Straining, every muscle taut, his whole body tightening as he stretched forward –
Draco's hand closed around the cold metal of the Snitch, and he relaxed so fast he almost fell off his broom.
"Good heavens, Malfoy's got it!" came the commentator's voice. "Malfoy got the Snitch! The Chudley Cannons have won, one hundred and fifty to one hundred and thirty! The Cannons won!"
His incredulous voice kept repeating the words, but Draco didn't hear them. His teammates were descending around him like a flock of tropical birds, and Draco was blinded by orange and deafened by cheers.
They'd won. He'd won them the game. The first victory the Chudley Cannons had had in a decade, and it was because of him.
Fierce joy welled up in him as the team hit the ground. Draco felt himself grinning madly. For months – years – he'd been struggling along, and victory was getting through another day, evading Azkaban, finding a way for them to keep the Manor. It had been so long since he'd felt this – this rush of triumph rising in his stomach, like the way it jolted when he took off.
Draco pumped his fist, still clenched around Snitch, and whooped.
Paula was howling out a Chudley Cannons chant in strident Geordie, and Carl seized him round the neck, hugging him mid-air. The Beaters collided with them simultaneously, almost throwing Draco off his broom. The seven of them landed together. Draco was almost too breathless to chant and his cheeks hurt from grinning. The fans were still rediscovering their ability to cheer a win, and Draco could hear his own name being roared from the stands.
"You did it for us, Malfoy! You did it!" Rachel, Draco's captain, hugged him until he couldn't breathe any more. He remembered that first practice, when she'd shaken his hand like she was afraid of catching something, and he'd seen it on her face: the second another Seeker worth having applies, you're gone. But now she was half-strangling him with the arm round his neck, and shouting that they were all going to the pub tonight. "I'm buying! And Malfoy, you'd better get ready for some hot totty to ask how you handle your broomstick."
Draco laughed, hoping the flush of exertion and excitement would hide any hint of a blush. Maybe she was right. This could be the night. There'd be a pretty girl and she'd look at him and she wouldn't see a Death Eater, she'd see the Seeker for the winning team, the one who'd caught the Snitch, and they'd go back to her flat and -
Rachel pushed him away as they reached the changing rooms, still laughing. "Meet you boys at the Three Broomsticks in twenty minutes, all right?"
"What?" Draco said it before his brain had quite caught up with his mouth. "We can't go there!"
"Why not?" Carl said.
Not all of Draco's trial had been public. He'd been too panicked to take it in at the time; maybe they didn't know what he'd done to Madam Rosmerta.
"I, er," stammered Draco. "Why not the Hog's Head?"
"That's not where the Hogsmeade shop girls go after work," Carl told him in a confiding voice.
Then he was being towed into the men's changing rooms and still hadn't thought of a reason not to go to the Three Broomsticks.
Maybe he could just not go tonight. Plead tiredness, or something. He had to feed his cat. His mother was ill. His dragon was pregnant.
But no. It had taken so long to get even half-accepted by his fellow Cannons; months of laughing at everyone's jokes and offering to do the clean-up, spending his evenings planning self-deprecating jokes he could make tomorrow while his teammates were out together. And this was the first Cannons' victory in God knows how long, and they wanted him to come. He had to go. If he didn't, he'd lose every scrap of progress he'd made. He'd be back to nights of owling Pansy in Accra and wishing he had the nerve to visit Greg in Azkaban.
He could do this. Maybe he could even avoid seeing her - make sure she didn't see him. If other people went up to the bar, if Draco sat in the corner. He'd leave early. It'd be fine.
And Draco was so tired of being lonely. He couldn't remind them why they hadn't wanted to be his friends.
So he headed out of the changing rooms with the others and met the women, joined the ragged chant of "let's all just hope for the best!" They crowded in together to Apparate and Draco made sure he was in the middle, surrounded by body heat and smiles.
