Under Your Skin
Strange Place, Familiar Face
Disclaimer: This is definitely not mine. If this WAS mine...lets just say...the sixth/seventh book would have turned out completely differently!
A/N: Hey there before we get rolling this is IMPORTANT! I am pretending HBP and DH do *not* exist because I do not like those turn of events. Therefore this starts the summer after OoTP! Yes the characters are slightly OOC but SLASH fan-fictions call for that! =) Hope you enjoy thoroughly and please review! (On a side note, each chapter will have a corresponding song at the beginning/end of it like below...samething at the end!)
Run Run Run - The Velvet Underground
I sold my soul, must be saved
Gonna take a walk down to Union Square
You never know who you're gonna find there
You gotta run, run, run, run, run
Take a drag or two
Run, run, run, run, run
Gypsy Death and you
Night. It was a beautiful summers evening, barely halfway through the month of July when Harry found himself staring out of his balcony down on the empty streets below. He had spent almost over one week there now, locked away inside of his hotel room of the small Muggle town of Chreston just over an hour from London, and it was more of a pleasant experience in comparison to the Dursley's but it was still just as lonely. How to ease that loneliness, he thought to himself, whenever he thought about Hermione or Ron's presence it made him sick to his stomach. How could he be so close to his friends now, when he knew they would just badger him about Sirius' death, something he was not ready to talk about but had long accepted ever since it happened.
So he studied. It was something he didn't remember doing much before now, but it took his mind off of all the chaos of the Wizarding world. There were still light bruises trailing his arms and one was fading on his tanned face beneath rounded glasses, there were marks of the chaos of the Muggle world.
As soon as Harry had angrily rushed out of his relative's house he found himself situated at the Leaky Cauldron for one night, but running into somebody he knew everyday was getting a bit overwhelming. So instead he had retrieved new books he thought were to be relevant for his Sixth Year courses coming up in the fall and left on the next train to anywhere, he had enough galleons turned into Muggle money to last him the rest of summer in this hotel; ordering bundles of room service, working out, reading, conversing with Hedwig, and at all costs avoiding the mail he recieved.
It was a warm night so Harry thought it best to make sure he took advantage of it, so he slipped back indoors and quickly got ready for a night out by himself. Hedwig squawked annoyingly as he rounded on the door of the room, ready to go, and he sighed heavily and stalked over towards her cage.
"Hey there, girl," he whispered and opened up the cage door, petting her gently on the white feathers, "Treats?" Harry asked quietly, amber eyes jetted over towards the now closed door of the balcony. Sighing in understanding, he allowed her to perch herself on his arm and brought her out to the balcony, "Make sure you don't get seen by anyone, I'll leave the balcony open," he spoke soothingly to her and she nibbled quickly on his tangled raven hair and flew at ease into the deep night.
Harry sauntered out of the hotel room, waved a quick hello to the sweet blond teller on his way out and then shoved his hands into his black slacks pockets and stood unmoving on the main street of Chreston. Where to go? He hadn't explored much of the town since there wasn't much to explore; a few coffee shops, clothing and book stores, a music store, a concert hall, and then the rest were parks and a few reserved ponds. How could he entertain himself nearing eight o'clock on a Saturday evening? His stomach grumbled eagerly and he grinned, walking left away from his hotel as he started towards one of the coffee shops he had taken a liking to in his few visitations.
He sat down at a table in the far corner, away from all the commotion of everybody else and waited for one of the pretty waitress' to come and take his order. Finally, a girl he had recognized several times before, walked over with a plastic smile gracing her chubby face, "What can I get for you?" she asked in a high-pitch tone.
Harry smiled sweetly back at her, "Any kind of black, strong coffee you have and a piece of that Caramel Supreme cake?" he asked and she nodded before stalking off towards the back of the cafe. There was a local band playing soft folk tunes and Harry swayed his empty head to the music, unaware of two large brown eyes resting on his face.
