Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Control Issues :: 01 :: Escape

01 • Escape

A sudden intrusion into his mind had Voldemort setting down his book and going on full alert. The day might finally have arrived that Potter was trained enough to attack him directly and he did not wish to be unprepared.

He was, therefore, completely shocked when approximately five seconds later someone appeared in his sitting room, flung their wand aside, then prostrated themself before him, exposing their neck. After a half second of thought he tested the wards and found them to be sound, so he turned his attention to the figure kneeling in front of his chair, then strained his hearing when it whispered, “Please help me.”

Voldemort was quite sure he had not taken any experimental potions that morning, nor was he dreaming, so this must in fact be real. He leaned forward and reached down, taking the jaw of the person in his hand, then used that leverage to force their head up so he could see who he was dealing with. He nearly yanked his hand away in shock when he realized he was staring into the face of Harry Potter himself.

“Help you how?” he found himself asking, wondering if he was being offered one of his arch enemies on a silver platter.

“Set me free, please, sir,” Potter whispered.

Voldemort blinked and reconsidered the situation. Surely Potter was not referring to the fact that his chin was being held hostage. “Free of what?”

“Please, sir. I’ll do anything you ask of me, just set me free. Either break their hold or kill me, just don’t make me live like this any longer. I’ll beg if you want. I tried to kill myself already, and I can’t for some reason. Please help me.”

Voldemort released the young man’s chin and sat back, bewildered. According to his spy, Severus, Potter had been undergoing training for quite some time, and was a pathetic waste of time and effort. Now, how that could possibly explain how Potter had managed to bypass multiple layers of wards, including ones to prevent apparating and use of portkeys, and land in the private quarters of the Dark Lord himself. . . .

He eyed Potter for several minutes; the entire time the young man knelt there unmoving, his head bowed, with his hands on his thighs. It did not escape Voldemort’s notice that Potter was decked out in the best possible combat gear that could be purchased—indeed, it looked like custom work—and was bristling with a lethal array of muggle weapons.

“What do you mean,” he finally said, “by their hold on you?”

“I’ve tried. . . . I’ve tried, I did, several times, and I can’t. I can’t even turn on them. I tried so hard to protect myself, my mind. I can’t bear this much longer. I feel like my mind is going to shatter. I waited, I schemed, until they felt safe, and then I ran, straight to you. I thought you would kill me if I asked, since—”

“Stop!” Voldemort barked, and was rewarded with a shock of silence. Potter’s voice had gone from soft to verging on hysterical, a rather frightening thing to witness. He reached out to grasp the young man’s chin a second time, then forced his head around toward a cabinet against one wall. “Do you see that cabinet?”

“Yes.”

“Good. I want you to get two things from it and bring them back here. Can you do that for me?”

“Okay.”

“In the top portion is a collection of knives and athames. Pick one, it doesn’t matter which. In the bottom are drawers of potions. Locate a calming potion. When you have those two things, bring them back to me.” He released his grip and waited, watching as Potter slowly got to his feet and slinked over to the cabinet to do as requested.

He found himself oddly fascinated by the way Potter moved, as though he had no bones or was partly cat, and speculated briefly on whether or not the young man was an animagus. Potter returned shortly and held out the items, so Voldemort took them. The athame went onto the table next to him and he double-checked to make sure Potter had brought back the right potion, then opened it and held it out. “Drink this.”

As soon as Potter had obeyed Voldemort took the empty vial and set it aside, then said, “Bring that chair over here and sit down. We’re going to talk.” He wanted very badly to pinch himself to make absolutely certain he wasn’t dreaming. But, he thought, there was no way in hell he could possibly have a dream so strange.

Once the young man was sitting he said quietly, “I will make you a deal, Potter.” And inside he was praying he would not regret it. “I will do my utmost to help free you, whatever is within my capabilities and knowledge, in exchange for your complete, unquestioning loyalty to me. At any time, even if I am able to free you, you may request your own death and I will give that to you. Do you find this agreeable?”

Potter looked a bit lost for a minute, gnawing on his lower lip, then said, “Does that mean you’d want me for what they did?”

“What do you mean?”

“To kill people, sir.”

Voldemort held back his surprise and instead said, “You may call me Tom. And as much as I would like to say yes, I will not. It would be your choice to participate directly or not in this war.” After all, so long as he had Potter’s loyalty, it would not matter much. It was one enemy out of the way, or working for him, so it was all gravy if the young man made the agreement. As it was, he was beginning to wonder if Potter was suffering from the start of a complete nervous breakdown.

“Oh. You’ll help me?”

Voldemort managed to refrain from grinding his teeth in frustration. “Yes, if you make the agreement.” Was Severus right? Was Potter actually that lacking in intelligence?

“All right. I will. Tell me what to do. I need help.”

