Author name: Desolate Butterfly
Warnings: Slash, HBP makes this story-line AU, semi-song fic
Summary: "So are you with me or not, he says, this time decide..." Draco needs to make a decision about where he stands before someone else does it for him.
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. "Sweet Sangria" is a wonderful song by Tori Amos off her Scarlett's Walk album. Listen to it, it's amazing. The scattered lyrics in italics are from this song.
Potter is late again. Draco Malfoy forces himself to stop looking at his watch and instead, considers the table next to him. The ladies at the table are loud and obnoxious, wearing too much makeup and too little clothing for Draco's taste. They are also ordering pitcher after pitcher of a slightly fizzy red drink with lemon slices and ice cubes. As a waitress slides by with yet another pitcher for the group, Draco stops her and asks what they are drinking.
"Sangria," she says. "It's a Spanish drink, made with red wine, fruit juice, club soda and other liqueurs. Would you like to try some?"
Draco decides that he would. He orders a pitcher and has the waitress bring two glasses. If Potter ever shows up they can share the pitcher...and if he doesn't show, then Draco might as well get smashed.
'It's not like I had anything else to do today.'
The small restaurant is hideous, with its bright yellow paint and red and green tables. There are rugs and hats and pictures of donkeys stapled to the walls, which Draco doesn't understand, but then again, Muggles are mysterious, illogical creatures. Their décor must, likewise, be mysterious and illogical. And tasteless.
Draco thinks back to a time when he wouldn't be caught dead in a Muggle restaurant, drinking Spanish wine and waiting for Harry Potter. But then, that was before he left Hogwarts, before his father had escaped from Azkaban, and before the death of Severus Snape.
Draco scowls and takes a sip of his drink, lips puckering slightly at the sour sweetness of it. The anger he still feels over Snape's death - be honest, murder - is startling and familiar at the same time. The shock at being able to feel anything for the man jars him, just like it did three years ago, when Dumbledore first announced the news that their Potions Master was gone and would not be returning for another term. Draco remembers the coldness in his mother's voice when she tells him that the Dark Lord was the one to kill the man, dismember him and scatter his pieces across the Forbidden Forest, leaving the heart to be delivered to Dumbledore by owl. He remembers spiteful Gryffindors and Slytherins sneering in the corridors as the small, soiled paper box, leaking blood on the stone floor, was carried into the Headmaster's office. Some had remarked that they didn't know Snape had had a heart to send back in the first place.
Draco remembers the flash of betrayal he felt when Snape's duel allegiance was revealed; not that Snape would turn on the Dark Lord—because, let's face it, the Dark Lord is a psychotic bastard—but that he would hide this aspect of his life from Draco, Draco who told Snape everything he felt and thought, whose very life was always open to Snape.
'How could he keep this from me?' was, and still is, Draco's first thought, followed just as quickly by, 'how could he not?' Draco knows telling anyone would have been dangerous for Snape, but cannot help feeling insulted. He could keep a secret! He would have, if Snape had trusted him enough to do so. But he didn't and then Snape was gone and buried and unable to be touched by Draco's fury.
Potter, however, wasn't untouchable. He was there, at Snape's funeral, sullen and sulking with angry eyes just like Draco's, and a host of questions to hurl at the grave which would also never be answered. And after the flowers were cast and the speeches were given, it was Potter who indulged Draco's need to beat something with his fists, Potter who assessed Draco's need to get very very drunk, and finally Potter who provided the warm body to thrust into and ravish in an attempt to forget everything the alcohol didn't quite manage to erase. Likewise, Draco provided Potter with the exact same services and the two went on to develop a tenuous friendship, which they consummated about once a month when Potter would ask Draco to meet him at some ridiculous place to talk.
'And if he would ever show up on time...'
Luckily, Draco is only on his second glass when Potter comes through the door of the restaurant, waving off the hostess and her menus and coming to plop gracelessly in the chair across from Draco. His hair is a mess and his clothes are hideous, but his lips smile enticingly at Draco and his cheeks are prettily flushed so that Draco cannot dismiss the flutter of arousal he feels stirring in his belly. He catches himself before he smiles back.
"You are late. Eighteen minutes and forty-four seconds late."
"I know," Potter says, looking sheepish. "I'm sorry. I had trouble with my floo."
"That's no excuse," Draco says. "Malfoy's do not wait around for people."
"Then why are you still here?"
Draco picks up his drink, sips it. "I," he says, "am having lunch."
Potter smirks and reaches for the other glass. Draco considers smacking his hand away, but decides not to.
"A pitcher of sangria is not what I'd call lunch."
Draco takes another sip, rolling it around his mouth and feeling the tiny carbonated bubbles burst against his tongue. He likes the taste and sound of the sangria. It reminds him of a song he heard once, on something Harry had called a radio. The woman who sang it had a sultry, haunting voice, and Draco tries to remember the lyrics.
'Balmy days, sweet sangria, have you seen my señorita...something like that.'
