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 Raincoat Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: 47 drabbles, 100 words each; entry for Live Journal community dracoharry100 's weekly challenge "Drag". Many thanks to WeasleyWench for the beta work.
It had all begun with a drag from a cigarette.
I really had no business lurking in the Ministry so late in the evening, but I had forgotten the Portkey permit for a country I was due to visit the next day. The move was admittedly unwise; despite the war having ended almost three decades ago, all it would take was a misplaced file for accusations to plummet upon a former Death Eater once again. It wouldn't matter that I had worked for years as a diplomat, re-establishing communications with foreign governments that had once been sympathetic towards Voldemort's causes.
The usual route to my office bypassed the Auror Division; frankly, I had made a deliberate effort to avoid it – I did not require scornful looks to start my day, nor did I wish for contemptuous stares to end it. That night I made an exception, thinking that everyone else would have left for the evening.
I was wrong.
The office of the Head Auror was still occupied, its door opened to a slit as warm yellow light filtered into the dark corridor.
Curious, I chanced a peek inside.
Potter was there, taking a long drag off a Muggle cigarette.
It was a shocking sight.
Gone was the affectionate smile that brightened up morning meetings, the straight frame that signified strength and courage of the Chosen One. Potter lounged in his chair, pensive, his gaze following the steady rise of smoke into the air.
Seeming to register a magical signature in the vicinity, he frowned and turned towards the door. His eyes remained piercing green in the haze.
I thought he would inquire, or, perhaps, cast a spell in the spirit of constant vigilance. Instead, he merely turned back with a weary smile.
And took another drag of his cigarette.
It was weeks before I saw him again.
That night was a very cold one. I had stayed in my office to compose holiday greetings for our liaisons, and just before midnight, I decided to venture outside for some fresh air. There was a tavern a block away, and through the window, I spotted Potter, the lone patron remaining by the bar. A glass of wine sat on the surface; between his two fingers, a cigarette was clipped.
His eyes wandered and locked with mine.
I tried to look away, but he raised the cigarette and took a deep drag.
I must have looked insane, standing by the window gaping at him smoking, but Potter seemed the least surprised by my reaction. One quick drag later, he rose and paid the bartender, his expression cold, and words of gratitude apparently lacking.
A doorbell sounded, and Potter began to make his way back to the Ministry without so much as a glance in my direction; despite his indifference, I could not resist the urge to follow.
That fact did not escape him. He continued his brisk walk in silence, the embers of his cigarette the only beacon for my harried footsteps.
The office lit as soon as we entered, without any charms or spells. Potter finally acknowledged my presence by retrieving two tumblers, which he set on the desk and were soon filled with the finest Firewhisky.
I bit my tongue, determined not to give away my curiosity, and more so, my nerves. I sat back and took a glass without his invitation.
He reclined his seat, sipping the drink as his fingers dragged against the condensates on the glass. He dabbed one of them in the alcohol and nipped the wetted tip between his teeth.
His eyes never left me.
I had never felt so naked in my life; I raised the tumbler to my lips, trying hard to keep my hand steady.
That predatory look held the promise of utmost primal pleasures. I knew the game well; there had been no shortage of male companionship since my marriage ended, but I had always been the one to lead, and those who had followed had never been like Potter.
Especially not this Potter - brusque, dark, provocative.
His eyes gleamed as I spilled the alcohol. Then, as if he had taken me, he lit a cigarette and took a drag.
Thus began a bizarre arrangement between a Saviour and a former Dark servant; every evening, I found myself accompanying the Head Auror, equally captivated by the sight of his deep, long drags, and the seduction his eyes never ceased to offer me.
Potter, meanwhile, was addicted to something else. Cigarettes rarely left his fingers any more, and soon he drank straight from the Firewhisky bottle. The weariness I had seen on him had dissipated, replaced by a strange fusion of apathy and cold passion.
I watched his lean frame sprawled on the desk; we still hadn't spoken to each other.
Our silence was finally broken one night as he guzzled the Firewhisky.
"You're trying to get yourself killed, aren't you?" Those were the words that escaped my lips; his face tilted towards me, looking mildly amused.
Almost leisurely, he dragged his torso sideways as well; my feral desires were once again ignited by his voice, coarse with inebriation and tobacco.
"Good. You're doing well." My sarcasm failed miserably; it came out as a croak that betrayed the lust surging inside.
Looking back, that remark also signified my ultimate surrender. From that moment on, Harry Potter owned Draco Malfoy.
