Thank you to ALL my reviewers and to ALL my readers!
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all characters associated with them belong, exclusively, to J. K. Rowling. I just like to borrow them once in a while.
Thank you to Merlin and GoldenSunnyGrl for being such great BETA'S.
Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those that favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Fire and Iceby Robert Frost.
As the flames burst into the air the cloaked figure watched as the glass in the windows burst from the heat and the roof sagged from the damaged being done to the house by the fire he had set. He stood there as the house he had lived in for the last 18 years burned to the ground in a matter of minutes. He stood there as everything he owned, except the clothes on his back and the personable items in his shrunk down bag, burned to the ground inside the hell hole that building represented in his mind.
He watched, dispassionately, as the roof finally collapsed and the walls fell in. He heard the sirens of the oncoming rescue personal and he turned and walked away from the home he had set ablaze. He did not turn and take a last look as he rounded the corner and left that place forever.
Almost a year later...
He walked down the alley in the small town he had finally stopped in when he had quit running. Running had been all that he could remember for the last year and now he was here. In a place where, though he still did not feel safe, he was comfortable enough to stay for an extended period of time.
He walked to the end of the dank, dark alley, ignoring the fetid smell from the garbage lining the ground. He pushed open the door of the bar he had been patronizing for the last month. He ignored the smoky haze and walked to the end of the bar and sitting on a stool he braced his back against the wall.
Only after he had drank from the glass the bartender had placed before him did his cold eyes look up and scan the room. His presence had made the temperature in the room seem to drop a few degrees. As his cold gaze took in every nuance of the room he watched as the ones he let his gaze linger on glanced quickly away.
He felt the familiar smirk grace his face as his cold eyes met the lust filled ones of the waitress that had been after him since the first time he had walked into the bar. He wanted none of the attention she could potentially bring him so he looked away again and continued his perusal of the smoke filled bar. Not finding anything unusual this night he turned his attention back to his glass.
Within minutes he was done and taking a pack from his pocket he expertly flipped out a cigarette and lighting it, took a drag. He felt some of the tension flow from him as he breathed out the smoke through his nostrils looking not unlike a sleeping dragon. He took a drink from the glass that the bartender had refilled and finishing his fag, then his drink, he got up to pay and leave to walk the night again.
He only made it halfway to the door, this time, before he was accosted by the lustful waitress. He hid his grimace of her green teeth and too tight blouse. He let her drape herself around him for a few seconds before shrugging her off.
"Going somewhere so soon, love?" she slurred.
"Yes." he replied shortly. This was a nightly ritual and one he was getting extremely bored with.
"I get off in an hour," she supplied hopefully.
"Good for you. Goodnight ma'am."
And with that he stepped away from her and walked out of the bar headed out into the cold dark night, the one and only place he felt he was at home in.
He never went back to that bar after that night. The waitress had been getting to close for his comfort and people were starting to expect him to be there. He couldn't have that. He found a different bar in a different town and settled in there to smoke and drink, the only two things left that were constant in his life.
This went on for a few weeks before the life that he had barely been living came crashing down around him. He had made his way to the bar that fateful night just like he had every night for the last week. He walked in and performed his usual ritual of stare, drink, stare, fag, and then drink before getting up to leave. He was stopped by this waitress and he did his usual avoidance technique before walking out into the night.
Eight years of living by his wits had not dulled them one bit, but still, he hesitated when he heard the scream. He didn't want to get involved, he didn't want to save anyone else, he wanted to be left alone in the dark he now called home. As the scream came again, he moved without another thought to the source of the sound.
He stopped in shock at what he saw and seconds later the shock was burned away by the cold fire that consumed him. Three men had a woman held down on the dirty ground. One man was holding a knife to her throat quieting her screams to mere whimpers of fear. One man was holding her now un-struggling body down on the filthy ground. One man was ripping off her pants and fondling her already exposed breasts.
