Elusion

Chapter 64

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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 cursed internally. Voldemort must have seen them together or someone had seen them and informed Voldemort. All his efforts to keep Rabastan away from harm had just been wasted and Harry felt absolutely frustrated. Well, he wasn't going to let that happen. He was not going to let anything happen to Rabastan. There had to be a way to salvage this situation and he had to start by schooling his features. So, he did. He pulled up his mask of cold indifference and held Voldemort's gaze,

"Yeah, he was rather good at that."

He felt triumphant when he saw a flicker of doubt creep into Voldemort's crimson eyes,

"Was?"

Harry threw his head back and laughed. Voldemort's hand was still on his throat but he rather liked the touch,

"Was. Honestly, he was the only one of your death eaters that was open to me. I needed an underling and he was the perfect candidate. He worshipped me and that was absolutely perfect."

Voldemort released him and took a step back. Harry faked disappointment and cooed,

"So, not going to strangle me then? I have to admit I was looking forward to that."

Voldemort's face betrayed nothing as he leaned back against the desk and spoke in a calm voice,

"You were using him?"

Harry rested a hand on his heart in mock offense,

"Are you accusing me?"

Voldemort quirked up an eyebrow and Harry grinned derisively as he let his hand fall and sat down in his chair,

"I wasn't using him. I was manipulating his sentiments and he was being exactly what I wanted him to be. There's a difference."

Voldemort stepped closer to him and leaned over him. Harry made sure that he didn't break eye contact. He had to make Voldemort believe what he was saying. Voldemort caressed his cheek with his thumb and spoke in a low, soft voice,

"What else did Rabastan do for you besides cheering you up?"

Harry pushed his hand away from his cheek and laughed softly,

"Wouldn't you like to know?"

He rose to his feet,

"All you need to know is that there wasn't any sex involved. So, you can breathe easy."

Voldemort instantly gripped his chin in a bone shattering hold and spoke,

"I hope you understand that I shall be having a very detailed meeting with Rabastan tonight."

It took all of Harry's willpower to keep his concern for Rabastan locked away in his heart and stop it from showing on his face,

"No."

Voldemort leaned closer to him and whispered in his ear,

"No?"

Harry tried to get away from Voldemort's grip and repeated,

"No, you aren't going to be needing an entire night to interrogate him. His heartbroken state will give you all the evidence you need."

Voldemort released Harry's chin and nipped the spot right underneath his ear,

"You told him?"

Harry resisted the urge to gasp and spoke,

"Yes. I had no further need of him so I simply told him the truth. He was extremely heartbroken. I did you a favour though so you owe me now."

Voldemort arm was wrapped around his waist and he was sucking on his earlobe. Harry bit down on his tongue to stop the moan that was threatening to escape his lips,

"Favour?"

Harry nodded imperceptibly and Voldemort bit down on the shell of his ear,

"Yes, favour. He pledged his loyalty to me and betrayed you behind his back. I broke his heart and now I am certain that he'll never betray you again. In fact, his loyalty to you will be stronger than it was before."

Voldemort pressed a kiss to his neck and his hand around his waist was the only thing keeping Harry upright,

"Don't mess it up, Lover. Your follower needs his benevolent, merciful master. I had my reasons to be cruel to him but if you're harsh to him too then he'll be forced to seek salvation elsewhere and that elsewhere could be Dumbledore. I'm sure Rabastan would prove to be an invaluable asset to Dumbledore."

Voldemort whispered against his skin,

"He won't be invaluable to anyone from his grave."

Harry's heart threatened to explode with pain at that thought. No…No, he wasn't going to let that happen. He wanted to push Voldemort away but Voldemort was more agreeable when he was latched onto his body,

"You're being unreasonable. We have a war coming up and we need all the people we can get. Rabastan will do anything for you. His loyalty is a precious thing to possess."

Harry wrapped an arm around Voldemort's waist as Voldemort undid the top two buttons of his shirt and kissed his collarbone,

"Promise me you won't kill him, Lover."

Voldemort growled against his skin. Harry moved his hands over Voldemort's hips and squeezed,

"Promise me and I'll let you mark me."

That was it. Voldemort pulled his mouth away from his collarbone and ground out,

"I promise I shall not kill or maim Rabastan."

