I don't have much to say here. Someone challenged me to write something a bit outside my comfort zone. I accepted. This is the result.Warnings:
Angsty, MC death, sexual content, m/mNote:
I'm a sucker for a challenge, like Marty in Back to the Future. If someone says I can't or wouldn't dare do something, I usually can't pass up the opportunity to prove them wrong. It's the reason I own a strange, fringed, off-the-shoulders shirt that looks like the product of a love affair between Tim Burton and a Fraggle. It's the reason I enrolled in university at 28 years old. And now, it's the reason I have written a Death!fic.
Thanks to evieeden for the challenge. This is super short. Please see A/N at the bottom.
Disclaimer: I own a few things, none of which are magical or sexy, unfortunately. Potter!verse and all that it entails belongs to J.K. and, apparently, Warner Brothers...lucky bastards.
Many thanks to glitteratiglue and bsmog for giving this a quick read through for me.
Your eyes seem to sparkle in the light of the moon as I watch you from my place in the grass beside the lake.
"Wait," you whisper excitedly, looking past me into the inky darkness of the mysterious water. "Just wait for them. You'll see."
It's no small feat that I manage to tear my eyes off of you long enough to follow your gaze. The wind whispers through the trees above and despite your carefully guarded demeanour, I notice you shift closer to me.
"You're probably used to this," you say. "You've known about magic your whole life, but it all amazes me."
Certain things are still able to amaze me as well—you, for example—but I don't say as much. I simply continue to watch the glassy surface of the Hogwarts lake as it reflects the dimly lit stars above. A soft gasp escapes you, drawing my attention to your parted lips. I'm not sure how anything else can possibly be more beautiful. A slow smile spreads across your face and it takes all of my will to turn back to the lake. My interest is piqued when the stars begin to dance in their reflection, circling and dipping. The surface of the water ripples in rings that lap at the shore as Merfolk stretch their hands skyward, scooping up the stars that I realise aren't really stars at all.
Fireflies circle the hands in a teasing dance, drawing the Merfolk further out of the water. Pale skin reflects the moonlight with an eerie lustre.
"The Merpeople draw energy from the moon and the rising tides," you explain needlessly, but the sound of your voice, hushed and whispered, is soothing, so I don't tell you that I already know this. "Once a year, the fireflies gather here, attracted to the pull of magic. I think the Merpeople consider it a sort of game. It's fascinating to watch."
I suppress a laugh, wondering if you know that the Merfolk actually eat the fireflies when they catch them, another important source of power for them. Your face is the picture of innocence and awe as you watch the dance of the fireflies.
I smile, an expression that feels foreign on my face but is becoming steadily more familiar as we spend time together. It's the first night that I kiss you, entirely unable to resist the pull you have on me. Your lips are soft and hesitant, but the fingers you've tangled into my hair, drawing me nearer, assure me that you want this just as much as I do.
There's a place you go between sleep and wakefulness, after a long day of hard work when your body is exhausted but your mind is reeling. You're unaware of exactly how much time is passing, seconds, hours, days perhaps. You can't recall every aspect of consciousness, only select few important things. The most powerful feelings of confusion and fear consume you.
This is what death feels like.
I would gladly accept my fate, if I knew you would be joining me at the end of your own life, but alas I cannot be certain if this is Heaven or Hell. I do know that, if it is the latter, you would never be sent here. There has always been too much good surrounding you. It's as if you are made of purity and integrity.
This could very easily be Hell. There is a haze of sorrow underlying my every thought, a dull thrum of pain that washes over me with every repetitive memory that echoes through my addled mind. The same few prominent scenes from my life repeat themselves, never allowing for enough time in between to quell the confusion.
I never wanted to live a single day without you, never wanted to take a single breath of air that wasn't shared in the space between us. In my last moments of life, amid the pain, my blood, your tears, still my thoughts seemed to find some solace that it had been me and not you. But now, as I watch you lie in our bed, tangled in the sheets we used to escape under, I wonder if Death has mistakenly granted me the better bargain. Surely it is I who is meant to suffer more out of the two of us.
Your face twists in agony as a sob wracks through your body. I know the guilt you're feeling, for I've seen it in you before. You wonder how it is that you were right there and yet you couldn't save me. There's a palpable essence around you, one of anguish, loss, longing and uncertainty. I see you reach for my pillow, hugging it tightly to your chest and I want to remove all of your pain.
I think I could, if only I could touch you once more.
My fingertips trail down the side of your neck, ghosting over your flesh, scarcely making contact in an attempt to drive you mad with desire.
"Draco," you breathe against my lips and in that moment, I'm certain I've never needed anything more than I need you. Your hands, your skin, your heart, the very breath you use to convey to me your deepest desires, your aching needs. Your lips meet mine in a tender kiss, asking permission and granting me the control you seem to know I desire, even if I deny it.
