The dark bedroom was silent and daunting. The dim light of the moon shone through the windows, casting shadows on the floor and walls where it caught against the furniture. Harry closed his eyes and breathed. He had never liked the dark, but he wouldn’t cast a Lumos. Not when he knew the light would betray the emptiness of the room.
He stood there for a second, wondering if he should even be here. Whether he wouldn’t be better off trading this room for the one he’d been given way back when.
Before he’d lost his heart.
Before it had been broken.
The day had been horrible. No, the day had been wonderful if he was being honest. He got to spend it with his family, something he was sure wouldn’t happen so long as he was being protected within these walls.
The Weasleys had been there, together with Remus, Teddy and Andromeda. He was so happy they still loved him, that they hadn’t sided with Dumbledore, even though Tonks had been killed in one of the last battles.
He couldn’t have wished for a better day if he tried. Not without being tremendously greedy.
But that wasn’t a thought he wanted to have right now. It would only make him cry, and he wasn’t going to cry. Not now, not here, and definitely not with his eyes already slightly red with defying the drowsiness that had been fighting to close them for the last forty minutes. At the very least.
Harry had hoped he wouldn’t have to end the day as alone as he had started it that morning. But it was well past midnight now.
He knew what it meant. He knew it, but he wasn’t ready to face the cold hard truth yet. Not on a day he was meant to feel loved and cared for. Not on Christmas.
It all happened so fast anyway, and he hadn’t really given himself a chance to analyze what had been happening.
First Draco had overheard the fact that Harry was a horcrux, the last horcrux, the final challenge before the Dark Lord could finally be killed. And when he’d told his Lord, Voldemort no longer had any intention of killing Harry at all.
Still, after months, Harry could see Dumbledore coming at him, wand raised.
“I’m sorry, my boy,” Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling madly. “I’d intended for you to willingly sacrifice yourself to be killed by Voldemort. The sacrifice itself keeping you alive, but killing the Horcrux inside of you.”
“Which you were in no way sure of would work,” Snape interjected.
Mad-eye took a step towards him and growled. “At least the last Horcrux would be gone, and we would stand a chance.”
“Over the head of a seventeen year old boy!”
Harry was confused by the vehement defence Snape gave him.
Dumbledore smiled sadly at Harry. “You understand what needs to be done, do you not?”
Harry didn’t understand, not in the slightest. He tried to search for answers in Dumbledore’s eyes, but couldn’t find any. Mad-eye was looking away, and in the corner of the room Hestia Jones kept her eyes glued to the carpet. Snape just stood there looking furious.
“You’re insane, Albus.”
Dumbledore turned sideways to look at Snape. “People die in war, Severus. You know that as well as any of us. Would you not willingly sacrifice yourself for the greater good?”
Snape strode forward and placed himself between Harry and the headmaster. “Will you listen to reason, old man! You’re fighting a ghost! I will not let you kill a boy to destroy an enemy that no longer exists!”
“Stand aside, Severus,” Dumbledore said calmly, but Snape didn’t move a single muscle. “As you wish.”
Dumbledore raised his wand and aimed it straight at Snape’s heart. “Avada-.”
Snape spun around to grab the dark fabric of Harry’s robes, and next thing he knew, Harry was air.
There wasn’t really any other way he could describe the sensation. It was like he was nothing all of a sudden, just drifting on the wind, out the window and into the dark night.
When his feet finally reappeared and found solid ground, his knees buckled and he would’ve fallen if Snape hadn’t kept him steady in his arms.
“Shhhh,” he said. “You’re safe now.”
At first Harry doubted that, seeing he was standing in a graveyard he was achingly familiar with. However, he was welcomed as a guest. He was given his own set of rooms, clothes, food and rest.
The weeks following were strange. He wasn’t allowed to read the prophet, or go beyond the wards. No one would tell him what was going on in the world outside. Did the fact that Voldemort was protecting him from Dumbledore mean that the Dark Lord had won? Did that mean his friends were all dead?
