~Of Love and Shadows~
Author's Note: My muse must have been possessed by a horcrux. That is the only explanation I can offer for this story. Read at your own risk.
WARNING: This story contains SLASH (description of a male/male sexual relationship) between Mad-Eye Moody and a sixteen year old Harry, with mention of a past relationship between Harry and Barty Crouch Jr.
"Potter! I need a word with you!"
Harry paused halfway up the groaning staircase leading up to the second floor of Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. "Yes, professor?"
"I'm not your professor, and I never was," growled Mad-Eye Moody, emerging from the shadows below. His disfigured face looked even more grotesque in the somber half-lit hall, as if he were yet another monster the Black family kept on hand to scare the living daylights out of visitors of dubious blood.
"I need to speak to you, Potter. In private. There's an empty bedroom to your left up the stairs."
Harry nodded silently and found his way up to a small dusty room mournfully decorated in blood-red and black. Perhaps a guest bedroom for pure-blood vampires? he mused to himself. The next moment, Moody had swept into the room behind him and began to lock the heavy oak door with a series of complicated spells.
Harry sat down on a crimson bedspread and watched him in silence.
"There." Moody finally nodded in satisfaction. "That should keep'em out."
Harry couldn't help asking. "Er... Keep who out?"
"Everybody. You can never be too careful." Moody turned and looked at him, his magical blue eye luminous behind a strand of long, grey hair that fell over his face. "Now, let's talk. Something is wrong, Potter, terribly wrong, and I want to know what it is."
Harry squirmed under the auror's penetrating gaze. "Wrong? About this house you mean? Or about the Order?"
"No. About you. And me."
Oh. Harry looked at the carpet. It was frayed, and some of the old faded stains looked like blood. "What do you mean?" His voice was a whisper now, and he could feel the blood rising in his cheeks. He has guessed my secret... Of course he has. He is always watching me with that enchanted eye. It was just a matter of time before he realized what I was hiding...
"I'm concerned about you, Potter." Moody spoke more softly now. "Something is wrong... There is something very odd about the way you look at me. Of course things were awkward between us in the beginning, when we first met each other, you and I. That was only to be expected. I was a familiar figure to you, and yet a complete stranger. The Moody you had known and grown close to, the man you thought was me, turned out to be a dark impostor, a monster who had assumed my form in order to lure you into a deadly trap. Rather awkward to deal with the real Moody afterwards, I can understand that! But it's been over a year now, and you still can't look me in the eye. You turn red and look away whenever I glance at you. You are hiding something, Potter. No one else seems to have noticed, but you can't fool me. Something happened when that infernal death eater was at Hogwarts, something you haven't told anyone about. I need to know what it was."
He was close now, so close that Harry could feel his raspy breath on his face. Harry felt his heart thundering in his chest, and he didn't dare to look up.
Moody's gravelly voice went on: "That brute who had stolen my form did something terrible to you, didn't he? Something you remember every time you see me... Am I right, Potter?"
"No..." Harry's voice was barely audible. "Something happened, yes. But it wasn't terrible..."
Moody regarded him in silence for a moment. Then he snarled, in a sudden explosion of fury: "He abused you, didn't he?"
Harry shook his head slowly. He could feel his cheeks burning under Moody's intense glance. "No. He... It wasn't like that. He was my lover. But he did nothing that I didn't want."
Moody straightened up with a curse and began to pace the room. "Your lover-? That filthy, treacherous degenerate!" A fresh string of curses followed. "You were just a boy! He molested you..."
"No!" Harry looked up and met Moody's blue glance and held it with his own, pleadingly. "Please try to understand. I... I was in love with him. What happened between us was beautiful. He was so hesitant in the beginning, when we first kissed, and later, when I shared his bed... He kept muttering to himself, over and over again, that he shouldn't be doing this, that he had a duty to fulfill, and that he had to stop loving me. I thought he meant his duty as a professor, but now I understand that he was talking about his duty to Voldemort. He had pledged to deliver me into the Dark Lord's hands, and he did so in the end. He just couldn't help loving me..."
Moody was silent, immovable.
Harry whispered: "But he betrayed me in the end. Perhaps his love was never real after all. Perhaps the love he professed was merely part of his dark plan, designed to keep me off my guard, to make me trust him. Perhaps he never loved me after all..." He wiped his face hastily with his sleeve so Moody wouldn't see the moisture on his cheeks.
"Oh, come now," said Moody gruffly. He shifted his feet awkwardly. "There is no need to assume that he had no feelings for you. I suppose even the darkest villain has a heart of sorts, and you are... beautiful..." His voice trailed away and he turned and looked steadily out a small grimy window on the far wall. Still with his back to Harry, he said: "No need to blame yourself for this, Potter. I suppose he must have slipped you a potion of some kind. Or perhaps the Imperius curse..."
"No, there was no potion. And no Imperius curse either; I know what it feels like to be imperiused. You taught me that yourself, professor. I mean, he did..."
