Title: Annihilation
Author: la_dissonance on LJ/IJ (ty soglasna on FFN)
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Harry/Draco, Harry/Draco/Severus, mentioned Ron/Hermione, Harry/OMCs
Warnings: Angst, **for spoiler warnings scroll to the section at the bottom**
Word Count: ~6800
Prompt: "Sometimes it is necessary to touch bottom in order to know which way is up; to go a long distance down the wrong road before you know the right way." – Salman Rushdie
Summary: When what Harry wants is nothing at all, how can he have anything to give? If there is only one thing Draco wants, can he ask for it? Does the part about it not being for himself change anything?
Notes: I swear this prompt inspired this fic. I just don't quite know how. Sometime in the months between when I claimed it and when I actually wrote it, the brain bunnies went wild. This is also, without a doubt, the most emo thing I've ever written. *eyebrows it* Many, many thanks to who_la_hoop for the beta, without which this would have made 75% less sense. She rules!

Originally written for the drapery_snarco fest :)

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"I love her so much it hurts, Draco. Where did she go?"

"I'm still looking, Godfather. I'm still looking. Here, eat your soup."

* * *

The bass reverberating through the soles of his boots sounded like a funeral march; the breathy vocals a lament. The crush of bodies on the dance floor moved like it was the end of the world. Draco scanned the crowd perfunctorily and soon spotted his target. He was dancing alone as always, under the same bank of flashing lights that had illuminated him last time, and the time before.

It was easy enough to approach him and back him up against the shadowed wall; his body offered no resistance and his eyes remained focused on the middle distance.

Draco shoved a hand down the man's tight trousers; the man ground against it, but still did not look at Draco. In a matter of minutes the man's cock was hard, and Draco slowed his strokes.

"Potter."

No response.

Draco stilled his hand entirely, cast a bubble of silence around their bodies, and said it again, louder.

"Potter."

This caught Potter's attention for half a second, but then his glassy eyes slid away from Draco's and he gazed out at the dance floor.

"God damn it, Potter." Draco seized Potter's chin and pulled his face roughly around. He squeezed Potter's prick hard enough to hurt. "I need you to listen to me." He resumed stroking again. "All you have to do is listen. I've tracked you down this far; the least you can do is just hear me out." He twisted his hand around Potter's cock. "Come on."

Potter let out a grunt; it might have been agreement.

"It's about Severus Snape," Draco said. Potter's body tensed at the name, but Draco placed a hand upon his chest and didn't let up stroking his cock. Potter went slack again, and Draco spoke his next words into his ear, nipping his ear lobe between words. "He hasn't been the same since you left him for dead in the Shrieking Shack, you know. I nursed him back to health, but no matter what I do, there's something missing. I think you know what it is."

Potter groaned and rolled his hips against Draco's thigh. Draco's cock jumped. Damn it, this wasn't supposed to affect him. He bit Potter's neck where the tendons stood out, breathed slowly to regain control, and continued his story, inexorable.

"I think you know what's missing. He gave you his memories, didn't he? And you still have them." Potter was panting by now, scarcely able to listen, but Draco didn't care. "You should see him now, Potter; he's a wreck of the man he used to be. Not himself at all. He needs his memories."

Potter was grunting rhythmically now, probably close to coming. Draco slowed his hand again, easing off on the pressure until his fingertips were only making the lightest whispers of touches. Potter whined.

"You could give him his memories." Draco modulated his voice to a seductive croon. "It would be so easy. You could give them back, and make him whole again. Fix him. Only you..."

Potter jerked; his eyes met Draco's for the first time and there was fire in them. "No."

Draco stifled the urge to slap him across the face; he caressed his neck instead and slid his fingers into the messy black hair, forcing Potter to keep looking at him.

"I'm not asking you to do anything, Potter, relax. All I asked you to do was hear me out. Just listen. Not so hard. You can do that, right?" He slid his hand down slowly Potter's chest, lifted his flimsy T-shirt and found a nipple. He toyed idly with the sensitive nub and his other hand resumed stroking steadily as he spoke. Potter melted under the attentions, his eyelids sliding shut.