Voldemort slid the athame off the side table, unable to make a valid comparison of this Potter to a much younger one. That one had fire, this one was . . . a kicked puppy? There must be a great deal Severus was hiding from him, and he intended to get to the bottom of the mystery.

“Hold out your hand,” he said gently.

Five minutes later they were done, and Voldemort gave an inward cheer of triumph as he spelled the knife clean and set it aside. He was confused, however, when Potter not only did not move to mend his hand, but declined an offer to do so on his behalf. But even as Voldemort puzzled over that he saw the wound heal without any outside interference, leaving Potter’s hand pristine. Right.

“May I call you Harry?”

“Yes, please.”

“Harry, I would like if you would retrieve your wand and put it away. It would not do for it to be lost. Then come back and sit down.”

“Okay,” Harry said a bit absently, then rose and immediately honed in on where he had flung it earlier. He was back in the chair within thirty seconds.

“How do you feel?” Voldemort figured he may as well start things off simply. In truth, he was at a bit of a loss given how oddly the young man was behaving.

“Confused. Lost. My head, it’s not right.”

Voldemort glanced off to the side for a second, then said, “Are you hungry?”

Harry shook his head, then frowned. “I don’t think so.”

“When was the last time you ate?”

He was mildly surprised when Harry responded with, “What year is this?”

“2002, Harry, the twenty-second of April,” he supplied. All the colour fled from Potter’s face to be replaced with a sickly tinge of green, and the next thing Voldemort knew, Harry was on his knees a short distance away dry heaving. Not having any bloody idea what to do or how to respond, Voldemort simply sat there in silence.

Harry eventually wiped his mouth with the back of one hand, then resumed his chair. “The last time I remember eating was in 1998,” he said softly, his eyes wide and staring. “I stopped needing to use the bathroom around then, too.” He looked up at Voldemort a bit fearfully. “Am I . . . even a human anymore?”

“I would need to know more before I could begin to answer a question like that,” Voldemort said reasonably. “How good is your recollection of that time period, when you suddenly stopped needing to do those things?”

Harry slowly shook his head. “I—no, don’t ask me that. See for yourself. I can’t . . . keep it together. My barrier is starting to shatter, I think. My persona.”

Voldemort heaved a quiet sigh. “Were you tortured, Harry?”

“Yes.”

“Are you offering me access to your mind so I can see what was done to you?”

“Yes. Please help me.”

Voldemort took a deep breath and nodded. “All right. Are you going to object if I give you a potion to make you sleep for a while, Harry, so as to cut back on any mental distress you might otherwise suffer?”

“It’s okay.”

“Then I suggest you go stretch out on the couch while I get one. If you wish you can remove that gear as well, since I doubt it would be comfortable to sleep in.” Voldemort rose and headed to the cabinet, only peripherally aware of what his new . . . ally . . . was doing. When he turned back Potter was naked and stretched out on the sofa, and already had his eyes closed.

After seriously considering the idea of taking a holiday soon, Voldemort brought a chair over and situated it comfortably, then sat down and said, “Drink this. You’ll be asleep for a minimum of eight hours.” He waited a good ten minutes after Potter had knocked back the potion, until he was absolutely certain the young man was unconscious, then pushed back his chair a bit and levitated Harry so he could inspect young man’s body.

He didn’t even bother to pay attention to Potter’s physique, though it was impressive; he was looking for oddities. It wasn’t until he rotated Potter over that he found anything peculiar. There were two elongated patches, almost lines, parallel to Potter’s spine, consisting of what looked like . . . scales, of a translucent material that strongly reminded him of diamonds, and appeared to be grafted into his skin. Voldemort didn’t dare touch them directly, but it gave the young man a distinctly reptilian aspect, despite the fact that the scales were not something he would ever expect to see on a snake or other similar creature.

Shaking his head slightly Voldemort rotated Potter again and set him back down on the sofa, then summoned a light blanket to cover him with. Whatever it was, it couldn’t be natural. He repositioned his chair, settled in comfortably, then stretched his mind out along the link he knew he shared with Potter and started digging.

It was several hours later that he emerged, alternately impressed and disgusted at the things he had seen. Unfortunately, very little of it would explain why it was that Potter did not seem to have the same needs as other human beings, or indeed, most creatures. And, Severus was so bone deep in lies that once Voldemort got his hands on him he would rape the man’s mind brutally to get the information he wanted.

Severus had taken great pleasure in trying to break Potter all in the name of so-called training. Voldemort was sure that given the right recruits, Severus’s methods would actually produce the kind of soldier who would obey his commanders unquestioningly, and fight with a total lack of fear. He had seen for himself exactly what kind of killer it had turned Potter into, not only during training exercises, but also on actual Order missions.

