Author's Notes : Heeey, remember that old cookie I gave you a while ago, the moldy one with Colin in it? Keep it in mind... =D Oh, and feel free to plot against Harry's not-so-favorite stalker as much as you like...
I very much recommend Seamus is Seamus and You are Yourself by Ari Munami. I know it's on FF-net, and it's on the PSA, so go find it! It's one of the best H/D stories to show how you can't control yourself when you're in love with another person. (No, I won't even start on Irresistible Poison. I effing WORSHIP Rhysenn. She is the all-mighty goddess of fantabulicious slash.)
Thanks again to the kids in the TAAM forum, who helped me with various and sundry points in this chapter. Also, a HUGE thanks to Alasse for beta-ing for me.
Warnings: Mature themes. Some violence. Some psychological angst. (Sadly, even I have to travel that road a bit...) Language. This part is PG-15.
The Anti-Angst Movement
Chapter 16 : The Not Quite a Quidditch Game But Still Concerning Quidditch Cliche
A gale of wind swept through the trees, scattering the leaves on the ground and spreading the refreshing chill of the morning. The late October wind brought with it a cool feeling, making one look up and shiver. The sky was a blackish color in the distance, while overhead it was blue and grey with dulled silver lining. Occasionally, one would hear a vague rumble, but one could not be sure if it were thunder or not.
On this day, Harry Potter was in the mood to fly. He wanted to feel the wind beneath his fingertips. He wanted to chase the Snitch to the ends of the earth. He wanted to touch the sky.
In the month since his last detention, Harry had put nearly all of his energy into training for the Quidditch season. He had trained with his team, with Oliver, and even with Draco. The two boys had found that they were still as competitive as ever, and that now their competition was better, because they wouldn't hate each other when the game was over.
Last week, Gryffindor had played against Ravenclaw, and Ron had been very pleased with its results. Harry's training had paid off – in Galleons, according to Seamus, who had been overly pleased with the game's results as well. Harry didn't understand why, but then, he didn't understand much of anything where Seamus was involved. Harry was happy as well, because he had wanted to fly against Ravenclaw's new seeker, Annie Boot, Terry Boot's fifth-year sister. She had been rumored to be near Harry's level of skill, and to Harry's delight, that rumor was true. Last Saturday had been one of the best games of his life.
Today, though, he wanted to fly for himself, instead of for the team. Today was a day for relaxation. He had promised to train with Draco tomorrow – but that was tomorrow. Today was today.
As he mounted his trusted Firebolt, Harry breathed in the scent of rain. The sky was the limit; and off he flew.
For how long he flew, Harry did not know. He knew nothing of time, of the hours that passed, of the seconds it took him to cross the field, of the long moments he spent in each exhilarating dive. He knew nothing of Hogwarts, only of the cool air, of the distant thunder, of the soft wind. All that existed to Harry was his partner, the sky – near-endless in its silky grey and vibrant blue, with the sun's molten silver rays lining the clouds and spilling down onto parts of that forbidden wood. Yet to an end it came, at lightning-dotted clouds of murky black, which were moving ever so slowly toward Harry's sanctuary.
Soon the blue disappeared, taking with it the sun's rays; only the silver lining and grey clouds remained. Even the silver disappeared after time had passed, leaving only shades of grey. As he flew, though, Harry noticed not the passage of the clouds, but their colors and textures. He took no heed of the cool, steady rain, which swept over him hours into his dance. He simply did not mind the rain, when it faded, when it intensified, when it burned his skin in its haste to meet the ground. He barely noticed his hand taking out his wand and performing a charm to keep the water off his glasses. The rain moved as if it were part of him; with it, he continued his dance with the sky.
When the dance ended, however, Harry was thoroughly surprised by his surroundings. The sky was dark, the wind was biting, and the rain was cold. His loose clothes were sopping wet, and his entire body was slick with rainwater. Harry guided his broom to the ground and slipped off, his hand instinctively grasping the handle. He looked up at the sky, emotionless.
He thought, idly, that he should take a shower. As he turned from the field, though, one could see a smile on his face.
Harry moaned softly as the hot water poured down his body. "That feels so good," he whispered aloud. No one else was in the Gryffindor locker rooms at this time, so Harry didn't mind giving in to his insanity for a little while.
He didn't reach for the soap right away, but instead leaned back against the cool stone wall and let the water cascade over his sore body. Absently his fingers found the various cracks and edges of the rocks that made up the wall. He sighed. Today was wonderful... I haven't relaxed like that in a very long time. Ah, I love to fly... Idly, he grinned. I like flying in the rain. I'll probably get a cold, though.
As if on cue, he sneezed. "Damn," he swore softly, not really meaning it. He was in too good a mood. He then grinned and reached for the soap; yet when he began to scrub it against his wet skin, it slipped away from his fingers and clattered to the floor. Harry muttered and reached down to pick it up. Once the slippery bar of antiseptic had been secured, Harry happily continued his shower.
Many people feared Colin Creevey.
Maybe it was because Colin had successfully established the world's first official Harry Potter fan club with the help of Ginny Weasley at the tender age of twelve. Maybe it was because Colin was a Junior Photographer for the Daily Prophet in his fifth year of school. Maybe it was because privacy was an unknown subject in Colin's mind, forcing many witches and wizards to flee whenever he raised his camera.
Whatever the reason, Colin Creevey was notoriously afeard among the majority of the students at Hogwarts, and employed by the rest. As a general rule, Colin didn't think too much on how the other students viewed him, instead taking orders and allowing himself to do the thing he enjoyed most: take photographs. Even so, he did get a good kick out of the reactions his camera received on certain occasions.
He had over a hundred albums, and nearly three-fourths of those were from his days at Hogwarts. The majority of them centered on Harry Potter – not Harry Potter as in the Boy Who Lived, but Harry Potter as in The Boy Who Played Quidditch, The Boy Who Loved Bertie's Beans, The Boy Who Had Ink Spots All Over His Hands. For years, Colin had obsessed over Harry; he had savored every image he could get of the Boy Wonder, and with those pictures he would either work on his collection or he would...encourage...his sales pitch. Yes, Colin exploited Harry Potter. It wasn't as if Harry didn't ask for it, with those big, green eyes, those full lips, that sinewy frame...