Almost there...

Draco skillfully brought Potter close to the brink again, then paused. "Do you want me to make you come?"

Potter's assent was hissed through clenched teeth.

"I'll let you come," Draco said, his fingers teasing but not enough to bring release, "if you promise me one thing."

Potter's hips thrust out and Draco evaded them.

"Naughty, Potter. Just one tiny promise."

"What is it?" Potter panted.

"Say you'll come back with me."

"Snape..."

"He's there. Just come back and see him, then you can make up your mind." Draco stroked his length once more, lightly, then stopped. Potter whined. "You're the only one who can help him. No one else. Only you."

Potter's breathing was heavy in Draco's ear, as though his lungs were filled with sand and he couldn't get enough air.

"Do you want me to let you come?" Draco asked, voice low.

"Yes." Potter's cry was anguished.

"Good." Draco extracted his damp hand from Potter's trousers. "I'll finish you off once we get there," he whispered, then wrapped his arms around Potter's waist and Apparated them both away.

* * *

The sound of the bell resounded in the entry hall at 12 Grimmauld Place. The figure standing on the other side of the door blocked the light slanting through the narrow, stained-glass window beside the door, casting the hall in shadow. A second later, Hermione's frazzled head of curls emerged at the other end of the hall; she tripped on a fold in the carpet as she went to the door and kicked it back into place with a huff of impatience.

"Hello?"

"Good afternoon, Granger."

Hermione was standing in the doorway, obscuring their visitor's face, but Harry recognized his voice, and Hermione confirmed his guess a second later.

"Oh – Draco! Fancy seeing you here! Is everything all right? You're not in any trouble—"

"Everything is quite all right, Granger, I assure you."

"Oh! Well, I just thought – I've never seen you here before, so... Sorry, I don't know what happened to my manners. Would you like to come in?"

"I don't plan to stay long. Is Potter here?"

Hermione's shoulders tensed. "I'm afraid not. He's hardly ever here anymore, to tell the truth."

"Should I try back later?"

"Your guess is as good as mine. Most nights he never even comes home." Hermione's tone was bitter, but she evened it out again. "Can I tell him you came? Take a message? He's bound to show up sometime."

"No, that won't be necessary." Draco half turned to leave, then turned back. "You don't have any idea where he goes, do you?"

Hermione shook her head. "None of us do. But even if I did, I'm sure he wouldn't want me telling you – he's a very private person."

"Yeah." Draco fidgeted and looked out into the street.

"Look – Draco – would you like to stay for tea? I was just about to put some on, actually, and it would be no trouble at all—"

"No, I've got to go home now. I've been away too long already. Thanks, though."

"Oh, okay. Maybe some other time? You're welcome to drop by, if you ever..." But even as Hermione was working out how to say goodbye, Draco had already turned and walked down the path.

As Hermione closed the door, Harry unfolded himself from his vantage point in the shadows at the top of the stairs and padded down the creaky flight.

"Thanks, Hermione."

She just sighed and bustled toward the kitchen. "Do you want tea, at least?"

"Er, actually, I was just on my way out when I heard the doorbell ring..."

Hermione sighed again. "Come on, Harry. I wasn't lying when I said we hardly ever see you around here anymore. Just one cup of tea?"

"Oh, all right." Harry slouched into one of the chairs at the battered kitchen table. It was too tiring to fight on little things like this; he could drink his tea to appease Hermione and then get out.

Hermione pushed a steaming mug of tea in front of him and sat down on the chair next to his. "You know you can tell us if anything's bothering you. Just because Ron and I are together doesn't mean we're not still your friends. We all went through the war together."

"It's not that you and Ron are together." She was looking at him with that concerned, motherly expression, and he didn't like it. It wasn't the same expression Ginny had looked at him with – that one was nearer to adoration, like he could do anything or be anyone just for her, and he had finally called it off because she just wouldn't stop looking at him like that, every single day. Hermione's expression wasn't identical, but it was close enough. He changed the subject. "You and Malfoy were getting awfully chummy back there. What, am I so boring now that you have to invite Death Eaters for tea just to spice things up?"

