Disclaimer: We all know that that the almighty J. K. Rowling is the owner of these characters.
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Rating: Mature as ever…
Warnings: Mainly for slash, naturally, but there's also smidgens of non-con and a dash of angst.
Summary: When a spell of Hermione's malfunctions, Harry finds himself the equivalent of a house elf to none other than Draco Malfoy. Add in some embarrassing side effects and we have a thoroughly miserable Harry Potter. Slash!
A/N~ Yes, this is like a bond fic, but I'm trying to be as original as possible with the little used 'Harry the House Elf' idea, which I've found to be both scarce and never slash-related. This will be…really, I don't even know how long at this point, but it's safe to assume Acquiescence is my new epic. I hope you like it!
If there was one thing aside from Voldemort that could terrify Harry, it was an angry and determined Hermione Granger.
"Out of the way, Harry." She hissed, brown eyes narrowed dangerously, whisper rivaling that of Snape's silken threats as Harry defiantly stood in the middle of the corridor that lead to the kitchens, blocking her way with open arms and a shaking wandhand with what he hoped to be a stern look on his face.
"No Hermione, this isn't right." He said firmly, wondering inwardly whether or not he'd really jinx Hermione to stop her latest campaign for S.P.E.W.
"Harry, I assure you, this is what really is right!" she growled, nose scrunched in distaste, looking remarkably like Crookshanks, "I don't care what you or Ron say, they can't possibly want this."
Harry sighed, resisting the urge to rub his aching temple as Hermione would probably rush past him as soon as he let his guard down.
"Just—what exactly is it you're trying to do, again? What's all this about this 'freedom spell'?" he said patiently, perhaps if he got Hermione on another spiel, he could figure out a way to get her to forget about whatever it was she was trying to do to 'help' house elves.
"I've created a spell myself," she smiled proudly, her anger dissipating much to Harry's relief. "It took me weeks of research, but now it's ready to be tested. Even if the not successful, I've run through all the possibilities and the only adverse effect could be is a lingering drunk feeling on the elf. It wouldn't last long." She added hastily, eyes now imploring instead of livid.
"What is the spell supposed to do?" He knew any spell Hermione had invented would most likely work, but he still didn't trust its purpose if it involved house elves.
"It should nullify the house elves' need to serve a pure-blood family." She explained, "I'm still working on individual people and half-bloods and Muggle-borns, but I've found the most information on house elves serving pure-blood families, naturally."
She was scowling at the floor, lost in her thoughts so Harry approached warily, planning to continue to ask casual questions as he surreptitiously led her back up to Gryffindor Tower. He was starting to hope Filch or a teacher would show up just to get it over with, he was surprised they hadn't been caught so far without his Invisibility Cloak or the Marauder's Map especially considering that the kitchens were a popular destination for students that dared to wander the castle after curfew.
Then a creak from behind them trounced all hopes of going back to bed, Hermione spun around, positively beaming at a long-nosed house elf with floppy ears padding their way from the now open painting that was the entrance to the kitchens.
"Sir and Miss are be needing help?" It asked in a high, squeaky voice.
Hermione slipped around Harry, smiling in what was now an almost mad way at the little elf.
"Why yes, you can, what's your name?" she asked sweetly while Harry stood by, growling under his breath for her to stop, but she ignored him.
"What a lovely name," Hermione simpered, "Will you do me a favor, Jammy and help me with this spell I need to test?"
Jammy nodded, looking nervous as it wrung its hands but pleased to be of assistance.
"Hermione, don't." Harry said warningly, holding up his wand.
She raised her eye brows, opening her mouth to probably start ranting again about elfish welfare before she simply turned back toward the elf, holding up her wand and flicking it in an intricate pattern, eyes closed.
"Purus Sanguine Nolle—" she began the spell, a light blue glow pulse in the air, white threads undulating through the air like snakes, twisting and knotting. Harry grabbed Hermione's hand, trying to direct the wand away from the elf and starting when the snakes jumped to him, creeping around his fingers and worming up his arm.
The threads were suddenly crawling through him, into him, entangling themselves under his skin, snaking around his bones and knotting around his very soul with a burning cold that sent white lightening flashing across his vision and excruciating pain through every inch of him, sharp and keening like individual needles sewing the spell into his existence with rapid fury. Thunder roared in his ears, but he was sure he was screaming, stumbling and falling, falling fast.