Colin glanced over his most recent pictures and decided he needed a new batch. Hadn't Harry said he would be flying today? Right about now he'd be in the shower...
Colin smirked as he picked up his camera. Exploiting, indeed... he loved to exploit Harry Potter, for out of the entire school (and quite possibly the whole wizarding community), Harry Potter was the Boy Who Feared Colin the Most.
As he showered, Harry thought about various things, mostly involving Halloween and the next Hogsmeade weekend. Absently, he wondered if Draco might like to go with him, and from there the young Boy Wonder's thoughts strayed to what he might do with Draco afterward. A sudden image of Draco with his shirt unbuttoned and a wicked look in his eyes appeared in his mind, and Harry flushed red.
After his initial embarrassment, Harry shook his head and began rinsing off the soap. Still blushing, he thought, God, I'm such a girl. Just a mental image of Draco's chest is enough to make me squirm. It's as if I'm crushing on him and he doesn't even know about it! He's my boyfriend, for crying out loud. It's my right to think dirty thoughts about him!
He sighed softly and spoke aloud, "That's the problem, though. He...he's probably done dozens of girls, and maybe even boys. I'm such a virgin... I can barely handle him shirtless. What if we went all the way? I'd be too busy blushing to...even c-climax."
He could feel his blush deepen even as he said the word. Climax. Not like in masturbation, but fulfillment with a partner... Reaching one's peak because of another's ministrations.
Harry shook his head furiously, sending droplets of water everywhere. What the hell is wrong with me?! I may be a virgin, but I've thought about it all before! I've even talked about it with Draco! Dammit, I've come onto him! Why am I being such a prude about all this?!
His mind turned to that afternoon, on the day that he and Draco had "come out" to the school. I bet, Harry thought, the afternoon's events running through his mind, that we would have gone all the way had there been no interruptions. He sighed softly, thinking of how Draco had touched him, of his words when Harry had sat on top of him.
"I'd like for you to ravage me," he said wistfully, blushing slightly as he imagined what might have happened if Pansy and Snape hadn't interrupted them. He didn't go too far in his daydream, knowing that he had to go back to his dormitory soon, but he did think about how it had felt for Draco to have most of the control that time.
Wonderful... Everything with Draco is wonderful. Him taking care of me was great, but I don't care who's on top, who has the control, or anything like that. As long as I'm with him, anything would feel fantastic. Besides, when I'm with him like that, I don't even think about what I'm doing... I just do it. Hopefully, if we ever do go all the way, I'll be like that.
Unfortunately, it seems like that'll never happen, he sighed. He's hardly touched me these past few weeks... All physical activity beyond closed-mouth kissing has been started by me! It's as if...as if he's lost interest in me. Like he doesn't want me, doesn't find me attractive. But...that can't be true, can it? He was turned on by me before.
Maybe I'm wrong, and he's just saving his energy for something. Oh, I don't know... I hate having to worry over all this, he thought as he turned the water off and reached for his towel. Draco'd probably call me a moron for stressing over having sex with him. Then he'd get all huffy at the idea that I might be uncomfortable with the idea, and then egotistical over being able to turn me into a blushing school girl merely by unbuttoning his shirt.
With the towel secured around his waist, Harry stepped out of the shower stall and into the open changing area. He walked to where he had left his clothes and broom, not really noticing his surroundings. The image of Draco and that open shirt was playing with his mind, stretching out over Draco's bed and waving flirtatiously at him.
So deep in his thoughts was he that Harry almost didn't hear the gasp behind him; however, even if he hadn't, he definitely noticed the shadow standing over him as well as the significant absence of his clothes and wand. He was not alone – all thoughts of Draco flew from his mind as Harry realized this. He whirled around, his grip tightening on his towel, only to be confronted with none other than Colin Creevey.
What...? The other boy's presence completely dumbfounded Harry, and he almost lost his towel at the look in Colin's eyes.
Colin fingered his camera nervously, thoroughly delighted by the eye candy in front of him. He couldn't believe his luck! Here was Harry Potter, his obsession for six long years of his life, one of the most striking boys in the school – naked but for a towel. As this single thought happily tossed all others out of his head, a manic grin entered Colin's eyes. The young photographer took a step toward Harry, mindlessly lifting his camera and purring.
Harry watched with wide, horrified eyes as Colin ran a finger along his camera, murmuring soft, indiscernible words to the small black box. Harry felt his control start to slip.
Oh. Please. NO!
Colin looked up, his eyes wide and bright with worship for His Harry. "Oh, Harry," he trilled, stepping even closer to the terrified Boy Who Lived, either oblivious to the feelings he had spurned or enjoying them immensely, "I want to take a picture of you...naked..." the sixth-year ended in a excited tone, looking completely aroused at the thought. Harry gaped at him.
It was then that a degree of indignation entered Harry's mind. As he watched Colin eye him as if he were a stick of candy, Harry's temper began to rise. How dare Colin interrupt his shower! At the end of such a wonderful day, Harry deserved nothing less than a relaxing shower, a hot dinner, and a good, long cuddle with his boyfriend. In no way did Colin Creevey and his perverse obsession fit into that agenda!
The glint of his wand caught Harry's eye, and the dark-haired boy glanced at Colin's pocket, where said instrument sat.
An evil thought entered Harry's mind then.
What if I pretended to seduce him? Then taught him a lesson about respecting my privacy? Harry wondered if such an idea would work on Colin. To test it, he laid a hand on his hip and jutted it out slightly. The hitch in Colin's breathing convinced him of the power he held over the boy's hormones. Why not? he thought as his lips slowly curled into a sultry smile. This can be practice for Draco, only not really. And I won't exactly come onto him... He imagined teaching Colin that "lesson" and getting a bit of revenge back. He won't know what hit him... A rush of adrenaline filled him at the thought.