They'd changed out of their orange robes, but the team still caught people's eyes as they crowded into the pub, rowdy and shouting and glowing with joy. Draco quickly ducked away under the guise of claiming a corner booth, folding himself into a corner where he couldn't be seen from the bar. He didn't dare look to see if Rosmerta was there. It was a Saturday, early evening; she would be.
Paula and Ben piled in on either side of him while the Chasers went to get them all Bitterbeers. Draco leant back against the seat, hoping Ben's Beater muscle would help hide him from the rest of the pub. Paula recounted the details of the match at the top of her voice - not so much the bits when she'd let through thirteen goals. Draco smiled back. Cold dread still squirmed in his stomach; he could feel anxiety stiffening his shoulders like rigor mortis. But he managed to say something about the look on the other Seeker's face, imitating her expression, and the others laughed.
Maybe it would be all right. The Chasers were back with the booze and Draco gulped half of his.
"Steady on, mate," said Ben.
"Why should he?" Rachel said. "Tonight's his night! To Malfoy!"
The others cheered, repeating the toast, and Draco tried not to cringe. The room was loud. Maybe -
"Congratulations, boys and girls," said a voice. Draco flinched, knowing who it had to be, though he hadn't heard her voice since he was sixteen - and then it had been dreamy with Imperius. He looked up and met Madam Rosmerta's eyes.
Only for a moment, before Draco looked down at top speed. He felt sick. He shouldn't have drunk that beer so fast.
"A win for the Chudley Cannons. Maybe this'll be the start of a new era, eh?"
"Too right!" Paula cheered. "To Madam Rosmerta!"
Draco's fingers clenched round his beer. He couldn't bring himself to join in that toast. It would've been obscene.
"Would you come in back with me, Draco?" Rosmerta said, her smile flashing out at him like a knife. "I'd like to speak to you."
Mouth dry, Draco stared up at her. She was giving him a beaming blood-red smile, and her eyes were bright. He glanced at his teammates. They were smiling at him. Rachel dropped him a wink. He couldn't ask them for help.
"Draco?" Rosmerta said. Her voice was smooth, almost a coo. "It won't take long."
He couldn't speak. Draco shaped his lips around the word "alright" and his teammates shifted, making space for him to leave the booth.
Draco followed Madam Rosmerta through the crowded room, watching feet shuffle out of her way, leaving them a clear path through. There was a pause outside a wooden door - Rosmerta telling her workers she'd not be back for a bit, they'd need to look after the customers. Draco went cold.
Madam Rosmerta slipped back and opened the door. Cool air hit Draco. He didn't move.
"Draco." Her voice was sweet. He glanced up at her and saw her red lips drawn back; it was almost a snarl. "You're coming in now."
Draco obeyed. Madam Rosmerta closed the door behind them and locked it with a tap of her wand.
They were in a small stone corridor. Stairs to the right led to the next floor. On the left there was another door. Rosmerta opened that one and gestured Draco inside with a jerk of her head.
It was a little office. A desk covered in bits of parchment, a squashy sofa against one wall. Draco turned as he heard Rosmerta shut the door behind them.
She was shorter than Draco by inches, even in her heels. He'd kept her under the Imperius Curse for months, even at his most shattered and terrified. He had his wand. Why did the sound of the door being locked flood his stomach with ice water?
Rosmerta stood in front of the door and eyed him for a moment. Draco couldn't move. She brushed her dark curls out of her face with one hand; the other still held her wand.
"Sit down." She gestured at the sofa with an airy hand. Draco got over there and hit it with a thump. He wasn't quite sure how he was moving. He didn't know why he was so scared.
Rosmerta stood in front of him, stroking her wand. Draco brushed his hand against his pocket. His wand was there. He could get it. That didn't reassure him much, though.
"You don't need to look so terrified," Madam Rosmerta said. "Unlike some people in this room, I don't truck with Unforgivables. Dark magic of any kind, really."
"I know." Draco barely whispered the words. He'd look back on this when he wasn't drowning in dread and be humiliated to the dust.
"Then why do you look…" She waved a hand at him.
"I don't know."
For the first time, her face showed anger. "Yes you do."
