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Payback


present

Harry hesitated, then took a look back. The castle was clearly defined against a red and purple sky, the windows and roofs of the towers glittering in the sun. Hogwarts painted in the changing colors of dawn was an exceptionally beautiful sight.

For eight years Hogwarts had been his only home, and he would miss it. There he had met, for the first time in his life, people who soon became his friends, there he'd learned, lived, breathed -- there, he'd grown from a child into a man. There his parents had studied and gotten to know each other. There Harry had felt the first stirrings of love. But all that time was over now. A new era had just begun, one in which he'd have to make a life for himself out in the world.

Still, Harry was sure he would always remember Hogwarts with a lot of nostalgia and a bit of regret. He sighed.

Startled by a soft hoot, Harry turned to see Hedwig fly from a tree on the edges of the Forbidden Forest. Perching on his shoulder, she nipped his ear affectionately. "There you've been hiding!" he said. He stroked the soft, fine feathers and smiled when she closed her big yellow eyes in bliss.

Only to almost drop her when, behind them, the castle exploded.

***

eight minutes earlier

The staircase trembled but couldn't move since it had been locked magically in place. The gargoyle guarding it screeched and tried to flap its wings or tear apart the intruder with its enormous beak, but it was also bound by the spell and had to watch helplessly as the door into the Great Hall closed behind a swirl of black fabric.

There was a flash of red and gold, but Fawkes was too late. The phoenix's tears dropped onto the still, bearded face of its master, but they could neither erase the frozen expression of disbelief nor the waxy stillness that had come over Albus Dumbledore's features. Surprisingly, there was a lot of blood. Of the many things the Unforgivables were known for, blood was not one of them.

Had the phoenix had the heart to leave and look for the other members of the Order presently staying at Hogwarts, he would have found similarly disturbing sights.

The body of Remus Lupin, who had been recalled as Hogwarts' DADA teacher the year before, lay at the door that led to the teachers' rooms. Evidently he'd also intended to stay for the Christmas holidays and hadn't left with the Hogwarts Express the day before. His face showed, incredibly, an almost peaceful expression with a hint of a smile in the corners of his mouth. His wand had rolled away from the half-open fingers of his stiff hand.

Kingsley Shacklebolt, momentarily at Hogwarts for whatever reasons known only to himself and possibly Dumbledore, could be found behind the door leading to the dungeons. Shacklebolt's features were forever locked in surprise and fury, and the dark pool of blood under him still spread across the floor.

Down in the dungeons, in the Potion Master's chambers, another body lay sprawled on the floor, loose-limbed and still graceful even in death. Surprisingly, Severus Snape was not wearing the black, voluminous robe and the high-collared waistcoat he so favoured, but simply a white shirt and black trousers. His wand was still hidden in his clothes; he hadn't had the time to draw it.

Somewhere else in the castle, Filch and Mrs Norris still moved on their rounds, not having encountered anything amiss.

That changed when Mrs Norris entered the bathroom usually haunted by Moaning Myrtle, where she found a curious contraption that was bubbling green liquid, with steam rising from its tubes and green ooze dripping to the floor. She meowed, turned tail and ran.

***

twenty minutes earlier

Snape's face was set in the old vaguely threatening scowl Harry remembered so well ever since he'd first seen the man in the Great Hall, when he'd first set foot into Hogwarts at the age of eleven. He was no longer scared by it now and grinned impudently instead.

He'd also become used to the outwardly patient expression that accompanied the hiss of, "Another temper tantrum, Potter? Wasn't it time you behaved a bit more maturely?"

He stared back just as blackly, a set expression in his green eyes. "You may be my husband, Severus, but you don't own me. I said I will leave. Now. And you'd better not try to hold me back, or you will regret it."

He slid the silver ring off his finger and threw it at his husband, who answered the action with a look of profound shock. Snape's mouth opened and closed, silently. "How... how did you...?"

"Surprised? You should be. After all, it was not easy for me to find the strength to leave."

***

two months earlier

This was the second small coffin borne into the small cemetery of Hogwarts, and the pall bearers wept silently under the slight weight. The parents both gave hardly an outward sign of how much this had to hurt them; another baby child born healthy and dead within a month of childbirth. Male pregnancies were always unsafe, the mourners later told to each other in whispers, and how sad that it should have happened a second time to someone so deserving of a little joy in his life!

