Apprenticed to Love 32/?
Title: Apprenticed to Love 32/? Author: Eriador117 Pairing: Snape/Harry Rating: Adult Summary: Six months after the end of the war Harry turns up Snape's apothecary to beg for a job; they both get more than they bargained for. Warnings: Au, angst, hermaphroditism, mpreg, slash, abuse. Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns the Potterverse; I just play in from time to time. Beta'd by Rakina, thank you so much :)
It was three days later before Harry handed Severus what he'd written. Severus hadn't seen Harry writing anything, so he guessed that Harry must have put down his thoughts while Severus was sleeping. Surprised, Severus took the parchment from Harry's hand; he didn't think Harry would want anyone else to read it. Severus knew how much Harry valued his privacy and he also knew how uncomfortable Harry was talking about things that were so personal.
"Are you sure, Harry?" Severus asked, for he didn't want to make things worse between them.
"Yes, but I can't be here while you read it. I'll just go outside and read for a bit, okay?"
"Of course, that's fine." Severus smiled when he saw the book Harry had chosen: one of the yaoi novels they'd picked up on their trip to Tokyo. Thankfully, it was one of the less explicit ones. Maybe reading about a love story between men might make Harry realise that sex did not have to be about abuse or having power over someone. Sometimes Severus forgot that Harry was still so young, for after everything Harry had seen and done he seemed much older. There was still a core of innocence and naivety about Harry despite everything he'd been through.
Shaking his head, Severus gripped Harry's parchment tighter in his fist and sat down cross-legged on the floor in order to read it, nervous as to what the contents might reveal.
I thought I'd write this to you as I certainly don't intend anyone else to read this, ever. I'm not sure where to start, really, so forgive me if this gets a bit rambling.
You already know the Dursleys didn't like me, hated me in fact, me and my freaky ways. When I was growing up, no one ever touched me unless it was to punish me for something. I never even had a hug for years, didn't even quite know what they were. When Mrs. Weasley hugged me after Cedric died, I just stood there like a block of wood; I couldn't hug her back because I didn't know how. Imagine it, Severus, I was fourteen years old and I didn't know how to hug! I felt even more of a freak than I did before. It helped though, helped that she touched me and didn't seem scared or afraid of me. It made me realise that perhaps I wasn't as dirty or as freaky as the Dursleys had made me out to be.
Ron and Hermione sometimes ask me why I hadn't told anyone sooner what the Dursleys had done to me, but how do you tell people something like that? You can't just blurt it out in the middle of a conversation: "Oh, by the way, my relatives used to starve me, beat me senseless and made me live in a cupboard", now can you?
Severus closed his eyes, seeing again that memory of a young Harry so hungry that he'd gobbled down scrambled egg from the floor, shards of plate and all. Instead of being looked after, he'd been hurt time and time again by the people who were supposed to care for him. They locked him in a cupboard, starved him and beat him senseless. This wasn't just a clip round the ear for some childish mischief. No wonder Harry had problems with touch and trust! It was the people Harry had trusted who let him down repeatedly and Severus knew they could include the headmaster in that too. He was the one who'd sent Harry to Privet Drive year after year. Severus sighed and let his eyes return to the parchment once more.
When Malfoy pointed his wand at me that day, I thought he was going to kill me. It bothered me a lot less than I thought it would have. I think part of me almost welcomed it, although I wouldn't have said I was feeling suicidal. I don't, by the way, so you needn't worry about that. As you know, he captured me instead. As soon as I landed in the Malfoy dungeons, my clothes disintegrated and disappeared completely. There were manacles and chains on the walls – I suppose you've seen them? It shouldn't have surprised me, but I was shocked when they moved by themselves and clamped around my wrists. I was always thin as you know, and the manacles seemed large enough that I would be able to slip out of them once they'd gone on, but I should have remembered they were magical.
They tightened to fit my wrist once they were on – no, that's not right. They tightened so much that they cut into my flesh and made my wrists bleed. It was so cold in there, Severus. There was nothing comfortable in that dungeon. No bed, not even a blanket like I'd had in my cupboard, certainly no pillows. The chains weren't loose enough to enable me to lie down anyway. If I slept, I hung suspended from the wall. I don't even remember if I slept at all. Muggles use that as a torture, you know – sleep deprivation. I was cold, I was hungry and I was thirsty, but I knew none of that would matter to Malfoy.
He didn't care about my comfort. I didn't know what he wanted from me, except to make me hurt. It won't surprise you that he used the Cruciatus curse on me, will it? Malfoy was an expert; he knew how long to make it last so that I was in agony, but not long enough to allow me to lose my mind from it. He wanted me to know what was happening to me, but he didn't want me mindless.
