Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Breakpoint :: 05 :: Lessons

05 • Lessons

Lucius eventually realized he was eavesdropping and quickly stepped away from the door. It was an extremely impolite thing to do to a . . . friend, and he was mildly ashamed of himself for having succumbed. After shaking his head he continued on to the main part of the house and into the Green Room, of a mind to do some reading.

Certainly, he wished to clear his mind of what Saiph had said; he was, undeniably, a married man. He noticed, however, that his son was seated at one of the desks, several books open around him, and busily scribbling away on parchment.

“Hello, Draco. What is it that has you so occupied? You do not have holiday work, after all.”

Draco looked up and stared at him for a moment. “I’m doing some potions research for Sev.”

Lucius bit back a sigh and crossed to one of the many cases lining the walls. “Did he even ask?”

“No, but I thought it’d be helpful. And he’ll probably give me extra points this year.” Draco sneered and added, “And now that Potty is dead, maybe Slytherin will be back to winning the Quidditch and House cups.”

He slipped a book off the shelf, one on pure-blood customs, then began to look for others that he might conceivably use for Saiph’s education. “This does not please me, Draco. You know my thoughts on that man. And if I thought for one moment that you would actually listen to me, I would forbid any more of this servile behavior on your part.”

“Father!” Draco protested in almost a whine. “I am not servile. Sev has such a brilliant mind; he’s fascinating. I could learn so much from him about potions. I don’t understand why you don’t like him.”

Lucius was tempted to simply let it pass. No matter how many times he had tried to explain it to his son, Draco insisted that Snape wasn’t a danger to him. The boy was willfully blind to the point of stupidity. But, as a father who did actually care for his child, he must not give up. Several more books were added to his selection before he settled into a seat.

“You have been going out of your way to find reasons to please that man. That is most unlike you, and it continues to concern me.”

His son made an inelegant noise in response. “Father, you are extremely accommodating for the Dark Lord. How is that different?”

Lucius pinned Draco with a harsh look. “The Dark Lord is trustworthy and a natural born leader.” And that was part of the problem. Draco had it in his head that his father was a fawning sycophant to Voldemort, though that had never stopped the boy from using the relationship to his advantage amongst his peers. Once again he cursed Narcissa’s influence.

“Severus, on the other hand, is prone to using whatever and whoever he can get his hands on, without regard to the consequences. I wish you would leave off this obsession of yours and look to things more appropriate.”

Draco chose to change the subject. “Father, why won’t you let me see a memory of Potty’s death?”

‘Because,’ he thought, ‘seeing Severus torture the boy would probably only increase your devotion to him.’

“Is it that you don’t think I’m old enough? I am sixteen, in case you’d forgotten.”

“Lucius, give the boy what he wants.”

He glanced back over his shoulder to see his wife standing in the doorway, and barely prevented a sneer from disfiguring his face. “Narcissa.”

“I don’t see why you won’t let him, either,” she continued. “I should think Draco would enjoy watching him writhe in agony and die, especially given that Potter was so unkind to my baby.”

Lucius snorted softly and got to his feet, tucking the books under one arm. “Forgive me if I fail to see the point in corrupting my son before he’s even an adult.” With that he departed, brushing past her almost rudely.

*

The next few weeks went by fairly quietly. Well, if one was inclined to not count the huge to-do in the papers about the capture of Peter Pettigrew, subsequent trial, and an announcement that Sirius Black had been declared innocent of all crimes, and pardoned for his escape from Azkaban.

The matter of the house had been discussed; whereas Kreacher had been given over to the ownership of Bellatrix, the house itself would remain Saiph’s, and they had, after a week or so of keeping a very close eye on the area, slipped in long enough for him to properly claim it, then cast a new fidelius charm to conceal it once more. Only time would tell on the matter of Saxeten’s response, if indeed any.

Lucius had spent rather a lot of time instructing Saiph on pure-blood customs, and was getting ready to include estate management and associated topics, plus the normal rights and responsibilities of wizarding peerage.

He found that Saiph was a good student. He was attentive and asked intelligent questions, but was not actually afraid to ask stupid ones, either. In fact, Saiph was a rather self-deprecating young man, which Lucius found somewhat frustrating. It was certainly no fault for a person to be modest, but Saiph could not seem to wrap his head around the idea that he was actually a powerful force in their world, not only for his societal role, but for his magical strength.

