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: A Perfect Hell
By: Tavalya Ra
E-mail: clearbluedelphia@yahoo.com"
Rating: PG-13
Category: Angst
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Rowling is a goddess; may she have mercy on my soul for writing this.
Notes: Voldemort's italicized words are directly quoted from
Goblet of Fire and thus are, obviously, the work of Rowling and not myself. Comments and criticisms are welcome. Flames will be ignored.
Summary: The hopes, aspirations, and fears of Severus Snape under the second reign of Lord Voldemort.
Pairing: Snape/Voldemort

* * *

He had been prepared for years, but the Ministry- understandably, given his highly checkered past- was reluctant to concede. Finally, Albus Dumbledore succeeded in pulling the few strings his rift with Cornelius Fudge left him and, in the summer of 1997, Severus Snape became the first English wizard in a century to attempt the most rigorous of Potions exams. He passed without error and ascended from the position of Potions Master to Potions Adept.

The promotion meant little to his position at Hogwarts. Dumbledore gave him a raise, but Severus did not need the money. He needed assurance, he needed security, and those the headmaster could not guarantee.

Among the Death Eaters, it was another matter. Severus was granted a free and complete reign over the Dark Lord’s personal potion lab. A team of five Potions Masters was at his disposal; he had the latest, most sophisticated equipment available and a storeroom stocked with every ingredient he could possibly conceive.

It was the fulfillment of a personal dream in a custom-tailored hell.

Severus had not been present at Voldemort’s resurrection, yet the words the Dark Lord had spoken were known to him:

“And here we have six missing Death Eaters… three dead in my service. One, too cowardly to return… he will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever… he will be killed, of course…”

And yet he lived. Despite the Dark Lord’s own words, Voldemort had readmitted him into the fold.

The reason had nothing to do with potions.

* * *

Sometimes, Severus would awake from the black sludge of his slumber to feel hands upon him, touching him. He knew them for what they were, a mental illusion induced by the psychic influence of a will much stronger than his own. That fact did not make them feel any less real, any less solid. There were hands upon him, hands touching him, setting his nerves to fire, transmuting what, under the ministrations of another, would have been pleasure into pain.

He tried not to scream.

* * *

“Severussss…”

Severus’s breath caught in his throat. The hiss was all too familiar. It was somewhere between English and Parseltongue, the latter of which his Lord often slipped into when they were alone. He, of course, had no understanding of what Voldemort then said and doubted much that he wanted it. He wondered if the Dark Lord did the same with the others.

He wondered if there were any others.

He hoped so.

“Master, may I enter?” he whispered upon his knees.

“You may.”

Severus passed from dark to dim as he entered the banquet hall. Two candelabras lit with pale Lumos-bulbs hovered mid-air above the foot and head of a long banquet table, covered in green and set for two. From the far end of the room, two ruby eyes faceted themselves upon him. Severus spotted a glitter of something entwined around his Lord; scales, he recognized, Nagini. Voldemort had taught him more about that snake than he had ever cared to learn.

“Sit, Severus,” he was ordered.

Severus did as was bid of him. Voldemort waved his hand in a casual, almost careless gesture, and a meal apparated onto the silver plate before him.

“I wish to discuss your future,” the Dark Lord said.

“My future?” Severus questioned. His hand hovered over the emerald-inlayed fork by his plate, yet he had no intention of using it. He never ate in this setting and Voldemort either did not notice or did not care.

“Indeed,” Voldemort said. “Do you know why I have allowed you to remain at Hogwarts?”

He hesitated. “My position places me close to Dumbledore-”

“You are not close to Dumbledore,” Voldemort rasped sharply. “I had hoped that you would somehow have wormed your way towards him, but it’s become apparent he will never trust you with anything beyond academics.”

Severus said nothing.

“No,” he continued. “What I valued was your proximity to Potter. Such a pity you alienated, rather than endeared, yourself with the boy, although your hatred towards him is understandable. I find it… touching.

“This year, Potter will graduate. You will no longer be useful there. I do not care if you see fit to make up an excuse for Dumbledore or not, whether you resign or simply disappear, but after this year, you will join me here. I want to keep you close to the lab- and close to me.”

Severus, only for a moment, closed his eyes.

Dumbledore knew nothing of it; Severus had seen to that. If the headmaster had suspected, he never would have reinstalled Severus as a double agent. He would have, instead, confined the Potions Adept to the Hogwarts grounds, perhaps even placed him under the Fidelius Charm. It already weighted heavily on the great wizard’s conscience that he was routinely submitted to the Cruciatus. Severus had assured him he knew a potion which numbed the effects of the curse. He never mentioned that he neither brewed nor drank it.

He knew this could not last. One day he would be discovered and for what he was to Voldemort, his death would be that much more agonizing. Yet, in his mind, he had no choice. His own soul was the blackest thing he knew and this, his own, perfect hell, was his single chance at redemption, even if he no longer believed such a miracle possible.

I deserve this, he told himself.

It was the only way he survived without madness consuming him from the inside out.

“I do not take well to being denied,” Voldemort said. His voice was low and seductive; to Severus, it spoke only of danger and pain. “Soon, after this school year, I will be denied no longer.”

He paused. “Does Dumbledore expect you in the morrow?”

“No, my Lord,” Severus answered.

He suddenly felt the ghost of a hand upon his own.

“Then you will stay the night.

No. Every fiber of his body screamed the word. No.

He shuddered and not for the reason Voldemort believed.

“Of course, my Lord.”

-end-

 

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