Potter had been little more than a blur, either with his wand or muggle weapons, and could sweep through a target building in an amazingly short amount of time, leaving nothing alive in his wake, even down to the odd unfortunate mouse that wandered by at the wrong time, or bird. At least now Voldemort was certain of who had managed to kill Bellatrix Lestrange.

And as much as Voldemort might commend Severus for producing such an incredibly lethal soldier, he was not quite as pleased at his methods for doing so given that it was more a question of subjecting an innocent to years of torture that also allowed Severus to indulge in his chosen perversities, like rape. And rape he had, repeatedly, at least once a day from what he could tell, and usually preceded by a severe whipping. Apparently, Severus liked to use blood for a lubricant, and so made sure there was plenty for when he was ready to fuck his ‘student’ into submission.

Voldemort had seen plenty of evidence that Potter healed with unnatural speed, though that was not always the case. The deeper back he dug into the young man’s memories, the slower it was. About the only evidence he could see of some of Severus’s machinations was the multitude of potions he had fed Potter, though he never bothered to explain what they were for. His usual method was to stalk in, latch onto Potter’s hair and force his head back, then pour the liquids down the young man’s throat. And then he usually got out his whip for another round of fun.

One day Potter had simply woken up knowing he had changed in some way, and from that day forth no longer ate or eliminated, and Severus began his indulgences. It was also noteworthy that he had figured out what Potter had meant by a barrier or persona. Voldemort was extremely impressed by the young man’s resilience and cunning, as it was not everyone who would deliberately and knowingly force a personality split in order to protect the majority of self. It was an ingenious melding of a mental disorder and Occlumency, in fact.

And it was true that it was beginning to break down, to poison Potter’s real mind. Voldemort spent quite some time on that alone, fixing the problems he could see and assisting in keeping the barrier intact. If it was ever to be reintegrated, it would have to be done carefully, lest Potter’s mind snap completely and render him irrevocably insane.

What really stuck out in Voldemort’s mind, though, was a mission briefing he had latched onto. The door had opened into Potter’s room, which was more like a cell, and Severus had stepped in along with Alastor Moody and Albus Dumbledore. Severus began things by informing Potter that it was to be a briefing and the naked young man immediately dropped to his knees in front of Severus and reached into his trousers.

Voldemort had watched the memory with a certain amount of shock given that Dumbledore was there and not protesting anything. The man simply stood there as Severus lazily fucked Potter’s mouth and Moody began briefing their weapon on his upcoming mission. Once that was complete, Potter was bent over the table and whipped for about ten minutes, then Severus proceeded to fuck him raw. And still, Dumbledore said nothing. He just stood there nodding his approval at how tractable Potter was.

Potter was required to repeat back his mission and objectives once Severus had gotten himself off, and did so in a word perfect recitation, despite everything. And what really blew Voldemort’s mind was Potter saying, before Dumbledore left, “Thank you, sir, for allowing me to be trained.”

He had then been ordered to suit up, still bleeding copiously, and hauled off via portkey to their target, then sent in, alone, to exterminate every living creature in the place.

Voldemort shook his head, feeling strangely sad for a man who was, in fact, a sadistic murderer. He was greatly surprised that Potter had a mind left at all, really. He was left with the distinct impression that Dumbledore himself could have stepped up to Potter during a briefing and presented his cock, and Potter’s persona would have expertly fellated him without a second thought, then thanked him for the privilege of being allowed to be of service.

This was the weapon they had designed and created, a merciless killing machine that was nearly unstoppable, and yet, ostensibly, unthinkingly obedient to his trainers’ every whim, and by extension, Dumbledore. This was the weapon who, after he had completed his purpose, that of killing Voldemort, was supposed to return to Severus and beg to be killed so that he would no longer be a burden to anyone.

This was the weapon who had fooled all of them and escaped as soon as it was feasible, straight into the arms of his greatest enemy, and had begged for help or at least death. Voldemort found himself shaking his head again, and found himself in the unique position of wondering how it was that his enemies were more cold, more cruel, and more heartless than he could ever hope to be. To do such a thing to one of their own. . . . Obviously, he himself had not properly taken to heart his lessons on being evil if this was what the so-called Light was doing.

Well, he still needed to have a little chat with Severus. But before that, he desperately needed some sleep.

He awoke, quite a bit later, and pulled on a simple robe, then walked out into his sitting room. Potter was sitting on the sofa, fully dressed, and staring at his hands, though he looked up the second Voldemort appeared and said, “Hello.”

Voldemort swept over to a chair and sat down, then inclined his head. “How do you feel?”

Harry tilted his head to one side and said, “I feel almost . . . normal. Like I’m in control again.” He shot a piercing look at Voldemort, as though asking why.

“Part of what I did was investigate what you called a barrier, or persona, Harry. You were right, it was starting to break down. I have repaired it as best I could in the amount of time I had on hand. If necessary, I will do so again.”