Do you know why I survived the Malfoy dungeons, Severus? It was because I was used to being starved and tortured, my body was used to it. Malfoy starved me. I don't know whether he was actively trying to kill me that way or if it was just another way of making me weak. Anyway, he seemed surprised that I was still alive after a fortnight without food. I did have water, one of the house-elves sneaked in every couple of days; maybe he'd been a friend of Dobby's.
Anyway, I survived and Malfoy decided he could make use out of me. Before he even touched me, I saw it in his eyes. The way he looked at me after he'd hit me with Cruciatus over and over again. Even just the way he was looking at me made me want to recoil, but I had nowhere to go. After the Cruciatus, it helps if you can curl up in the foetal position; it helps to ease the nerve endings. I couldn't do that, the chains wouldn't allow it. I thought I was going to die in there and at times I hoped I would. Then it would be over.
He never raped me. No, I should re-phrase that. He didn't force intercourse on me, but what he did was still rape as I never agreed to it and didn't want it. He left me a virgin, but what he did to me was rape just as much as if he'd fucked me through the dungeon floor!
There were a few watermarks on the parchment and Severus was awed anew at his husband's courage in telling him this. Oh, Harry.
I'm sure you know the Malfoy dungeons, Severus, and how they are not exactly blessed with facilities. I didn't even have buckets like the Dursleys sometimes let me use. No, there was a grating below where I hung on the wall that I had to squat over. The manacles were just loose enough to reach. It wasn't very dignified and let's not forget I was naked the whole time I was there. So I couldn't even use a bit of torn-off shirt to clean myself. I was disgusting and filthy, more like a wild animal than anything else and Lucius Malfoy loved seeing me like that. I think... I think I lost myself for a while, for how else to explain what I did?
I can't quite remember the first time he touched me, but all the ones after I do remember. He - he made me suck him off at first and then he would do things to me. Some days he would press against my stomach or between my thighs until he came, all the time whispering how I was his disgusting, filthy, little whore.
One day he gave me a potion and began sucking me. I think now it might have been some sort of aphrodisiac, because I didn't want what he was doing to me, but in the end I was begging him to let me come. I was so hard that it hurt but there was no relief to be had. None. After Moody rescued me, it was ages before I could even feel arousal again. I think Malfoy might have damaged me with what he'd done.
He never did let me come, of course, but that didn't matter. What mattered was that I asked for it. I wanted it. He was right – I was his filthy little whore, wasn't I?
Forgive me, Harry
Severus' hands were shaking as he finished reading; shaking with rage. He took a few deep breaths to calm himself down before he sought out his husband. As Severus slid the screen door aside, Harry glanced up from his book with silvery tears dripping down from beneath his glasses.
"Oh, God, you hate me now, don't you?" Harry scrambled up from the veranda, his book falling down onto the wood with a loud thud. Severus was quicker though and grabbed Harry in a bone-crushing hug. "Harry, there is nothing to forgive. Nothing. It wasn't your fault. None of it. None of it. My brave, brave, Harry."
"I don't feel very brave," Harry said, sniffling a bit. Harry sobbed against his midriff for a little while more. Severus sat down on the veranda, his legs hanging over the edge and cradled Harry in his arms. Severus would never have done such a thing in public, but there was no one here to see him comfort Harry so he did his best. Harry's sniffling dried up and they both sat in silence for a while. Severus wasn't sure what to say so he said nothing, waiting until Harry felt comfortable enough to talk.
"He – he didn't touch me after the potion changed me," Harry said at last, his face still hidden against Severus' shirt so that his voice came out muffled. "As if touching me when I was like that would even disgust him."
"I don't think that was the reason, Harry," Severus said softly. "If the reason he gave you the potion was to enable you to become pregnant by Greyback, then Lucius Malfoy could no longer touch you. Greyback would have wanted someone untouched and if Greyback had smelled Malfoy all over you, then Malfoy wouldn't have lived very long."
"You're disappointed in me, aren't you?" Harry asked as he lifted his head and stared at Severus with bright green eyes. "That I got aroused by what he did to me."
"No, Harry, I am not. I am proud of you for what you've endured and yet you've survived when lesser men might not have. I am not trying to belittle what happened to you, but the truth is that you survived what he did to you and he can't hurt you ever again. You have no reason to be afraid any more, Harry. He can't hurt you anymore."
"I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!"
"Ssh," Severus said trying to soothe him. "You have nothing to be sorry about."