He flinched as the terrified eyes of the woman met his above her attackers heads. He went to turn away but a stifled scream from her had his body whipping around and facing her again. He smiled gently at her and slide up behind the man about to rape her.
The three men were so engrossed by what they were doing that they did not hear him approach and that was their death. His eyes burning with a cold hatred he dispatched the first man without the other two even knowing he was there. With the flick of his wrist and a muttered word he killed another man. He didn't draw his wand, he didn't have too. He had killed enough with his bare hands that he no longer needed it to cast certain charms, all he needed was the desire for that charm to work. Though he did not know this woman he had the desire to stop her pain, and that was enough for the spell to make bones brittle work.
With an audible crunch the man's neck snapped and that sound drew the attention of the other two men. Quick as lightening the one holding the knife jumped up swinging. He barely had time to move, and as it was he felt the knife tangle in his cloak. He kicked out and the man holding the woman went down his nose crushed and bones pushed up into his brain, he was dead before he hit the ground. Spinning out of the kick he saw that the man with the knife had fled.
His cold voice was heard muttering one word and then the man fell to the ground, dead, his heart unable to beat within the crushing confines of his chest. He turned to the woman now lying mute on the filthy ground. He bent over her and smiled gently.
He reached out a hand touching her face gently and whispered, "It will be all right now. You will be fine." She whimpered in fear and just nodded. Fixing her blouse as best he could around her, he watched with once again cold eyes as she struggled to stand. "Thank you," she whispered hoarsely.
He nodded before walking down the alley and disappearing into the cold dark night leaving the woman he had just rescued with the decision of what to do. He ignored the harsh sobs as he turned the corner and made his way down the street.
He moved on that night. He didn't want to take the chance of being around if someone had the thought that he had left right before the attack happened. Not that he feared being caught by the muggles, he just didn't want to chance someone from his world finding him.
He never, ever wanted to see another wizard or witch in his life. He had lost everything for that world and he refused to have anything to do with it ever again.
He had found another town with another bar and he had been going there for two weeks now. His ritual had not changed and he took a little comfort in that. The waitress here was different though, she had yet to try and get him into her bed, she didn't flinch when his cold gaze washed over her, and she was polite to the point of being annoying.
He was beginning to suspect that she wasn't who she pretended to be. Deciding that tonight was the last night that he would come here, he watched her closely for any sign that would give him a clue as to if he was right or not. Sure enough she gave herself away a few minutes later as he saw her eyes shift down to were a wizard would normally conceal his wand. She was a witch!
He let his cold furious gaze fall on her and he saw her eyes widen as she realized that he knew that she knew. He saw her nervously glance at the other patrons before turning from him and continuing with her cleaning of the table she had been cleaning for the last five minutes. He set his drink down and interrupting his ritual, he had yet to finish his second drink, he got up to leave. He paid the bartender and walked out of the bar intent on leaving that very night for another small town and another small bar.
He had taken a few steps when he heard someone call out, "Wait!"
He did not turn he just continued to walk away. He did not want this nor did he need this right now. He heard the pounding feet behind him and the breathless voice of the woman call out, "wait!" again. He didn't stop until he felt his arm being grabbed from behind.
He didn't turn and face her he just said in his cold emotionless voice, "Let me go."
The woman was breathing harshly and desperately trying to regain her breath, "Please." she began. But stopped when he swung around to face him, stopped as she stared into the cold dead eyes that were now focused on her.
"No." He whispered harshly. He jerked his arm from her grip and turned to walk away.
He did not look back or pause as she yelled out, "You can't!"
An hour later he was gone and this time he knew he had to break his ritual, the one thing he had left in this life that he could count on.
He woke up in the hovel he had called home for the last three days a scream on his lips. He calmed his breathing down from the terror that had consumed him as he dreamed. You would think that after over a year the nightmare would have faded but it had not.
Every night he dreamed the same thing, the night he had killed his lover, and the night he had killed Voldemort, the night his miserable life became even worse, the night he walked away from the wizard world vowing never to go back. His body shook as he lay there with the cold sweat drying on his skin.
