Ashes of Armageddon

BY : emilywaters
Category: Harry Potter > Slash - Male/Male > Harry/Snape
Dragon prints: 72750
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or movies. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Summary: Severus Snape survives Nagini's bite, and wakes up from a 5-year-long coma, only to be condemned to death and handed over to vindictive, cruel and very powerful Harry Potter, intent on making him pay for his sins. Nobody believes Snape's story, except for three unlikely allies, who appear to be unaffected by the effects of darkness that surrounds the wizarding world once again.

Warnings: DarkFic. Very disturbing. Humiliation, N/C, slavery, graphic violence, rape, torture, slash sex, abuse, slave/Master, D/s, bondage, discipline.

Plot Beta: SoftObsidian74

Canon Trivia Beta: Visitkarte

BOOK ONE


The Dark Half


1. Misery


He woke up in a grungy cell, permeated by smell of decay and human waste. For a few minutes he hadn't realized where he was, but then, as despair assaulted, he remembered. Azkaban.

The effect of Dementors was unmistakable. Then again, misery was a familiar state of mind, ever since that day...

Severus Snape smiled bitterly. A fitting end for the spy of the Order of Phoenix, he thought. He glanced down at his prison gown and grit his teeth. The fabric was worn out, and had blood stains on it- someone else's. The person who had worn the robe before him was likely long gone, but the dried blood remained, reminding Severus of his ultimate destiny.

After waking up from the five-year-long coma induced by Nagini's venom, Severus Snape was not surprised to find himself transferred to Azkaban, or to be sentenced to death. He was only surprised that he had lived this long – after what he had done.

Albus, he thought, and buried his face in his arms. He had killed him. He had killed him... He would have wept, but he had given up that unnecessary habit over two decades ago.

It did not matter that Albus had requested it, or that it was necessary – the guilt at his action was overwhelming to the point of faintness, almost to the point of death. Severus groaned quietly and shuddered with dread at the memory.

Sleep, he thought. Even though his sleep in Azkaban had not been not restful, and was punctuated by terrors, real and imagined, it was still preferable to being awake. At least, while he slept, he did not have to be in control of his own body and mind. He much rather preferred to ride out this terrors and fears, rather then fighting them, as he did, almost automatically, whenever he was awake.

Nothing hurt as much as the memory of that murder – or mercy killing. Nothing. Not even the fact that nobody believed him. Not Minerva McGonagall, not the Ministry, not the Order.

He remembered the last hearing, that took place a few weeks ago. Or was it months ago? He was no longer certain.

“So, Severus Snape, you claim that you were under orders from Albus Dumbledore himself to cause his death?” Percy Weasley asked with an unpleasant smile on his face.

“Yes, Sir,” Severus answered impassively. “He was dying from the cursed object that he had touched previously. He thought it would be more dignified a death... and he wanted to give me a way to assure Voldemort's confidence in me that had began to waver at that point.”

“I see,” Percy said. “Do you have any proof of that?”

“I will say the same under Veritaserum,” Severus said quietly.

“Of course you will. However, as we all know, you had been... training to withstand the effects of Veritaserum for quite a while... is not that right?”

“Yes,” Severus conceded. “However...”

“Legilimency seems to be wasted on you as well, given your skill at Occlumency,” Percy said grimly. “And as for a Pensive - we all know that you are able to generate false memories rather skillfully. You even fooled Voldemort on several occasions... Yes or no?”

“Yes!” Severus snapped impatiently. “What do you want from me?”

“What I want,” Percy said slowly and unkindly, “is some sort of actual proof. Something material. Did Albus Dumbledore ever tell of this to anyone else? Did he leave behind a letter, or a message? Did he name a Secret Keeper?”

“No,” Severus admitted. “He didn't. We had considered this – and decided that it was too risky. Voldemort was too powerful, and his influence extended too far. Hogwarts was crawling with his spies. We thought it best not to have any evidence of our plan.”

Percy laughed unpleasantly. “How convenient. And now you expect us to believe you and spare your life?”

“No,” Severus said impassively. “I expect you to kill me. But perhaps years from now, you will believe the truth – and come to believe that Albus Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of all time, died a hero, and not a victim to a greasy-haired, mediocre potions teacher.”

Severus was startled by the sound of the door opening. He saw a guard, then another. Then, Percy Weasley. And then, he saw someone else.