After recieving his order and savouring the delicate piece of fatty cake, Harry sat sipping his coffee and enjoying the presence of complete strangers who didn't associate with him. It was a feeling he had not gotten used to. Living at the Dursley's his entire life he was unallowed to socialize and stuck to doing his chores all day, living at Hogwarts he was forced to recognize how different he was from everybody else and his fame ate him away in every other Wizarding part of the world, here he was just another nameless face. It gave him peace and made him feel stable in the light of recent, harsh events. Thinking about Sirius passing was still too hard for him and this was the perfect place he had found to pass the time, allow the summer to drift away.
"Excuse me, is this seat taken?" a rough voice asked, Harry looked up at brown orbs and shook his head with a questioning glance as he was joined by a scrawny teenage boy, "Hi, I'm Jazz," he extended his pale hand and Harry accepted.
"Harry," he said simply in reply before taking another sip of his coffee, an awkward silence fell around them. Harry quickly surveyed his new acquintance; dyed red hair falling around a bony face, a few piercings jutted through his skin and his tight jeans distracted most who looked his way.
"So what brings you here alone, Harry?" Jazz asked, trying to make conversation and it was then that Harry wondered - is this how people met other people? He had met Ron and Hermione and everybody else at Hogwarts through a different series of events, but did people really just join others who looked lonely and began to talk like this?
"Er, just was bored and there's nowhere else to go in this town," he explained softly, his voice lower than usual. "What about you?"
Jazz grinned at the obvious discomfort, "I'm playing after these guys," his head tilted towards the front of the cafe at the folk band still singing out their tunes. Harry's interest was peaked at this and he smiled over at the other boy, "Do you play anything?"
Harry shook his head and chuckled under his breath, thinking about ever being given the opportunity to play instruments by Vernon Dursley was a hilarious matter indeed. "No, never really had the time to try,"
"Well, why don't you now? Don't like music?" Jazz curiously questioned, Harry smirked and shrugged in response.
"Never really had the time to listen to much of it," Harry briefly thought about Dudley's bands playing loudly from his stereo and then Ron's bands playing from the wizarding radio stations. "Never too late to start though, right?"
Jazz laughed at the response as applause erupted around them from the others in the cafe, the folk band had ended their set and it was then that Harry's acquintance stood up from his seat and began to make his way towards the front before turning swiftly on his heel and staring into Harry's green eyes with a flicker of interest. "Meet me out front afterwards? I'll be done in forty-five minutes..." Jazz trailed off, Harry felt a smirk reach the corner of his face as he nodded and watched the boy take place of the band.
Harry sat, drinking his coffee and then ordering up another one as he listened attentively to Jazz strumming softly on the guitar and singing sweetly. It was almost unbelievable, such a soft voice coming from another boy, it was all too feminine but rather enjoyable. Harry decided he liked this music, he closed his eyes and allowed his ears to listen to full extents at what was arousing his senses.
As Jazz announced his final song, Harry stood up and went to the cashier to pay his tab before leaving the cafe and sitting on the wooden bench out front under the starry night. He was joined minutes later by a flustered looking musician, his guitar slung over his back as he sat down beside Harry and pulled out cigarette's from his pocket and lit one up, taking a deep inhale. "Do you want one?" Jazz asked politely, Harry shrugged and took one. It was an experience he had never had the opportunity to have before, so why not take it all at once? He lit the cigarette and held back a deep cough as he inhaled the nicotine into his system.
"You did amazingly, I really liked it more than I thought I would...no offence!" Harry quickly added with a slight pink tinge rising up on his cheeks.
Jazz shook his head, flaming red hair falling in front of his brown eyes, "None taken," he smiled, "Glad you liked it though, that's why I play. You should really try it sometime, take a few lessons or something," he suggested.
Harry thought it over, it would really ease his boredom for the rest of summer which he would be spending alone in a hotel room. "Why not? Where do I go for them?"
"That didn't take long to convince you," Jazz grinned at his accomplishment as the two of them took long drags, "I could just give them to you if you wanted to, and I promise I'll charge a quarter of what they would normally cost," he put forward.
