DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Plot inspired by various fanfics, including but not limited to those by Maeglin Yedi and the fanfic "If thine enemy'.

Warning: some fantasized sex and unclear tenses; still unbeta-ed.

Harry was bored, having finished all his homework and having nothing else to do, he even read some of the books they were going to study when term starts. They were quite interesting, but the lack of physical activities made him restless. He usually had chores to do during the holidays when living with the Dursleys, weeding the garden, painting the fence, cleaning the garage, washing the car and whatever needs to be done. Even if the garage was not particularly dirty or the garden not really in need of weeding, they would always find something to keep him occupied. Here at Malfoy manor, everything was done by the house-elves; he doesn't even have the chance to lift a finger to do anything.

He sighed, staring at the grounds surrounding the manor. It was a beautiful day; light blue skies strewn with cotton-like clouds, and the green Quidditch Pitch beyond beckoned to him. He wished he could be out there flying on his Firebolt. There's nothing holding him back except for his stubbornness; it wasn't like he was confined to the room as Malfoy had given him free run of the manor as long as he does not cause any trouble. No, he just did not want to risk running into him. It seemed childish, but he could be childish all he wants when he's alone.

His anger towards the man wasn't as fresh as it was a few days ago, but he still felt resentful. It had nothing to do with his pride or bruised ego. Nothing to do with the niggling voice at the back of his mind that perhaps he had made a mistake by trying to be clever, and played the game in which he was obviously not prepared to face the consequences for. It had nothing to do with him feeling gullible and duped, and everything to do with Malfoy's infuriatingly smug, assured manner even as he took him to bed. Really.

Running his fingers idly across the spines of the books on the shelf, Harry stopped at a particular one that caught his attention.

'Almost Illegal Curses and Hexes'

He hesitated, then pulled the book out. There was no harm knowing more spells, he reasoned, and since he had time to kill, he might as well look through it. Besides, he would not get this opportunity at Hogwarts. Not without a teacher's note anyway, as Madame Pince is very strict about that rule. He could sneak into the library in the middle of the night, but it wasn't as accessible as the books here. It could prove useful in duels, or even help him get away from Death Eaters and Voldemort next time.

Harry stared at the plain black cover with silver letters.

Almost illegal means it's legal.

He opened the book and settled on the nearest couch to read, occasionally waving his wand and saying incantations of interesting curses. He quickly got bored of it as their actual effects could not be seen on objects, so he transfigured a stone into a rat to practice on.

It did not last long.

He stopped when a particularly nasty curse caused the rat to explode; its squeal of alarm abruptly cut off as it was torn apart, splattering blood and bits of fur on the table.

It's really only a stone.

Unsettled and a little guilty, Harry hurriedly cleaned up the mess and replaced the book on the shelf. He turned around and nearly had a heart attack when he came face to face with Malfoy, standing so close that they were almost touching each other. He backed against the shelf involuntarily to put some space between them, and Malfoy smiled, gleaming white teeth that reminded Harry of a tiger just before it pounced.

"Why are you so skittish?" Malfoy asked, reaching for the book beside Harry's head and perusing it briefly. "Oh my, the-boy-who-lived dabbling in Dark Arts. Whatever will the adoring public say?"

"Those aren't illegal," he said defensively.

"It's close enough," Malfoy said, snapping the book shut. "Why? Did you finally realise you can't fight the Dark Arts with just Light spells?"

It didn't occur to him that way but- "I thought it might help."

"Take down some foolish young Death Eaters perhaps; defeat the Dark Lord? Hardly," he scoffed, walking over the to couch.

"Dark Arts isn't the only way to defeat Voldemort." Even as the words left his mouth, Harry doubted that he believed it absolutely, and he was sure it showed; the forced certainty echoing loud and false to his ears.