Lucius thought that Saiph seemed almost . . . frightened . . . of the world, which might explain in part the young man’s actions to save his father’s life. He was beginning to think that whoever managed to capture Saiph’s hand would need to be strong and not unaccustomed to taking charge.

And so it was that the first of September rolled around and he had seen his son off at Kings Cross, his heart heavy at the knowledge that Severus would have almost unimpeded access. Lucius had no ally within the school, and could only hope that none of his fears would be realized.

He had returned to the manor to begin another lesson with Saiph, and was presently sitting near the window. Saiph was in a chair facing him, while Sirius (who almost always managed to find an excuse to be present) was not far away, to all accounts engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle.

It seemed, though, that Saiph was of a mind for something other than lessons. “Lucius, I hope this isn’t, um, impertinent of me to ask, but . . . what exactly are Death Eaters?”

Lucius blinked slowly and said, “You know, I believe my master finds that term amusing. It was not his idea, certainly, though I cannot quite recall who coined it. In any case, the simplest explanation would be to say that Death Eaters are those who side with my master against Saxeten.”

Saiph furrowed his brow. “And that explains someone like Bellatrix, how?”

He heaved a gentle sigh. “I believe this has come up before in conversation, in an oblique way. Bellatrix is attracted to power, Saiph, and my master is one of the most powerful men alive, if not the most. In exchange for her support, and for those like her, he does not bar them from indulging their natures, so long as they remain within the rules he has established.”

“But hasn’t he marked everyone? Maybe I just don’t get it, but don’t those marks quite nearly demand obedience? Surely your lord wouldn’t have to allow them such . . . depravity.”

“Oh, my lord can use them that way, you are correct. Should he find someone like Bellatrix to be tiresome, he could torture her with barely a thought through the mark. However, there are times when it is advantageous to have people beneath you who enjoy those activities. There are those, for example, who oppose my master purely because he is powerful, without regard to this supposed war.”

Saiph looked quite uncertain about that. “I don’t suppose I’ll ever understand, then. I know, for a moment there when I was out of my mind with grief I did try to curse her, but I’m ashamed of that. I can’t help but feel as though I should not have lost control of myself.”

“You were just a boy,” Lucius said gently.

“Yes, but. . . .” Saiph looked up, bit his lip, then said, “What about you? You were . . . rather intimidating that night.”

“I do put on a good show, do I not?”

Saiph did a slight double take and smiled faintly. “Why do you suppose that Fawkes, a phoenix, has kept company with Saxeten?”

“I’m not so sure that he is. If history tells it correctly, Fawkes has been at the school for centuries. Some speculate that he was the familiar of Gryffindor himself at one time. It may be that Fawkes is loyal to the school.”

“D’you suppose he stays there to try to mitigate any damage Saxeten might cause?”

Lucius shrugged. “Perhaps. He did come to your aid in the Chamber, saving you from certain death. It is possible that Saxeten found some measure of satisfaction in that, despite you having lived, in being able to use you to spite me.”

“Oh.” Saiph bit his lip again and shot him an uncertain look. “I should apologize for losing you a servant. I am sorry.”

He waved a hand in negation. “Dobby was a trial on my patience anyway. He had the most peculiar ideas for a house-elf.”

“Why . . . did you slip Ginny that diary?”

“That diary was something left in my care by my master. I did not actually realize what it was, thinking it an artifact of power. I suppose I was feeling a bit desperate, and hoping that bringing it into play would help to bring my lord back to us. However, I will be frank with you, Saiph. I might not have cared about the life of that girl had I known what would happen, not if my lord was returned to me.”

Saiph looked away, out the window, and did not speak for several minutes.

Lucius did not like that, so he said, “I greatly admire and respect my master, and find his counsel both enlightening and comforting. I can never hope to be as powerful or brilliant as he, but I am pleased to be of service to him, and I know he values me. It may sound boyish, Saiph, but everyone needs a role model, or mentor of sorts, or even a hero to look up to.”

Saiph nodded after a bit. “You care about him.”

“Yes, I do, much like you care for Sirius.”

Saiph looked at him then, an unreadable expression on his face. “Okay. Well, I suppose I should stop stalling and let you get on with my lesson, huh?”

*

Another trip was made to the bank, this time with Sirius in tow, though his identity was concealed from the casual onlooker. The three of them were shown in to see Frelkin, who ordered up a tea tray with the air of someone who despised social form.

