"You like it."
Fingers, gnarled by bitterness and regret, ghost over Harry's naked skin. He shudders. The faint tinkle of cheap, tin bells follows.
"You like it."
The words are harsh and demanding. Harry tries to forget them. He drops his head, assaulted by more benign tinkling. He closes his eyes and imagines lazy summer days spent dozing in grassy fields, wind chimes swaying in the distant breeze. He's sprawled across his lover, kissing him and reveling in the sense of possession he sees in his lover's eyes. Harry longs for that kind of gentle possession.
Not the twisted prison he finds himself in now.
Cold stone floors chill him, his knees groan and crack with pain, and his arms strain against all measure, forced as they are into perverse piety in the middle of his back.
"I know you do. You like it," Severus says, his dark chuckle a counterpoint to the soft, tinkling bells adorning Harry's body. His cruelty knows no bounds.
And yet, Harry wants him—wants whatever part he's willing to give. Even like this. Distant dreams and unspoken promises have brought him. He stays despite the warnings that Severus had gone mad, locked away in his warded cottage, stirring empty cauldrons, and blaming non-existent ghosts for past transgressions. He's like Sirius in a way.
Harry understands what being locked in silence can do.
"Say it, you little whore."
Harry moans in pain as fingers twist his clamped nipples. He would scream—he would answer—but the gag prevents him.
"Nod your head, then. Tell me you like it."
Harry nods, the movement stiff and halting.
The answering laugh bears the depth of Severus's madness. "I knew you did. I knew you would."
Severus cocks his head to the side and gets that far-away gaze again, like he's somewhere else, with someone else. Harry's used to that, too.
"You always did like music," he murmurs and Harry's not sure whom Severus is talking to.
"You told me once that the clock tower bells comforted you more than anything. That time kept going, no matter."
Harry shudders, surprised that Severus remembers that conversation. It is almost an act of compassion, he thinks. But then he remembers where he is and who he is supposed to be and realizes that the compassion isn't for him. Harry doesn't care. He's indiscriminate in where—or how—he gets his comfort.
Severus's fingers trail down the line of bell clamps, stopping at each one, flicking the ones weighing down and biting into Harry's engorged penis. The pain is excruciating. The gentleness of the touch is a mockery.
"You're shivering. I can hear it—a symphony of bells with you as their composer. Shaking like a leaf, aren't you?"
Harry moans again, squeezes his eyes shut and looks away. He wishes he didn't want him. He wishes he hadn't said yes.
"Coward! Don't you dare look away from me," Severus says as he swoops in and digs his fingers into Harry's chin, dragging Harry's head back around by the jaw. Bitterness seeps into Harry's skin. He forces Harry to look into his eyes.
"That's it. Just like that. Look at me. Know what it's cost you to bend that proud neck."
Harry stares into black, fathomless eyes, wondering how still those mad waters run.
"Keep your eyes looking into mine. Yes. Just like that."
A soft pat to his head and fingers carding through his hair are Harry's rewards.
"They're the only part of you worth looking at, you know," Severus says, still staring as his hands move down and viciously squeeze Harry's penis, abused by tightly wound leather cording and clamps whose teeth bite into him without mercy.
Harry shudders and moans and arches his back. Tears prickle at the corners of his eyes. Waves and waves of burning pain assault him as the bells tinkle merrily, oblivious.
"You like it," he says again.
Harry fights to keep his eyes on Severus's, understanding—finally—why he's gagged, but not blindfolded.
"You like being my Lily," he says, his fingers caressing Harry's face.
Harry fights to control his breathing.
"You like knowing that I fantasized about your mother. You're a twisted little pervert, did you know that? Willing to step into the shoes of your mother for me? Willing to take her scraps because that's all I'll give you."
Harry bites at the gag, trying to push it out. He screams into the acrid rubber, but it is an act of futility. In the end, he falls quiet. He continues staring.
"She would have been beautiful—trussed and gagged and adorned with delicate bells. Her bells would have been made of the finest silver. She would have worn them beautifully."
Severus pinches both of Harry's nipples between his thumb and forefinger and pulls them forward, his cruel smirk widening as Harry's eyes roll back and he shrieks into the gag.
"You're worth nothing more than cheap tin. A replica. A replacement. That's all you are. Her replacement."
Tears stream down Harry's face and snot accumulates, making it hard to breathe.
Severus's eyes glaze over. His right hand slips down and takes hold of his cock. "She would have danced for me, her hair flying, her milky flesh flushed with arousal, the bells tinkling with every spin," he says, his hand flying up and down his cock.
In muffled moans and hitching breaths, Harry begs Severus to stop, he begs him to see him as Harry. But that is the crux of the problem. He has always been either James or Lily. Never Harry. Never to the ones who matter.
Severus continues muttering, lost in fantasy, refusing to acknowledge the one willingly at his feet. Until—just moments before he comes—he looks into Harry's eyes with a spark of recognition.
"You'd dance for me, wouldn't you? You'd spin and spin and wear your bells, wouldn't you? You'd let me fuck you and bite you and rend you with pleasure, wouldn't you?"
Harry nods. There is nothing else he can do. There is nothing more he permits himself to want.
Severus moans, pulls up and down once more and lets out a long stream of breath as he comes in wild spurts and flings it across Harry's torso.
The bells tinkle their jaunty chime as ejaculate oozes down their cheap tin sides.
"You like it," Severus says again, this time defensively, as if realizing for the first time the state of Harry's torture.
"You like it! You said you did. You said you wanted this," he accuses.
Harry nods and tries to make Severus see him, to understand him. He tries to crawl forward on his knees, but the straps pinning his thighs and ankles to the floor keep him in place. He leans forward in supplication, hoping Severus understands his silent prayer.
A hand, heavy and smelling of musk, settles at the back of his neck. Fingers drag through untamed hair.
"You like it," Severus murmurs.
'I like you,' Harry moans through his gag.
"Lily," Severus breathes, the air chasing long-dead dreams as he pushes Harry's head to the floor, forcing him into position.
Harry feels Severus's cock at his entrance, greedy and hot and ready to take and take and take. But this is what Harry does. He gives and gives and gives, hoping for some small amount of regard in the end. It doesn't matter what he has to do to get it.
Or who he has to be.
He'd been James to get what he needed from Sirius. He is willing to be Lily, too, because Severus needs him. Needs her. And Harry needs them both.
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