned him a new partner.

Frowning at Ginny's absence Harry paused for a moment then sighed. He missed her. He missed his wife.

It had been so nice in the beginning. She'd be here when he'd get home after a long day of Auror training and a cooking dinner would chase away the smell of sweat and spells and occasionally blood. She'd be humming as she tended to her Quidditch gear or muttering, sometimes half shouting, as she planned strategy for the next game. The dishes would be in the sink washing themselves, a piece of magic Harry always loved to see, and there would be crackling fire even in the summer as Ginny got cold very easily. The living room would always smell like cinnamon as Ginny loved to throw bundles of the stuff on the fire just because she liked the smell.

Even when he had arrived on the weekends, when Ginny was most busy, he had had been able to tell if she was home. She'd leave her clothes everywhere, a jumper on the couch, trainers by refrigerator, Quidditch gear piled up on the dining table. Those days he'd find her in the bath where she would always welcome him most gratifyingly.

Now it was like she didn't even live there anymore.

And the worst of it was, she was nearly eight months pregnant. Just where could she go all the time?

Harry sighed grimly as he gathered the mail left on the counter and stacked it before setting it back down. Perhaps she was at the Quidditch pitch. She could be observing or even helping with strategy. But why would she lie about that?

It didn't really matter now as he had somewhere to be. With a dissatisfied look around the house he'd bought for Ginny he grabbed his AID tag (Auror Identification) the reason he'd returned home in the first place as he'd forgot it this morning, and apparated with a pop. As he arrived in Plymouth he tried not to imagine the sound of his passing echoing in the empty house.

Ok. Not much happens here. I promise the story gets much better. And it will be funny, just bear with me. Oh, I'm wondering if you can guess what Snape is, what harry's going to be, where ginny's running off to, how harry will get out of his pickle. Let me know.

Fitful.