And then Voldemort was unbuttoning Harry's waistcoat and pulling it off him. His shirt was pushed off, exposing his right shoulder and Voldemort was kissing him, every inch of his exposed skin. Harry felt much calmer now. Rabastan was safe. He was going to be alright. He held on tight to Voldemort's hips as the man's lips moved over his shoulder and then he felt it. That intoxicating mix of pleasure and pain as Voldemort sucked a mark on his shoulder. He let his head fall on Voldemort's shoulder and a moan escaped his lips. He was burning up with arousal and he knew Voldemort was no different. He wanted it to go on forever as Harry allowed himself to get lost himself in that heady rush of pleasure. Voldemort started using his teeth, grazing them against his skin over and over again and Harry couldn't help but whimper as the pleasure spiked up and reached a new high. It stopped though and Harry felt Voldemort's lips pull away. He wasn't ready to come down yet but he knew he had to.

Harry pulled his head away from Voldemort's shoulder and took a step back. Voldemort's eyes were a deep shade of red that nearly bordered on black and his pupils were blown with desire. Harry had a feeling his face was showing his desire perfectly as well. He turned his head and looked down at his shoulder. A deep reddish-purple mark stood in stark contrast to his pale skin. He touched it with his finger and enjoyed the tiny rush of pain that shot through his body. He grinned up at Voldemort and spoke,

"Feeling better now, Lover? I knew you wanted to do that since this morning,"

Voldemort was observing at him appreciatively,

"Actually, I do enjoy seeing you utterly debauched and knowing that I am the reason for it."

Harry smirked rakishly and began correcting his shirt. The fabric grazed against the bruise causing him to wince and Voldemort chuckled softly,

"It shall remind you of me every time you move."

Harry decided not to retort as he picked up his waistcoat from the floor and dusted it off. He pulled it on and asked while buttoning it up,

"Where did you send Umbridge?"

Voldemort leaned casually against the desk as he corrected his hair,

"She is preparing the invites for your celebratory ball tomorrow evening."

Harry snorted as he sat back in his chair and pulled a file towards himself,

"Celebratory ball sounds so pompous."

Voldemort took the file from him,

"Umbridge informed me that you wished to hand deliver the invite to the Goblins."

Harry leaned back in his seat and met Voldemort's gaze,

"Yeah, that's right. I thought I was going to head out in the evening so I might as well deliver their invite to them personally. I think they'll appreciate the gesture immensely."

Voldemort stepped away from the desk,

"You have not changed your mind about going out this evening?"

Harry took the file back from Voldemort and spoke,

"No, I haven't. I told you I'm sick of the Malfoys and I need a break. I don't understand how you haven't grown tired of them or why you even live in their house."

He paused and then spoke,

"Come to think of it. You're just as homeless as I am."

Harry realized what he'd just said and he expected Voldemort to be offended or angry but the expression on Voldemort's face could only be described as thoughtful at best. After a moment, a smirk crossed Voldemort's lips and he spoke in a velvety soft tone before departing,

"Have fun tonight, Harry."

Something about that tone of voice and Voldemort's statement didn't sit well with Harry. He tossed the file back on the table and began pacing the office. He knew Voldemort was playing mind games with him. This was just another trick. He was certain that Voldemort would have someone trail him but he wasn't worried about that anymore. He had initially planned to visit Rabastan but that wasn't possible now. So, now his plan was to wander around and explore Knockturn Alley a bit and enjoy some alone time. Harry sighed and looked at the clock. He couldn't wait to get out of here but he still had three more hours to go. Harry looked at the files waiting for him on the table but he didn't feel focused enough to work. He was worried about Rabastan though. What if he had hurt him a little too much? What if Rabastan did something to harm himself? No…That…It wouldn't happen. Rabastan was strong willed. He wouldn't do anything like that. But something inside him wasn't satisfied.

Harry cursed and rushed out of the office. He had to see him. Just one look to make sure that he was fine. It didn't take him long to get on the elevator and navigate his way to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Harry kept his calm veneer firmly in place and thought of a good excuse for his presence here. Harry recognized one of the death eaters as Rabastan's secretary and inquired,

"Is Mr. Lestrange present in his office?"

The secretary shook his head,

"I am sorry, My Lord. But Mr. Lestrange was summoned by The Dark Lord five minutes ago."

Harry thanked him but cursed internally. This was getting tiring. He really didn't want another encounter with Voldemort albeit the fact that both encounters had been extremely pleasurable but there was only so much he could take. He had an excuse to confront Voldemort though. That last statement certainly deserved some explanation. He began making his way to Voldemort's office and once he was there he took a deep breath, made sure that his face betrayed nothing of the storm currently devastating his heart and pushed open the door. Voldemort was seated in his chair and Harry saw Rabastan's back. He had his head bowed but Harry didn't miss the tension in his shoulders. Something inside Harry broke at the sight.