But then something caught him, steadied him as the pain reached its zenith, giving a final terrible spasm like the strumming of a cello, taut and low. His world was affixed by the arms that held him it seemed, though his vision swam, ears ringing and stomach rolling, and he knew he was either going to retch or faint.
Then his hazy gaze locked with a horrified one, eyes like a December sky pregnant with snow wide and confused.
He wasn't sure whether he was glad he fainted in the arms of Draco Malfoy rather than vomiting on the prat.
When Harry awoke, he instantly knew he was in the Hospital wing as he so often was, the sterile scent in the air and the lumpy mattress all too familiar. He couldn't recall any reason as to why he'd been hospitalized yet again, but that was the way it often was. He'd wake dazed and sore, peering bemusedly into anxious faces that sighed in relief when smiled at them. He hated to make people worry, but had long resigned himself to the fact that he would worry someone no matter what he did.
He was the Boy Who Lived after all.
When he opened his eyes to blink into the candlelit gloom blearily, it was Hermione who was at his bedside, worried and tearful, eyes red-rimmed and wide, hands twisting restlessly in her lap. Behind her was Dumbledore, a calculating look replacing the merry twinkle in his eye, which assured Harry that whatever had happened to him had been extremely dangerous or near fatal. After he'd fumbled for his glasses, he discovered the blob hovering near Dumbledore was McGonagall, looking as severe as ever.
"What did I do now?" he yawned, wriggling under the covers to stretch, feeling pleasantly rested rather than pained.
McGonagall snorted and Dumbledore smiled while Hermione promptly burst into the tears she'd evidentially been holding back.
"Harry, I'm sorry! I shou—should h-have l-l-listened!" she sobbed, burying her face in her hands.
"Hermione! What's wrong? It's alright, 'Mione, come on," he said soothingly, although completely baffled, sitting up to pat her on the back.
She immediately reared away from his outstretched hand, tear blurred eyes almost frightened. He dropped his hand, abruptly feeling as if he were diseased and unsafe from the look on Hermione's face. Perhaps that's why he was here?
"What's happened to me?" he asked, throat suddenly dry, glancing beseechingly from McGonagall to Dumbledore, who both looked hesitant to answer, "Am I alright?"
"As far as we know, Potter," McGonagall replied.
"As far as you know…?" Harry swallowed, paling. Had he been infected with some rare wizard disease? Had they discovered he had werewolf blood in him and could transform at any moment? He turned sharply to glance out the window, finding no moon, a grey dawn on the horizon. Had it already happened?
"What do you remember, Harry?" Dumbledore asked patiently, stepping forward.
Harry blinked, trying to sort through the fuzzy flashes of last night, which seemed only a few moments ago, yet recalling them mixed and muddled like remembering what he'd had for breakfast two months ago.
"Hermione…wanted to free a house elf." He mumbled, distinctly recalling her determined face. "But I wasn't going to let her, so I followed her to the kitchens to stop her…"
McGonagall and Dumbledore nodded patiently and Harry got the feeling that Hermione had told them the events already, merely wanting to see them from Harry's perspective.
"She did this spell she'd invented all her own," he smiled a little through his confusion. Hermione was a genius to do that. "And there was this light…like threads…"
He trailed away, wincing when he saw that white lightening flash across his vision as if burned there. There was a lot of burning, Merlin the frigid burning like an ice storm being crocheted into his very being…
"Pain, there was loads of pain," he said quietly, flinching when Hermione's squeaking sobs grew louder, her whole form shaking. "It wasn't Hermione's fault though; I was stupid enough to grab her wand before the spell was even finished. I didn't even think to use a Disarming Spell."
He flushed under McGonagall's disapproving glare, but only truly felt guilty when Dumbledore spoke,
"Both of you are at fault here. Miss Granger for attempting an experimental spell on a staff member of Hogwarts without expressly given permission or supervision, for that matter and Mr. Potter for doing something incredibly risky in grabbing a wand whilst its owner was casting a spell he had no knowledge of. Punishment will be given, but for now, we must find out what this spell has done to Mr. Potter."
Harry was red with shame, but he colored for a different reason when a familiar, superior voice sounded from nearby.
"Headmaster, I won't be punished will I? I had absolutely nothing to do with this. I see no reason why I should still be here to deal with Potter and Granger's problems."
Harry looked around McGonagall to find Malfoy lounging on a bed, arms crossed over his dressing gown, scowling. Harry remembered it was Malfoy who had caught him as he writhed in pain under Hermione's spell and felt satisfied that he had had to stay the night in the Hospital wing as well, likely without his precious beauty sleep. Though Harry still flushed when he recalled that he'd fainted in Draco Malfoy's arms, he managed to glare at him.