"Oh, Harry, it's not like that and you know it." She sighed, an exasperated sigh this time. Hermione sighed a lot these days; whole books could probably be devoted to cataloging them. "He was acquitted of all charges at the trial – you must still read the papers, right?"

Harry shrugged.

"Well, he was. And I'm just worried about him – with his parents dead, he really has no one left."

"The poor man." Harry rolled his eyes and drained his tea. The sooner he could get away from here, the better. The sooner he could get to the Muggle clubs, where he could lose himself in a sea of bodies, ear-splitting music that left no room for thought, anonymous hands and mouths and straining thighs, and no one, no one who would look at him and expect him to have saved the world.

* * *

"I had a dream last night."

"Good or bad?"

"Good. Good... Lily was in it. She was looking into my eyes... It felt so real. Almost like it was actually happening... She wanted me to come with her."

"Don't go with her, Godfather. Don't go. I told you I'll bring her to you."

"How much longer, Draco?"

"Not much longer."

* * *

It wasn't long before Draco worked out where Potter went when he left; a simple Disillusionment Charm and a wait in the bushes did the trick. He always went to the same street, lined up and down with Muggle clubs, and Draco had to laugh – what would the Wizarding world think if they knew what kind of establishments their savior patronized nearly every night?

It took Draco a bit longer to find a time when he could follow Potter inside. Severus went to bed early every evening, but most nights he slept fitfully, and Draco couldn't imagine what would happen if he ever woke and Draco wasn't there. Some evenings, however, he fell into a deep, true sleep right away, and then it was safe for Draco to sneak away and dip in and out of the clubs along the street in Muggle London until he found the one that contained Potter.

At first, he simply observed. The pattern emerged within the first night and was only confirmed by subsequent observations. Potter would start off in the middle of the dance floor, and let himself be pushed toward the edges by whatever man his waifish good looks attracted first. He'd go home with whoever he was frotting with when the lights went up, or he'd leave alone if there was no one.

After a while, Severus's good nights began to come more and more frequently, and Draco sometimes was the man who pushed Potter to the wall. Never as himself, though – this was too important to risk losing his one chance on. He chose a variety of bodies to disguise himself as, though he doubted Potter would have noticed if he'd seeded the Polyjuice with hair from the same Muggle every time. Potter's eyes never focused on anything in those places, and he never spoke.

Soon, Draco would know enough about Potter's body and mind to manipulate him flawlessly; to dominate him and overpower him and take him back to Severus, never to leave. And then everything would be perfect.

* * *

Harry never left that house.

That first night, he just fell into the bed Draco showed him and didn't think about it. He let Draco pull his trousers down and finish him off, fell into an uneasy orgasm-induced slumber, and didn't think about it – what he was doing here, or where here was. Things were never easier in the morning, but it was nice to pretend they could be.

The room he awoke in was dingy and small, like the rest of the house, and had peeling cornflower blue wallpaper on the walls, unlike the rest of the house. It made sense that Draco would have had to find a new place to live, Harry supposed, what with the Ministry seizing all of the Malfoy family properties and the vast majority of their fortune.

Out of the kitchen window was a high brick wall and an overgrown garden; Harry stared at them as he made tea, still dressed in yesterday's clothes. It was quiet here, he decided. Peaceful. He wouldn't mind living here. Draco didn't seem to mind, either, or at least he didn't say anything when Harry stayed another night, and another. Hermione finally stopped sending him owls every day when he answered one, so he supposed she didn't really mind either.

Snape – Snape was the one person who could have minded, in Harry's estimation, but he didn't seem able to. Harry rarely saw him outside of his room, and when he was, it was always with Draco hovering around him, holding his elbow as he walked, handing him the utensils as he sat down to eat. Harry strongly doubted Snape was even aware of his presence.