“Frelkin, how delightful to see you again,” Lucius said by way of greeting. “As you can see, I have brought another friend.”

The goblin flashed them a sharp-toothed grin. “Sirius Black, no?”

“Frelkin,” said Saiph, “I need to have my father added in to the accounts.”

“Expected.” Frelkin nodded and whipped open a drawer, rifled through it, then started tossing paperwork onto his desk. “Total access?”

“Yes, please.”

“The usual bells and whistles for him, too?”

Saiph nodded. “Everything.”

Sirius decided to protest. “Saiph, wouldn’t it make more sense for me to not have access to the Potter funds?”

“Not hardly. What’s mine is yours, dad. Heck, if I thought you’d accept it, I’d separate the Black money out again and give it all back to you.”

Sirius made a strangled noise and shook his head.

“Oh, that reminds me.” Saiph pressed a finger to his lips for a moment, then said, “I want to arrange a couple of vaults, Frelkin. Um, bequests.”

The goblin looked up from his paperwork and arched a brow.

“I suppose you’d have to claim that the notices went out and were lost or intercepted, though. I’m rather behind myself in some ways. I’d like to set up a bequest each for Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks. Somebody didn’t think to include them in his will, you see, and I’d like to correct that.”

“My responsibility was to you, Saiph, not adults who can take care of themselves perfectly well.”

Saiph shushed his father with a hand movement. “Can we take care of that today, too?”

Frelkin nodded, made a few more notations on the paperwork, then pushed it over toward Sirius. Thus followed a round of initialing and signing, and a short time later Sirius had full access to Saiph’s vaults, subject to keying.

“How much do you suppose for each of them?” Saiph asked his father.

“Remus won’t be happy with this.”

“So what,” Saiph said with a shrug. “For all I care he can turn around and donate the money to charity.”

Sirius thought about it for a minute, then said, “Five million each ought to do it.”

“That’s barely a drop in the bucket, but if you say so, dad, okay.” He looked at Frelkin expectantly.

The goblin whipped out more paperwork and started filling it in. Ten minutes later he pulled two folders out of a drawer and shoved them across the desk. “Take these home. You’re not paying me to be lax, so you should both make out new wills. Bring them back when you’ve figured things out.” Then he pushed the paperwork across for signatures so that he would have approval to transfer the funds.

“I don’t need to make one out retroactively for these bequests?”

Frelkin shook his head. “Pay attention to the wording on those and you’ll see why. I’ll send out letters with a spin to imply that they’re second notices, and why are these people wasting my valuable time with having to do twice the work.”

Lucius chuckled in appreciation. There were times when goblins were delightful.

Saiph pushed the papers back over when he was done, then hesitated. “Um. . . .”

“What is it?” Lucius asked.

“Should I . . . be setting up trust funds for the twins?”

“That depends,” he said, seeing that Sirius wasn’t going to offer up advice. “Some people set up trusts in case of calamity, and by that I mean accidental death, or even an irresponsible family member gambling all the money away. Trusts are designed to only be used for the welfare of the child, and to keep them from making inroads on the main fortune before they come of age. Other families dole out an allowance so they can keep a much tighter rein on how much their children are spending.”

“Oh. I don’t know. . . .”

“If it helps, I set one up for Draco the day he was born.”

“So you think I should?”

Lucius shivered internally. “There is no harm in doing so.”

“I agree,” Sirius said suddenly. “You may as well, Saiph.”

“Okay. How much?”

Frelkin started doing some calculations, muttering to himself the whole while about inflation and the cost of living. After a time he scratched a figure onto a piece of paper and pushed it over, not to Saiph, but to Lucius.

Lucius glanced at it and nodded. “Each, I assume.”

“Naturally.” Frelkin went off on another frenzy of paperwork and shortly demanded more signatures. “They’ll be set up by the end of the day. Is there anything else, or shall we get on with keying Mr Black into the vault defenses?”

*

“What are you working on, Sev?”

“Our lord has requested certain potions to be modified to his specifications. And I should not need to remind you that we are in school, and you should be addressing me as sir or professor,” Snape said without looking up.

“But we’re alone, Sev.”

Snape pinned him with a harsh stare. “If I did not know better, Draco, I might get the idea that you wish to be disciplined.”

