Title: His Game
Author: Harmony (Silver Harmony)
Pairing: Harry/Blaise, implied Harry/Draco
Word Count: Approximately 1,891.
Notes: Also posted at LiveJournal at the Potent Serpent community as part of its April/May challenge. The prompt used was 'wicked game'.
Feedback: Very much appreciated. I value all reviews, especially when they tell me what you think and/or what I can do to improve. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the story.
When you come to, you're not quite sure where you are, or what is going on.
Bleary surroundings. A tightness in your chest. Sticky; kind of dizzy. You cough, and then wince with what you can hear is a pathetic squeak coming out of your mouth. It hurts.
You can vaguely see someone sitting in front of you, rather high, maybe on a table. The chair you're sitting on is hard. It makes your back ache. You can't move your arms; heck, you can barely summon the strength to open your eyes. You want to ask the person questions, but your throat is dry and scratchy and you're so thirsty and your voice just won't come out. Your mind is tired. You're drowsy. Did you just wake up from sleep? Maybe you should go back to sleep.
I see you're awake, Blaise.
You hear the voice but it doesn't sink in. Maybe you're just dreaming. But it suddenly grows more insistent, and more familiar.
Look at me, Blaise. I know you can hear me.
You raise your head to look up at him. Yeah, you want to reply, but nothing comes out except for a pitiful noise from the back of your throat. You know that voice. But it sounds different. It's so cold. You wonder where the warmth is. You wonder where you are.
You think at first that your eyelids must be stuck together, but then your vision starts to clear. You can make out the high person somewhat better now. You were right. He is sitting on a table. Messy black hair, a strong face… spectacles.
You recognize him. He is your lover.
It's hard to breathe. You then distantly realize that there are ropes around you, tying you to the chair, and you can't move. Your head and your neck feel sticky. Thick redness is dripping into your eyes. He is watching you. You wonder if you should ask for help.
You then wonder even more why he isn't helping you without being asked, anyway. The fog in your mind starts to dissolve slowly.
'You have quite a wound there,' he says blankly from where he is sitting. 'I'm surprised you're still alive.'
You don't know what he is talking about. You don't remember much. But you do remember his warmth; you shiver a little. You remember it, and you yearn for it.
'Why should I?' he asks, his voice blunt.
This startles you. Even when you are so weak and drowsy, and your head hurts immensely… the sudden pain of having those words stab into you had overpowered all of it. In an instant, the faint security of knowing that your lover was there to protect you fades away in doubt. You still don't know what is going on. But you do know that something is terribly, terribly wrong.
There is an unpleasant heat stinging behind your eyes. Your chest tightens even more.
'You should just stop with the innocent act already. You think I'm going to help you if you try and pull your helpless face on me?' he snaps. His voice is filled with bitterness and disgust, something which you have not heard him use on you for a long time. 'It's pathetic.'
'Don't you dare call me by my given name again,' he utters threateningly, his expression icy. 'People like you don't get that privilege.'
Hearing this, you grow desperate. You wonder if this is all just some horrible nightmare.
A scratchy whimper comes out of your throat. It surprises even you. Hearing it, he stirs too; something rouses him.
'You know, Blaise, I liked you better when you were honest,' he stares at you darkly, and you cannot tell whether he is mocking you or whether he is being serious. 'Remember the days before we first got together? You were an outright bastard, and honest about it and proud of it. It's what drew me to you. I suppose I could still praise you for your fun trademark bastardry even after we got together. But this? This, I didn't expect.'
He suddenly springs off the table and grabs you so hard by the wrist that you feel yourself pressing your lips together to keep from crying out in pain.
Then he leans in slowly, and it surprises you. You think at first that he wants to kiss you, the way he always would, so lovingly and so warmly. Even though it hasn't been long since he last kissed you, you miss it already, somehow. But he was not trying to kiss you. He moves sideways and presses his cheek against yours.
'You have no idea how much I hate you,' he hisses into your ear.
And he withdraws himself from you, and you feel it again. That coldness, enveloping you.
'Ron was right about you,' he whispers. He squeezes your wrist tighter and pulls your arm up savagely, straining against the ropes, for you to see.
Your dark sleeve rolls back.
It can't be.
You look up at him, your eyes pleading. But his frosty expression doesn't waver.
'I've got to hand it to you, though, Blaise,' he snarls, letting go of your hand abruptly. 'All that talk about neutrality; you not choosing any sides; you somewhat agreeing with his ideals, but not necessarily his methods; you not serving him… you're a first-class actor. Even I was fooled.'
