Elusion

Chapter 63

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Summary: Madness is not a state of mind. Madness is a place. What happens when Harry stumbles into it and gets trapped there? A Harry Potter version of Alice in Wonderland but a thousand shades darker.

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Harry had no idea how long Rabastan held him and continued to soothe him. He made no attempt to step back even when the tears stopped and Rabastan made no move to release him,

"Rabi…"

Rabastan rubbed his back gently,

"I'm here, Harry. Talk to me."

Harry buried his face deeper into Rabastan's shoulder but didn't know what to say. The truth was he didn't understand what had happened. That old bastard may be a major part of his emotional outburst but he wasn't the sole reason. Harry felt Rabastan's lips brush against his cheek and his grip tightened on Rabastan's robes,

"I'm worried about you, Harry. You've never cried like that…not even when…"

Rabastan stopped and when he spoke again, his voice was heavy with emotions,

"Not even when I was whipping you."

Harry kept his eyes closed and murmured,

"Stop feeling guilty about that."

He felt Rabastan's fingers thread through his hair and Harry felt like falling asleep right there and then,

"I trust you, Rabi. You're the only person I trust in this world at the moment. You've never let me down and I owe you my life for saving me. I just want you to stop feeling guilty about what happened. You did what you had to do and now when I think about it, I'm actually glad it was you."

Harry could feel that Rabastan was crying from the little sounds that were escaping from his mouth,

"Don't trust me, Harry. I don't deserve it."

Harry held onto him tighter. He turned his head and coughed,

"You do…You're the only one that does deserve it."

Rabastan went silent for a minute and then he started leading him to the chair. Harry resisted. He didn't want to let go of him yet. Rabastan sighed fondly and sat down in the chair pulling Harry with him so that he was seated in Rabastan's lap, but it was different than when he had been seated in Voldemort's lap mainly because Voldemort exuded pure lust and Rabastan exuded nothing but pure and innocent warmth and affection. Harry wrapped his arms around Rabastan's neck and curled into his lap while Rabastan pulled Harry closer to his chest. After a minute of silent soothing and gentle touches, Rabastan asked,

"What made you cry, Harry?"

Harry had nearly dozed off and Rabastan's question brought him back to awareness,

"I don't know."

Rabastan didn't speak for another minute, just continued to stroke his hair and rub his back. His voice seemed distant when he spoke again,

"I have a theory."

Harry couldn't bring himself to care about it because he felt way too peaceful in Rabastan's arms and he just wanted to drift off to sleep. So, when he spoke, his voice conveyed his sleepiness perfectly,

"What is it?"

Rabastan spoke in a low gentle voice that was ten times more potent than any lullaby,

"You're falling asleep."

Harry could only nod. Rabastan laughed softly and spoke,

"You do know that I'm the head of the department of Magical Law Enforcement."

Harry didn't care. He should but at the moment he didn't. The world be damned, he was selfish and at this moment, he wanted Rabastan…needed him,

"I don't care. Right now, you're mine."

Rabastan went very still for a moment but then he started combing his fingers through his hair again and spoke in a very low voice,

"I'm yours."

Harry liked that answer so he sighed contentedly, buried his face deeper in Rabastan's chest and fell asleep to his heartbeat.

Rabastan knew the exact moment when Harry fell asleep. Harry's entire body relaxed and loosened up in his arms and his breathing evened out. He was concerned…more than concerned. Watching Harry cry was the most terrible torture he had ever endured. He had always seen Harry strong and fiercely defiant. Seeing him so weak and vulnerable tore a gaping hole in his soul and he was willing to do anything to correct that. He had an idea about the cause of Harry's emotional breakdown but he wasn't sure if it was right. Harry wasn't an easy person to understand. He remembered the joy on Harry's face this morning when he had been with The Dark Lord. Of course, he had felt envious of The Dark Lord at that moment. He wanted to be the one kissing Harry, holding him, touching him but Harry's happiness had mattered more…his happiness would always matter more. Right now, he felt accomplished because Harry had trusted him with his emotions, he had cried on his shoulder and he was sleeping peacefully in his lap. But his sense of accomplishment only lasted for a second before he remembered what Voldemort had made him swear. He couldn't even be Harry's friend anymore. He couldn't allow him to trust him. He didn't deserve it.

A rustling of robes, forced his gaze upwards and he saw The Dark Lord standing in front of him with murderous intent glinting in his eyes. His gaze was fixated on Harry's peacefully asleep form curled up in his lap. Rabastan watched as The Dark Lord opened his mouth to say something but Harry's coughing interrupted him. The coughing stopped but Harry's breathing remained uneven and his grip tightened on Rabastan's robes. He rasped out in his sleep,

"Don't let go of me, Rabi."

Rabastan could only wrap his arms around Harry's waist. He looked up at The Dark Lord, daring him to stop him, to wake Harry up or take him away but The Dark Lord stood impassive with a curious glint in his crimson eyes. Rabastan murmured softly,

"I've got you."

Harry went still again and his breathing grew deep and even once again but Harry's grip remained on his robes.