After three and a half weeks of insecurity Snape finally came to explain to him that yes, indeed, Voldemort was now ruling both the Wizarding World and Hogwarts.
Harry screamed, cursed and tried to scratch out Snape’s eyes, but the man held onto him, waiting until he was raged out, too tired to even utter another sound, and explained to the boy what had actually happened upon Voldemort’s victory. Truth be told, it hadn’t sounded that bad.
But the nightmares never stopped. Night after night Harry would wake up drenched in sweat, unable to banish the twinkling blue color of Dumbledore's eyes. The man was still out there somewhere, lying in wait for a chance to kill him. A man he trusted, a man he once saw as if not a father figure, at least a fatherly mentor.
That was gone now. He'd gone from being on one deathlist to being on another.
The nightmares made him unable to fall back asleep, so he would roam the gigantic manor at night, often ending up with some house elves in the kitchen. That one night was different though.
Rounding the corner towards the kitchens Harry bumped against something solid. Looking up he swallowed thickly. “I-I’m sorry ehm-, my Lord,” he stuttered. He knew he was sharing the manor with Voldemort himself, but no one told him what he should call the man.
Voldemort smiled minutely, which surprised Harry. He’d never really thought of Voldemort as someone who would have any kind of human emotion except for the rage and hatred he’d felt burning through his scar so often.
“It’s quite alright, Mr Potter. Is there a reason you are wandering my manor at four in the morning though?” Voldemort sounded friendly, and though he hadn’t changed in appearance, he seemed more-, human somehow.
“Nightmare,” Harry replied softly. “I was on my way to the kitchen for some company.”
Voldemort chuckled. “This happens often?” Harry nodded. “That explains it then.”
Harry didn’t ask what it explained, because Voldemort turned and walked in the opposite direction. He stood there unsure what to do until Voldemort paused his step.
“Are you coming?”
He didn’t think about it, he just followed the Dark Lord to wherever he was going.
They ended up in Voldemort’s quarters where the man filled a tumbler with an amber liquid and passed it to Harry. “Brandy, Goblin made. Don’t drink too fast.”
Harry took a sip and enjoyed the way the drink burned down his throat. He didn’t sit down until Voldemort did so and stared at him. “Are you uncomfortable, Mr Potter?”
Biting his lip, Harry shifted in his seat and nodded.
‘Because you could kill me without a word?’, ‘Because I’ve seen you Crucio your followers for looking at you wrong?’, ‘Because I have no idea what you want from me, and no one saw fit to tell me?’
Harry shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“I think you do, however it’s fine should you not wish to discuss it. I merely hoped to bring you more at ease.”
Voldemort’s smile came with a show of teeth, making Harry blurt: “Lulling me into a false sense of security?”
The smile instantly became more genuine. “There’s the Harry Potter I know,” the Dark Lord said. “I was afraid you’d lost that brilliant sense of defiance. It is as enlightening as the burning love you feel for those who care about you.”
Harry just stared at him. He never thought to hear something as startling as a compliment from Voldemort.
“I do admit I once wished to squelch those emotions until you were nothing more than a frightened mess,” Voldemort continued. “But now that I sense that trepidation in you, I find it to be quite alarming.”
When no response was forthcoming, Voldemort sighed. “I wish you well, Mr Potter.”
“Oh,” Harry said and took another sip of brandy. “Alright.”
“What was the nightmare about?”
Harry brought his feet up on his chair and hugged his knees to him. “It’s nothing,” he said. “Not really. I mean- It’s not like the fact that someone is out to kill me is a new thing, right?”
Voldemort didn’t respond to that last little jibe. “It’s most certainly not nothing if it keeps you up at night.”
Running a hand through his hair, Harry looked down at the floor. “It always starts with Dumbledore. He really would’ve killed me, you know. And then I think of all the people who gave their lives to see you stopped. Sirius and my parents. And in my dream they come at me, screaming at me that I’m an ungrateful brat. That they had the strength to lay down their lives, and I don’t.”
