Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or any of the characters or trademarks associated with it. I make no money from writing this story, which is purely fictional and in no way intended to represent reality.

A/N: This story takes place in Harry's seventh year. AU from about halfway through book 6-let's pretend that Harry and Dumbledore got all those nasty Horcruxes taken care of before the astronomy tower incident, that Voldy came to that in person, and ended up being the one killed instead, yeah?

This fic was inspired by an incubus!Harry fic I read in the snape_potter snarry-a-thon on IJ. I wanted to twist the traditional Incubus principle around a little. I think this needs more work though, and any suggestions would be welcome-I do not have a beta, and while I have no plans to turn this into anything longer than a oneshot, I would be happy to revise it.

This story is also posted my account at the Archive of Our Own.

Strength of Character

"People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest."—Herman Hesse

About a month into Harry Potter's seventh year, Potter stopped attending Severus' class. Severus took grim pleasure in assigning a week's detention to the air and thought nothing more on the subject.

When Potter did not show up for his detention that night, Severus increased it to a month without a thought, and wrote a note to Potter, McGonagall, and Dumbledore.

The next night, once again, Potter failed to show up to his detention. It was galling. Severus had seen the boy in the great hall, draped all over two of his dorm-mates, practically fornicating at the table!

Severus narrowed his eyes and stormed up to the headmaster's office. Dumbledore, predictably, offered him lemon drops and tea. Severus accepted the latter and declined the former, all the while insisting that Potter be punished, while Albus listened until Minerva, looking rather more frazzled than usual, arrived with a very fretful Hermione Granger in tow.

Granger threw herself in a chair and began long and boring speech about Potter's symptoms, but Severus cut her off.

"I do not care what is wrong with him, Headmaster. I wish for him to show up to classes and detentions on time. Every class he misses will earn him another three days detention with me, and I expect you to enforce that."

Without waiting for a response, Severus swept away to his dungeons.

Potter missed class again the next day, but showed up for detention. Severus, who was marking when he entered the classroom, did not look up, but indicated that Potter was to scrub the greasiest pile of cauldrons in the mess. It was because of this that he failed to notice Potter's behavior until about two hours in, when he looked up from his marking to see Potter half-naked, writhing against the cauldron.

Severus felt his jaw drop. "Potter!" he screeched. "Cease that immediately and get back to work!"

Potter only moaned, and turned half-lidded eyes on Severus, pupils dilated. "Professor," he breathed, and Severus suddenly understood. Potter was either under some kind of compulsion spell (unlikely, as resistant as he was to the Imperius curse) or he was subject to the effects of Incubus adolescence. The latter was not significantly more probable, but James Potter, he recalled, had been quite a significant slut for about two months into their seventh year—until Lily had started going out with him. The probability of the Incubus gene in the Potter family was significantly higher than the probability that Potter was so hot for Severus that he'd make a fool of himself in detention. The most likely possibility, of course, was that Potter was under the influence of a potion…and Severus could do something about that.

Severus drew his wand. "Incarcerous!" he snapped, and the boy ceased his sensual advance as magical ropes drew his limbs together. Severus conjured a chair that knocked the boy's knees forward, forcing him to sit.

Without a thought, Severus summoned several potions from his stores. A student being the victim of a lust potion was not uncommon—it was a school full of teenagers, after all—so Severus kept the most common antidote

He also had developed a very useful spell that detected most potions…or rather, the traces of ingredients that they left in a system. He used that spell now, and waited, smugly, to know which foul-tasting antidote he would have the pleasure of pouring down Potter's throat while the boy howled.

The spell indicated that Potter was not under the influence of a potion.

Severus cast the spell again.

The result was the same.

Severus flooed the Headmaster.

Several minutes later, Albus, Minerva, and an even-more-weepy-than-last-time Hermione Granger invaded Severus' classroom.

Severus was developing a very bad mood.

The Granger girl took one look at Harry, tied up in the chair, burst forth in a torrent of inane chatter. "Oh please Professor Snape it's not his fault he can't control himself yet—"

"Miss Granger," the Headmaster interrupted gently. "Perhaps we should allow Professor Snape to hear our suspicions as to young Harry's current state? He was in rather a hurry when you gave your very thorough explanation to Professor McGonagall and myself."

The girl straightened, and dried her eyes.

"Harry's an incubus, professor."

Snape sneered. "That was obvious the moment he failed my diagnostic spell for lust potions in the blood. It does not excuse his behavior."

