Animus (Part 1)

My name is Harry Potter and I am a war hero.

Actually that's not quite right. There are hundreds of war heroes; wizards and witches that fought so bravely in the war and sacrificed so much. No, there are hundreds of war heroes. I am, however, the war hero.

I am the one who defeated Voldemort - as it was destined to be. Well, it was either him or me. One of was going to die. I sure as hell didn't want to be the one to go. Life, no matter how much it sucks, is very hard to let go of. We waged our final battle, just him and I, in a lonely cottage just outside of Hogwarts. While the war raged outside, we fought against each other for what seemed like hours. By the end we were both exhausted and our magic nearly depleted.

Few people believe me when I tell them this, so I have simply stopped saying it. But I'll say it now. I did not defeat Voldemort with the killing curse or any other magical means. I strangled him to death. I killed him with my own bare hands.

What can I say? Sometimes the Muggle way really is best.

His death was the beginning of the end for the dark side. After that the tide turned and victory came easily. The enemy was defeated and the wizarding world began to rebuild and heal.

And to think that all of that happened in my seventh year of school. I was seventeen then.

That was two years ago, although sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago. Then again, sometimes it seems as if it all happened yesterday. But whether the memories are old and stale or fresh and piercing, they always seem to hurt. Always.

But enough of that, you're probably wondering what I've been doing with myself the past two years. Well, I work at the Ministry of Magic now. I have an office job; a desk job, which is exactly what I need right now. I need some measure of peace in my life now that I've finally gotten over my hero complex.

When I'm not at the office, most of my free time is spent hanging out where the Muggles do, although I do stay in close contact with Ron and Hermione and the others from Hogwarts that survived the war. Why Muggles, you may ask? Simple. Because they don't know me from Adam. They don't scream when they see me and wrap their arms me as if they know me. They don't look at me as if I were some god come down from the sky. Muggles give me the thing I crave the most - anonymity.

That's what I'm doing tonight; enjoying anonymity with the Muggles. Driving down what is considered to be a really bad neighborhood actually. A neighborhood filled with incredibly sleazy pubs and x-rated cinemas and people who sell themselves for money.

Tonight I'm just driving through and looking for a place to have a drink. I am not looking at these young people and wondering what it would be like to have them in my bed.

I am not.

I turn a corner and find myself cruising down a street where there are more male prostitutes than females. They are all so young; just boys really. Sad when you take a minute to think about it. But then again, so much of life is sad, isn't it?

My eyes flick across the dark of the street, looking for a suitable place to stop when I see him. The startling feeling of familiarity hits me hard and I swear that my heart stops.

He's thin and blond and is wearing black trousers that are either vinyl or leather, I can't really be sure from this distance. Whatever they are, they're tight. A silver mesh top that only covers half his chest completes the outfit. He looks like a whore. One among many. But there is something about him that stands out. It's hard to pinpoint what it is but it's there. Something about the way he stands, the way he tilts his head. Almost as if he were better than everyone that surrounds him.

Suddenly frantic to see this one up close, I pull into the closest parking lot I can find. I barely register that it's a porno mag shop. Instead I drive into the first empty space I find and violently put the car in park. I get out quickly, slamming the door in my haste.

I begin to walk towards him, zeroing in on him as if he were a beacon in this darkness. Yes, so familiar, but I do not allow myself to believe it is him. Not until I can see his face.

A car stops next to him and he saunters over to it, leaning casually towards its window.

'Don't go in, Don't go in,' I plead silently. If he goes in that car, I won't know if it's really him.

But he doesn't get in the car. He straightens and steps back and the car pulls away. I put on an extra burst of speed and reach him quickly. I am no more than ten feet away from him now. His face is turned the other way, perhaps searching for another car, another possible customer.

"Malfoy?" I whisper tentatively.

He turns his head towards me slowly and I can finally see his face. My heart stops for the second time tonight. There is no mistaking it. It is Draco Malfoy.

His eyes are wide with surprise and a touch of fear. Then they see me, recognize me, and that look is replaced by one of disbelief. Then, his face seems to morph and his emotions are closed to me. Just that quickly, the mask is in place. He groans slightly and says, "Gods, not you."

The hatred that surges through my body at the sound of his voice causes my heart to start beating again. "Good to see you too, Malfoy," I say dryly.

He looks away from me and mumbles, "This can't be happening," under his breath.

I take a step towards him. My tone is hard and vicious when I speak. "So this is what became of you after the war. You turned into a whore."

And I had wondered. With his father in Azkhaban and his family fortune and lands commandeered by the Ministry, I had often wondered what had become of my old nemesis.

He turns to me again. "Sod off, Potter."

I take another step towards him. We are very close now. "I never thought I'd see the day. What would your mother say?"

"I said sod off, Potter," he repeats, the emphasis on the curse words heavy.