His first thoughts upon seeing Harry asleep in Rabastan's arms was to rip that bastard to shreds…kill him in the most painful way possible for touching what was his. Rage and jealousy burned in his chest but Harry's words acted like cold water and doused those flames in an instant. Harry had sounded desperate, weak and vulnerable. The Harry in Rabastan's arms wasn't the Harry he knew. He found himself asking,

"What happened, Rabastan?"

He watched as Rabastan combed his fingers through Harry's raven black locks and he spoke in a low murmur,

"You should know better than me, My Lord. After all, he spent most of the morning with you."

Oh, the nerve of him. One killing curse was all it would take to shut him up and separate him from Harry permanently. Harry's grip on Rabastan's robes pulled him away from his murderous thoughts. Harry would never forgive him if he took Rabastan away from him. He couldn't understand why Harry was so attached to Rabastan. He couldn't understand the nature of Harry's relationship with Rabastan. It intrigued him and perplexed him because he was certain that Harry didn't tell Rabastan everything. He had thought that Harry had merely been manipulating Rabastan and using him but this…this didn't fit in with that theory. He raised his eyebrow and asked,

"Elaborate your statement, Rabastan."

Rabastan met his gaze and spoke,

"He was upset and no one affects him. No one except you, My Lord."

Harry was upset? That was a surprise. He had seemed a little irked when he had left his office but that was because he had inquired about his excursion plans for the night. Maybe it had been because of the hearing. That wasn't the point though. The point was Rabastan's insolence. He admired this show of defensiveness but Harry didn't need defending. He was more than capable of defending himself. If something he had said had upset Harry then he would have come and taken it out, probably shouted it out instead of carrying it in his heart. No, this was about something else and he was betting on the hearing,

"I admire your sentiments but I have not upset him. Harry is quite vocal when something displeases him."

He watched Rabastan contemplate that. The urge to take Harry away from him was tempting but Harry seemed too content. He didn't look that peaceful when he visited him every night and watched him sleep. He turned his back to them and spoke,

"You and I shall be having a word later, Rabastan."

For a moment, there was silence and then Rabastan spoke,

"I am willing to endure any punishment, My Lord, but I shall continue to be whatever Harry wishes me to be…whatever role he needs me to play…"

He spun around and saw the iron resolve on his face, in his eyes,

"He is playing you, Rabastan and you are a fool to let him because he will break your heart."

Rabastan's gaze shifted to the form in his arms and he spoke,

"My Lord, I believe you should be more concerned about yours."

His fingers itched to squeeze the life out of that imprudent bastard. He narrowed his eyes and spoke,

"I do not possess a heart and I fully intend to rip out yours very soon."

Rabastan merely laughed softly,

"Forgive me, My Lord, but you did possess one. It seems Harry has recently stolen it."

That infuriating little…He balled his hands into fists and disapparated before he did something he would come to regret later.

Harry woke up an hour later, Rabastan was smiling and Harry smiled back,

"Hey, Sleepyhead. Did you sleep well?"

Harry laughed softly, straightened up and pressed a kiss to Rabastan's cheek,

"I slept wonderful. Thank you."

He rose to his feet, yawned and stretched. Rabastan spoke as he rose to his feet,

"You didn't tell me what happened, Harry? Did something happen with The Dark Lord? You seemed perfectly happy with him this morning."

Harry let his arms fall to the sides and spoke,

"No, nothing happened with Voldemort."

Rabastan raised an eyebrow,

"Then what happened, Harry?"

Harry leaned back against the table and looked at his shoes,

"I don't know, Rabastan. I honestly don't know. It was stup…"

Rabastan rested a finger on his lips and stopped him,

"Don't finish that. I think I know what happened."

Rabastan removed his finger and Harry met his gaze,

"What?"

Rabastan cupped his cheek,

"You've been suppressing your emotions, Harry."

Harry stared at him open mouthed for a while before bursting into raucous laughter. This was just preposterous but maybe there was some truth in it,

"Really? That's not true."

Rabastan cupped his other cheek as well. Harry averted his gaze. He couldn't lie to Rabastan,

"Look me in the eyes and tell me that you haven't been suppressing your emotions, your sentiments simply on account of the fact that they are frivolous."

Harry didn't reply and didn't meet Rabastan's gaze. Now that he thought about it, it probably was true. The only two people who really made him feel something were Voldemort and Rabastan. Apart from them, he didn't feel much. His hatred for Bella was still there but hatred wasn't a feeling. Hating Bella was his passion. About a month ago, when he had come here to attend his hearing, he had cried when he had seen the door that led to the Department of Mysteries. Today he hadn't even flinched. He had thought the world of Mr and Mrs Weasley once, he had been so grateful to them for their hospitality, he had considered them family and today…today he hadn't cared about any of that and sent them to Azkaban. He had been through so much with Ron and Hermione. All the adventures they'd had together, all the times, they'd nearly died…none of that had mattered to him today.

