Easy Way Out

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by EveryShadeOfDeath, so please give her a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, most of which you may find in the M&MWP forum. Check out and join the forum FUN! This fic is a Christmas present for my good pal, EveryShadeOfDeath. It's been too long since the 1st Scabco… For everyone else: read, review, and enjoy! *Note: The prompt of bridge came from xXKissingSinXx's "100 Prompts" challenge in the HPFC; it's one of my fav chals since it's so helpful! :] And I have to admit…this is somewhat of a sequel to my FV, "taste of frustration."

hoHOhoHOho

He…had not cared. He had not cared and so he'd returned to his family.

Scabior nursed a cut on the palm of his hand. He really hated being out here in the woods with the other Death Eaters, Snatchers, and Death Eater sympathizers. It wasn't that he no longer supported this side… He coughed. Erm, well, moving on. The point was that he hated being out in these woods. The only reason why he had this nasty cut—oh, Merlin, with his luck it'd get infected, for cripes sake—on his hand was that he'd leaned on a tree. A tree. A mother-fucking tree. And of course it was dark so he hadn't seen the jagged twig sticking out…

He sighed. He really didn't need this right now.

The Snatcher wandered through the crowd assembled. Most were chatting anxiously about besieging Hogwarts Castle. A few were playing with spells—oh, never mind, Rodolphus was yelling at them already, finally that lazy bastard was doing something—and some others looked impatient. Scabior, on the other hand, wasn't like them. He just wanted to get this over with and find him…or find him and run.

At that thought, he sought out the pair of fair-haired heads near the Dark Lord. Ah, yes, there they were. Lucius and Narcissa.

Lucius looked worse than at the time of Potter and company's escape from Bellatrix at the manor. Narcissa…well, she looked nicely composed, all things considered. Scabior mused that she was probably trying to be strong for her husband. Or—

Scabior looked around. Were they jesting? If he wasn't here, then… The Snatcher cursed.

Draco was in the school.

And all tha' talk about tellin' me no because he wanted to stick with his family, Scabior thought. It hadn't even been that long ago when Potter and his mates had fled from Malfoy Manor. Scabior hadn't been there to see it happen, exactly. Bellatrix had flung him outside with a rather strong spell, and Scabior had very nearly walked then and there. Draco had risked scorn, leaving the house to see if he was all right. Scabior—Scabior had given him an ultimatum.

And what had Draco chosen? His family. His bloody family.

Scabior gritted his teeth. Why did he even feel anything for the—the kid? That's right. It was better to label him thusly, because then Scabior didn't feel so bad that he hadn't gotten his way. It meant nothing, all those months of passing by one another, each gaze lingering longer than the previous one. It meant nothing, the way Draco's eyes managed to possess a warmth that rattled Scabior. It meant nothing, all those times when they could've had a moment, a word more than all the niceties they had ever exchanged.

It meant nothing, a kiss that Draco seemed all too ready to forget.

As that memory resurfaced, Scabior backed away from the Malfoys. He didn't need to look at them right now or speak to them. There was no point if Draco wasn't with them.

ARGH! Why'd he have to go falling for that weak little brat anyway?

In time, the lot of them was ordered to rush the castle, and Scabior was relieved that his mind was more preoccupied with making it across the covered bridge before it blew up. He had a near scare where he clung to the broken ledge…but those two idiots from Gryffindor (wasn't that the Longbottom kid?) were none the wiser when they turned and retreated to the castle, thinking they'd halted the Death Eaters.

Well, luck was with Scab this time. He heaved himself up, keeping an eye out for more Hogwartian defenders, and drew his wand before spiriting into the grounds.

For a group of ickle ones, they were doing a damn good job of protecting Hogwarts. McGonagly must've been the one to summon the suits of armor to life; Scab had to hide from at least two already, and he'd been in the castle what, five minutes? Sheesh!

Quite honestly, Scabior… He didn't know where he was running. He was too busy deflecting spells to cast any himself. As he ran outside one of the towers, he bit back an expletive as a crystal ball nearly clobbered him over the head. What the hell? Hogwarts had one hell of a way of fighting back.

Twice Scabior thought he saw a flash of white-blonde hair. Twice, he was mistaken. Scabior recognized one of them as that witch that had been in the basement of the manor…but she wasn't Draco. Where was Draco?

And why did Scabior care so much if he'd given up on him?

Hours passed. Dawn broke. The turmoil died down until Hogwarts was eerily quiet… Scabior shook his head and hid in the recesses of a large pile of rubble. He needed to rest. The adrenaline that had been pushing him earlier had left him. His resolve was quickly abandoning him, too. Draco had to mean something for him to stick his neck out like this. Because, truthfully, Scabior couldn't give two shits about the Dark Lord winning the war.

While he was lost in his thoughts, a commotion sounded from the Inner Courtyard. Scabior picked up his hanging head and stood.