Harry nodded absently, then actually smiled at him. “Should I be afraid of you?”

Voldemort blinked. “You have given me your loyalty, Harry, bound and enforced by magic. I will not harm you unless you give me good cause to do so.”

“Oh. All right. I’m sorry, I still feel a little confused. All I could think of at the time was getting away from them. I didn’t mean to be a burden.”

Voldemort shook his head slowly. “Be sure that if you become a burden I will inform you, and give you the opportunity to correct things. Now, unfortunately, I could see no real evidence that would assist us with the question of what has been done to you. I will need to question Severus most closely.”

Harry’s lip curled ever so slightly in what looked like disgust, prompting Voldemort to say, “Once I have what I need, would you like to be the one who kills him?”

Harry started to respond, paused, appeared to think that over, then said, “If I am able to, yes, please. I would like to visit upon him some of what he graced me with if possible, though perhaps it would be simpler to just snap his neck and be done with it.”

“As you wish. I feel fairly certain that an in-depth examination of Severus’s memories will turn up the answers we need. Those that would help us to understand what was done to you, and those that would explain why you feel unable to strike back at them.”

“All right. May I be present when you do this?”

“Do you feel that is wise?” Voldemort countered. “Is it possible that you are somehow compelled to protect him should he be in danger?”

Obviously that had not occurred to Harry, as a look of consternation swept over his features. “That is possible, you’re right, though I cannot say for sure. It’s never come up.”

Voldemort nodded and moved on. “Were you aware that you have scales on your back, like a snake?”

Harry immediately tried to twist around to see his back and naturally failed, then looked around the room for a mirror. He hadn’t even paused to bare his torso first.

“Stop.”

Harry turned his attention back to Voldemort questioningly.

“Close your eyes and open your mind to me,” Voldemort ordered gently, then formed an image in his mind of what he had seen, and pushed it over their link to Potter. He opened his eyes when he heard Harry gasp softly to see him lurch off the sofa.

“What the hell did that bastard do to me!?” Harry started pacing restlessly, his fingers clenching and unclenching spasmodically.

Voldemort was once again struck by the utter fluidity of the young man’s movements, the unconscious, boneless grace. He thought about it for a while, then said, “I do not recall that you always moved like this, Harry. Memories of your younger self that I hold do not show this.”

Harry continued to pace as he responded, “Yes, I know. I have always been quick, with good reflexes, but not like this. Changes always appeared after I woke up, so I’m not sure what he did, though I guess some of it could be from the potions he forced me to take.”

Certain suspicions began to form in Voldemort’s mind, especially when he realized that he was becoming highly aroused simply by watching Harry walk back and forth. That prompted him to say, “From what I can see you had few constants in your life during . . . training. One of those things was degradation. Another was pain. The third was sex.”

Harry paused for a moment, nodded, then began pacing again, his movements becoming more erratic.

“Are you hungry, Harry?” Voldemort asked intently.

Harry stopped dead and looked at him sharply, then advanced until he was standing directly in front of Voldemort’s chair, managing to look extremely intimidating. “Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. But not for food. Why? What is wrong with me? You know, don’t you?”

Voldemort shook his head. “I merely suspect. I would need to either prepare the correct potions in order to be sure, or test my theory directly.”

Harry dropped to his knees, placing his hands on his thighs. “Hit me.”

Voldemort arched a brow. “If I do, you will not retaliate.”

“I will not,” Harry agreed. “Now hit me.”

Harry closed his eyes and waited, so Voldemort slapped him soundly across the face. Potter did nothing more than clench his jaw, exhale, and open his eyes. “That didn’t do a thing except make me angry. It’s a good thing I have excellent self control, else I would have done exactly that, retaliate without thinking.”

Voldemort allowed a small smile to escape at the admission. “I likewise suspect that humiliating you will produce no appreciable results except to also make you angry.”

“So, sex?” Harry looked mildly bewildered at the prospect.

“If what I suspect is true, yes.”

“But what kind of a creature feeds on—oh. Oh my god. That’s possible?”

Voldemort gave a slight shrug. “It seems so, but it will take some time to verify it.”

“Er, how long?” Harry asked in a worried voice. “He used to—well, actually, I have no idea. I usually never knew if it was day or night, so. . . . Am I going to starve to death before you can find out?”

“No, you won’t. Well, unless I leave you alone for long enough, in which case you might.”

Harry gave him a suspicious look. “What are you saying?”

“It will take several days to prepare the potions we would need. During that time, if what I remember is accurate, you will attempt to feed off the first available person when you become hungry enough. In other words, me.”

“Oh my god,” Harry repeated, then dropped his head. “I’m so sorry. If you want to kill me, please go ahead. I swear to you I won’t resist.”