Green eyes began to wander down my face, my chest, before settling on the noticeable bulge between my hips. He smirked and took a long drag off his cigarette, which he subsequently used to steer my vision as his fingers travelled to his collar, releasing the clasp before descending along the hem, teasing each button as they went. They stopped on his trousers, and a squeeze confirmed his zeal, mirroring my own.
My inhibitions shattered. I leapt and jostled him against the desk's surface; my pelvis crushed against his, using the friction, the heat, to convey what I intended to take.
I thought he would fight for dominance. Instead, I felt ravenous hands stroking my back as the legs below me spread to a welcoming V; the lips that met my own were pliant, submissive.
Moans erupted under my breath; he shoved me upward, and my groans of frustration were rewarded by the sight of trousers vanishing at a roll of his hips. It only stoked the flames further, and the blaze smothered my senses as his digits dragged along the length of his cock, down until they reached the orifice in the shadow that held promise to my every need.
I breached him.
His muscles tautened in response, siphoning in the same way he took his drags of cigarettes – deeply, exhaustively; meanwhile, the image of him writhing at my assault satiated my craving for sex, for power over the Symbol of Light.
The temptation proved to be too much. Time soon froze; as I reached for him, wanting to pull him close for a kiss, he grabbed my arm and sucked on my thumb, licked along my lifeline, and nipped at the skin on my wrist.
Then, his tongue swiped along the snake slithering along my forearm.
The Dark Mark.
In retrospect, Potter had evidently been troubled prior to that first encounter, but I was too drunk with ecstasy from the wild abandon of our copulation and the significance of my latest conquest to think about it, or perhaps, to care.
Sex became our routine, incessant as the never-ending drags from cigarettes and draughts of Firewhisky. He was insatiable; every evening, he set out to consume me the way he drained the alcohol, and scorch me the way he decimated stick after stick of tobacco.
Our positions never changed despite our acts turning more savage and depraved over time.
What finally brought back my senses were the two golden rings he wore on his neck.
Potter, thoroughly debauched, was straddling me, his Auror robe once again an entangled mess that dragged along his bare thighs. They clenched my hips like a vise as he heaved fervently.
Our climax was matched by his sudden aggravation at a shadow under his collar; as if finding it suffocating, he reached in, yanked it off, and flung it across the desk.
The tinkle as the object hit the surface was soft and crisp, unlike any of the sounds that had filled this room.
Still panting, my eyes searched for the source of the chime. Soon I saw the rings, the wedding bands known for their infused blessings from all devoted to the Light.
Miniature crowns for their King and Queen.
Weasley had died mysteriously four years ago. Details of her demise were never known, but word on the street had provided gory details - of how she had gone mad, her last days spent mutilating herself and dragging her mangled digits on concrete as she lettered the walls – of her heart deliquescing, as if it had been made to pour into something else.
It was also then that I recognised the downward spiral our encounters had spun.
Still echoing between the walls were his hoarse slurs and my deep moans, dull as the thud of empty bottles as they fell on the carpet in chaos. Cigarette butts lay strewn all over the desk, their cinders smearing the once-pristine marble black.
Finally I turned to Potter, who, despite having collapsed backward at our release, remained seated upon me, his thighs wantonly spread, his inner muscles still rippling as they idly dragged along my cock's length, wringing the last of my essence out of me.
Only the hard jaw line of his face was visible, tapering into the cigarette erect upon his lips like a monument; his hands were dragging across his stomach, upon flesh sticky with a sludge of ash, sweat, and semen, tainted scarlet by the blood he had drawn from me.
His teeth had sunk into my forearm, the only other part of me he had bothered to undress. The skull looked even more sinister with its wounds opened from his bites and gnaws lavished between kisses.
It hit me. I was his ultimate vice.
Overcome by nausea, I fled the room.
It should come to nobody's surprise that I returned the next day.
I was weak, a coward. I had been at sixteen, why should twenty-nine years make a difference?
I witnessed our further downfall; the cigarettes soon carried a piquant fragrance that had not been there before; aftertastes of exotic potions lingered of late in the spirits. I was presented with tools that heightened our sexual pleasures; my urge to give was unprecedented, with a phallus pulsating inside me and a steel hoop adorning his cock, the cold sheen dragging along my abdomen, a memento of my control over him.
My only defence was that I had begun to seek clues to what had led to his current state. As the night wore on and his ardour for sex finally showed signs of faltering, I would lure him to speak between his drags of cigarette.
Potter was barely lucid among the filth and decay, his gaze dull and diffused, his reticence replaced by fitful murmurs of inane words.
