Harry dreamt that Sirius hadn't died when he fell through the veil. Instead, he ended up with Voldemort, who kept him as a pet dog. Voldemort told Harry that he needed to learn the Cruciatus curse and he had to practice on Sirius. Harry tried to refuse, but Voldemort cast the Imperius Curse on him and made him do it while Sirius screamed and twisted and begged Harry to stop.
Harry woke with a gasp. He felt sick. He had to think of positive memories, not that stupid dream. Once he had calmed himself down, he attempted to get under the covers. It was very difficult to do with his hands chained to the bedposts and the top cover tucked all the way near the front, but he gripped the sheet with his toes and worked it out inch by inch. He was only able to cover himself up to his waist, but he instantly felt better with his genitals covered. Being naked made him feel so exposed and helpless and he hated it. He bet Snape had known that, the wanker.
His bladder was full, but the last thing he wanted to do was piss the bed. He'd learnt to hold liquid in for long periods of time after being locked up by the Dursleys, so he put his need in the back of his mind. He stared up at the ceiling and replayed the scene from the bathroom in his mind. Snape had called him ‘wilfully stupid’ but he thought it was far more stupid to remain in a Death Eater prison than to try to escape. Did Snape expect him to just say "You caught me, do what you will"? Harry wasn't going to give him that satisfaction. The bastard had tortured Harry and announced that he would do it again and make it worse. Harry couldn't imagine how a whipping could be worse than the Cruciatus Curse, but he did not doubt that Snape would do his best to make it horrid. Sure, Snape would heal the wounds afterwards, but he had said many times that he only did that because Voldemort commanded him to.
Harry turned over his situation in his head for hours until the pressure in his bladder became unbearable. Snape had promised to take away his voice if he made too much noise, but there was no way in hell Harry was pissing his bed.
"Snape!" he yelled. He counted to thirty in his head then yelled the Death Eater's name again.
A banging of the door announced Snape's entrance. "Potter-"
"I have to take a piss!"
Snape waved his wand, removing the chains, and Harry scrambled to the toilet as fast as he could.
Snape stepped into the cell and tapped the table with his wand. Food appeared and Snape left the room.
Harry washed his hands and hurried over to the table. The offerings were meagre compared to before; just two sandwiches of the strange fish stuff and water. He ate it quickly, almost finished with it when Snape returned. Snape floated a small towel over to rest on the sink.
"If you want to take a bath, you can do so in the sink," Snape sneered at him.
"Fine," snapped Harry.
"And you will call me 'sir'," said Snape.
"Fine, sir," muttered Harry sarcastically.
Snape strode through the bars and advanced on Harry in an angry swirl of black. Harry jumped out of his chair and tried to run, but Snape flicked his wand and the chairs came alive and blocked his exit, trapping him in place. Snape grabbed one of Harry's wrists and yanked him after him as he marched out of the cell.
"OW! GET OFF ME! YOU MURDERER! YOU COWARD!" Harry kicked and punched at Snape, landing blows on his well-covered limbs.
"SILENCIO!" Snape cut off Harry’s voice. He dragged him past the bathroom and opened the second door to the right, throwing Harry inside.
Harry had enough time to see that he was in a small, bare room before Snape slammed the door shut plunging him into total darkness. The doorknob wouldn't turn, so he banged his fists against the door in anger until they hurt.
Once Harry had calmed down, he explored the room by touch. It was about five feet wide and seven feet deep. He stood on his tiptoes, but couldn't reach the ceiling. In each corner of the room were bars that felt exactly like his bedposts. He felt around the door and wasn't surprised to find a flap at the bottom like the one the Dursleys had installed in his attic bedroom. He tried to push it out so that he could get some light, but it refused to budge either way.
Harry lay on the floor. If Snape thought this treatment would make him more docile, he was wrong. Harry was used to being locked up in small spaces by his Uncle, so a few days in a dark room wasn't going to make him listen to Snape. He lay there, thinking of his friends, until Snape opened the door several hours later.
"Are you ready to behave, Potter?" asked Snape in a sooty tone as he levitated a plate of food into the room. Harry felt his voice return.
