TEAM DRAGON ENTRY: Belleamante "Vigil" Title:**Vigil (at the author's journal)** Author:belleamante Team: Dragon Genre(s): Angst Prompt(s): The Veil, Flesh Memory Rating/Warnings/Kinks: NC17 *Dub/NonCon.* Word Count: 2050 Summary: The Veil was cold. A/N: Thanks to the lovely joanwilder and ivylady for being my betas. Any mistakes left are my own. Also thanks to the moderators and the rest of Team Dragon for being so amazing and supportive. Finally, thanks to shadowen for listening to me whine and helping me plot this out.
22 November 1998
The Veil was cold and welcoming. Harry had not noticed it the first time, so caught up in his terror and sorrow. It was bitterly cold in the room, and Harry's breath fogged up in front of him like dragon smoke.
For the rest of the Wizarding world, the war ended six months ago, but for Harry it was different. It had been six months of fear, six months of mourning, six months of constant human companionship, with friends and strangers constantly surrounding him. He wanted to get away from it all. He wanted to spend time with the dead who were always watching him, those who were ever-present in the back of his mind.
He was sitting cross-legged on the floor much as a child-much as a chlimu might, within an arm's length of the peaceful, quiet nothingness of death. In those miserably long, too short six months, there had been no real time for mourning, but now that the world had begun to calm once again, Harry wanted to spend time with his dead. Something drew him to the Veil, partly because he knew that no one else would be there, so he could mourn in silence.
The Veil was exactly as he had remembered it, the voices soft and meaningless. This time, Harry swore he could understand the occasional word, as if his own dead had stepped closer to the edge of the gap that divided them and were speaking to him.
Time passed slowly, but Harry did not feel it. He relished the cold and the closeness with the death that he'd escaped only by the hand of the Dark Lord.
Harry sat outside the Veil for what seemed like hours, waiting for something he could not describe. Finally he felt it: a touch, a breathy caress across his skin. It began gently, but Harry was thrown backwards when the memory forced its way into his thoughts.
Someone caressed his hair. He'd never felt it before and was taken aback. He'd had people tug it and cut it and pat it, but never that gentle touch of fingers across his scalp. Harry thought he could lose himself in that sensation alone.
There was the soft feel of breath across his forehead before lips pressed against his skin. Pleasant chills rolled up Harry's skin, across his arms and down his back.
When Harry returned to consciousness, he was lying a few feet from the Veil, sprawled out on his back. There was no sound or image in these visions, only the sensation across his skin. He didn't know where the memory came from or whose fingers caressed his hair, but he knew that he was desperate to find out, needed it more than he'd ever needed anything before. There was something so peaceful about gentleness after violence, and Harry craved more.
Slowly, achingly, Harry made his way back to the front of the Veil, though his head throbbed, and sat himself as before, waiting.
25 November 1998
The Veil was cold. It had been three days since Harry had last visited, and he was relieved to be back in this place of cold silence and away from all of the noise above.
The voices were louder this time, as if his brief encounter with the other side had drawn more of the dead to him. Harry sat down again, legs crossed underneath him, and stared intently, hoping for something, anything to come to him again.
It was hours before there was any response, and this time there was no warning, only a flash of white, and pain.
The lips were soft, and Harry opened his mouth invitingly. There was a brief caress of a tongue against his own, but then the lips moved, kissing down his chin and onto his neck. The flicker of a tongue against warm skin, followed by a sharp nip of teeth made Harry's heart race frantically.
Harry's hands met the solid back of another, obviously male person. He dug his short nails into the man's skin. The man jerked in response and attacked-sucked and bit and licked at Harry's neck in payback.
Then, the lips and hands and body moved away suddenly, causing Harry to groan. In that moment, Harry could hear everything that was happening; his loud, uneven breath was matched by the uneven breath of the other, but still Harry could not see him.
There was a brief pause before Harry felt the lips press softly against his own once more.
When Harry woke, he was sweating and his head throbbed with unbelievable pain, but he smiled. He didn't know who the person was, but they'd obviously cared for him. Some part of him was concerned that he couldn't remember the images he'd seen, but he brushed away his fears, more concerned with needing to know who was behind the images.
He had to find out, needed to know with every fiber of his soul, needed to see if he could save him.
3 December 1998
The Veil was cold. Harry was thinner than before, pale and drawn. There were dark circles under his eyes. He hadn't been sleeping, so obsessed he was with the Veil and the world beyond.
This time he did not sit, but lay down in front of it, his eyes closed and waiting. He didn't have to wait long before the images flashed again.
Harry's body was hot and shaking, sensations rolling through him that he didn't know how to describe. Every single touch to his skin was amplified, electrified, and the sensations concentrated in the small of his back, causing him to arch and moan.