Draco shrugged helplessly.
"You know, I've imagined many times what I'd do if I had you in front of me. If it was just us and I had my wand."
Draco looked down at his lap. His hands were clenched into fists on his thighs, but he could still see them shaking.
"Eyes on me," Rosmerta ordered. Draco obeyed. Her eyes hadn't been like this under Imperius, sharp and spitting sparks.
"I imagined shouting at you, or making you apologise. All manner of punishments. Maybe I'd just scream to the pub what you did to me and let them take care of it."
Draco shook his head without deciding to.
"No? More scared of them than you are of me, are we?"
Draco shook his head again. Rosmerta narrowed her eyes at him, then laughed. Draco flinched.
"Ah. Your teammates." She practically drawled the words, her accent licking round the vowels. "They'd not like you if they knew what you did."
"They know what I did," Draco whispered.
"Not about this."
Draco hesitated, then shook his head. "No."
He didn't know how long his body could sustain this pulse-pounding dread. He ached from tension already.
"They don't know you used the Imperius curse. Even if they suspect, they don't know that you kept me under it for months. That you forced me to help you make attempts on the life of Albus Dumbledore."
Draco shook his head.
"He was my friend. Did you know that, Draco?" Rosmerta came no closer. Her voice was taut with suppressed emotion, but she didn't point her wand at him. He shouldn't feel like a cornered animal. But her eyes were fixed on him, refusing to look away, and her hands were curling into fists too.
Draco shook his head once more.
"Well. He was." Madam Rosmerta shook her head. Draco felt himself relax a little as she looked away, her eyes no longer pinning him still. She touched her forehead, exhaling slowly; maybe she had a headache. Maybe she was tired and she'd let him go, and he wouldn't have to hear about this, talk about this, he wouldn't have to look his crime in the eye -
"Eyes on me."
Draco cringed. He worked his way up to obeying: sparkly heels, shapely calves, dark dress, wand in clenched fist, bosom moving in shallow, controlled breaths, golden necklace against brown skin.
"Do you want to make it up to me?"
He nodded, over and over again, desperate. Draco felt his eyes prickle; he couldn't speak.
"Good." A smile flickered over Rosmerta's face.
She held out a hand. "Give me your wand."
Draco cringed backwards, his fingers closing on his wand through the fabric of his pocket. His wand. What would she do to him? What if she didn't give it back - how would he explain? What would she -
What kind of making it up to her was it, if he didn't?
Still, for long moments Draco couldn't make himself move. He stayed still, every muscle clenched, his fingers clutching at his wand. His heart pounding in his ears.
"Give it to me!" Rosmerta cried. "Now! You didn't ask my permission before you used Imperius on me, did you? You used me, you kept me under that curse for months, you took away my choices because you were too scared to do the thing yourself. You - "
Draco thrust his wand at her, praying it would make her stop.
Rosmerta put his wand in a desk drawer and locked it with a tap of her wand. Draco thought her hands were shaking a little.
But her dark eyes were determined, her mouth tight. Draco swallowed.
Draco spilled off the sofa to his knees. The pain of dropping hard to his knees on stone was still familiar, even years after the Dark Lord's defeat.
He really was still a Death Eater inside. Just like the papers had said.
Rosmerta came close enough that Draco could smell her perfume. Her thighs were in front of his eyes.
Fuck, he was a pervert. His heart was beating so fast Draco thought he might be sick.
"I never asked for retribution, you know. I didn't push for blood money or to get you sent to Azkaban, though you would've a few years ago. For life. I never asked for any of that."
Draco dipped his head.
"You want to make it up to me?" Rosmerta asked again.
"Yes," Draco gasped out, looking up at her. Her fingers were under his chin, forcing his face up. They were gentle, but that didn't make him less scared. His skin was tingling with the awareness of her fingers against such a vulnerable part of him. Rosmerta held her wand in her left hand. It was pointed at him. This was worse.