As our bodies move together in a slow, steady rhythm, the entire world dissolves around us. It's you and it's me and that's all that matters. Not the past or our uncertain future, not my father or his accusations of betrayal, not the Ministry, not even your disapproving friends.
You moan against my neck, whisper encouragement, tell me that you love me before our lips meet again. It's been years since the war, years since our first kiss in the glowing light of fireflies and the full moon, years since we found each other, and yet every time with you feels like the first time.
Later, you tell me that no one has ever cherished you the way that I do, no one has ever loved you so much and you don't know how an emotion can be as powerful as magic but as real as life itself. You feel the same way.
"Forever," you whisper.
I pull you closer, kissing the back of your neck as my heart breaks for you. It's so easy to love you, and I don't understand how I'm the only one who knows you this way, the only one you want or need, but I feel it, too.
I wonder if you know what a restful sleep is anymore. I wonder how long it's been since you've smiled. I watch you always, but am unable to decipher any solid measures of time. Everything blends together, fades in and out of focus. You cry in your sleep, clutching desperately at the bed sheets as if you're still reaching for me. I wish I could tell you that it's okay to smile, to breathe, because you don't seem to remember to do these things on your own.
You're there, right there, so close, yet I cannot reach out to you. I want to comfort you just as you were always able to comfort me. Every time I see your vacant eyes, once so alive and vibrant, staring at nothing, I ache. It's as if you aren't there, as if you've died as well, only you haven't. How much loss can one person suffer without sustaining permanent damage to their own heart and soul? I worry that maybe that's what's happened to you.
"Your treachery is unforgivable," he hisses. I know I shouldn't have come home that day. He says my mother had been taken ill and hasn't much longer to live. "The Dark Lord may be gone, Draco, but I have faith he will rise again just as he has before. I will not allow my own son to betray our cause by sleeping with the enemy!" His words are venomous, laced with hate and ill intent.
Lucius has been on the run since the war, like many other Death Eaters, and I should have known not to trust his word that my mother needed me.
"You're deluded. He's gone, and soon you will be, too," I reply confidently. My father may still want you dead, but his pretentious arrogance will not easily allow him to shed pure blood. I tried to refuse to allow you to accompany me, knowing the danger that awaits, but you were stubborn as ever. I feel your presence close behind me and magic hums in the air—yours or his, I cannot tell, but there will be a fight this day.
A slow, condescending smile spreads across my father's face as his callous gaze rakes over you, and when he draws his wand faster than I've ever seen, my blood scarcely has time to run cold before I registers what's happening.
Panic-stricken that he intends to hurt you, I throw my hands out to the sides, determined to block as much of your body as I possibly can. The spell is not aimed at you, though. It is aimed at me and meant to hurt you, to leave you suffering.
It happens so fast that I don't hear his words. There is a flash of green light, and pain like I've never felt. I fall to the ground, splashing in a pool of my own blood.
Your rage is tangible, and powerful anger reverberates throughout the room as you shout a curse that you swore you'd never use, not even on The Dark Lord himself.
You collapse to your knees beside me, trembling and moving about futilely as you desperately try to repair the damage, but it is too great. I shiver one last time as an icy chill washes through me.
As I stand beside you, looking down upon my own lifeless body, I recognise the effects of the Entrail-Expelling Curse, and I know that there is no amount of incantations that you can whisper or shout to put me right again.
I'll wait for you here, in case you ever come. And, be it moments or decades, I will watch over you, never leaving your side. I cannot dry your tears. I cannot push dark hair back from your sweat-dampened face in search of the life that I know should be in your eyes. I cannot hold you as your body trembles with grief, or whisper in your ear that I love you. In no way can I comfort you, but I shall stay, suffering with you for as long as it takes as these memories replay themselves over and over again in death.
Sooo...evieeden said to me a few days ago, "You wouldn't write a slash H/D where Draco ends up dead." And I went, "Oh, reeeeeaaally."
Then I spent the rest of the evening trying to talk her into letting me kill Harry instead...not that I don't love him, too. She said no. Then my dear friend, vampthenewblack, jumped in to add to the challenge and insisted on blood AND guts.
I may have weaselled out of the graphic part, but if you know the spell, you know there were guts.
Sorry, everyone. Someone extends a challenge and I accept with the maturity of a 13 year old boy. *blushes*
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED: i wrote a mini companion piece to this for rmhaleff nd posted it to my LJ - http:/envy-venis(dot)livejournal(dot)com/6431(dot)html#cutid1
I wrote a quicky H/D oneshot for a Fandom Against Domestic Violence fundraiser which, I promise, is much happier. I will post it when the fund raiser is over.
Thank you so much for reading. Comments are appreciated.