"Your punishment will only be for the crime of wandering after curfew, Mr. Malfoy. I assure you we can all leave when we figure out what Miss Granger's spell has done to Mr. Potter as well as those he has come in contact with."
Harry smiled as Malfoy's scowl deepened, looking as if he was going to argue with Dumbledore before he looked suddenly anxious.
"Just what was this spell supposed to do?" he asked, gaze flickering from the still incoherent Hermione to Dumbledore. "You said it was experimental."
"Granger was trying to create a spell to severe the bond a house elf feels toward the pure-blood family it serves, it seems." McGonagall answered and Malfoy snorted.
"You'd think with marks like yours, Granger you'd know house elves like to serve wizards, especially pure-blood families. It's a bond that can't be undone even by clothes."
Harry bit back his retort, knowing Malfoy was right though the need to protect his friend's lost cause was a bit of a reflex by now, he knew Malfoy would laugh and cut down his argument with his quick wit and pure-blood beliefs and that would only send Hermione into a worse state than she already was in. Guilt-ridden, blubbering Hermione was less scary than livid, house elf protecting Hermione.
"We've examined Jammy, the elf the spell was intended for, and have found her completely normal. The spell hadn't any effect on her, though it seemed to have done something to Potter since he experienced pain and passed out." McGonagall went on as if Malfoy hadn't said anything. Harry didn't see any sneer or amusement on the Slytherin's face when she mentioned his passing out. He found this odd considering that in third year it'd been all he could talk about for weeks.
"Well what could it have done to me? I'm not an elf." Harry shoved off the covers and stood up, ignoring Hermione's gurgled protest, "I feel fine; I'm not in pain anymore."
The professors just looked at him thoughtfully and Hermione glared as if trying to will him back to bed, Malfoy was watching him coldly, eyes clearly blaming him for this mess.
"That spell wouldn't have made me the carrier of some horrid disease anyway, would it?" Harry said, only half hoping for a real answer.
"You were already a horrid disease before."
He was near enough to Malfoy's bed now to hear the sneering whisper.
"Oh, shove off Malfoy," he growled mildly, he didn't want to start things up with Malfoy along with the worries he already had.
"Shut up, Potter."
No one noticed when Harry went silent, each lost to their own thoughts and taking no notice when his lips seemed to seal together, but Harry did. It felt like he was being pulled by strings, the threads he knew were woven inside him weaving and tugging with a spark of that white lightening, and he knew what he was now, not a werewolf or the unfortunate carrier of some dreadful disease, no it was much worse.
He was now a puppet.
Malfoy was the puppeteer.
He would have swore if his lips weren't stitched together, he was appalled by the rush of pleasure that tingled along the strings, happy he was doing as Master had commanded, and doing a good job of it.
He had a sort of seizure when he realized he'd inwardly referred to Malfoy as Master.
This was when the other three took notice that he was battling silently against an invisible force, they all stared wide eyed at him as he stood still, eyes just as wide, fixed on his new master's.
This wasn't going to be good.
"Harry?" Dumbledore said slowly, not drawing his gaze away from Malfoy's, who looked now faintly scared. "What do you feel?"
Harry continued staring at Malfoy, willing him to realize what he'd done, what he could do now. Why did it have to be Malfoy of all people? The one person who humiliate and torture Harry the most with this—this curse?
"Potter, what's wrong?" Malfoy demanded, edging backward on his bed, looking as if he indeed expected Harry to burst into the form of a wolf and eat him.
Harry was released from the spell with a cry of relief, only to be entangled into another order, Veritaserum running through his veins as he stammered, exasperated and mortified.
"I have to listen to you, you're my—my—my M-Master." He whispered.
He pinched himself on the hand, wanting to think he did so to wake himself from this nightmare, but knowing in reality and he had just punished himself for resisting his master's command.
He vaguely felt he may just throw up on Malfoy after all, disgust running through him at the—the pride encircling the words master and Malfoy together with tight knots, bonds unbreakable.
Malfoy burst into laughter, high and hysterical, still eyeing Harry as if he was dangerous.
"Potter, you're mad! All this talk of house elves has gotten to you, obviously, that or the spell addled with your brain, though I say you've always been a bit barmy." He cackled.
Harry wished it was true, wished he was simply demented and confused, not the slave he'd been reduced to, the slave under Malfoy's vicious rule at that.