"You're scared." Draco couldn't read her tone. She didn't sound pleased, though. He didn't know what she wanted. Her eyes were shadowed, her face hard to read from his place on the floor.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't want to - I would never have bothered you, I shouldn't have come. I know it was terrible, it was Unforgivable, I'm sorry - "
"Really?" Rosmerta's hand slid along Draco's jaw, stroking his neck. He swallowed against her fingers as they closed round his throat. They were gentle, though. After a moment Rosmerta let go, and slid her hand downwards. She pressed two fingers against his pulsepoint. "You're sorry?"
A moment's hesitation. Or maybe just a pause for effect.
Then she lifted her dress. Draco started back out of sheer shock, then rocked forward again on his heels. Rosmerta hooked her skirt up, the motion a little awkward with only one hand free. "Go on."
"Go on?" Draco repeated. His voice was barely a breath, but she heard.
"Take my knickers down. And then you can start to make things up to me."
God. Terror and arousal fizzed through Draco with such intensity that he couldn't think, let alone sort them out. This was - it was a beautiful woman, and she wanted him to - to do that, and she was so close he could breathe the scent of her skin. And she had her wand on him. He couldn't untangle it all. He couldn't move.
Rosmerta jerked her wand hand. Draco leant forward and peeled down her knickers. They were simple and scarlet and then they didn't matter, because he could see dark curls and Rosmerta spread her legs a little, expectant. And he'd never done this before.
Draco did his best. He tongued and kissed her, trying to find the right spots, trying to remember everything he'd ever heard about how to do this right and to not lose his head because of the wand pointed at him or the possibility of making her come. She wasn't really reacting, though, and Draco's heart sank.
"Stop." Rosmerta stepped away, brushing her skirt back down. "Have you ever done this before?"
"No." Draco flushed miserably.
"I'm sorry," Draco said, in place of yes. Rosmerta's eyes lit up.
"All right," she said. "Then you can make it up to me another way. Let me cast the Imperius on you."
Fear made Draco's body seize up. He'd never - he'd avoided it, that whole awful time under the Dark Lord's rule. And he didn't know how to throw off the Imperius; he'd tried in Defence Against the Dark Arts, back before the Dark Lord returned, but he hadn't been any good at it. Once Madam Rosmerta cast it on him, she could keep him under. And that was before what she might make him do. If she really wanted vengeance -
But if she'd really wanted vengeance the way Draco was used to, Madam Rosmerta would have done much worse already. And maybe if she did it, when he came back to himself, he wouldn't have those nightmares any more.
Draco was shaking. But he'd heard that under the Imperius curse, you stopped being scared. Everything that weighed on you just… melted away. And anything you did wasn't really your fault.
He closed his eyes and nodded.
"Say it. Out loud."
"Yes." Draco could hear his voice trembling, buit he said it. "You can cast Imperio on me."
Rosmerta didn't smile; he wasn't sure she looked pleased, exactly. But she took his face in one hand, and touched her wand to his cheek with the other, and then she murmured, "imperio."
Draco was warm. The fear and pain and dread melted away; he barely remembered feeling them. Fuzzy pleasure filled his head. He smiled.
As if from far away, Draco heard Rosmerta's voice again. "Stand up, and strip."
Draco did so; dreamy delight filled him as he obeyed the order, letting his orange Chudley Cannons robes fall away, followed by everything else.
Rosmerta put out her hand. Draco watched her placidly, smiling. After a moment her hand moved the rest of the way, touching his chest.
It felt nice, her fingers exploring his skin. They stroked over him, and Draco made a happy noise. Rosmerta drew back as if scalded, glancing up at his face. Draco smiled at her. He thought his eyelids were drooping a little. But this was lovely, he felt almost as if he could fall asleep.
"Get yourself hard. None of this halfway there crap."
Draco stroked himself, feeling his cock thicken in his hand. Rosmerta circled him slowly; he felt her hand brush his arse. She finished her circuit and leant against her desk. Draco watched her, still working himself slowly. She was beautiful. And he was waiting for another order.
"Not bad. You are pretty, even if you're completely worthless as a human being."
