melusin_79 (melusin_79) wrote in bottomsnape,
melusin_79
melusin_79
bottomsnape

Needs Must (Chapters 7 and 8)

Author: Melusin
Title: Needs Must
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: SS/HG
Wordcount:9,896
Warnings: D/S Issues, references to rape.
Disclaimer: All characters depicted belong to JK Rowling. No infringement of copyright is intended, and no money has changed hands.
Summary: Human sexuality covers a wide spectrum. Most of us fit into a very small part of it. This is a story about two people who don't. A BDSM love story. AU since DH.

A/N: Many thanks to my two angels, septentrion1970 for a beta-ing at the speed of light and darkheartwalsh for her input and guidance.
Links to prior chapters below:




7. Correspondence (ii): Hermione.

There’s a scratching, tapping noise coming from somewhere, dragging me out of a troubled sleep. Perhaps if I ignore it, it will go away.

Tap-tap.

Blearily, I peer in the direction of the window – the source of the irritating sound.

Tap-tap.

An unfamiliar owl swims into focus, staring back at me with unblinking eyes. Strange. For a brief moment, I wonder if I’m still asleep. He hoots in impatience. ‘All right, all right.’ Pushing Crookshanks aside, I clamber out of bed and open the window latch to let him in. He drops a parcel on the dressing table, hops onto the back of a chair and looks at me expectantly.

‘Okay, beautiful, here you go.’ I give him a couple of Owl Treats and glance at the writing on the package. ‘No message. But you’re a clever one, aren’t you, finding me here?’ I check the name tag again – definitely addressed to Mistress Roxanne, and in a hand I’d recognise anywhere. I can’t recall this ever happening before... This really is most peculiar. I let the owl out and climb back into bed as it’s Saturday, and I’m in no particular hurry to get up or go anywhere. I plump up some pillows and make myself comfortable. Right, then... Let’s see what my newest sub has to say for himself...

Dear Mistress Roxanne,

I am returning the photographs you so kindly sent me. They were certainly... illuminating. I have left the bundles as I sorted them – I hope this was your intention, Mistress.

Thank you also for giving me the opportunity to ask questions; I have many and will undoubtedly have more once I have read all the additional material that accompanied the photographs. However, I feel it would be far too presumptuous of me to ask them all at once since your time is precious. I have, therefore, limited them to the following:

1. Do you ever use magic in your sessions?
2. Do I need to buy any special fetish clothes or equipment, and if so, from where?
3. What did you mean in your letter that I should ‘get used’ to... how can I put this delicately... fingering my anus?
4. I would respectfully ask you to give me some idea of the cost of your services.

I hope these enquiries are not impertinent. I remain your most humble servant,

S.S.


I have to smile. “SS” – rather than sign himself, “sub-severus”, he has left it up to me to interpret as I wish. Well, let’s have a look at his choices. Hmm... interesting. I’m not terribly surprised by his selection, but my suspicions about his desire for public humiliation seem to be accurate. Only a possible, though... Oh, well, it was worth a shot. Sighing, I rest my head back on the pillow and stare at the ceiling while I go over the options for creating a memorable first scene. Getting the balance right is going to be tricky. Pain, pleasure, humiliation, approval – the first two won’t be so bad, or even the last, to weave into the mix, but humiliation...

Most men, you see, are rather easy to humiliate. Make them wear women’s clothing, scrub the floor and do menial tasks – feminising them, in other words – is usually enough since their conditioning has told them from an early age that women are inferior, what they do is unimportant and being forced to act like one is demeaning. But, Snape? I don’t see how this can apply. He was brought up by a strong witch. He idealises women; he feels unworthy of their attention. They are unattainable, paragons of virtue. I can see why the concept holds no appeal for him. And yet... although most people would never guess, he is by no means a proud man; he forfeited what little pride he ever had the first time he grovelled at Voldemort’s feet. How do I top that? Being on his knees before me should feel like coming home.

Crookhanks stretches and gives me a gentle nudge. Absentmindedly, I stroke him, wondering if Snape feels a sense of complacency about what I can realistically do to him, considering some of the things he was forced to do in the past, and knowing that I am not a criminally insane, sadistic psychopath like... her. I pick up the next photograph quickly.

Not interested in fisting, either, I see. Pity. I could have done something there, but I’m not surprised he rejected the idea. Most straight men find the idea of any kind of anal penetration abhorrent – well, being on the receiving end at any rate; they are more often than not quite happy to give it. If his letter is anything to go by, my initial instincts were right; he is ignorant of the fact that he will have to submit to being fucked. I haven’t mentioned it yet, because I have found it better in the past to let my subs adjust to the idea as their trust in me develops. But I’m not going to lie to him since he’s asked about it. He will be given a fair chance to get used to the idea, but if he refuses point blank, he will have to find another Mistress. It is something I will not compromise on.

Oh... Now, that is interesting. I didn’t think he’d go for the cock and ball torture, I must admit. I thought I’d have to push him down that road... Making disparaging remarks about his genitals could reinforce his sense of inadequacy if I’m not careful, though, but I can definitely work with that –

Tap-tap. More post. This time, it’s a little tawny owl I know only too well that gets me out of bed. I also don’t need a crystal ball to hazard a guess at the letter. Molly Weasley’s weekly invitation to Sunday Lunch. I suppose I should go – it must be six months since I’ve been to the Burrow. She’ll be sending Howlers before long if I don’t. I know she means well, but seeing them and the ever increasing brood of grandchildren (whose names I’ve long given up trying to remember) all at the same time can really be overwhelming. On top of that, I have to endure Molly’s looks of sympathy when Ron and Lavender’s two children pester me for attention, pitying me for my loss, as she sees it. But I am not the least bit regretful; it was never something I aspired to – motherhood and all the trappings that go with it. After writing a quick and cheerful, ‘See you all tomorrow’ on a piece of parchment, I attach it to the owl’s leg and watch him fly for a few moments until he is a speck in the distance.

