"Trade ya a pack of cigarettes for your deck of cards."
Draco Malfoy looked over at his only real friend with a sad look in his eyes. "Did those bastards mess you up, again?"
The dark-haired man continued kicking at the courtyard rubble and merely shrugged. "I don't really care much. I wouldn't care at all, really, except they took my cards." Pulling out a fresh pack of cigarettes, the 21 year-old grinned. "So whaddya say? Pack o' cigarettes for cards?"
"Sure. But you have to light the first fag."
"And just what kind of sexual innuendo are you trying to make there, blondey? I thought we had this talk, already," the other man said with a grin. "While I have nothing against your choice of sexual preference, I, myself, have no inclination towards any of the members of our sex."
Rolling his eyes with a smile, Draco kicked lightly at the brunette's leg. "Just shut up and light it, will you. I don't have anything with me."
"Alright, alright." He opened the labeled pack and raised a thin, white cylinder to his lips with a smirk. Quickly glancing around, he reached into his left sock and pulled out a small, transparent green lighter.
After a quick puff and swift pass to the blonde, he slyly pulled out another one.
"Yes, Paul. Of course you can have one of my cigarettes."
"And what a great bloke you are for letting me, Draco," Paul said, clapping a hand against Draco's shoulder in response to the older man's once again rolling eyes. "Now come here, and let me light one off ya," he mock-commanded, having already hidden his lighter back within the snug grip of his sock. "They'll kill me if I get caught with a lighter."
Draco complied, leaning forward, and pulling his lips away from the stained end of the cigarette once Paul had taken a hold of it. A few puffs later, Paul handed the cigarette back to him, and the two sat back quietly, enjoying the cancerous addiction.
It was a habit the blonde had picked up in jail. The taste was bitter, and the smell was thick and polluted, but the nicotine helped calm his nerves. Nicotine was how he'd met Paul. At a time when he'd seemed about to burst - hating jail and missing home and missing Harry –, Paul had pulled him aside and offered him his first cigarette.
The blonde had hated cigarettes all his life. He'd scowled whenever whiffs of smoke clouded him in the streets, and glared at broken cigarettes littered across the roads. He hated the awful yellowing it caused people's teeth, and he could only roll his eyes when smokers turned up with lung cancer. Well what did you expect to happen? He'd drawl in his mind.
But Paul had said, "Here, have a smoke, mate. Unwind," and just like that, he'd accepted the offered stick. He didn't know if he'd accepted out of desperation for calm, or a friend, but he'd accepted it all the same.
After that, Paul had lent him a few more cigarettes until he finally decided to buy his own pack. And after that, he and Paul had silently agreed to be friends.
"Oh, fuck," Draco let out with a sigh. Three brutishly built men were heading in their direction. He stood up, slipping his unoccupied hand casually into his pocket. "Well, I've gotta go. Listen, the cards are in my room, so I'll give them to you later."
"Sure, see you." Paul's brown eyes silently wished Draco luck, and the blonde desperately hoped for his friend's wish to come true.
Draco hurried to the basketball court (where the guards stood on watch), praying for the three men to leave him alone. They never did, of course, but Draco always tried, anyway.
Following the blonde, the man in the middle – he was an ugly looking man, his face hideously scarred; a dangerously cactus-like stubbled chin – grabbed a ball from the closest inmate, pushing him aside, and roughly threw it at Draco's chest.
Caught off guard, the ball thumped painfully against his chest, and he was only just barely able to catch the ball.
"Hey, that's my ball, punk," the gruff-looking man growled, sneering.
"I want my ball," the man said with another growl, and he launched himself at the grey-eyed man, grabbing a hold of the basketball. The two fell onto the ground, Draco letting out a pained groan, and the man dipped his head towards the blonde's ear. "And yours, too."
Draco roughly pushed the man away, but the brutish man was stronger, and he pushed Draco back down, effortlessly, slamming the orange ball harder against the other's chest. Though he struggled fiercely, he couldn't escape from underneath the man's grip.
"Alright, Alright. That's enough, Smitty!" came a guard's angry warning from a few yards away.
But the man named Smitty kept his grip. "I'll see you and your precious balls, later, my sweet little bitch."
"Smitty, don't make me go over there, you piece o' shit!"
And with one perfectly concealed squeeze at the meeting point of Draco's legs, Smitty was off, his two lackeys following along behind him.
Harry's laughter danced through the music as the older man beside him finished his story.
"I mean, the little fucker actually thought we were a couple after that night!"
"You're such an ass. I can't believe you're laughing at some poor kid you made fall for you – I bet you were his first, too. And you're ten times worse for going along with it, Harry. He probably wasn't any older than you," Tom, the bartender said, drying a glass cup.