"Well, there must have been some dark magic at work." Moody's voice cracked. "You seem to have been strangely drawn to him, and God knows he was not a good-looking man when you met him..." He let out a harsh chuckle.
Harry gazed up at him. "How can you say that?" he burst out. "I used to marvel at his beauty: his powerful arms, the broadness of his chest, the warmth of his skin. And, God, when he smiled...He didn't smile often, but when he did, his face was suddenly radiant, lovely. A one-eyed man, yes, but wasn't Odin, the god of the Norsemen, also grey and one-eyed? He certainly never lacked lovers, from what I've read. And his lips... His full lips were soft against mine; his hands were immensely strong, and yet so gentle when they caressed me and set my very being on fire..."
"Stop talking!" Moody spun around with a furious snarl. But then he whispered, more softly: "For mercy's sake, stop talking like this, boy..."
"I'm sorry." Harry felt his cheeks burning. "I shouldn't have said any of this. I didn't mean to offend you."
Moody looked at Harry for a long moment. "You did not offend me," he said curtly. "I... I am truly sorry for what you have been through, Potter. Unfortunately, young Barty Crouch is beyond all revenge, much as I would have enjoyed watching him suffer for what he did to you. He probably wouldn't even realize what was happening if I were to break into Azkaban and kill the shell that used to house his dark soul. But what the hell - I might do it anyway, just for my own satisfaction. As for you, I think you need to talk to someone, Potter, to a healer at St. Mungo's perhaps, to help put all of this behind you. You have been through a lot in your life, boy. Perhaps it is not so strange that you, who have grown up without a father, were so easily bewitched by this evil monster who had assumed the form of a trusted mentor..." He was silent for a moment before he continued, without looking at Harry: "As for you and me, Potter, I suggest we stay clear of each other in the future. As a member of the Order, I will of course continue to protect you as I have in the past, but I think it would be best to keep some distance between us. You do not need to be reminded of.. of what happened in the past. I will keep out of your way. You will not see me again."
He walked abruptly toward the door, but before he could open it, Harry had caught up with him. He flung his arms around the auror's rugged form and clung to him.
"Potter?" Harry felt Moody's hand on his head; for a moment it rested there, still and heavy, before it began to stroke his hair hesitantly. "For Merlin's sake, boy..."
"I can't live without seeing you again." The whisper had escaped Harry's lips before he could stop it. "I've been wanting to tell you how I feel for so long. I have missed you so terribly." He buried his head against Moody's broad chest.
"You have missed me -?" Harry could feel the thunder of Moody's heartbeat. "No, you haven't. You have missed him."
"I love you." Harry's glance found Moody's, held it for a mesmerizing second, until the auror turned his gaze away.
Moody's voice was unsteady as he answered: "No you don't, Harry. It's him you love, not me."
"He was my lover, but it was you I fell in love with," Harry whispered. "Your body, your face, your smile... I fell in love with a man who looked like you and acted like you, someone I thought was my friend and my protector. He was none of those things, but you are..."
"You are confused, Harry..." Moody's hand trembled against Harry's cheek now.
"I'm not confused. I love you." Harry sought Moody's glance, but the auror refused to meet his eyes. "Whenever I looked at him, your dark shadow, it was always you I loved. And now I have finally found the real you... I have longed to tell you about...everything... but I didn't know how you would react. I have been so terribly afraid that you would feel nothing for me. I don't even know what your... preferences are, when it comes to men and women..."
"My preferences?" Moody growled near his ear. "My preference is not to exploit innocent minors."
"I'm not so innocent, and I'm not a minor anymore. I just turned sixteen. I won't be allowed to apparate for another year, but in the eyes of the wizarding law, I can legally enter into a consentual sexual relationship."
"Being sixteen doesn't make you a man." Moody's voice was hoarse now.
"Doesn't it?" Harry reached up and stroked Moody's cheek softly, trailed his hand gently down the strong neck. A long, trembling sigh escaped Moody, followed by a growl: "You don't know what you are doing, Harry."
"Alastor..." How familiar his skin was under Harry's touch... My skin remembers yours, my lips remember your mouth... "I'm in love with you, and I always will be. Do you think you could ever feel anything for me?"
"No." The auror's voice was harsh. His eyes were closed, and there was a flush on his cheeks. Harry kissed the rough, scarred face, and then let his kisses travel further down the man's neck. An involuntary moan sprang from Moody's lips.
"Alastor... Harry began to stroke Moody's chest. It used to drive you wild when I touched you like this. "Are you attracted to me?"
"No." Moody's eyes were still closed, his breath ragged.
Harry flung his arms around the auror and held him tight. A heart beat furiously against his own, and he felt something hard against his groin. He whispered softly in Moody's ear: "You are lying."
"Yes, damn you, I'm lying..." Moody struggled to get the words out. "I'm lying because I'm an honest man. I'm lying because telling the truth would make me a villain, like him. I'm lying because I'm old and ugly, and your beauty terrifies me. I'm lying because you are sixteen years old. Please show me some mercy, Harry, and let me go on lying..."
