Disclaimer: If Harry Potter belonged to me, Harry would have been a Slytherin from the start.
AN: Hello, lovely readers! Welcome to the first chapter of my brand-new fanfic, Affection Deception.
On the off-chance you have read either of my other fanfics before, you may be feeling a bit wary. After all, I'm not known for my... consistency when it comes to such things. I'll share the reason with you here and now: It's because I didn't really have anything planned out.
As it so happens, that is where this fanfiction differs from my others. For this fanfiction, I have planned out significant plot points and where I want it to go. I will write this. I will not give up.
By the way, this ignores HBP and DH. Harry is in seventh year in this fanfic, and Snape and Dumbledore are alive and well. Snape is also still teaching Potions, though and you'll find out who's teaching DADA later.
Well, without further ado, here is chapter one! Enjoy.
Everything I do is bittersweet
You can tell me secrets that I'll probably repeat - Bittersweet, Panic! At the Disco
It was only after he felt the yank of apparition that Harry realized it was one of the worst ideas he had ever had.
Thankfully, this realization did not prevent him from releasing the edge of Snape's ebony death eater robes before the man realized he had inadvertently apparated Harry as well as himself. It did not stop him from skulking behind Snape under the cover of his invisibility cloak as the sullen man strode briskly through the shadowy manor. It did not even keep him from slipping silently after his professor as he opened the door to a deceptively cozy sitting room.
It did, however, make breathing impossible for Harry the instant the boy saw the blood-chilling reptilian features of the man already occupying said room.
"Ah, Severus," the man hissed breathily. Harry absently noted that if it weren't for the subtle smile on his face, the man's tone of voice would make it difficult to tell whether he were pleased to see Snape or decidedly not.
"How good of you to be so prompt," Voldemort finished. As Snape approached the worst dark lord in centuries, he dropped to his knees and kissed the hem of the man's robes. Harry was certain he would have been disgusted by the display if he were not in complete shock from seeing the normally-proud man kneel in subservience so easily before Voldemort. It took Harry a moment to remember that it was an act. Snape would not do any such thing if he had a choice, Harry was sure.
"My lord, I live only to serve you. I would never dream of arriving a moment later than possible if you had summoned me." Snape kept his head bowed before Voldemort as the later carded through Snape's long black hair as though stroking a favored pet.
"But of course Severus." His mouth now formed an easily discernible lipless smirk, "I would expect nothing less from you. Come, sit." With a hand like a talon, he gestured toward a velvet armchair. Snape immediately rose to his feet and sat in the plush chair opposite Voldemort, though his posture was so straight that his shoulders did not touch the back of the chair. Voldemort, on the other hand, seemed much more at ease and leaned on one elbow as he lazily raked his eerie gaze up the potions master's thin body. After a moment of silence in which Harry was extremely careful not to breathe too loudly, the man started to speak again.
"I trust you have brought the potion I asked for, Severus?" Though phrased like a statement, it was meant as a question.
Snape's slender hand dove beneath his dark robes in a flash.
"Yes, my lord. I have it here."
Voldemort smiled again. Harry found it disconcerting.
When Snape's hand emerged, it held a small flask filled with a deep purplish liquid. Harry briefly entertained a rather silly hope that it was a poison of some kind.
"It will strengthen your immune system, my lord. The effects may not be noticeable to you," Snape explained, his voice holding a slight tone of reverence. He stretched the arm holding the vial toward his supposed master, and Voldemort took it gingerly. He examined it as if looking at an interesting species of bird.
"Do you mean for me to drink it immediately, Severus?" The orange light from the fireplace beside him made his paper-white skin appear as though it were a healthier shade of peach.
"It would be most potent if consumed now, my lord." Snape seemed to carefully choose his words so it didn't sound as though he were giving an order.
"But of course, Severus. I would not want to take any chances with its potency," the dark lord whispered, and Harry got the impression that he was slightly amused. In an elegant motion, Voldemort pulled the stopper from the translucent jar, brought it to his mouth, and tilted it back. His delicate eyelids closed leisurely as his thin throat visibly contracted to swallow the potion. The moment he did so, Snape tensed ever so slightly. Harry stiffened too. This potion was important somehow. He was certain it wasn't anything as inconsequential as an immune system-strengthening elixir.
When Voldemort's crimson eyes reopened, they were looking directly at Harry.
