Title: Memories Unveiled
Pairing: Tom/unknowns, Tom/OC, SSHP
Rating: R- NC-17
Warnings: slash, smut, mentions of character death, HBP-spoilers, AU
Summary: The war has been going on for 5 years, and Harry is desperately searching for the last Horcrux. In the process, he unravels something else as well.
Disclaimer: Don't own it. Harry Potter and all characters belong to their creator. Ja'been Piru, however is mine.
Author's notes: ca 6200 words; Beta read by Indy. Hope my story fits the prompts... Sincerely I do! Feel free to ask, if there’s something in the story that you don’t quite understand.
Written for prompt #80:
Post-HBP, Harry frantically searches Dumbledore's Pensieve for any helpful information - and stumbles across one or more Riddle-related memories that Dumbledore never showed him. Gen, slash, or het. (suggested by mctabby)
Some of the things Tom had to do after leaving Hogwarts were distasteful to him. Rentboy fic. Smut. (suggested by by_starkiller)
Memories Unveiled by Draconic_girl
The world will forever remember him as Lord Voldemort, but he was a boy once, a boy named Tom Marvolo Riddle. Indeed, you might point out he was cruel and cunning then too, but was it really his fault? His life and hadn’t been easy, orphaned, ostracised by his peers and the travelling to Hogwarts where some would be in awe of his talents, and some would already fear for what he would become. Mind you, those people had already decided that nothing good would become of the boy. One of them was Albus Dumbledore, the resident Transfigurations Professor. Some of you would say, well, he was right not trust young Riddle. But, I say, why did he not do anything about it? Or did he?
That's part of the tale I am about to share with you. I am going to tell you what happened to a young man, who had just graduated from Hogwarts, and had many possible roads before him, but he ended up choosing something quite unusual, for some quite unusual reasons. And yes, at that time his soul was already split in three parts, one piece inside him, one inside his diary and one in the Gaunt Ring. The Diary was hidden, but the ring was always on his person. He still felt more complete with the pieces close to him, but he knew soon enough he would not need them or crave their presence. Yes, when he was done splitting his soul he would not be human anymore. But that's enough about that because something far more important is going to take place soon. So here our tale starts, with a young man foraying into the shadier part of a large muggle city, for reasons unknown… Well to anyone else than him and his future master- Ja'been Piru, who had instructed him to travel there... Let's look back...
Hogwarts, June, Tom's 7th year, 1945
After the Leaving Feast
He still remembered how Dumbledore had looked at him; the disappointment twisting to anger, when he refused the apprenticeship, Dumbledore had offered him. The defeater of Grindelwald could not win every battle. Really, that old suspicious fool should have known that he would not accept any deal he offered him. Tom had already turned down the offer to work at the Ministry. In hindsight, he wondered if he should have accepted the job, just so he could learn more about how the Ministry was run, who welcomed bribes, or were easily coerced or threatened and so on. But by the time the offer was made, he had already made plans, and he would not have time to go trough the Ministry. He needed to do something else before he headed to the Ministry. Scowling he stared at the ranting Professor.
“What do you mean no? I am the most powerful wizard in Britain! Why would you refuse me?”
“Power isn’t everything, and you really don't like me anyway, in fact I know you despise me. You only want to keep me close so you can watch over me, in case I decide to take up where Grindelwald left out. ” Indeed he thought, and smirked, Dumbledore keeps to old ideals, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Still he wondered what exactly it was that Dumbledore wanted of him. Why did the suspicious old man want to keep him close by, it couldn't be just because he knew that Tom was fascinated by the Dark Arts. There had to be some other reason. Surely the man did not know about the Horcruxes? He shook his head, no, if Dumbledore knew about the Horcruxes he would have confronted him already. It had to be something else. Deep in thought he almost did not notice that Dumbledore was done with his rant.
