Fic: Vinctus Anima (Snape/Harry, NC-17) for nefyr Author: serpenscript Recipient: nefyr Title: Vinctus Anima Rating: NC-17 Pairing(s): Harry/Snape, vague background Hermione/Ron Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters engaging in sexual activity are 16 years or older. Summary: When Harry's life ended in a world of fire, he never knew the price he'd pay to live. Warnings: dub-con, orgasm denial, toys, D/s, bdsm, mind play, overuse of italics Word Count: 2,792 Author's Notes: This fic is undoubtedly one of the hardest ones for me to write. No matter how I tried to lighten it, my mind was fixated on the poem the fic spun off of, and as a result ended up a bit dark. Hopefully it's still enjoyable to you; I tried to work in as many of your kinks as possible. And thanks to the Mods for betaing last minute when my usual betas went AWOL!
Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. --Robert Frost
The world rained fire; the sky was red; the music of heaven was drowned out by the screams of the fallen, the tears of the survivors. Around them, Hogwarts burned, even the stones burning, unquenchable, with Fiendfyre.
Harry inhaled, coughed when the burning air seared his lungs, and swiped at his streaming eyes, leaving a swathe of soot across his face. The tears streamed through it, leaving pale rivers through the soot. Harry was incapable of caring about his appearance; everything was focused on one goal: to find Voldemort, and end the war. Until the war was over, this madness would never cease. The prejudice, the carnage, the suffering - it was caused by one egomaniac's delusional paranoia and hunger for power.
Voldemort suddenly loomed ahead of him; the pale, serpentine features strangely untouched by soot, as if this was truly just a walk in the park for him. His face was an inhuman rictus of joy, his wand twirled loosely in one pale, scaled hand. He was laughing, the shrill insane laughter of those drunk on destruction.
Harry relied on his best, most tried-and-true spell. "Expelliarmus!" He felt a moment's relief when he saw the madman's wand fly from his slack grip - but in the next moment the wand flew in an arc to return to Voldemort's hand. Thus armed, he turned to face Harry, mouth still stretched in a sickening expression of delight.
"Ah, the Boy Who Lived," he sneered. "Did you think I left everything to chance? Did you think me foolish enough to not study my enemy, however pitiful?" His voice was mocking, taunting, and the twirling wand was pointed at Harry. "I, the most powerful wizard in the world, shall certainly never be defeated by a mere disarming spell! But you, now - " His fingers curled lovingly around his wand, and his eyes, those frightening red irises, narrowed to slits, and his lips framed the words with supreme confidence.
Time seemed to slow to a crawl for Harry; if he were honest with himself, he never expected to live. And if he was going to die, well - he wasn't going to die the way Voldemort expected him to, churning with rage, despair, HATE. No.
Instead, he filled his mind with other things - Hermione, Ron, all the Weasleys; Remus; the other members of the Order of the Phoenix. And he thought of his Mum, Lily, and how she'd died protecting him. Now he knew what drove her to do it. It was the same thing they were all doing. So when the flash of green light flared towards him, he spread his arms - and smiled.
He didn't see Voldemort's scream of rage. He didn't see the way his own eyes, crackling with green light and never so much alive as at that moment, twinkled. He didn't see the converging Order members, wands drawn, spitting out curses in unconscious tandem.
He didn't see the way Voldemort, stripped of every horcrux at last, crumpled under their assault, finally nothing more than a corpse, bereft of life.
And he didn't see the man, cloaked as a Death Eater, thin and pale with greasy black hair and hooked nose, with a blood-stained bandage around his neck. He didn't see the penetrating black eyes, nor the thin lips mouthing a spell, wand pointed at him.
He never felt the thin tether wrapping itself about his soul as he fell into darkness, finding peace at last.
* * * * *
The Floo at Grimmauld place flared briefly. The emerald flames were match to the eyes of the young man patiently laying out a table for supper; when he was done, he dropped gracefully into a kneeling position next to the chair at the head of the table. It was set for only one.
Severus Snape shrugged out of his cloak and overrobes, letting it fall to the floor. His bound slave, little more than a house elf, would pick them up later, clean and freshen and press them, and return them to their proper places by morning. Then he seated himself at the table. When he snapped his fingers, the slave rose fluidly and disappeared into the kitchen, reappearing with a tureen of soup, which he ladled into Snape's bowl. Once he had done the same with drink and bread, he was instructed to sit. With the same fluid grace he sank into a kneeling position, and rested his head against his master's knee. He wore only an over-large white apron, big enough to wrap nearly all the way around his slender frame, only allowing brief glimpses of the firm arse cheeks.
The ex-Death-Eater brushed the man's dark hair back from his face, staring impassively down into the green eyes and the jagged, lightning bolt scar on his forehead. "Minister Kingsley wishes to speak with you," he said in his abrupt manner. "Weasley and Granger as well. I am inclined to allow it."
