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Title: Battle Born
Author: [personal profile] f13tch3r
Recipient: [ profile] entrenous88
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Severus Snape/OMC, Severus Snape/Harry Potter
Rating: PG-13
Warnings (if any): A little bit of blood. Not canon compliant.
Wordcount: 2459
Summary: Snape is pressed again into a difficult position
Author's Notes: Wow, okay, so this might barely fit my original prompt. I expected more darkness but this went another way entirely. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. And I'm so very sorry that it isn't smuttier. ;-) Please enjoy! Thank you to [ profile] kennahijja for keeping on me with the reminders and the prodding to get this done. Also, thank you, [ profile] kennahijja for the beta and for being an amazing fest mod!
Originally written for the [ profile] ownficfest.

What was he supposed to do? Leave him there to die? He might have been turned anyway. On second thought, leaving him there is exactly what he should have done. He would have died a hero, martyred, forever remembered for his bravery and the heinous way he was killed by vicious blood-sucking vermin. Careful, Severus, he is one of them now. Bah! He did what he had to do! What he's always done. Save the brat's life! Though, technically, he's dead -- or undead, rather. But no point in splitting hairs, was there. Besides, it's not as if the brat is complaining about it now. Definitely not right now.

It hadn't been easy. How do you teach a whinging vampire to hunt? Worse, how do you teach him to hunt without regretting it? That had been the hard part. Luckily, Severus had someone to whom he could turn. Vilnius Cruor. He was all too happy to help. Vilnius was much like Horace Slughorn. He was an absolute coward about the Dark Lord but wanted to be acquainted with influential people, never wanting to be on the wrong side of the war. He'd approached Severus after he and several other young Death Eaters had enjoyed a stupidly boastful good time at the Leaky Cauldron. You know, one of those times you speak too loudly so many can overhear you and hopefully be impressed by you -- or be afraid of you in this case. Yes, well, in his youth, much to his chagrin, Severus had participated in more than a few regretful events. Just throw this in with the rest. At any rate, it was after one of those outings that Vilnius approached Severus.

Severus had never met an actual Vampire before. He knew the Dark Lord was interested in the dark creatures and Severus thought perhaps he could bring Vilnius to him. It quickly became clear that Vilnius would never let that happen and Severus knew better than to try and force the vampire. Very little pretense was made that Vilnius was hoping to be in the Dark Lord's good graces by acquainting himself with, "the Dark Lord's premiere Potion's Master," as had been boasted earlier. Severus couldn't help but be pleased. After all, vampire blood, freely given, was a potent ingredient and aside from gaining the Dark Lord's pleasure that Snape had a source for fresh vampire blood allowing him to experiment with certain dark potions, Severus was thrilled to have the access and opportunity he'd never dreamt he'd have. So much power and possibility in those potions. He happily entered into an agreement with Vilnius Cruor.

For his pains, Cruor didn't simply give the blood to Severus freely. There was, ahem, a price to be paid. The sex was interesting to say the least. Not that Severus did any complaining. It was the only sex he was getting or likely to get, so no complaints there. Though, it did make him worry a few times that he'd not be able to enjoy sex without bloodshed in the future. Was he doomed to sex with vampires exclusively? As if there were so many other offers. Because, to be perfectly frank, being bitten was bloody brilliant! No pun intended. The savage groaning of the vampire and the way Vilnius would tighten around him was exquisite. When the enzyme in the vampire's saliva hit Snape's bloodstream, the result was bliss compounded by the euphoria of sex. His climaxes were monstrous.

Snape was able to procure some of that enzyme from Vilnius for study as well. He actually developed a few healing remedies that he kept to himself and that had been useful to him in more ways than he cared to think about. Their acquaintance had faded after the end of the first war, and while Severus could have done with access to the vampire's blood for his own purposes, he felt it best to leave things be, lest Vilnius decide he'd rather end their association permanently. Severus hadn't even thought about the old vampire when the Dark Lord returned, until he received an owl carrying a note and a phial. The note simply said, "Dearest Severus, I trust the enclosed may be of use to you. Ever yours, VC" It was his saliva. Good old Vilnius, covering his arse. Severus thanked the gods he so often cursed.