"That doesn't sound all that bad to me," Harry agreed.
Jazz darkly chuckled once again and then took out his cellphone from his pocket and swore under his breath. "Shit, I'm so fucking late...my girlfriend is going to murder me," he suddenly stood up and Harry automatically did the same. "Do you have a cell?" Jazz asked hurriedly, Harry shook his head slowly, "Okay...how about we meet back here Monday around six and I'll take you back to my place and we can start..." Jazz's sentence was slowly cut off at the look on Harry's astonished face, his emerald eyes turned a dull green as he looked beyond the other boy.
There he was. Satan in a Sunday hat. Platnum blonde hair fell over a delicate, pretty face that wore a pair of confused grey eyes as Draco Malfoy stood bathed in the moonlight that seemed to absorb into his flawless skin. Harry's breath was caught in his throat, at first he thought he was seeing an allusion until Draco allowed all emotion to seep from his features and replaced it with complete indifference. "Potter, and what..."
"Shut up, Malfoy, you are not supposed to be here!" Harry's voice rose into the night, anger pulsated from every pore on his body as his fists clenched into tiny balls. Jazz looked momentarily perplexed before catching the time on his cellphone again.
Harry had long since dropped his half-finished cigarette and Jazz handed him his, "You look like you may need it yourself bud, I'll see you here on Monday?" he asked and only recieved a curt nod in response before he was off at a fast pace down the main street.
There was a long silence that fell around them, music could still be heard from the doors of the crowded cafe. "Potter, you are smoking now? Do you not think that will harm your perfect Golden Boy image?" Malfoy sneered but quickly his face fell as he noticed Harry was shaking, pure emotion was radiating from his body and he could sense the magical influence from the other boy.
"Sod off you noisy, prat of a Ferret!" Harry growled menacingly beneath his breath before stalking in the direction of his hotel ignoring any cries he might have heard from Malfoy. But he didn't hear any. No protests or further insults, and when he chanced a look behind him the blond was gone. Maybe it was an allusion, maybe that didn't just happen...but the anger Harry felt bottling up inside of himself told him otherwise.
Returning to his hotel room, Harry found it dark and lonely inside. Hedwig was just returning from his nightly hunt at the sametime another owl flew through the door with two letters tied to its right talon. Harry unraveled them before giving both owls some treats and sending the stranger on its way, he looked down at the letters addressed to him in his best friends handwriting and threw them on a pile of unanswered letters that he promised to deal with tomorrow...in the morning when his thoughts were clearer.
Lying down in his bed for the night he still felt angry. Bloody Malfoy, always scoffing things up! He thought to himself, Why the bloody hell can't he just sod off and stay out of my life?! I find the one place where I can be my damned self and find peace...and there is damned Malfoy! Urgh..!! his pure frustration followed him into his dreams as he drifted off into a restless sleep.
He woke with a pounding headache for a complete unknown reason, groaning Harry slid out of bed and into the shower without a second thought. Allowing the cold water to wash over him, he felt a hell of a lot more relaxed than when he fell asleep the night before. Questions of Malfoy's appearance were continuously baffling him, why was Malfoy running into him in the most Muggle of towns?
Pushing all thoughts of a certain Slytherin from his head, Harry concentrated solely on entertaining himself for the day. After a short workout in the small area cleared in the living area of his hotel room he ordered himself breakfast and nibbled on toast and eggs until he was interupted by an unfamiliar owl bringing him his morning post. Immediately Harry threw the Daily Prophet into another pile of newspapers, refusing to even dare look at the front cover. He knew that the world was too influenced to take any of what he read in the papers for truth anymore, but he was unknown on how to stop his subscription to the news.
After hours of the morning had drifted away, Harry decided it was best to leave answering his many letters for the evening and instead go out shopping before the stores closed up early for Sunday evening.