Harry did nothing to alert him of it.

* * *

There were never visitors at the blue-gray house. Harry found it much easier, not having to avoid visitors – Andromeda Tonks never brought his orphaned godson around here; no half-Weasleys looked at him with accusing eyes from across the table. The only people he had to avoid were the house's other two occupants, and they kept to their own predictable schedule.

Draco never spoke about his reason for bringing Harry here, and after a while, Harry assumed he'd imagined it all. Draco never spoke to him about much of anything, and that was nice. Most of Draco's time was spent with Snape, which didn't bother Harry. He spent most of his own time sleeping, anyway.

Perhaps it should have bothered Harry that he slept all day, or that he hardly left his room except to eat or use the bathroom, or that whenever Draco met his eyes in the daylight he looked afraid. It should have bothered him that he was living in Draco's house. It should have been disturbing how attached Draco was to Snape; it was like an obsession, or a paranoia.

Snape's empty eyes did bother him, but he refused to think about it.

The only time he couldn't avoid Draco was at night. After Snape had been tucked into bed, Draco would often find his way into Harry's, claiming the couch was too cold, or he couldn't sleep, or he was lonely... There was always something.

Harry didn't care what excuse Draco chose to make because he was a hard body to grind against, hands to stroke his cock for him, a mouth that made it easier to forget. Sometimes Draco clung to Harry after they were both done and followed him into sleep like that, but he was always gone by the time Harry woke up.

* * *

It was terrifying, having them both so close.

Draco gave Potter his own room and made a bed on the couch, and watched them. Potter could ruin it all so easily, and he didn't even know it. Draco was determined not to ever let him know it, but how to make him do it right? He'd thought he'd known the answer so well, before – just throw them together, and Potter would yield.

But now... Severus was showing signs of improvement every day, and how could Draco think to upset that delicate balance?

How could he contemplate denying him the thing he wanted most?

* * *

Nothing this close to perfection could last forever. If he had been thinking at all during this string of days, Harry should have seen Draco was nerving himself up to ruin it.

It happened one night after Snape had been put to bed, but instead of lifting up the covers and crawling wordlessly beside Harry, Draco lit the lamps.

"We need to talk, Potter."

"No, we don't. Just turn off the light and come over here."

Draco stayed where he was. "It's about Severus."

Harry didn't answer.

"He needs you."

Harry turned his back, pulling the blankets around his face like a wall.

"Look, I do all I can for him, but it's just never enough. I can't be everything for him, I just can't. Please..." Draco's voice was trembling. "You could save him."

At that, something in Harry snapped. "Save him?" He whipped off the blankets and stood up, glaring. "Why? Because I'm the savior? Because that's what I do?"

"I – no, Potter, that's not what I was thinking, and shh, you'll wake him."

"Does it look like I fucking care whether I wake him? I'm sick to death of this fucking savior shit. Everyone thinks it's brilliant, amazing, the best thing ever – but what if I wasn't meant to save them after all? What if they're all wrong, if it was all a mistake – what if I've been doing the wrong thing my whole life and only realized it now?" He took a step forward and Draco backed away.

"But – you did save everyone. You killed him in the end, remember? What do you mean, all a mistake?"

Harry laughed out loud, and he could tell Draco definitely looked scared by now, and it was probably because of him, but he didn't care. "Everyone? Everyone? What about Teddy's parents – he's going to have to grow up all alone now, just like me. Or your parents for that matter! Heard they got murdered by fanatics before they even reached Azkaban. Or – or Fred Weasley. Whole family's broken up now. George doesn't even know how to function without him; you go to their house and it's like everyone forgot how to be happy. And then when they're not in their house, they pretend to be happy, but they're really not. It's sick. And I had to live with that every day this summer, so don't tell me I bloody saved everyone." He laughed again. "Or what about Snape? Fuck, you had to save him; I couldn't even do it! And don't tell me this ridiculous half-life he lives is better than dying. Can he even dress himself?"

"Don't you dare talk about him like that," Draco growled, eyes flashing.