And Harry stepped forward.
Colin nearly had a heart attack when Harry moved toward him. Could it be? Did Harry really want to...? The look in the dark-haired boy's eyes said yes, but Colin still had a bit of doubt in the tiny part of his brain that had not melted into a pile of horniness at Harry's stance. Harry was very into Malfoy...
Then Harry reached out to touch him, and all remaining traces of rationality disappeared from Colin's mind.
Harry slowly ran a finger down Colin's chest. "A picture, you say?" he asked softly, inwardly reveling at the worshipful expression on Colin's face. Putty in my hands, he thought bewilderedly. "And of me, without a scrape of clothes... Why, Colin, if I didn't know any better, I'd say that you...want me." His hand moved down to the camera, and Harry was surprised to feel his fingers tremble as they brushed against Colin's hand on the way. Not from fear or worry, but from the excitement he felt in the pit of his stomach...
Colin took a shuddering breath. "M-maybe," he stuttered. Harry almost laughed aloud.
It was strange. He was getting such a power rush from this. He had no sexual feelings for Colin, and most of the time the obsessed boy disturbed him, but being able to put Colin in his place...being able to excite another to the point that they forget reason – that was such a turn-on! Harry wondered how Draco might react to this seductive side of him – and quickly stopped that train of thought, somewhat shocked at the rush of heat the resulting image sent south. This is not the time to get horny, Harry! It might encourage Colin...
He then slipped a hand down to Colin's hip, right above where the wand sat. "Well, then," he started, making his voice go husky, "maybe I should show you..." He trailed the sentence off suggestively, while at the same time thinking, I can't believe it – I'm using Colin to practice my seduction skills. I'm actually seducing him – but into losing control. What the hell am I doing?
Colin interrupted his thoughts then with a whispered, "Show me...what?" His eyes were dilated, and his breathing was faster than before.
Harry decided then to end this. He did not think he could take much more of the pheromones Colin was exuding. "What I do to perverts who are in places where they shouldn't be," he said angrily, dropping the act and reaching for the wand. What he did not count on was Colin grabbing his wrist just as his fingers closed around the item. Shocked, he looked up into Colin's eyes.
Colin grinned, a cruel emotion glinting in his excited gaze. "Tsk, tsk, Harry – that's an invasion of privacy. You aren't supposed to take things out of people's pockets like that – especially not wands. What would people think?"
Harry gaped for a moment before sputtering, "It's my wand, and you had no right in taking it! And speaking of invasions of privacy, what d'you think you're doing right now?!"
The younger boy laughed. "Oh...taking pictures." He pulled both of their hands up, clenching Harry's wrist tightly so that Harry couldn't use the wand. A dark emotion reflected in his eyes, one that Harry could not name but knew he did not like. "You were asking for it, Harry. You are too hot for words, and I would be a fool not to seize the opportunity to see you naked."
Harry lost his temper. Grabbing hold of his towel, he pulled his knee up and rammed it into Colin's groin. As the sixth-year choked and let go of his hand to grab at the wounded area, Harry yanked himself away from the other boy and pointed his wand at Colin's face. "You are not my boyfriend, nor do I even trust you as a friend, and you do not have my permission to see me without clothes. Ever."
As he met Colin's watering eyes, he said tightly, "Ever since you first came to this school, you've done nothing but violate my privacy. I am sick of it, Colin. If you ever try to sneak into the showers, my dorm, any place that I consider a private area, not only will I hex you to oblivion, but I'll also take away any right of yours to own, distribute, or even view of a photograph of me." He saw Colin's eyes go cold at the threat and smiled nastily. "I see you understand. Consider this, then, a taste of what I'll do to you if you violate my privacy again." Swiftly, he cursed the boy to feel whatever pain he was currently experiencing ten times as badly, then put him in a Full-Body Bind.
The adrenaline was running high in his blood. He took one last look at the frozen boy before throwing on his dried robes and grabbing the rest of his belongings. "The curses will end in an hour. For now, I'll let you sit and think about what I said. I wouldn't tell McGonagall if I were you, either, because you'll be punished as well." He glared at Colin before marching out into the steady rain, his back stiff with angry tension.
It was only when he reached Draco's room and touched the doorknob that Harry realized how hard he was shaking. He ran into the room without knocking and slammed the door shut. Draco wasn't in, but Harry wouldn't – couldn't leave. He dumped his belongings on one of the chairs, tossed the wetrobes to the floor, and stumbled to the wardrobe to find something to wear. He didn't let himself think, only focused on searching for some clothes, and when he found a pair of pyjamas, he pulled them on quickly. When at last he felt properly clothed, Harry took a deep breath.
His chest shuddered.
He let out a cry and threw himself onto Draco's bed, grabbing the cloth at his sides and curling into a tight ball. Why am I so shaky?! he thought frantically, eyes darting back and forth but not seeing the darkened room, only the unidentifiable emotion in Colin's eyes. Why'd he look at me like that? As if he liked my cruelty? Why did that scare me? God, how could I do something like that?
"I feel like such a fool," he whispered miserably, closing his eyes tightly to chase away the images from the locker room.
Yet he couldn't stop thinking about earlier, about the power rush, about the shame he now felt. I hurt someone, he kept thinking. I hurt someone, and I enjoyed it, because they deserved it. Colin deserved it. But I shouldn't have enjoyed it, because hurting people is wrong, so damned wrong – but he deserved to be hurt, 'cause he's hurt so many others, but why, why am I hurting? Why am I ashamed of what I did?
He knew the answer even before he had finished the thought. "Because I acted like Draco used to," he said brokenly. "Because I was mean, and spiteful, and I went too far. I used Colin, and he liked it, and now, I'm feeling bad about what I did, instead of him. I'm so messed up."