Draco forced himself not to squirm, and as he could not bring himself to respond to that directly, said, “Yes, sir. What sort of potions?”

“Various things,” was the curt response. “And unless you plan to offer yourself up as a test subject, I suggest you stop bothering me.”

“I’ll help if you want, sir. I don’t mind.”

Snape shot another look at him, then nodded and swung a cauldron off the fire. “Bottle this,” he said, nodding at a set of vials, “then clean up the cauldron. We will test it once you’re done.”

Twenty minutes later Draco was being led into his professor’s personal quarters. He had been there any number of times, and easily slipped into a chair without bothering to ask.

“Drink this,” Snape ordered, and handed over one of the vials.

“What is it?”

“Drink it or get out, Draco. I don’t have time to waste on your foolish questions. I can always find someone else to assist me.”

Draco frowned internally as he took the vial, then after a moment of hesitation, uncorked it and knocked back the contents.

Snape busied himself with various things for about ten minutes, then said, “Strip.”

Draco found that despite his surprise at the order, his body was moving to obey without conscious thought. He was soon naked before his professor, his clothes in an untidy heap on the floor. “Sir?”

Snape shook his head. “No talking, unless I ask you a direct question, or you need to acknowledge an order. Understand?”

“Yes, sir,” slipped from his lips.

Snape shook his head a second time. “Master. You will call me master.”

“Yes, master.” Draco realized he was shivering at that point, and was somewhat embarrassed to note that his cock was beginning to harden, and blushed when Snape licked his lips on seeing it.

“Now, that potion should be making you very obedient. It appears to be working, but our lord would be most unhappy were I not to thoroughly test it. I have a multitude of potions to test, actually, and I’m sure you’ll be happy to continue to help me, won’t you?”

“Yes, master.” Well, he did trust Severus, so that shouldn’t be a problem. He supposed the potions were meant to make victims easier to handle. After all, not everyone could manage to properly cast the imperius curse, so Draco could understand why the Dark Lord might wish for a potion form anyone could use. Well, among other things. And besides, Snape was paying attention to him, which he wanted very much.

“Let us begin, then. Tidy up my desk.”

And so he did, and continued to perform various tasks under Snape’s direction, things that normally would have provoked a whining fit from him of monstrous proportions. When asked, he revealed that there seemed to be no change in the potion’s efficacy. At that point Snape nodded.

“Then we shall see just what it takes to break the potion’s control, if anything. But first, I suppose I should feed you.” Snape wandered off into his tiny kitchen and returned a few minutes later with a bowl, which he set on the floor. “Draco, eat, and no using your hands.”

Now that was a bit humiliating, but also strangely arousing. Draco felt a bit confused by that, but scrambled to obey, not really having a choice in the matter. When he was done he was directed to kneel in front of Snape’s chair.

“Let us see if obedience also translates to honesty,” said Snape. “I have no doubt our lord will be most pleased if he has another avenue with which to secure the truth from people without having to resort to the often inefficient veritaserum.

“Why, Draco, do you waste so much of my time?”

Draco really did not want to answer that. But he did, as evasively as he could. “I admire you very much, master. I hope to learn many things from you.”

“Really,” Snape drawled. “And tell me, Draco, how you feel about kneeling there before me, naked.”

The answer was dragged out of him. “It’s turning me on, master.”

“Oh, I see. And being made to call me master?”

“The same, master.”

Snape nodded and brought one hand up to prop his head against. “You’d probably make a good little slave, Draco.” He smirked at Draco’s blush, then said, “We could make a deal, you know. I could take you on as an apprentice in Potions in exchange for you being my slave. Something tells me you’d like that attention from me. And part of your duties would be to play test subject for the potions I must make for our lord.”

Draco said nothing, not having been asked a direct question. Inside, however, he was sinking into a peculiar kind of frightened bliss. And then, a knock sounded at the door, making him wish to hide.

Snape rose and made for the door, then ushered someone in. “Narcissa,” he heard the man say.

“Severus,” his mother responded. “Oh, I see you have Draco here. How nice. And that reminds me of why I decided to visit. Lucius is being a complete bastard. He refuses to show Draco a memory of Potter’s death. Perhaps you could?”

Draco had to wonder why his mother wasn’t questioning the fact that he was kneeling naked in the room.

“I suppose I could be persuaded.”

Narcissa let out a girlish giggle. “I’ll make it worth your while, Severus.” There was a pause, then, “Is Draco helping you to test potions?”