"Why the hell not? If you hadn't saved him, he wouldn't be suffering like this. If I hadn't saved you then you wouldn't have to deal with this – people calling you names in the street, and you, living in a dirty Muggle cottage with no one but the man you can barely keep alive on your own."

The first punch hit him square in the jaw, and Harry only just had time to throw his hands up before the second one came flying.

* * *

Harry didn't leave his room at all the next day. He spent it under the covers, hating himself, and hating Snape, and wishing he would fall asleep so he didn't have to. All those people out there, in pain because he had tried to do what was expected of him and failed. If only he hadn't tried, they would never have known.

Draco came to his room that night, and didn't turn the light on, and they ground against each other violently and without speaking. Draco stalked out almost immediately after he had finished, leaving Harry to curl in on himself and drift into the closest version of oblivion he could manage.

* * *

Harry stayed, though nothing was as it had been. His head was a bubble of turmoil that followed him everywhere within the perfect peace of the house.

He still kept mostly to his room, but he had lost the ability to drift; everything that happened around him hit his senses with perfect clarity. Draco would give him pleading looks across the kitchen table, or whisper entreaties into Harry's ear as he came, and it was more than Harry could take. He wasn't the person who saved people anymore; couldn't have done it if he wanted to, and the only thing that kept him in the gray-blue house was that here, only one person asked the impossible of him.

For his part, Snape kept to his routines – breakfast at nine, lunch at noon, sitting in the living room's sole arm chair to be read to after lunch – all tightly supervised by Draco, of course. It was impossible to tell whether the man's health was declining or improving, but he was still just as empty as he'd ever been. Harry couldn't look at him. He never looked at Harry; for all Harry could tell Snape was unaware there was a third person in the house.

Early one morning – he'd given up on sleep once the sunlight flooded his room – Harry snuck out of his room and took a shower. No one else was up yet, and for a short time, it was that much easier to pretend he was alone in the world.

On the way back he heard voices coming from behind Snape's door. Perhaps it was curiosity, or perhaps he was just a glutton for punishment, but something made Harry press his ear to the door and listen.

"I dreamed last night, Draco." It was Snape's voice – or what remained of it, empty and shallow. They talked about the strangest things, those two. Harry's mouth twisted. Almost like lovers, how caught up they were in their own little world.

"Was Lily in it?"

"She asked me to come with her, but she was gone before I could say yes. I don't know how much longer I can go on without her, Draco. It hurts..."

"It does, doesn't it?" Draco's voice was bitter. "At least you have your dream-Lily. There's that much. Here – take your shirt."

"But will she...?"

"I don't know."

There was a creaking sound, like someone getting up from an old bed, and Harry hurried away.

* * *

That afternoon, Harry did something he'd never done before. This room had to belong to Draco, though it had hardly crossed Harry's mind until now – Draco couldn't have slept on the couch before Harry came, after all.

The chest of drawers was the first place Harry looked, and when it proved to contain nothing interesting, he turned to the wardrobe. This yielded far better: after only a minute of rummaging, Harry's hands fastened on something silky, and he pulled out a fall of auburn hair. He put the wig on and studied his reflection; he didn't bother to search for anything else.

He confronted Draco with it when he crept in in the dead of night. This time Harry was the one to light the lamps.

"This is what you were planning all along, wasn't it?" Harry brandished the wig. "You didn't mean for me to ever give back the missing memories; you brought me here to impersonate my mother for him."

Draco's eyes darted toward the wig. "I wasn't lying about the memories, you know. He's not the same person he used to be – he's lost most of what he knows about himself, somehow, except that he loves her."

"Those are the memories he gave me," Harry said. "But it's not like I have them. Would it even be possible to give them back?"

"I don't know how it works!" Draco exclaimed. "This is the only known case of – of..."

"I know." Harry touched Draco's face and wiped the moisture collecting on the rim of his eyelids, unable to stop himself.

"He just... needs her. It's all I can give him." Draco turned away and clutched his mouth, as if to stop himself saying anything else, anything worse.