"No, you're not," a voice said from across the room. Harry started wildly. Heart pounding, he scrambled to sit up and look at the voice's owner.
"Who – what –" he stammered, fingers itching for his wand.
"Shhh," the voice soothed, "it's just me. Lumos." The candles in the room lit up, making Harry flinch at the sudden brightness. Blinking the shock away, he looked at the other person.
"Draco?" he ventured in disbelief at seeing the familiar figure. "I didn't hear you come in." His arms, which were holding him up, shuddered, and Harry sat up straight before they could slip.
Draco Malfoy set his books and wand on his desk and moved to the bed silently. Harry could only bear the soft gaze for so long before he looked away. When familiar hands touched him, however, Harry nearly fainted in relief and tactile shock. He turned and grabbed onto Draco, shivering as he burrowed into the warm arms.
"Shhh," Draco said again, and Harry knew he wouldn't have to be alone, because now Draco was here, and Draco understood him better than anyone else did, and now he could finally relax, because Draco was safe. He found himself telling Draco everything that had happened in the locker rooms, from doubting over having sex to feeling shame for what he did to Colin. Through his tale, the blond stayed silent, as if sensing his need to explain.
"I hurt him, Draco. And – I liked it. It filled me with some kind of twisted joy – and I'm so fucked up, Drac, I liked making him suffer, because he deserved it so damn much – but – he liked it too! He liked me trying to trick him, he liked me using him to – to –" He felt Draco's arms tighten around him minutely, and he nearly cried. "I'm sorry," he whispered contritely, feeling horrible – as if he had betrayed his beloved.
"Don't be," the oh-so-familiar voice said into his ear. "It's not your fault at all, angel. He used you, he turned the tables on you – you only tried to teach him a lesson." Harry started slightly at the word he had used to describe his plans earlier. Draco hugged him more tightly in response. "It's okay, love. You were protecting yourself. He's the bastard; he's the one who's messed up, Harry – not you. Never you."
Harry looked up into the gentle face, feeling calmer than he had felt all day, even calmer than when he was flying. "How do you know?" he asked.
Draco smiled at him. "I know you, Harry."
Harry answered by closing his eyes and hiding his face in Draco's shoulder. Draco rocked him gently as he shook, kissed his dry cheeks as if to warn any possible tears not to run down them – held him as he fell into a deep sleep, worn by the day's activities.
So deep in sleep was he that Harry never felt Draco tucking him into bed, nor did he react to the warmth of the other boy as he lay on top of the covers beside him for a long time afterward. He never saw the anger in the silver eyes he loved so dearly. He never heard Draco whisper a promise to him, a promise of protection. No, Harry never experienced such things, but he need not have anyway, because he knew that Draco loved him.
As Colin lay on the cold, stone ground, he listened to the steady dripping of water hitting the floor in one of the showers. The spells had long faded away, but the feelings of humiliation, shock, and arousal remained in his mind, reminding him of Harry – of his reactions to Harry.
He remembered the look of disbelief Harry had given him as Colin had grabbed his wrist. What an expression! To think he had caught the infamous Harry Potter off guard... Oblivious the boy may be, but even Colin knew of Harry's finely tuned sense for danger. The boy couldn't for the life of him realize someone was flirting with him, but he knew right away when someone was attacking him as well as how to defend himself. Such a trait made Harry one of the best duelers in Britain.
Colin had bested that. The moment Harry had stopped acting seductive, Colin had been released from the hormonal spell Harry had woven over him – not any real spell, to be sure, but the magic of pure lust. Colin was horribly jealous of Malfoy now – such a prize as Harry would be a complete animal in bed...
That look had gone straight to Colin's groin, and that exact image of Animal-In-Bed!Harry had taken over his mind while his mouth had run on autopilot.
Then Harry's accursed defense system had reacted, and Colin had found himself frozen with a wounded pride and extremely bruised family jewels.
Letting Harry trick him had aroused him. Letting Harry best him had shocked him. Letting Harry get away with it all had humiliated him – but Colin couldn't feel completely put down. He knew he had hurt Harry, had scared Harry – and he loved that feeling, knowing that Harry was worrying and angsting because of him. That excited him beyond reason, and even the threat of losing his right to photograph Harry couldn't stop Colin from wanting more.
"More," he whispered, eyes darkening. "I want more of him. I'll have more of him. He will be –"
"Mine." The voice sent an icy streak of fear straight to his heart, and Colin could only watch in disbelief as Draco Malfoy stepped into the room. The silver-grey eyes, normally bitingly cold, were alive with anger and hate.
"Harry is mine, boy. He will never be yours, nor will he be anyone else's. I won't let you or the rest of the world use him any longer. You will never have him, Creevey, because you will only use him to satisfy your own lust, and that will destroy Harry faster than any Avada Kedavra could."
The slim young man walked to where Colin lay, the burning silver eyes fixed on Colin's, which were undoubtedly very wide. "I am Harry Potter's boyfriend, Creevey. Draco Malfoy. I alone have that part of his heart, but his body is his own to share with whomever he pleases. As you might know, Harry is one of those monogamous guys, and seeing as how I am his boyfriend, he isn't going to share his body with anyone else any time soon, especially you. He has repeatedly told you not to take indecent photographs of him, and you have violated these wishes every time. As I recall, there's a law about that sort of thing..." He smiled coldly, a great contrast to the heat in his eyes, as Colin gave a little shudder.
"Now," Malfoy murmured, looking very evil, "whilst Harry might think a few choice spells are enough punishment, I do not; thus, I have taken it upon myself to further your suffering...by one, dealing with you as a rather annoyed Prefect would, and two, leaving you here until Filch arrives. I would love to do more to you...but then I might lose my Prefect status, wouldn't you say? I rather enjoy it, too..."