Waving a greeting to the teller once more, Harry found himself in the clean fresh air and sadly wanting a cigarette. Digging into his pocket and pulling out his leather wallet, he found more than enough money on hand to goto the convience store and pass for being of age and buying a packet of cigarettes and slowly popping one into his mouth and egniting it with his new lighter as well. "You are pathetic," he grumbled under his breath, thinking of how sad a sight he must be, his messy raven hair, broken glasses, blank face, whilst dragging on a cigarette - something he never thought he himself would do. Do wizards smoke? he questioned himself, and then shook his head and continued on his journey towards a few of the more upper scale clothing shops.
After becoming uninteresting in actually buying clothes, Harry found himself admist stacks of books in an older bookstore, glancing over the titles. He found a few about magic which intrigued him. Of course he knew this was New Age magic and was in no relation to the magic he was used to at Hogwarts, but his interest was heightened in wondering how much Muggle's could have gotten right about the craft so he ended up purchasing a few New Age novels along with other Muggle books to distract him from his usual Hogwarts studies.
Leaving the bookstore slightly more satisfied than before, Harry flipped open a book and read over the first few lines which turned out to be a warning of using spells inside the pages of the book - in made him snigger. Walking slowly along the sidewalk, he made in the direction of his hotel before he stumbled into another passerby.
"Watch where you're going, you git," came a harsh, low growl from a familiar voice. Harry's eyes widened as he stopped dead in his tracks and he turned around to see Malfoy's blond hair bobbing down the sidewalk away from him.
Harry had a split second to make a decision, and he soon found himself bounding down the street towards his classmate. "Oi, Malfoy!" the stricken stance of the other boy told of his surprise, apparantly he had not noticed whom he bumped into either as he had left the insult for a complete stranger.
"Oh, it's you," Malfoy seemed none to pleased in this meeting but he did not scamper away, "What are you doing here?" he raised a blond eyebrow suspiciously, crossing his arms across his chest in his typical stance.
Harry rolled his eyes and shrugged, "I could ask you the same damned question,"
"Hm," Malfoy scoffed between pursed lips, "I am here because I want to go clothes shopping, now why are you here?" he persisted.
"I live in the hotel around the corner," Harry blatantly answered before skimming Malfoy's figure. He had never seen the boy in Muggle clothing, but there he was, a button-down black shirt over fitted jeans, it was a strange sight indeed. "Now isn't that amusing, Draco Malfoy, the pounce of Slytherin acting as a Muggle?" Harry's voice was a mere whisper so that passerby's wouldn't be peaked.
Malfoy tensed almost immediately and he stepped further towards the shorter boy and leaned down to speak close to his ear, "Why the fuck are you here, Potter?"
"I already answered that question..." Harry pleasantly responded, feeling the other boys irritation now and his smile turned slowly into a grimace, thinking of the real reason why he was there. "...because I don't have anywhere else to go."
It was the truth and Malfoy's response was a quiet one, they stood on the street bathed in sunlight for a few moments of silence. "Me neither,". Their eyes met for a quick second of understanding and confusion all at once, grey met green and the two fluttered away.
"Coffee?" Harry offered, and found himself astounded by the mere suggestion of having an afternoon drink with Draco-bloody-Malfoy. The fact that the blond agreed and they silently started off in the direction of the nearest coffee shop was simply unfathomable. Harry began to snigger and that caused a curious look. "I'm imagining what somebody would say if they saw us walking into a coffee shop together," he explained briefly as they did indeed, walk into a coffee shop together.
Malfoy shook his head as they took their seats and waited for menus to come to them, "They would probably run screaming..."
"...or think you were trying to lure me..." Harry began, but Malfoy knew where he was going with his sentence and abruptly cut him off with a swift movement as he pulled up his left arm sleeve of his black shirt to reveal absolutely nothing. Harry looked awkwardly at Malfoy, "Sorry," he mumbled.
"If I were you, I would have thought the same," Malfoy truthfully spoke.
