FIC: 'Broken Down Rapunzel' for shadowycat Recipient:shadowycat Author:ze_dragon Title: Broken Down Rapunzel Rating: R (to be safe) Pairings: Sybill/Snape Word Count: 1206 Summary:...the world snapped into sharp focus. No longer blurred around the edges. No longer pretty. Author's Notes: So much thanks to my beta and cheerleader. Seriously. I can't even verbalize how this story wouldn't have happened without her.
The first month of relative captivity after she was rescued from faceless enemies was passed in a drunken stupor, punctuated by discussions with the Headmaster about things she didn't know and questions better left to her great -aunt.
She always left with thanks on her tongue that she only partly meant, and he always commented that they would have to have more such enlightening conversations in the future.
Sybill was glad when they ended.
The alcohol she drank dulled everything, made it blurry and difficult to distinguish things. It made the students entertaining as well -- entertaining to look at and entertaining to listen to with their lack of understanding for the Gift.
The Gift none of them had.
The Gift that she couldn't summon on her own as it was, but that she, unlike the students, understood. Understanding was overrated.
The alcohol became a friend and then a lover. The best she ever had. One that wouldn't look odd through her thick spectacles or ask if she owned a brush.
When the whispers started, she was sure that they were in her head. That the voices from Beyond had finally reached out to her with the cold spiritual fingers which were her birthright.
It was only the vicious tongues of students.
Then he came. She only noticed because Slughorn had left. Sluggy slug slug Slughorn, her friend and compatriot, but most importantly, the obtainer of alcohol. She never had any problem ignoring his lectures, for her own good, he'd say. The whisky was always worth the coins she pressed into his palm.
It was a Sunday. Slughorn's chambers were no longer hung with cheerfully coloured tapestries; the stone walls were now bare, cold and damp under her fingers when she rested her hand against them to keep her balance.
"Sybill Trelawney. Not the girl you were when you left school from all accounts." His voice was smooth and ugly, and it filled the shadows in her head.
He was dangerous.
"No." Her voice trembled. A month under the thumb of her great-aunt had changed all that. All that promise, but none of the talent. Absolutely worthless. Might as well marry her off and see if she passes on the Gift to a whelp.
He poured the whisky, and she drank it. Again and again.
With fuzzy thoughts and tripping feet, she slept off the buzzing under her skin slumped beside the ladder that would have taken her to her tower, her safe tower, had she just been able to climb it.
Nothing could stop her from returning. The ice cracked as the liquor poured over it, pale amber in color and better than anything her lost friend Sluggy slug slug Slughorn had managed to acquire for her.
"Your hair," he said. "It used to be long."
She tugged her fingers through the blonde tangles, now more straw-like than it used to be, tangled and bunched and kept out of the way by scarves that she strategically tied each morning.
"I don't remember," she said. Liquid slid over and under her tongue. It was so very nice.
Hands on her knee and fingers on her wrists started to follow the questions, but she never minded since the questions and fingers and hands came with a glass, damp with beads of condensation, that she could wrap her own fingers around.
"You didn't always wear spectacles, either." Cool fingers, which hid the warmth of blood pulsing underneath the skin, touched her temples, drawing the thick, heavy glasses off by the frames and the world snapped into sharp focus. No longer blurry around the edges. No longer pretty.
"They make it easier to see," she whined.
He didn't believe her and didn't give them back. Stumbling along the corridor, she couldn't take a sure step.
Her knees and palms were raw when she took the glass of whisky from him at the end of the following week.
"Please," she begged. "I can't see. The world isn't meant to be seen in such a way."
He held out the glasses to her, but jerked them back when she reached for them. Even to her own ears, the whimper that escaped past her lips was pathetic. She had thought that she'd lost the ability to label something as pathetic a long time ago.
The tips of his fingers closed around her wrist, and he pulled her toward him across the small table. Her skirt caught on the arm of the chair; the edge of the tabletop bit into the tender flesh of her stomach.
When he kissed her, it was biting and caustic. Nothing sweet and kind. She wouldn't know what to do with it at all had it been. The kiss was sharp and the alcohol dull. In her head it all went together rather well.
Hands slid up along her body, just as bony as the ribcage they passed over, cupping her breasts under her shirt and she squirmed, uncomfortable with the familiarity.
Not that it meant anything. It would be ridiculous for it to mean something. It was the alcohol that meant things.
"Alcohol is not a suitable substitute for food," he whispered, and she nodded.
She must have been more drunk than she thought as she lurched up the ladder to her tower. She would lock herself in and never leave. It was safe. She would be safe.
Only when her throat felt parched and dry, as if she had not had anything to drink for decades, did she leave.
Maybe it had been decades. There was no telling.
The walls were not cold any longer and the chairs no longer were made of wood when she sat down and took the glass he offered.
"Minerva said that you came down to eat among the students last week. I've been expecting you."
She licked dry lips. Of course he had been. He was deliverance and captivity all in one. She wanted one and not the other, but never sure which. It was only natural that she would return eventually.
He took her on the bed. Shuddering when he came, and she thought that maybe she had enjoyed it as well. It was colorful in the back of her mind and made the world look different in a new way. A way that might be closer to what she was searching for.
She kept going back for more. More alcohol and more sex against the walls or on the bed or while leaning over him in a chair or letting him take her from behind. As long as she matched the thrill of his thrusts with the cool slide of alcohol across her tongue until it was thrumming in her veins. She needed both now and one would not do without the other.
It wasn't happiness she felt. It wasn't love. It wasn't completeness. There was no tolerance; his words stung and he saw too much. It wasn't even acceptance.
She didn't know what it was.
But she moved around her tower, dazed with just enough alcohol to help the glasses blur the world into something that she wanted to see, more confident in her steps then she had been.