“Very well, if that is what you choose, who am I to stop you from leaving.” Albus sighed inwardly, he knew Tom would see right trough the thinly veiled offer. He was very relieved that Tom did not know the real reason as to why he wanted him to stay. Albus gazed at the young man before him. Tom's aura pulsated with power and the only thing marring its beauty were the dark streaks coursing through it. Oh, how Albus wished he could tap into all that power. Youth is wasted on the young indeed. But for now he would let nature run its course. Dark Arts called for Dark Lore and Tom would surely head out to find a master of the lost arts, and there was only one master that could teach Tom what he needed to know, Ja'been Piru. A man that had successfully evaded Aurors, the order of Phoenix and everyone else, but now Albus thought he had the means to finally catch the elusive master. Tom would be his bait. Yes, he smiled to himself; everything was going according to his plan. Soon he could act the hero again.
Tom Riddle left the office, and as he walked out of Hogwarts he sighed in relief, finally he would be out of Albus Dumbledore's grasp, and he planned to keep it that way, he didn't plan on returning. As he walked down to the gate, he stuck his hand into his left pocket, fingering the piece of parchment in it, his ticket to knowledge. Had he been more observant he would have noticed that someone was following him.
Shortly After the Feast
His task was distasteful, but he had come prepared. Armed with nothing but some daggers, his magical signature hidden, he should appear to be nothing but a muggle orphan who had no place to stay. Outwardly he would appear to be completely harmless, which was exactly why he had chosen this, hiding in plain sight was the easiest part of it. But he knew he had to find away to reach Ja’been, and he had to do it soon. Ja'been Piru had disappeared after the defeat of Grindelwald and Tom was determined to find him. Ja’been had the knowledge that Tom sorely missed, and he would do anything to get it. Even if it meant he had to pretend to be something he was not, and deny his magical heritage. He had followed his future master's instructions to the point, knowing that Ja'been was a man who was persecuted by both sides, and that he needed to be extra cautious until he found him.
So it was warm July evening when Tom Riddle alias Lord Voldemort headed out on the streets, his mission would begin tonight and he had no time to loose. This mission was important and he had to finish it successfully before he could head out to other places. Knowledge was everything to him right now, power he had, but knowledge not and nothing could stop him from finding it. In the meanwhile he would have a less than pleasant time, living on the streets amongst the Muggles. But that was a sacrifice he was ready to make. He was already a murder and a cunning Slytherin, now all he needed was patience, patience to root out his future master from the rest of the scum that visited these particular streets.
In the shadows someone watched him walk away, the eyes followed him until he found a place to sleep at. The person was happy in the knowledge that he still could follow his prey. The time was not yet ripe for him to act. No the young man had to be properly turned before he could act a hero again.
Tom leaned against the railing, down on the streets he could see the proper folk go about their lives. But he knew once night came, he would be down on street, waiting for the wicked amongst the good folk, who required special things. Yes, special things like a handsome young man that they could use, for their pleasure his pain. He had been skulking on the streets a few weeks ago, when he had been first propositioned, by a wealthy man. Just like his master had fore sown.
The Slytherin in him had recognised the offer, yes he was a wizard but he couldn’t conjure up a fortune, especially now that he was forbidden from using magic. He needed money, and he didn’t know when he would find the one he was searching for, and he knew that the man sometimes bought home a boy or two, which meant that he was in the ideal place for his master to find him. His master had advised him to come prepared. Sex was an important part of many dark rituals so he thought he might as well get used to being used. This was indeed an opportunity to learn. He could not to approach the master directly, because that was forbidden by tradition, and as his master was in hiding he had to be so much more careful than usually. Thankfully power sought power and they would find each other eventually, and as he was working on the streets, only his future master would recognise him, and realise what he was truly doing out on the streets.
Tom sighed weeks had passed, and now the weather was turning colder again, the winds promised rain, and more rain. He would have to work harder, if he meant to find the master among all of the scoundrels that bought boys for the night. It was getting harder and harder for him to see his goal, through all the groping and the pain. Not that he wasn’t used to it, but it still hurt him, hurt him in ways unimaginable, to think that he was selling his body like a common whore, when he knew how powerful he was. But no man can go far with power alone, he needed knowledge, and he was willing to make sacrifices. His body was only a tool.