As quietly as he could manage, the Snatcher stuck to the shadows and kept an eye out. The scene was chilling, with Hogwartians and the Dark Lord's servants alike merely…standing still. Oh. He could understand why. The Dark Lord was making some announcement and—what the…? That was Potter? Potter was dead?

Draco appeared from the school's side and jogged over to meet his parents. The Malfoys began to back away while the Dark Lord spoke, thinking no one would take notice of them. Granted, few did as it turned out that Potter was not, in fact, dead, and the battle resumed. Lucius and Narcissa were drawn back into battle, and Draco found himself fending off some more of his schoolmates and classmates. Scabior rushed to his side.

"Expelliarmus!" Scabior shouted, knocking the Ravenclaw back several yards from the power of his spell.

The Malfoy heir stopped panting, his breath caught in his throat. "What. Are you. Doing here?"

Scabior mustered half a smile. "I'm evil and I had a summons. Did you get the invite, too?"

"You shouldn't be here." His expression was hard, by his tone was weak.

Scabior eyed him up and down. He hadn't seen him in ages… No wonder Scabior had risked running into the fray. How could he deny himself the chance to see these gray eyes? Without thinking, he grabbed Draco by the shoulder and smashed their mouths together and oh, sweet Salazar, Draco was not a flavor Scabior would be forgetting in this lifetime or the next. When he broke for breath, he caressed Draco's cheek with his thumb.

"Stop that," Draco growled, but he made no move to stop him.

"You've got soot on your face," the Snatcher retorted, brushing it away. "Why?"

"It's nothing."

Scabior's eye twitched in annoyance. "It is, is it?"

Draco grimaced. "Potter—Potter saved me… From Fiendfyre."

"Who the bloody 'ell was stupid enough to summon Fiendfyre?" Though, as soon as the words left his mouth, Scabior regretted them, for something broken flitted through those lovely gray orbs. He clenched his jaw; though regretful, Scabior wasn't one to apologize.

"But what about you?" Draco asked, putting Scabior on the spot. "Why aren't you fighting with—with the others?"

"The only thing I'm interested in 'ere is you."

Funny how, even amidst a war, Scabior could still make Draco pause and turn pink in the cheeks. "You sound ridiculous."

"Now or never, Draco."

It was those words. They were simple words, but delicate ones. Scabior had used them ages ago and Draco had already told him no once, but…

Well, if Draco wasn't going to come with him this time, then Scabior might as well go fight alongside the Aurors, for all it was worth. Once the Death Eaters discovered Scabior hadn't lifted a finger to help their side…

So what now? Was Scabior burning his last bridge? Was he going to lose the last thing that he—ugh, don't make him say it…! …the last thing that he cared about?

"Don't shit with me, Draco," Scabior hissed, withdrawing his touch. Go figure that it had happened once and was happening again. "And don't bother ever callin' on this ol' Snatcher if you ever need a favor."

Draco remained frozen where he was, his face unreadable as Scabior put more distance between them. Draco… Draco wasn't much of anything. He was weak, needed protection, and cared about himself and nothing else—except maybe his parents.

But Scabior couldn't deny that having two tastes of the wizard was better than one. And he'd probably continue to care—

He froze, eyes wide, as one of those newbie Death Eaters who had signed up simply for the massacring spied Draco and raised his arm to throw a spell at him.

Scabior moved automatically. He didn't even utter the Killing Curse as he threw it, at the same time pushing Draco out of the way. They crashed to the ground, the opposing spell whizzing past Scabior's lovely red streak of hair and the Death Eater hitting the ground with a thud. The Snatcher…he was unsure that his heart had ever pounded so hard in his chest before. He looked under him at a pale face that had turned whiter—and he hugged that form to him, tightly.

Fuck being decisive. Scabior liked being indecisive, because he really couldn't leave this time without Draco coming with him.

"Let go of me, Scabior," Draco breathed. In reality, his grip was tight on the Snatcher, too. Fear was still tightening every muscle in his body.

"If I do tha', I won't know you're safe." Scabior squeezed him more tightly. "So I'm not moving until you say yes."

The minute that passed felt like forever… But eventually they stood, Draco's grip on Scabior's arm like that of steel.

"Well."

Draco said nothing.

However, Scabior gave him the tiniest of grins. "I hear you loud an' clear, luv."

Good thing Draco had an "Exceeds Expectations" for chickening out and running. Scabior needed him to lead the way while the rest of the world around them drowned in chaos.

hoHOhoHOho

-w- Lovely. This is only my 2nd time where I've really had the charries run away…almost like eloping…and both wanted to run away… Hmm. I think this calls for a sequel, though… On another note, I just keep giggling when Scab says, "I'm evil and I had a summons. Did you get the invite, too?" XDDD And I feel sad when Draco looks hurt at bringing up the Fiendfyre… Crabbe and Goyle might've been cronies, but cronies can be friends, too! :'(

You better enjoy this, Shade, hon! I was trying to write a final when this distracted me! XD

As for every else, please review!

-mew-tsubaki B)