WARNING: This is a slash story, which means it contains male/male erotic content involving consenting adults. If you're not of legal age or are offended by such material, please go find something else to read.

TITLE: Little Man
AUTHOR: Darkrose
EMAIL: darkrose@pardalis.org
PAIRING: Severus Snape/Cornelius Fudge
DISCLAIMER: I don't want Fudge. I want Sev, but I don't own him. He's probably happier that way.
SUMMARY: On the night of Voldemort's return, Snape recalls a prior encounter with the Minister of Magic.
WARNINGS: Not-entirely-consensual prison sex.
NOTES: Part of the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest--Easy(!) Pairing Snape/Fudge

"Fudge stepped back from Snape too. He was shaking his head. He did not seem to have taken in a word Snape had said. He stared, apparently repelled by the ugly mark on Snape's arm, then looked up at Dumbledore and whispered, 'I don't know what you and your staff are playing at, Dumbledore, but I have heard enough.'"

-Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire-, Chapter 36, "The Parting of the Ways."

Run, little man. Hide your head in the sand and try to pretend that it's not happening. Go back to your lovely wife and fine children and don't think about taking bruised, broken boys in the darkness and filth of Azkaban. By all means, maintain your respectable facade and forget the last time you saw this Mark on this arm.

You can forget. I haven't.

I never learned what brought you there that night. The truth is that I didn't much care, for at the time, you were my deliverance. Crouch actually had to stop beating me long enough to answer your timid knock at the door of the interrogation room. I remember looking up through one swelling eye and wishing I could thank you, my unlikely savior in those ridiculous purple boots....

I found it amusing. At that point, everything struck me as laughable. I had told him nothing save, "I want to speak to Albus Dumbledore." He wanted names from me, names that I would not give, not to him. At last I tired of the game and told Crouch that there was one person that I knew was a fellow Death Eater. He leaned in close to hear me whisper in a hoarse, cracked voice, "Bartholomew Crouch, Junior." That was when he started to hit me.

I suppose he didn't want you to see it: the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement abusing a chained prisoner, who was giggling like a madman. He went off to speak with you alone, summoning an Auror to return me to my cell. I sat there, laughing to myself at the delightful irony. It would all be for nothing--there would be no trial, and the Dementors would come for me in the end, exactly as they would have if Albus had turned me over months ago when I came crawling back to him. There was no point in attempting to heal my bruises, or to touch the hard bread and stale water I was given, since I was certain I would soon be past caring. I think I may have actually tried to talk to the Dementors, greeting them as one who would soon be their brother. It might have been evening, or dawn, or some other time unique to that place when I finally curled up on the dirty straw and slept.

At first I thought that the soft scrabblings that woke me were rats, but they are far too sensible to be as officious as you were. "I am here on official Ministry business, and I demand that you let me in to see this prisoner right now!" Did the Dementors truly believe you, or did they sense your intent and find it amusing? Whichever it was, they opened the door to my cell, closing it behind you once you had slipped in. I heard you curse, and whisper "Lumos," and the tiny room was lit by the dim glow of wand light. I couldn't help being curious--it has always been my worst fault--and I looked up. I saw you squat beside me, your face hidden by magic, and heard you whisper to me to be quiet, not to make a sound and no one need ever know.

Then it was your hands, soft and uncallused, on my face, tracing my split lip and brushing my matted hair back from my face. I whimpered, unsure how to respond, but when you slapped me and told me again to keep silent, I relaxed. This, at least, was familiar territory. You reached inside my tattered robes, pinching my nipples with surprisingly strong fingers and making me bite down on my bloodied lip to keep from crying out. Your hand between my legs was far from gentle, squeezing and yanking at me. Perhaps you thought that if you could rouse me, you could leave believing that I had wanted it?

When it became clear that my starved, battered body would not be coaxed into even a parody of arousal you abandoned your efforts and grabbed my hair, forcing my head into your lap, saying nothing. It was unnecessary; I knew my role. I took you in my mouth and began to suck, habit making me try to please you by doing well. I heard you groan softly; apparently the order for silence only applied to me. It never occurred to me to wonder why you sought your pleasure in the dank and foul confines of Azkaban. In the Dark Lord's service I had witnessed or participated in the entire catalogue of human perversions, and this was far from the strangest.

Your fists clenched in my greasy hair, and I took that as a signal to intensify my attentions. Another muffled sound from you, and a whispered, "Oh, yes...good boy. Clever boy." I have always been clever, but only Albus believes there is any good left in me. Even now, I am not sure if he is right, or simply desperate.

I froze when I felt you tracing the outlines of the Dark Mark on my arm with your pudgy, sweating fingers. I heard your sharp intake of breath and felt you harden in my mouth as you touched your lips to the raised scar, nuzzling and licking it in a sick worship. I had thought I was beyond shame, but your fascination for the filth that the Mark symbolized made me realize my error. Hoping to finish you quickly I pressed hard at the base of your shaft. I only gagged a little when I tasted you, leukwarm and bitter, and with a supreme effort of will I managed not to retch as I swallowed. With my eyes on the ground, the faint light from your wand illuminated your feet in their bright purple boots. I smiled in the darkness when you had gone. Your vain affectation had betrayed you, and like a good Slytherin, I stored that information away for future reference.

I don't think it is truly the Mark that revolts you, petty little man. It is the knowledge it represents: that you crave the darkness but are too great a coward to seek it openly, crawling in the shadows instead, sating yourself with the Dark Lord's shattered leavings. You may turn the stone over again, but I have already seen the maggots sliding from beneath it. Tell Albus that he's wrong now, and run off, shaking the dust of Azkaban from those damned boots. You won't get far: the darkness has returned and this time you won't be able to hide in the gray spaces in between. I know your dirty secret, and if you want it to remain so you will choose sides. Choose well, little man. Time is short.