God! How he hated this! He had tried countless times to just end it but each time he started to he couldn't. Something made him stop. Something made him want to live. What that something was he didn't know but he knew that it was there and for some reason that was enough.
It scared him to not be able to end all of his pain. Hadn't he suffered enough for one person to be able to handle? He thought so, but obviously, he was wrong. He had tried so hard not to dream. Not to remember, because remembering only brings him more pain. Truth be told though, he would rather wake up with a nightmare than with screaming his lovers name in anything but pain.
Those mornings, when that happened, he refused to get up from his bed instead he would lay there and fade in and out of daydreams about the times they had shared. He would not eat on those days knowing he would not be able to keep anything down. He got up to go to the bathroom but that was all. He did not like those days. Thankfully the were few and far between.
Today being a nightmare day, that was how he classified his days now nightmare days and then wetdream days, he quickly got up and walked to his small kitchen. Opening the door to the icebox he saw he had nothing to eat. He quickly got dressed and left the small one room apartment he had been renting.
He made his way down the street to the all night store at the corner. His cold glance made many a beggar run from him in fear. The man behind the counter kept sending frightened glances his way but he just ignored them. He was there for food not conversation.
As he let himself into his apartment he could tell immediately that something was wrong. He checked his wards quickly and found them the same as they had been when he had left just fifteen minutes ago. But he could not shake the feeling that something was off.
As he opened the icebox to put in the bottled water he had had bought he felt that same "off" feeling. Twirling and dropping to a crouching position he surveyed the room wand drawn and cold dead eyes surveyed every inch of the room. He saw nothing but that didn't mean there wasn't something there.
He didn't move from his position as he continued to watch the room. There was someone, or something here. His eyes were flashing cold fire as he got angrier and angrier that someone was here when all he had wanted was to be left alone. He stood slowly all the while his eyes darted around searching for the source of his unease.
He could see nothing and for a second he was so furious that he could not think. Someone was going to be very, very hurt. Soon.
"If you do not have the decency to show yourself then you need to get out!" He said in a cold controlled voice.
Nothing, no movement, no sound just nothing and that meant there was someone here. Without turning his back to any open spaces he made his way to the door to leave this place. He felt the curse seconds before it hit him and as he fell, stunned, to the floor he caught a glimpse in the window of sad eyes. He must have brought that image from his subconscious because the person those eyes belonged to was dead. And had been for almost a year.
He fell forward, unconscious, a soft sigh escaping his tight angry lips not hearing the whispered, "I'm sorry."
He woke abruptly fighting for calm. Seconds later he attained it and with it the cold fury that had sustained him since the day he joined the Wizard World. How dare they! Why could they not leave him alone?
"Fuck!" he breathed as he tried to get up and realized that he was bound to the bed. Not by magic, they knew him well enough to know he could break those bonds, but by ropes. He snarled as he finally snapped his eyes open to take in his surroundings. He was in a bedroom, lavishly decorated in muted silvers and reds, tied to a bed that wouldn't have fit in his last apartment it was so big.
Thankfully he was alone in the room as his cold eyes assessed it for possible escape routes. He could sense the protective magic surrounding everything and he knew he was well and truly caught. He wasn't going anywhere.
He was startled by a small pop as a house elf apperated into the room. He quickly composed himself as a shot of fury hit him, the house elf looked exactly like Dobby, but he knew Dobby was dead, he had died in his arms. He closed his eyes to just slits as he pretended to still be unconscious.
The house elf set down a tray filled with tea things and set about straightening the room. He figured this meant that his capturer was about to reveal themselves. Waiting until the house elf left, he quickly muttered the charm that would loosen the ropes and got up from the bed. He shook off the weakness he felt from the stunner he had been hit with and stretching he heard the satisfying pop as each bone in his back realigned itself.
