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Once a nobody

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Just how, exactly does Harry always find himself in these situations? He couldn’t see anything due to the bag on his head and whoever was holding him had him tossed over their shoulder like a bag of potatoes. He didn’t struggle much, scared of what they might do if he did.

It was honestly ridiculous how often these things happened to him. Sure, this was his first time being kidnapped, but that didn’t mean the other incidents were any less important.

Harry was a complete and utter nobody. And he meant that literally. Nobody knew him, at all. Well, maybe that was a slight exaggeration since the Boy-Who-Lived, Neville, occasionally stood up for him, but he genuinely thought that was just because Harry was a Gryffindor. Hardly anyone else even acknowledged his existence.

He’d grown up in a muggle home, being abused by horrible people who didn’t like magic whatsoever, though he’d admit he hadn’t realized it was abuse until recently. Getting the letter to Hogwarts had been a dream come true. The day of his arrival was even better.

But nothing good ever stayed that way for long, not for him at least. He did decently in his classes, yet was never praised for it. He stayed out of trouble, but was just called a coward. He tried standing up for someone, and was given detention. He talked to others, but they waved him away as if he were a fly. He got involved in many unusual events, and nobody even noticed or cared. Nothing, nothing , he did was ever good enough.

The few friends he did make didn’t stay around for long, being scared off by the dungeon bat Professor Snape, who always targeted Harry and those who seemed close to him. He’d thought Hogwarts would be a sanctuary, but was only handed disappointment after disappointment.

Tonight, it would appear, would simply be the final one. Harry doubted he’d make it out alive. Sighing heavily, he tried twisting his wrists out of the rope that bound them together behind him, but quickly gave up. Even if he did get out, he would never be able to escape in time.

He shouldn’t have even come out tonight. But, since Harry desperately wanted to be a part of things, he’d followed Neville and his friends out to the lake after dark.  They’d let him, but probably only because Neville had told them to. He seemed to be the only one who was okay with his presence, who seemed to understand how lonely he was.

He grit his teeth, narrowing his eyes even though he had nothing to glare at. That bastard, the one Harry had only started to trust, was the entire reason he was here. Death Eaters had suddenly appeared behind them, and demanded the Boy-Who-Lived. They’d quickly pushed Harry at them, then ran for the castle, and not once turned back. Since it’d been so dark, he doubted the Death Eaters had gotten a good enough look at him to confirm it, and merely took their word and grabbed him.

Suddenly, Harry was thrown down quite roughly. He grumbled angrily, actually tugging at his wrists again in an attempt to flip them off. If he was going to die tonight, he wasn’t going down like a coward. He’d had enough of being called that despite how Harry typically rushed into a lot of things. But, for whatever reason, the Gryffindor’s always ignored those incidents, and instead focused on how Harry didn’t break rules often. How was rule breaking considered ‘brave’ anyway? It just got them in trouble for stupid things.

“My Lord,” an elated female voice almost purred, “we’ve brought you a present. I feel you will much enjoy it.” Was that… Bellatrix? Maybe that was why Neville gave up so fast, Harry mused. Everyone knows how Neville is terrified of the people who tortured his parents into insanity. It wasn’t enough to excuse his actions though, so Harry continued to feel betrayed.

“Ah… I see… if this is who I believe you would gift to me, I will be very pleased. Go. I wish to enjoy my gift.” Voldemort’s hissy voice came to his ears, low and quiet almost as if he was tired. How… odd. Harry had never heard his voice have any emotions in it besides anger, and occasionally smugness, but that was it.

“Of course, my Lord.” He heard the click of a door opening and shutting somewhere behind him. A chair squeaked, and Harry tensed as soft footsteps approached him. A hand landed on his head, paused for a second, and then ripped the bag off quickly.

He blinked in the sudden brightness for a moment, before bringing his gaze up to meet the confused Dark Lord’s. “For what it’s worth,” he began, “they genuinely meant to bring you the Boy-Who-Lived. It’s just Neville’s a bitch and pushed me in the way, so… yeah.”

Harry shrugged helplessly, and the Dark Lord sighed heavily, pinching the bridge of his nose with his fingers. Which, yeah, that was odd too. Harry always assumed that he’d been wearing a glamour, but nobody believed him. Once, he’d attempted to participate in a bet over Voldemort’s looks, but literally no one cared about his suggestion, perhaps because it was the most plausible. 

And, yeah, Voldemort definitely looked hot. Harry was most certainly not ashamed for eyeing the man’s body hungrily. Because no one should be ashamed at ogling someone that handsome.

“Of course they did… Why did I even let them attempt such nonsense? If there was anyway they could fuck it up, they would find it,” Voldemort shook his head in disappointment, probably assuming he’d spoken below Harry’s hearing level.