"It may or may not be, but from it you can better understand how the curses work, and how to defend against it, or at least minimize its effects. Of course, it also helps in battles if you have no qualms about using them to bring down your enemies," said Malfoy unperturbed, causally examining bits of fluffy white stuff picked from the floor. He dusted his fingers and stood up. "I have work to do. See you at dinner later."

"And if I don't want to?"

Malfoy shrugged and said indifferently, "It's up to you. Do try to clean up properly next time though. You wouldn't want to leave bloody bits and pieces of animals around; malodorous rooms are rather unpleasant to live in."

Harry stared as Malfoy left.

How did he know?

Lucius was aware of the boy's burning stare on his back and he held back a tiny smile. If things went well, he would probably be seeing Harry again for dinner. He had not wanted to approach Harry first, far preferring his quarry to initiate contact and believe that he did it willingly. Who knew the teen would be so stubborn? He really couldn't afford to waste any more time beyond a week, and catching the boy practising those curses was a good excuse to confront him again. The spell-monitoring charm on the room could not have rung at a better time.

It was a tricky task that his lord had given him; so many things could go wrong and it would all be on his head if they did. But there was no one else with enough cunning and skill to do it, except perhaps Severus. Would it be easier to convince Harry that his most hated professor, whose hatred for all Potters equaled his hatred for said professor, had suddenly developed an unlikely interest in him? The Dark Lord obviously thought it would be more difficult than Lucius Malfoy convincing Harry Potter of his sudden interest in him; thus his current task.

He first saw Potter as a young child of twelve in Flourish and Blotts, having heard many complains about him from Draco before that, and was intrigued by the burning green fire in his eyes, so full of righteousness and anger on behalf of his friends. He had wondered then if the boy felt so strongly about everything, and how that would eventually be his downfall.

Their second meeting had not a mood for such musings. He had been incensed over the whole fiasco of Tom Riddle's diary and losing his house elf. That meddlesome brat had dared to challenge him and won too. For a long time afterwards, he wanted nothing more than to get his hands on Potter and break him of all defiance. Much later, although still holding a grudge against Potter, he had conceded a reluctant respect for the boy's resourcefulness and cunning in tricking him.

When he had felt the Dark Mark burning for the first time in many years, he knew the Dark Lord was back and was prepared to accept, to a certain extent, the punishment his lord would inflict for not trying hard enough to bring him back earlier. What was unexpected was seeing Potter tied and bound to a headstone, his arm bleeding red. Lord Voldemort had wanted to prove his power by killing Potter, giving him back his wand for a fair fight. But he failed again, much to the surprise and fear of everyone present. The Death Eaters did not fear Potter, no indeed; they feared the Dark Lord's wrath. The dreaded Dark Lord's followers made to look like bumbling fools, outwitted by a mere boy. Sometimes he wondered if he was on the right side, the winning side.

Harry has power, untrained and untapped perhaps, but power nonetheless that could prove to be useful when fully exercised. It was all there, little signs like being able to perform the Patronus charm at age thirteen when even most adult wizards could not do it, and throwing off the Imperius Curse that had many full-grown wizards in thrall. Luck seemed to be on his side every time; he is always escaping death while many others fall. He feels much for his friends and loved ones, evident in that confrontation at the Department of Mysteries. Hate, fear, anger, grief…

There is but a thin line separating hate and love, and small distinction between love and lust. It would be such a pity to just kill Harry, leaving all that power and passion untapped. Or perhaps it's just an excuse to want to bury his cock in that tight, lithe body and feel those silken legs wrapped round his back, to hear the delightful moans and soft breathy sounds coming from that sweet mouth, see those green eyes fill with passion instead of hate or fear. Harry feels much, and it spills over to all areas of his life, especially behind closed doors, his spontaneity and passion is delightful. A treasure really, if he could just maneuver things carefully. He can almost imagine the hot mouth on his-

Lucius suddenly changed direction and quickened his steps to his room, pushing the wayward thoughts aside.

A cold shower had just been added on his list of 'work to do'.