I kissed his scar and interlaced my whispers of sweet nothings with inquiries about his life. He didn't seem to comprehend at all.
Somehow, that pained me more than I could admit.
When he did respond, the reaction was violent.
Within a second, I was rammed against the carpet, yelping at the singe of cigarette that had stabbed my forearm.
Potter's face was an inch away from mine. "But you like that, don't you? That rot – one sniff and you're wagging your tail behind me like a goddamn bitch –"
Malice flickered in his eyes; his diction still dragged, but those accusations were already more than I could bear.
I punched him; he laughed a loud, eerie howl that exhumed memories from long ago.
I fought him with all my might.
An intoxicated man was no match for the power of my fists, even if that man was Harry Potter.
Soon he was cornered in a nook by the window; in the first hint of dawn, I could see the bruises marring his skin, the gashes and swells that distorted his features beyond recognition.
But something familiar had returned to his eyes; they shuttered rapidly, as if all his energy had been sapped by the twilight. He slumped; the rustle of his robe as it dragged against the wall was as quiet as his plea.
"Please, Draco, please clean me up."
I half lifted, half-dragged Potter's unconscious form to his chair, surprised at how small he was, how warm his skin felt against mine.
I undressed him and healed his wounds, dousing each cut before cleansing his whole body with Scourgify. As I spelled away the refuse lying around, I modified the Atmospheric Charm so that the ceiling let in rays of the early-morning sun. A gentle breeze blew in, smelling of fresh flowers and dewdrops.
Before I draped the cleaned Auror robe on his shoulders, I fastened the necklace on him, marvelling at the beauty of its regal gold.
Nothing seemed to have changed after that night. Our fall resumed, and Potter's addictions sank to impossible depths.
The only exception was that he would struggle to communicate as the night drew to its close. Random thoughts sputtered from him, often lost in the nearly incomprehensible slur that dragged along his tongue; their themes oscillated from hatred and domination that had clearly been spawned by Potter of the night, to odd descriptions of a cave by the sea, an underground lake filled with hands that gestured alluringly to him.
It had been where everything started, he repeated in broken speech.
Since then, I rarely left Potter's office until sunrise, after he had fallen into his morning stupor and I had finished the clean up, which always ended with me restoring the wedding bands to his neck.
The sleepless nights had taken their toll; I often missed morning work, which I covered up by claiming to toil overnight for affairs that took place in different time zones.
I wasn't always so fortunate; one morning, just hours after I had left the Ministry, I was called to return for a meeting. As I dragged my feet across the hall, I saw Potter.
Potter's entourage accompanied him, their robes billowing lightly at their brisk steps. Granger was talking, her anxious frown a contrast to his grin, bright as the sun's flare on his spectacles.
Frivolous whispers rippled among the spectators.
"Harry's positively glowing, isn't he?"
"The Constitution should pass today."
"Hasn't it already?
"No, he demanded something written for innocent until proven guilty. Law Enforcement wasn't too happy about it, but he convinced them to not drag on the issue."
"I've heard he's worked tirelessly for this--"
I tore away from the crowd, unable to listen any more.
Did I imagine everything?
That night, I threw Potter against the desk and thrust into him. Recklessly. Brutally.
I hated him.
How could he live this double life without so much as a blemish on his image? How dare he fool me with a show of weakness, of clandestine desires that weren't even real?
I dragged my lips down his neck, marking him with furious kisses and bite marks. I snatched the alcohol from his hand and threw it down my throat, letting the liquid splash on his skin, letting it wash over the trail of brine I had left there.
I despised myself.
I managed to escape early, but sleep eluded me. As the night dragged on and I tossed and turned in the darkness, memories of Potter lying wasted haunted my mind.
He could die of an overdose. He could be found, deranged, and vitiated, when the morning came.
I thought of the reporters who would rush to crucify their Saviour with a stroke of their quill; iPotter Succumbed to Darkness/i, they would eagerly declare in the headlines.
I realised how that image disheartened me, even though Malfoys had always lived and thrived in shadows.
Potter - and his Light - was my vice.
The next morning, I found myself dragging my feet to the Ministry again, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Head Auror sprinting between early meetings.
I could spot him from afar; Potter's diminutive frame had never failed to steal my attention.
Apparently his vision held similar affinity for me; his steps slowed a beat against his colleagues'.
He directed a smile in my direction, not the usual grin, but a small, apologetic one; then he raised a hand to rub the muscles in his neck.
Even from the distance, I could see the small red blemishes trailing along it.