Harry wrapped his arms around Draco's huddled form and let the wig fall, forgotten. "Sometimes you can't save them all." Oh, the times he'd heard that one...

"I tried it myself, but it doesn't work. Something about the eyes." Draco tried to sneer, but his expression collapsed.

There were no words Harry could say, so he pulled Draco down with him, and kissed him on the mouth. When they finally pulled the clothes off each other and came together, limbs lacing and mouths clashing hungrily, it was tender in some way, and slower than it had ever been. When they were both spent, unable to wring anything else out of their tired bodies or find any stretch of skin left untouched, they fell asleep with their arms wrapped around each other, pressed close.

* * *

Harry was sick of himself. Sick of the part that, when he saw Snape out of the corner of his eye, wanted to save him – it would be so easy, and you're the only one – sick of the part that hated Snape for being there, needing, and sick of the part that wouldn't stop offering up reasons why he shouldn't do it, why it was ridiculous for him to even think of such a thing. What was to say Draco was right? How could doing it possibly help – possibly fill that emptiness, make him whole again? A last meal didn't help a dying man.

Maybe he was already too late.

Deep down, he knew that even if he tried, it would do no good. He should have learned that by now.

"It wouldn't be a one-off, would it?" he asked Draco one night, not needing any segue. Snape was a constant cloud over their interactions now more than he ever had been.

Draco rolled over to face him. "I – no, I don't think so. I can't imagine him being like this and not needing her."

"Mm," Harry said, and silence fell between them.

Neither of them mentioned it in the morning, but something had shifted. It was as if Snape had heard, somehow, and the very shape of him, hunched over in the arm chair as Harry passed the living room doorway, was accusing him of thinking of it and yet not doing.

Harry went back to his room and swore as loud as he dared – not remotely loud enough – and hexed his pillow to shreds, then the shreds to dust. He stayed far away from Snape's accusing silhouette the next day, keeping his eyes fixed on the floor and wishing – needing – to be able to turn back time.

In the end, living like this was untenable.

"I'll do it," he said to Draco one night, as Draco lay spooned against Harry's side, probably as broken down by Harry's inner war as Harry was, but with nowhere else to go.

"In the morning," Draco said. "He always asks about her in the morning now."

* * *

The morning passed in a daze. Draco transfigured some women's clothes for him, and offered him the wig, his mouth turning into a perfect 'O' when Harry squeezed his eyes shut and his own hair lengthened and burned redder until its strands seemed to glitter in the dawn light.

"You should have seen me do it when I was a little kid. Same thing, basically, except the color... I suppose if you want it enough it's not hard." Harry shrugged a shoulder and pulled a strand in front of his face, fingering it. This is not mine, was all he could think. But it is...

Draco whistled under his breath and his hand drifted out as if to touch the new hair, but he quickly snatched it back.

They rehearsed the preparatory charms Harry had taught Draco last night, in case Snape wasn't as delirious as Draco said he'd be. Or if Harry couldn't perform it himself, but they didn't talk about that. Draco repeated the words one more time and Harry nodded automatically, and then there was nothing else to do. They stood facing each other, breathing hard from anticipation.

"Reckon he'll be up by now?" Harry asked, amazed that his voice could be so calm when he felt he might split into two under his skin. He didn't want, he hated – but it was the only thing he could do.

"Yeah – it's after eight, so, yeah."

Harry took a deep breath and turned toward the door, but Draco caught his wrist and pulled him back. He pressed a chaste kiss to Harry's lips. "Just – don't forget about me, ok?" he whispered, barely audible.

Harry gave a terse nod and Draco tugged him into the hallway. He gently disentangled their fingers when they reached Snape's door. Harry could hardly breathe.

Snape was awake when they entered, propped up on several pillows, staring out of the dusty window. He looked up when Draco pushed open the door. Harry lingered outside, out of sight, and listened.

"Good morning, Godfather. I – I've brought someone to see you."