Determined he headed out on the streets, darkness had fell and now was his time to wander again.
The man had no room close by, or at least not a place where he would have deigned to bring a bought bedfellow too. So here he was Tom pushed against the cold stone wall, as the man grunted and swore. “You’re so fucking tight, Marv.” He would say repeatedly, otherwise he just grumbled about how rotten his life was. Tom couldn’t have cared less, but he moaned nonetheless, the man paid him well after all, double the amount anyone else did. When they were done, he would leave and Tom would head out from the alley to find a new buyer.
Some of his clients were pleasant. Some wanted to hunch down on the bed and let him take them, and take them he did. He never left a customer unsatisfied. He had a good reputation on the streets, well; it couldn’t exactly be called good reputation. But he got a few more coins from each customer than the other boys would get. He had learned to be wary of them, he was their biggest competition.
When he slept, he did so with his hand on his wand. Yes, he knew it was dangerous to use it here. But better to flee the ministry than get killed by Muggles, and he had killed Muggles before. It wouldn’t be too hard for him. But hiding the evidence was another thing entirely..
And in the dark, eyes watched him hungrily.
He had been living on the streets for some weeks already, his companions changing each day and night. Some he shared bed with for money; others were boys like him, boys with no future. They all shared the deep feeling of loneliness, for they could never call each other friends. They were all competing for the same money, the same rewards that kept them alive. But for Tom it was worse. He felt like he was sinking, sinking deeper into a darkness, from where there was no return. The reason to why he was doing this started slipping away. If he didn't find Ja'been soon, he feared it was too late, because he felt the darkness take hold of him, urging him to act on his needs and instincts.
He was alone.
No friends, no family to care for a boy lost. A voice reminded him of what he had done to his blood relatives, but he ignored it, that family could never have given him anything he wanted. Though, it had felt a bit strange, when he had headed to the house where he did his first kill, it was almost like he had been compelled to do it. The thoughts of their death had driven him this far, every day something would remind him of the family that had shunned him, and he could feel a rage building him, no sadness. Something in him said that everything would turn for the better if the Muggles died.
But the feeling of loneliness had never eased up; the darkness pulled him deeper into a depression of magical proportions. The numbness that was his loneliness only eased up sometimes when he was with a client. In the dark of the night, he would lie on his knees, and as his client pushed himself inside his body. The feel of a warm sweaty body that was very much alive would connect him with parts of him he had long lost connection with. When the client climaxed and filled him with his seed, the connection was the strongest. It made Tom feel alive.
Don't mistake him; it was not love, nor lust that he felt. But a profound connection to the life he had already lost, though he did not know of that. The confusion those feelings caused him made his head and body ache. Why did he feel so alive, when someone filled him up? Was he dead? Was all this an illusion? No, he thought better of it; he had never died had he? A flitting memory escaped him as he tried to catch it, for he knew, somehow he knew that that thought contained the answer to the riddle that was his life. But it was a fruitless chase.
Little did he know that the memory that always escaped him, proved the theory that a part of him was already dead, and that is why he felt so alive, when someone filled him up with the very seeds of life. His soul sought a part that he had irrevocably lost; trapped into the ring he carried on his finger. But like I said, he did not know of that. He did not know just what the consequences of splitting his soul were. Right now he was just a boy lost, and the ring was nothing but a reminder of the fact that he could have been something much more.
He could have been much more than a chess piece in the game between Dark and Light. His mind and body corrupted by dark magic, and a wizard of light who could have stopped that was instead planning to use him. That wizard, who knew not what his actions would cause, had only sought a tool to fight the dark. He had thought he had prepared the ultimate spy, but instead he had tipped the scales, and the balance between Dark and Light was lost. But no one would know that, it would take close to a hundred years for anyone to discover what had happened.
Present Day, year 2002
“Where is it...? Damn, we have been searching for months but there have been no clues, there has to be something we've missed.”
“I know. Just calm down and do it again. It must be here. It's the last Pensieve we've found, and judging by the fact that it was so well hidden. There has to be something important memories in it. “
“Ok, here goes nothing.” Harry said tiredly, immersing himself in the Pensieve, again.