Why? Because they all worshipped Dumbledore…They kissed the very ground he walked in. It disgusted him that he had been one of them. He felt sickened when he thought about how idealistic he'd been. How firmly he had believed that Dumbledore was an angel…a good man. He'd seen a reflection of his old self in everyone he had sentenced today and that had sickened him, nauseated him. A few months ago he had believed what Hermione had said. He had believed that Voldemort was a monster. Now, he knew better. Voldemort's cruelty was nothing compared to Dumbledore. When he had been presiding over the hearing, he had felt nothing for them, the choice had been so clear. He hadn't thought twice but when Rabastan had passed the sentencing, Harry had been overcome by all the emotions at once. Guilt for not helping them, anger at Dumbledore for manipulating them, betrayal because for a moment he had hoped that they would choose him over Dumbledore, sorrow because things could have been better but most of all he felt hatred towards himself at the moment. He looked at Rabastan and cursed internally for his own stupidity. How long had he been in this courtroom? How long had he slept in Rabastan's lap and risked his safety?

"Harry…"

Harry shrugged away from Rabastan's touch and gritted out,

"I don't want to talk about this."

Rabastan spoke softly,

"This is important, Harry. I'm very concerned about you."

Harry couldn't bear it. Harry had risked his well-being and Rabastan was still worried about him. This needed to stop now…before Harry lost him…before Voldemort found out and hurt him. He slammed his hands down on the table,

"No…I don't need your concern, Rabi. I don't need you to coddle me. I'm a selfish, heartless bastard. I used you…I used your feelings, your emotions, I manipulated them and twisted them to fit my needs."

To top it off, Harry plastered a sardonic grin on his face and winked,

"Sorry, but, I'm not sorry, Rabi."

Rabastan took a step back. Harry didn't miss the disappointment on Rabastan's face, the dejection in his eyes as he turned away from him and walked out of the courtroom. When the courtroom door slammed shut, Harry's legs turned to jelly and he collapsed on his knees. This was for the best. He didn't trust himself…didn't trust the yearning he felt for Rabastan's warmth, his affection…Now that Rabastan would hate him, Harry would never yearn for it again

Get up…Get up…

Harry didn't want to get up, didn't have the strength to get up. He brought his knees up to his chest and buried his face in them. Rabastan was better off this way. This was for the best. His heart wasn't convinced though. Rabastan was the best thing that had happened to him and he had lost that. He felt absolutely devastated.

Suck it up and get on with it. You deserve all this misery.

Harry wiped away a few stray tears and rose to his feet. He deserved it. He really did. He made his way back to the office, his mask of indifference firmly in place. He opened the door and found Voldemort seated in his chair. Umbridge wasn't there and Harry wanted to groan out. What did he want now? Harry didn't have the mental capacity to deal with this,

"Did your office burn down?"

His inquiry didn't sound as stinging as he wanted it to be. He dropped down in the chair, Umbridge usually inhabited,

"Harry, I wanted to commend you on a job well done. The Wizengamot is highly impressed by your neutrality and I am proud of how maturely you handled the situation."

Harry leaned back in the seat and stared up at the ceiling,

"Right. You've commended me. Now can you please leave. I have work to do."

Voldemort made no move to get up so Harry grabbed a file in frustration and opened it,

"Did something happen, Harry?"

Harry chuckled humourlessly,

"Yes, you're in my seat and I absolutely hate it."

Harry continued to flip through the pages, his thoughts were focused on the dejected look in Rabastan's eyes and his heart broke a little more. When it was evident that Voldemort wasn't going to be getting up anytime soon. Harry grabbed a stack of files, balanced an inkwell and quill on top of it and stormed out of the office.

He dropped down in a spot on the side of the corridor, sat cross-legged down on the floor and set down the stack in front of him. He should have gone to Voldemort's office but the man would have followed him there as well and at this moment, Harry wanted to be as far away from him as possible. He leaned back against the wall and began flipping through the file. He was perfectly aware of the incredulous stares he was garnering but he couldn't bring himself to care. He scribbled notes where needed, crossed things out, marked out errors and then moved on to the next. When was the day going to be over? He couldn't wait to get some fresh air into his lungs. He was yanked out of his thoughts as he felt a vice like grip on his upper arm and he was shoved to his feet. Harry knew without looking that it was Voldemort and he pushed away from him,

"Don't touch me."

Voldemort's grip on his arm remained as tight as ever and his voice was lethal when he spoke,

"Get in your office. You are creating a scene."

Harry pushed him away,

"I haven't started yet but if you want a scene then I can certainly honour your wish."

Voldemort's fingers retracted from his arm and Harry picked up the files from the floor and the inkwell. He stepped into his office and Voldemort followed him,

Harry dropped the files on the table and shucked the inkwell against the wall, where the black ink spattered the wallpaper and the inkwell dropped to the floor with a clang,

"What the hell do you want from me?"

Voldemort closed the door and crossed his arms over his chest,

"Why are you upset?"

Harry pretended to think before grounding out,

"Apart from you annoying me?"

Voldemort stepped closer to him and Harry raised a hand,

"Stay away from me."

In a flash, Harry was pinned to the wall and Voldemort's hand was pressing down on his throat. Harry kicked and struggled against him,

"Do you want me to call Rabastan? Perhaps, he shall manage to cheer you up."

Harry went stock still and his eyes widened as the full force of Voldemort's statement hit him.

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