Dependence

SSJP Fan fiction

Harry Potter

Obsessivedevil23

Summary: James gets ill with Tractamosa! (a completely made up disease), and has to rely on Severus making him a potion each weak to keep him alive. However, Severus only ever does things for a price, and his price is James' humiliation! Submissive James and dominant sadistic Severus.

Disclaimer: I Don't own Harry Potter, I'm not making any money from this.

Remus and Peter were Marauders as well and they deserve recognition, as such, they are portrayed as just as trouble making and popular in this story as James and Sirius.

Hope you enjoy!

Chapter 1- My Life is in His Hands?

It was hot, so hot that it truly felt like the fires of Hell had burst out of their underground cavern and had infiltrated his bedroom, although in all honesty he could not say so with certainty, because he'd never been to Hell, and he would like to keep it that way. The throbbing headache and aggravating pins and needles on the base of his feet were mere agitations: nothing compared to his fever. All he wanted was to get rid of the thick quilt that was covering him. The 15 year old turned over in pain and shoved the covers off himself with a moan, however, they were just pulled back up with a heartfelt sigh from the man sitting next to his bed. He was tall, impressive, with short dark hair and warm brown eyes.

"Sorry son, you've got to keep them on." He explained, trying to tackle his teenage son back under the quilt. "I'm not doing it to be mean." His voice that was gravely, suggesting he hadn't spoken in a very long time. The boy in bed simply moaned.

"… Yes you are." he whimpered slightly, and the man sighed again, he too was having trouble stopping himself from taking away the covers as he could see his son was in a lot of pain, but the best way to get rid of a fever was to sweat it out. He hated that his son thought he was only being mean when he was only doing it because he cared. It was heartbreaking to watch his son, his only child, in such pain. He looked across the room as the door creaked open and his wife entered. She too had worry plastered all over her face. Their son had been ill before, but he had never been affected like this.

Behind her followed a Healer from St. Mungo's; an average sized man with honey blonde hair and arms that seemed to long for his body.

His wife sat down next to him and the Healer held a steady hand to the teen's sweat covered forehead. Said teen was trying to concentrate on his parents, but thanks to his fever he was failing miserably. The Healer dragged off the covers, to which the boy gave a happy, contented, little noise, as if that was all he had ever asked for from the world, and the long armed man cast a few spells over the boy's body.

Soon, the heat, not only that of his fever, but that which a spell generates, grew to be too much, and the boy passed out; shallow breaths showing his pain, even in his sleep. The Healer stroked his greying beard and cleared his throat. He opened the teens mouth, eyes set in concentration, and took a swab of saliva from inside.

"What are you going to do?" asked the only female in the room, standing up. Her voice was shaky in a panic that can only be achieved by a mother with a sick child.

"Just a small test to see if my suspicions are correct- although I hope they aren't." The Healer replied, not even noticing that his carelessly slipped words greatly affected the terrified parents.

The lady sat back down, now even more worried than before, and the Healer tested the saliva and sighed, he turned to the parents. He bit his lip, not wanting to be the barer of bad news, as he so often was in his career. They, the parents, both stood, and clasped hands in anticipation.

"Your son has Tractamosa." he said softly, and carried on at their blank expressions. Understandable, since the disease was quite rare. In his medical career he had only heard of one other case from the UK. "It's a disease which sends some of the cells in the body into overdrive - giving the impression of a common bug it creates symptoms like headaches, dehydration, pins and needles, various aches and pain, and itchiness, just to name a few. None of these symptoms are dangerous, just mild agitation. But the fever… if left alone it would burn him from the inside."

The other two adults in the room stared at him, horrified.

"He's going to spontaneously combust!" asked the incredulous father. He didn't believe it, but he was still pushed to ask: "What can we do?"

"It's not spontaneous, it hasn't reached it's worst stage yet." Believe it or not, the Healer thought, looking down at the suffering teenager. Tractamosa was such a violent disease. Once it did reach it's worst stage the flames would completely consume him. "The illness will only ever lay dormant for a week at a time. Given the right potion at the right time, it's possible he could live a normal life. However, he'd need to have the antidote at least once a week." He explained as evenly as he could. He almost smiled as the mother gave a heartfelt sigh of relief.

"That's not so bad."

"Yes…" The Healer agreed, "But the original creator died recently, and he only taught one other person how to do it. The potion doesn't take long to create, but it's very complex. It's possible he can do it in time to save your son, but it will be a close call."

The father stood, almost angrily.

"Then call whoever it is straight away! I don't even care his price, I'll pay anything he asks for." He pleaded. "Just save my son."

- X -

James Potter stood in front of his headmaster. The first day back and he was already in trouble. He couldn't see how though. He hadn't caused any trouble on the train, he'd watched the sorting without a commotion, and eaten the feast like a good boy. Pete had suggested that Dumbledore was suspicious, because James was never this well behaved - and he had to agree.

Next to him stood Severus Snape, lanky hair, large nose, pale skin and all, looking just as bored as James was confused. It seemed Snape knew why he was here, which only served to aggravate James more. He couldn't help but notice the headmaster looking at them both through his half-moon spectacles, a twinkle in his eye that James couldn't decipher whether it was amused or deadly serious. That at least told James he wasn't in any serious trouble. If he was in serious trouble there would be no twinkle at all.