"Hey! What's age got to do with anything?" Harry exclaimed, mock-angrily.
"Yeah, Tom. What's age got to do with anything?" chimed in the other man.
Tom let out a chuckle. "Nothing, except that Devon, here, is 39, while you're 17, which makes you lucky I even let you hang out here."
Harry let out an immature pout and whined, "Devon! Defend me!" as he latched onto said man's arm.
"Tom, leave the kid alone! He's smart enough to understand the hilarity of my story – which is more than I can say for you. If some guy picks you up at a bar – like that stud giving Harry the eye over there – " Devon said, giving his head a slight jerk in the direction of a man in his early thirties who was, indeed, watching the young brunette, "it's not an offer for a relationship. It's a quick fuck and you're done. Anyone who doesn't already have that figured out shouldn't be trying to catch a date in a bar."
"Exactly!" Harry agreed with an emphatic nod, though his eyes were straying slightly towards the aforementioned man across the bar.
A few months ago, Harry would have blanched at the thought of dating a man so much older than him, but things had changed since arriving in America.
Luckily, news of his past school year hadn't spread to his classmates, but that was as far as his luck went.
Except for a few people he randomly spoke to during classes, he didn't have any actual friends. The school was boring, all the classes were behind compared to the course material in Malkin High, and the girls kept swooning over his "accent" (Pah, he'd thought the first time he'd heard that. They were the ones with the accents), which forced him to come up with too many excuses for never pursuing a relationship with any of them.
From his very first day in America, he'd agreed that he would not be openly gay at his school. There was simply no way the young teen was going to take a chance like that. The difficulty in that, however, was that after the events of the past few months, he'd grown to view his sexuality as a rather large part of who he was.
Because he couldn't trust anyone enough to be completely open with them, he'd begun separating himself at school and had refused to grow close to anyone.
He'd still had Ron and Hermione, of course, but their phone calls always held one of two moods – neither of which was good. Either they were sad or awkward.
It was always hard to talk about school for all three of the teens. If Hermione and Ron spoke of their lives in England, the conversation would further remind Harry of all the things he was missing out on, and if the brunette spoke about his new life in America, he was painfully reminded of the horrible happenings that had led him there.
Inevitably, because they could not speak of either of their lives, the conversations grew awkward for lack of anything to say.
Soon, the calls had become less and less frequent until they'd dropped to a random call every few weeks, which Harry facetiously thought were just to make sure they were all still alive.
He'd separated himself from his parents – his mother especially -, refusing to forgive either of them, though he would have an occasional exchange of words with his father, whom he was at least slightly partial towards. He would never forgive his mother.
There was only one person who'd kept him going.
Within the first few weeks Harry had been in America, Draco had used the address Harry had given him to write a letter. Harry wouldn't have even found it had he not gone to get the mail that day (he was sure his mother would have thrown it out).
He'd been filled with a surge of glee he hadn't felt for weeks, and he'd immediately run to his room to rip it open and race through the words, memorizing every curve of every letter, taking it all in desperately. After having taken it all in, he'd jumped to write back, and a correspondence between the two had started.
However, like the calls from Ron and Hermione, those had soon become rare, too. Harry had written back immediately after receiving each of Draco's letters and, impatient, had sometimes written twice before Draco wrote back, until Draco hardly ever wrote back at all.
It had taken him some time – mostly because he hadn't wanted to accept it – to come to the conclusion that of course the blonde had stopped writing him letters.
Here he was, some brat little boy who'd gotten Draco stuck in jail, and he really expected Draco to be alright with it. And with that, Harry realized something significantly worse. Draco wasn't going to come back for him. After everything the two had gone through… Draco wasn't coming back.
At first, he'd cried. He'd cried endlessly. He'd wake up and feel the tears burn his eyes as he looked out his window to the un-English landscape. He'd sag his way through school, sag his way back to his new "home", then crawl up to his room and cry the rest of the day away, silent tears burning trails down his cheeks.
And then he'd turned angry. Not at Draco – no, this wasn't his fault. And not at himself, either – this was as much his fault as it was Draco's. He grew angry at everyone else he saw. It didn't matter who they were – his parents, laughing children, the neighbors walking their dogs. He hated everyone, and he wanted nothing to do with them.
For days, he'd walk around the town for hours and hours, keeping away from anyone he knew, until even that became insufficient. Then he'd traveled out further, taking busses to other towns and exploring around, until one day he'd stumbled upon a bar.
Testing his limits, he'd decided to sneak in. Who cared if he wasn't 21? He hadn't followed lawful age restrictions in London. Why should things be any different in America?