“One,” Voldemort said, beckoning Harry over. Harry didn’t move. “Your parents did not die to stop me. I killed them because they protected you. They died so you would live, so I cannot imagine they would want you to die now.
“Come here,” he said next. Harry reluctantly dropped his feet to the floor and stood up to stand awkwardly in front of the Dark Lord, who took one of his wrists and pulled the boy into his lap. Harry’s head came to rest against Voldemort’s bony chest.
“Two; Where I regained much of my sanity in the past few months, Dumbledore has sadly lost sight of the bigger picture.”
Harry thought over the words for a minute. “What are you saying?”
Voldemort stroked his long fingers through Harry’s hair. “People are happy, Harry. I wish it were safe for you to go out into the world and witness it with your own eyes. The monster Dumbledore has been fighting the past two decades no longer exists. Only he does not wish to recognize it.”
They spent most of the night talking, until Harry fell asleep, his head resting against Voldemort’s shoulder.
Harry wasn’t promiscuous in the least, but within a week they had shared their first kiss. A week later Harry moved into the Dark Lord’s rooms. He slept so much better when he wasn’t alone, when he was wanted.
Now Harry wasn’t sure he was wanted anymore.
Christmas morning was supposed to be perfect. Harry spent days on end trying to magically syphon his love into a small sphere. It wasn’t safe for him to go to Diagon Alley and shop for presents, and while he had no qualms about making a shopping list of presents for Voldemort’s elves, he wanted to take care of his love’s present himself.
The sphere would act like a protection charm, like the protection his mother had given him upon her death. It required true love of the purest kind.
Harry felt silly now, making Voldemort a present like that. It just showed how pathetic he really was, to fall for someone who didn’t reciprocate his feelings in the slightest.
This morning he was so happy, so excited to give Voldemort the charm, to see his face when Harry presented him with a token of his tremendous love. But the man had already left the bed and the manor by the time Harry woke up.
Still, he didn’t want to spend the night alone. Even if Voldemort’s passion was all he could hope for, Harry wanted it, wanted him. So he undressed and slid beneath the cold sheets, hoping he would eventually fall asleep.
When the door opened silently behind him, Harry buried himself deeper into the blankets. Soft noises let him know Voldemort was somewhere in the bedroom changing into his night robes. Harry kept as still as he could, hoping the man would think he was still asleep.
The mattrass gave under the the weight of a lean and slender body. Like always, a chill preceded the cold hand that softly found its place on Harry’s naked shoulder. He could feel Voldemort’s breath on him, raising the hairs at the back of his neck. Harry had learned to love the cold, had learned to connect it with warm feelings and burning passion. But now it was just cold. Empty. Meaningless.
The Dark Lord pulled him close and caressed Harry’s shoulder, his arm, his thigh. Slim fingers smoothed over the soft skin of his ass, quickly finding the puckered entrance between his cheeks.
A quick spell left him slick, and then those fingers were breaching him. The moan coming from Voldemort slightly startled him.
“Hmmm, so ready,” Voldemort mumbled against his neck, and Harry’s breath hitched.
He wasn’t going to cry. Not now, because even he now knew this encounter was as empty of feeling as all the others had been, he still wanted it with all his heart. And didn’t that make him pathetic?
Voldemort’s fingers left him, but were quickly replaced by the head of his hard cock, nudging against the rim. When the Dark Lord pushed through and filled Harry, he held his breath. Only fully sheathed, Voldemort started breathing again and caressed Harry’s thigh once more.
“Happy Christmas, Harry,” he whispered, and Harry finally broke.
Silent tears made their way into the soft pillow underneath Harry's head. He couldn’t help it. That one sentence just brought the truth home like nothing else could.
His breath came in stuttering hitches, not revealing the emotion behind them.
With extremely slow strokes the Dark Lord started fucking him, pulling all the way out, and then carefully sliding back in. Harry always loved that, the feeling of his love breaching him over and over again. This time however, every single stroke caused something to tighten around his heart. His love was just using him like the convenient fuck he was. He bit into the pillow, trying to keep the sobs from forcing their way out through his throat.