There was the quick flicker of a tongue across his neck and hot breath in his ear, and then nails dragging across his chest and stomach. Harry tried to move his hands but found that they were bound above his head. He fought briefly against them and shook his head frantically. There was sound and sensation, oh god sensation, but he could not see and now he needed to see, needed to see who bound him and touched him and aroused him so painfully.
As if the man heard his thoughts, Harry felt something slip away from his eyes, and he was staring into the amused face of Severus Snape.
Harry had a moment's thought that this should be unusual but was distracted when Snape moved lower and took Harry's erection into his mouth.
Harry woke from the images, screaming and panting, his chest heaving violently. Snape. It was Snape, and Harry began to wonder if these were real memories, if perhaps he and Snape had actually been lovers or something of the sort. Some part of him couldn't believe that this was possible; they'd always hated each other. Or so he'd thought. Maybe the Obliviate spell or potion or whatever had caused him to forget, had adjusted his memories more than that.
But, no, he knew that they'd hated each other. Everyone had mentioned it when he fought to have Snape's name cleared.
The throbbing in his head was more intense, and it took him a while to be able to sit, let alone stand. He felt frantic and nauseous and confused. He felt like he couldn't quite think, couldn't make his brain function correctly.
7 December 1998
The Veil was cold. Harry shivered violently and huddled down inside his Muggle sweatshirt, which hung off of him like it had once belonged to Dudley. Harry vaguely remembered that it had once fit him. His glasses slid down low on his nose, and his green eyes seemed even brighter over the dark circles.
He shook as he sat, his body weak and tired from lack of sleep. He'd had dreams — arousing, painful dreams — about his time at the Veil, and he snapped at everyone who tried to interfere. He had come back three days in a row and waited for hours with no luck, no images, and no sound. The voices had returned to their usual murmurs. Harry was violently angry with Snape.
He wanted more than anything to retreat into those memories where someone touched him for some other reason than pity, where he didn't have to deal with the fact that people were dead, and where most importantly, Snape was still alive. But Snape had not come back for days now, and Harry felt lost.
Tears ran down his cheeks as he sobbed into the Veil. He stepped closer, closer, closer still, until he could almost feel the breath of Death on his cheeks.
The memories this time threw him backwards, cracking his skull on cold ground.
Harry was bound once more, fighting against the cuffs around his wrists. All of the sensations were there this time. He could see and hear, as well as feel, but he could not speak.
Snape stood above him, smirking, as Harry tried to move. This time was different from the last. Harry had never felt scared before, unsure perhaps, but not scared. Now, he felt that his heart was going to beat free of his chest but not from arousal.
Let me go, Harry thought. Please. Snape continued circling him, watching him intently.
"Afraid now, boy? After all this time?" Snape asked, voice familiar but darkened with something Harry had never heard before. "Well, it's too late for that."
Snape waved his wand, and Harry found himself lying on his stomach, and his body tensed in panic. A hand traced its way across his backside, gently yet firmly. He felt something hard press against him and his body tensed even further.
Suddenly, he felt Snape's breath at his ear. "You're a fool, boy, if you think I'm not doing this for your own good."
Harry only had time to register that Snape sounded quite pleased with himself before the pain began.
Harry woke screaming once again, but this time it was not from any sort of arousal but from agony. He pulled himself from the ground, pausing to heave once, losing only stomach acid because he hadn't eaten, but he ran, ran with all of his strength from the room, never pausing to look back.
1 January 1999
The Veil was cold. That, at least, was consistent. It looked exactly as Harry remembered, though he felt as if his world had changed around him. He'd spent the last three weeks alternately sick and angry. Hermione and Ron had stayed with him while he was sick, but he'd been unable to make himself tell them why he was so angry. He couldn't seem to get the image of Snape's pleased smile out of his head.
Now, however, all trace of sickness was gone — his skin was vibrant and alive, flushed and angry. His hands clenched futilely at his sides, and tears slid down his cheeks unhindered.
"Why?" he asked quietly. There was no response; he hadn't really expected one right away.
"Why? Why did you do that?" His voice was louder, surer.
"Why?" He was screaming now, repeating the same word over and over.
Harry dropped down onto his knees, sobbing, and placed his forehead on the ground, his throat no longer allowing him to speak from around the tears.
The tears faded with time but Harry did not move. He stayed there for hours, cold and alone, but there was no response from beyond the Veil.
He stood finally, his body shaking, and stared hard into that unknown place.
"Why?" he asked, one final time, though he knew there would be no answer.
He turned on one heel, his back to the Veil, and took a deep, painful breath. This place had once been his place of escape, but now he wanted nothing more than to escape from it, to the noise and security of the moving, breathing life he'd abandoned for the last two months. Right now, he wanted the comfort of Mrs. Weasley's hugs, the reassurance of Hermione's advice, and the familiarity of Ron's bewildered aggression. They'd take care of him. He took another breath.
Closing his eyes briefly in one final act of mourning, Harry walked from the room, never looking back.
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