Severus watched him. The boy he had known was gone. When he had left Harry had been an angry young man, granted that anger was mostly directed at him, he had just killed Albus. And Harry had not been too pleased to hear that had been a part of a plan, and well, the majority though the same. Not even the fact that Albus was already dying made him any less guilty. He was a man capable of murder and now everyone knew that. Harry had been more than happy to let him go, go to the Dark Lord, so that he did not have to see him. Later when he returned he found a young jaded man, the same man he had gotten to know through their correspondence.
During the time when he was still serving the Dark Lord, they had corresponded by magical scrolls, which they had designed in order to be able to inform each other about war plans. Severus had stayed by Voldemort's side for 4 long years, and his only contact with the Order and the outside world had been with Harry. Draco, who had been one of the few Death Eaters that Severus cared to spend time with, had been killed in a skirmish only a few months into the war, before Severus had had the chance to extract him from the battle grounds, to the dungeon area where Severus was kept busy with brewing potions.
Their correspondence which had started as a necessary way of exchanging information had slowly transformed into a friendship. Harry was Severus' only confidante. The few times that Severus had been allowed to leave during his years with Voldemort, he had gone to meet Harry, though most of their time was used for Horcrux hunting, they often found themselves just sitting together. Those moments of understanding and comfort were invaluable to them both. When Harry had lost his best friends to a dark curse when Horcrux hunting Harry had cut away from everyone, expect for Severus.
This year, Severus had begrudgingly left the Dark Lord's service, and gone into hiding, when it became apparent that he was not able to get as much information as he used to. The Dark Lord had found new favourites. Severus had spent a year mostly alone, but he had agreed to help Harry with the Horcrux hunt, since he was the only one left, besides Harry who knew of the Horcruxes existence. Otherwise, he spent his time researching and brewing potions, not much different from his time with Voldemort expect for the fact that he was less likely to get Crucioed on regular basis. He was more than glad that Harry and Fawkes had managed to destroy the Dark Mark.
Now he turned to watch over Harry, hopefully no one else knew that this place existed. If no one knew about it they were less likely to be attacked. They had found a hidden cottage in the Forbidden Forest, which appeared to have belonged to Albus, which meant that they had to be very cautious, who knew what creature might be prowling around the house. They both felt that the house held secrets, but none of them knew just what they were about to unveil...
In a dark alley, midnight. Watchful eyes take on the scene. A hooded man propositioning a young man, or so it would seem to anyone else but this particular viewer, who knew what was going on. The Dark Lore Master had finally contacted Tom. It was only a matter of time now; soon he would catch the Dark Lore Master. But he would not hurry now, because Tom would need time to bond with the master if he wanted knowledge, and that Albus planned to let happen. It would be much easier, he thought, to extract the knowledge from Tom than his master, who had had much more practise at hiding. Albus focused on the couple, straining to hear what they said, but they were to far away, and he could not use magic to listen in, he could only catch a few words here and there, enough for him to know that they were not discussing anything of great importance yet. He would have to continue following them, until they bonded. Then he could cast the spell which would let him track them with magic instead of having to do it himself.
"Of course I did, did I not promise you that I would find you? I do not break promises I've made. You will come to trust me eventually."
"I worried; I thought something might have happened. He's still after you isn't he?"
Strong arms closed around the shivering boy, "You needn't worry about me, I've dealt with life longer than you just fine", he whispered into Tom's ear, ignoring the question, knowing that they both were more than aware of the fact that they were both hunted.
"I missed you."
"Oh, pet. You have barely seen me, how could you miss me?"
"I don't know. But I did. Miss you." Tom said with all the stubbornness of youth.
"Of course." Ja'been agreed, there was no sense in arguing about that, for he himself could feel his magic trying to interweave with the boy's. It was time. Magic called to magic, and power to power. He had finally found a worthy apprentice, just like he had suspected when he first saw the boy at the orphanage. "Let's go home." He murmured and Apparated them to his estate in London.