Voldemort reached down with one hand and latched onto Potter’s jaw again, then forced his head up. “I think not, Harry. It would be no chore for me to take pleasure in your body, if that’s what you’re concerned about.”

Harry looked slightly taken aback at that.

“If you like, consider it a preliminary test. You will either come away from it sated, or not. If so, I will begin the potions for more conclusive verification. If not, we will both have to hope that I can question Severus before it is too late.”

Harry continued to look uncertain.

“Would you like me to make it an order?”

Harry snapped out of it instantly. “As I recall I swore unquestioning loyalty, Tom, not obedience. I obey because I choose to, not because I must.”

“Fair enough, but the offer still stands,” he said, then deliberately stroked his thumb over Harry’s cheek. The effect was immediate; Harry’s eyes drifted shut and he swayed closer. “Come with me,” he said softly, then nudged Harry up, and was gratified to see the young man rise to his feet effortlessly. Voldemort also rose, then led Harry into his bedroom and began undressing him, making sure to caress him frequently in the process.

And, so long as he did so, Harry did not protest, and was shortly naked and allowing himself to be pushed onto the bed. Voldemort made quick work of shrugging off his robe and slipped onto the bed as well, immediately reestablishing contact by sliding his hands along the young man’s thighs.

Harry moaned, which was surprising given how silent he had been in memory, and shifted his legs apart to give Voldemort complete access. He knew, though, that Harry had not fed with any degree of personal pleasure in years, and planned to conduct this little test with both of them in mind. Voldemort slid one finger past the tight ring of muscle at Harry’s anus and was surprised to realize that the young man was quite slick within, as though someone had already begun preparing him properly, and wondered if it was in any way connected to his suspicions about the race.

He shrugged it off for the time being, simply happy that he would not have to leave Harry in order to hunt down a lubricant, nor attempt to take him dry. And on that thought, he added a second finger and leaned in to claim Harry’s mouth, pleased that he gained an immediate and favorable response. When he felt that Harry would suffer no pain from his actions, Voldemort withdrew his fingers and shifted to kneel between the young man’s legs, breaking their hungry kiss in the process, so he could move the head of his cock into position.

Harry drew his knees up higher and arched off the bed, so Voldemort pushed forward and sank himself, wrapping an arm around Harry’s waist and keeping him up, then began to thrust evenly. It felt like nothing he had ever experienced and for a split second he could not believe that Severus would ever have killed this creature once his supposed purpose was done, but rather keep him locked away as his personal sex toy to abuse and rape at will.

Voldemort, of course, had no such intentions. He threw his head back and continued to stroke smoothly, then leaned forward and lowered Harry to the bed as he reclaimed his arm, all so that he could freely run his fingers over Harry’s neglected penis and scrotum. That produced an animalistic moan as the young man attempted to force his legs farther apart, so Voldemort continued his ministrations, trying to milk every possible sound out of the delightful creature writhing around beneath him, and whispering words of encouragement.

By the time Harry did reach his pinnacle and began spurting fluid over his own stomach, his skin had taken on an odd glow, which abruptly intensified as Voldemort himself obtained orgasm at the sight and helplessly rode out the convulsions as he emptied himself into Harry. It was all he could do to roll Harry onto his side as he drew free and collapsed, then pull Harry in close against him in order to rest and recover.

Several minutes later Harry yawned expansively and struggled free, then sat up. Voldemort watched as the young man looked around the room curiously, then focused his gaze on him. “Something changed.”

Voldemort remained on his side, though he did prop his head up with one hand. “Are you still hungry, Harry?”

Harry glanced off to the side as though listening to something, then shook his head. “No, actually. I guess you were right. I’m . . . an incubus?”

“Something like that,” Voldemort said simply.

“I—” Harry ran a rough hand through his hair and tried again. “How on earth is that—oh my god, and I just—” He shot Voldemort an uncertain look and asked, “Did you at least enjoy it?”

Voldemort was absolutely floored by the question. After a moment he said, “I can say with perfect honesty that I have never in my life experienced a sexual act more enjoyable. More importantly, did you enjoy it?”

“Well, yes,” Harry admitted, then ruined it by asking, “Is it supposed to be like that?”

“Yes.”

“So, that would be why I feel . . . full?” Harry raised his brows for emphasis.

Voldemort wasn’t quite sure he followed. He took a few moments to rise to a seated position, then said, “Are you saying that, perhaps, you have never felt well fed until now?”

“Er, yes.” Harry slid off the bed, completely heedless of both his nudity and the fact that his own seminal fluids were dripping down his stomach, to begin pacing again. “So, all this time, he’s been feeding me only halfway each time? He’s been deliberately starving me almost? And he never cared because it was enough, and he got what he wanted out of it, after making sure it mattered at all, and even necessary?”