Colin, who had been dumbstruck enough that he didn't think of getting up, now remembered that he shouldn't be lying on the floor when the very angry boyfriend of the boy he had just come onto was about to punish him for said act. With that thought, the blonde boy pushed himself off the floor, grabbed his forgotten camera and held it in front of him protectively. He tried to glare at Malfoy but didn't quite succeed, possibly owing to the idea that Malfoy, quite frankly, scared the shit out of him. His confident tone of voice didn't betray that, though. "Oh, yeah? What could you do to me, Malfoy? You're not allowed to kill me."
Malfoy smiled. Colin decided he didn't like that smile. "No, but I can take twenty points from Gryffindor and give you two weeks' worth detention with Professor Snape. Now, seeing as Filch should be here in a few moments, I shall take my leave of you with one last warning." Abruptly his eyes, so hot with anger and loathing, turned cold, which, to Colin, seemed to portray the idea of 'I utterly despise you and will make you miserable for the rest of your life if you so much as bat an eyelash wrong' even more easily than before. "Do not go near Harry again. As I'm sure that you have a very good imagination, given that you're a photographer, I'm sure you can come up with many ideas as to what I will personally do to you if you do." The Slytherin said this in a malicious tone, with a similar glint in his cold eyes, and Colin knew that Malfoy was telling the truth.
Yet, somehow, that didn't scare him as much as it should have. Terrified of Malfoy he might be, but Harry meant more to him than the Slytherin ever did. He would get his pictures. He just wouldn't let either Harry or Malfoy know about it. He nodded to show that he understood, and as he watched Malfoy leave, the gait poised and graceful, he let himself smile. You won't stop me, Malfoy.
"Well, well, if it isn't Mr. Creevey... I think it's a bit late to be out of bed, don't you?" the voice of Argus Finch asked softly from the doorway.
But that just might, Colin thought sourly, looking up at the man with dread. Crud.
Warmth. Softness. Comfort.
Such were the three sensations Harry first perceived upon waking, which on that Sunday morning was a slow and languid process. After lying prone in his little cocoon for a long, lazy while, he pulled the covers from over his head, still not opening his eyes. He stretched an arm out, feeling for the body beside which he had become used to waking – at least, on the weekends – but Draco was nowhere within arm's reach. Harry sighed, cracked one eye open, and immediately shut it at the bright light of the crisp morning. He groaned a complaint and heard a chuckle in response.
"Draco," he whined plaintively, "could you please shut the curtains? You know I don't like them open..."
The familiar laugh rang out again, and sweet relief came to the backs of Harry's eyelids as Draco minded his request. Soft footfalls, and a familiar weight settled onto the bed beside him. Harry opened his eyes, blinked a few times to accustom his eyes to the dim light, and smiled up at his boyfriend. "Thank you."
Draco grinned at him. "You really are a baby, Potter. Can't even handle a little light."
Harry laughed softly, feeling completely at home with the Slytherin. "Oh, hush it, Malfoy. I can't help being who I am."
"A large, lazy baby."
Draco leaned over to kiss him leisurely. "Mmm," he murmured against Harry's lips, "I don't think I will. You'll never have a decent argument again."
Harry closed his eyes, laughing softly. "Too true," he replied, feeling utterly satiated. He felt Draco lay down beside him and turned to cuddle into the older boy. "Mmm, by the way," he started, then nestled into Draco's shirt, sighing in contentment.
The chest beneath him shook with soft laughter. "By the way...?" Draco's soft voice rumbled, and Harry nearly crooned as the feeling reverberated through his body as well.
"Mmrph," said Harry.
He felt Draco lay a kiss on his head. "Finish what you said, angel, and then we can cuddle all you like."
Harry reluctantly pulled himself from the cozy embrace and looked up at Draco, his eyes opening to a half-lidded state. "Mmm. Thank you for last night," he mumbled, smiling at his boyfriend.
Draco was silent for a moment, and his eyes were quiet as they perused Harry's. "You're welcome," he finally said.
Harry understood the hesitation. He fell back into the fluff of Draco's bed, reached over to grab the other wizard, and pulled Draco on top of him. He shifted until he was comfortable under the blond, then happily wound his arms around Draco's neck as the other boy laid his elbows on either side of his head. "You went to the locker rooms," he said, neither accusing nor questioning.
Draco smiled again, softly and affectionately. "I did. Took some points, gave him some detention, left him to Filch," he said, a rather mischievous grin coming over his face. Harry shook his head.
Draco reminded him, "But you love me."
Harry chuckled. "I do."
The two smiled at each other, before Draco rolled over to lie beside him. Harry found himself missing the weight. A warm feeling bloomed in his belly, and he reached for Draco.
Draco must have seen something in his eyes – he often said they were the most expressive he had ever seen – and brought up a hand to grasp Harry's and intertwine their fingers. "Harry," he said, but he did not continue.
Harry sighed. "I know." The two lay together, comfortable in the intimacy.
Soon, unable to take the distance any longer, Harry rolled over to lie on top of Draco, chest to chest, while he gazed into the grey eyes. He noticed that the flecks of blue and green were especially brilliant today. "I love you," he intoned, leaning down to kiss the other.
Draco returned that kiss in a surprisingly intense way, and Harry felt a flutter in his chest. "I love being gay," he whispered, smiling against Draco's lips.
"Mmm, I'm glad," the taller boy whispered back, "otherwise I'd have quite a problem." They both chuckled and pulled back from the kiss.
Harry reached up to brush white-blonde strands of hair away from his beloved's eyes. "Draco," he began, then hesitated.
Draco reached up to finger the hair behind his ear. "Yes?" he inquired softly.
Harry glanced up at the gentle eyes, then back at Draco's chin, somehow feeling embarrassed. "Why can't we, Draco? How come you won't...you know..." He glanced again at Draco's eyes, saw the flutter as Draco drew into himself. "Draco, why?"
Harry touched a finger to the oft-kissed lips. "Why won't you touch me?" he asked, eyes pained. "For weeks now I've been trying to give myself to you, and you used to touch me in places that made me feel so hot, like you wanted me, but lately, you've been...avoiding me, almost, when we're alone. I want you, Draco. Don't you...don't you want me?" he asked, not wanting to, but needing to.
