Author's Note: This is a remix of Lucilla Darkate's "How and Why" (at lucilla dash darkate dot livejournal dot com slash 24960 dot html), written for coffeejunkii's HD Remix of 2006.

A million thanks to CalĂ­ope Amphora, without whose wonderful beta I would've been really, really embarrassed to post this :)

ooooo

I am his betrayal. Harry Potter's Betrayal. It's hardly the worst label I've worn in my life.

Death Eating scum

Manipulative shit

Evil conniving bastard

So many lovely terms of endearment, from anonymous Howlers and letters to the Prophet and the Quibbler. From hisses in Diagon Alley pitched just low enough that I can hear them, but not loud enough for me to identify and confront the speakers. From Firewhiskey-bold bar patrons at night in Knockturn Alley. From dear old Aunt Walburga's portrait at Grimmauld Place.

It's too bad I only thought of starting to collect them last year; they're really quite entertaining.

I know he's often asked why he's with me. I find it amusing that I'm almost never asked why I'm with him. Most people believe that I'm the lucky one, the one who should be grateful that the great exalted Harry Potter deigns to allow me into his life. It's a little insulting, but I've had to deal with plenty of insults ever since my dearly departed father dragged the Malfoy name into the mud, and I don't much care any more.

It doesn't make me resent Harry. I know that if things had turned out just a little different, most people would be asking me why. Why him, how could you, he's a Gryffindor, a half-blood, raised by Muggles - the opposite of everything I was raised to value.

That's if I was even with him. Would I be? I don't know. We only came together because I was being hidden in an Order safe-house with him during the war; if not for that accident of location, which obviously wouldn't have come about if I hadn't switched sides when Voldemort started to lose, I doubt he would've ever thought to even touch me. And I'm sure I never would have thought of touching him. I had been attracted to him for a while - who wouldn't be, by all that power? - but I'd never considered doing anything about it.

And I wasn't considering doing anything about it the day we first got together. It just... happened.

You user, you disgusting user, you just use his body and his fame and you don't care what it does to him

I wasn't really thinking of doing anything about anything that summer. I was totally lost and had sort of... withdrawn, from trying to act or plan or even understand the world around me. I was in an Order safe-house, with Harry Potter, my father was in danger and possibly working with the very people who wanted me dead - whether he wanted me dead or not - and my mother was alone out there, who knew where. My life was in shambles, and by that point I didn't much care. Though I do remember trying, a few times, to imagine what my father would've done in a situation like mine, and missing him and cursing that I could never be as clever as he.

Then again, he was so clever he'd been shipped off to rot in Azkaban for months, and was on the run at the time. Perhaps a good reason to avoid emulating him.

And then suddenly he was dead. It shouldn't have been a shock to me, but it was. And I was in the safe-house garden, holding the letter from my mother, trying unsuccessfully to hold back tears that Father would've hated, and remembering every good thing he had ever done with me. The way he'd got me onto the Slytherin Quidditch team when I was twelve; his fury at that blasted hippogriff that hurt me when I was thirteen; our holidays in Spain; hours spent on our brooms; the best seats for the Quidditch World Cup...

You should rot in hell like your bastard of a father, you deserve the Kiss every bit as much as he ever did, you're rotten to the core just like him...

Oh, you're surprised that I have good memories of him? You're surprised that Lucius Malfoy was a good father? You probably expected tales of horror and abuse, Cruciatus flung at me for talking back, violent hexes for not beating Hermione Granger's grades. Sorry, none of that here. My father was no angel, but he never lifted a hand against me. He could be strict, yes. Abusive, never.

And then he was dead. And I was in a house with nobody who would care - worse, I was in a house where I would probably have to hide in my room to avoid people celebrating his demise once the news got out. My mother was grieving and alone, and afraid for her life and my own. Afraid of what would happen if Voldemort found us. What would happen if the war went badly. What would happen if Father had cursed us somehow before his death. I know, I said he wasn't abusive, but he also wasn't well after so long in Azkaban. He'd been getting erratic and almost violent during Mother's visits. I was never allowed to go, so I hadn't seen him in two years.

I was alone, that was the inescapable fact that my mind kept coming back to in that lovely garden. Alone and friendless, now fatherless, with nothing ahead but more solitude and fear. Not even able to look to the end of the war as a beacon of hope, as it was unlikely that there would be much of a place for me in the wizarding world after all the curses and hexes were spent and the dust settled and the bodies buried.