Harry laughed, "My relatives made me live in a cupboard for ten years. This is like summer holiday, only better, because I don't have to do my homework in the dark." He grinned defiantly.
Snape slammed the door in his face. Delighted at being able to annoy the bastard, Harry ate the sandwiches with relish. His hunger finally eased, he managed to fall asleep.
Snape woke Harry when he next opened the door. Bright light spilled in and Harry blinked up at the dark shadow that was Snape.
"If you wish to use the toilet, you will do so now," ordered Snape in a ‘don’t fuck with me’ voice.
Harry got to his feet.
"Put your wrists together."
Harry toyed with the idea of refusing him, but Snape might lock him in and he did need to use the loo. He placed his wrists together, watching as the chain appeared between the manacles. Snape stepped back and Harry walked out into the hall. The bathroom door was opened, so he decided to use that toilet rather than try to return to his cell. Snape stayed well away from him, watching him every step. Harry washed his hands and then walked back to his new prison. He smiled at his captor as he sat back down in the small room. "I hope you are a patient man."
From the way Snape slammed the door he was not.
Food floated in through the flap twice more over time that seemed to stretch for hours. Harry was given the same sandwiches every time. He thought hungrily of the meals he had in the other room as he ate. He was tempted to pretend to be obedient to Snape just to be able to eat like that again, but he didn't want to give Snape any control over him. Plus, he didn't know if he could. Every time he saw Snape, he thought of Dumbledore and Sirius and his parents.
Harry thought about asking Snape for the book and a light when the Death Eater finally let him out to use the toilet again, but he didn't want to show any signs of weakness or need to Snape. Instead, he returned to his cell with a forced smile on his face. He curled up on the floor and made up various endings for the characters until he fell asleep.
Harry had a dream that Ron and Hermione had been captured and were being held in prisons by other Death Eaters. They were allowed to see each other when it was time to be tortured, and Harry had to watch his best friends whipped until they bled. He woke up shaking and couldn't get back to sleep. Curling up in a ball, he massaged his chest where it hurt. Ron and Hermione had to be alive. Surely the Death Eaters would brag to him if they had captured or killed them, right?
After far too long, Snape opened the door and Harry wearily got to his feet.
Snape said, "Put your wrists together," and Harry did so, stepping out as soon as the chain formed. He went into the bathroom and used the toilet. When he left the bathroom, he started to go back to his room, but Snape spoke from behind him, "Other way, Potter."
Harry turned and headed towards the library, dread filling him. Was Voldemort here? Snape was probably still upset over being stabbed.
"Potter, your cage is on your left."
Harry turned around and stared at him. He noticed for the first time the opening in the bars. Not wanting to argue with a chance to return to his bed, he quickly entered the room. Snape removed the chain between his cuffs as soon as he crossed through the bars and Harry climbed into his bed. Snape followed him in and conjured up breakfast.
Snape informed him, "The Dark Lord arrives tonight," and then left.
Heading over to eat, Harry found just the type of full, hearty food he had missed. The main course was Shepherd's pie, and it was better than any other version of it he had tried. Next to the main dish rested a paper bowl with a strange type of fruit Harry had never tasted before. It was bright orange and had a tangy flavour. The third dish was a bowl of steamed vegetables that had been seasoned with a delicious spice. To drink was the usual pumpkin juice and water. Harry had no idea Snape loved pumpkin juice so much. He had never seen the man drink it at Hogwarts. Then again, he'd never paid much attention to Snape outside the classroom at all.
He ate everything, feeling delightfully satiated when he was finished. The food left him sleepy and he brushed his teeth then climbed into his bed. He stretched out on the mattress, enjoying the feel of the soft sheets against his skin. He fell asleep in minutes even with the bright light.
When he woke the table was cleared. He cleaned himself as best he could using the extra flannel Snape had given him. He hoped Snape would let him bathe again soon. Maybe if he ran around the cell until he smelt horrid, the Death Eater would be forced to give him access to the bath. He imagined himself bringing in his book and taking a long bubble bath while Snape ranted at him ineffectually. Remembering his book, Harry sat up and began to look for it.