They cast commiserate glances at the famous Harry Potter and his husband of two years, Severus Snape. How romantic it must have been! The saviour of the wizarding world marrying the Order's secret spy among Voldemort's Death Eaters -- a hero who had saved his life countless times! Harry had defeated Voldemort two years ago when he'd still been in his sixth year at Hogwarts, and spent the next few months in the infirmary, totally barred from visitors.

Rita Skeeter and many other journalists had been less than pleased, but at least the Ministry had had the good grace to issue weekly statements as to where Harry Potter's state of health was concerned. Of the now famous Order members, Remus Lupin had shied away from the light of the public -- as usual -- and Severus Snape had just snarled and stormed off glowering -- also as usual. Albus Dumbledore had evidently been needed at Harry Potter's bedside and had only given an encouraging statement to the press when the boy had been on the mend.

When Harry Potter had finally been well enough to face the adoring public, he'd already had a ring at his finger. The headmaster had cheerfully announced that the marriage had already taken place a few days ago in a circle of the spouses' friends and family, and that it had been a marriage of love. Harry had been pale from his barely healed wounds, Snape had been uncommonly red, and they'd kissed before Harry had been forced to be carried back to bed because he'd been one step away from fainting of exhaustion.

Nine months later, he'd given birth to an adorable little baby boy, and the whole of Britain's magical community had been devastated when little Sylvanus James had died a mere three weeks later.

They had all rejoiced at this second pregnancy. And for it to end so tragically as well...

No wonder Harry Potter's face was frozen in grief, and while they would have preferred him to turn to his equally mourning husband, many understood when he brushed off Severus Snape's hand and stormed away with a bowed head.

It would all become alright again, wouldn't it? After all, they loved each other.

***

two years and four months earlier

The final confrontation would be coming soon, Harry knew, and he was equally apprehensive and, oddly enough, impatient for it to actually happen. The waiting part was what was driving him crazy, and neither Hermione's attempts to distract him with studying sessions nor Ron's tries to get him to relax at Quidditch practice were sufficient to make him forget that the Dark Lord most certainly had a not-so-nice surprise waiting for him. After all, Voldemort had -- in one way or another -- always confronted him at the end of a school year.

Harry would have preferred to get it over with, as simple as that.

He felt as prepared as he'd ever be, and that was to no small amount due to the rigorous training Snape had forced upon him. Harry gazed fondly at the black, still figure next to him on the balcony and refrained from starting a conversation -- he had no wish to be the victim of his teacher's cutting tongue tonight; he just wanted to enjoy the quiet, the night air, and the company.

He still missed Sirius, and he always would, but he no longer blamed Snape for his godfather's death.

Snape. He smiled in the darkness, a giddy feeling in his stomach. Snape.

***

One year and five months earlier

"I don't want it!" he said, and knew that the terror he felt was resonating in his voice, "You can't make me!"

"Oh, but I can, boy," the silky voice responded, and was there amusement in it? Oh god, amusement. Snape was sick. They were all sick and insane if they expected him to...

"The second prophecy was quite specific, if you recall. It said that from the blood of the saviour another kind of light would rise, and that the world would make a full circle again. Old would return, even more ancient fall to ruin, and hope would shine from darkness." Snape made a step forward. "We need that hope, Potter; we need to get back to the days before the Dark Lord tore everything apart. The 'saviour' is you, as much as it pains me to admit it. After all, you defeated Voldemort and even managed to survive and tell the tale. So it shouldn't be too far-fetched to extrapolate that 'from your blood', meaning from your bloodline -- the Potter bloodline," he sneered, "a child will be born who'll make this world a better place. Isn't that what you want?"

"I don't want to sleep with you, I don't want to bear your child, hell, I didn't even want to marry you; these are my fucking wants!" Harry screamed, and felt the hysteria rise. His skin crawled. What had happened to everyone he knew? Was there no way he could make them listen?

But hysteria wouldn't help him here, and he knew it. He'd have to stay calm and in control, or the monitoring spells would alert Madam Pomfrey and she'd come running, Dumbledore in tow. He didn't need to be stunned, filled up with a Calming Draught and put in bed with his head all floating and cocooned in cotton wool.

They'd said this would only be temporary, and that the Ministry had insisted. Oh, but Dumbledore and Arthur Weasley, Fudge's successor, had stayed locked up in the headmaster's rooms for a long time, and whatever had been decided there, clearly Dumbledore in all his twinkling glory was far happier about it than Ron's father.

