Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Induction :: 03 :: Going Deeper

03 • Going Deeper

Saturday, 9 November 1996

Severus had a problem. It was a very large problem in his opinion. He lay back on his bed and stared at the velvet canopy, letting his eyes wander over the fluctuations in how the nap was directed. In another situation, with another set of colours, one might, if one had particularly bad eyesight, almost mistake the fabric for waves in the ocean seen from a great distance, frozen in one moment of time.

However, that was not the case, and Severus had a very large problem.

He had his plans, which evolved from moment to moment, and he had every intention of going ahead with them. The headmaster would get what he wanted, and at the same time, Severus would get something he had wanted since he was still in school.

There was still a “but,” though. How in Merlin’s name was he to assure that Albus didn’t unexpectedly arrive again and catch Severus in the middle of something . . . compromising?

A raucous squawk broke into his thoughts; turning his head he saw his raven perched on his nightstand, flapping its wings. In its beak was a note, which Severus took, and was rewarded when the bird ceased its antics and flew off.

He relaxed onto the bed again and unfolded the paper.

Severus,

I would adore having a chat with you at your earliest convenience in my office.

Albus

Severus crumpled the note and tossed it aside. Just what he needed, another nosy little meeting with a meddling old coot. He sighed heavily and rolled off the bed and onto his feet, straightened his robes, and headed off to the headmaster’s office.

*

“How lovely to see you, Severus!” Albus declared, his eyes twinkling in a way that never failed to infuriate the potions master.

“I’m sure,” he replied, not bothering this time to keep the sarcasm from fairly dripping from his voice.

“I wanted to talk to you about Harry.”

Severus nodded automatically. What else but that?

“I was quite surprised when I popped in the other day. I decided to think about it for a few days before I spoke with you though.”

Severus nodded again and waited.

“You and Harry seem to be getting along rather well. Better than I expected, really, though I’m pleased to see it,” Albus commented genially.

Severus stared. He wasn’t going to be the one who gave.

Albus nodded and went on. “I find myself quite curious to know how you managed it.” After a pause, in which he gave Severus a wide-eyed look at his continued silence, he asked, “How did you?”

“We agreed to call a truce for the lessons. Nothing more. He remains polite and respectful, and puts the proper amount of effort into this venture, and I refrain from tormenting him just to get a reaction, and make sure that I have alternative methods at hand should what we’re using fail to work for him in protecting his mind.”

“Ah, Severus. You have no idea how pleased I am to know that you could finally call a truce. After all, you and Harry will need to work together in the future, so it is good that you’ve been able to manage to cooperate now.” He paused again, appearing to consider something, then said, “Has he said anything about having visions, or any strange dreams?”

Severus shook his head. “No. I made it quite clear to him that he was to report anything of that nature immediately, even if it was just something that made him feel vaguely disturbed. He wasn’t very happy about that at first, but I pointed out that with another’s eyes looking at the matter, something that didn’t make sense to him personally might turn out to be of importance, or even critical.”

Albus smiled and nodded. “Very good, Severus.”

“Now are you going to stop interfering, or am I going to have to find someplace else to conduct the lessons? You’ve already told the brat to come see you if he’s upset about something, and I’m sure he’d come running to you in a heartbeat,” Severus said snidely.

“Yes, quite so. No need to go to ground, Severus. Though, that is something I may have to consider should any rumors start up because of the lessons. After all, Harry isn’t taking potions this year, so some might find it a little odd that he’s going down to your office several times a week.”

Severus nodded, having already thought of that potential problem. Perhaps he should ask the boy if anyone had questioned him about it recently. “If that will be all?” he inquired testily.

“Of course. Have a pleasant day, Severus.”

*

On reflection, Severus thought that his plans were working quite well so far. Certainly, he could have managed to teach the boy properly without adding his own personal agenda to it. It was, after all, a stroke of pure luck that the boy was so susceptible to hypnosis.

There were many ways to get a person to do something they normally wouldn’t do, but they varied wildly in execution. The Dark Lord gained obedience through pain and fear. But that wasn’t what Severus wanted from the boy, a boy who looked so very much like James.

Severus thought his method was far more interesting. Young people were, on average, very distracted while growing up. Past a certain age, their minds were forced to deal with feelings they’d never encountered before, because their bodies simply weren’t ready for it.

Unleashed, those feelings and urges would distract them and slow them down, make it harder for their professors to teach them. So Severus had hit upon what he thought was an excellent method of extracting obedience from Potter.

Using the boy’s burgeoning sex drive, which he had probably sublimated into other things given his earlier comments on loneliness, Severus could set up an action and reward loop that would take very little effort to maintain, never mind the charge Severus got from doing it in the first place.