There was an agonizing silence, and Harry could only imagine the expressions warring on the men's faces. A terror welled up in him; he wanted badly to flee, but he was rooted to the spot.

"Is it – you – is she here?"

"Yes, Godfather. I found her, at last."

"Where...?" His gaze detached from the window and he stared at the empty spot over Draco's shoulder.

"She's waiting. Lily?" Draco called out, in a voice meant to carry.

It was his last chance to turn back, to finally stop making the same fucking mistake again and again.

Harry couldn't turn back – could not, for one more second, live with those dreadful forces of his own making pulling at him from either end – but no more could he move forward. Draco's words hung on the air for a moment as he stood balanced on the threshold, unable to inhale, and then – it's not Harry he wants, Harry told himself. It's Lily. You don't have to do anything, won't be doing anything at all.

Severus's eyes were locked on Harry from the moment he stepped into view, cataloging every nuance of his appearance with an almost childlike wonder. Harry felt the ties tethering his self to his body begin to erode; in that gaze he really was Lily.

"Hi, Sev." The too-pointy heels caught on the carpet as she made her way to the bed.

"Lily..."

She sank down on her knees next to him so they were nearly even, and took his outstretched hand. His face was fuller than it had been, and infinitely more expressive. It was as though he had forgotten how to keep the emotions below the surface, or maybe he'd forgotten he'd ever had to.

"It's really you." His face shone as he gazed into her eyes

She flicked a glance at Draco for a second, for reassurance, perhaps, or permission, but then turned back to Severus and let him look his fill. He raised his other hand to her face and slowly traced the cheekbone, the outline of her lips. They parted under his touch; it was devotional, almost, like she were a saint's icon and he the pilgrim. She sucked the tip of his finger into her mouth and his eyes darkened.

He tugged her hand. She clambered a bit unsteadily to join him on the bed, shedding the pointy heels as she did so. He laid her back on the pillows he had been resting on and began to undress her, all the more clumsy because he wouldn't stop looking at her. The panties and bra he left in place, too complicated for his slow fingers to manage, and the stockings he left bunched up around her ankles. Draco hadn't left the room, and he hovered about, picking up discarded clothes, folding them, placing them in a neat pile on the chair, his presence no more than a hesitant flutter of movement in the periphery of the lovers' locked gazes.

Lily couldn't look away either. With him looking at her like that she was real, and her purpose was simple. Just to be was all that was needed. He kept his eyes open as he bent down to kiss her, slow and deep, and she fought to do the same. It was difficult; his mouth slanted against hers hungrily and she wanted nothing more than to let her eyes drift shut and to let herself be swept away by the sensation.

Severus pulled away to start shedding his own clothes, but it was a time-consuming process because he kept pausing to touch Lily as though her presence was likely to falter and disappear at any moment. Finally he got his pajama top unbuttoned and discarded it, revealing a chest that was somewhat narrow but not skinny. He fumbled with the drawstring and pushed his pajama bottoms down around his knees a minute later. Draco surreptitiously helped ease the garment all the way off, caressing a bony ankle before he withdrew to put them away. Then it was all skin on skin as Severus lowered himself over Lily, his head collapsing on her shoulder, breath hot in her ear, before he propped himself up on his elbows and claimed her lips once more. Lily felt like she was drowning in black as she met his eyes, so close. She raised her leg so she could cradle his narrow hips between her thighs, shivering as their arousals rubbed together. Severus's head bowed from exertion, perhaps, or surprise.

Suddenly Draco was beside them, his fingers skittering over Lily's thigh. His whisper was desperate. "Oh, fuck, Harry, the charm, I forgot the charm, how does it go..."

For a moment Harry came back to himself with a snap; a flood of panicked oh what the fuck do I think I'm doing threatened to choke him – but beside it there was disorientation, a mirrored awareness of Harry and Not-Harry at the same time... Fighting through the layers, Harry grasped at what he thought might be it, and hissed the words to Draco.