So when Severus brought an unconscious and clearly dying Potter to Vilnius for help, it was no shock that Cruor was thrilled at the chance to help Harry Potter, THE Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, Saviour of the Wizarding World, prophesied vanquisher of the Dark Lord, et cetera and on and on he went. Snape told Vilnius to save him and he did. The only way he knew how.

In the stressful three days of waiting for Potter to rise that followed, Snape told Vilnius what had happened. How in the midst of pitched battle Harry Potter had managed to get close enough to the Dark Lord that the the vampire contingent of his Army of Dark Creatures was repositioned to protect the Dark Lord. However, Potter stood fast and engaged the Dark Lord in a duel. Much to Snape's amazement, Potter fared well against the Dark -- Lord Voldemort. Snape fought his way toward them and as Voldemort had just uttered, "Severus, good, you're here. Stop him," a vampire descended on Potter. Snape pointed his wand and killed, one, two, three blood-suckers in a row.

Snape ran to Potter and caught him as he fell. When he lifted him, Potter's body leant against his for strength.

"Good, Severus, hold him up for me. It will be more satisfying for me to kill him when he's upright." Voldemort raised a hand, keeping the other vampires at bay.

Severus shook Potter, who was badly bleeding and barely awake. "Potter. Potter!" he said in a fierce whisper. "You must do this. The time is now! It must be you." Snape grasped Potter's hand that held his wand, raised his arm and pointed it at Voldemort.

The Dark Lord laughed. "Ah, Severus, you always had a queer sense of humour. I suppose a little fun is not out of the question. Victory is at hand! So, raise his arm a bit higher, Severus. Make it look real for me." He howled with laughter and his surrounding followers joined him.

Snape raised the arm higher as instructed and as the Dark Lord laughed he pled with Potter, "Now, Potter. Say it now! Say it with me." Snape pressed his face against Potter's hoping to nudge him to action. "Now! AVADA KEDAVRA!!!" Snape felt the low murmur from Potter's mouth and a green stream of light soared from Potter's wand. Snape waited only long enough to see it strike dead centre in Voldemort's chest before Disapparating.

Vilnius was quite impressed and happy to instruct Harry Potter on the finer points of vampirism. Snape knew it shouldn't have affected him the way it did, but the three days he waited for Potter to rise were hell. Until Potter was truly risen, Snape didn't trust that he wasn't simply dead. And so the stress went on. He knew he could probably disappear and Vilnius wouldn't mind a bit. He was governor to Harry bloody Potter, for fuck's sake! He'd likely be thrilled to have him all to himself. But Snape couldn't do it, and he hated himself for it. Merlin, how he wished he didn't care! His job for the Order was well and truly over now, Lord Voldemort was dead. The Daily Prophet had run a commemorative issue covering various aspects of that final battle. All the while running a simultaneous "Where's Harry?" column with various letters and editorials debating whether or not people should care. They were now safe from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named so maybe they should get on with their lives, Harry obviously did. But how could he leave them? Maybe he'd been killed? And on and on.

When Potter finally sat up, quietly, smoothly, Snape could hardly believe it. Potter looked from Snape to Vilnius and back and simply said, "I'm hungry." They'd prepared for this and had a liberal store of blood for Potter on hand. "Bottled is not as good as fresh," Vilnius had complained.

"But perfectly good enough. It will do. I need him stable so I can talk to him before you sweep him away to have your vampire way with him," said Snape.

And so it was. They fed Potter. Snape had no idea it would take so much blood to sate Potter enough to keep him from attacking Snape. At any rate, after explaining to Potter where they were and introducing him to "Vilnius Cruor, your humble servant, Mr. Potter!", Potter sat silently for a few moments. When he raised his head to look at Snape, Snape hardly recognised him. The look in his eye was not one he'd ever seen in Potter before and his movements were no longer those of Harry Potter. For all of Potter's Seeker skills, they'd never made him graceful. Potter said, "Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why did you save me?"

"Don't be so full of yourself, child, they would have killed us both! I had to escape."

"You didn't have to take me with you. Nor did you have to save my life after Apparating away! You knew Voldemort was dead."

"It's hardly saving your life, you're a bloody vampire now! I meant no disrespect, Vilnius."

Vilnius waved his hand, "None taken, Severus."