Harry quivered under his gaze; he knew from experience by now that such outside contact only came at a steep price. The fact that he'd survived at all had come at the cost of complete control.
* * * * *
When he had been hit by the Avada Kedavra, he found himself on a shining bridge. Either end disappeared into darkness, so he sat, unwilling to leave the firm ground underneath him. The stone was a pale, translucent white, and it glowed luminously. When he pressed his hands against the stone, he was astonished to see the soot, blood, and grime from the battle was gone, and his hands were clean. Even the tan he'd gained from living on the run was gone.
Footsteps made the stone reverberate; cautiously he stood and turned, hands reaching for a wand no longer there.
He wasn't surprised to see Snape; after all, he'd died, hadn't he? But he was surprised by the intensity of the older man when he grabbed him by the shoulders, fingers bruising, and shook him. "I did not endure such humiliation just for you to die, Potter," he snarled.
"I had to die," Harry said, green eyes wide in his pale face. "I was the last horcrux."
"And you did, and the Dark Lord has fallen for good. But there is still a chance for you."
Harry's mind went blank. A chance at life? To be with Ginny, to not fear every moment that a dark lord was trying to kill him? "How?"
"It's a spell called Vinctus Anima. It's the equivalent to a tether that keeps your soul tied to your body. It was cast on you as you died - but death will not relinquish you without an appropriate sacrifice."
Harry's eyes narrowed. "And what price would that be?" Beneath them, the bridge began to tremble, uncertain beneath their feet.
"Your innocence." He ignored the boy's protests that after such a war he was hardly innocent. "Death changes a person irrevocably; you cannot cross the veil and return still unsullied. Innocence is the price. Will you pay it? You do not have time to deliberate; already the tether is failing," he warned. The bridge below them was shrinking, dropping glowing rocks into the yawning maw of the chasm below.
Harry spared a glance down; he couldn't see the bottom. That decided him. He looked up at Snape, his eyes shadowed by the darkness around them - the darkness of death. "I'll pay it."
Snape released Harry's shoulders, gripped the collar of his tee-shirt, and yanked, tearing it down to the waist and exposing the pale, lightly muscled expanse of his chest. Before Harry could protest or question, Snape had placed his palm flat against his chest and hissed, "Commuto castius pro regnum!"
Fire blazed under his hand; red threads of heat leaped from Harry's chest and wrapped around Snape's hand; he tugged on them, and Harry found himself collapsing to his knees, gasping for breath. "What - what was that? What did you do?"
Snape deftly knelt behind Harry, and in one swift move, divested him of pants and trousers. "Accuro!"
Harry barely noticed the tingle of a spell, or how it left him feeling vaguely wet - his blood was pounding in his ears, and beneath him the bridge grew thinner and more and more transparent. When the Potions Master breached him, though, his mind was wrenched away from their imminent danger. His back arched and his hands curled on the translucent stone; fire bloomed up his spine. "No!" he gasped, and tried to lurch forward, to crawl for safety.
Snape pulled him back down on his prick, grinding his hips against the boy's arse. "You agreed to the price, Potter, don't tell me you'd honestly prefer death over this?" The bridge beneath them bucked, and Harry almost vomited from the combined lurching and the pain of being breached.
"Fuck - just hurry before the bridge goes," he gasped, keeping his eyes fixed on the ends of the shrinking bridge.
Snape withdrew, slammed back in, withdrew, angling for that bundle of nerves. "Eloquently put, Potter," he sneered, but he increased his pace, fingers digging into Harry's hips hard enough to leave marks; the crumbling bridge was whisper-quiet, drowned out by harsh breathing and the slap of skin on skin.
Then Snape wrapped one hand around Harry's half-hard prick and began stroking it roughly. "No, don't - " Harry gasped, and the bridge lurched, and this time the stone beneath them gave out. Falling through it was like plunging into icewater - but Snape's legs were twined with his, his cock buried in Harry's arse, one strong arm tight around his waist and the other still fisting his erection.
"Come!" Snape gasped into his ear as they fell, and Harry cried out as his orgasm was wrung from him. The intensity of orgasm in the midst of falling made the darkness explode into white, and he passed out.
He woke on the battlefield; rain was falling, helping to smother the fires still sullenly trying to devour the castle. He felt cold, chilled to the bone as if he'd been through an ice storm, but he felt no pain - and he was alive.
He heard voices, and weeping; groaning, he turned his head, and saw Ginny kneeling next to him; her face was red and puffy from tears. Soot and blood stained her skin, and wonderingly he lifted his own hands and held them in front of his face. Like before, they were covered with the grime. "It was just a dream," he thought with sick relief.
Ginny opened her eyes and cried out, sharply, when she saw Harry was alive, awake. "Harry!" Reaching out to him, she called out for Hermione and the other Weasleys, never letting her eyes leave Harry's face.