Ja'been led Tom into his house, leading him straight through the wards, not noticing that he had accidentally let another person through as well. Albus was silently cheering; he did not even have to break through any wards. He was glad the master was focused on Tom, and not his surroundings, he silently followed the couple the invisibility spell he had whispered just after he had Apparated after them, was very useful. Albus studied the house, it was stylishly furnished and appeared to be lived in, though Albus knew that Ja'been could not have lived there in a long time. He knew Ja'been had stayed abroad during the conflict with Grindelwald, no doubt happy that his one time apprentice was trying to take over the Wizarding world, and made changes in the laws, so that Dark Magic and Dark Lore would once again be legal, to know and to use.
They finally arrived at the end station, a bedroom. The bedroom was black and red, and dominated by the huge bed in the middle of the room. Good, Albus thought, they will probably bond this night, and then I can cast the spell.
When they arrived in the bedroom, Ja'been took of his clothes and instructed Tom to do the same. He then pulled his future apprentice close, enjoying the feel of skin on skin. It had been a long time since he had the opportunity to indulge himself, and now he would have a willing man, bonded to him. Dark Lore Masters always bound their apprentices to themselves; it wasn't paranoia, but a necessity. Once you started studying, you would not be allowed to leave, before you were finished. Ja'been thought himself to be lucky that his apprentice was so willing, and attractive. He was quite sure many would agree on the fact that Tom was extremely handsome, and especially so when he was naked. Who could say no, when confronted with such a luscious body?
"Master.", Tom sighed.
"It's time." Ja'been said, leading Tom to the bed. Ja'been licked his lips in anticipation, all that wondrous naked skin was his to enjoy. He snapped his fingers and ropes appeared, binding Tom's legs and arms to the bed posts. It was after all a tradition that the future master was in full control during the initiation of the bond. He let his hands wander all over the body, exploring it, then he used his mouth, ignoring Tom's whimpers, as he left certain places untouched. Finally Tom broke down.
"Oh fuck me. Use my body master. Please, do something." Tom pleaded incoherent with need, none of his customers had every used him like this. The memories of men using him on the streets or dark rooms were a distant memory right now.
"Oh I will..." Ja'been answered him, while he let his fingers travel across Tom's naked body. He had tied the boy to the bed and he enjoyed hearing the whimpering sounds Tom made when he was denied release, again and again. Now he modified the bindings and put Tom in a kneeling position.
He let his oiled fingers travel down, until they reached their goal, one finger sinking into the hole.
"Oh master, please." Tom whimpered. "Fill me. Slam into me! Use me. I need you." He futilely tried to move his hips, wanting the fingers to go deeper.
Ja'been smiled, and inserted a second finger and then a third.
"All in a good time." he murmured, all the while pumping his fingers in an out of the hole, preparing it for something much bigger. After awhile he found himself loosing control, he needed to be inside the boy, now. He had finally found his apprentice; he would not wait any longer. He pushed into the willing hole, slamming inside the boy in one smooth move, and as he felt the tight heat envelope him, he let himself go. Loosing control of himself, he wanted to ram the boy to the bed, and so he did just that. Tom groaned and came, spilling himself on the satin sheets. It had taken Ja’Been far too long to find the Tom, when he finally found him; he noticed that the boy had sunk into a depression. The two Horcruxes Tom had made had taken a toll on his life-force, dragging him into depression. Thankfully, Ja’Been had ways to remedy that. He was after all a master of Dark Lore and he knew better than no one else what the consequences of splitting a soul were. He knew what he could and what he could not do. Smiling he whispered a spell and emptied himself into the boy.
At the same time Albus who had watched the whole ordeal, whispered his own spell just a moment after Ja'been had cast the final spell that ensured that the bond was valid.
Tom sighed contently; this was life he thought as he snuggled deeper into satin sheets, his master pressing against him. The body heat warming him, he was safe for now, safe in his master’s strong arms. No more working on the streets, and he silently thanked his luck that Ja’been had finally found him because if he was completely honest, he couldn’t have waited any longer. The time in hiding had made him edgy and he was dead tired of glancing over his shoulder. It was strange, when he had lived on the streets he had felt like he had been watched. Oh, well that was then, now he was safe from prying eyes, and Dumbledore could certainly not find him here. He did not know why, but that thought made him feel much safer. Little did he know that there was someone else in the room, someone who had been watching him for the entire time he had been entertaining his master, and the weeks before that.