I was desperate to keep him clean that night; it proved futile. His cravings were deep enough to overshadow any shards of humanity left in him after sunset. His magic was more powerful than mine without the effects of intoxication, and I was almost hexed to death for my efforts.
Thus I surrendered, watching him submit to the drags of cigarette, fade in the swigs of wine, and dissolve in the heat of ejaculation. My own.
I held him tight as he lost consciousness, asking him for the strength that I did not have.
Then I broke down and cried.
Days dragged on into weeks and months.
I managed to Transfigure some of the Firewhisky and tobacco into non-consumables every night; I also weaned us from relentless intercourse. The guilt and sorrow weighing upon me had helped to stifle my arousal, but Potter was clearly withdrawn and distressed. My only consolation was that his articulation had improved at the end of the night, and, at times, he recognised me when I talked to him.
Two nights before the thirtieth anniversary of the Second War, he had an unprecedented moment of clarity.
I should have known that the end was near.
It began with one of those tantrums that even the daytime Potter was infamous for; he was, once again, luring me to quench his thirst for violence by mocking my past, my servitude to him and Voldemort.
I resisted, refusing to take the bait as I prayed for the sun to rise. A storm was raging; the pounding rain made it impossible for me to discern whether the sky had lightened yet.
Thus I adjusted his robe as best as I could and dragged him out onto the empty street.
The first sliver of grey had opened in the east.
Potter stood, staring at the water that cascaded from the heavens, tumbling down his skin and cleansing it of dirt. The force of the downpour had soothed the tremors of my heart; I hoped its resolve would elucidate his senses as well.
He collapsed against the pavement, his hair and robe drenched in the rain. When he turned towards me, his eyes had reclaimed their usual brilliant green.
"I can't stay for much longer, Draco."
His expression was sad but calm; a finger dragged against his Auror's badge as he continued, "I think I've finished everything I wanted to do."
I was silent, motionless. Somehow, his clarity forged an invisible barrier between he and I.
I could only wait for him to continue.
"The Horcrux's been rotting; I can almost smell it these days." His fingers dragged along his hair to tame it. "Reminds me of Sir Nicholas' birthday party." He chuckled.
"It's been thirty years… it wants to return to its roots – you know, like we do – and rest in peace. It's tainting me… spoiling me."
His voice softened. "I've really tried to fight it, Draco, but... " He shook his head.
"I feel so dirty. It's taking me over."
My lips quivered, but no sounds came. He took it as a sign of bewilderment and smiled sympathetically.
Meanwhile, my heart choked on the premature words, suffocating at the realisation that my life was fated to drag in Darkness – all I could ever say to him were disparagements and invectives; all I could ever let him see of me were patchworks of faults and shadows.
"When I go, please don't let anyone look for me."
I nodded stiffly.
"I want them to remember this." He approached and guided my hands to his face, cool and damp with the rain. "Clean."
His kiss began with a brush on my lips, then deepened into something more passionate.
I returned the gesture, still unsure of what I had witnessed. Sensing my hesitation, he pulled away.
"Thank you," he whispered before backing away, his gaze still intent upon me, "for everything."
He dragged his feet, sloshing them against the puddles.
He was stalling for me to follow him.
I couldn't. My feet were rooted to the sodden ground.
If not for the rain, he would see tears falling, lamenting for a shadow destined to chase the light, but could never become one with it.
For the first time in almost a year, I could not bring myself to see Potter that night. Remorse was eating me alive, and I could no longer bear the sight of him putrid and delirious.
I rested uneasily, drifting in and out of slumber, reliving memories of old and venturing into dreams of things that might be.
Soft taps sounded on my window at the first hint of twilight.
I ignored them; soon they turned into screeches as the claws of a snowy owl dragged against the glass, the wings flapping as if desperate to flee the impending doom.
A small box had been tied on the bird's leg; it was hastily wrapped with parchment and contained no information about the sender.
Not that it was necessary. I stared at the two wedding bands strung on the black piece of string; there was no note, no explanation.
I let out a gasp and ran for the Floo. Five minutes later, I was banging on the door of Potter's office, although I could long sense the absence of his magical signature.
I dragged myself home after an hour, just before the morning commuters arrived.
No one saw Harry Potter again.
At first, the news of Potter's disappearance was met with jest; he must have found a lover, some quipped, or he must have gone hunting for Nargles with Luna Lovegood.
But as time dragged on, his family hearing nothing and his Gringotts account untouched, the wizarding world finally erupted.
Rumours abounded; the more outrageous the theories were, the more believable they were deemed to be. Soon every detail of the Second War was revisited.