You should've died in the war, nobody would've missed you

Why don't you do the world a favour and top yourself off?

It all seemed rather pointless. And I was young and stupid enough that thoughts of ending the misery for good came to mind, and not for the first time, either. Nothing terribly detailed, mostly just pathetic adolescent angst and despair, but there it was.

I threw the letter away - whether to try to ignore its devastating news, or pretend it hadn't reached me, or deny that it had just destroyed a part of me, I don't know. I closed my eyes and tried with all I had to simply feel the sun on my face and to silence the weary little voice in my head that whispered that I might as well just lie down and die, nothing was going to get any better, Mother would likely be dead soon too and then it would be my turn and even if it wasn't, really, why bother any more...

And in the middle of this, who comes by but Potter. Turning an already shit day into something even worse. Reminding me that now we were both fatherless. I'd never wanted to have anything in common with him, but now I did.

I don't remember what he said. He may have asked what was wrong, may have just said my name, I don't know, but I was too shattered to do anything other than tell him what had happened, and he was... honest with me. He said he was sorry, but we both recognized that for the polite fiction it was and he didn't bother trying to convince me otherwise. And then he touched me. After so long with almost nothing around me but coldness and resentment and touches meant to harm, after weeks of sullen indifference passing between us in that bloody safe-house, he touched me. I wasn't used to touch any more. I wasn't used to human interaction.

He wasn't doing it for me. He told me, with characteristic appalling tactlessness, that he wasn't going to comfort me. Which was more comforting than any false sympathy could possibly have been.

You deserve whatever you get, you foul piece of slime

In that moment he made me feel like myself again. Not Draco Malfoy, the powerless little boy that needed to be hidden from danger and who deserved pity liberally mixed with poorly hidden contempt from the others at Grimmauld Place. Not Draco Malfoy who was wondering how the hell he was going to keep pushing on, or if he even wanted to push on. No, he made me feel like me again: Draco Malfoy, who didn't need pity from anybody, least of all Harry Potter. Not even at the moment of learning of his father's death.

I don't know why I did what I did, other than I had just been feeling and fearing and wanting death, and sex was life. But I suddenly saw that he wanted me - why, I had no idea, as he'd never shown any kind of interest in me before. He had touched me, and it felt better than anything I had felt in a long time, and I wanted more. To hell with despair and sorrow. To hell with my father, who should've known better than to get involved in a bloody war in the first place.

I wanted more than just a comforting touch. I wanted to forget my father, escape my powerlessness and drown my grief, and here was Potter, the source of so many of my troubles, showing me a way to do all of that. How marvelously... fitting.

Harry was a virgin, I found out that day. A virgin just itching to give it up, dying to be touched and taken and used. All wide green eyes and flushed cheeks, soft lips and grasping fingers, and shivers and gasps of shock and joy. Like an unexpected present begging to be unwrapped.

You don't give a damn about him, you just use him and corrupt him and don't care, like he's your toy or something

I swear it's one of the hottest things I've ever experienced. When I took him into my mouth he fell apart, going incoherent from the pleasure, losing every shred of pride or dignity or detachment he'd ever worn in my presence. Willingly becoming more naked before me than the lack of clothing could account for. When I started to enter him the pain made him almost panic - for all of a second, before he recklessly gave me permission to take him. And when I plunged into him he cried out and gloried in it and seemed to feel such intense joy that I almost died right there. Nothing existed, other than the incredible gift I'd been given. The gift of knowing that my life didn't have to end with my father's. That there was still joy and purpose and life to be lived. I don't know or care what that day meant to Harry; all I know is that it saved my life and sanity.

You don't even appreciate everything he's done for you, you ungrateful piece of shit

I'd had nothing, a few minutes earlier. Nothing but my fear and loneliness and grief. And now I had myself back again, and I had Harry Potter, the hope of the wizarding world, completely at my mercy. Willingly giving me complete control over him. Trusting me with nothing less than himself.

It was exactly what I needed, though I doubt he knew that.

He wasn't out to save me that day, he was just curious - and remember, he had specifically said he wouldn't offer comfort. Which probably sounds harsher than anything you might expect from him, but it's not, not really. You don't know him like I do; I don't think anybody does. As far as I can tell, nobody else seems to notice that he can be quite the heartless bastard when he chooses to be. Perhaps he doesn't choose to be that way with anybody else. Sometimes I think that knowledge of him is a privilege, sometimes I think it's a pain, and sometimes I think others see it too but choose to label it as something else, so that their boy hero can remain pure and golden in their minds. I have no need or desire to ignore anything.