Draco searched, and remembered about speaking."Thank you."
"Sit on the sofa."
Draco did. Even sitting, it was like he was floating.
Rosmerta eyed him, fidgeting a little with the hem of her dress. Draco rearranged himself a little to accomodate his erection and kept sitting. Maybe she would give him a new order soon.
Rosmerta took her clothes off. Even through the Imperius haze, Draco was bewitched. Her full breasts, the curve of her stomach, the expanse of brown skin; he'd never seen anything so amazing.
She straddled his thighs. The warmth of her, the warmth of the curse, it overwhelmed him. Draco moaned a little, his eyes dropping shut.
"Hey." Draco opened his eyes again at Rosmerta's voice. "Hands on my hips. You meet my thrusts, you don't just sit there, but you follow my rhythm. You don't come until I say. Yes?"
"Yes," Draco echoed.
She sank down onto his cock. Draco quivered with it, overcome. Rosmerta was frowning with concentration, one hand tight on his shoulder as she lowered herself, and he was being surrounded by silky heat. It was… No wonder people did mad things for this feeling.
She rode him and Draco somehow kept up, watching her face as she began to sweat, as she flushed, the different shades of pleasure there. Rosmerta's breasts bounced, her dark nipples mesmerising, but Draco stayed in place as he'd been told. Sweet, crushing waves of pleasure passed through him unmercifully.
Rosmerta took his right hand off her hip, guiding it to her clit. "Look. Here. Can you feel - ?"
"Rub it. Like this, this rhythm.."
Draco nodded again. Words were beyond him.
She moved a lot and it was hard to keep up. The rhythm wasn't quite what he'd expected and it was a small spot. But it didn't matter; she'd told him what to do. And his thumb, stroking in that rhythm, made Rosmerta moan, made her clench around him, made her speed up until his brain was fizzing with it. Draco trembled with it, his heart pounding, desperate even through the pleasure of obedience for something… more. He couldn't quite - his mind wouldn't work. Rosmerta's curls were wild and her raw groans filled the room. She was going faster, losing her smooth rhythm, but Draco kept meeting her thrusts and working her clit. Then Rosmerta clenched around him, making Draco cry out, as she groaned and quivered and clenched, her eyes shut. Somewhere else.
She was breathtaking.
She slapped his hands away and stilled, breathing hard. Draco ached, and it got worse while he watched her pant, still smiling and eyes-closed. After a little while she seemed to recover, lifting herself off him. Rosmerta stumbled over to her desk and sat on it.
She shook out her hair. Then Rosmerta opened her dark eyes. They were still fuzzy with afterglow as they landed on Draco, but it didn't seem to last long.
"Make yourself come."
Draco began working himself as fast as he could. Relief from the ache, the pleasure of orgasm, the sweetness of fulfilling her orders - who knew why? He didn't try anything fancy, just pulled at his cock and felt himself clench up and twist and release.
Draco slumped, panting. He felt as if his bones had melted, and he was still floating in fuzzy pleasure; what his body had done, the state his mind was in. Rosmerta came closer and stroked his face. Draco nuzzled into her hand.
She slapped him. The sudden, stinging ache in his cheek shocked Draco, forcing away some of his warm glow. He stared up at Rosmerta.
"I'm going to have to see what's the most fun here."
Draco didn't understand.
Rosmerta made an irritated noise. "All right. Kneel on the floor again. Hands behind your back."
The floor was cold, but it didn't matter. Things were warm and easy in Draco's mind again. He stayed in place while Madam Rosmerta dressed and freshened herself up with a spell or two. By the time she stepped back into her sparkly heels, Draco's knees ached and he was cold. But that didn't matter; he could think about how he'd obeyed and enjoy the glow of it.
"Don't worry," Madam Rosmerta said. Draco didn't. "I'm not like you. I'll end this and send you home soon enough."
Draco blinked at her.
"I want you to stay there. Just stay there, and think about what you've done."
A wave of cold misery rose up and crashed down on him.
Rosmerta closed the door behind her.