Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Snapshots: Control Issues :: Freak

Freak

Note: This scene occurs anytime after chapter 5. (Actually, more like sometime after chapter 6 due to something mentioned.)


Something had been bothering him for quite a while and he finally had to get some kind of answer, so Voldemort looked at his mate and said, “Harry, are you willing to tell me what it is about the term ‘freak’ that upsets you so?”

The face that looked up at him bore an ineffable quality that would more likely have been found on a five year old child, not on a man in his early twenties. “Sir?” Harry said in a very soft voice.

Voldemort was greatly taken aback, though he refused to let that show. “Do you need me to repeat the question, Harry?” he asked gently.

Harry gave him a wide-eyed look that spoke nothing of negation, agreement, or even fear. Instead he blinked and cocked his head to one side, then asked hesitantly, “May I come sit on your lap?”

Voldemort closed his eyes briefly, then nodded. “Of course you may.”

Harry slipped off his chair and sidled over, then took a seat sideways, across Voldemort’s legs rather than straddling them as normal. After wriggling a bit to situate himself, Harry reached up with one hand and cautiously touched Voldemort’s face. “Sir, why do you not have a proper nose? Does that mean you’re a freak, too? Like me? Does it hurt?”

Voldemort blinked in surprise at his mate’s completely innocent and childlike questions, then remembered himself and smiled slightly in what he hoped was a reassuring manner, despite the faint thrill of real fear that raced down his spine. “I assure you, it does not hurt.”

Harry met his gaze for a moment, then said, “If you’re a freak like me, that means I’m safe with you, doesn’t it.”

At that moment Voldemort experienced an epiphany of sorts. “You are very safe with me, Harry. I will always take care of you and help you, just like I promised when you first came to me.”

“Oh.” Harry traced his fingers along the contours of Voldemort’s face with a faintly wondering expression.

“Harry, will you tell me, please, who calls you a freak?”

“My family,” Harry said readily enough. “I don’t think they like me much.”

“Oh? Do you like them at all?”

Harry brought his hand down to rest with his other on his lap and furrowed his brow. After a minute he said, “No, I don’t think so. They like to make me do all the work while they relax or enjoy themselves. I don’t think that’s very fair.”

“I don’t think so either,” Voldemort commented agreeably.

“I came to you?” Harry sort of squinted at him questioningly.

“Yes, you did. You escaped from a very bad situation, Harry, and ran to me, and asked for my help.”

“Because you’re safe. I can trust you?”

“Yes, you can trust me.” Voldemort rather thought that last set verified a number of suspicions racing about in his head. Harry’s family had labeled him a freak and treated him badly. That might not have mattered so much had it not been for what his new family had done to him in a likewise fashion. He had been transformed into something not fully human, beaten, starved, and treated as an object.

He likely looked upon Voldemort as a fellow freak, somewhere deep in the recesses of his mind, possibly spurred on by the unnatural appearance. And given that Voldemort already shared a mental link with him, and Harry knew he wielded immense power, his mate’s incubus nature might have seen him as a similar type of creature and looked quite favorably on the idea of attempting to cleave to one of its own in as permanent a fashion as it could manage.

A completely sane Harry might never have thought to run to Voldemort, but he wasn’t and he had, and had obviously felt some measure of safety or sense of kinship in order to make their agreement. It was very possible that once Voldemort had done repairs on the persona that the real Harry had recognized Voldemort as safe also, or at least not like his families had been, and allowed his incubus instincts to take over when being properly fed for the first time, hence the bonding.

Hermione Weasley would have suffered a far worse death had he understood any of this when she had been bound up on that rack and dared to call his mate the one thing he had been forced to bear since he was a child.

Now, how did he get his mate back to his right mind? “Harry, do you remember what you were doing this morning?”

“Yes, I was going over the training schedules in my office,” Harry said quite clearly.

All right. His mate hadn’t completely lost his mind, then. “What’s my name?”

“Why on earth would you ask a stupid question like that?” Harry asked, shooting him an odd look. “If you don’t know it by now. . . . Really, Tom, did you doze off again doing paperwork and bang your head on the desk?”

Voldemort’s mouth twitched. “I do not doze off during work hours.”