Harry stood before the doors to the dining hall, all his doubts rising to the fore of his mind. But he wasn't going to back out now, having come so far. Gryffindors were known for their courage, not cowardice. Perhaps it is this thought, more than all the other reasons he had thought of to persuade himself, that convinced him to continue.

Besides, he had a favour to ask of Malfoy.

As if sensing his decision to proceed, the doors opened outwards into the hall slowly, a silent invitation for him to enter. He scanned the hall quickly but did not see Malfoy anywhere.

"Good evening."

Startled, Harry spun around, his hand unconsciously reaching for his wand in a trained reflex action. He relaxed slightly when he realised that it was Malfoy. "Why do you always sneak up on me?"

Malfoy raised an eyebrow and enunciated, "Malfoys do not sneak. I just happen to be behind you."

"Twice?"

"It could have been trice if you were prostrate," he replied easily, his grey eyes glinting.

What is he- oh! Trust him to throw that in my face.

"That wouldn't be 'just happen'," said Harry coolly.

"True. It would be deliberate. Shall we?" said Malfoy, changing the topic smoothly and motioning towards the table.

With nothing to counter Malfoy's reply, Harry settled for silence as he followed him to the table. Food and cutlery appeared as soon as they sat down, and dinner was a quiet affair with the occasional clinking of cutlery against plate and glasses against bottle. It wasn't all that unpleasant, Harry reflected. He realised that somewhere along the course of eating, the silence had become strangely comfortable, like that of two close friends or lovers. It must be the wine, he decided, after a glance at Malfoy. The lines of his face seemed softer by the yellow light, his posture and expression one of relaxed confidence and ease.

Perhaps now is a good time to ask.

"Mr Malfoy?"

His gaze turned to Harry lazily, like the kind of look one gives a lover in the morning, sated and unguarded. Slightly encouraged, Harry continued, the words tumbling out in an awkward rush, "I've been thinking about it and would like to learn more about the Dark Arts. Will you teach me?"

Surprise crossed Malfoy's face, quickly replaced by his usual impassive mask. "No." His reply was short and curt.

Harry pressed on, undeterred. "Why? I know restriction of underage sorcery is not the problem as the manor has wards preventing detection of underage use of magic by the Ministry of Magic. Otherwise they would have sent me a dozen letters by now." He thought it was a rather well thought-out counter for one of the objections Malfoy might have, but the other man's expression did not change.

"You're right, but I still can't teach you."

"Why?"

Malfoy paused for a while, prolonging the moment, then said finally, "Dumbledore would have my head."

Harry stared in disbelief. Of all the excuses to come up with, Malfoy had to choose the most ludicrous one. One that is ridiculous and highly laughable considering what he did. But if it were true… Harry felt a hysterical laugh bubbling up and pushed those thoughts away, together with the anger and hurt that clawed at him beneath the surface.

"So you're allowed to fuck me but you can't teach me Dark Arts?" It took much effort to keep his voice even, and his narrowed eyes belied the presented calm.

"There is no need to be crude." Malfoy picked up his glass of red wine and sipped it, long elegant fingers curling lightly around the glass's stem.

Harry attempted a shrug and leaned back on the chair. "I can't help it if the bare facts are crude."

"Don't be difficult, Harry." Malfoy set his drink down and traced the rim of the goblet absently, as if seeing something far away in its crimson depths. Or perhaps just to avoid looking at him.

Harry was starting to get frustrated. "Teaching someone Dark Arts is well within your ability. It's not that you can't, but that you won't."

Malfoy finally met his gaze then; all silver intent and thin lips. "You don't have the propensity for causing pain, as most Dark Arts curses are wont to do, lest of all the intentions needed to cast the curses. It is not suitable for you."

"I can learn," he said determinedly. "Besides you have to know your enemy thoroughly to defeat him."