After he had searched every inch of the cell twice, Harry gave up and fell back on his bed. He was disappointed Snape had taken the book but not as much as when he realised the git had stolen his clothes too. Harry was thinking of ways to make noise without it being obvious that he was doing it on purpose when Snape walked in.
He ordered, "Potter, come with me," in his most authoritative voice.
Fuck. Voldemort. Harry had been so delighted about being back in his cell he had nearly forgot all about that. Snape conjured up the chain and then stepped back. Harry walked out of the cell and headed up to the throne room with his back straight. Snape could do his worst, but Harry would never cry.
The Death Eaters were already gathered in the throne room. This time, Voldemort was flanked by a short, heavyset figure in black that had to be Jugson; a tall, dark haired man Harry couldn’t place; and a long haired blond – Malfoy.
Something slammed into the back of his knees, forcing him to kneel. Snape walked over to Voldemort, who waved to Jugson. "Enjoy." Jugson grinned and bowed to his master. Voldemort turned and walked out the massive doors with Snape and the unknown Death Eater.
Jugson approached Harry closely as if he were afraid the bound wizard was suddenly going to leap up and attack him. He pointed his wand between Harry's eyes. “Crucio!”
It was painful as hell, but not nearly as bad as when Bellatrix had cast it. It also tapered out after about a minute and Harry pretended that it affected him longer than it did so that Jugson wouldn't renew it as quickly. Malfoy watched without speaking as Jugson became bored of casting Cruciatus and kicked Harry in his sides until his entire chest was covered in bruises. If Harry had been alone with him, he would've fought back against Jugson, but something about the way Malfoy was watching him filled him with an inexplicable fear. When Harry became too sore to stop trying to escape from the Death Eater's foot, he was treated to another round of Cruciatus. This time, he was already in so much pain that the Cruciatus hurt like Bellatrix’s had.
Luckily, Voldemort soon returned with the Death Eater Harry couldn't make out. While Harry panted on the floor, Voldemort announced, "Jugson, you are to accompany Severus on his task."
Jugson shivered and bowed. "Yes, my Lord. Thank you, my Lord. I won't fail you, my Lord."
"This is the most important task you've had so far. You know what will happen to you if you displease me." Voldemort's words sent shivers down the Death Eater's spine.
"Of course, my Lord." He hurried out the doors. Where was Voldemort sending Jugson and Snape? He hadn't found Ron and Hermione, had he?
Malfoy's cane pushed Harry's chin up and to the side, forcing Harry to look up at the fuzzy shape that was Draco's imperial father. "He is clumsy in his attempts to torture you. I noticed you did not cry or beg for mercy once. Trust me boy, when I am finished, you will do both on command."
Oh god. Malfoy was as sadistic as Bellatrix but not insane. He would be creative in his work. Harry pulled away, desperately hoping that Voldemort was leaving soon. He got his wish.
"Lucius, let us return." Voldemort turned and left. Malfoy followed and only the Death Eater Harry didn’t know was in the room. The man strode over to him and picked him up by the arm. Harry recognised him immediately once he was close enough for his fuzzy vision to pick up: Walden Macnair. His grin was almost as wicked as Bellatrix's.
"When it's my turn, I will cut off parts of your body one by one." He yanked hard, dragging Harry towards the stairs. Harry was too exhausted from Jugson's treatment to do anything other than stumble after him. Macnair was just trying to scare him, right? He couldn't imagine how painful it would be to try to regrow parts of his body.
Mcnair dragged past his cell to the small room where he undid the chain connecting Harry’s cuffs, and twisted his arms around to behind his back. After recasting the chaining spell, Macnair thrust him into the room. Yet another chain spell was cast and a new chain appeared, connecting Harry's cuffs to one of the bars in the far corner room. Macnair left, leaving the door open. Harry struggled against his chains, but they were as strong as Snape's. Macnair returned with a small bucket in one hand and a small, black vial in the other.
Using his thumb, he uncorked the vial. "Open your mouth." It had to be the painkiller. Harry opened his mouth, letting Macnair pour the potion down his throat. Macnair took a step back and shook the bucket at Harry.
"If you have to crap or piss, do it in here." Macnair said. "If you spill it, I will make you clean it up with your mouth." He threw it at Harry and then slammed the door.