The boy had to hold back a shriek. Then, as Voldemort's eyes continued to sweep the rest of the room, he felt rather embarrassed for the almost-reaction. It would have been fatal, surely.
When Voldemort's gaze finally returned to Snape, Harry let out an undetectable, though shaky, sigh of relief. He had been sure he had given himself away somehow.
"I seldom enjoy the taste of potions. This was no exception," Voldemort finally spoke, "though I have little doubt of its quality." Harry, though still recovering from the scare, couldn't help but think that that just might have been the worst compliment ever given.
Snape, apparently, was not of the same opinion.
"Thank you, my lord." He bowed his head as he spoke, hair falling in front of his face in a stringy curtain. He lifted his head to meet the eyes of the dark lord once again, looking as though he were expecting something more.
Voldemort seemed to be aware of the request in the eyes fixed upon him, for he elaborated, folding his skeletal hands in his lap.
"That will be all, Severus."
It was the first time that Harry had ever seen unmistakable confusion on Snape's face, and he had no idea what had caused it.
"My lord?" his professor tentatively asked.
"That will be all, Severus. You may leave now." The chill that entered Voldemort's voice made it very apparent that leaving was expected, not merely an option. Snape's features assumed a neutral position once again.
"Yes, my lord." With that, the man stood, bowed once more before Voldemort, and then abruptly turned on his heel toward the door, robes billowing behind him imposingly. Harry shuffled under his cloak as quietly as possible as he struggled to catch up to the potions master. He barely managed to slip under Snape's arm before the man closed the door quickly and silently behind him. He tailed Snape while making as little sound as he could through the hallways they had traversed not half an hour before, until eventually they came to what Harry could only assume was the designated apparition point. Snape reached into his robes for his wand, and Harry grabbed hold of the edge of Snape's cloak just as the man apparated.
With a rather loud crack, Harry found himself and his professor back in Hogsmeade, and he was rather disconcerted for a moment. The night was tinted with the slight chill of the encroaching autumn, and the boy could hear cheerful voices and laughter emanating from various establishments in the town.
Snape, however, was not in quite such high spirits as the people Harry could hear. The man began to stride off, his steps made more quick and decisive through what appeared to be anger, though what he was angry about, Harry had not a clue.
Harry shrugged. After waiting a few minutes to let the professor get a head start, the boy began the walk back to Hogwarts, mulling over what he had seen.
The reason for the incognito trip could be summed up as pure frustration. Harry could not deny it at this point. He was frustrated with the war, he was frustrated with Dumbledore, but most of all he was frustrated with the fact that Dumbledore and all other members of the Order were still withholding any and all information about the war from him. Harry was seventeen now, and he believed that he had the right to know. Still, though he had spoken with Dumbledore and other prominent Order members several times on the subject, he was told absolutely nothing.
Harry's mounting annoyance at this had grown to the point of desperation. In fact, he had been so desperate for any tidbit of information on the war, that when the chance had presented itself that summer at Grimmauld place, Harry had eavesdropped upon the tail-end of what he could only assume was an important conversation between Dumbledore and Snape.
"Severus, you know that it is imperative that Voldemort believes it to be nothing more than an immune system-strengthening elixir," Dumbledore's old, yet somehow whimsical voice stated.
"Of course, Albus. I have brewed the potion to look exactly like that. I will deliver it the sixteenth of September, and he shall suspect nothing. We've been over this several times now, Albus," Snape's deep, exasperated tones replied.
"Of course, Severus. I trust you with the task. There exists nobody better suited for it."
There was a very pregnant silence. After a few moments, Dumbledore spoke again.
"Severus, this requires more sacrifice on your part than I am comfortable asking you for," the old man's voice sounded unusually melancholy now.
"Albus, it is hardly different from what I do already. I am prepared for everything and anything that this might entail," Snape replied. He sounded determined, though Harry could not fathom what he was determined to do.
It was at that point that Harry had been forced to leave, as he'd heard footsteps in the hall, and he absolutely had not wanted to be caught eavesdropping on what was undoubtedly a sensitive matter. However, he had thought about the conversation for weeks afterward, trying to analyze every detail he could. He didn't come up with much, so he had hatched the idiotic plan of secretly accompanying Snape to the meeting with Voldemort to try and see if he could find out anything more about the war, or perhaps better yet, this mysterious potion.
Harry's trip had not paid off. All he had learned, he reflected bitterly as he entered Hogwarts, was that Snape was very good at acting.