It made perfect sense, people discussed in hushed tones; Potter had disappeared on the eve of its thirtieth anniversary, after all.
So began the witch hunt.
It didn't take long for the Aurors to invade the manor; I expected it, thus my life's affairs had already been sorted and cared for. I left with them in peace.
The interrogation was brutal. Their records showed that I had been the last to leave the Ministry every night, only to miss the routine in time for Potter's disappearance and return not long afterwards. Alone.
I didn't blame them; I would also have put myself as the primary suspect if I had gathered these evidences.
I kept mum, and took a drag from the Muggle cigarette I had requested.
The right to an open trial also meant the right to run a media circus inside the courtroom.
Reporters filled the seats; as I was dragged into my chair, I chanced a peek at one of the notepads.
Malfoy Succumbed to Darkness, it exclaimed.
I almost laughed.
For such a high profile case, one would expect witty diatribes, wondrously written tirades that would be the talk of town for months to come.
Not this time, for the defence had no presentation; I was to speak for myself, only I much doubted anyone would approve of my tactic.
It was silence.
The trial dragged on, month after month. They accused me, threatened me, and eventually, bargained with me, offering to shorten my sentence if I would disclose the location of Mr Potter.
Still, I refused to talk. My mind drifted to what he had said, about a lake in a seaside cave, arms inside waving an invitation - for a soul's fragment to join them, to rot together, to rest together.
Before I knew it, moisture had seeped from a corner of my eye.
The triumphant smile of the Wizengamot could blind all in attendance. Veritaserum, someone hissed.
It became a chant.
The court opened the next day with a development that would shock the wizarding world.
"I would like to request representation for Mr Malfoy." Granger's voice rang, loud and crisp, under Sonorus, despite murmurs spreading like wildfire as she spoke. "I, Hermione Jean Granger-Weasley, Head of Magical Law Enforcement, hereby petition to defend Mr Malfoy on his behalf."
Astonished, I dragged my eyes towards the podium. Granger was looking at me, her stern gaze nonetheless filled with something unreadable. The background was graced with the presence of almost every member of the Weasley clan.
Suddenly, I understood.
They remembered Ginny.
It took a day to set me free.
Granger's argument was based on one clause in the Constitution. Innocent until proven guilty.
My past didn't matter, she argued; dragging it up defied the spirit Potter had so tirelessly advocated. There had been no evidence of the Head Auror meeting any harm; his office had been combed multiple times, and nothing that suggested crime or foul play had been uncovered.
Most importantly, she asserted, her eyes boring into mine, there had been no traces of Mr Malfoy's magical signature.
Potter must have removed them before departing.
He kept my name clean.
The startling outcome of the trial set the stage for a media storm. Granger was dragged out of the courtroom by a hoard of reporters, but their offers for interviews were politely declined.
When the quills turned to Ronald Weasley, he huffed in defiance, "Harry would never associate with someone like Malfoy—"
His wife silenced him, but that statement was more hurtful than any I had heard in the past months.
In case anyone had wondered, Granger's involvement was not meant to ease the age-old animosity between the two pure-blood families.
Chivalry, after all, only belonged in fairy tales.
The Weasleys might be impoverished, but they were not unintelligent; Granger, in particular, was extremely sharp. They suspected a vile truth behind Potter's demise, and feared it dragged out of me as much as I did.
If Potter fell, they would fall. If Potter's name were tainted, theirs would be smeared as well.
That justified the letter I received just days after my unanticipated release. Granger requested my immediate resignation and urged me to consider travelling for, what she termed, a change of scenery.
In other words, a self-imposed exile.
That was also expected. I was gone within a week.
That was the end of the story between Potter and I.
Here I am, smoking and reminiscing every detail in my glamour as an old hag, dragging my feet along the circumference of the statue they have finally erected for their Saviour a full decade after his disappearance.
I am still wearing the two rings he sent to me. I will never find out what he intended them to mean; were they rewards for loyalty from the ghost of a Dark soul to the shell of its former minion? Souvenirs for witnessing the Chosen One's downfall?
Or, something completely different?
I press my hand to feel the circles flush against my chest, the metal cold against my skin.
I know the answer my heart desires.
Malfoys are sentimental, and how can I remain impassive when Potter's replica stands before me, his skin immaculate in gold, his Auror robe starched and seeming to flow in the breeze without a hint of drag?
This was the Light that kissed its shadow in the rain.
Strong. Gentle. Kind.
Visitors are approaching, fresh white roses blooming in their arms.
I extinguish the last flame of my cigarette, and head towards the stormful horizon.