With the manacles and chains, Harry couldn't get in any position remotely comfortable. His sides ached from the beating Jugson had given him as well as the residual effects of the Cruciatus. At least Bellatrix hadn't been the one casting the Cruciatus. Harry lay on the floor and thought of his friends and food until sleep finally took him.
When he woke, his entire body ached. He gingerly righted himself, trying not to aggravate his injuries. His hunger gnawed at him and he did his best to ignore it and think about his friends. Hours and hours passed before the flap was opened and something in an open can was shoved in. It smelled familiar yet strange, and he cautiously approached it.
Dog food. His stomach turned. He recognised the smell from when Aunt Marge visited. He returned to his spot along the far wall. He was hungry, but not that hungry. He wanted water more than anything. As if to tease him, his bladder reminded him that he had not given it release for a very long period of time. Trying to use the bucket with his hands tied behind his back was difficult and it took him a while to get in a position where he was confident it wouldn't spill. He carefully moved it as far out of his reach as he could when he was finished.
A while after that he ate the dog food. It was wet, slimy, tasted horrific and he had to stop half way to keep himself from throwing up, but he was so hungry that he managed to finish it all.
He flittered in and out of sleep. Due to his discomfort and hunger it didn't seem as if he would actually get any rest. The pain of his bruised torso had remained, a mild discomfort that constantly remained with him. He was careful with how he moved to prevent any flair ups.
It was after he had drifted in and out of sleep for the twentieth time that he focused on his cell and how much he desperately wanted to be back there. He missed his soft bed, the daily baths, the amazing food, and his book. Snape was annoying, evil, foul tempered, and ugly but even at his worst, he treated Harry twice as well as Macnair. Harry hoped that Voldemort would punish Macnair for neglecting him, but maybe discomfort wasn't enough to earn Voldemort's wrath.
The next time when the dog food arrived he ate it immediately.
Nightmares came and went. He was trapped in the body of a dog and unable to do anything while his friends pronounced him dead and had a funeral for him. Hermione was crying on Ron's shoulder as they lowered his casket into the grave. Ginny was sobbing, her thin shoulders shaking as she clung to her mother. Harry barked at them and tried to tell them that he was still alive but they couldn't hear him. "Go ’way, dog," grumbled Hagrid through his tears. He woke with a block of ice in his chest so big he had trouble breathing.
After several hours, he managed to calm himself down. He had to be strong for the sake of his friends. He would get out of here and he would kill Voldemort and he would have a huge party with tables and tables of the best foods in the world. He'd have plenty of that tangy orange fruit, piles of it as big as his head.
He was trying to decide what frosting he wanted on his chocolate cake when the door opened. The hallway's light pierced the closet and he squeezed his eyes shut, his eyes not used to the brightness of the light. The chains on his arms fell away.
"Get up, Potter."
Harry had never been so glad to hear Snape's voice even if he was being a git like usual. He stumbled to his feet, leaning against the wall for support. When he opened his eyes, Snape had left the doorway. He gingerly stepped out and saw Snape waiting by the bathroom door which was opened. Walking on shaky legs, Harry stumbled into the bathroom while Snape spelled open the taps.
Harry climbed into the tub, enjoying the feel of the warm water against his skin. He relaxed, completely submerging himself before he sat up and began to clean his skin. He felt filthy and gave himself a good scrub down. As he was shampooing his hair he looked around the room for the first time and was surprised to see Snape wasn't in his usual spot. In fact, he didn't seem to be in the bathroom at all. Harry rinsed out his hair, emptied the tub and ran the shower briefly to rinse completely clean. He stepped out of the bathtub and wrapped himself in a towel. He wandered over to the sink and peered at his reflection in the mirror. He couldn't make out his face very well, but his hair was sticking up even more than normal. He was trying to open the spelled shut cabinet door when Snape returned.
"Your chest needs to be bandaged. Follow me." He left the doorway.