Granted, Severus didn’t want to tinker too much with what made the boy who he was. Too much interference and he could be ruined past the point of use in the struggle ahead. But certain things, other things, he could get away with, and end up with a student who was far more pleasant to be around, not to mention willing and tractable.

Having control of what made the boy’s hormones threaten to spiral out of control made Potter pliable to his will and his will only. Because he wanted to feel good, he would continue to obey his professor, so that he could feel good again. All in all, Severus considered it a brilliant plan.

And in the end, the boy would do anything to please his professor, regardless of his conscious feelings for the man. He had almost two years to work with, and he intended to use them, even if it meant maneuvering Albus into suggesting that he start tutoring the boy in potions in addition to the Occlumency.

It was those thoughts Severus was running through his mind when a knock sounded at his door.

*

Severus looked at the boy for a moment, admiring the sweep of dark lashes against lightly tanned skin. “Haze, open your eyes.”

“That’s right. Do you recall when we discussed what’s expected of you, and I had you repeat some things after me for you to remember?”

“Yes.”

“Very good. Haze, from now on, when I, and only I, say, ‘Haze, directives,’ you will tell me each one of directives I told you to repeat and remember. All right?”

“Yes.”

“Perfect,” he purred. “Now, Haze, I need to change one of those directives a little, so first I need you to tell me what they are. Haze, directives.”

The boy reeled off a list immediately, reminding Severus of how the one he needed to change went originally.

“That’s right, good. In fact, you did so well, I know you feel very good right now, very relaxed. Haze, go deeper. Excellent. We’re going to change the directive about bad dreams and nightmares, Haze, so repeat after me. If I have a bad dream or a nightmare I will let it slide off my defenses and not allow it to upset me. But I will remember everything that happened, and I will tell Professor Snape about it as soon as possible.”

“Good, very good.” And thus was his lie to Albus made truth.

“I’d like to know more about you, Haze. Did you sleep well the night of your last lesson with me?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Did you have a dream about something pleasant, Haze?”

“Yeah.”

“What did you dream about?”

“I don’t remember. I just know it made me feel good.”

“I think you deserve a lot of nice dreams, Haze, for doing so well in these lessons and being so happy to obey me. Would you like that?”

Haze nodded.

“That’s right. And I know that you like that idea because I suggested it. I think that every night after you’ve had a lesson with me that you should have a pleasant dream, like the one you just told me about. But do you know what?”

Haze’s brows rose questioningly.

“You know you feel good because you obey me, and obeying me gives you pleasure. So I think that your dreams after your lessons should focus on those pleasurable sensations and you should imagine, while they’re happening, that you’re sitting here with me, obeying me. You know that obeying me makes you feel pleasure, so it makes sense that you should dream about it, and feel pleasure doing so. Isn’t that right?”

“Yes.”

“But I know that you won’t consciously remember the dreams, will you?”

“No.”

“That’s right, good boy. You’ll only remember how good you felt, and that will help you to remain relaxed and calm during the day so that you can do better in your classes. In fact, you’ve probably been noticing that your memory has gotten better. You only need to read something once to remember it, and are able to recall the information easily. Isn’t that right, Haze?”

“Yes.”

“Perfect. Haze, has anyone questioned you about these lessons?”

“Not really. I mean, my friends always ask, but I just tell them the same old thing.”

“What is that you tell them?”

“That we’re working on my defenses for Occlumency.”

“Do they seem upset that you come down here so often?”

“Well, they don’t really like you, but Hermione insists that this is a good thing, so she usually makes Ron shut up about it.”

“Good, very good. You’ve done very well. If anyone starts getting nosy about these lessons, Haze, I’d like you to feel you can tell me about it. Or if you overhear people talking about how you come down here so often.”

“I will.”

“That’s right, you will. I’m very curious about some things. Do you remember the night at the Ministry, in the Department of Mysteries?”

Haze’s eyes narrowed, then went glassy. “Yes.”

“You looked upset for a moment, then you didn’t. Are you letting negative feelings just slide off your defenses, Haze?”

He nodded.

“Good. Do you remember what happened to the prophecy sphere?”

“Yes, it broke.”

“And you were unable to hear what it said?”

“There was too much noise for me or Neville to hear much of anything.”

“I see. It’s really a shame that it broke. I bet you wanted to know what it said, don’t you.”

“Yes, but I do know what it said.”

Severus blinked, leaning back in his armchair. “How did you find out what it said, Haze?”

“Professor Dumbledore showed it to me the night I destroyed his office.”

Severus blinked again and tilted his head forward. Right. “Do you remember what it said?”

Haze nodded.

“Tell me what it said, Haze.”

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches. . . . Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies. . . . And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not. . . . And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives. . . . The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies. . . .

“You’ve been such an obedient boy, Haze. I want you to reward yourself. Haze, reward yourself.”