There doesn’t seem to be much point in going back to bed now, as comfy and inviting as it looks. Crookshanks watches me put my slippers on and jumps off the bed, purring like a mad thing. I snatch Snape’s letter off the bed-side table as Crookshanks winds himself around my legs, urging me to get a move on. He almost trips me up on the stairs in his eagerness to get to the kitchen (and his breakfast) before me. Once I’ve sorted him out, I conjure up some coffee (ah! Bliss) and put the wizarding wireless on just in time for the news.

Minutes later, the newsreader’s account of the latest Dragon Pox epidemic is drowned out by the intruder alarm. Someone’s trying to get through the Floo. My wand is in my hand before I have time to think about it.

‘Hermione! I’m in the Floo.’

Harry.

‘Hermione...? Are you there?’

Where else would I be. ‘Just a second, Harry. I’m not dressed.’ I put on my daytime glamour, which hides the scarring but does not alter my appearance, Summon my dressing gown and hastily tie the belt as I let Harry through.

‘You took your time,’ he says, brushing the soot off his robe.

‘Hello, to you, too.’ He gives me a peck on the cheek when I scowl at him. ‘I’ve just made some coffee, would you like some?’

Harry nods. ‘Please.’ He lopes off to the kitchen without another word with me trailing in his wake.

‘To what do I owe the honour?’ I say, rummaging in the cupboard for another mug. As if I haven’t guessed.

‘Just passing.’ He looks sheepish as I give him a disparaging look. ‘Erm...Thought I’d drop by and see if you were going to the Burrow tomorrow.’

‘Molly sent you, did she?’

He shrugs and gives me that boyish grin of his – the one that makes me want to reach out and ruffle his hair. ‘She worries about you. We all worry about you.’

‘There’s no need. I’m fine.’

‘Fine?’

‘Yes, fine.’

‘No, Hermione. You are not “fine”. It’s Saturday. If you were “fine”, you’d be out in the sunshine or-or shopping, or something.’

I raise my eyes.

‘When are you going to rejoin the land of the living?’

I take a deep breath and try not to huff. We’ve had this argument more times than I care to remember. ‘I’m happy with my life. Why can’t you all accept that?’

‘This isn’t life, and you know it.’

I turn my back on him and stand by the sink, gazing out the window. Crookshanks has caught a gnome. ‘Do you remember how I was when I first came here to live?’ Harry doesn’t reply. ‘Do you remember how scared, how paranoid I was? Do you remember how long it took me to even go into the garden?’

‘Yes,’ he says, ‘I–’

‘It was over a year before I even allowed Floo access to the cottage – you’d be in Siberia by now, if you’d attempted to come through then. I’ve come a long way, don’t you think?’

‘Yes, of course, but–’

‘This is as good as it’s going to get, Harry. I’m content. I wish you’d just leave it be.’

But, of course, he won’t. He’s like a dog with a bone once he gets going. ‘But you only ever leave the house to go to-to ... work.’

Harry is the only person who knows about my ‘other’ profession. It’s a real godsend having a high ranking Auror for a best friend, I can tell you. Who did you think does my security checks? ‘Don’t start that again. Anyway, it’s not true. Besides, I’m good at what I do, and I enjoy it–’.

‘Do you? Seems to me it’s just become routine. I could understand at the beginning when it was some weird way of working out your anger, but you’re not angry any more, are you?’

Oh, but I am. Only it’s more of a slow simmer now than a full boiling rage. I plaster a smile on my face before I turn around to face him. ‘It gets me out of the house.’ He doesn’t return the smile. ‘It still helps me get through the week, and that’s the best I can hope for – and I’ve already accepted Molly’s invitation for tomorrow, all right? So. No. More. Nagging.’

‘I suppose that’s something.’ He sighs. ‘Hey, that’s Snape’s writing. I’d recognise that scrawl anywhere. What does he want?’

‘Not that it’s any of your business,’ I say, grabbing the note before he has a chance to read it. ‘He’s read an article of mine and wanted to offer me some suggestions for further research. Nothing to worry your pretty head over.’

Harry laughs and doesn’t pursue the subject, thankfully. ‘Seriously,’ he says, ‘it was actually Ginny who suggested I come over. She’s thinking of going to a health spa for a weekend and was wondering if you’d like to go, too.’

‘Harry... You know I can’t...’ That would involve revealing more of myself in public than I’m comfortable with.

He looks at me blankly, bless him. ‘There is the small matter of, you know, the scar...’

‘Scar? What scar?’ He pushes his hair back from his forehead. ‘You should have had to wear this all your life. “Aren’t you Harry Potter? Go on, show us your scar. Oh, it’s not as big as I thought it would be...” Oww!’

I swat him with the tea towel, laughing. ‘Prat.’

‘You’re still lovely, scar or no. Come on, it’ll do you good. You know you want to.’

‘No , Harry. Really.’

‘Oh, all right. At least I can say I tried.’ He gives me a hug and I stiffen automatically. He notices but holds me tighter, if anything, before finally letting me go. ‘Ron sends his love, too,’ he says hesitantly. ‘You know... he’d really like to come over some time.’

‘It’s... awkward – being on my own with him. There’s just too much history between us. You know how it is.’

‘I know, and so does he, but that doesn’t make it any easier for him. He still loves–’

‘He’s married to Lavender.’

‘Can you blame him for trying to make a life for himself? You made it pretty clear that you couldn’t bear the thought of being with him–’

‘It’s all water under the bridge. What’s done is done, and I can’t change it. So, how are the kids?’

