Title: The Hard Way
Warnings: Non-con, bondage, torture
Summary: Some lessons have to be learnt the hard way.
Author's notes: Thank you to my wonderful beta reader and to a good friend for looking over an earlier draft.
The Hard Way
He didn't cry. Not for days and weeks and months. He whimpered and groaned and screamed. But he didn't cry.
"Such a defiant hero, Harry, glaring at me with your green green eyes, like they might Avada Kedavra me where I stand. You play almost to perfection the role they cast you in. You don't stand down, you don't waver – you want to kill me."
They were brought to me still hot from the fight, their robes bloody and torn, their bodies bruised. They hadn't, my Death Eaters informed me irately, been easy to capture. They stood together, fearful but strong, ready to leap to each other's defence. The tall redhead – Weasley – seemed protective of the other two, shielding them automatically from my Death Eaters' curses. Strange. I'd imagined Harry would be the protective one … but perhaps his training has taught him to focus only on the most important thing: me.
Not that he didn't care about them.
He would gladly have died a thousand painful deaths in exchange for their lives. But that wasn't his choice to make. Oh, he begged me quite beautifully, pleading for them even as he writhed under my Cruciatus ...
I made him watch as I killed them. His friends. The redhead and the Mudblood girl. His voice cracked from screams and supplications as I bound him magically to the wall, forcing his raw green eyes to stay open. Despite his own exhaustion and pain, his hysterical struggles only grew stronger as I drained away their lives with a potent fading spell. He screamed and screamed and screamed. But he didn't cry.
"Love makes you weak."
I left him in a dank cell for weeks after that. I watched him carefully of course; watched him shiver in the cold and sweat in his sleep. I knew that he was seeing his friends, reliving their final moments over and over. An eternal torment. He always woke up when the memories reached the point of their death, panting in horror at images his mind would never let him forget.
His waking hours seemed no less angst-ridden. He scratched his face until blood trickled in the wake of his nails, rubbing his eyes and tearing at his own hair while he paced his cell, counting the steps under his breath – round and round, always stepping on the same cracks in the floor and turning at the same stones in the wall. It was almost dizzying to watch.
For a while I savoured his defeat – broken body, breaking mind. Misery, loneliness and hunger were his only companions. But it got old very quickly. I suppose I could have killed him, but why give him what he wanted? I did not spare his life for nothing, after all. There was too much of Harry Potter left to explore. He had always fascinated me and now he was mine. I wasn't about to throw him away.
"We're too similar; two kindred spirits stuck on opposing sides of this war. Maybe that's why I want to own you, to possess you? I want you to be mine, not just to hurt, but to keep."
After about four weeks, I had him moved from his cell up into my quarters. I watched his progress though my enchanted mirror. He looked so small, fearful and hunched, squinting in the dim light as my Death Eaters ushered him through the dungeon corridor. He went meekly, like a lamb to the slaughter. He probably looked forward to death, welcoming the thought of it reuniting him with his friends, his mentor, his godfather … his parents. How could anyone have believed that this pathetic little waif could truly bring my downfall?
He let himself be led past the hall where he'd last seen me, up a winding staircase and into the extravagantly decorated quarters I called my own. He balked when he realised where he was and who was waiting for him, but then he gathered his wits and glared at me, mustering as much defiant anger as he could. It wasn't very much – he was too weak, too haunted. But it was a start. Proof that Harry Potter still lived inside that pale shell.
"Mine, mine, mine. I'm going to play with you, Harry; teach you games, show you tricks. You'll learn to want me, to need me. I'm all you're ever going to get."
He didn't know how to act around me. He didn't understand the snakeskin collar around his neck or the leathers around his wrists and ankles. In fact, he didn't even make the connection between his restraints and the rings in my wall until I pointed it out to him by stringing him up, arms stretched above his head so that he had to stand on tiptoes. I left him there for hours until his face was red with exertion and his chest heaving. And then I released his bonds and let him slump to the floor, where he curled up whispering to himself in a slightly unhinged manner. That was enough for the first lesson.
I fed him well, my cherished pet, and so he regained his strength. It was like taming a wild animal: you knew it would always have a feral heart, but it would learn to accept your presence and tolerate your touch. I was the hand that fed and the hand that harmed – it was up to him to predict which would come next.
And he learnt quickly. He learnt not to flinch when I reached for him and not to scream when I hurt him. He didn't yet understand what was happening, but he started learning to lose himself in the pain and to welcome the sense of penance it gave him. He became pliable and obedient. His body rocked with magical blows that stole his breath and numbed his mind, and he leant, sweating and trembling, into the pain as though it were the only thing holding him up.
It was almost too easy to knock him off balance again.
Torture he could deal with. Torture he could understand. I think he even fancied he deserved to suffer. My touch, on the other hand, as simple as an open palm on his heaving chest, sent him into flutters of panic. He bucked and arched away, muscles tense and ready to fight.
"Shhh, Harry, shhhhh. Calm down and accept me."
He didn't. Calm down or accept me. Given half a chance he would have stabbed me in the back, and the thrill of that knowledge was even more arousing than the thought of his compliance.
I played with him several times a day, each session designed to push him further, to take him to the brink. I introduced new torments into our games. I forced him to crawl and to beg and to open his mouth for my cock. He tried to bite me, the first time, but a day with no teeth taught him not to try again – such a quick learner. He swallowed the fruit of the orgasms he ripped from me, tasting every drop with a look of horror and disgust on his face. Sometimes he turned away when we were done, surreptitiously wiping his eyes …
So close, so close …
The Cruciatus Curse is a wonderful piece of magic. I will always remember the first time I savoured the curse, sneering down at the Muggle wench writhing at my feet. That's how it should be. They should all be at my feet. Already then, as a barely trained boy, I was their master.
"Another dose of pain, Harry?"
He jerked under my spell, twisting desperately and rubbing his face against the floor as though he might wipe away the agony. All it served was to drive grit into his skin and open up old, self-inflicted wounds. There was no escape from the Cruciatus. You can't adapt to it like you can to normal pain. That what makes it so powerful – it follows you around and claims your entire existence. I used it on him when he least expected it; between our sessions, but also during and after, when his body was too drained to even flinch away from the curse. He screamed until his throat was torn and fought back until his muscles collapsed.
And when he was weak as a kitten, I finally claimed him.
I stretched his limbs across the bed, securing him like the sacrifice he was. My cock broke though his virgin resistance and drove into him, hard and ready. His flesh tore as I stabbed into him, but he took it in stride. He must have known it would be the next logical step. He shrank away, then pressed back; whimpered, then whined. I pulled back his head and held his throat as I came, driving into his arse and shaking him roughly at the same time. When I withdrew from his heaving body I found tear tracks drawing lines through the sweat on his face. They matched the come dripping down the back of his thighs.
It was as though a dam had broken. After that day, his pretty green eyes always shimmered with tears. He wasn't broken, but he was weakened. I had taken something from him that could never be fixed or returned. He accepted me better after that. Or rather, he resisted me less. He still hated me – sometimes a flash of pure loathing would cross his face when he thought I wasn't looking. But he also needed me. He needed the pain I gave and the reassurance I offered. After particularly difficult sessions, he clung to me like a child and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.
"Can you hear your friends calling you? Why did you kill us. Why weren't you stronger? Why do you let that monster touch you. Why won't you die? Join us, join us …"
He doesn't want to die any more. He doesn't want anything I don't offer. He's mine to violate and abuse. Mine to keep. It took time. But I am a patient teacher.
He cries all the time now.