Malfoy's laughter died when Dumbledore stepped forward, placing a hand on his shoulder and looking extremely grave, the familiar twinkle dead in his eyes as they seemed to X-ray Harry, reading the frustration and despair.
"I believe we now know what Miss Granger's spell has done to Harry." He announced, and Hermione gasped, comprehension in her eyes along with a disbelieving McGonagall.
"You can't possible mean to say—"
"Oh, Harry! I'm so sorry! I didn't—"
"Will someone tell me the apparent conclusion we've all reached?" snapped Malfoy coldly, his haughty voice ringing in Harry's ears. It was a command, an order, not specifically for him, so that meant he could—
"Hermione's spell has made me into what's practically your house elf. The spell had the opposite effect and it affected me." He answered promptly, wincing when he realized it would probably take a lot to resist any order issued from the Slytherin, directly given or not. He would try though; defy him in whatever way he could.
Only now could he appreciate how Kreacher must feel, forced by his own nature to obey what he believed to be awful, disgusting people. He instantly felt the pity Hermione apparently felt for the miserable wretch.
Malfoy was silent for many minutes, emotions passing too quickly across his face for Harry to identify before his features were a cold façade.
"What do you mean by that?" he inquired slowly, narrowing his grey eyes at Harry.
It was a twitching itch, the twanging of the threads within him, coaxing an answer from him, strangling his vocal cords, but he fought it, grinding his teeth as it intensified with each passing moment he refused to give his master a reply. Soon his hands were jerking, a suffocating guilt pressing on him, the need to punish himself for daring to defy his master.
It was mad, irrational. Why should he have to give Malfoy an answer? Why should he have to obey him? He hated him, despised the slick git with all his pure-blood nonsense and Slytherin sliminess, on more than one occasion he wanted to pound his pale, pointy face into a wall until the prat stopped moving. He positively wanted to murder him sometimes! He saw red.
Then he realized he was not standing where he was before, that Hermione was shrieking again, that he was in pain again and he was indeed seeing red, it was flecked and smeared across the broken lenses of his glasses. He blinked slowly, gazing slowly from Dumbledore's drawn face to the wall he stood before, immobilized by a spell, gaping at the blood there.
He'd been bashing his own face into the wall.
After a moment of coming to terms with what he'd done, how he'd punished himself, Dumbledore seemed to deem him safe and released him from the spell to collapse shakily to his knees. He was quickly gathered into an embrace by a frantic Hermione, sobbing her apologies while McGonagall fetched Madam Pomfrey. He reassured her that everything was going to be okay, it wasn't all her fault, he was fine, all while staring at Malfoy, who was gaping at him with the same horrified look in his eyes Harry had blacked out to.
He felt again he may vomit on Malfoy from the pure horror to what he'd done to himself.
After Madam Pomfrey had fixed his face, fussing over him and tucking him into bed again with promises for an early breakfast, Dumbledore had directed Malfoy to sit beside him and Harry found he couldn't look at him.
"This is a spell we have very little knowledge of and no idea as to what the cure to it may be." Dumbledore told him, Harry distantly noting he hadn't yet referred to the sinister thing entwined in his being a curse. "So it may be an extended amount of time before we could ever hope to attempt to remove such an enchantment."
Malfoy made no protest this time, but Harry was inwardly wondering why an incredibly powerful wizard like Dumbledore couldn't remove a curse invented by a sixth year student.
Then again, Hermione was brilliant.
"So I believe several rules should be set so the both of you may be more comfortable while we search for the counter-enchantment." He smiled at them as if they'd always been the best of friends. Harry was sure his scowl matched Malfoy's.
"Mr. Malfoy, direct orders to Harry will result in docking of points from Slytherin house and a detention, depending on the severity of the command." Dumbledore told him, and Harry managed to smile at the crestfallen look on the Slytherin's face when he risked a glance.
"No one aside from yourselves may know of Harry's condition,"
Harry knew from the twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes that he fully expected Harry to break that rule when it came to Ron, who was probably already raving about it since Hermione had fled to the dorms to prepare for the day.
"That includes the Malfoy family."
"What?" Malfoy did protest now, drawing himself up indignantly, "And why is that? From what I heard from Granger, Potter is bound to the Malfoy family not just me."
"You are correct and that is precisely why, Draco," Dumbledore's voice was abruptly sharp, pinning Malfoy with an unfathomable look, "I assure you I've spoken with Professor Snape."