‘Fine. They’ll be delighted to see you – tomorrow. Right.’ He downs the dregs of his coffee. ‘I’m off. Can I Apparate out, please? You know, you really need to stick a brush up that Floo of yours... Ow! Now what have I said?’

~ * ~


The grass needs cutting, but I can’t be bothered. Harry’s visits always unsettle me. I don’t think he’ll ever give up hope that one day I’ll be back to normal – whatever ‘normal’ is. And then there’s Ron. I know he feels guilty about what happened, thinks that if he hadn’t got bored in Flourish and Blotts and gone off to the Leaky to wait for me, he could have prevented it. Maybe he could have, but that’s not the point. I let my guard down; Ron can’t be held accountable for that.

It seems like a lifetime ago and yesterday, if that makes any sense – that sunny, late spring day when everything changed. The war was over; we’d survived, and to all intents and purposes, we were safe. Harry and Ginny were already talking about getting married, and Ron and I were very much in love. I was the Golden Girl, the heroine, the witch of the moment, and in my arrogance and stupidity, I thought I was invincible.

I didn’t see the Stunning Hex. The next thing I knew, I was lying on a table, unable to move. Somewhere along the line, my clothing had been removed. Lucius Malfoy put his face close to mine and told me what they were going to do to me...

Being under the Imperius Curse gives you a strange sense of euphoria. Letting Malfoy shove his cock down my throat seemed like the most natural thing in the world. ‘All of it, Mudblood. I know you want it.’ And I did, God help me, more than I wanted, or needed, to breathe. Mmm... ye-sss. That’s it. Gag on it, Mudblood. Gag on it like the good little slut you are... A cycle of pain, blackouts, revival: Malfoy’s breath in my ear, his sister-in-law’s mad cackling, the indifferent house-elf pouring the wine and the all pervading, cloying scent of jasmine, which I shall always associate with Bellatrix Lestrange and will always make me want to vomit every time I smell it...

‘No. More!’

My coffee mug smashes into pieces as it hits wall. I put my fists in my hair, yanking it by the roots.

Let it out, Hermione. You need to cry; you’ll feel much better if you let go. My mother, the psychologist. But I can’t. Not any more. The tears won’t come. I think I’m afraid that if I let out all the anger and pain, there’ll be nothing left but an empty shell. Instead, I start to tremble.

Of its own volition, my hand reaches out towards Snape’s letter. Shakily, the tip of my finger traces the first spiky ‘S’, and for some reason, it makes me feel calmer. What are you doing back in my life, Severus Snape? What are you doing in my house – on a Saturday, no less? I shake my head, trying to clear the fog. Harry was right; I need to get out more. I may answer the letter today, or I may not. It is the weekend, after all and the sun is shining. Once I’ve read the paper, I think I’ll get the mower out and do the lawn the old-fashioned way... Yes, the exercise will do me good.

~ *** ~


Sub-severus,

In future, address me as ‘Mistress’. I am not your dear.

Your choices were quite revealing and have given me some additional ideas for our time together. I gave you permission to ask questions freely; do not presume to worry about how I spend my time. To answer your questions:

I do use magic, but only to aid me with lifting, bondage rigging and so on. I never use curses on a client, if that is what you mean. There are specialist Dominatrices who could cater to this need, if that is what you want, but I am not one of them.

I supply all clothing and accessories. They are included in your fee and shall be for your personal use only, but they will not leave the premises as they will remain my property. However, you are getting ahead of yourself on this. I shall send you an owl with your instructions on how you will present yourself to me the next time we meet in due course.

Your training will include a certain amount of anal penetration. You may or may not find this pleasurable, but that is immaterial. It will form part of our contract and is non-negotiable. Our correspondence will terminate now if you are unwilling to entertain this stipulation.

Do not shy away from being explicit. You will be paying me to fulfil your sexual fantasies. Do not waste my time by being coy about it.

I have yet to decide on a fee, but I expect it will be in the region of twenty Galleons a session. I shall confirm this closer to the time of our next meeting. Carry on with your tasks. You may continue to freely, but respectfully, ask me questions until I say otherwise. Once you have perused the additional material I sent you, I would like you also to send me a candid report detailing your activities, and the effect my demands are having on your daily life, by the end of next week.

I shall have a few other little exercises for you. In the meantime, study those passages I have highlighted carefully, for you will be tested on them. I will not be amused if you have not when we next meet.

Mistress Roxanne


I sign my name with a flourish. There. That’s a good job done. I roll up the parchment and fix my seal on it in readiness for tomorrow, glancing at the clock as I do so. It’s late, but I can’t face going to bed yet. Molly’s cooking is wonderful but, by God, you pay for it afterwards. My stomach is aching due to the rock that seems to have settled there. Someone should tell that woman that love does not equal food. Unfortunately, as one of her adopted brood, refusing a second helping of sticky toffee pudding is tantamount to treason, which is why I feel totally stuffed. After having to endure all the hugging, admonishing, lectures on my unnatural solitary existence and meaningful glances from Ron when Lavender wasn’t looking, it’s a relief to know I can refuse her invitations without feeling guilty for another six months – and know that I won’t have to suffer the chronic indigestion, either. I really hope there’s some antacid potion left in the bathroom cabinet, otherwise I’ll be up all night.

~ * ~


Mistress,

I apologise for offending you. It was unintentional, I assure you, and will not happen again. Firstly, I must thank you for the forthright way in which you have answered my questions and for your kindness in continuing to indulge me. It was a relief to learn that you do not resort to curses, Mistress, since I have been on the receiving end of more than I care to remember. I only asked as you did not mention it in my interview nor include any photographs of magical methods of inflicting pain with the other practices. I very much regret if this has inadvertently insulted you in any way.

