Well, here we are, 1st chapter of the sequel to Heaven From Hell, hope you all like it!
Will be HPDM, will contain violence, strong language, and various other adult themes. I would recommend that you be of age in your resident country to read this story.
I don't own these characters or this world. These ramblings make me no profit. I am prone to bribery in the form of reviews and lemon poppy seed muffins.
Ron gripped his fingers tightly around the wand concealed in the sleeve of his overcoat. It was here, he could feel it, skulking in the dark backstreets while the city drew itself into streaks of heat elsewhere. Four months he'd tracked it and every time he had it cornered it slithered from his fingers like hot grease. Though reckless in its abandonment of British Wizarding Law, it wasn't unpredictable or even particularly clever, just fast.
It fed nightly: mechanical interactions borne out of necessity it seemed, and the bodies lay undisturbed where they fell. But the beast had shown itself to have a higher purpose, and this pattern was far more ambitious: a banshee, a centaur, and a veela so far. Each, when found, had a tooth ripped from their jaw in a manner so flawless that only magic could be responsible. Whatever the vampire's next trophy was had brought it up north to Edinburgh and Ron had followed: This time he would put an end to it's sick little scavenger hunt.
A loud thud sparked his attention from a darkened alleyway up ahead and he quickened toward it.
"You're a real piece of work you know that!" A harsh voice bit.
Ron shone a muggle torch in the direction of the voice and saw two men a fair way down the deserted lane: one pinned to the wall by the other. It was difficult to make out either man's face but neither had the deceptive willowy build of his vampire.
"Oi! What's going on down there!"
"If you know what's good for you, you'll keep walking," the attacker commanded without looking at him.
"I don't think so," Ron said, "You okay there?" He directed to the other man.
"I was until you stuck your oar in!" The man snarled.
And there was something about that snarl.
"Do I know you?" Ron asked, squinting to get a clearer look at the man.
The man laughed sarcastically, "Sweetheart, no one I know would be stupid enough to still be standing there. Now kindly piss off, I'm in the middle of something here."
Ron watched as the man raked his fingernails down the attacker's arm, realisation setting in as the 'attacker' grabbed the man's neck and smacked his head back against the stone wall, receiving a bite to his bottom lip for the trouble.
"Draco? Is that you?"
"Sorry love, wrong number," he taunted.
The 'attacker' growled in frustration, "Look will you ignore this wankrag and fuck me already!"
But the blond man put a hand on his chest and pushed him away with some force.
"Do one Danny," he said flatly.
"I've lost my appetite, now fuck off."
Danny clenched his fists at his sides, blood from his arm dripping over his knuckles.
"One of these days I'm gonna get tired of your twisted little games Matt!"
"Aw, you promise?"
The blond man folded his arms and watched Danny go before pushing himself off the wall and casually walking in the opposite direction, away from where Ron stood in confusion.
Ron ignored the threatening scowl the rejected man threw at him as he thundered out of the alley. He was more interested in catching up to the disappearing blond.
"Is there a reason you're following me?"
"I know it's you Malfoy, I'd know that snarl anywhere."
The man laughed again, "I thought you said my name was Draco?" He stopped in front of a wooden double doorway; Ron thought the building looked like some kind of abandoned factory.
"If Harry could see you now, whoring yourself in dingy alleyways."
The man didn't turn around, but he did stop. Ron saw his shoulders square and his head roll from one side to the other, as if trying to wrench the sudden tension from his neck.
"I don't need to whore myself to anyone, I make more money in a week than most people do in a year."
With that he separated a key from the tangle in his hand and unlocked the door. Without any further acknowledgment he slipped inside and slammed the door.
Ron stared at the closed entryway and seethed. It had to have been Draco. The man had looked stronger than he remembered, and the clothing was too muggle, too casual...but that voice, that arrogant, cruel voice that had taunted him on a daily basis when they were younger. It had to have been him.
Ron spun around to a white face and sharp teeth.
"You!" He said as he raised his wand in sharp reflex.
"Aren't you rather bored of following me around like a pathetic puppy dear Ronald?"
Draco crossed the hollow expanse of the building's ground floor toward the lift that stood in the centre. When he arrived, instead of pressing the button to take him up, he lent forward against it. His head was pounding: Was this it? Would he be ripped from his life here and-
A loud cry of pain interrupted his thoughts.
He ran back to the door and pushed the bar that ran horizontally across the inside to throw it open.
A large black cloak whipped into the sky as he did and Draco saw a crumpled body lying against the wall opposite. The red hair looked too cheerful against Ron's slack white face. Draco ran to him and dropped down to his knees. He felt for a pulse and found two deep puncture wounds. Ron gasped and blood spouted over the side of his lip, eyes spinning wildly until they found Draco's.
"Ron! Oh god Ron!"
The eyes flickered and he drew a ragged breath, his lips began to move but Draco could only make out one word, "Dead... dead."
