By Natasha Shaitanova
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. Also don't own Velvet Acid Christ.
A/N: No character death, actually. Just some disturbing psychology. Maybe.
Oh and I don't give a shit about the 7th Book plotline. Everything is readapted as necessary (I'm sure you're used to that.)
Very much changed from the original posting!!
Good morning, mother, please don't cry,
My news won't bode too well,
Your hero is still bound to die,
At the start of my tale.
The TV screen situated over the bar at the Leaky Cauldron was unnecessarily turned up to the highest volume as the occupants of the café stared at the news reportage in silence.
"…Draco Malfoy reported yesterday that his Auror partner Harry Potter was sexually abused by Remus Lupin, the Head of the Ministry's Auror department…"
A scattering of shocked gasps was quickly silenced with hushing motions as hungry eyes continued to pierce the screen.
"Mr. Potter himself has refused to comment, but his lawyer confirmed that the Potters have brought an action against Lupin hours after Mr. Malfoy's report. Unfortunately, more information is currently unavailable on the developing story, but BBC: MageDiv will be sure to keep you updated."
Anxious murmuring rose immediately over the coffee tables, drowning out the next story. Snippets of outraged exclamations mixed with the general hum of confusion, symbolizing the new ambiance of the wizarding population of England.
"Harry, this has to stop," Remus looked down at his latte, preferring the calm, beige liquid to the judging eyes of his companion.
"What are you talking about?" Harry laughed as though he heard the most absurd statement possible. His lips spread in a charming smile, gleaming at what he conceived to be a clever joke.
"I can't do this," despite his inability to look the younger man in the eye, Remus kept a firm tone. He tried to still his fingers from tearing apart the napkin.
"But why?" Harry's smile remained pasted on his face, a parody of the higher pitch his tone had taken. He took Remus' hand across the table, gently squeezing until the fingertips turned an angry red. "We enjoy ourselves – that's all that matters!"
"No, Harry," Remus tried to tug his hand back, but being unable to do so made him glance up – right into wide, innocent, blazing eyes. "What about your children? What about Ginny? She already suspects us."
Harry's light laughter was lost in the hubbub of the muggle coffee shop. "So what? I enjoy you! Tell me you don't enjoy it, Remus, when I—"
"Harry please!" Remus interrupted, alarmed. He tried to make hushing motions with his free hand, but Harry only laughed louder.
"God, one would think you are a virgin by the way you talk!" Harry suddenly released Remus' hand with a throwing gesture. "Don't you understand that I want this?"
"You can't always get what you want, Harry."
The brunet smiled indulgently, looking far too charming for anyone to distinguish the disguised sneer. "Of course I can. Who wouldn't give their life for me?"
Remus gazed despairingly at his lover, wondering if he could still use the deplorable term. Where had it all gone so wrong?
"You aren't normal, Remus." Harry's voice jarred and teased, even as his shining eyes captivated any onlookers. "Why don't you love me?"
"Harry, you've changed, you…" His eyes darted all around the coffee shop, taking in the plump waitress, the scuffed chairs, the flashing signs, the worn linoleum, anything, anything but the man across the table.
"But I love you!" Harry smiled again, a shy, gentle smile with the barest hint of dimples at the corner of his mouth. Remus wanted so much to believe that smile, the smile that dragged him down to this insanity.
"No, you don't." He stood up, staggering. "You can't and you don't, because you're playing a game. I won't let this go on."
Harry rushed up after him, grabbing the forgotten latte and hurling it against the counter. Hot liquid and clay shards sprayed against the terrified receptionist, but she was hardly spared a glance.
"You are not leaving me!"
Remus looked torn between helping the receptionist and simply fleeing out of the door. "You cannot control everyone around you. Do you even see how much they hurt? Harry, do you see…?"
"Yes I can!" As Harry screamed, for one wild moment Remus thought he had gotten through. Until, "I know what I want, Remus, and you can't steal that from me! You'll regret this!"
Remus began backing away as he saw tears rising in Harry's eyes. He knew well enough not to believe it by now. The tears, the smiles, the eyes, the laughter… they all just dragged his deeper.
"I'm sorry…It has to stop, Harry…Now."
As the door clapped against its pane, Harry wailed and clutched at his hair, half-sinking to the floor. His voice turned into a hoarse, guttural shriek before rising into a lingering whine. Half-turning and half-slipping on the linoleum, he apparated away right in front of the huddled waitresses.
A clip of Harry walking out of the Ministry building zoomed in to play full screen, replacing the stern-looking reporter. A hat and a pair of aviators covered his eyes as Malfoy helped him weave though the crowd of photographers and journalists.
