Cheery, midday sunlight washed over the small dining table where the two men sat. Gray clouds and rain might suit their frowning faces better. Severus sat tall, the expression on his pale, lined face inscrutable. Harry slumped miserably across from him, both hands clutching his teacup for comfort. He rather thought he’d prefer the man scowling over this blankness.
“Did you invite me for tea so that I could bear witness to your moping?” Severus finally asked. Even his tone was neutral, carefully betraying nothing. A history as a spy required certain emotional control, but he had never been able to hide himself from Harry. Severus had always been free with his spite, with his rage, with his passion. Harry had always stirred him to unraveling. Unsurprising he had lost even that, after everything.
Swallowing around the lump in his throat, Harry ducked his head, blinking away tears as he pulled a small brown phial out of his pocket. Firmly he set the glass in the center of the table, enjoying the little clicking sound it made. Dark eyes narrowed as pale hand reached out to take it. Harry glanced out of the window as Severus sniffed the contents.
Severus stopped breathing. Harry could tell. He held his own breath, focusing his eyes unseeing on the apple tree in his yard. With controlled motions, Severus reinserted the cork and slapped it forcefully back onto the table.
“What,” he snarled, “are you doing with this?”
Harry shrugged jerkily. “I heard you invented it.”
Hatred in those black pools, but Harry determined the majority of it was directed inward. One hand fell away from his teacup, palm resting on the tabletop, twitching. Part of him wanted to reach out to the older man, but he didn’t dare. He couldn’t be sure what a touch would do to either of them.
“So you brought me here in search of an apology.” Tone sharp, brittle.
“No.” Harry tapped his fingers where they rested. His other hand clung to his cup. The trembling set the tea within sloshing around. Black eyes caught this. A twitch in that thin face, a jerk of his head. “I hated you, at first. But…I knew your past. And I know it was in the past.” Harry needed both hands to lift the cup, sipping the lukewarm liquid.
His friends had advised him against this meeting. He wasn’t ready, they said. Harry wasn’t sure he’d ever be ready, but he knew he had to do this. He couldn’t be sure he’d ever find the strength for it, if not now.
“What happened to me wasn’t your fault. I know that,” Harry said. Blame for his old lover had not lasted long. He knew better, deep down. For a time, he’d been too consumed by anger and pain, blaming everyone for what he’d suffered.
Severus snorted. He managed to hold himself in check, removing all traces of fear and loathing from his face. Back to calm, collected Severus Snape. Back to pretending he wasn’t shaken by this at all. He had already slipped, though, and Harry was comforted by that. At least Severus had shown something.
“How is it not?” the man asked, voice cold and clinical.
“You didn’t feed it to me,” Harry whispered. He blinked rapidly. The salty, earthy aftertaste to the juice. The cruel grin of the wizard who had brought him the cup. The shiver down his spine. The heat pooling in his belly. “I barely blame them, though I know I should. I drank from that cup willingly. I should have known they’d slip me something.” Harry pressed his lips tightly together, breathing deeply to hold himself steady. Better had it been poison, but he held those words back. “I’m the one who liked it.”
Hands, too many hands, tearing at his clothes, touching his bare skin. Moaning “no”, biting back the word “please”, clinging to enough restraint to keep from begging them to fuck him. His body betrayed him. When the first cock shoved into him, he sobbed half in disgust and half in relief. Every subsequent “no” and “stop” sounded more pitiful than the last. He came, again and again, as they took their turns with him. Pleasured cries falling shamefully from his lips.
The stench of sweat and sex in the air.
The grunts and groans and laughter from the Death Eaters.
Teeth and nails sinking into his skin.
The slap of flesh against flesh.
His sore body pushing back eagerly against yet another intrusion.
Mindless, aching, burning arousal even as a voice in his head begged to stop, begged himself to get away, to put up a fight.
Harry was chewing on his thumb, free hand drumming a nervous beat into the wood. The porcelain teacup was on its side, tea spilling across the table and onto the floor.
“Sorry,” he muttered. A quick spell sent the spilled tea retreating back into the cup and the cup lifting itself into a proper position. No good to drink it now. He shoved it aside and clasped his hands together.
“Evidence would show,” Severus stated, “that you did not enjoy what happened to you.” Severus shot him a glare as he opened his mouth to respond. “Whatever reactions your body had were prompted by the potion, and had no bearing on your own wishes.” The man leaned across the table to quietly hiss, “You did not castrate, Cruciate, and kill twenty men because you enjoyed their ministrations.”
A buzzing in his ears drowned out the twittering of the birds outside. Viciously Harry scrubbed the tears from his face. Screaming in rage, tearing down the hall, cursing every masked figure he saw. Falling to the floor, sobbing when they were all down.
The pop of Apparition when the Aurors finally found him. They found him much too late.
A panicked Cruciatus delivered to the first arrival.
The second missed and he was quickly restrained.
He screamed himself hoarse as they carted him away.
He didn’t stop screaming for days.