"Don't you dare. Don't you dare die you red headed twat!" Draco shook him by the shoulders, being careful not to hit his head on the wall behind.
Ron was trying to speak again, "Not dead... he's not dead..."
He broke into a coughing fit and more blood spilled onto his front.
Draco couldn't think: Lost too much blood! If he had a wand... Did he need a wand? But he didn't know what spell. Did he even need a spell? Wasn't blood replenishment something that needed a potion? Ron had a wand.
"Ron, where's your wand!" But even as he spoke he saw it snapped in two under his old friend's hand. He cradled his arms around the limp body, his throat constricting at the reality of the situation: If he'd stayed outside, if he'd invited him in... hadn't Ron deserved that much from him?
"I'm so sorry," he whispered, "Please don't die."
He heard the red head's chest rattle and saw his eyes loll back into his head. His chest sunk and stayed there.
"No, damn it! No!" Draco slammed his hand to the ground and the sound rang out in silent night, it seemed too loud somehow. An odd yelp escaped from Draco's throat, but then the eyes came back! Ron chest rose and fell in an odd rhythm but Draco didn't care, it was moving again! Draco was so happy that gibberish began to fall off his tongue as he took in the sight.
But something wasn't right. He didn't feel right. He felt as though his insides were twitching in ways they weren't supposed to, and he was breathing too fast, they both were. His arms snapped away from Ron and returned to the ground in front of him, as if on instinct. He heard his own voice again but he didn't recognise the words. What the hell was happening to him!
He wanted to jump back, away from this situation, but he couldn't: his body didn't feel like his own anymore. Ron looked like he was convulsing and Draco looked on in horror as blood lifted up from his chest and back into his mouth and his eyes seemed to strobe. His mouth flapped too quickly for real speech and the sounds that escaped were short and sharp. Draco saw his arms grab the man's shoulders with inhuman speed as he involuntarily rattled him back and forth.
More words that weren't his, more actions that he couldn't control, and it was all too fast. Much too fast, and even as he thought it the pace quickened, finally throwing him backwards: He watched in terror as Ron got further and further away, replaced by a solid wooden door, and even that shrank away from him. He felt the cold steel of the lift brush his forehead for an instant before he was drawn backwards again. Back across the old factory floor, back through the door-
And then it stopped.
His head was light from it and he stumbled to the ground. A thud from behind him told him that Ron had too.
"What did you do!" He screamed without looking behind him.
Ron gasped for air, "You saved my life!"
Draco turned himself over to stare at the red head, "I didn't, I couldn't," he dragged himself backwards, eyes darting around the alleyway. He felt weak; he never felt weak anymore. "What did you do to me?" He whispered.
"It's not possible. Time doesn't just turn back on itself," the blonde's eyes glazed over as he became caught up in his own thoughts.
"Draco?" Ron edged toward him, concern evident on his face.
"Mad..." Draco breathed. He seemed lost inside himself now and took no notice of Ron's hand on his shoulder. He pulled his knees up and wrapped his arms around them. "You'll drive me back to madness..."
"Draco, you were never mad," the words didn't seem to reach him, "Harry-"
The blond erupted: "That name, that face! Get it out of my head! My skin's crawling with him. Stop, please stop, I'm begging you to stop... You'll drive me mad..." he finished in a whisper.
Ron pushed the hair out of his friend's eyes and looked into them, but they were as dead as they had been seven years ago: the last time he'd visited Draco at the manor before he'd run from it all.
When he spoke again it was barely audible and his eyes remained unfocused, "I just wanted to live my own life. I just wanted to be free. I can't be free anymore can I? You'll put me back there in that place, and he'll haunt me, and I'll lose myself again..."
"It's okay. I'll come quietly."
Ron regarded him for some time. How could all that arrogance, that strength, that fire be extinguished so quickly? Was the man's grip on reality really so fragile that it could be broken so easily?
Draco had saved his life; He didn't know how, but he had. He'd stared down at his dead body and the blond huddled over him; he'd seen the flash of magic emanate from Draco's hand as it slammed into the ground in fury. Didn't he owe him something for that? A life for a life?
Harry would understand if he explained... Even if just to buy some time... If they could approach the situation in a less traumatic way, perhaps then...
Ron tilted Draco's head up and directed his now unbroken wand at his forehead, noting the lack of a reaction with worry.
"Obliviate," he said, and took a deep breath, "You never came back outside. You convinced me that you weren't Draco. You have nothing to worry about: No one is going to force you to come home. You will go back into that building and continue to wherever you were headed when you first went in. Understand?"
Draco nodded vacantly and within minutes was gone.
So... what do you think? All comments are welcome. I thrive on feedback, particularly the kind that involves suggestions on how to improve so please don't hold back.
I should warn you that I plan to make the chapters of this story more substantial than that of HFH, so please don't be surprised if updates are less frequent (think fortnightly instead of weekly, but that's not set in stone, could be quicker).
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