He's about to walk away - not that I'll let him, I'm not done - when a thought seems to occur to him. He looks at me with that shrewd gaze of his. "Wait a minute. What the hell are you doing down here? Is this what the great Harry Potter does after the war? Troll the streets looking for young boys? Is the great war hero a pedophile?"

The words sting, but not enough to cause me to react. I have long ago stopped worrying about what people think of me. Especially trash like Malfoy.

"Think what you want, Malfoy. At least I'm not the one selling myself for a few measly pounds. Or are you even worth that much?"

He looks at me for a long moment, as if he has some brutally scathing remark to say, but then he drops his gaze and turns. "As wonderful as this reunion has been, I have to go Potter. As always, it has been a pleasure."

Before I realize that I'm doing it, I reach out and grab his wrist. I grab it hard, trying to bruise it. He stops and looks at my face and then at the hand on his skin. "Let go of me," he says.

Apparently I've made him angry. How lovely.

"No," I say. I am really enjoying this far too much; this childish little game.

And then his tone completely changes. I no longer hear anger in his voice, now I hear a sort of desperation that I never thought I'd hear from this person.

"Potter, I have things to do. I can't just stand here all night."

And that's what does it. That tinge of desperation in his voice mixes with my hatred of him and I suddenly realize that I don't want this to end here; that I'm not ready to just let him walk out of my life.

"Wait," I say. "Don't go yet."

He tries to pull out of my grip, but I'm strong and I'm holding on tightly.

"How much do you charge for a night?" I ask.

He stops moving and stares at me in amazement, as if he can't believe that he heard correctly. "What?"

"How much. Fifty?"

He shakes his head and tries to pull away again. "What? No...get off me."

"I'll pay you. I'll pay you five thousand pounds. But not for one night. Longer. I want you for longer."

"No!" he yells as he finally manages to yank his wrist from my grip. "No fucking way am I letting you touch me."

My mind is working overtime now, trying to think of what I can say that will make him agree. I don't have time to wonder why I want him; I just know that I do. I can sort out that pesky little detail later. "Ten thousand pounds."

He's still staring at me, and I can see something in his eyes that wasn't there before. He's struggling with it, struggling with my offer, tempted by the money. "Twelve thousand," I say.

"That's a lot of money, Potter," he says slowly, carefully.

And it is really, but for me it's a drop in the bucket. Never let it be said that being the big war hero doesn't have it's advantages.

I watch his face as he thinks it over. Knowing him as I do, he's probably weighing the pros and cons of the situation, looking at all the angles to see how this will best work to his advantage. Once a Slytherin...

"Twelve thousand pounds Malfoy, what do you say?"

"For how long?" he asks, his voice barely more than a whisper.

I take a minute to ponder the question. For how long? How long do I want this bastard in my life? How long do I want to own him, when I can barely stand to look at him? I finally come up with what sounds like a suitable answer. "A month," I say, wondering if he'll agree to it.

He looks down at the ground, and then back up at me. He suddenly looks tired and he speaks hesitantly. "I...ummm...I have to clear it with somebody first. I can't just go away for a month. Let me check with him, and I'll..."

I almost laugh at how delicious this all is. Malfoy is embarrassed. He's embarrassed because he has to go ask his pimp if this is ok. I am starting to think that this is the best idea I've had in a long time.

"Yes, you go check. I'll wait here. I'll give you thirty minutes, otherwise me and my twelve thousand pounds will go elsewhere."

Undisguised hatred flares in his eyes for a brief moment, only to be quickly replaced by that embarrassed look again. Then he mutters something under his breath and walks away.

I watch him go until he's swallowed up by the night, then I glance at my watch. What if he doesn't come back in thirty minutes? What do I do then?

'You do nothing,' I tell myself. 'If he doesn't come back, then it wasn't mean to be. You've had a bit of fun humiliating him, so if he doesn't come back then you let it go.'

But he does come back. Even before the thirty minutes are up, he comes back.

He stands in front of me, arms crossed in front of his body, chin jutting out ever so slightly. "All right, Potter. You have yourself a deal. One month." It looks as if it's killing him to say the words and it probably is. But pride is a funny thing. You can only hold on to it for so long in shitty situations and then you have to face reality. And reality is, twelve thousands pounds is a lot of money to a whore.

So pride goes out the window. But his hatred of me doesn't. I can see it shining in his eyes. Which is exactly the way I want it, really. What's the fun if he's beaten and broken already? He wouldn't be Draco Malfoy if he wasn't a prick.

I nod to show him that yes, we do have a deal. I refrain from shaking his hand over it though. Funny...I'm prepared to fuck him, but I won't shake his hand.

This strikes me as infinitely amusing and I can't hold back a laugh. Malfoy looks at me as if I've gone insane, but says nothing.

And all I can do is laugh and think that this is going to be a very interesting month.