“This was what they wanted, Potter,” Severus spat venomously. “This is what they requested. A potion that would turn the victims’ bodies against them.” He sneered. “And I obliged. I wanted to impress them.” A quirk of the brow, a bitter smirk as if to say ‘see? I am bad. I deserve your hatred. Blame me as much as I blame myself.’ “I bear more blame in the ordeal than you, Potter.”
“You used to call me Harry,” he whispered.
“Yes, well, circumstances have changed, haven’t they?”
Silence fell. Harry turned back to his apple tree. He couldn’t stand to look at Severus. The man was barely in his peripheral when he looked at the tree.
“Yes, well, that part is my fault. And that I’m sorry for,” Harry said, chancing a quick glance at the older wizard. Severus was stroking his thin mouth as he considered him. Harry quickly looked away again.
“What precisely are you apologizing for?” Severus asked darkly.
So Severus would force him to name his sins, then? Harry pressed his hands into his wet eyes. Shame churned like poison in his gut. Shoulders hunched. Face and neck burning. Harry breathed through it, swallowing against the bile in his throat. Squaring himself, he sniffled and turned to meet Severus’s scrutiny.
“Auror Echolls,” he began.
“Took advantage of you,” snarled Severus. “And was appropriately disciplined for it.”
Harry licked his lips. “Shackelbolt.”
“Also knew better. Also should have faced disciplinary action, whether he was on the clock or not.” Severus’s face was red, eyes burning furiously. “He found you there. He knew what they did. He knew you were vulnerable.”
“I begged him for it,” Harry pointed out unhappily.
“You were distraught!”
“McLaggen,” Harry said, the name bitter on his tongue. “Davies. Nott. That bloke at the bar.”
Severus breathed deeply, struggling and failing to hold himself in check. He breathed heavily, carefully sipping his tea to calm himself. Teacup crashing to the floor. Seething, silent rage in the black eyes that followed him out of the door. Cold voice crooning “slut” into his ear as he crept into bed late.
“You were traumatized.” The words were ground out gruffly. “You were asserting your control over your own body and your own desires.”
Pulling Auror Echolls into a kiss in the interrogation room. Letting himself be bent over the table.
Straddling Kingsley Shackelbolt’s lap in Grimmauld Place, pressing his hand against the growing bulge beneath him.
Desperate. Anything to get their hands off of him. To drive away the smell of them. The sound of them.
Cormac McLaggen flirting with him at the Christmas party. Falling to his knees in a secluded corner.
Severus at home. Never saying a word. Judgment unspoken. Heartbreak clear, but unvoiced.
Roger Davies pressing him into a wall.
Theodore Nott in a bathroom stall.
Stranger in a pub, rubbing against him.
“Slut,” drunkenly purred into his ear in bed. The first and only time Severus referenced what he knew. Crying quietly into his pillow. Severus’s snort of disgust.
Packing and leaving just before dawn, when Severus’s snores finally filled the room.
This was the first time Harry had seen Severus in over a year. This was not what Harry had wanted. Deep down he had known it would come to this. Needed to come to this.
“I betrayed you,” Harry admitted.
“You were recovering.”
“I was hurting myself,” Harry snapped. “And I was hurting you.”
Dizzy nausea when Echolls pushed into him.
Bitter triumph as he sank onto Shackelbolt.
McLaggen’s groans drowning out the memories.
Scrubbing himself raw in the shower after each encounter.
Trying to determine if he felt better or worse.
Severus said nothing, only watched him warily. Harry reached out for the phial, turning it in his fingers.
“The last time I felt real arousal was under the influence of this.” The brown glass glinted threateningly in the sunlight. “Some days I can’t decide if I wanted what happened to me then. Or if everyone after raped me, too. I never could separate it properly, like I wanted to.”
“Harry.” Cool fingers wrapped around his wrist as he thumbed the cork. “Don’t.”
“I miss you,” Harry whispered.
Severus pried the phial from his hands. “So you want me to rape you, too? Will it be easier to hate me, then?”
“I don’t want to hate you,” Harry snapped. “I want you to fuck me. I want to be that lost to…to desire…with someone I actually want.” Difficult to articulate. “I was out of my mind with lust. It was…” Awesome. It was despicably addictive. Arousing even now to recall how every inch of his flesh pricked with desire, so sensitive to every brush against him. “I want to feel that. With someone I trust. Please.”
“You will not use me to torment yourself further,” Severus snarled.
A banishment spell was being shaped by those thin lips, but Harry’s Summons was faster. Severus threw himself across the table, but Harry was already swallowing the potion. Thin hands clamped around his throat. Harry coughed, half of the potion still sitting on his tongue. Severus kissed him filthily, licking what remained from his mouth.
The chair fell from beneath Harry, the two crashing together to the floor. Rational thought fled as base instincts took them over. Clothes torn away. Flesh against flesh. Only spit to ease the way, too impatient to find something more suitable. Searing pain. Pain feeding pleasure. Rumbled moans. Hoarse cries. Bruising kisses.
It would be hours yet before reality returned to them. But at least Harry was not alone in the storm this time.