You are asking the impossible. Love knows no mercy. Harry reached up and pulled Moody's scarred face down to his own. How odd that I can recall our kisses, and you can't. Moody's trembling lips were as soft as he remembered them. "Alastor," Harry breathed against his lips. "Do you love me?"
Moody was silent for what seemed like an eternity. Then he whispered, softly: "I am going to go to hell..." He cupped Harry's face in his strong hands and kissed him back, so fiercely that Harry thought his heart would stop.
I remember you kissing me furiously like this, I remember your hand in my hair... But where did this tenderness come from, the strange gentle sweetness that lingers in your kisses? Surely, that was never there before...
Every day for a year, I have dreamed of you holding me like this. I imagined that it would be like getting my dark lover back. But you are not him, even though he was you... He was merely your shadow that fell, darkly, over my life, for a moment, before you arrived...
Moody breathed against his lips: "Is this what you expected? Does this feel like kissing him?"
"No." Harry pulled back and gazed into Moody's rugged, damaged face. "It's not like kissing him. It's finally you. Come -"
He grasped the auror's rough calloused hand and pulled him over to the narrow bed by the wall. They stumbled onto the bed together, clumsy, flushed, breathless.
"Are you sure you want this?" Moody asked in a low voice.
How beautiful he is when his scarred face is flushed with desire. Savage, yes, but beautiful nonetheless... "I think I will die if you don't make love to me soon."
Moody smiled a little then, at Harry's passionate outburst, a sudden, lopsided smile that transformed his scarred and blemished features.
"How beautiful you are," Harry whispered. He pulled Moody down over him on the bed. I love to feel you like this, heavy against my body, the moment before we begin...
He unbuttoned Moody's shirt with trembling hands and stroked his chest. Moody moaned and began to tear at Harry's clothes, shredding them with his powerful hands. He began to explore Harry's body with his hands and his lips, gently at first, then gradually more demanding, until Harry was groaning in pleasure.
"You have to show me what you want," Moody said softly. "This is the first time for me, remember, with you... Even if it's not the first time for you."
Harry kissed him softly on the lips. "Everything that happened before was just a dream..."
Moody breathed in his ear: "Oh, if dreams count, it's not the first time I'm sharing a bed with you either. I have dreamed about you, every single night, since I first met you. Oh, God, how sweet my dreams were, even if I was so ashamed of them in the morning, I swore I never wanted to sleep again... I could keep you out of my head in the daytime, but at night, you were always there..."
"You dreamed of me-?" Harry caressed Moody's scarred face with wonder.
"Mm. I can't believe I just told you that. What do you want me to do for you, Harry?" Moody whispered. "Kiss you? Stroke you?" His strong hands found the hardness of Harry's cock. "My God, you are beautiful..." Moody's voice was hoarse. He stroked Harry's shaft, gently and hesitantly at first, then with more and more passion and fury.
What is this strange feeling, this frantic, primordial hunger? I thought I knew desire, but I have never felt anything like this...
Harry tore wildly at Moody's remaining clothes, found his warm skin under the offending fabric, found him hard and more than ready.
"Alastor... I want you... to fuck me..."
A deep moan against his ear, followed by a gravelly voice that made his spine tingle: "You want me to fuck you? You want to feel my cock inside you?"
Harry turned over on his hands and knees, and Moody reached for him, held him tight. A soft spell was whispered, and Harry felt an intensely pleasurable warmth and wetness at his opening, followed by a sweet tingling sensation.
"Did he use that spell as well-?" Moody's voice was husky. He is jealous...
"Stop talking!" Harry moaned. He reached out behind him, found Moody's rock-hard erection and guided it toward his opening. "I need you inside, now!"
Moody groaned and pushed against him. He entered Harry gently, but the moisture from the spell enabled him to sink all the way in.
"My God, you are so tight," Moody whispered. "I don't want to hurt you..."
"Harder..." Harry gasped. "Don't hold back, please. I need you so badly..."
With a soft moan, Moody finally abandoned all restraint. Harry surrendered himself completely to the savage frenzy of Moody's strokes, to the wild, furious pounding, to the strange tenderness that lingered in the midst of the feverish desire. A scream escaped him as he came all over the sheets, a second after he had felt the warmth of his lover's seed. Moody stifled the scream quickly with his hand, laughing. "Ready to let everyone know about us, are you?"
"Maybe." Harry kissed the palm of the rough hand breathlessly.
Afterwards, as they lay still in each other's arms, trying to find their breath again, Moody whispered: "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
Harry took his hand, rested it against his cheek. "No, you didn't hurt me. You never do."
"Was it... did you like it as much as with him..."
Harry cut him short with a fiery kiss. "It was always you. Even with him, it was always you. I love you, Alastor..."
And a trembling hand stroked his hair, again and again, and a gruff voice replied: "I love you, too. Always have and always will."