"But it does, professor!" the girl cried. "Harry would have reached Incubus adolescence just after his birthday, but he was with his Muggle relatives then. There was no magical energy anywhere near him to temper the effects of feeding off of others' sexual desire. When he got here, it was like a drug—he had no control left, and instead of looking for his mate, he's trying to maintain the high of unadulterated feeding. He's drugged on sex magic!"

"Then find his mate, quickly, so that whoever she is can exert some control over him!" Severus snapped waspishly. "I refuse to put up with this behavior any longer!"

Potter, in his bindings, keened. It was a desperate, miserable sound.

Severus spun on his heel. "Shut up, Potter. No one wants to hear your pathetic whining!"

Potter whimpered and hung his head.

"Mr. Potter," Minerva spoke up. "Who is your mate?"

Potter shook his head miserably.

"Answer the question, Potter!" Severus barked.

The boy's head snapped up. "Professor Snape," he said, in that clear, seductive tone he'd tried earlier.

"Stop that, boy, and name your mate!"

"Severus Snape."

Albus cleared his throat. "I believe, Severus, that Harry is attempting to indicate that you are his mate, not just attempting to seduce you, although I am quite certain he is attempting that too."

Minerva glared at Severus. "Well. I suppose we should leave you too 'exert some control over him' as it were."

Granger had a last word of unwanted advice to put in. "Don't let him get high off the sex, Professor. You control exactly how much it becomes sustenance, and with him addicted like he is, he's going to need a lot discipline."

Severus had had enough. "OUT!" he roared, and Albus and Minerva wisely steered the girl out the door.

With a sigh, Severus turned to Potter. The boy was squirming in his bonds. Reluctantly, Severus waved his wand, and the ropes disintegrated.

Potter was on his feet instantly, trying to assume a seductive pose.

"Cease your posturing, Potter, and follow me." Severus said, sweeping toward his office. Potter relaxed slightly, and moved to follow him with worrying docility.

Through the office was the door to Severus' private quarters, and he continued through, Potter close behind, then closed and locked the door behind them, setting the wards to discourage anyone who came looking for him.

A part of Severus gloried in what he was about to do. The rest was disgusted. Seventeen and an Incubus, Potter was still a child, and Severus was no fit partner for him.

Potter was getting nervous, trying to strike a pose again.

"Cease that at once," Severus snarled. "I will take you when I choose, and not a moment before!"

A small shudder ran through Potter as he bowed his head submissively. "Please," he whispered.

Severus came to a sudden realization. In Potter's two-week romp through the beds of his classmates, he had probably never bottomed—he would not have been capable of it, for anyone but his mate. Which was how he'd gotten so out of control. None of his other partners would have been strong enough, mentally and physically, to control the energy that flowed into the Incubus, hyper-stimulating him to a euphoric state of utter uselessness.

The part of him that gloried in this was suddenly larger for reasons other than revenge on James Potter. With this boy, Severus could indulge just enough in the darker aspects of his nature—the need to control, the need to master—to maintain his sanity without resorting to true dark magic.

In the months following the Dark Lord's death on the Astronomy tower, Severus had gone, at first nightly, then weekly to the Room of Requirement, where he unleashed his destructive impulses on a room that could not be destroyed.

Potter's heavy breathing brings him back to reality.

Severus steers the boy to his bedroom, and commands him to strip. He does so in an almost shy manner, desperately trying to seduce, but mindful of Severus' command for him to stop posing.

Severus divests himself of his clothing calmly and efficiently, and looks at the boy. He is lying on the bed, and displaying himself rather nicely.

Severus sat on the edge of the bed, and then rolled over so that his weight pinned the boy down. His eyes are still dilated, and Severus couldn't tell if it was a leftover high, or if he was affecting the boy. Irritated, he kissed the boy harshly, shoving his magic through the kiss—and pulling it back. Potter wailed into his mouth and bucked upward. Severus let him go.

Potter's eyes cleared. Severus sat up on the bed. "Better, Potter?" he asked.

The boy looked at him. "I think—yes—yes, but I need…"

Severus stared into the boy's eyes. "I won't let you starve, Potter."

"Then…would you? Please? I'm so…"

Severus wished the boy were capable of finishing a sentence, but he knew what he meant. "Yes, Potter, I'll fuck you. But from now on you get fed when you're hungry. You're a nightmare when you're high on sex and I don't intend to let you get that way again."

Potter nods eagerly, spreading his legs.

Severus, with a wicked grin resumes his position on top of the Incubus.

Potter will certainly be testing his self-control, he was sure. Severus found that he did not altogether mind.