For a moment, Severus didn’t think Haze would understand what he was asking, but suddenly the boy’s eyes dropped shut and he sagged bonelessly in the squashy chair.

Severus needed some time to think. He would have thought that Albus would have shared this with him. Then again, Occlumency wasn’t everything. The Dark Lord could still have used veritaserum to get at the truth if he’d suspected that Severus knew he held critical information.

While he was not actively spying on the dark faction, if he were captured, it could spell serious trouble now that he knew. The Dark Lord had raped the mind of Bertha Jorkins without a second thought, and she’d been memory charmed to the point of permanent damage before he’d gotten his hands on her.

Severus let his eyes wander over the boy’s flushed face. So it wasn’t all just hype and rot after all. Potter really was the one intended to defeat the Dark Lord. Still, he wouldn’t let that interfere. But it might give him an excuse to continue lessons, or to add more as he’d considered earlier. His thoughts wandered back to the blissful expression on Haze’s face.

“Haze, open your eyes. Good, that’s right. You look a little warm, Haze. You think it’s too warm in here don’t you. Does that make you uncomfortable, Haze, that it’s too warm in here?”

“A little bit,” he admitted.

“Yes, it is rather warm in here. Why don’t you take off your outer robes, Haze, so you can cool off a little. That would make you feel good, wouldn’t it.”

And like a good, obedient boy, Haze stood up and shucked off his robes. After laying them carefully over the arm of the chair, he sat back down again.

“That’s right,” he said, then frowned slightly. “Are all your clothes like that, Haze?”

The boy looked momentarily confused. “Like what?” he asked, glancing down at his shirt and jeans.

“They’re awfully loose, and much too big for you. Why don’t you have better fitting clothes, Haze?”

“I’m not allowed to.”

Severus paused again. He opened his mouth to speak, but shut it just as abruptly. No, his curiosity on this was irrelevant.

“Haze, repeat after me. The only time I will respond to the name Haze is if Professor Snape uses it.”

“Good, that’s right. Haze, that was a pretty big secret you just told me. Why were you willing to tell me?”

“I trust you, so it’s all right, isn’t it? The headmaster trusts you.”

Severus exhaled sharply. “Haze, does it bother you when people compare you to your father?”

This time, the boy answered without hesitation. “Yes. No. I’m not sure.”

“Sit quietly for a minute, Haze. Do not move from your chair.” Severus stood up and went over to rummage in his desk. After pulling out a notebook he grabbed an inkwell and a quill, then settled himself back in the armchair across from Haze. The inkwell went onto the side table, uncapped, and Severus dated the page and wrote down ‘comparison to his father’ and ‘clothing’. After a moment’s consideration he added ‘muggle family’ to the list.

“You weren’t happy talking about that before. Why do you trust me, Haze?”

“Because you gave your word that nothing you learned would leave this room or be used against me. You promised.”

“I see. It’s safe to trust me because of my promise, and because the headmaster does. You believe I’ll never break that promise, don’t you.”

Haze nodded, which gave Severus an odd feeling in the pit of his stomach. He considered for several minutes the merit of locking that trust in with a directive, but something niggling in the back of his head said no, and kept saying no, despite his normal inclination to take immediate advantage of the situation.

“Haze, I’m very pleased that you feel that way, and you decided you could trust me of your own free will,” he finally said. “One of the things you told me you wanted was someone to trust, and I think now that you’ve found that, you should deserve a reward. Haze, reward yourself.”

Several minutes later, when his own condition was threatening to get out of hand, Severus said, “Haze, open your eyes. Do you remember the night you looked in my pensieve?”

Haze nodded.

“Did you tell anyone what you saw in it?”

“No.”

“You didn’t tell anyone what you saw?”

“I told no one.”

“Why?”

“Because I shouldn’t have looked in the first place, and it wasn’t my business to speak of.”

“At the time, I told you to tell no one of what you’d seen. Did what I said then even matter?”

“No.”

Severus arched a brow, then tilted his chin down a bit. “Explain.”

“Because the result would have been the same as if you’d said nothing. Though”—Haze paused to furrow his brow for a moment—“it is better to know what people’s preferences are regardless.”

“You have an interesting way of looking at things, Haze. In fact, you’ve been such a good boy that from now on when you reward yourself, it will feel twice as good, won’t it.”

“Yes.”

“Haze, when you reward yourself, what are you aware of?”

“How good it feels, how relaxed I am, your voice.”

“That’s right. Very good. And when you reward yourself, do you feel the urge to do anything at the same time?”

“I . . . I’m not sure. But I’m so relaxed that I can barely move, so it doesn’t matter.”

Not sure? Severus wondered just how innocent the boy actually was. “Haze, from now on, when you reward yourself while you’re here with me, you’ll be able to move a bit, all right? Good. Your eyes will stay closed, but you’ll be able to move a bit, so if you need to, you can. Do you understand?”