Seeing that Harry was becoming agitated again Voldemort prepared to slide off the bed as well and calm the young man.

“And now, I have no choice but to prostitute myself to anyone willing to fuck me or I’ll starve?” Harry practically shrieked.

He approached cautiously, reaching out to slide his hand down Harry’s arm in a caress. The result was again immediate, with Harry stilling and swaying toward him gracefully. It worked, which meant Voldemort could easily fend off any encroaching bouts of hysteria, but unfortunately Harry also realized the implications and jerked away.

“Oh, I see. And on top of that, my new career as a whore, I don’t even have to do something like swear obedience. All you need to do is touch me the right way and I’m ready to let you do whatever you fucking please! Is that why I couldn’t hurt him? Huh? Because he was my food source and my inner incubus refused to tamper with that? Survival instincts is it?”

Voldemort considered his options as quickly as possible. Then he spoke. “Harry, I would appreciate if you would attempt to calm down. Losing your ability to think rationally will not help you, and will hinder attempts of my own to assist you.”

Oddly, it worked; Harry suddenly looked ashamed. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “None of this is your fault. I shouldn’t be yelling at you. I just—I thought I’d finally escaped, and now I realize that part of this nightmare is never going to end.”

Voldemort felt irrationally hurt by that. “Is what we just did so unbearable, Harry?”

“No, it’s just—I cannot survive on my own any longer, don’t you see? Any other person can go live in the wilderness, grow their own food, and depend only on themselves. I can’t. I can’t ever walk away or I’ll die.”

Voldemort could see the logic in that and nodded. “May I touch you again?” he asked cautiously.

“I—yes, okay.” Harry sounded defeated.

Voldemort approached slowly and reached out, pulling Harry into a loose hug. “I promised I would help you. If you do not find my touch distasteful, then I offer myself as your food source. And yes, that is partly a selfish offer, as I will find my own satisfaction in doing so.”

When Voldemort said nothing more and made no other move, Harry slowly lifted his face and whispered, “Do you think there’s any way to reverse this?”

“I don’t know. I think our top priority is one of two things. One is to procure those potions. The other is to interrogate Severus Snape.”

Harry nodded and furrowed his brow. “Okay. Um, Tom?”

“Yes?”

“I was sort of under the impression that dark lords were busy people. Am I keeping you from running your evil empire by dumping all these problems on you?”

Voldemort chuckled and shook his head. “Don’t worry about it, Harry. Contrary to popular belief, a great deal of what I control runs itself. That is the beauty of picking intelligent and gifted lieutenants.” He paused for a moment, thoughtful, then said, “And to be frank, some of the things I’ve seen recently make me wonder just what’s being fought over at this point.”

“I don’t understand.”

Voldemort stepped back a bit, gently pulling Harry with him, and got them settled back on the bed. “Harry, I have watched the paragon of Light, Albus Dumbledore, stand there and nod his head approvingly as you were viciously whipped and raped. I don’t even want to think about the number of times that scene might have been repeated. If that is what the leaders of the Light consider acceptable training methods, then I’m no longer happy trying to make a difference in the world. I’d just as soon kill the bastards and retire to Tahiti.

“In less than a day I’ve actually entertained the thought that I cannot honestly call myself a dark lord, because the other side, the supposed good guys, are ten times as vicious and cruel. Prior to your leaving Hogwarts I was completely obsessed with killing you, to the exclusion of all else, which made me nothing less than a fool. And after you left, and were supposedly being trained to kill me, I sat back and took a good, long look at things, and came to the startling realization that killing every muggle on the planet will not only become boring, but excessively wearying, not to mention solve nothing.

“So, right at this moment, it seems to me that the most prudent course of action for me is to work on something that actually has some meaning. In this case, trying to figure out how much help I can give you, and then making sure a few specific people find death a lot earlier than they expected it. After that, I’m really not sure.”

Something he said was obviously amusing; Harry smiled at him. “Where are we?”

“My manor house, located within the compound which houses my headquarters. This building is a separate structure on the grounds and is off limits to my followers. Where exactly did you escape from?”

“Oh. They sent me out on another mission, but this time they weren’t watching so closely. So I ran. I opened the connection to you to see where you were, and forced my way in using you as a kind of . . . I’m not sure, a key? I don’t really understand what I did. I don’t even know where I was when I disappeared.”

“Whatever you did, it did not damage the wards, and your aim was excellent.”

Harry flashed him another smile.

“I want you to tell me if you find yourself becoming confused again, or feeling fractured. I cannot help you properly if you do not tell me you need it.”

“All right. I feel a lot better right now, though. So, I can roam around this house without causing trouble? Is it okay if I don’t wear clothes? I promise I won’t go outside.”