I have to admit that the idea of anal penetration does not appeal to me but having read more about the subject in the notes you sent me, I understand that as a submissive, I must surrender to your will and pleasure. As I said in my interview, I am in your hands. Your fees are more than reasonable and well within my means.

After perusing the additional reading material, I find that many of my initial questions have been answered adequately, but one or two other things have been raised. I found the concept of ‘sub-space’ intriguing and wondered if you could explain further, Mistress, since I did not fully understand the concept.

Secondly, I am confused regarding the matter of punishment and discipline. Since I find the idea of flagellation arousing, how can it be a punishment?

Lastly, there is the question of injury and illness while in your establishment. Although I fully understand that I am taking this path of my own volition and at my own risk, I would like to respectfully ask you, Mistress, what would happen in the event of an emergency? Again, I do not mean to cause offence by this query, or imply that you are uncaring. I have an irrational fear of public exposure; waking up in hospital would be mortifying beyond belief.

The following is a report of my daily activities, as you requested: last Saturday, I was on Hogsmeade duty. I have stopped wearing underwear as instructed, but Saturday was the first day I ventured out of doors. To be perfectly candid, Mistress, I find having one’s privates dangling about unfettered does make one acutely aware of them, particularly when they rub against one’s clothing, and walking about in the fresh air only served to accentuate this. I felt rather unsettled and... vulnerable, in all honesty, and was reminded of an unpleasant incident that occurred in my adolescence which I shall not bore you with. Suffice to say, I was extremely glad that the weather was balmy with very little in the way of a breeze.

Sunday, since I was not on duty and had no real need to go out, I decided not to dress at all. I find this preferable since, bizarrely, I am less aware of my genitals when naked. I have become very comfortable with this – indeed it would feel strange now to be clothed when I am alone in my chambers.

On Monday, I faced my biggest challenge to date. Not long after curfew, I put on my cloak and left my chambers to patrol the corridors. It is fortunate that I have established a routine over the years and have excellent night vision, which enables me to move around the castle in almost total darkness. If I should have had to draw my wand, it may have been disastrous since I could not have accomplished it without exposing myself. I have yet to think of a solution to this problem. As it turned out, however, there were very few rule-breakers to round up, and I was able to return to my chambers quite early on.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were similarly uneventful, but tonight I had to chase some sixth years up a flight of stairs, which made me break out in a sweat. Not being able to open my cloak to cool off was extremely uncomfortable. Once I had assigned them detention with Filch, I made my way to the last port of call, the Astronomy Tower. It was deserted, fortunately. There was a cool breeze as always and the sky was so clear... without thinking, I opened my cloak and threw it back over my shoulders. It was such a blessed relief to feel the air on my skin, Mistress, I almost forgot that I was standing where someone might easily come upon me. I quickly covered myself and made by way back to my chambers, heart racing at the thought of what I had just done.

As I sit at my desk writing this letter, I still feel both aroused and astonished at my audacity. I never in a million years would have thought myself capable of doing such a thing only a few short weeks ago, and yet I feel no shame or regret. I find this confusing and am unsure if I should be troubled by this unexpected lack of feeling. I would be grateful for your advice on this.
I do hope you find this report satisfactory, Mistress. I look forward with eager anticipation to your further instructions, and to the time when we shall meet again.

I remain your obedient servant,

S.S.

Hmm... He seems to be progressing faster than I anticipated–
‘For God’s sake, keep still! How am I supposed to read with you wriggling about?’ I shift my weight forward to allow my sub a chance to breathe, then settle back down on his face. Lazily, I swish the flogger over his crotch a few times before reading Snape’s letter again and pondering how best to reply to his questions. His excitement at being naked in a semi-public place is not surprising, neither is his unwillingness to admit his desire. A gentle push in that direction would not go amiss...

More wriggling. ‘What is wrong with you today, sub? You seem incapable of following the simplest of instructions. Are you trying to annoy me deliberately? ’

‘N-no, Mistress. Sorry, Mistress.’

~ * ~


Sub-severus,

I was pleased to read that you have been following my instructions to the letter for which you will be rewarded, but first, let me answer your questions:

The concept of subspace is very subjective and not easy to explain to someone who has not experienced it. The closest thing, perhaps, is like the transcendent state of mind brought on by meditation. Feelings of total bliss are not uncommon; for some, it is like flying. I have found that wizards tend to experience it more often and more quickly than Muggles, but I am not entirely sure why this is the case. Naturally, the sub must have full confidence in his Mistress for him to let go and entrust his mind in this way to her. It is something you should aim for but not expect to happen immediately.

Punishment (not to be confused with ‘contact play’ – see my notes) is not intended to be enjoyable. I shall explain this, and the transgressions which will incur punishment in more detail in your first session. Failure to obey me will not be pleasant, I can assure you.

Your health and safety are very important. I always heal any injuries where the skin has been broken to avoid infection, but I would not hesitate to seek medical attention for a client who has suffered a collapse or appears ill in any way – regardless of any embarrassment factor involved. Furthermore, while I would expect anyone who seeks out my services to be physically in good shape, I will still require a written declaration to this effect from you before we proceed.

It pleases me to hear that you are becoming comfortable with your body, sub. The emotions you are experiencing are quite normal. As you begin to push your boundaries, old ideas, expectations and long held certainties will begin to fall away. Naturally, you will feel confused from time to time, as formerly held beliefs on acceptable patterns of behaviour make way for the new. You have embarked on a journey of discovery, sub. Remember that.

Lastly, your experience on the Astronomy Tower has given me an idea for a little exercise for you. This is what I want you to do...



~ *** ~






8. Preparation: Severus.


I must have been out of my mind. What in Merlin’s name possessed me to tell her about the Astronomy Tower? When I wrote to her, just over a week ago, I did not intend–

‘What has that pork chop done to you, Severus?’