Malfoy glowered, scrutinizing the Headmaster's face with a suspicious stare. After a moment he slouched back with a mastered grace into his chair, crossing his legs with a satisfied air as if he settled the matter, rather than Dumbledore.
The old wizard's jolly look returned and he smiled, "Well, I'll leave you two to your breakfast. Don't dawdle too late, though I'm sure Minerva will make an exception for you."
He waved and strode out the door, humming idly to himself.
"Well this is spectacular." Harry said tonelessly.
"Isn't it though?" Malfoy drawled.
"You know, I thought you'd be absolutely ecstatic to have me as your slave, Malfoy. Aren't all Slytherins control-freaks?" Harry turned to glare at Malfoy, who was still sprawled back in his seat, somehow maintaining his elegance even as he nibbled absently on a pristine nail.
"What's the fun in anything without control or power? So yes Potter, as you so bluntly put it, we are. And believe me you, I would be dancing in joy if that was really the case, ordering you to do all sorts of things," he smirked wickedly, the wistful look in his eyes assuring Harry that one of those things would be both public and mortifying.
"But with that old codger's rules I can't do any of those glorious things if you're going to tattle every time I so much as ask you to pass the salt." He continued sullenly, meeting Harry's glare with what was frighteningly close to a pout.
"Its not as if I'm really going to do that, Malfoy." he rolled his eyes, wishing Pomfrey would hurry up so he could get far, far away from his bloody master.
"What do you mean by that Potter?" Malfoy questioned swiftly, leaning toward Harry with the same narrow eyed, calculating look he'd addressed Dumbledore with earlier.
Harry felt the tug of the curse, but answered without its prodding, "I mean I'm not some goody-goody that will run off to Dumbledore for everything." He raised his chin defiantly, knowing that's exactly what Malfoy thought.
"Really, could have fooled me." He sneered simply, echoing Harry's thoughts.
Harry glared, but ignored him in favor of fiddling with the frayed end of one of Dudley's old shirt's he'd slept in, suddenly feeling shabby beside Malfoy, whose green (of course) silken pajamas perfectly fit his lithe form, his dressing gown even had his initials sewn in the pocket with ornate silver thread.
"So if I ordered you to do something simple and trivial, you wouldn't go running to your beloved Dumbledore?" Malfoy asked, and Harry started, realizing he'd been staring at Malfoy.
The curse compelled the answer from him before he could think properly, "No, as long as no one was hurt and it wasn't incredibly ridiculous."
He frowned, he hadn't wanted to give Malfoy that information, he rather fancied holding the threats Dumbledore had said over the blonde's head, though in reality he'd avoid going to Dumbledore if he could. He didn't need the headmaster's help with dealing with Malfoy's childish jokes and jeering. He wasn't a coward that hid in Dumbledore's shadow as Malfoy liked to think.
A slow grin spread across Malfoy's pale face and Harry decided it was distinctly evil coupled with the glint in his grey eyes reminiscent of that of the Weasley twins.
"Call me 'Lord Malfoy'." he ordered.
Harry glared daggers, his nose throbbing as if to remind him of the consequences of resisting. He gave in, determinedly staring at the ceiling as he sighed dully,
"Good little elf, aren't you?" Malfoy snickered.
Harry jolted at the pleasure singing through the strings at the praise, his rational mind knowing it was false, sarcastic, but the curse simply vibrated with joy, making him feel a little drunk and uncomfortably hot. He doggedly fought the urge to grin like a loon.
"Now say that you're a goat-faced git," Malfoy was positively gleeful.
"You're a goat-faced git." Harry smirked simply, chuckling when Malfoy glared, happy to know he still thought of the Slytherin as he always had.
Part of him, anyway.
"Think you're clever, do you?" he growled, standing.
"Occasionally," Harry replied, reclining further on the bed, expecting Malfoy to either throw a tantrum or leave.
Harry was satisfied when the Slytherin spun on his heel, storming toward the door before he stopped mid-step, turning around slowly to regard Harry with a look smile that sent ice in his veins.
"Oh, right, Potter, don't forget, I'd like you to refer to yourself, aloud and on paper, as 'the Boy Who Lived to Snog Horklumps'. Be a good little elf while your master is away."
Harry, the Boy Who apparently Lived to Snog Horklumps, cursed and ran a hand through his hair and dreading what promised to be an extraordinarily long day ahead of him.
A/N~ I demand reviews from my loyal hous—readers… I meant readers. Lol. Please review.