“Yes. I was considering offering him an apprentice contract, actually.”

“Oh, that would be very kind of you,” she said. “I’m sure he could be of great use, and he does seem to be devoted to you. What’s he currently testing?”

“An obedience potion.”

There was another pause, and Draco wished devoutly that he could see what was going on. The chair was hardly an interesting thing to focus on.

“I see. Do you have a set of contracts handy? Or is that not the sort of thing you keep around.”

“I do, actually, have a set.”

“Wonderful, Severus. Shall we go over them?”

Draco was left to himself for an hour, there being no signs whatsoever that the potion’s effects were wearing off. But before he died of boredom they came back, and Snape directed him to turn around. There on the low table was a sheaf of parchment, an inkpot, and a quill.

“Your mother and I have worked out the details, Draco. Sign them.”

“Yes, master,” he said faintly, and reached out to pick up the quill. He did hesitate, wondering if he could actually read the contract, but was quickly ordered to stop dawdling and get on with it. So he flipped to the last page and signed, then surrendered the quill so that Snape and his mother could also sign.

A copy was made; Narcissa tucked that away someplace safe. “I don’t suppose you’d show him that memory now?”

“Of course,” Snape said in a bored tone.

A pensieve was produced and Draco was shortly immersed in the memory of Potter’s death. He could not help but think that Snape’s command of torture spells was magnificent, and he loved the way Potter was put through so much pain before the Dark Lord killed him. All in all, he thought it was a very satisfying memory.

“Severus,” his mother asked as he emerged, “just exactly how long is this potion supposed to last?”

“Twenty four hours, give or take.”

“And he can’t disobey you?”

“Not that I can see. Why?”

She giggled again. “Well, you did have to prod him to sign, darling. Perhaps you should discipline him? And I could watch?”

“A bit incestuous, don’t you think?” Snape said.

Narcissa shrugged. “Does it matter? It isn’t like I’m asking you to order him to please me or anything. Come on, Severus. For me?” She batted her lashes at him.

“As you wish. Any particular requests?”

“Oh,” she said after a moment of thought, “whatever makes you happy.”

“Lean over the table, Draco,” Snape ordered, and when he had complied, began smacking him with . . . something. Whatever it was was smooth and hard, and made quite a noise as it impacted his ass, not to mention caused him rather a lot of pain.

“Tell me that you like it, Draco,” Snape said.

“I like it, master,” he breathed, and was rewarded, after a fashion, when Snape began hitting him harder. Draco was quite sure he would not be able to sit down for a week at this rate. And he was most embarrassed to realize that his penis was rock hard. Every time he was pushed into the table his cock brushed the side, sending an additional shiver through him.

“I think he does like it, Severus,” Narcissa commented. “Just look at him.”

Draco nearly yelped when a hand found its way between his legs to stroke his penis; he couldn’t figure out which one of them was doing it.

“Stop that,” Snape said sharply. “You requested punishment, so that is hardly appropriate under the circumstances.”

The hand disappeared. “Maybe so,” she said with a sniff, then added in an admiring tone, “You are strong, Severus. He’s quite nearly blistered, I think. Maybe you should do something else to him now.”

“Such as?”

“Well, he belongs to you now. Perhaps you should break him in?”

Snape was heard to sigh before saying, “That is a touch kinkier than even I go for, Narcissa. No, I think he shall remain here to contemplate his sin in not obeying me quickly enough while you make good on your promise.”

“Ah, well. All right, darling.”

Draco was left with no need to wonder exactly what that meant, as the sounds that began filtering in from Snape’s bedroom left no doubt as to their activities. He had not realized his mother was shagging his professor, and felt rather jealous. After all, his mother had plenty of men to choose from, so why go after the man Draco so admired?

And for that matter, why was it that his mother was perfectly pleased with the idea of Draco becoming Snape’s apprentice? He was insanely curious as to what exactly he had signed. Snape had made mention of him being a . . . slave to the man. What did that mean? Did his mother even care about him? Had he made a mistake in agreeing to help his professor? No, he trusted Severus. And surely his mother would not. . . .

He was pulled from his contemplation on hearing his mother say, “Good-bye, Draco darling. I shall see you again at some point, I suppose. Behave for Severus like a good boy. He has lots to teach you.”


Associated Snapshot: Behind