I turn to Poppy Pomfrey and stare at her. What is she babbling on about?

‘I’m only asking because you’ve been stabbing it for the last five minutes–’

‘How I eat my food is none of your concern, Poppy, and I’d thank you to stop pestering me.’ I’ve had just about enough of her nagging. Throwing my napkin down on the table, I scowl at her before getting up and storming out of the Great Hall, well aware of the startled expressions I leave behind.

Angry and agitated, I decide not to return to my rooms, but to have a turn around the grounds and get some air. I need to think, to clear my head. Mistress Roxanne’s reply to my last Owl arrived earlier today, and it has thrown me completely. Walking away from the castle, I remove the letter from my pocket and scan it again (the last few have been the standard, non-talking variety), even though I already know its contents by heart. Up until this morning, I had been eagerly awaiting this Owl, hoping that it would the one to offer me the longed for appointment. Instead, she sends me this.

Go back to the Astronomy Tower tonight and drop your cloak by the door. Walk to the furthest point from the entrance, take ten deep breaths and return. A simple little task, don’t you think?

No. I bloody well don’t. Why not ask me to jump off the parapet while you’re at it?

I continue strolling and re-read the paragraph yet again in the misguided hope that the words will magically change if I stare at them long enough. This has completely ruined my plans for the day; I had intended to go to London this afternoon, as this is a free Saturday, and spend some time in my favourite antiquarian bookshop. I was very much looking forward to it, but this letter has destroyed my good humour and put me off the idea. In short, I am no longer in the mood.

The only reason I even mentioned the damned incident was because of the unexpected feelings it invoked afterwards. It was the high point of a week spent creeping about the castle after curfew, feeling like a pervert despite the thrill it gave me, praying that I would not encounter any courting couples risking detention for the sake of a sly snog – or more. For the first time ever, I couldn’t wait for my stint of patrol duty to end. Why, oh, why did I feel it necessary...?

My feet have brought me to Dumbledore’s tomb, and I stop to pay my respects, resting my hand on the cold stone. I detested him in life – for the way he manipulated me all those years, but any such feelings are long gone; I learned the hard way that bearing grudges is an exercise in futility. Besides, all the people that ever caused me grief are dead, and I am not. That is revenge enough. Still, no doubt the old bastard would laugh his arse off if he knew the mess I’ve landed myself in this time.

I turn my back on the marble edifice and stare across the surface of the lake. There are a few young couples taking the air, hand in hand, but when they see me, they scurry off in the opposite direction. Hardly surprising, really, since I’ve caught most of them in flagrante at one time or another. Gods, it used to infuriate me – all that teenage fumbling; I suppose because it was a part of adolescence that passed me by. Yes, all right, I admit it; jealousy plays its part, and yes, it has always given me a perverse sense of pleasure to loom out of the shadows just as things are getting interesting, just as hands are exploring places they have no business being, gloating over their mortification and knowing how embarrassed they are going to be when they have to face me in class. But never once in all my years of teaching have I ever felt sexually aroused by the sight of all that teenage flesh. It has never interested me in the slightest. On that night, however, something changed – shifted – and it has disturbed me greatly.

What happened was this. After I had caught the sixth years I mentioned in the letter and was making my way to the Astronomy Tower, I detected a very simple Do Not Notice Charm in the corridor. Well, naturally, it had the opposite effect on me, and I had to investigate. After casting a Silencing Charm, I rounded the corner and there, as brazen as you like, were two seventh years – the boy was one of my Slytherins.

As I said, I was hot and out of breath from the previous chase, so instead of intervening immediately, I paused in the shadows, leaning against the wall and tried to calm my breathing. Meanwhile, robes were being hitched up around waists and knickers pulled down, and – I’ll say again that I took no pleasure watching the sexual act developing before me, but it suddenly struck me how those young people, without any misgivings, were freely giving themselves to one another in order to satisfy a mutual need. It is something I have never experienced, and the thought paralysed me.

The scene is indelibly etched on my memory – the girl throwing her head back as the boy pushes her robe up over her breasts, taking her bra with it and sucking on a nipple... I made myself turn away for decency’s sake at that point, although I had already stayed longer than I should have, and that was the real reason I was so overheated by the time I arrived at the Astronomy Tower. Seeing the look on her face... It filled me with such a profound sadness that I have never made a woman arch in pleasure like that – nor am I ever likely to.

There was no way I could bring myself to commit to paper that sense of... inertia... or those morose sentiments. How could I confess that I had done something so... sordid to Hermione Granger? Just standing and... watching. Like... like...

Join us, Severus...

I said nothing, did nothing then, too, you see. I stood and stared, unable to look away. All that blood... I was sure she was beyond help. And Bella... well, let’s just say that witch had a natural talent for creating the maximum pain without killing her subject. A born torturer, Bella knew how to take her victim apart slowly, a piece at a time...

And I did nothing.

Until she roused me from my stupor in the most unforgettable manner. For, as Lucius turned his attention to me, Granger managed to shake the Imperius Curse for a few seconds – enough for her to raise her head and bite the nearest part of Lucius Malfoy – which happened to be his left bollock. His scream brought me to my senses, and I used the diversion she had caused as the opportunity to slip away.

‘...let me, Lucius. Please, let me.’

‘All in... good... time, Bella. I’ve not finished... with this... piece of filth, yet – not by... a long chalk.’

I shudder at the memory. Such incredible bravery; she refused to give up, clinging to the last thread of life, gambling on that one final act of desperation infuriating Malfoy enough to keep her alive just that little bit longer...