Draco had looked away, unable to bear the look in Harry's eyes. "I do want you, Harry," he said, and under his breath, "just a bit too much..."
Harry sat up suddenly, snapping Draco's visual attention back to him. "Then how come you won't go further with me, Draco?" he asked, voice loud and abrupt in the gentle lull that had pervaded the room. He reached up and began unbuttoning the pyjama top, fingers clumsy and nervous. "I'd give myself to you in a heartbeat, you know that, Draco... If, if you don't want me, just say so, please –"
Warm hands grabbed his and held them still. He met Draco's eyes, feeling self-conscious.
Draco looked so sad, yet almost...angry. Harry felt a bit startled.
"It's not that," Draco said lowly, his eyes dark. "I want you very much, Harry. More so than you would think, because I've more experience than you...but Harry, I don't want to hurt you."
The dark-haired boy was quiet. "You wouldn't –"
"But I could," Draco interrupted. His voice was pained. "I very well could, Harry. You know of my past. I'm not a gentle person, regardless of how I've treated you these past two months. When I'm angry, or excited, or scared, I get rough and I hurt people. I've hurt you. Don't say that I haven't, because we both know it's not true."
Harry was silent, yet still he stared into Draco's eyes. He almost felt out of his league, yet...he couldn't, because he knew Draco, just as Draco knew him. Years of working to get under the other boy's skin had taught him about how Draco was. He was still learning just who he was, but...Harry hoped he would have a long time to do that.
"We might not be together for the rest of our lives, Harry," Draco's voice interrupted, as if he had read Harry's thoughts. "We could get into a horrible fight that could shatter our relationship. I might turn back to the dark side. Either of us could get killed." He sighed and closed his eyes. "I don't want to lose you. You know I'm a dark person, love... I don't want you to be tainted by that."
Harry's hands fell to Draco's chest, where they clenched the cloth of his shirt. "Maybe I want to be tainted," he whispered. Draco looked startled at that, but Harry carried on, "I love you, Draco. I love you! I want to share everything that I am with you, and in return, I want you to share everything with me! I want that darkness; I want your darkness! I want you! I'm not completely innocent myself, if you don't remember! I've seen darkness, I've battled it...and I've spent six years of my life fighting you, knowing your darkness. I love you, Draco, and that means your darkness too. Just like you love my light, or whatever you see in me. That's what being in a relationship means – or at least I hope so. That you accept all aspects of your partner. I've accepted all of you, Draco. Why don't you believe that?"
"Because you don't know everything there is to me!" Draco burst out, sitting up just as suddenly as Harry did. The motion surprised Harry so that he fell back onto Draco's legs. Draco looked almost sinister, looming over him, except for the plea in his eyes. "I've done a lot of bad things, Harry, and you don't know about half of them. I've hurt people and enjoyed it – I've hurt you and enjoyed it... What if I do that again? I won't hurt you, Harry. I won't let myself. I can't risk it, either, and that's why I can't let myself touch you. I might lose control!"
Harry felt his eyes water, but he didn't let the tears fall. He pushed himself up, at the same time grabbing Draco by the shirt and yanking the Slytherin in close, close enough to kiss. He didn't close the distance, though, instead brushing his cheek against Draco's and breathing in his scent. "Maybe I want that, Draco. Has that ever occurred to you? That I might want you to lose control? I know in my heart – in my heart, Draco – that you won't hurt me. I know that. Please, believe it –"
Draco rested his forehead against Harry's, suddenly sounding tired. "Oh, Harry... I wish I could, I truly do..."
Harry closed his eyes, wishing dearly that he could heal Draco. He then moved the two of them into a much more comfortable position, stretched out together on the bed. He pulled Draco's head to his chest and stroked the blond hair, as the hurting boy held onto him for comfort.
After a few moments of this, Draco pushed himself up, the silken blonde strands falling into his eyes. He leaned forward and kissed Harry gently. "Tell you what," he offered when he had pulled back. "You and I go to the Quidditch pitch. We fly for a bit. Then I take a break and take a good long time to get to know myself. Then, while you visit your Gryffindor friends – whom you have not seen since Friday – I toss the new ideas of myself at Blaise, or the wall, or whatever else is listening. Tonight, we meet here, and I tell you about myself." He glanced into Harry's face, having been staring at the comforter the entire time he had been speaking.
Harry grinned at him, feeling proud and relieved. "I think that's a brilliant idea," he whispered. Draco smiled back, and the two together rose together to greet the day.
It's never enough, is it, Draco thought to himself, as he watched Harry perform a loop-de-loop above the pitch. No matter how hard I try, he isn't happy. There's always something, someone, getting in the way, never giving us peace. He sighed heavily. Is Harry Potter so weak? Do people really see him like that? Easy to use, to take advantage of – Merlin, why? Why do people see him like that?! Bloody hell, I wish people would stop looking at him like a sexual object! He's too much of a prude to do anything, so it's not like they'll –
He cut that thought off quickly. Then he blinked, as he realized that he had tensed considerably during the course of his mental tirade, and he made himself relax. No. It's not Harry's fault that he's sensitive about sexual intimacy – not consciously, at least. I'd love to blame those damned Muggles for his insecurity issues – which I can and will – but of those issues, those concerning his sexuality... I don't know. I want to love him, to go that far with him...and to teach myself about making love. I want to take care of him... I don't think I could bear it if I hurt him.
A gust of wind blew across the stands then, and he closed his eyes against it, one hand moving to hold back his hair. And therein lies the problem. I'm afraid of opening up to him. Screw his insecurity issues; we'll never get anywhere unless I can learn to...to relinquish my control. To let him see again what I'd been throwing at him for six years, in hatred, in anger...my own dark side. The part of me that has been battling Harry Potter and what he represents for as long as I can remember...