Harry stepped into the office and closed the door behind him. He leaned against the wall as casually as possible and crossed his arms over his chest,

"Explain."

Voldemort quirked up an eyebrow questioningly but Harry didn't miss the amusement in his eyes,

"You can't tell me to enjoy my night just like that. I know you had a hidden meaning behind that. Are you going to have me tailed? Or will you spy on me yourself?"

Voldemort chuckled softly. Harry resisted the urge to look at Rabastan but a sideways glance told him all that he needed to know. Rabastan looked deathly pale and broken. Harry felt his heart crying tears of blood. What had he done? Voldemort's voice forced him to focus and keep his face as expressionless as possible,

"Those are tempting choices but something has come and I shall be occupied tonight. You have claimed that you are perfectly capable of looking after yourself so I believe in your abilities and hope that you enjoy your time."

Harry wasn't interested in this conversation. He was feeling devastated and he was itching to make Rabastan feel better. But he had to keep this conversation going and he forced himself to smile lazily,

"Riiight, you have no idea how creepy you sound. This is definitely not like you."

Voldemort laughed again and turned to Rabastan,

"You see, Rabastan. I am trying to be accommodating and he still does not trust me. Have you ever known me to comply to anyone before?"

Rabastan's voice was low and weak when he spoke and it took Harry all of his self-restraint not to burst into tears,

"No. My Lord."

This was becoming too much and Harry spoke as nonchalantly as possible,

"What is he doing here? Did I interrupt something important?"

Voldemort rose to his feet and walked around the desk to stand behind Rabastan's chair. Everything inside Harry froze with terror as Voldemort rested his hands on Rabastan's shoulders and whispered softly,

"Tell him about our discussion, Rabastan."

Harry kept his expressions schooled and faked a yawn,

"If it's some official matter then spare me."

Voldemort hands moved from Rabastan's shoulders and touched his face,

"Rabastan was just telling me about how you broke his heart."

Harry felt like a monster but be laughed. He pushed himself away from the wall and stepped closer to him. He crouched infront of him and took Rabastan's face in his hands,

"Look at me, Rabi."

Rabastan kept his gaze lowered and Harry saw a tear slip down the corner of his eye. Harry instantly caught it on the tip of his finger and sucked on it. The salt burned his tongue, his insides and Harry's heart screamed in excruciating agony,

"Look at me."

Rabastan finally looked up and met his gaze. There was too much pain in Rabastan's eyes and it became increasingly difficult for Harry to hold back his tears and keep that awful derisive smirk plastered on his face,

"It wasn't anything personal. You're handsome and a wonderful person. I'm the monster here. I should be feeling bad for what I did. It shouldn't be the other way around. In fact, you should be celebrating that you're finally free from me. Everything's going to be alright, Rabastan. You're going to be alright."

He patted Rabastan's cheek and rose to his feet. Voldemort pulled his hands away from Rabastan's face and spoke,

"You really should be celebrating Rabastan. Harry is quite the villain and the fact that he deemed you worthy enough to make you feel better should be enough to make you happy."

Harry cleared a space on Voldemort's desk, sat down and chuckled,

"Awww is that a complaint, Lover? Are you saying that I don't make you feel good?"

Voldemort laughed and Harry watched his crimson eyes alight with joy. At least someone was happy with the entire outcome. Harry just felt like drowning himself. He covered his mouth with his hand and coughed. Rabastan's voice sounded a bit stronger when he spoke,

"May I have permission to leave, My Lord?"

Voldemort patted Rabastan's shoulder and spoke,

"Yes, Rabastan. You may."

Rabastan dropped from the chair, onto his knees and kissed the hem of Voldemort's robes,

"Forgive me for my transgressions, My Lord."

Something about seeing Rabastan on his knees grated on Harry's nerves but he locked his gaze with Voldemort's as Voldemort spoke,

"You are forgiven, Rabastan. May your loyalty never waver again."

Voldemort pulled Rabastan to his feet and embraced him but his gaze was fixed on Harry's and Harry kept his expressions as neutral as possible and spoke as cheerfully as he could,

"Yay. Happy endings all around."

Voldemort released Rabastan and he bowed before walking out of the office. Just as he was walking out, Umbridge stepped on the threshold and spoke,

"My Lord."

Voldemort beckoned her in and Harry noticed that she was holding a stack of gold embossed envelopes. He hoped off the table and grabbed the envelopes from her before she could hand them to Voldemort,

"Took you long enough."

He began flipping through the envelopes looking for the one addressed to the Goblins when an envelope caught his eye and something like dread gripped his heart.

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