"Yes, well, I don't trust muggle cooks. Those hot dogs you tried to feed me last month almost poisoned me. I'll stick to alcohol--at least I know that's sterilized."
Potter chuckles softly, pours himself a glass and informs the waitress that he wants an order of chips. They chit chat about trivial things for a while: Potter's work as the new DADA professor at Hogwarts, Draco's new list of improvements to the Malfoy estate, the dismal prospects of the Chudley Cannons ever making it to the playoffs. Draco downs another glass of sangria before the boredom becomes too much for him.
"Well Potter, I hope you didn't call me out here to Muggle London just to hear about your oh-so-exciting paperwork."
Potter's shoulders droop and he starts to pout. Draco hates that face. It's a face that wants things from him. It's a face that expects things.
"We've had sex more times then I can count, Draco. You could at least call me by my first name after all this time."
Draco sneers and sighs elaborately.
"Fine. Harry. What did you want to talk to me about?"
Potter looks around.
"Have you heard from your father recently?" he asks, his voice pitched low. Draco frowns.
"You know I won't tell you that," he says.
"Because he's my father and I still love him and you'll just turn him in to the Ministry, that's why. Honestly, Potter--"
"Whatever. Do you think I'm that stupid?"
"I hope not," Potter whispers. Then louder, "Look Draco, I'm only asking because things are heating up now. There have been more Death Eater attacks this month then in the last few years combined. Hogwarts is closing and Fudge can't ignore the fact that there's a war on anymore. We suspect that Voldemort will make a show of power very soon, and then it's going to be impossible for you to stay on the sidelines, especially as a Death Eater's son. They're going to expect you to take the mark, and your place at your father's side you know. Pansy Parkinson got the mark last week and there are rumours that Zabini and Nott are having their initiation ceremonies soon. You can't think that they'll just ignore the fact that you haven't bothered to join the rest of your schoolmates. I'm sure they're already suspicious. You were probably supposed to be the first in line to kiss Riddle's feet."
Draco thumps his glass down on the table, spilling the red liquid onto his fingers which he promptly wipes with a napkin.
"And what exactly do you want me to do about this, Harry?" he hisses.
"Join the Order. Stand by my side. Fight with me."
"I can't do that." Draco shakes his head, annoyed by Potter's wounded expression.
"Look, I may not want to swear my allegiance to some mouldy old corpse of a snake or get a skull branded into my arm, but I don't want to be pals with a bunch of goody goody Gryffindors and go merrily off to save mudbloods and muggles either. And I definitely don't want to fight my friends or my father."
Potter's eyes spark with anger. His knuckles are white where he grips the table.
"Well you have to choose sometime, and you're running out of time. I can't be with you if I don't know you're with me, Draco."
A sick feeling rises up from Draco's stomach, making him dizzy. He wonders if he's drunk too much wine.
"So," he whispers, "that's how it is? If I'm not with you, I'm against you?"
Potter bites his lip, and nods.
"Draco...I can't tell you what you believe in. You have to figure that out for yourself. And I hope you figure it out soon, for both our sakes."
When the waitress comes by the Potter's chips, Draco is already gone. Potter stares at the vacant seat, wondering what he could have said to tip the scales just a little bit more in his direction.
you say that I can't see behind the mask
of those who call themselves the good guys in this
When Draco returns home the first thing he notices is that the light is on in his father's study. Considering that Narcissa rarely leaves her rooms unless it is to sit in the gardens, Draco is not especially surprised when he opens the door to the study to find Lucius settled in the high-backed leather chair in front of the fire, Death Eater mask placed on his lap. Draco swallows and then goes to stand at Lucius' arm.
"Father," he says, respectfully, warily.
Lucius stares at Draco for a few seconds, as if he does not recognize him. Then his grey eyes narrow and he puts a heavy hand on Draco's wrist.
"We do not have much time," he says. "There are Auror's looking for me, and sooner or later one of them will break through the shield I have cast. Tonight our Master plans to attack the Ministry. Everyone will be expected to join the fight. This is it Draco, the final battle. I need to know; will you come with me now and receive the mark? Will you join our glorious revolution?"
Draco sees the righteous madness burning in his father's eyes, and for the first time in his life, feels afraid. The hand on his wrist tightens.
"Father I...I don't know if I can…I mean, it's a big decision. Can't I have more time to think about it?"
Lucius frowns and Draco knows that he sees right through Draco, knows that he never wants to be like his father, a servant groveling to a monster, abandoned to the horrors of Azkaban prison for years before bribing a guard to let him out. He knows exactly what Draco is thinking. He always has.
'Will he force me? Will he harm me? He never has before...but that was when he was sure I was his.'
Lucius' grip on Draco's wrist falls away, and Draco finds himself pushed down on the floor at his father's feet, his face held between Lucius' pale, aristocratic hands. The nails have been bitten to the quick; a habit Lucius had picked up in Azkaban. They trace across Draco's cheeks and chin, as if memorizing his features. He searches Draco's eyes, eyes that look so much like his own, and yet so different. His hands trail down to wrap loosely around his son's neck, and he feels Draco shudder in his palms. Finally he sighs and releases him.