Severus looked at the young angry face with despair, not wanting to believe who he was seeing. The dark hair cut short, lips pressed into a disdainful thin line... and the eyes. The green eyes were incredibly dark, but also hauntingly familiar and nostalgically beautiful, in spite of the fact that they belonged to that... twenty-three year old person, who hated him more than anyone else in the world.

“Good morning, Severus,” Harry said quietly, the thin smile never leaving his face.

Severus nodded slightly, unsurprised and untroubled by his lack of formality. Over the last few months, he had gotten used to everyone calling him by his first name. “Mr. Potter,” Severus said with just a touch of sarcasm in his voice. “If you are here to gloat, I congratulate you on your timing.”

Harry tilted his head and looked at him thoughtfully. “Gloat,” Harry repeated with amusement. “No, I'm only here for benign reasons. I am saving your life.”

“Oh?” Severus asked, almost peacefully. The dark glow in Harry's eyes did not inspire confidence. “And why would you do such a thing?”

“I made a promise,” Harry told him. “Or to be precise, I took a vow. An Unbreakable Vow.”

“To Albus,” Severus whispered breathlessly. “He made you swear...”

“Yes,” Harry cut him off. “He made me swear that if it ever became possible to save your life, without losing mine, I would do so. I guess the old idiot never anticipated the possibility of you actually turning against him and killing him... in spite of me trying to warn him about you, for years and years...”

Severus shook his head in disbelief. So that was the last contingency plan of Albus Dumbledore. To entrust Harry-bloody-Potter with rescuing his nemesis. He might have laughed, but the stern look on Harry's face convinced him that it was not the best idea.

“We are invoking an ancient law,” Harry said firmly. “Sub Corona Vendere – You may or may not be familiar with it. In exchange for your life being spared, you are becoming mine. My property. Nothing more than that. Not the most dignified way to live for the rest of your life, but ... well...they say beggars can't be choosers. In this case, killers can't either.”

Slowly Severus nodded, the reality of the situation beginning to dawn on him. “I decline,” he said quickly, as politely as possible. “I appreciate the offer, Mr. Potter – but...”

“I am afraid you do not have the option to decline,” Harry said, a little sharply. “I am not here to consult you. I am here to inform you of my actions, as a courtesy. That is all.”

Severus felt his entire body stiffen. “Mr. Potter – may I have a word with you alone, please?”

Harry nodded to Percy and the guards.

“Minister, are you sure that's wise?” One of the guards protested.

Minister, Severus realized with a start. Twenty-three year old Harry Potter is a Minister... not the Minister of Magic, surely? Severus uttered a silent prayer to all the gods of the wizarding world, hoping that he had misheard.

Harry nodded to the guards dismissively, and they left, Percy Weasley trailing behind. Harry remained, standing over Severus, who was still seated on his cot.

“What is it?” Harry demanded..

“At the Shrieking Shack, when I thought I was dying, I had attempted to impart some of my memories to you,” he said with utmost awkwardness. “To try and explain...”

“That you did it for the greater good.” Harry cut him off abruptly. “That Dumbledore had asked you to kill him, so that you could keep your cover as a spy.” Harry smiled disdainfully. “I know, Severus. We had all viewed the pensive. I had believed its contents at one time – but not anymore. I have come to the conclusion that anything that proceeds from you – whether words, thoughts, or memories – is a lie.”

“In that case, I truly do not understand,” Severus said slowly. “Why not let me die? Why not simply permit me to refuse your offer? Surely, the Unbreakable Vow will not penalize you if I decline your assistance of my own free will.”

Harry gazed at him with an unreadable smile. The darkness in his eyes became even more intense. “The Vow would permit it, if you were sincere. But you are not.” Harry said with confidence. He walked up to Severus and brought his fingers to the man's chin. Severus shuddered at the touch, as it sent a sharp, dark jolt of power throughout his entire body. “I can see it in your eyes,” Harry told him. “I know that look. The look of someone who is lost without without a Master.” Harry's thumb stroked Severus' cheekbone absently, indifferently, as if his face were an inanimate object. “I've seen that look before.”

Suddenly, Severus found himself speechless. He wanted to ask - “where” or “when” - but by the time he had regained his ability to speak, Harry was already gone.


To Be Continued...


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