They had told him there were voices in the Ministry that wanted him being put under supervision because it was feared he might become the next Dark Lord; he was too powerful. That they wouldn't lock him up because it would look bad in public, but that he would have to be confined to Hogwarts, and that he would need a legal guardian... or a spouse. And, in the light of Harry's feelings for Severus Snape, it had been decided it would be best for him to marry Snape.

Harry had been furious and mortified at the same time. How Dumbledore had found out what he felt for Snape was anyone's guess, but how could they agree to treat him as a prisoner, as a block of wood without emotions, rights or a free will?

He had refused.

Then they'd said they might be able to bring Sirius back.

***

present - a heartbeat later

"It was all a lie," he told Hedwig, "they never intended to bring him back, because the spells necessary to achieve that goal were too much on the dark side of the spectrum. Even Remus, who so badly wanted to have him back, let himself be convinced in the end that it was better not to do it. They lied to me, and forced me to spend more than two years locked up in the dungeon. Forced me to smile and pretend in public that nothing was amiss. I felt like a whore when Snape used me for sex; whatever I'd begun to feel for him in sixth year died the very day when he agreed to marry me against my will and to father my children for the good of the prophecy. How he could even think I would fall in love with him if he just fucked me often enough is beyond me. Bastard."

He felt tears roll down his face and wiped them away angrily. He continued to stroke Hedwig's feathers and stared at the rubble of what had been Hogwarts just a few minutes ago. Thunder still rolled in the distance, and dust lay in a cloud across the scene of destruction.

"I. Didn't. Want. To!" he cried out, "And still he forced me. He raped me. I think he'd started to suspect; it was time. The wedding ring was as effective as a slave collar," he smiled bitterly at the owl on his arm, "it kept me away from everything they'd specified unsafe. The library. All of Snape's books that were more advanced than what you're taught in bloody second year. I'm so glad I'd finally made enough progress with my modifications of the Privacy Lock spell to get rid of this... this ring." He uttered a choice epithet and rubbed his ring finger as if he could wipe away the thin white line on it. "Unbelievable. A spell they teach to pigtailed little pureblood girls so they can lock their dainty little diaries away from mommy's prying eye -- that's what I had to resort to. The bastards."

Thestrals gathered at the fringes of the heaps of stone. A centaur stepped out of the trees.

Harry turned back quickly and was soon swallowed by the darkness of the Forbidden Forest.

The gun he took with him. Only a small pile of spent cartridges remained next to the imprints of his boots.

They'd underestimated him again in thinking he'd depend on magic when trying to escape. Too bad; they'd paid for it.

He would go abroad, Harry had decided long ago, and hide in the Muggle world. Perhaps he'd even find a girl one day, a family of his own. It had been hard to kill his babies, but it would have been even more cruel to let them grow up as slaves of both the so-called 'prophecy' and the smiling liars who'd been willing to destroy his life to make theirs a little bit easier.

Free for the first time in his life, he now only wanted a new beginning. He'd always thought it would be Voldemort's blood which granted him that. The idealistic fifteen-year-old boy he'd been would never even have dreamt it might be the blood of the people he'd once considered friends.


"Harry Potter" ficlet by allaire mikháil, 2.565 words, slash, 3rd person POV, rated NC-17 (and I mean it!)

This story is by far the most disturbing one I've ever written, and the Harry Potter in there is clearly unstable. But then, who wouldn't be if he were "raped into love", so to speak? So many authors have written similar stories and posted them to the main HP lists recently... Harry is, whatever the reason, taken in by/married to Snape -- initially against his will --, and slowly finds his former hate dissolving and transforming into love despite (or because?) Snape taking him by force on a regular basis.
Hogwash. No one would react that way if not due to the Stockholm Syndrome, and such a sick transformance sure as hell should not be depited as a perfectly alright way to start a healthy relationship. My Harry is the Harry I'd have wished to see in all those stories -- someone who stands up for himself and calmly says "No. This stops here.". Not that I want to promote a killing spree, but I'd rather have a crazy, murderous Harry than a brainwashed, lovey-dovey victim.
Sorry, Snape.
Finally, I'd like to thank SnapesRaven and Parodys for many helpful beta suggestions (not that I took all of them -- but then, that's entirely my own fault!) which made this story far better than it first was. Thanks!
I don't own the characters (wish I did, though) and don't get any money off this, either. The respective rights belong to Joanne K. Rowlings, Warner Bros and various other people, while this story belongs to me.


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