But as soon as he'd taken a seat at the bar, Tom had pounced on him. "You got an ID, kid?"
A sharp and angry retort on the tip of his tongue, Harry was saved from being kicked out of the bar as a handsome older man came around from behind him. "Relax, Tom. Give him a coke, will ya? My treat to you, kid."
"Devon, if he ain't 21, he can't drink."
"He's not! It's a goddamn coke, Tom."
"If he's gonna be another one of your little tricks, get him out of here, soon." Tom had roughly served Harry a glass of soda before walking off, grumbling.
"Thanks," Harry'd said, unsmilingly and a little uncomfortable.
"No problem. Say, what's your name, kid?"
"Harry," he'd replied before he could think to give a fake name.
"Nice."The two had fallen into a few moments of silence while Harry drank his soda, but as soon as he'd finished, the attractive older man had begun again. "How old are you?"
"Perfect." A predatory glint shone in his eyes. "Listen, Tom's not too nice with the younger ones, so what do you say you and me get out of here; go somewhere nice."
"Like where?" Harry had asked, suspiciously.
"Oh, I don't know. We could go back to my place."
He'd understood what was going on. He knew that the man hardly knew him and vice versa. He also knew what would happen if he followed the man home. The question was: did he want to go through with it.
Seeing the young brunettes hesitation, Devon had given him a seductive wink and an encouraging squeeze on the shoulder.
Why not? He'd thought to himself, and he'd let himself be led out of the bar, Devon's arm around his shoulder. He had been nervous, there was no lying about that, but he'd decided to give it a try, anyway.
He'd returned home well past two in the morning that night, much to his parents chagrin, but at the age of seventeen, he'd done nothing illegal, and he didn't see that there was any way they could stop him. And so he'd gone back to that very same bar the next night, and the night after that, and the night after that.
He hadn't gone for Devon. He'd understood where they'd each stood that first night. No, this was not a search for a relationship. This was much more than that – this was a new world for him; a new way for Harry to express himself; to feel some sense of belonging.
And Devon had helped him out – with Tom's occasional frowns of disapproval, that is. It had been a surprise to the two at first, but they had grown to like Harry, as Harry had grown to like them.
And it was after those first few days that Harry had grown a new sense of being. Things weren't perfect, and he didn't have Draco, but he was alright. He was alright.
"Well, look who's coming over," Devon snickered, jabbing Harry lightly on the arm.
"Hey, I'm Steve." The man looked to be more handsome up close, a bronze tan to his skin, and a clean-shaven face. His eyes were a stunning shade of sapphire blue.
"Hello. Harry," the brunette offered with a wide grin and what he'd learned was an adorable tilt of the head.
"Is that an accent?" Steve asked with a small laugh of surprise.
"Oh, trust me. You don't wanna go for the 'I love your accent' angle. It's way overdone." Devon cut in, with an obnoxious smirk.
Resisting the urge to glare at the immature man to his right, the blue-eyed man ignored Devon and asked, "Can I buy you a drink?"
And Harry idly wondered to himself if Steve was the type to do it in the bed, or rip off his clothes before they could finish closing the door.
AN: I know. A sequel, and a completely crazy sequel. I know. BUT all I can say is that this is what I envisioned happening afterwards. This is not a one-shot sequel. I REPEAT. THIS IS NOT A ONE-SHOT SEQUEL. This is going to be a many-chaptered story, and the story will develop, and, as this is still DH, Harry and Draco WILL be meeting each other again throughout the story. I just need a few chapters to work it up. So don't hate me! Please! Just give it some time! I know this is a complete turn of events, but you have to understand that things are different, now. Draco – who, really, is still only 23 – has had to adapt to a different life in jail, and Harry – who has been completely separated from everything and everyone he's ever known is also now having to adapt and learn how to deal with things. I know you probably all hate Harry for giving up on the idea of Draco coming to visit him so often, and I know it all seems rushed, but this is just to let you get the gist of things for now. It's all going to be further explained in further chapters. But if you do have any questions that just can't wait, let me know in a review and I'll be sure to try and answer your questions throughout the next chapters as soon as I can.
Oh, also, I know this chapter seems a little rushed, but it will slow down immediately. This chapter is supposed to somewhat encase about 4 or 5 months of events (I still have a few more things to fill in with the first 4 to five months after Draco was put into jail). So sorry if you don't like how quickly I went through it – I just didn't want to be insipidly detailed and annoying. I'll explain more things as the chapters go on. (Wow, how many times have I said that, already?)
PS – I have no idea how often I'm going to update. School is especially hectic this year. My goal is to make, at the very least, at least one update per month.
Please motivate me with some happy reviews! Lots and lots of 'em!
xoxo Spideria xoxo