"As admirable as your persistence and reasons are, my answer is still no. "

Harry was silent for a while, thinking. Then he said slowly, "I know you don't do things for nothing… perhaps we can reach an agreement that would benefit both of us. Teach me the Dark Arts and- and I'll owe you a favour."

Lucius laughed softly and sneered, "What can you possibly do for me that I can't do myself?"

"I- you can claim it in the future."

"And what if you don't survive the Dark Lord?"

"Isn't there anything that you want in return at present? Something I can do?"

"Anything, Mr. Potter?" Lucius arched an eyebrow.

Belatedly, Harry realised that might not be the wisest thing to say. Curse his quick mouth; it gave away too much. Snape was right, he thought in disgust, Gryffindors tend to be rash, especially when they are desperate. "It depends," he said warily, catching the change in Lucius' demeanor. "What do you want?"

"Oh I think you know what I want," Lucius drawled, giving him a thorough once-over, blatantly sliding his gaze from Harry's eyes down his body and up again, meeting those green eyes suggestively.

Harry flushed at his not so subtle proposition, and barely restrained himself from telling Malfoy to sod off.

"I'm sure you're intelligent enough to figure it out, although Severus always maintains you have less brains than a troll." Malfoy lightly pressed the napkin to his lips and laid it half folded on the table. "I shall leave you to your devices. The house-elves will know where to find me should you still want to discuss the terms of your education in the Dark Arts." He stood then, and left, accompanied by the sounds of black boots clicking against the hardwood floor.

How wonderful, Harry thought sardonically, he had finally convinced Malfoy to help him. Now it all depends on whether he wants to pay the price.

He was surrounded by his friends and they seemed to be saying something. Lips moved, hand gestured and expressions changed, yet there was no sound. He couldn't hear and he tried to tell them to no avail; everything was muted. Slowly, they faded into the darkness, replaced by figures in black cloaks, chanting; advancing; closing in. It was as if someone had turned up the volume. He knew the words but somehow they have no meaning here. Laughter sounded, high and horribly familiar. Lestrange. He could see her clearly amongst the faceless figures, her expression one of triumph and malice. He covered his ears against its increasing loudness and squeezed his eyes shut in a desperate attempt to stop it; stop the words and laughter. But it wouldn't cease and the beginnings of hatred burned through him, increasing the tightness in his chest and the loud pounding in his ears.

She had no right- no right to laugh at him; no right to go free; no right to live when Sirius was dead- something shattered and Harry suddenly sat upright, his breath coming in short, uneven gasps and his hair sticking to his forehead, slick with sweat, as Malfoy's words came back to haunt him.

You can't fight the Dark Arts with just Light spells.

Over the next two days, Harry thought of many things- his parents, Sirius, Remus, the Weasleys, Hermione- what would they say? Would they be disappointed? Undoubtedly.

Then he remembered Voldemort, who killed his parents and tried to kill him and his friends; Bellatrix, who killed Sirius and took away the only family he had left; Pettigrew, who betrayed his parents and framed Sirius, causing him to live with the Dursleys when he could have stayed with Sirius and have a happy childhood instead of sleeping in the cupboard under the stairs and being treated like he was dirt; the war that's going on, taking away countless lives and breaking up families, and he felt that they would understand.

They had to understand.

He wanted so much for it to end, wanted so much to avenge Sirius and his parents and the many nameless victims who died on the Dark Lord's whim. He wanted to avenge himself; he wanted to have a normal life. If the Dark Arts can help… if it'll increase their chances of winning… if he can avenge Sirius and all those he cared for, he'd do it. And if Malfoy is lying- he'd kill the bastard for putting him through this.

The cowering house-elf said he would find Malfoy in the study. Harry knocked twice and entered, finding himself in a well-lit room that smelt of pine and sandalwood, surrounded by dark colours that were furniture- brown of the shelves at the side and table in the center, maroon of the couch against the wall, orange and shadows of the fireplace ahead, and black of the chair Malfoy is sitting on.

"You've decided then?" Malfoy stopped writing and looked up, his tone business-like.