After ordering their small appetizer's and drinks and waited for them to come, there was such an awkward silence that it made Harry itch until it became nearly unbearable. "How long are you staying?" Harry asked finally.
"Why..." Malfoy began but was cut off by the waitress bringing them their orders. They began to slowly pick away at their food and take small sips of their drinks, waiting for the silence to be broken by the other.
Harry finally sighed and leaned backwards into his chair. "About last night," he started, garbbing the others attention, "I just wasn't expecting you to show up. Hell, I picked to come out to Chreston because I thought there was no possible of anybody recognizing me here," he explained the best he could of his temper...a temper he thought that would last but found it dissipitating by the minute.
"That is why I picked here too, I wanted to get away from..." Malfoy stopped speaking and returned to his food. Harry found it best not to prod, this was already a strange situation and he needn't make it worse. He was civilly eating an afternoon lunch with Draco Malfoy in a muggle town, it surely was the most absrud thing he did not think about ever happening.
Once they had finished and paid their bills and then went back outside there was a few moments of nothing, where they were at a loss for which way to turn and what all this civility really meant. "Listen Potter, I do not want any of this Hogwarts bullshit to..."
"Me neither," Harry cut him off with a sad smile and saw Malfoy nod curtly and then start off in the opposite direction of his hotel, Harry stood silently before running up to him once more and touching his shoulder gently. "I'm on the top floor so that Hedwig, my owl, can fly out with less attention...the penthouse suite of Le Chateau, I'm usually there...if you want to, I dunno, discuss something maybe...that, erm...Muggles maybe can't?" Harry was suggesting that it was alright for Malfoy to visit him whenever he pleased, it was surely an awkward situation for him to deal with.
Malfoy laughed at the nervousness of Harry before placing his cool mask back on. "Maybe I will see you around then," and with that they had turned their backs on each other and walked in opposite directions.
It was well passed dinner once Harry had completed the task of reading all of his many letters from his close friends. They revolved around the events of the Ministry of Magic that June and he passed them off. Ron and Hermione were terribly worried about his state and with each letter it progressed since he had not yet replied, they were also curious if his letters were being kept from him again or if he was unable to recieve or send any because of the Dursley's. Hermione had made her way over to The Burrow sometime earlier that week and so Harry found it best to just reply to the two of them in one swift letter.
Dear Ron and Hermione,
Thank you very much for your concern and all, you know it means a lot to me. You know I care about you guys and love you both, you're my best friends...it's just that right now I need to be alone. I'm safe and happy where I am at the moment but I won't be responding much to your letters just because I need sometime to think things over this summer, a lot has happened lately and its best for me to be on my own right now. Please send my regards to your family Ron for sending me their sorries and everything, and if you could pass it along to the Order that I'm perfectly healthy and in a safe place. If any big apperances are made by Voldemort, could you let me know? If there is anything terribly important and accurate, just send it my way and I might not reply but it will be helpful...I'm avoiding the Daily Prophet for obvious reasons. You guys mean a lot to me, thanks so much for everything I just need to be alone right now and need to think about what I need to do next.
I appreciate it,
Harry sighed, looking down at his scratchy writing before sending Hedwig away with his letter. It was short but summarized all that his friends needed to know. He felt momentarily bad for leaving them hanging like this and knowing that he was most likely going to continue doing it for the rest of summer, it was just the fact that he wanted to keep himself sane for as long as possible.
He fell to sleep that night with confused thoughts of his day, the unexpected and oddly stagnant and levelled meeting with Malfoy was throwing him off. Thoughts of Voldemort, Sirius and the Prophecy crept into the back of his head and he threw them back down into his subconsciousness. One thing...one day at a time Harry told himself before falling asleep.
Beardless Harry, what a waste
Couldn't even get a small-town taste
Rode the trolleys down to forty-seven
figured he was good to get himself to heaven
'Cause he had to run, run, run
Take a drag or two
Gypsy Death and you
Tell you watcha do
A/N: Hope you enjoyed, please review!