Albus stood in the shadows, absolutely silent, though he was feeling quite giddy; his plan was working. Tom was following the path set out for him and Albus had the means of watching him, tailing him to the other side of the world if necessary. Yes, Albus thought, he had plans for the boy when time came he would have the chance to play the saviour, again.
Contemplatively, he adjusted his robes; he had not remembered how Dark Lore Master’s initiated their apprentices. The sensuality in their rites, were quite stimulating, even for a watcher. But that itch had to be scratched later, for now he settled for whispering a final spell over the sleeping couple. He left the room as soundlessly as he entered content in the knowledge that everything was going according to his plans.
Little did he know that his plan was fast falling apart, yes, had he not been so entranced by the sight of his soul-mate stretched out on the bed being skilfully pleasured by the Dark Lore Master, he might have stopped to consider several facts that were not adding up. Like the fact that Tom and the Dark Lore Master were acting quite familiar, and not like strangers who had just met… which Dumbledore believed them to have done.
Dumbledore cautiously approached the house, his worst fear was about to be realised. He had checked the charm each day, but when it came apparent that Tom hadn't moved in a week, he knew something must have gone wrong. The house was silent; no signs of life were visible, the wards were gone as well. He sighed, this was not good, and he entered the bedroom, which was empty except for a letter, which lay on a dresser by the door. Too anxious to find out what happened he grabbed the letter, not even stopping for a moment to consider the risks of such a careless action. The letter gave of a small sting of energy, when it came in touch with his skin, his hair immediately changed into a bright purple colour. But he didn't care about that; he had much more important things on his mind. He ripped the letter open and fished out a ring and a note. He checked the charm again, cursing, why had the spell attached itself to the ring instead of Tom? The note said, "Nice try, Albus." And so it was that Albus Dumbledore came to realise that he had just made his greatest mistake. He had let his soul-mate run away with a Dark Lore master. There was nothing he could do now; all his carefully crafted plans were blown to pieces, by one stupid mistake, one misdirected spell. So it is that the simplest things can bring down a man, no matter how great he may be.
Albus paid harshly for his mistake repenting for his sins, for the rest of his life, though he did not always see that he repeated his mistakes. Particularly with the ones who shared the same strong aura, streaked with darkness, the aura reminded him of Voldemort in his youth. There were two individuals that bore an almost identical aura when compared to Tom's, they were Harry Potter and Severus Snape, another trait they shared with Tom was that they were half-bloods. When Dumbledore first saw Severus' aura he decided to stay away and not meddle in anyway. His cautiousness had only resulted in more trouble; he had practically sent the young man straight to Voldemort. Yes, he did manage to help him after a time, but the damage had already been done. His past mistakes had almost made him to try to enforce his original plan for Tom with the help of Harry. Thankfully he stayed away from the temptation, but the only reason to that was that he simply didn't have time. He was dying, he sighed pensively as he stared at his blackened arm. It seemed that fate had interrupted. Perhaps it was for the better. He was getting old and he didn't have the strength to fight another Dark Lord. Perhaps I may use my death for a scheme.... But first he had to hide this Pensieve, the memories it held were important for him, they served as a reminder of what he had done, but no one else needed to see them.
The memory faded away.....
Present time :
Harry staggered out of the Pensieve.
“Severus, I think I know where the last Horcrux is. But…”
“But what Mr. Potter”, Snape drawled.
Harry scowled at him; he was not in mood for this,
“I told you not to call me that.”
“Indeed, but you of all people, should now that old habits are hard to break. Now what did you mean to tell me? Is the location unplottable or heavily warded?”
“No. It's muggle house, but there's something more... I…I think there was a reason to why this Pensieve was so well hidden…”
“Well of course there was!” Snape interrupted impatiently.