I don't want to drive him away, though. He let out a snort at the thought. Not like it won't. He hated that aspect of me. I'm sure he still hates it. I know he doesn't expect me to change...but...doesn't he wonder where it is? Why I've suddenly changed? If I've even changed?
I haven't, much. Maybe in the way I carry myself. I used to be such a bitch to him – I don't know how I could stand myself. I stopped being so...immature...when I realized my feelings for him. Or, rather, when I realized I didn't care shit about following my father to becoming a Death Eater.
I don't agree with Voldemort's ideals. Nor do I agree with those of Dumbledore... Neither is without fault. The Dark Lord needs to realize that Muggles are needed – otherwise magick folk would become so "pureblood" that we would destroy ourselves. New blood is needed, otherwise we'll die out or develop a genetic mutation that turns us blue or something equally ridiculous.
Dumbledore, on a similar note, must realize that while Muggle appreciation is all well and good, we should reveal ourselves to them – just...not all at once.
He glanced up just as Harry whizzed by the stands. The glimpse of his boyfriend reminded him of what he should be thinking about, and with a sigh, he traced his thoughts back to when he'd last thought of Harry.
But I digress... Ah, yes. My dark side versus Harry's light. He smirked a bit, eyes following the small form darting around the pitch. Harry has almost as much darkness as I do, if not more. Different kinds, though, so we really can't measure against each other...except that he is not as innocent as everyone thinks him to be, and I am not as experienced as I am rumored to be. I've had sex...and I've had relationships...but only a few. I've fucked a few Slytherins just for the kicks, but I haven't gone and had sex with the entire school. I'm not a slut. I merely happen to like sex a lot. My partners were few, though, and I was loyal to them.
Finch-Fletchley was wrong about who was light and who was dark. Harry is the darkness, and the only "light" parts of him are the light of what he wants to believe and his naïveté in social relationships. That's it. He's seen far too much death and destruction to be the eternally bright beacon the world idolizes him to be.
I, on the other hand, should be more sheltered in that sense. Despite what the rest of the school believes, the Slytherin commons is simply full of drugs, sex, and underhanded dealings. So are the rest of the Houses, as well as the entire world. We don't go around practicing the Dark Arts like everyone thinks we do.
Most Slytherins understand darkness better than, say, a Hufflepuff would, but that is merely because of their parents' political alliances. Yes, most Slytherins have Death Eater parents. No, Slytherin is not the only House that produces Death Eaters. We're the spies, the turncoats – but for which side? That is the best secret Slytherin keeps.
Harry doesn't realize any of that. Hardly any of his mighty Gryffindor friends do. Most of the teachers don't...but Dumbledore does. So do Snape, McGonagall, and Lupin, to name a few. Granger does as well. She understands the strategies of the Houses' stances and the Founders' decisions. Maybe she'll clue the rest of her House in as well.
Slytherins are innocent, though, in that they are so brainwashed by their parents that they don't see the reality of their preordained path: there will be pain, death, and horror. Their parents are so bent on obtaining the glory that the Dark Lord has promised them that the children follow blindly, that glory's light guiding them to destruction.
And none of those children will ever realize it – only on the day when that glory's shining doom is put out by Dumbledore's armies will those blindly led be given the sight of truth. The first thing they see – a world of terror and darkness – will forever scar them and force their eyes open at night to ward off the nightmares.
In that, Slytherins represent the greatest darkness of all: the corruption of innocence.
And nobody will ever save them.
He sighed, a dim ache forming in his chest at his melancholy reflections. Unlike my companions, I do know the horror that following the Dark Lord entails. My father trained me well, and I...
I cannot forget my past, nor can I ignore it.
His eyes, dulled and focused on nothing around him, began to see again, and Draco looked up at Harry. The painfully familiar figure seemed to sense his stare and flew around to face him. The two shared a long look, before Draco grabbed his broom.
I think it's time to let off a little stress.
The boys raced hard and fast, diving deeply and climbing even higher. As the sun began its descent into the dark oblivion of the dissipating storm clouds, the ochre rays washed over the furious forms, making the boys' shadows flash across the burning tapestries in a faceless but no less dramatic imitation.
Their hearts accelerated. Their breathing quickened. Each time their eyes met, a shiver ran up their spines. They began to tempt each other with suggestive looks and actions in hopes of distracting their opponent; however, the more each boy tempted the other, the more tempted he himself became.
When at last the sun had set, dusk's rosy whispers enticing night to fall, the race became a hunt – though who was the prey and who was the hunter, no observer could have told. Each boy chased and lured, ran from and followed his match; neither boy could any longer ignore the rising excitement in his blood. Finally, the hunt ended, as the two guided their brooms to the ground and moved in sync to each other.
They met with fervor. They met with passion. Each fought to dominate the other in the exchange, which was physical and animalistic, and both boys loved it.
Finally, one submitted, though it could be said that both submitted at the same time. They fell to the ground, clothes half-open and hands moving everywhere, lips locked in an eager, passionate kiss that only served to fuel their lust.
At last they broke apart, hands stilling while they breathed deeply to refill their lungs. Eyes wide open, they stared at each other, neither daring to look away, neither afraid to look closer.
Finally, the taller's eyes dimmed, and he began to pull away. The smaller reached out and held tightly to him, fingers reaching and grasping the strong chin.
"Don't leave," he pleaded, his eyes intense, "Please, don't leave."
And Draco knew, as he stared at Harry, his love's body warm and compliant, those green eyes begging for his physical affection, for his emotional affection, that he would not deny him.
When Harry sauntered into the Great Hall for supper, he was feeling particularly ravenous and couldn't wait to tuck into the chicken-and-ham pie the house elves were serving that night. With a cheerful wave to the rest of the school, he breezed past the other House tables and plunked himself down at the Gryffindor table with a deep, contented sigh. He inhaled the many aromas of dinner, decided that food was the greatest thing in the entire world, and dug in with gusto.