It didn't take long before Voldemort started speeding up. He pushed Harry forward slightly, readjusted his hips and started pounding the boy seriously, faltering every few strokes.
He grabbed Harry tighter and leaned over to whisper in his ear. "Tell me you're mine," he demanded.
Harry gasped slightly. "I-I'm yours, m-my Lord," he managed. And wasn't that the truth. He was Voldemort's in the same way the house elves were his. A possession, objectified to its most satisfactory use. He was just a warm body to fuck, readily available whenever the Dark Lord's mood struck.
Harry supposed he should be thankful, for Voldemort giving him a day with the people who truly cared.
When he felt a hand close around his erection he let out a startled cry, despite everything, it felt so good. The Dark Lord started stroking him in time with his thrusts, and in no time at all, Harry was coming, with his lover right behind.
Voldemort sighed in satisfaction, cleaned them both up with a wave of his hand, and kissed the back of Harry’s neck. He relaxed completely, prick still buried deep within Harry’s arse and an arm wrapped around Harry’s waist.
Even now that his love was back in their bed, breathing steadily against his shoulder, Harry couldn’t sleep.
Everything was different now.
After laying there for an hour, listening to Voldemort’s breaths and feeling his heartbeat against his back, Harry slowly untangled himself and got out of bed. He retrieved his present from one of the shoes in the back of the closet and wrote a short note by the light of the moon.
I hope this gift will help you understand why I needed to go.
He left the note and the present on his pillow, taking a last look at the person he loved, before he silently got dressed and left the room.
He had no idea where to go, but in the end he used the Floo to go to the only person he trusted to keep him safe outside these wards. “Severus Snape’s quarters, Hogwarts.”
“Harry?” Severus asked sleepily when he came to see who’d come through his wards. “What on earth are you doing here?”
He couldn’t stop himself, not anymore, and he started crying like a child. He felt completely embarrassed when Snape of all people wrapped his arms around him and cradled him as he wept. Still not embarrassed enough to stop.
Snape whispered soft words to him, words he couldn’t even make out, but eventually Harry fell asleep in Snape’s arms.
Harry woke up in a bed he didn’t recognize, though he did recognize the voices on the other side of the door.
“He is gone, Severus. I need you to help me find him. What if something happens to him? I would never forgive myself!”
“There’s no need to panic, my Lord,” Snape said. “Harry is asleep in the other room. I thought it best to keep him here until I knew what made him leave the Manor.”
“I’m not sure,” Voldemort said. “He left me a note and a powerful love charm.”
Snape sighed. “What exactly happened? You spent Christmas day together, I take it?”
“No, I spent the day at Malfoy Manor,” Voldemort replied. “He told me he never had a real family Christmas, so I arranged for him to have one. I would’ve spent the day with him, if I hadn’t thought my presence would be a strain on the company.”
“And you explained this to the boy, instead of surprising him with your absence?”
“Well, no,” Voldemort replied. “I left before dawn and returned after midnight. However, I can’t imagine it would be a problem. We made love when I returned to the Manor.”
“Do you love him, my Lord?” Snape asked.
Harry held his breath.
“What are you insinuating? Of course I love the boy. Have you ever known me to be self sacrificing for anyone else?”
Harry got out of bed and made his way to the door.
“Have you told him you love him?” Snape asked as Harry opened the door.
“You love me?”
Both men turned to look at Harry, who stood there in a nightshirt that was too long, his bare feet cold against the chilly stones of the dungeon floor.
“I thought-, after yesterday-,” Harry tried. “You really do love me?”
“Of course I do, you silly boy,” Voldemort said, and next his lap was filled with sobbing boy, whose tears were creating a large wet patch on the Dark Lord’s robes.”Is that why you left? You thought I did not love you?”
Harry nodded and buried his face deeper into his lover’s neck.
Voldemort picked him up and carried him back to the Floo. “I’ll show you how much I love you, Harry. You’ll never doubt it again.”