Draco complied, the flick of his wand leaving Harry with a gasping sense of emptiness. Draco didn't get up, though; at some point he had lost his T-shirt and boxers, and as he spooned himself against Harry's side he was all smooth and solid and comforting. "You're doing so well," he whispered in Harry's ear. "He adores you – I've never seen him so engaged in anything since before."

Harry's breath caught and he nodded, but the panic was still rising...

With effort he forced himself to look away from Draco's gray, anxious eyes to Severus's smooth black ones, and in that instant Harry felt himself ebbing away, all the pointless fears and insecurities insignificant and hard to hold on to. He let them go, gladly – so much easier to be Lily under Severus's gaze; flawless. He asked nothing of her, expected nothing, and all she had to do was be. He worshiped her; she could feel it and know its truth.

His mouth closed around collar bone, hot and wet, and there were teeth scraping clumsily, but she arched into it. His hardness ground against her groin and she arched into that too, mewling. She gasped his name. It was for her that he was like this, so hard, so needy.

"Need you," she whispered hoarsely, grinding against his erection. It was not enough; her insides felt like a cavernous space, and he was not nearly close enough. Not nearly. She wanted this love closer than close; she wanted it somewhere she could keep it forever and never forget no matter what.

"Lily," he breathed. He thrust against her once, twice, and a look of confusion crossed his face. He rocked precariously onto one elbow and reached down to scrabble at the fabric of her panties at her hip – he seemed surprised by their presence – and then Draco's hand was there too, pulling the crotch of the panties aside, and he must have guided Severus's errant stabbings too, because on the next—

He entered her in one smooth thrust. She cried out, canting her hips to accommodate him. When he withdrew, she whimpered and pressed herself against him, trying to follow him back, because it was too soon, and the emptiness had been so very nearly chased away entirely – and then he thrust in again, so hard it pushed her against the pillows, and then again, and again.

She couldn't even remember what being empty had felt like.

Draco hovered by their side, lavishing attention on both in equal measure while Severus fucked with single-minded determination. Lily saw how his hands skated over Severus's back haltingly, as if they were afraid they didn't have permission to be there, and for an instant she grieved for him. No one should be denied this kind of love. She grabbed his hand free and squeezed it, then harder as Severus's pace increased and everything slipped away except an overwhelming awareness of him. His thrusts were more erratic now, but he didn't let his gaze waver from Lily's eyes, and she stared back, even as tears prickled at their corners and slid down into her ears.

Lily was vaguely aware of Severus spasming his release inside her, his breath ragged, when her own orgasm took her by surprise, an unlooked-for spark in her body that blossomed and crashed over her, and then she was aware no more.

"Lily..."

When she came to – it was impossible to tell how much time had passed – she was cradled in a hollow between her lovers' bodies. She felt like she was floating within a haze of pleasure so thick it could cloud her vision; when Severus propped himself on an elbow and loomed over her, he looked somehow very far away and very near at once. She blinked and smiled up at him, lazily.

"Lily..." He stroked her face and she closed her eyes, melting into the touch.

Draco pillowed his head on her shoulder and his hand came up to comb through the sparse black hairs on her chest between the cups of the empty bra. "You were the best," he whispered so softly she could hardly hear it. "The absolute best."

Lily sighed.

With sweet nothings coming from both sides, she could no longer make out the words, but she could feel their breath, and their bodies, warm and solid, and she knew without looking the twin expressions of wonder their faces held. Forget whatever Harry might have thought – she only had the dimmest of inklings, and if she didn't reach for them, they would fade. Bliss. She could stay like this forever and she didn't care if it was right or wrong.

She smiled, softly, knowing they would see it, and let herself drift to sleep, knowing they would be there when she woke.

* * *

"How long will she be able to stay, Draco – did she say? Will she need to go back, soon? This is too good to..."

"Lily will be here as long as you need her, Severus."

"How can you be sure?"

"I promise."


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SPOILER WARNINGS: (for those interested) genderfuck, unrequited Draco/Severus

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Feedback is love! And I have spare teddy bears to hand out in case anyone was killed by the killer angst.