"Give me your wand," he says.
Draco hands it over, wordlessly. His hands do not tremble. Lucius takes the wand and caresses it briefly before snapping it neatly in two. He puts the pieces in his cloak pocket.
"I shall tell them," Lucius drawls, "that Potter has already killed you. It may very well be the truth."
Draco's heart starts beating again, the blood rushing in his ears almost drowning out his father's voice. He is glad that he is already kneeling. His legs would have given out otherwise, in a very undignified way. Lucius eases himself out of the chair, the inky folds of his cloak brushing against Draco's knees. Lucius does not offer his son a hand up, and Draco does not get up himself. He remains kneeling in place, before the chair. Lucius steps around the young man, adjusting the mask on his face.
"Draco," he says, without turning around, "you have to decide what you believe in. It matters now."
After Lucius apparates away, Draco wonders if he should have told him how much he sounds like Harry Potter.
you give me give me give me
I ask you, give me give me give me
A bloodless road
Two weeks later, Draco finds himself in Austin, Texas, surrounded by noisy Americans in a small café. His hair is still blond, but long and shaggy, just brushing the tops of his shoulders. His eyes are no longer a cold grey, but a warm brown colour. He is wearing muggle jeans and sits like he is uncomfortable in them, although he has been wearing them for days now. His t-shirt is untucked and sticks to his back where sweat has trickled down his neck and along his spine. A green backpack hangs over the back of his chair, a small yellow happy face sewed onto one of its pockets with the words I HATE YOU: HAVE A NICE DAY printed in big white letters beneath it. He looks nothing like the dashing young aristocrat, Draco Malfoy, and as long as he keeps his mouth shut, no one would mistake him for a Brit, let alone a wizard.
He sips café con leche from a small porcelain cup. He is less surprised then he thought he'd be when Potter walks into the place as if he'd made an appointment and sits down at his table.
"Draco," he says, relief in his voice. "It took a bit longer to find you. I'd never considered you would go to America. I always thought you were a Eurocentric kind of bloke."
Draco replies, slightly annoyed by Potter's tone, "Yes, well, I've been trying not to be myself lately. Why are you here?"
Potter gives a strange half-smile. "We won," he says.
"Obviously," Draco snorts, "or you wouldn't be alive to bother me right now, would you?"
"There were a lot of casualties. We lost Seamus Finnegan and Arthur Weasley. Pansy Parkinson died, as well as her father and mother. Ron lost an arm. Blaise Zabini lost a foot. No one knows what happened to Crabbe and Goyle but there doesn't seem to be much hope that they're alive. And Neville and Pavarti are in comas at St. Mungos."
Potter's breathing grows harsh. He practically writhes in his seat as he tallies up the numbers.
"Fudge is dead, though I can't say I'm sorry about that, and so is Remus. Fred and George haven't spoken a word to anyone but each other since Arthur died and Ginny walks around like a zombie. They've rounded up all the Death Eaters that were still alive and put them in Azkaban. All of them will receive the Kiss. You won't be able to return to England, Draco. They'd arrest you on sight. And..."
Harry pulls from his pocket the pieces of Draco's wand and puts them on the table. Draco stares at them.
"I didn't know it was him until he went down. The mask came off. He had those in his pocket and I recognized them as yours..."
Draco runs a finger gently along the wood pieces, hearing in his head the sound the wand made as it snapped, his father's strong white hands glowing in the darkness.
Potter places his hand over Draco's, caressing his skin the way Draco was caressing his wand.
"Why did you run?" Potter asks. "Why didn't you stay with me?"
Draco pulls his hand away, his body recoiling in anger.
"And why would I do that, Potter? So I could watch Pansy die in person? So I watch you kill my father? Perhaps so I could kill him myself? Over some stupid muggles?"
Potter's wounded look only serves to make Draco angrier.
"We had to do it. I had to do it. It was the right thing to do, Draco," Potter pleads.
"Then why are you crying?" Draco demands, furious at the sight of Potter's tears, furious that he can cry when all Draco can do is scream at him, dry-eyed.
Carefully, Draco scoops up the wand pieces and slips them into his backpack. He pays for his drink with the strange paper money all Americans seem to use and stands up.
"You should go home Potter," he says. "At least one of us should be able to."
"Did you find out what you believe in," Potter asks, his green eyes wide and intense and falling on him like lightening.
Draco thinks back to summer nights of midnight broomstick races and competition charged kisses. He remembers sun warmed skin against his own and slim seeker hands running over his body. He remembers cups and cups of coffee and sarcastic words of endearment and his father's face that last night and his hands around his neck.
'What do you believe in?'
"Not this," Draco replies, and leaves Potter behind for the last time, feeling vaguely as if he is leaving himself as well.
Notes: Well, now I'm all depressed...Review please! Thanks for reading - DeB