“Yes, you can, and yes, that is all right. And definitely yes, do not leave this house. No one outside can see in, by the way. All the windows are spelled one-way. If you like I can take you on a tour, though I think we both ought to at least clean up first.”

Three days later (and after three days of the most mind-blowing sex Voldemort had ever had) the potions were ready to be used. Severus had not yet contacted him to bring the bad news that Harry Potter was missing, which Voldemort found inordinately amusing. He was starting to wonder if Severus feared for his life given the oft used refrain of, ‘Don’t shoot the messenger.’

“Harry, this is a two stage process,” he started to explain. “The first potion will simply tell us what we already know, whether or not you’re some sort of incubus. The second potion will give us an idea of whether or not anyone in your line held incubus blood, though there’s no point in using it if the first potion somehow comes up negative.”

“Okay.”

Voldemort had made it a point to nudge into Harry’s mind at least once a day (with permission) to check on the barrier persona and make repairs or create additional ‘supports’. While he did trust Harry to let him know if something felt wrong, he was perfectly content to be proactive about the situation. And during that time, Harry had calmed down considerably in his presence and turned into a rather affectionate companion. Whether that had something to do with Voldemort’s tendency to caress him frequently or not. . . .

He produced the first potion, double-checking to make sure the spell he had placed over the cauldron to screen out foreign matter had not failed, then nodded in satisfaction and said, “This can actually be done in two ways, and we’ll start with the most simple. I doubt we’ll need to use the second method.” He snatched a ladle off the rack behind him and scooped up a good bit of the potion, then poured it into a bowl he had waiting.

“I need you to put at least five drops of your blood in there, Harry.”

Voldemort knew from his investigation of Harry’s mind that the young man was far from stupid. He did have a brilliant mind. Voldemort could take almost anything Severus had said and reverse it to get something much closer to the truth. That was why he found it slightly disconcerting when Harry frequently communicated as though he hadn’t a brain to speak of, or acted childlike, and he wondered if it was a leak or a holdover from his ‘training’ days.

He watched as the potion mixed with the blood Harry had dripped in as though some invisible hand were stirring it, then smiled as it began to glow. For some reason, he thought he’d seen that somewhere before. “Well, that’s more or less conclusive,” he said. “According to the powers that be, you are indeed an incubus, or at least enough of one to make it react so strongly. Do you wish to use the second potion?”

Harry furrowed his brow and stared at the bowl as though it held all the answers to life. “Yeah, all right. What do I need to do?”

Voldemort brought over the second potion, checked it, then poured it carefully into a large rectangular tray. “Ten drops of blood this time,” he said, then placed a piece of parchment cut to fit on top of the mixture once Harry was done.

He spent the next ten minutes telling himself to keep his hands off Harry, who was patiently waiting for results to appear on the parchment. It seemed he would need to track down some books on the subject of incubi, especially in the event that what Severus had done could not be reversed. If Harry’s transformation was permanent, it was best he understood himself better. Voldemort had a feeling that the young man’s survival instinct was simply too well developed to ask for death again.

Eventually a list of names appeared, beginning with the most closely related that could be detected. Nothing on the list was remotely connected to Harry’s maternal family, so the potential blame lay squarely on Harry’s paternal progenitors. However, none of the names that appeared showed signs of anything other than having the potential. None of them were actual incubi. At that point Voldemort was treated to a display of Harry’s intellect.

“All right,” Harry said, running a rough hand through his hair. “According to this the potential has been in my father’s line for centuries. All we really needed to know was if it was possible, and it is. That means it’s extremely likely I had the potential myself.”

Voldemort nodded his agreement so Harry continued. “The question becomes whether or not I would have transformed naturally, or if they found a way to force it to activate. And then, I must wonder if they were aware of this peculiarity in my bloodline and decided to use it to their advantage. I know it’s possible that their methods”—Harry sneered nastily—“might have still produced what they wanted, but this also might have been the entire reason they decided on the plan.

“After all, it must be fairly inexpensive to house one person in a room no better than a cell, not have to feed them or provide facilities, and that they know can heal just about any injury quickly. I’m also sure they kept me unconscious when they wanted me out of the way, which further simplified things. So, aside from getting books on incubi, Snape is our main information source.”

Then Harry gave him a rather sad look. “You’re not going to be able to reverse this, are you?”

“I think it is very unlikely,” Voldemort said honestly.

Harry sighed heavily and edged closer, wordlessly asking for some comfort. Voldemort obliged, reaching out to smooth the hair back from Harry’s face, which settled the young man almost instantly.

In truth, Voldemort felt a bit like he was walking on the edge of a knife. Granted, he did not think Harry would attack him, but given his actual training and the results of it, should he do so, Voldemort wasn’t sure he could walk away from a confrontation. He also could not be 100% positive that loyalty would prevent it. On the other hand, he could easily calm Harry with just a touch, but doing so too often meant the young man stopped thinking rationally for being caught up in pleasure. And Voldemort did not want an ally who was nothing more than a blindly obedient drone.