Severus whisked through the hallways, fury evident in every step he took. Students scampered out of his path the moment they saw him, and as he passed, he left a wake of frightened silence. Nobody wanted to do anything that might even possibly annoy him when he was already in a mood like that.
As he turned the corner of yet another monotonous stone hallway, Severus finally reached the gargoyle guarding Dumbledore's office.
"Fizzing Whizzbees," he spat out, each word sounding like a curse. The gargoyle seemed all-too-happy to jump out of his way immediately, and the potions master brushed through, his shoes making a loud clapping noise every time they collided with the steps of the spiralling staircase beneath him. When he reached the top, Severus flung open the door without ceremony.
"Albus," he gritted out.
The ancient wizard at the desk looked surprised to see him.
"Severus," he greeted politely, "I did not expect you to be back so soon." His periwinkle eyes held the question his words lacked.
"Neither did I," the man responded dourly.
Dumbledore stroked his coarse, silver beard in contemplation and, perhaps, concern.
"He did take the potion, didn't he? He didn't seem concerned about it?"
"Of course he took the damn potion, Albus," Severus snarled, pushing his stringy black hair behind his ears, "But he made it very clear that I should leave afterwards."
Dumbledore seemed perfectly relaxed once more.
"You were the first person he saw after taking it, yes? You know the potion will not work properly otherwise."
"Of course I know, Albus! I invented that particular bloody love potion myself! Yes, I am absolutely certain that I was the first person he saw." Snape paced about the eccentrically-decorated office, crossing and un-crossing his arms in a movement that spoke of restlessness and frustration.
"In that case, we have nothing to worry about, do we? You know better than anyone that the potion works gradually. You said yourself that it's meant to imitate actual love, Severus. Real love takes time." Dumbledore's voice was kind, but firm. He interlocked his spindly fingers in front of himself.
Severus paused a moment in his pacing, then deflated and plopped into a rather cushy armchair.
"Yes, Albus, I know. I just thought-"
"I know what you thought, Severus. However, I hardly think that Voldemort's decision regarding your...company tonight can be connected to the potion in any way. We must wait at the very least several weeks for the potion's onset before we can expect anything of the sort."
Severus sighed and leaned back in his chair.
"Of course, Albus. I know. I'll wait."
Dumbledore smiled warmly, and Severus thought it suddenly made him look ten years younger at the very least.
"Yes, Severus. In this case, patience is key. Now, would you like some tea? I have lemon drops too, if you'd like a few." Dumbledore reached into his robes, presumably intending to retrieve a bag of the sweets.
Severus stood abruptly.
"I'm afraid I'll have to decline, Headmaster."
Dumbledore chuckled as though he was expecting those exact words. He probably had been, Severus mused.
"One day, you'll have to finally accept my invitation for tea, Severus."
Severus' thin mouth tilted upward at the corners slightly.
"Perhaps, Albus. But for now, I'll merely bid you a good night."
"Good night to you too, Severus," Dumbledore responded, eyes twinkling.
Severus nodded and left the office.
AN: Hi again! I'd like to thank you for reading the first chapter. Here are a few things I'd like to tell you here and now.
THIS IS A HARRYxVOLDEMORTxSNAPE FANFIC. It's an odd pairing, I know. Hell, I don't know if it can be called a pairing when there are three people.
Please, please, please give this fanfic a chance. I know this seems an impossible pairing to make work, but I know what I'm doing.
On another note, I'm not sure if it's clear what happened in this chapter, though I did do my best to make it so. Basically, Snape and Dumbledore hatched a plan to give Voldy a love potion for reasons I will reveal later. Harry overheard that they were gonna give him a potion of some kind or another that was important and decided to tag along. The potion is one Snape invented himself, and it mirrors actual love. It make its drinker fall in love with the first person he/she sees. When Harry tagged along with Snape to give Voldy the potion, he was under the invisibility cloak, and after Voldy took the potion, HE LOOKED AROUND THE ROOM AND SAW HARRY (thought he didn't realize it) AND THEN HE LOOKED BACK AT SNAPE. Basically, Harry was the first person Voldy saw after taking the potion, though neither Voldemort nor Snape know that.
Anyways, please review! They really motivate me to write, and it makes me very happy everytime I get one. Also, feel free to ask any questions about the fanfic if you're a bit confused. :D