Then again, he still couldn't see how he was in any trouble. He played with the ends of his sleeves as Dumbledore began to speak.

"You may or may not be aware, Mr. Potter, you came very close to death towards the very end of the holidays."

James looked at his feet. He remembered being really hot, and he remembered passing out, just after a Healer came. His parents didn't tell him much about it, and he couldn't really remember how he had recovered. His memories of the entire event were hazy at best, and in all honesty he would rather not think of a time when he had been pathetically claimed by an illness. He glanced a Snape, did they have to discuss this in front of Snivellus? He didn't want the dungeon bat having any material to pester him with.

Dumbledore nodded his head, he knew James didn't remember much.

"The illness you suffered from will return, if you do not drink a specific potion - Ah, Elixir - once a week, on a Friday, at eight pm, as that is when you took your first."

"But I didn't…"

"Yes you did- you just don't remember."

James chewed on this inside of his cheek thoughtfully, suddenly wishing he could remember. Dumbledore had just told his enemy that he was suffering from memory loss, and he really didn't want Snape to know he was ill. After all, it would give the Slytherin a perfect excuse to extract revenge if James was weak and unable to fight back.

"And where do I get this potion from?" He muttered.

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled a little more dangerously, so naturally James grew a little more suspicious. It was impossible to spend as much time in the headmaster's office as he did, without getting to know how to read Dumbledore. Something interesting was about to happen.

"It's called the 'Elixir of Frozen Fire' and Severus is the only person alive who can brew it successfully." Was the old man's response, with an almost proud wave of his wrinkled hand in Snape's direction.

James' eyes went wide and he glanced at the Slytherin again, who was examining Fawkes with a polite interest, and decidedly not looking anywhere near James.

"I'd rather be sick for the rest of my life then depend on that greasy git!" he shouted spitefully. Snape turned his head, looking over his shoulder to give him a bored look, as if he found James to be an overreacting child.

"You don't understand James." carried on Dumbledore, ignoring the teens comment, and Severus' patronising stare. "If you don't take the potion then there is no way you would survive."

The headmaster looked way to serious for this to be some kind of elaborate joke. James gulped. He didn't want to believe his life was on the line. He'd never even considered dying until he was at least sixty.

"You mean my life is in his hands?" he asked, jerking a thumb at Snape, who was still observing Fawkes. Dumbledore nodded sombrely, and the Gryffindor was already mapping out his will in his mind. Snape had probably been waiting for a chance like this, the git was only there to watch James die, preferably screaming in agony and begging to be saved. But James wouldn't give him the satisfaction.

"I'll make the Elixir for you to drink each Friday."

James head snapped up and his jaw fell down. Which was a painful combination that he reminded himself not to try again.

"Excuse me?"

"I'll make it." Severus confirmed, "Of course, that is, if you can pay me."

James looked at the floor, whatever price Severus named he probably wouldn't be able to afford it. He could hardly rely on his parents for help when they were struggling to build back up an empire that had fallen because of his grandfather's gambling problem, and he had no doubt that any price Snape named would be far above the two Galleons and 14 Sickles he had in his pocket.

"I don't have any money." He spat defensively.

"Actually, I was thinking something a little bit different from money." Was his reply in a cool, amused voice. Snape smirked at him.

James glared back heatedly, he didn't even want to know what Snape was going to suggest. If this had been a private arrangement he might have just jinxed the potion out of the boy, or at least landed a decent punch for even daring to suggest something so disgusting. But Dumbledore was watching them closely, so James was unable to put his little knowledge of the Unforgivables to the test and land an Imperio on the Slytherin. As it was the boy just continued to smirk, the expression looking cold and evil on his face.

"One order a day. Whatever I chose to be your task for the day, you must do to the best of your ability. In return I'll make the Elixir for you each week." He negotiated calmly, taking amusement in the internal struggle that was obviously going on inside the Gryffindor.

"Orders? What's the point in that?" James asked before he could stop himself. He wary of the idea of being controlled Snape, which he felt was completely justifiable. "What do you get out of it?" He mumbled, mostly to himself, as he cast distrusting eyes on the other teen.

"Watching you humiliate yourself." Severus replied anyway, smirking again; triumphantly. James glared a little more, not feeling as confident as he hoped he looked.

"Seven orders for one potion?" he hissed indignantly.

"No. Seven orders for your life."

The messy haired Quidditch player looked to the headmaster for help.

"Can't you do something about this?" he asked, but Dumbledore just shook his head ruefully. James did not miss that he too was sending slightly suspicious looks towards the Slytherin. The headmaster could hardly pick favourites, but if he could James had every reason to think he would be near the top of the list.

"As bad as this sounds when said aloud, your life has nothing to do with Hogwarts, unless you are killed by something directly related to school, like another student. That effectively means that your death, and arrangements to do with it, have nothing to do with me, and it is not my place to step in. The deal is between you and Mr. Snape, and therefore the matter of payment should be sorted out between the two of you."