And where does all of that leave me? What conclusions can be drawn from this revelation about myself? What am I exactly? Some sort of voyeur – some pathetic peeping Tom, incapable of making any real connection with another human being? Is it any wonder I was too ashamed to write any of this? She would think me disgusting, I know, and I wouldn’t blame her because I am disgusted with myself, disgusted by my lack of propriety – that and my appalling behaviour on the Astronomy Tower, which felt so fucking good... Oh, gods, I feel like my control is unravelling, and it is becoming impossible to function normally. And as for her ‘little task’... I read the last part of the letter again. Oh, yes, there’s more. To cap it all, it seems she does not think that exposing myself is a big enough challenge...

... As a reward for your good conduct, I am allowing you one orgasm. You may choose the time, but the place must be somewhere other than your chambers, preferably outdoors...

In other words, she wants me to wank myself off where I could be caught doing it. Wouldn’t that be a great end to a less than stellar career? This is really too much. After everything else that’s happened, I really don’t see how I’m going to be able to do this. I’m on the point of calling it a day. It was an interesting experiment, but I’m not going to risk my reputation and livelihood over it. Some things should be kept private and this is definitely one of them. I simply cannot countenance such a thing–

‘There was no need to snap at Poppy, Severus.’

I freeze. How did she manage to sneak up on me like that? I must be getting old. I push the letter up my sleeve before turning around to face her.

‘I am not a schoolboy, Minerva, and I resent being constantly treated as such.’ I try to keep the anger out of my voice. I do not feel like an argument, and she sounds a little tetchy. The sun reflecting off her spectacles, however, make it impossible to see her eyes, and for me to judge her mood. ‘Did you follow me out here just to tell me that?’

She purses her lips but says nothing. Evidently, there is something else.

‘Walk with me a while, Severus.’

This sounds ominous. Minerva takes my proffered arm, and we walk together in silence. She seems uneasy. Something is definitely up.

‘Severus...’ She stops and sighs before trying again. ‘Severus, I’m sorry, but I have to ask. Is everything all right? You don’t seem to be yourself lately.’

Not her, too. What’s the matter with these women? ‘Thank you for your concern, Minerva, but I am perfectly well. What makes you think otherwise?’

‘Well, the fact is... Well, Poppy and I agree that you have been acting rather... strangely of late.’

‘I’m afraid I don’t understand.’ Has someone seen me? I hope my voice does not betray the rising sense of panic I’m feeling.

She sighs again. ‘You seem... You seem even more distant than usual.’ She stops and turns to face me. ‘Please don’t take that the wrong way. What I mean is, you speak less to your colleagues than ever – we never see you in the staffroom unless there’s a meeting. You are irritable, distracted, you are not eating properly and... well, to put it bluntly, Severus, we are worried about you.’

Is that all? Interfering old biddies. ‘There is nothing–’

‘And then there are those letters.’

I look at her steadily. What does she know? I’m on the point of casting Legilimens.

She breaks eye contact. ‘I don’t mean to pry, Severus, but are you in some kind of trouble? Can I help? If I didn’t know any better, I would have said it was a woman–’

‘Minerva, not that it’s any of your business, why should it not be?’

‘Well, I mean to say–’

‘What, exactly? That no woman would be interested in me? Is that it?’ I’ve had more than enough of this conversation.

‘No, no. I didn’t mean that at all.’ She puts her hand on my arm. ‘I’m sorry. Nothing would please me more if you had a... lady friend. It’s just that... you hardly ever go out...’ She reddens and looks away, which is probably just as well.

I smirk at her discomfort. ‘Why this sudden interest in my love life – or lack thereof?’

‘Oh, Severus, I didn’t mean...’ She points her wand at a twig and Transfigures it into a bench. ‘Do you mind if we sit down?’ She sits but I remain standing.

‘Sit. Please. You’re giving me a crick in the neck.’

‘Very well.’ I sit and wait for her to spit out whatever it is that’s really on her mind – I’ve got no intention of making it any easier for her.

Minerva stares off into the distance, seemingly at a loss for words. Finally, she collects herself . ‘There is something else, and... Oh, dear, this is so difficult.’ She sighs. ‘The fact of the matter is that over the past few months, I’ve received several letters of complaint from concerned parents about... you.’

‘What? Whose parents?’

‘It does not matter. They’re all from Muggles, who neither remember you as a teacher nor know about your reputation and status as a war hero. All they know is what their children tell them, and it’s not pretty.’

I am dumbfounded. ‘And what, pray tell, have the little dears been saying about me?’

She plucks out a sheaf of paper from her robe pocket and adjusts her glasses. ‘The common theme seems to be, as one parent, also a teacher incidentally, succinctly puts it, “the draconian methods utilised in the classroom by a man who sounds incapable of teaching in any other way. In short, a bully who should not be allowed anywhere near children, especially, if what”’ Minerva waves her arm airily, ‘“tells me is correct, where dangerous, if not potentially lethal substances are involved...” He goes on, but that’s the gist of it. I’m afraid, Severus, that these complaints cannot be ignored, and I would be failing in my duty if I did not bring them to your attention and give you the chance to respond.’ She puts the letters back in her pocket and tucks her hands into her sleeves, obviously waiting for me to defend myself.

‘Minerva, I assure you that my teaching methods have not changed.’

She purses her lips before responding. ‘I believe you, Severus – and that is no doubt part of the problem – Let me finish. Under normal circumstances, I could live with it, but your behaviour is... erratic, and I don’t know if this is due to stress or what, but it is having an adverse effect on your temperament – inside the classroom and out. No, don’t argue, it is. Tell me, how many points did you deduct yesterday from Gryffindor alone?’

Ah, so that’s the real reason for this little tête-à-tête.

She doesn’t give me a chance to reply. ‘Well, I’ve reinstated them anyway. A hundred points for wearing squeaky shoes was a bit excessive, don’t you think, even for you?’

‘They were giving me a headache.’