“Let’s return upstairs,” he suggested. “If you feel up to it, I’d like to talk about some things.”

The walk up to his sitting room was quiet, and Voldemort found himself thinking that what he had experienced thus far of the incubi nature was insidious. The better fed Harry was, the more alluring he became, and the more frequently Voldemort had to keep reminding himself to keep his hands to himself. He supposed it was some sort of survival mechanism at work, ensuring that a food source did not inconveniently wander off and would generally be available, and willing, to provide what an incubus needed to live.

He also realized that he was gradually becoming addicted to the amount of pleasure he derived from the young man’s body, and was not sure he could bear to give Harry up if it came to it. Though, on further thought, he would kill the young man if it turned out that all of this was some insanely complicated plot to subvert him into dropping his guard long enough for Harry to end his life. He could not quite bring himself to believe that, though, and then wondered if Severus was suffering from the loss of his sexual outlet.

Once there he dropped onto the couch. Harry flopped down and stretched out, placing his head in Voldemort’s lap, an open invitation to play with him, which he resisted for the moment.

“Harry, when I looked into your mind, I did so with a few specific goals in mind. One of those was to gain an overall view of what they did to you in terms of training, so I did not spend a great deal of time sorting through memories of that nature. I was more concerned with evidence of Severus’s tampering, and what you meant by a barrier. So, if you feel comfortable, would you be willing to tell me, in your words, what you think they were trying to accomplish with you?”

“Okay. Um, in the simplest terms, they wanted someone who could kill, and wouldn’t stop to moralize about it, nor disobey orders or question them. They spent a lot of time making sure I could fight either way, with my wand or weapons. Sometimes they sent me in without my wand, and sometimes they gave me a wand I’d never used before to see how much it affected my casting ability.

“It started out with just the two of them, though. Snape would beat me senseless, and sometimes fuck me, and then while I was tired and in pain, Moody would start casting at me to force me to respond. It was their way of getting me to dodge well, especially since they never let me have a wand those times, regardless of how close to unconsciousness I was. The worse I did, the worse the punishment I would get afterward.

“I guess they got what they wanted, or thought they did. I mean, my persona was created with the express intent of fooling them into thinking I was that blindly obedient, and would accept any treatment from them as deserved, and any orders, while the real me sat in a dark corner of my mind and worked on how to get myself out of that mess.”

“How did you feel when you realized that Dumbledore was fully supportive of what they were doing?”

Harry shifted uncomfortably, rolling onto his side and bending his legs, so Voldemort began to lightly run his fingers through the young man’s hair.

“I was crushed, devastated. I didn’t entirely trust the headmaster as it was, but seeing him. . . . I knew right then that it could be him doing the whipping or forcing me to give him pleasure. I sometimes wonder if he didn’t simply because of his age. I wanted to choke every time I could hear myself thanking them for treating me like that.

“And Snape, well, he’s never liked me anyway. I could handle that better. He’s always hated me, taken pleasure in torturing me. That training just meant he could do so with impunity, not to mention really exercise his sadism. Moody, I don’t know. I just don’t know. Really, I’d like to pin all this on Snape and think he somehow fed them potions to subvert their wills, but. . . .”

When a full minute had passed and Harry had not continued, Voldemort said, “Severus is due to report in two days. He has not come early to inform me that you went missing. I am divided in opinion on whether or not I should see what he has to say before I knock him out and begin digging around in his head.”

Harry shifted again, this time onto his back so that Voldemort could see his face, then said, “Do you think he would neglect to tell you?”

“Well, Harry, he has been telling me for years about how pathetic and brainless you are, so perhaps so. He might think that you will come crawling back to them once you realize what you need to do to survive, ready to completely and without reserve hand yourself over to them as your masters and keepers, and truly become what you only pretended to be.”

Harry shuddered and curled up on his side again, then whispered, “Please help me.”

Voldemort ran a soothing hand down Harry’s arm. “I will help you.” Then, as a change of subject said, “Does your back ever bother you?”

“Huh?”

“I was wondering about those scales. I did not dare touch them before, when I discovered them, and cannot recall seeing Severus touch them either in memory.”

Harry shook his head. “No. I don’t know. I would not have known they were there if you hadn’t said something. Do you think a book might explain?”

“Well, I do need to go obtain some, so now that we’ve dealt with the potions, I shall do that. Will you be all right if I leave you alone for a few hours, Harry?”

“I should be okay. You fed me this morning. I promise I won’t leave the house.”

Voldemort nodded. “Please remember that my library is open to you, as well as my personal training room.”

“All right, thank you.”