James growled low in his throat at the explanation, the old man had been right, that did sound bad. He directed his next question to the lanky haired boy who still seemed captivated by their headmaster's phoenix.

"If I agree to this, you can't really force me to do anything, can you?" He asked, hating himself for the insecurity that had slipped out in his voice.

Snape rose an eyebrow, suddenly thinking about what type of 'anything' James might be referring to. He wrinkled his nose when unbidden images of forcing the Potter heir into indecent acts ran wild in his head. If the Gryffindor thought he was sick enough to enjoy such an activity, then… it suddenly struck him that James might be scared about what things he might be forced to do, and that thought amused Severus greatly. He had no desire to calm the boy who had bullied him for so many years, opting instead for an ambiguous answer. Potter deserved to be uncomfortable for a little while.

"That depends on whether you care about yourself or not. You don't do the order, I don't make the Elixir."

"It's my LIFE!"

Snape's eyes darkened and a scowl took over his features. He didn't want to lose this façade of a cool, calm person who held the key to someone else's life; but James just made him so angry. Even being in the same room as the boy made him want to sent jinxes and curses in the messy-haired boy's direction. James didn't even have to say anything, as soon as he caught sight of the brat's birds-nest he called hair he was an uncontrollable mass of rage.

"You and your little marauder buddies have made my life a living Hell since I came to Hogwarts. Do you seriously believe I actually care whether you live or die?" He pulled the boy forwards by his collar threateningly, unheeding the cough of protest from their headmaster. He whispered directly into the boy's face, making sure to pronounce his words so that James' face was sprayed with little bits of saliva as he talked. "To me, this is nothing but a business deal, do you understand?"

James gulped again, and nodded. Snape didn't miss him trying to stop himself from shivering. James was definitely scared, but then again, who wouldn't be if their life was in danger? He gripped just a little tighter as the boy did not respond, until the Gryffindor, courage obviously failing him, averted his eyes and nodded.

"W-What if you forget to give me an order?" He spoke, quietly this time, not daring to look up. Severus roughly let go of his captive, and watched as James stumbled into balance.

"I won't. I may choose not to, but I won't forget." He spoke calmly, running a hand through his own hair. It was greasy again, thanks to the potions he was working on. "If I choose not to then that's my decision and you'll still get your potion." He added, spitting out the word 'potion' as if he pained him to say it. James had no doubt he'd only swapped from his careful deliberation over the word 'Elixir' to 'potion' because 'potion' was easier to say in an intimidating way.

James nodded again as Severus left the room as if that matter was closed. In James' mind the matter was not closed, it was far from closed, but he had no wish to anger the Slytherin again so soon, especially now knowing that Severus had his life hanging on a thread over his head. He turned to leave as well, but stopped at Dumbledore's words.

"Don't test him Mr. Potter, and please try to get your deal written down on paper. Make this official."

James gave a nervous laugh.

"He wouldn't actually let me die would he?" He asked, but he knew as he said it that the snake would. Not just because James had terrorised him for so long, but because the shake in his voice gave away his own worries.

Dumbledore looked grim. "Make this official and probably not." he sighed, eyes drifting over James' shoulder as if he could see a movie that was invisible to the rest of the world. "Do you remember Alex Kemp?"

James thought about it, and then;

"That Slytherin that disappeared a few years ago?"

Dumbledore nodded.

"He also suffered from Tractamosa. Severus struck up a deal and began making the Elixir for him." He explained, and in that moment he looked impossibly old. "Not long after Severus found out that Alex had joined Voldemort's ranks… he simply stopped making the potion."

James eyes widened. "Couldn't he get done for that? It's basically murder!" He protested, feeling a rush of understanding for the Slytherin he had never actually met. They were inexorably linked through their illness, and the fact that Severus had agreed to become their saviour.

Dumbledore shook his head. He seemed to regret whatever had happened before.

"The deal was never made official, therefore Severus never had to make the potion to begin with. He wasn't murdering him, he just wasn't helping him… But this story isn't really mine to tell." he looked straight into James eyes, and the both of them, with a bond between men, silently swore to never tell anyone that they were both very scared. "Which is why I urge you to get this down on paper. Make this official. I couldn't say anything before, while Severus was here, because the boy doesn't trust me after… last time. But any way you can, please try and get written confirmation."

James felt faintly sick. He never thought Snape would just let someone die - even if he was a Death Eater. Besides, the way Snape acted James thought Snape would end up on You-Know-Who's side anyway. He shivered and left the room without another look back; Making his way up to Gryffindor tower. When he made it to the dormitory, in a slow, steady pace as he sifted through all the information he had found that evening, he saw the other marauders had waited up for him.

"So, what did the old coot want?" asked Sirius playfully from his spot on Remus' bed, playing a game of Wizard's chess that he was losing badly.

James snapped out of his thoughts.

"Oh… he, um… he just doesn't want any more fights between us and Snivellus this year. He's really gunna be cracking down on it." He lied easily.

Sirius frowned.

"Oh, well that sucks."

"Yeah." said James, "Tell me about it."

Dependence is now officially under revision.