She gives me a withering look. ‘Half-term is coming up, and I’m going to insist you take a week’s break – no “buts”. Get away from the castle – go somewhere you can relax and think, Severus. I don’t want to lose you, but you can’t go on as you are.’

I cannot believe I’m hearing this. ‘Are you telling me that after all these years, you would sack me?’

‘I hope it won’t come to that, Severus, I really do. But times are changing. Muggle-born children are on the increase – and The Book shows that this is a trend set to continue. I’m afraid, war record or not, if this keeps up, I’m going to have a hard time defending you – and your teaching methods – at the next governors’ meeting.’ She shifts around on the bench and leans closer to me. ‘But more importantly, as your friend, I am concerned for you. Are you content – here, being a schoolmaster, I mean? You’ve never disguised the fact that you hate teaching, even though you get good results, and I would hate to have to replace you. Please don’t misunderstand me, Severus, I am thinking of you – of your future. For your sake, I want you to go away and seriously consider if remaining a teacher for the rest of your working life is really what you want to do.’

This has come like a bolt from the blue. Is she expecting me to resign? I need time to think this over. ‘Thank you, Minerva. I shall do as you ask, and in the meantime, I will attempt to be a little more... sociable.’

‘I’m glad to hear it.’ She stands up abruptly as do I. ‘You can start by joining us at the Three Broomsticks next Friday. We’re one man short on the darts team.’

~ * ~


Minerva and I part on convivial terms in the Entrance Hall, and I make my way back to the dungeons. Once I am back in the safety of my chambers, I shed my clothes automatically, and I feel better straight away – lighter somehow. Our conversation has given me even more to think about and much cause for concern. Minerva was right about one thing, though. I do hate teaching, but it is all I know, and Hogwarts is my home. It’s true that I once had the ambition to be rich and successful – more for the recognition than anything else, but that was a long time ago. If I were to leave, I have no idea where I would go, or what I would do.

I look around my living room with fondness. My chambers have been my sanctuary for more years than I care to remember. I cannot imagine living anywhere else, and yet Minerva has made it clear that I should not take my position for granted. Would she really make me leave? I let my hand trail along the back of the sofa – the same sofa I’ve had for the best part of three decades, but it’s not mine; it belongs to Hogwarts. Nothing in this room apart from the books, in fact, belongs to me.

I light the fire and sit on the hearth rug, hugging my knees. Is it possible for me to be content with just – this? I’m not sure I can be, not anymore. A door has opened, revealing wonderful possibilities and a library, however well stocked, is not adequate reason to close it. But, must I sacrifice what I have in order to pursue what I need?

Staring into the flames, I ponder my dilemma. It would seem there is a choice to be made – assuming that this little crisis passes and I stay put: I can either stop rocking the boat, forget all about Mistress Roxanne and go back to how things were, without any hope of change for the next God knows how many years, or I can proceed with the exploration of my sexuality, hoping that once Mistress Roxanne finally gives me an appointment, these ‘little tasks’ of hers will cease, and our liaison will be confined to her establishment. I won’t have to wait much longer, surely? And, hopefully, once our sessions commence, my mood will dramatically improve, and Minerva will have less cause for complaint. If I stop now, I will only have a future of teaching dunderheads to look forward to with no outlet for my needs. I can’t see that having a good effect on my temperament in the long run. So, all in all, there seems to be only one course of action I can logically take...

~ * ~


I glance up and down the corridor one last time before casting a detection spell and ascending the stairs. It’s very late, and no one is about. Well, that’s one good thing. I walk quickly up the steps, my boots clicking against the stone. This should hopefully alert anyone to my presence and flush them out. Stealth is not what I’m about tonight.

As I emerge at the top, my heart is racing, both from the exertion and the anticipation of what I have to do. But I’m not taking any chances. A second detection spell confirms there is no one else here. I try to swallow my anxiety as I unclasp my cloak, but my heart is in my throat as I let it fall to the ground. The cool air assaults my skin like a thousand caresses as I will myself to move forward towards the furthest point from the door, and away from safety.

The tower’s pinnacle is full of shadows – hiding places for curfew breakers. I have to remind myself that I am alone, but what if...? The sound of my footsteps on the stone seems a hundred times louder than usual. What if someone is on a broom? With each step towards the parapet, my cock gets harder. This is madness, but it is also... exhilarating.

I reach my destination and look back to the door – only a few strides away, but if someone ran up the stairs, I wouldn’t have time to get to my cloak. However, the person would soon find himself on the wrong end of an Obliviate. That makes me relax ever so slightly. Looking up at the stars, I begin to breathe deeply.

The moon chooses that moment to come out from behind a cloud, illuminating me in the archway, emphasising my nakedness. The goddess’ pale light makes my skin look ghostly, and I glance nervously over my shoulder. Feeling ugly and uncomfortable, I beseech her forgiveness for my effrontery. I can’t remember the last time I said a prayer of any sort, but the action calms me as I take the number of required deep breaths. My nerve endings tingle, and I brush my fingertips over my body, relishing the prickly sensations. Briefly, I consider masturbating and getting it over with, but I am standing three feet away from the spot where I killed Dumbledore, and I quickly dismiss that sacrilegious thought.

The moments pass; my trepidation fades a little more with each exhale, as does the guilt for enjoying something I shouldn’t. I have passed the count of ten but feel no inclination to move. It is a beautiful night for star-gazing. The sky at night has always made me feel aware of my insignificance – a tiny speck in the infinity of the cosmos. Tonight is no exception. Almost regretfully, I turn around and unhurriedly walk back to my cloak, feeling only a strange sense of pride that I have managed to accomplish something I considered impossible a few short hours ago. My nakedness seems inconsequential; I am but a man, alone in the universe, trying to make sense of his place in it and maybe, just maybe, starting to find some peace.