"But why, Snape?"

"Why not, fool! Why would I let you die? Why would I allow you eternal glory as a great warrior who died saving all of mankind?! No. Better you live to see the war's wretched aftermath. And better yet, live as a vampire so all those who adored you will hate you, fear you and shun you!" Snape rose from the chair he'd been occupying, his fists clenched tightly. "Why haven't you attacked me yet?"

"You saved me."

"I killed Dumbledore!"

"I know. So why didn't you just let me die? Why did you help me kill Voldemort?"

Snape growled in frustration. "I see. This is how you choose to torture me. Will you ask me questions for eternity? Go. Go with Vilnius and let him show you how to live." Snape stormed out of the room.

For the next several weeks, Snape did his best to avoid them. He kept human hours and insisted that Vilnius take Potter out on extended outings. But he couldn't avoid Potter all the time. He didn't want to face him and his -- what was it -- gratitude? forgiveness? What ever it was, it unnerved him. Snape had expected the worst. He'd expected to be torn to shreds by Potter for betraying the Order, for killing Dumbledore, for being Snape all these years! But he didn't. He just seemed calm and utterly not the Potter he knew, or thought he knew.

Those times Snape would catch sight of Harry -- when had he started thinking of him as Harry? -- he found he had trouble breathing. As if his lungs froze in fear of being discovered. So, frozen, he would stand watching Potter. Merlin, he was beautiful! His hair had grown and hung down in rough waves near to his chin. He moved. The way he moved. Snape found himself entranced, at times, simply watching Harry move.

One night, just after dusk, Vilnius confronted Snape. "He needs you."

"What are you going on about?"

"Harry needs you."

"Bugger off, Vilnius."

"Harry cares and must understand you. Your behaviour is confusing and it vexes him!"

"So let him be vexed. I don't care."

"Except that you do care."

"I absolutely do not care. Now get out of my room!"

"Severus, you pig-headed twat, you live with a couple of vampires! We know you care! We feel the heat rolling off you when you are near. We hear the pounding of your heart and how it quickens when you see him. We know your prick sometimes swells at those times -- yes, that has a very distinct sound. And we hear you when you moan his name while you sleep!"

Severus felt the fire in his face burn as it never had done before in his life. "YOU LIE!"

"Severus, please. I care. I consider myself your friend. I don't know why you have sequestered yourself but as one who has known you a long time, you deserve a little peace. A little, dare I say, happiness."

"And what makes you think he would be happy with me?"

Well for one, he's not the Harry Potter you knew. And two, erm, at this point in his development as a vampire, he is in need of companionship."

Snape's eyes widened. "WHAT?!"

"Ahem, yes, well Severus, at this point in time, generally speaking rather, vampires require sex. Actually, he could have done with it two weeks ago but he thought he could hold out and I thought you might have emerged from hiding by now."

"Why me?! Why not you?!"

"Oh, please, Severus, you know what sex with a vampire is like. If he drinks my blood there will be no thrill in it. It's not the same."

"TOO BLOODY BAD! So the sex won't be satisfying. We all suffer through bad sex from time to time, why shouldn't he?"

"Severus, you're being unreasonable. At this point in time as a vampire, this is what he needs, with a human and you're it. Couple that with the fact that he's also a teenaged vampire, well, poor lad, he's awfully round the twist with frustration at this time."

"Tell him to do what other vampires do. Go find someone! I simply do not understand why it must be me."

"HE CAN'T, HE'S HARRY POTTER!! You bloody-minded fool! Just do it or I'll turn YOU into a vampire!"

And now here he was, trapped under a dozing Potter, his arm numb but perhaps from the cold and not the pressure. He wondered how it could be that such dead weight, as cold as it was, felt comforting? Their coupling had been rough going at first, Harry was hardly gentle and his inexperience showed but when he bit, it was all instinct and Severus roared with pleasure. The hot blood that escaped Harry's mouth trickled down Snape's neck, and the hot contrast with Harry's cold skin made him shiver. When Harry stopped drinking he followed the trail of blood with his tongue, cleaning up every last bit of it.

It had been so long. Too long. Perhaps he'd made the right decision after all. No use going over it now; what's done is done. Severus curled around his Harry and slept.
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