Standing at the edge of the bed he held his hand over it concentrating hard. Muttering a few words he pulled his hand back and when he looked he saw himself, lying on the bed, unconscious. He let a small smirk grace his lips as his cold eyes scanned the room looking for the best place to conceal himself. He chose the corner between a desk and an armoire that looked old enough the have been around in Kind Arthur's time. He muttered another charm and he was instantly concealed from any eyes.
He watched the room with cold dead eyes as he waited for his capturer to arrive. He swung his gaze to the door as it began to open. He stared in shock as the person stepped through. This can't be true!
He was suppose to be dead.
He was so stunned he didn't curse him like he had planned to do, just watched as he walked to the bed, sat down beside his other self, and gently traced his cheek with an obviously shaking finger.
"I finally found you." Came the voice he had never thought he would hear again outside his dreams and nightmares. It was a voice he remembered being so strong but was now weak with unshed tears. "I searched every where but when I got there you were always gone."
Tears fell from the sad eyes to land on his other face. "I missed you so much. Why did you leave me?" Was whispered brokenly as he leaned down to press his lips to the others lips.
No! Those lips were only suppose to touch his.
He stepped from the corner, his shielding charm falling from him, and with a snarled word and a jerk of his hand, the other faded to nothing. The shocked cry from his love was strangled off as he met the cold furious eyes of the man standing in front of him. He stood quickly and took a step towards him but stopped when he stepped back.
"Wha..." he asked as tears fell from his sad but hopeful eyes.
"You are dead." The emotionless tone made the sad eyes close and a shiver wrack the slim beautiful body.
"No I am not. I never was." He replied softly as he tried to regain control over his shivering body. He was so close to his love but so far away it was unbearable.
"I saw you die." The same cold tone said but he thought he could hear a hint of unsure in it that made his heart pound.
He shook his head slowly his sad eyes pleading with him to understand. "No."
He barely stopped himself from smiling as the dryness overcame the coldness in his lovers tone. "I don't know what you saw. I was hurt yes, but not dead."
"He said you were dead."
"And you believed him! Why? Why did you waste all this time?" He asked in disbelief.
He sighed and ran his hand through his hair and took a small step back trying to get control over his churning emotions. He missed the flash of disappointment in his lovers eyes as he did this. He missed the flinching of his body as he forcefully stopped himself from taking the step forward that his lover took back.
"Because I saw you fall. I saw you die."
"No. You saw me hurt."
"Then why didn't you come to me?"
"I tried. You were already gone."
"No one told me you were still alive."
"How could they? You refused to speak to anyone. Hours after it was over you were gone."
"I looked for you." The sad tone interrupted whatever he was going to say. Tears once again filled the sad eyes and fell down his cheeks unstopped. "The house ...gone when I got there...the girl...not able to tell me anything. I...was in hell. I tried to find you. It was sheer luck that I did." He knew he was babbling but he just wanted him to understand that he had never left him. He had searched for him and never gave up the hope that he would find him one day.
He stared at the tear filled sad eyes as they pleaded with him to understand. And he did, he finally understood why he had never been able to kill himself. His magic wouldn't let him, it knew his lover was looking for him.
It given him the time to grieve for all that had been done to him and the time to accept that love was deserved...he deserved it. And it was standing right there in front of him. And he knew he was ready to accept the love his lover was giving him freely. He finally knew that he could have a life that did involve things such as softness, caring, and love. Something he had never expected to receive let alone give.
"I didn't know." He whispered as he felt the tears gather at the back of his eyes, tears he had not shed since that night. He took a small step forward and watched as the joy and love that blossomed in his lovers eyes took his breath away.
"I know love." Whispered the man he loved as he stepped to take the shaking man in his arms.
They stood like that as the year of grief slowly became bearable for both of them. Ice melted in the fire of their embrace and each knew the hurt was there but they could live with it now. They pulled back and green eyes met blue before soft lips met in a kiss that helped to heal the wounds the rest of the way.
"I love you Harry."
"I love you Draco."
I tried very hard to make it so that you could not tell which was which, because really, does it matter?