Harry thought about refusing to do what Snape wanted and instead give in to the powerful urge to attack the Death Eater, but he was hungry and if he angered Snape, then he might refuse to be Harry's prison guard any longer. As much as Harry hated Snape, he would rather sleep in a bed, eat full meals, and have regular baths than be locked in a cupboard and fed dog food. He'd never had a chance at escape if they left him in that cupboard. If that meant that he had to put up with visits from the only person he hated as much as Voldemort, he would deal with it.
Keeping his towel wrapped tightly around himself, Harry returned to his cell. There were bottles sitting on the opposite end of the table from where his food normally rested. Snape motioned for Harry to come stand by the end of the table. Realising what Snape wanted, Harry retied his towel around his waist and walked over. Snape poured the contents of two of the bottles into the palm of his left hand and then rubbed his hands together. His fingers flat, he rubbed the ointments into Harry's torso in broad strokes. He reapplied the ointments to his fingers as necessary and turned Harry slowly in order to easily reach every bruise. When his fingers had passed over every inch of discoloured skin, he picked up a roll of bandages and carefully wrapped it around Harry’s chest. He attached it in the back, then left to wash his hands in the sink.
Harry tested his level of movement and found that the bandages were fairly flexible. Already the soreness had left him and he felt fine, although extremely hungry. As if reading his thoughts, Snape tapped his wand to the table and a feast appeared.
Harry hurried over and grabbed the bowl of soup in his hands. He gulped it down, not caring that it slightly burned his mouth. Snape gathered up his things as Harry attacked the roast chicken. When everything had been tucked in his robe but one vial, Snape opened it and poured a drop into Harry's pumpkin juice. Continuing to eat his chicken, Harry watched Snape closely. He knew Snape had been dosing his food since the beginning, but he had never seen him do it before.
"That will heal any lingering internal injuries." Snape tucked the bottle back into his robes. "Drink before the potion separates or the taste will become too foul for you to finish the juice."
Harry nodded around his mouth full of chicken to show he understood. Snape left in a cloud of black. When Harry finished the food, he brushed his teeth, delighted to have the taste of dog food out of his mouth. On his bed, he found his clothes and his book piled neatly by his pillow. He eagerly dressed and then slid between the sheets. Still holding his book, he fell asleep.
He woke when Snape conjured dinner.
"I need to examine your chest." Snape stepped over to the side of the bed.
Harry pulled off his shirt and slid to the edge of the bed. Snape took out his wand and ran it down the front of Harry's bandages. It cut through them evenly without causing any effect on Harry's skin. Both halves fell away and Harry glanced down at his chest to see most of the splotches had disappeared. Only the two really big ones on his right side still remained and they were greatly faded in colour. Harry prodded the marks with his fingers but didn’t feel any pain.
Snape destroyed the bandages with a flick of his wand. "While chaining you in a cupboard and feeding you dog food is not my preferred method of behaviour modification, it has proven itself to be quite efficacious, and since I am loath to engage in a repeat of last week, I ask you to not be disruptive unless you are near death. Is that understood?"
Harry had no idea what Snape had just said but assumed he was just telling him to stay quiet or he would let Macnair have him again for a few days. Geeze, why couldn't the git just use English? Harry rolled his eyes and said, "Right."
Snape stiffly nodded to him and then left. Harry approached the table eagerly, finding more roast chicken, although cornbread and a salad with a tangy dressing completed the meal. Snape apparently had gallons of pumpkin juice in his house.
After dinner, Harry lay on his bed and thought over his situation. He had expected Snape to be far crueler to him but so far, the Death Eater seemed to prefer to avoid Harry's presence and compared to Macnair, Snape was downright nice, which was really strange. Harry still wanted to make Snape pay for his crimes, but attacking the git and showing open defiance towards him had resulted in nothing but misery. As Hermione would say, he needed to be smart about this. He needed to get Snape to let down his guard so he could have another chance at escape. He had been drugged when he made his first two escape attempts, but now his head felt clearer than it had for weeks, and his emotions weren't as muted by potions. This time, if he tried to escape, he'd probably be able to get out.
If he had to pretend to be nice to Snape in order to lull him into a false sense of security, then he could do that. Hopefully, the Order or Ron and Hermione would come and rescue him before long. He doubted he’d be in this prison for very much longer.
Feeling satisfied, Harry read his book until he fell asleep.
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