No, you want to tell him, straining forward against the ropes. I don't know how the Mark got there, I swear.
But even as your mouth hangs open, nothing comes out.
You look down desperately and cold dread fills your stomach. You did not notice it before. You are wearing the robes. You don't even know how you came to don them; you don't remember ever putting them on.
You aren't even a Death Eater!
'Shut your mouth!' he cries angrily.
He whirls his head away from you. His eyes are full of rage and pain. The compassion he is always known for has completely vanished. You know that he will never forgive you. You know that he will never trust you again.
'You are a despicable, revolting, treacherous liar,' he utters, trembling. 'And you betrayed me.'
It hurts beyond everything you've ever known.
The door suddenly opens, and a tall, blond figure walks in. The face is very familiar. It is an unpleasant face you've had to endure looking at for years. He looks his nose down at you. At such an expression, you are filled with an instant dislike; you scowl hostilely at him as much as you can manage.
He walks over and stands next to your lover.
'Look at that,' the pale face sneers, gazing at you with disgust. 'His frightening expression. He must know I'm the one who turned him in. He'd kill me if he went loose.'
'You don't have to worry, Malfoy. You've already proven to everyone that you've redeemed yourself,' your lover says to him, his voice surprisingly protective. 'You did the right thing. He won't go loose. And even if he does, I won't let him do anything to you.'
'Zabini was there, at the scene of the crime… he killed those people. So many. I can't believe I was able to disarm him – it was a complete fluke. I was only trying to keep him from killing me. Even the strongest men should be scared of him.'
'I know,' says Harry gently, his eyes full of sympathy and compassion. 'But we don't need to be scared anymore.'
And Malfoy reaches out and touches Harry's hand lightly with his own, and when Harry doesn't flinch, bitter awareness fills you and the pain becomes unbearable. Harry curls his fingers slightly around Malfoy's, and you feel the hot wetness spilling down your cheeks. Your hatred for Malfoy intensifies tenfold. You don't know whether to feel anger or grief. You are furious, and upset, and helpless, and full of anguish all at the same time. You finally understand.
The sleeve. You look down at your sleeve. You knew you'd seen it somewhere before. The slight tangle of loose threads on the edge of the sleeve… you remember seeing it the day you caught Malfoy trying on his robes in private. You remember thinking what a nuisance it must be to have a robe with such imperfect stitching. You remember wondering, jokingly, what Voldemort's reaction would be if the tangle of threads unraveled and Malfoy turned up to a meeting with half a sleeve.
So that was his game. And here was Harry, trusting him completely.
You thrash against the ropes restlessly. You don't know why your voice is failing you, and why your throat is so dry that you can barely speak. But you have to warn him in some way. Any way.
Get away from him. Don't touch him.
'Hey, he's getting violent,' Malfoy points out anxiously.
'The ropes won't come undone. I've charmed them,' answers Harry. 'Anyway, I only came here to see if he was alive, and to give him a piece of my mind. I've done that, and I'm fairly satisfied, so let's go.'
'You actually still care if he's alive? He's a Death Eater.'
'Maybe so, but I suppose he deserves to live. Just so that he can think about what he's done for the rest of his life, in his miserable prison cell,' he finally answers plainly. 'And so that he'll never forget losing the one person in the world who loved and trusted him.'
He tugs on Malfoy's arm, as an indication for them to go.
'The Ministry will be here soon, and for once, I have nothing against letting them handle this,' he continues. 'Lupin will guard the door until they come. I don't want to stay here longer than I have to.'
Malfoy nods, and moves out of the room first. He turns back at you and gives you a loathing but satisfied glare as he slinks out.
The snake. The tightness in your chest is getting worse. You cannot believe this is happening to you.
But then you see Harry looking at you, seeming uncertain. And in a split second, you've forgotten what just happened, and you see the Harry of the warmth you've come to cherish. You remember how long it took the two of you to come to an understanding – the petty bickering, fights and denials – and how relieved you both were when you finally did get together, just like you'd both feared and wanted. You feel as if you remember every embrace, every kiss. You remember the shape of his hand, from all the times you've clasped it. You remember the contours of his body, from all the times you've held it close to you.
He doesn't move.
You know something has crumbled. Harry's expression does not change, but something in his eyes did. He closes them. You see the faint tremor in his shoulders, and it is as though you could feel that quiver in yourself. You wish you could tell him the truth. You wish you could undo all this. But he opens his eyes and he looks straight at you, and his eyes are filled with resolve.
'Fuck off, Zabini.'
The door closes behind him, and the warmth disappears.
You've never felt more alone.