Back in my chambers, I pour myself a large whisky and gulp it down. I still can’t believe I did it, and more importantly, that no one saw me. On the way back here, I also had an idea. I have decided to use the Room of Requirement tomorrow night for my... other task. It will satisfy Mistress’ instructions in a literal sense, although I doubt that was the intention. I shall not be in my rooms, but I will have the comfort of knowing that I cannot be discovered or disturbed. A very Slytherin resolution, if I say so myself.

~ * ~


‘You seem to be in a more cheerful mood this morning, Severus.’

I bite back a scathing retort. ‘I feel quite well, Minerva. Thank you for your concern.’

‘I’m glad to hear it. Keep it up.’

Oh, but I intend to.


~ *** ~



sub-severus,

You will be pleased to learn that we may be meeting sooner than I had anticipated. I shall send confirmation of the date in a few days. But now, it is time for you to begin your preparations. Go and take a good look at yourself in a full length mirror and imagine you are standing before me. Think of how to display your body in its best light. Practice standing and kneeling as illustrated in the section on ‘Presentation’ I sent you. You should go from one to the other smoothly and gracefully. Remember, practice makes perfect...


I held my breath while I read this letter. What, no potentially arrest-worthy task for me to undertake? Although I am excited at the prospect of an appointment, this does seem a bit of an anti-climax. Leafing through her notes, I find the ones on how to stand and kneel and take them with me into the bedroom for reference.

In front of the mirror, I stand with my hands behind my back and sigh resignedly at my reflection. ‘Think of how to display your body in its best light...’ I’d defy anyone to find anything aesthetically pleasing about my body. It is too thin; my ribs and collarbone are prominent, as is my Adam’s apple, and my skin is the colour of chalk – except for my cock. I’ve always hated that. It looks obscene, like some pink, alien appendage that’s been stuck on as an afterthought. What will she think of it? Will I pass inspection? Is there anything about me she could possibly find attractive? I suppose that if I have such a thing as a ‘best feature’, it would be my legs, which I think are quite shapely. Or am I clutching at straws here?

I kneel down as gracefully as I can, although my knees protest. If I had a Knut for every time I’ve had to do this... I sit back on my heels, and mimic the pose held by the sub in the picture, imagining I am on my knees before Mistress Roxanne. I stay like that, facing the mirror, until my legs start to fall asleep, and I have to move. I want this so much. Please let it be soon. Please.

~ ***~


sub-severus,

The time has come for you to present yourself to me. You will Apparate to my waiting area no later than 5 o’clock on the date below. Contained in this letter is a cock ring which I expect you to wear. Do not put it on until you are ready to leave and make sure that it is a comfortable fit, i.e. not too tight, (see my notes regarding safety). Other than this, you will wear only your cloak and boots.

You will prepare yourself by paying special attention to your personal hygiene. I expect my subs to be clean and well groomed. You will bathe, wash your hair and shave. Ensure your nails are scrubbed and neatly trimmed, and that your breath is fresh. As well as the above, your will remove all your body hair with the exception of your eyebrows and eyelashes. And I mean ALL of it. How you do it is up to you. You will also purge your bowels, either by enema, suppositories or laxative potion. Again the choice is yours...


I read this paragraph several times. She wants me to do what?

... When you arrive, knock at the door and wait for my permission to enter. Once inside, you will stand, head bowed and await further instructions. If at any time during the session you are uncomfortable with the proceedings, you have the choice of two safewords: use SILVER if you really need a respite; I will stop and give you a chance to catch your breath. Use GOLD only if you feel unable to continue. This will stop the scene entirely. However, unless you are ill, saying ‘GOLD’ will end our arrangement permanently. I have never yet pushed a sub to that point and would consider it a serious breach of trust if I did, which is why I would deem it necessary to terminate our contract.

Speaking of which, please sign the enclosed agreement, general disclaimer and statement of health. By signing it, you are declaring that you are physically fit and proceeding at your own risk. My fee will be twenty galleons a session paid in advance. I enclose an authorisation for you to pay by direct transfer at Gringotts.

That is all until we meet, sub. You will not bring yourself to orgasm again until then...


I look at the date. Another week! The woman is a sadist.

~***~


The week drags by, but the day finally arrives. I have scrubbed my skin to within an inch of its life – I don’t think I have ever felt so clean. I check my hands one last time for any stains, but they are spotless. She did not specify if I should wear any aftershave or cologne, but I think she would like me to smell nice, so one of my own blends, I think. Something spicy with perhaps a hint of bergamot, but subtlety is the key. I don’t want her to think I’m trying to disguise something unpleasant.

I pass my wand over my arms, ridding myself of the little hair I have there and stop. What would she do if I did not shave off all my body hair? Would I be punished? A shiver runs down my spine at the thought. Dare I? It would be a test to see if she’s as strict as she’s made out to be... I smirk at my reflection. Yes, I dare. Now, how is this thing supposed to go on...?


~*~



I Apparate into the small waiting area, not knowing quite what to expect, but there is no one here but me. Although carpeted and tastefully decorated, the room is devoid of furniture other than a table with a large vase of fresh flowers on it, a clock and a full length mirror on the wall. The clock says, ‘Wait.’

I pace nervously for a bit then stand in front of the mirror to make a final check of my appearance. I also take the opportunity to adjust the cock-ring, which is a little on the tight side and has rather painfully trapped some hairs. I wish now that I had shaved like she told me to, but it is too late. She won’t be pleased, I know. Apprehension rising, I pace the room again until the clock moves to, ‘Knock once.’ I hesitate, swallowing my nervousness before rapping on the door. It swings open, and the voice of my Mistress calls out, ‘Enter.’ I take a deep breath and step over the threshold into the unknown. The door closes behind me, and I am plunged into darkness.


Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapters 5 & 6
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