He did not notice the multitude of looks thrown his way until Ron jabbed him in the side with a well-placed elbow. After glaring in the offending arm's direction, Harry looked up to see about all of his fellow Gryffindors leering at him, with quite a few of the other tables' occupants peering at him from around the Great Hall. He blinked at his friends, wondering what on earth he had gotten on his face this time, and asked, "What?"
The leers widened, and Harry felt himself smiling back, albeit uncertainly, feeling too good to be bothered by whatever had his classmates so amused. "Did my hair suddenly turn green or something? What's up, guys?"
Seamus leaned forward with a familiar glint in his eye. Harry had learned a long time ago to worry when Seamus' expression turned anything resembling mischievous. At seeing that particular twinkle in the hazel eyes across from him, he duly began to fear for his life.
"You're glowing, Harry," the Irishman drawled, and several of the Gryffindors' leers became very knowing and slightly perverted, if Harry was anyone to judge them. Then Seamus' comment registered in his brain, and immediately he scoffed.
"Am not," he declared, ignoring the blush creeping up his neck. He attacked his pie, determined to ignore the perverse nature of his housemates.
Several people snickered, and Seamus raised an eyebrow at him. "You're not? Then, by chance, did you not get laid this afternoon?"
Harry choked, and after a good pounding on the back by his good pal Ron, plus a few gulps of cool water supplied by his dear friend Hermione – both of whom, he had noticed, were attempting serious faces but were also grinning far too widely for his taste – he was able to breathe again. He felt his blush begin to rush around his ears and quickly pointed his fork at Seamus. "Now, Mister Finnigan, I do believe that's none of your business," he said, glaring sternly. When he looked back to his pie, however, another smile was fighting to gain place on his lips.
Of course, Seamus had to notice this, to Harry's eternal consternation. "Well, bloody fuck, Harry, I do believe you did get laid! And let's see if the lucky lad is as afterglowy as you are..." Seamus, along with several other Gryffindors, quickly turned to look over the array of curious yet hungry students to the far table, where sat Draco Malfoy. Harry didn't bother to look, because he knew exactly how Draco looked: sated, pleased, and extremely smug.
At the thought of his boyfriend, a dreamy smile crept over Harry's lips, and he let out a soft sigh. He ignored the shocked looks of his peers and took a drink of pumpkin juice. Well, they had teased him about it. Didn't they believe their own assumptions?
"I don't think that's any of your business, Seamus," he said matter-of-factly. "You can think all you want about what we get up to, but whatever you come up with, I'll bet that it won't be true. Your imagination will take you to very far extremes, which aren't anything like the truth, and I don't feel like sharing that truth with anyone. Especially you, Seamus. It's none of your business, or anyone else's, so you can stop thinking about it. Now."
Silence followed, and Harry happily continued with his meal. Oooh, dessert! The pudding or the ice cream? Decisions, decisions...
After dinner, Harry took a walk of the grounds with Ron and Hermione. The three wandered the familiar paths in a comfortable silence, though Harry knew that his best friends were itching to ask him about earlier. As they passed a bench, Harry suddenly stopped and sat down, reclining into a comfortable sprawl against the worn wood. Ron and Hermione stopped almost immediately and turned to face him, twin expressions of confusion adorning their faces. Harry smiled at them.
"I didn't go all the way with him."
Understanding dawned, and the two sat down on either side of him. Hermione placed a hand on his knee. "I assume that you did do something sexual with him, then?"
Harry ignored the noise Ron made and nodded to her. "Yeah. It was...nice." He felt his face heat up but didn't try to hide it. "The funny thing is, we've been...tense, lately, concerning sex."
Ron nudged Harry's shoulder. "Malfoy not putting out, eh?"
Harry smirked. "Something like that, Ron. I'd tell you more, but that's Draco's business." He allowed time for them to absorb that before continuing, "Even if we didn't, you know, do it, we still...did something. And that makes me happy, because...'cause I know he's attracted to me. Not that I don't mind the idea that he's trying to protect me, but –"
"Trying to protect you?" Hermione interrupted. "From what? Does he mean Voldemort? Is his father planning something? If he knows something, he really ought to tell Du—"
Harry laughed, holding up his hands as if to ward off her frantic concern. "No, no, nothing like that, Herm. He...well," he paused, glancing at Ron.
Ron stared back at him. "What?"
Harry sighed. "He wants to protect me...from himself," he continued quietly.
"What?" his companions cried. Harry cringed slightly and opened his mouth to explain.
"I knew he was bad for you. I don't like it, Harry. If he's scared of hurting you, then you probably shouldn't be with him. That Malfoy! If he's hurt you –"
Harry shook his head quickly. "No, Ron! He's...it's because I'm not...you know..."
Hermione caught on first. She stilled, looking at him in a peculiar way. "Because of your inexperience."
Harry slumped. "Yeah."
Ron stopped ranting and stared at him. Then he looked away, though Harry noticed that his friend had gone slightly red. "Oh. Sorry, Harry."
The three were quiet for a little while, and the silence made Harry somewhat uncomfortable. He stood up and stretched, his eyes scanning the skies. "Well, I'm going to go visit Hedwig. You want to come?" he queried, turning bright green eyes on his companions.
Hermione smiled at him. "Sure, Harry," she said, even as Ron was nodding.
Just like that, the companionable atmosphere was back. Later, in the Owlery, as Hedwig greeted Harry enthusiastically, Harry felt that he couldn't be happier.
To Be Continued...
I really don't like this "QuickEdit" thing. ::plans on complaining:: I have to add dividers now, because it deletes the stars. ::mutters...:: Anyway...
Well, if you aren't in the Yahoo! Group for TAAM, then join now! All you need is a Yahoo! ID, and those are free. Just go to http : groups . yahoo . com / group / taamlist / !
I'm in college now, so updating will hopefully come more quickly now than in high school, for various reasons. Wish me luck, 'cause I'll probably need it. =D If any of you know some good information on Halloween, Samhain, and/or Paganism, feel free to email me with that, because it'll come in use with the next couple of chapters. Love you all, and thank you for staying with me through this!