“Shut up! And don’t interrupt me again. As I was saying, I don’t think Dumbledore ever meant for us to find this one.”
“Why not? What did you see?” Snape paled, the possibilities unravelling in his mind.
What could the boy have seen that made him so agitated?
“Voldemort…” Harry shuddered at the name, gathering his courage.
“Don't say his name and get to the point already.” Snape snapped; he never was good at worrying.
“Voldemort was his soul-mate.” Harry said ignoring Snape's protest.
And whatever Snape had expected Harry to say, was not even close to what Harry had revealed.
“What?” He spit out, feeling totally flabbergasted.
“Yes, you heard me. Voldemort was his soul mate... and Dumbledore made this plan. Oh Gods, Dumbledore created Voldemort. He wanted power more than anything else in the world, more so than love. What a hypocrite! He always told me the greatest power in the world was love. Yet, he did not believe in it, did he? If he had, maybe he wouldn’t have used his soul mate in his devious plans. He tried to use him to gain more power... just like… just… like he almost used me. I was his ticket to continuous fame...Did he even care about me?” Harry finished in a whisper, and could feel his eyes moisten.
“Shhh… Calm down. He’s gone now.”
“But Severus, what do you think he had planned for me?”
“Anything, everything, there’s no reason to worry about that right now. We have to focus on destroying that last Horcrux.” Snape sighed wearily, and then he gave Harry’s shoulder a squeeze, the only comfort he felt he could offer at the moment, before he headed to the door. He was stopped by Harry’s voice, which had taken a pleading tone.
“Please, don’t go.”
“Why shouldn’t I go?” Snape asked, but did not turn away from the door.
“Oh, you didn’t see him, he was blinded by his need for power, and he didn’t even see what was right in front of him: The destruction of his plans. And even then he almost repeated his mistakes again and again. What if… what if I fail?”
“You will not fail; I will not allow that to happen. Now tell me. Why should I stay?
The real reason, if you may.”
“Don’t go, because... because I need you.” The voice now held a determined tone.
Snape turned around, and inwardly he sighed, he could not leave the boy now. Not ever, he had known that when he headed for the door. But he hadn’t been able to admit it. Admit the fact that he couldn’t leave Harry Potter, ever again. The lonely years spent brewing potions and research, were taking heir toll on his self-control, he did not want to leave. He was just human after all, he could not deny the fact that he craved human contact, and that from a specific individual, with pleading green eyes. The same emerald eyes that watched him walk back into the room, he never could get enough of it, and the attention those eyes gave him.
“Perhaps, I could be persuaded to stay”, he purred quietly into Harry’s ear, as he enveloped the boy, no, the young man in his arms. He pulled the man with him as he sat down on the sofa. Harry snuggled closer and lay his head on Snape’s shoulder, sighing contently before he fell asleep, and Severus thought he heard him whisper, “My Prince”.
Severus sighed, what ever had he done to deserve such loyalty? Such trust that Harry willingly fell asleep in his company, well to be more precise in his arms. The sarcastic voice in his mind said, well you did kill his mentor, insult and belittle him since the moment you first meet him... and the other voice said, because you saw beyond his masks, you saw him and nothing else. The sarcastic voice piped in, but it’s not like I took you long. How about 11 years? Oh shut up, I made it, didn’t I?
Maybe there was hope yet for him and the Wizarding world, he did not want to see magic fade away because of what seemed to be an endless war, nor did he want to see Harry die. Yes, he decided, he would not leave again. Harry needed him here, and it felt beyond good to be needed. He pressed a soft kiss on Harry’s head. Sleep erased most of the ever present worry lines on his face that the war going on for 5 years now had caused, but sleep did not erase the scars on his face, or the ones on his soul.
For the first time in a long while, Severus felt like he had made the right choice. He hadn’t given up; he had come back to Harry. His Harry, who needed him, and Merlin knows what Harry would do if someone wasn’t watching over him.
Let tomorrow come, I’ll stand by him, come hell or high water. Was his last thought before he too, succumbed to sleep.