Title: Hand of Mercy|
Author: Juxian Tang
Summary: Albus has a certain power over Severus
A/N: Written for Sex Magic challenge for Pornish_Pixies
HAND OF MERCY
Albus loved his tools. Always took good care of them and they served him long and faithfully. His wand, the one he'd got for his eleventh birthday, of olive wood and dragon heartstring, smooth and warm to the touch, had years of magic soaked into it and never failed him, feeling like a continuation of his hand. His pensieve, storing so many sad memories that didn't have to interfere with his everyday duties, he held wrapped in a thin veil and the white stone shone through it in the darkness. His spectacles were being polished with a softest cloth every night before he put them to rest on the nightstand at his bed.
Fifteen years ago, when a young skinny man with dirty hair and burning eyes, a stray former student and an active Death Eater, had come to him, Albus had taken care of him. He had changed and reshaped him, replacing what was wrong and adding what was right. And when it was done, Severus Snape became Albus' most sophisticated tool.
It was not easy - to mend things, the process long, hard and painful. Albus remembered wide opened eyes of the young man, staring right in front of him - and even though golden suns and stars decorating the ceiling in Albus' study reflected in the darkness of Severus' eyes, it was not what he saw. He saw what Albus had shown him - things that had made him slump on the floor in exhaustion and despair - but no sooner than Albus had allowed him. He reached and pushed a sticky strand away from the sweat-washed face and Severus' eyes didn't change, just his eyelashes trembled.
"You think you can't any more," Albus said. "But the question is not how much you can. It is how much you need."
Severus needed it - no matter how hard it was on both of them. No one said that making new things was easy - still less making a new person. So much gone wrong in so young a life. But now Albus was there to help Severus to correct it. Now Severus had his chance - his redemption.
And the Order had a spy among Riddle's followers.
He looked desolate, seeming almost broken - in such a way that Albus' heart contracted in pity. The young man's narrow chest rose and fell oddly and thin hands, fingers already deeply stained with potions, clenched and unclenched, and sweat ran in rivulets down his body. He shivered when Albus touched him, a gentle squeeze of his shoulder - but it was hardly a conscious reaction. He was still out there - where Albus had taken him to face all the horror and remorse of what he'd done.
It was a difficult work, changing - having to lance through one's mind to find the very core of it, separating layers by layers. But Albus had done it for Severus - taken away all that was superfluous - pride, imaginary hurts, hostility, wariness - to reach for what was below it. What everyone carried in them. A small child yearning to please his father, the intrinsic wish of belonging, of being accepted, granted absolution and unconditional love.
Albus could give it; he made Severus understand how much he, Severus, needed it. And only this need stayed now when everything else was gone. When the arrogant, disrespectful, angry young man disappeared - and what Albus needed was born. He owned this new man - body, mind and soul.
Each stage was only transitional on this way to complete belonging - body giving in first, as always; the clothes Severus shed willingly for Albus, not even realizing he was doing it, was the first step in completely opening himself for his new master.
As Severus knelt in front of him on the floor, crushed under the weight of remorse and regret, Albus knew it was cruel. But he had to be cruel to be kind. Yes, he played for Severus the consequences of his choices, the disastrous pictures of the future that could come thought his alliance with Riddle - children screaming and women writhing under Cruciatus and in the hands of rapists and men witnessing the eternal darkness to come. It was what had to be done - because to see light one had to see darkness first. And it was still this darkness Albus saw dwelling in the black exhausted eyes of his former student.
It was this darkness Severus kept seeing even as he lay there, his wrists still in body binds so that he didn't harm himself, lest in his wish of being opened and clean he should probably try to rip his skin just as he hurriedly had been tearing off his clothes. The young man didn't even realize how already opened he was - all opened: with his legs thrown apart, showing his flaccid cock and the globes of his balls covered in the soft black down; with the sharp lines of his ribcage moving under the skimmed-milk white skin. With the skull and the snake marking his forearm and a small blue vein beating on the inner side of his wrist.
He shivered and jerked, as if his skin was burnt off and Albus' hand touched bare nerves. But there was nothing he wouldn't allow Albus to do, no place Severus wouldn't let him touch. And as Albus' hand kept sliding over his body, squeezing, patting, in comforting, flitting gestures, he felt Severus finally lean into the warmth and kindness of these touches.
Through his misery Albus' forgiveness reached to him, and Severus' anguish turned into words falling from the bluish lips as he tossed his head, dirty hair whipping over his face.
What Albus had done till now was pain and there was no other way about it. But after seeing darkness, there was light. After letting him look into an abyss, Albus reached him a hand of help.
And the comfort of his touches, the warmth of his palm made Severus' eyes fly open even wider, become bewildered - as his cock, no more limp, filled and raised against his belly. Albus remembered that in pain Severus had never bitten his lip; now he did, and it made his thin, tired face look younger and innocent. He was almost attractive when he came, a short cry caught in his throat and a word "No" on his lips. He looked changed.
It could be enough - he'd achieved his goal; but at that moment something in Albus demanded more. Illogical and unnecessary, since he already owned the young man. But sometimes logic was inferior to heart's urges. He needed another proof, a final one.
And when he touched Severus, one more time his hand lying on the inner side of his thigh, an old spell resurfaced in his mind almost without his intention and came to his lips unbidden. Albus saw how the skin under his palm glowed red, the line of scarlet fire contouring it, and Severus arched in the binds even as no sound fell from his lips.
A few seconds later Albus took his hand away and it was done. His tool, his spy, his dear boy would always carry the mark on him - the imprint of Albus' long-fingered, thin hand branded into Severus' body forever.
In a belated moment of regret Albus thought that it could be dangerous, what if someone found out that the Dark Mark was not the only sign of ownership Severus wore. But who would find out? It was unlikely anyone would want to see Severus naked, not with all the efforts he seemed to take to become unattractive.
Albus had never seen the mark he'd left again. He knew it was there - even when, after Voldemort's disappearance, the Dark Mark on Severus' forearm almost faded, the other imprint was glowing as strongly as ever.
Albus didn't need to see it. It was there - and sometimes when Severus, who'd over those years become a bitter and disagreeable man, fumed at some decision of Albus he considered erroneous, it was enough to put a hand on his shoulder softly. Even then, without a direct contact, this touch would call to the other one, still alive on Severus' body. The hand was there.
It could be a kind, warm hand of acceptance, giving comfort and encouragement when needed. But it could turn into a punishing hand as well, reminding Severus of all the wrong he'd done and how much he still had to repent.
Albus would touch him, and Severus would become clay in his hands, ready to be molded.
There was never an intimate contact between them again. Oh Albus knew Severus would let him, would be willing and opened and giving Albus anything he'd wish to take. Perhaps in his lonely dreams Severus craved for it - for anyone else's fingers but his own touching his skin - craved so much that sometimes Albus thought he would beg for it. But he didn't beg.
And Albus could take it any day - take him - and maybe it was the reason why he didn't do it. Why he let himself and Severus put it off for year after year. He didn't need to touch the body to feel power over it. He already had that power. Body. Mind. And soul.
But sometimes, in the strange hours when his eyes saw something that was not there, bizarre pictures coming to him from an unknown source - and the bright suns and stars on the ceiling above him turned into twitching shadows, Albus sometimes felt as if it was not only his hand that left an undeletable trace on Severus' body. But the feeling of the smooth hot skin and trembling muscles was imprinted forever into his palm.