"Gin," he said wonderingly, and tried to sit up, to reach out to hold her hand, to tell her how he felt, now he was alive again. But the moment he did - pain flared up his spine. Identical pain flared over his chest, and he gasped in agony. Frantically, he clawed at his shirt, pulling it open at the neck to reveal his chest.
Runes glowed vivid red on his skin, as if he'd been branded and instead of his flesh burning, his flesh had become molten metal itself. He felt the blood drain from his face. "No," he whispered, "No, I don't understand, I already paid - "
Like a shadow presence behind him, he could feel Snape in his head, mentally present. "Oh yes," his voice whispered, dark and sibilant and exulting, "you paid, and will pay, again and again, every day for as long as you live - every day you cheat death, you will pay with complete obedience." He twisted his wrist, and the thin lines twined around his hand flared.
Harry found himself on his feet, swaying, with no notion of how he'd gotten there. "Make your apologies, Potter," Snape sneered, unheard by the others. "You won't be seeing them again. Better make it convincing. Blame them for putting you in this position."
Harry found that all his skill in fighting Imperio meant nothing in resisting Severus Snape's orders. When he spoke, his voice was bitter and scathing, revealing none of the rage and anguish beneath it. "I'm done with you lot," he spat at them, making them stop in their mad dash to see him. "I fought your war, sacrificed everything for you, and now that it's done, I'm leaving!"
Next to her, Ron stiffened and clenched his fist. "You're bloody well not the only one who sacrificed everything!" he shouted.
Internally, Harry nearly broke down, remembering Fred, remembering - but Harry-controlled-by-Snape sneered back coldly, "Like you have the right to call me on it, Ron - after leaving us high and dry for the sake of a decent meal?" Before Hermione had a chance to speak up for him, he whirled on her. "And you!" he snarled, "Always naively thinking every answer is found in a book. If you're so damn clever, why couldn't you find a way to keep me from dying?"
And then he swung to face Ginny, who paled and stepped back reflexively. "And you," he hissed, "You think I want a girl like you? Always want to be right beside me - controlling me, more like. I don't need you, and more, I don't want you!" She collapsed to her knees again, tears running afresh down her face, almost unnoticeable with the rain sticking everyone's hair to their faces and hissing into the ashes. In his head, Harry howled silently, battering at the rigid control Snape held over him, before Disapparating away at the man's mocking command.
* * * * *
Harry flooed smoothly into the Minister's office; nothing in his demeanor or body language gave away the fact that there was a large dildo in his arse, charmed to vibrate at various intervals, or that he wore a cock ring that prevented him from orgasm - Severus Snape was a jealous master, and seldom allowed him release. When he sat down on the chair and the dildo stroked across his prostrate and he saw stars, his face still remained stony and angry. Snape, after all, had ordered him to be angry and unforgiving towards them.
He felt odd, actually sitting on a chair, and was acutely aware of the brush of fabric across his straining prick; it'd been weeks since Snape had allowed him to come. If he did alright here - if he did as he was told -
He stood, stiffly, and braced himself when Hermione and Ron entered the room, flanking Shacklebolt. "Harry! How are you?" Hermione exclaimed, rushing towards him, but Ron held back, resentment and hurt still running strong. All the better, Harry thought; seeing them made him suffer. They suffered when they saw him. The sooner they broke all ties, the better for all involved.
"Better without your interference," he snapped at Hermione, ignoring the sharp pain he felt when she winced. "I don't want anything to do with your world anymore!"
Her lip quavered, but she held her chin up and met his stony gaze. "The war's over, you can be safe in the wizarding world now. You did what you had to, Harry, but you don't have to do any more."
He wanted to laugh at her - she actually believed what she said. She had no idea how wrong she was.
The dildo changed its frequency; his legs would quiver, had he not been ordered to show no sign of his debauchery. He shook his head and returned her gaze. "Yes, I paid, and I keep paying, and will pay every single day of my life, and wish I were still dead! Death is preferable to this!" He didn't realise he was shouting until he saw them flinch away. Even Kingsley was staring at him with pity.
He swallowed; his mouth was dry, and he almost forgot the dildo, the cock ring, his master waiting on the other side of the Floo. He didn't even realise he'd begun to cry. "I'll never stop paying." He turned to the Floo and grabbed a handful of Floo powder and flung it into the Floo, shouted "Grimmauld Place!" and tumbled through.
He sprawled, boneless and limp, before his Master with the coal-black eyes. When Snape snapped his fingers, Harry dragged himself over to kneel next to him, resting his shaggy head against the man's knee.
Snape ran a hand through Harry's hair, exposing his tearstained face. And he smiled down at his slave. "Well done, pet."
I have never studied Latin, so I know naught of conjugating Latin, so forgive me if these are butchered. The spells roughly mean:
* Vinctus Anima - "Spirit Binding" * Commuto castius pro regnum - "Exchange purity/chastity for control"