He's too good for you, and some day he'll realize it and toss your pureblooded arse out the door

Yes, I just used the word privilege. I know I am that - privileged, that is. I know that without him, I would have almost no social status whatsoever, and would probably be driven into exile from the wizarding world; if not by the force of its laws, then by the sheer force of its hatred.

I'm not particularly grateful for that fact. People expect me to play nicely with the other allies of the Light, but I can't be arsed to. People expect me to simper and smile at Harry in public and bask in his radiance, hang off his arm at official functions, happily play my part as "The Man Behind the Chosen One." I can't be arsed to do that either. Harry knows where the door is; if he wants a devoted little husband, he's welcome to walk out through it and find himself one. I'm not the scared and lonely boy I was the day I found out my father died, and I don't need Harry any more. The "privilege" of his presence or status, for what it's worth, is not why I'm with him still.

People expect me to give him my gratitude, my adoration and my eternal devotion. They expect me to treat him with far more deference, far more gentleness. But that's not who we are, that's not what we have. What's between us is rarely pretty or soft or gentle; the words we shout at each other far too often are every bit as cruel and malicious as the words I hear in the Howlers and letters and hisses and rants.

Don't give me that racist pureblood shit, you prick; your side lost, remember?

You're a selfish bastard, fuck it's no wonder none of your so-called friends bothered to come back to you after the war!

Why don't you just walk right out, then? Save us both the misery?

And what I shout back is just as loving.

You're fucking pathetic, the way you try so hard to pretend your Muggle relatives didn't mark you, like they didn't convince you that you're as stupid and worthless as they said you were.

Off to wallow with the Mudblood filth you call friends, are you?

You think the fact that the world adores you makes you special? Well I don't give a shit about that, so why don't you walk out and find somebody who'll feed your fragile little ego!

Unforgivable, the words we scream at each other. And we don't forgive, or forget. But we do carry on.

So why am I still with him?

You'd be nothing without him, you know that

Funny how often I'm reminded of that, and how little I care. And that's actually one of the things I really am grateful to Harry for, as a matter of fact. The fact that I don't care about any of it, because of him. Life is much simpler when you don't bother to calculate every move according to what is the most politically astute choice. When you simply do what works for you. Because then you get to ignore the disapproval, the faceless masses who hate you.

Who in their right mind would want to be with you? Everybody knows you're just bewitching him, and when they figure out how you've done it you'll pay

You also get to ignore the questions you are asked, the questions that could be more difficult to ignore. Because the fact that most of the winners of the Second Voldemort War don't think to ask me why I'm with Boy Who Lived doesn't mean I don't have to justify myself to anybody.

I'm still asked why. Just usually not out loud, and not by anybody you can see. The ghost of my father. My mother. My former friends from Slytherin house. They all, living and dead, still ask me why and how.

How could you, betraying everything your family ever taught you, you're a disgrace to the Malfoy name

Blood traitor, filthy Mudblood-lover, shame of our families

How can you flaunt yourself, their darling's tamed Death Eater pet, your father would've killed you for the dishonour you've brought to his name

I ignore them. I started ignoring them a long time ago, and it's worked well for me. Remember, my father hadn't yet been lowered into his grave before I started spinning him in it. We're together, that's all, and I don't particularly care why.

I don't even particularly care to label what we have, either; if pressed I would call us lovers, but that brings to mind all sorts of romantic sap that doesn't apply to us at all.

What does apply is anger and sex, and passion. The anger is ugly and hurtful and always there. The sex is fantastic; as hot as the eager, virginal Harry was, the demanding, self-assured kinky bastard he is now is even hotter. No shyness, no holding back. And the passion is there for both anger and sex. He throws himself into fucking like he throws himself into fighting, like he throws himself into flying, like he threw himself into the war. With all the power within him, with all the honesty of his Gryffindor soul.

And I'm not talking about the moral and ethical honesty of idiots who care about that kind of thing, because Harry's an accomplished liar and manipulator that could put most Slytherins to shame. I'm talking about the honesty of his passion, of his unyielding acceptance of me as I am, of us as we are. Of the respect he accords me, to hell with what the rest of the wizarding world thinks. Fighting me tooth and nail and then letting me fuck him until neither of us can feel anything but each other.

No, I don't need him. I want him, though.

And that's enough.

- End.