“Merlin, do they get stuff wrong that often? Maybe you should, I dunno, actually do something about that? One day they’re gonna fuck something up much worse then this, y’know.” Harry rolled his eyes, noticing how Voldemort’s eyes narrowed at him, yet he didn’t particularly care. Sure, he was nervous about potentially being crucio’d, but he still stood by his earlier statement, even if it would no doubt lead to a more painful death.

“What a bold statement. I, obviously, torture them every time they do something wrong. Most learn their lessons, but those broken from Azkaban are a little… harder to teach now,” Voldemort sniffed dismissively.

“Yeah, and how often do you actually tell them what they did wrong? They’re not pets you’re trying to get to behave, they’re humans who learn by knowing what they did wrong and not guessing at it.”

Apparently, that went a little too far because in the next second Voldemort was roughly holding his jaw, hissing face inches from his own. “You have very little self preservation, boy. I suggest you shut up before you earn a far more painful death than I’d originally planned for you.”

Something about the word ‘boy’ just set Harry off, and in a split second, he had broken from Voldemort’s grasp and firmly chomped down on one of his fingers. The slap that followed seconds later was completely worth it in Harry’s opinion, because now he got to see a red circle surrounding Voldemort’s finger. “Tch. Stupid Gryffindors. What about being a Gryffindor makes no one care about their own life?”

“Hey, not all Gryffindors are like that! I’m just like this ‘cause I know I’m gonna die either way, so why the fuck should it matter whether or not it’s more painful? At least I get to piss you off, so that’s fun,” Harry made sure to smirk like an obnoxious prat, just like he’d seen Malfoy do plenty of times.

Voldemort huffed, caressing his wand in what Harry thought was an attempt to look threatening. Unfortunately, it didn’t do much to Harry, who was already beyond resigned to the pain he’d earned. “I’m surprised I haven’t seen you before,” he mused, “You would think, with your attitude, you’d be one of the first to follow Longbottom into battle.”

Harry scoffed. “As if I’d follow that bitch around. Like I said, not all Gryffindors are like that. Being Gryffindor is about being brave, not stupid. It’s not my fault that, in recent years, they’ve forgotten the difference.”

“You seem to hold a lot of resentment for Longbottom. Care to explain why?”

“Not really, no,” Harry shot back just to see the look on his face, “but venting would be nice, so fuck it. It’s his fault I’m here. If that fucker hadn’t pushed me in the way when they’d asked for him, I wouldn’t have gotten kidnapped, I wouldn’t be in this situation, I wouldn’t worry about this being my last day, nothing! I swear, if I ever get out of here, I’ll fucking kill that bitch for you.”

“Ah… I was unaware Longbottom was such a… coward.” The Dark Lord actually looked very disappointed. “You are Harry Potter, yes?” He barely waited for a nod before continuing. “Then you would’ve been a much nicer rival than that boy. You are very… interesting. I’ve never met anyone who acted like you have in my presence.”

“Why thank you, I hold your compliment in the utmost regard.” If he wasn’t mistaken, Harry could’ve sworn the edges of Voldemort’s lips curled up. The man suddenly leaned against his desk, folding his arms and fixing him with an intense look. 

“Tell me, Harry. Would you like to work for me?”

“Wait, what?” Harry was sure his brain short circuited because there was no way those words just came out of his mouth. After all the mouthing off he’s done, Voldemort wanted him to… work for him? That, that literally made no sense.

He was unaware he’d said that aloud until Voldemort responded. “Talking with you has been refreshing. No one dares to say such things in front of me, yet you don’t care about that. It’s different, and I like that.”

“But… I, I don’t wanna be a Death Eater, that’s-“

“-not what I’m offering,” he interrupted. “I don’t want another person to just fall in line with all the others. I want you to… well, help me I suppose. I can’t do a lot of mundane things myself, and I hate trusting the house elves with such responsibilities because they can’t be put under a binding contract.”

“So… you want me to be your maid?” Harry raised an disbelieving eyebrow.

“More like a secretary,” he corrected, “You would cook for me, organize my office, fetch papers, and remind me of my schedule. Those types of things.”

Harry deadpanned at the man. “Seriously? Why would I want to do that?”

“I can, of course, offer things in exchange. Protection from everyone, extravagant shelter and food, pretty much anything you could want if you asked. Even revenge against Longbottom, if that’s something you truly desire, and not just a thing you said in the heat of the moment.”

Okay, that was different. That was… tempting. Anything he wanted? Harry never got anything he wanted, ever. Even when he found out he actually had inherited a vault of money, it wasn’t nearly enough to afford more than the necessities. And protection? No having to worry about whether or not someone was going to try to hurt him, like how many Slytherins, and even Gryffindors, have done in the past? Whatever food he wanted, not just the weirdly greasy food given by the house elves? And then… revenge? Revenge for almost guaranteeing his death? For pushing him into something that he should’ve never been a part of?

He...wanted it. He wanted it so bad. “Okay. Okay . But only if you put that in the contract you probably want me to sign.”

A devilish smile came over the Dark Lord’s features. “Deal.”