"It is verified now that Mr. Potter was sexually exploited by his superior."
The television rolled through several pictures of Harry answering questions for journalists concerning the Auror department. The camera zoomed in on Remus nodding approvingly in the background and Harry and Draco dealt with the press.
"Mr. Malfoy told our reporters that Potter recently came to him for help."
A new coverage filled the screen with Draco's somber expression. "He just couldn't deal with that bastard anymore and he had to tell someone. He relied on me to help him."
As the footage showed Harry and Draco leaving the crowd behind and getting into a waiting car, the reporter continued. "It has come to the attention of one of our journalists a short while back that there was certain discord between the Director of the Auror Department and his top employees."
A clip dated two weeks ago showed a young woman asking questions at a typical PR interview. "Is it true that you have had a conflict with your boss lately?"
The question was targeted at Harry, who answered swiftly after sparing his partner a glance. "Nonsense. Remus is a wonderful man. We just had some disagreement in choosing the new recruits."
"Mr. Potter is currently undergoing a psychological evaluation at St. Mungo's, concerning his traumatic experiences…"
The ministry function was just like any other – a raucous affair of drinking and dancing the moment the speaker stepped down from the podium. The dance floor brimmed with twirling couples as clusters of old friends dotted the tables along the walls of the expansive hall.
"He's seemed off lately," Ron brooded as he nursed a light drink and shot periodic glances at the appetizer table.
"He looks no different…" even as she spoke, Hermione's tone held reservation. She bit her lip and too looked at the black-haired figure in the center of a circle of admirers. "He seems to be enjoying himself."
"He's been drinking too much." Even as Ron spoke, Harry downed his countless glass of expensive champagne, laughing gaily.
"How often?" Draco felt he couldn't stay out of the conversation any longer.
"Every time I see him," Ron sighed and swiped a hand over his forehead. "It's the first thing he asks for when he comes over for a chat. I was over at his place just two days ago and went into the kitchen to get a drink. It was stacked!"
Hermione pushed her glass away and tore her gaze from the shining hero across the room. "Maybe you should talk to him?"
Draco only snorted and shook his head. "What makes you think he'll listen to me?"
"You're his partner. That counts for something…"
"In the department," even as Draco protested, he saw no other alternative.
Harry's smiles flowed as smoothly as the champagne in his glass as he turned from one official to another, enchanting and sweet. He touched the Minister's arm lightly, playing, before turning to lean toward the head Magistrate instead. His tinkling mirth never seemed to cease.
"How was your evening? You look so dull, sitting here…"
Draco looked up from his drink, expecting to see the star of the show. Instead, the Harry that sat next to him was staring across the hall in uninterested annoyance, tapping his fingers vaguely against an empty crystal flute.
"No different from how I usually spend these evenings…" Draco replied carefully, unsure. Then again, those who considered themselves close to Harry were never too sure anymore.
"You are so depressing, Draco, how do I stand you?" Harry tried to grin at his partner, but it turned quickly into a grimace as he threaded a hand through his hair, tugging viciously at the black locks.
"Harry…hey, if you have something to tell me, just do it. I see that you're not alright." Draco let his masks and pretenses slide for the moment, knowing no one else really cared to notice.
"Of course, Draco," Harry seemed to brighten up as he looked over at his partner, eyes shining as though he saw him for the first time. "Definitely."
'Why didn't I think of him before?' Harry thought giddily as he asked a passing waiter for another glass, heedless of Draco's warnings. 'The little moron will do anything for me.'
"Harry, did you even hear what I said?" Draco slapped his palm on the table, but it hardly had an effect on his beaming friend.
"Of course, Draco, of course I did," Harry patted Draco's hand, making sure to glance at him from under his brows as he did. He flashed his teeth briefly in mimicry of a smile. 'If you won't be mine Remus, why should you be anyone's?'
Draco pulled back, looking uncomfortable. "Where's Ginny? I thought she insisted on coming to these things with you…"
"I'm sure she's around," Harry vaguely waved his hand, as though bored. 'I could have been your doll…'
"Maybe you should find her before she is too upset," Draco kept speaking, meaninglessly, knowing no one was listening but needing to fill some void.
Harry hummed his consent. 'Isn't that what I'm for?'
The blond was talking on in the background, unable to stop. He could not bear Harry's dreamy silence.
'I will be your end,' Harry sipped at his wine, not really tasting a drop. 'And then on to the next…'
A/N: This is probably going to be another 3-part piece. I'm experimenting with a bit of an unbalanced Harry. Hell, anyone with his life should be unbalanced.
So, please humor me with some suggestions and criticism! I would love to hear your opinion of Delusional-Harry!