Haze nodded.

“That’s right. Haze, do you think it’s wise to trust your two friends with everything?”

“No.”

“You don’t?”

Haze shook his head.

“Tell me why you think that.”

“I think that Hermione is generally trustworthy, but she never knows when to stop nagging. She doesn’t understand that she doesn’t need to know everything inside my head. And Ron tends to blurt things out sometimes, so I don’t think it’s safe to tell him everything.”

“Have you told Ron or Hermione the contents of the prophecy?”

“No.”

“Have you told anyone besides me the contents of the prophecy?”

“No.”

“Good. It would be unsafe to tell anyone else the contents of the prophecy, Haze. Don’t you agree? That’s right. In fact, if anyone besides Professor Snape or Albus Dumbledore were to ask you about it, you wouldn’t remember that you knew. Isn’t that right? It would be as though you’d never heard it.”

Severus shifted. “Are you starting to learn things more quickly and easily in your classes, Haze?”

“I am.”

“That’s right. It makes you want to do even better, doesn’t it, so that you can keep on feeling good. Are there any classes you wish you could be taking that you aren’t?”

Haze dropped his eyes to his lap, apparently struggling with something internally.

“Haze, directives.”

After he’d reeled off the complete list, Severus tried again. “Are there any classes you wish you could be taking that you aren’t?”

“Potions,” Haze replied in a soft voice.

“Why would you like to get back in potions classes?”

“Because you teach it.”

“Do you even enjoy potions?”

“I don’t really know.” Haze fidgeted.

“Tell me why you don’t know.”

“Because I never really got a chance to try. And Slytherin students were always sabotaging me in class.”

Severus knew that to be only the truth. However, it tended to be a necessary thing. “I’ll tell you what,” he said, thinking about his long-term plans. “Over the next few weeks, in the back of your mind, I want you to think about potions. You’re going to think very hard about it, though you will not let that interfere with your current lessons. Eventually, you’re going to decide whether or not you want to take potions classes again. Understand?”

Haze nodded.

“Good, that’s right. If you decide that you do want to learn potions again, you’re going to ask to see Professor Dumbledore. And when you are able to talk to him, you’re going to ask him if it would be all right if I could tutor you in potions. You’re going to get his permission, and then you will come and ask me if I will tutor you. Do you understand?”

“I understand.”

“If you decide that you don’t want to learn potions again, you will stop thinking about it and forget that you had been. Isn’t that right?”

“Yes.”

“You’ve been very obedient, Haze. Should I let you reward yourself for being obedient and pleasing me?”

“Please.”

“Please, what?”

“Please let me reward myself.”

“Good boy. Haze, reward yourself. That’s right, it feels twice as good, Haze. Give in to those sensations, Haze. Feel the pleasure coursing through your body. Remember that you can move around a little, Haze, if you need to. That’s right. Give in to the feelings, Haze.”

Severus let his voice drift off to a whisper and just watched for a moment. Haze started arching slightly in his chair, moving his hips suggestively.

“That’s right,” Severus whispered. “It feels so very good, Haze. It feels so good you want to move a little more. In fact, it’s hard for you to keep your hands still. Give in to the feelings, Haze. Your eyes are closed and you can’t open them. You feel so good right now, so relaxed. That’s right.”

Haze moaned, shifting his right hand into his lap. Severus got the distinct impression that the boy didn’t have a clue what to do with himself.

“That’s right, Haze. Your hand feels good there. It’s hard for you to keep your hand still. You want to use it to make yourself feel even better. Yes, you do. You want to move your hand to the place where all these pleasurable feelings converge. That’s right, good boy. Give in to the feelings, Haze.”

Severus had his own hand down, lazily stroking the fabric that covered himself. Watching the boy fumble his way along was strangely intoxicating, and when Haze began hesitantly caressing himself through his baggy jeans, then with more surety as he realized how much better it felt, Severus had to bite his lip against a low moan at the sight.

“That’s right, Haze. Right there. That feels so good, Haze. But the sensations are starting to fade, Haze, and you’ll be opening your eyes soon.” The last thing he wanted was to explain away the results if he let the boy continue through to a climax. “That’s right, the sensations are starting to fade and your hand is moving away, back to the arm of the chair. Good boy.”

Sitting up straighter and fixing his robes, then removing the wards, Severus said, “Haze, wake up.”

“That was a really informative lesson, professor. Thank you.” Potter pushed himself out of his chair, grabbed his bag, and exited the room.

Severus didn’t bother to try to leave this time. He used his wand to cast every silencing and privacy ward he could think of, then hastily opened his trousers and began to stroke himself, eyes closed and thinking only of what he’d just seen, until his world exploded in a blindingly intense array of bright lights.