Harry nodded.

"Since you want to learn the Dark Arts, I expect you to carry through with the whole thing. There will be no giving up halfway, no turning back once we begin. You can still change your mind."

"I want to learn."

Malfoy sighed and muttered, "I hope you know what you're getting into."

"I've read a little."

"Books won't prepare you for the actual casting of curses," Malfoy said sharply.

Harry knew that, just like he knew that casting the Cruciatus Curse isn't simply saying Crucio and the victim will writhe in pain. "That's why I approached you."

"Very well." He drew up a parchment with a few sharp motions of his wand, and pluck it out of the air, scanning through before handing it over to Harry. "Terms of agreement," he said briefly.

Harry read it silently, eyes scanning over the words, "…teach me, Harry Potter, the use of Dark Arts in exchange for my participation in sexual intercourse for the duration of the course, or a favour within my capability which may be collected at any time he so desire. Failure to fulfill the terms by either party will result in…" The consequences seemed a little drastic but he didn't plan on breaking the contract. Malfoy's signature was already at the bottom of the parchment, beside an empty space that he was due to sign.

Not wanting to question the other man's slight addition, Harry quickly signed it. It could be an unintentional slip on his part, but Lucius Malfoy does not seem like the kind of man to make careless mistakes, perhaps only calculated erratum.

"You realise you're giving me a choice?" said Harry as he handed the contract back.

Lucius smiled thinly. "The choice could be mine."

"It's not stated."

"No, it's not." There was a pause as Lucius rearranged some papers. "But I'm feeling kind today. Make up your mind then, which is it to be."

"The favour," said Harry immediately.

"How predictable," Lucius said, but without the usual derision Harry had come to expect from him. "Lessons start tonight. Meet me at 8 in the library and don't be late." He turned his attention back to the parchments that he was looking through before he was interrupted.

Harry stood there uncertainly, feeling like he was dismissed but wanting to clarify the nagging question on his mind. "You don't really mean the proposition, do you? You just wanted to make things difficult." It was spoken softly and Malfoy gave no indication of having heard him. He waited for a while but no answer seemed to be forthcoming so he turned towards the door.

"I just wanted you to reconsider carefully."

Harry stopped dead in his tracks, a hand on the doorknob. He didn't know what to think. For some time it was just the shuffling of papers and the scratching of quill on parchments. Then Harry pulled the door open and left, feeling very much confused. It was not concern he heard. It wasn't.

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Thanks to all reviewers: Saavik13, npetrenko, Rayz, Fallen Dragon, Bookworm, Jenna Casey, frizzy, HeatherM, HP Fan

Xikum Lucius didn't know it was his first time until after, since Harry was taunting him with Draco. Can't answer the other questions, will give the plot away, you'll have to read on. hehz

Hollywood Recycle Bin I'm happy as long as you reviewed =) how's your Hitler project? Did he really make soap out of human bodies?

you mean Albus is stupid or I am? If it is the latter, I shall say I am not. That's a hint. (sort of) And no, I'm not angry. =)

azreial9621 ah… that's part of the secret plot isn't it? I don't want to spoil it so I'm afraid you'll have to wait to find out.

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A/n: I had some problems with tenses this chapter, and will appreciate corrections for any mistakes spotted and/or ways to look for switching tenses and how to correct them. Someone told me it might sound right, but not read right. What do you think?

I'm also looking for a beta who can help me with grammar, tenses, punctuation, characterisation, plot, flow etc and put up with my whining and procrastination and insecurity. So anyone who qualifies and likes this story enough to help and have not been frightened off, please leave a review or a comment on my livejournal with some means of contact eg. email. Thanks.

Some questions for reviewers: is Harry's motives for wanting to learn the Dark Arts believable and strong enough that he is willing to give in to Lucius' initial conditions? Is Lucius' musings too OOC/ unnecessary/ excessive? Other comments/ constructive criticism welcomed.