Title: In the Interests Of …
Warnings: Shounen ai, i.e., boy love
Disclaimer: The world belongs to Squaresoft, Draco and Harry belong to J. K. Rowling, and the idea and plot belong to me! It's all mine I tell you!! Mine!! (Insert maniac laughter)
Harry: Now you've gone and done it.
Draco: What? What I do?
Harry: Giving her this bunny? What were you thinking?
Draco: (silently hands Harry the steadily-increasing-in-size plot bunny) …
Harry: (pauses) Oh.
Chapter Rating: PG13 because its safer that way … O.o;
Author's Notes: I was happily in the middle of a math exam last week (ok, so maybe not happily, but that's a minor detail) and Draco just hands me this bunny, letting it loose in my office. Draco's in love with the sorceress/knight thing … so he interrupts me .. You might see some of Squall and the rest of the FF8 crew in here later, but this is mainly about Draco and Harry … so …
Anyway, please read and review!!
Cheers and white ferrets!! ^^
The Winhill Market Square was bustling with activity, the for once hectically busy citizens all buying in bulk for the upcoming month. The usually quiet and reserved inhabitants letting loose for the time being, safe in the knowledge that it was expected; as it was the one thing they all did on Market Day. They went about their business, happily unaware that someone who could level their entire town with a soft-spoken word was watching them.
High up on the hill, above Winhill, was a tall, extensively decorated building, once owned by a rich landowner, but was now occupied by dozens and dozens of SeeD officials and recruited cadets. This building was called the Palace, merely because the residents obstinately refused to have a Garden. The only reasons more powerful Gardens, such as Balamb and Galbadia wanted a "Garden" in Winhill was because of the current sorceress living their, a prisoner in his own home, one that had been his long before he turned sorceress. His problem was that he was one of the few known sorceresses, so had to be watched extra carefully, the impertinent headmasters and commanders of the fully licensed Garden's not counting rogue sorceresses in the danger field.
He had his own wing, of course, one that he had since he could walk, and had demanded that they stayed his and his alone, to ensure privacy. And SeeDs, not wanting to injure a sorceress until he had actually done something terribly wrong, besides being in awe of him, had agreed thankfully. They had made a few changes, mainly to the structure and sturdiness of the walls, making them virtually indestructible, immune to magic, and fully soundproof, so that he might do what he liked. Keeping this in mind, no SeeD wanted to be summoned to the Wing, and it was part of the top cadets pranks to tell stories about the denizen sorceress.
Draco, of course, knew this, and was amused by it, even as he grew more and more restless. The first time he assisted in one of the pranks, all parties involved, excluding him, got the biggest fright of their life, the first year cadet meeting up with a fully fledged sorceress, glowing, pupil-less silver eyes, windblown hair, expressionlessly cold face … and utterly beautiful in his severity. Draco had chased the cadet down the halls, floating speedily past the boundaries of his wing, and past all the original pranksters, sweeping them into his supposedly unseeing glare.
He had gotten punished, of course, as only a sorceress could be punished: obtain higher security measures. The walls of his wing were impenetrable by him, or his magic, locking him down, letting him past the boundaries after 6 months of good behavior, i.e., no break outs, cruel tricks, terrifying cadets, etc. The pranks had also been toned down, and if they still spread mockingly false stories about him, more lies than not, he didn't hear about them.
Draco was a prisoner in his own home, unable to step foot outside of the palace. Yes, he had an indoor room that was an acre big, and grew plants and bred monsters, to relieve him of pressure build-ups, when the magic grew too much. Unfortunately, compared to the widespread fields he remembered from his younger years, and the wide variety of monsters his father had taught him how to kill, this room was pitiful. Since it angered and distressed him, filling him with the almost overwhelming urge to escape, he only spent time in this room, lying under the artificial sunlight, sometimes commanding rain, other times snow, when he was frantic to feel something other than carpets or tile beneath his feet. It was also there for when the walls started to close in on him, making him feel trapped and cornered, which, even the most skeptical SeeD could understand, brought on violent and defensive tendencies.
Another problem for Draco was that he hated his magic. Yes, his father had taught him to love and want power, but his father had never said that it came at the cost of his freedom, which Draco sorely missed.
How long ago it seemed when he was just a young, normal boy, son to a rich, old and powerful family.
Being a sorceress had also warped his sense of self to the point of indistinction. He knew he wasn't evil, or the SeeDs would have destroyed him, after a long and probably devastating battle, but he would be dead. He also realized that he couldn't be insanely power hungry, or he would have found a way to escape, and bring the deaths of a few million peasants before obtaining the power and strength enough to rule the world – and keep it his.
But another downside to the magic was that it opened up doors and opportunities he had never dreamed of before, nor his father, or very likely his father before him.
And to top it all off, the impertinent SeeDs wanted him to pick a knight. At least once a week, more often more than that, they lined up new recruits, both SeeD and cadets, who had impeccable records, fighting skills, and above all, an obeying personality. Which was all very well and good, but Draco didn't like any of the options, secretly running a variation of scan on each of them, enabling him to see their more personal details, such as names and ages, as well as HP and strengths and weaknesses.
And then Draco, being Draco, defiantly refused them all, resenting the fact that he couldn't just go out and pick his own knight by himself, a personal and private event, like he would have been able to, had he been one of the sorceresses in the books the commander was always sending him. The thing he detested most of all was having the option taken from him, only being shown whom they deemed worthy, not just any person he could find.
He was consoled in the fact that no one could force a sorceress to take a knight; it had to be agreed to, definitely by the sorceress, and most often by the knight, although sometimes, for less than fair sorceress, the knights had that choice taken.
After rejecting the latest batch of knight candidates, Draco left his public chambers, and walked down one of his empty corridors to the "glass Room", one of his favorite rooms by far, if he had to choose.
There were five walls in the "Glass Room", and three of them were glass, strong, indestructible stuff, allowing him to watch what was going on in the outside world, even as he couldn't join it.
Knowing how other sorceresses were locked in single rooms, with not so much as a link to the outside world, Draco had to reluctantly admit to himself, if not anyone else that he was one of the luckier ones, attaining his own wing, not being moved from his home, getting the cream of the crop to choose from for a knight, even if he had not the slightest intention or inclination to.
Watching the commoners shop and carry on with their everyday life, happily unaware of the chaos breaking out elsewhere in the world, was interesting … in a dull sort of way. It wasn't like there was anything else to watch anyway.
When a knock disturbed him from a pleasant daydream, where he had been flying with his newly given wings, free as a cloud and with as much physical hold to the earth, he was startled a little, and a little irritated at having such a nice daydream broken into, and he unhesitantly, and without thinking about the gesture, threw a hand out towards the slowly opening door. A bolt of thundaga erupted from his fingertips, and the door slammed shut with an almost inaudible yelp that alerted Draco to what he had just done.
Sighing, he walked towards the door, sluggishly dragging his feet on purpose, if only to show the intruder-to-be that he was coming, and tired at that. He had to concentrate for a second to try and send reassuring vibes to the other side of the door, and he opened it, looking down at the floor where a startled cadet was staring up at him, eyes wide and a bit nervous under tousled, messy black hair.
"Yes?" Draco concentrated on making his voice flat and almost toneless, and the cadet stood up, reminded of business.
Draco could sense the uncertainty rolling out from the cadet in waves, but he smiled humorlessly and stepped back, correctly assuming that a little space might help.
The cadet saluted him, informing Draco that the headmaster wished to speak to him as soon as Draco was free to come.
Draco listened with half an ear, feeling mildly indignant at being disturbed for such a paltry message, but he was scanning the boy before either of them realized it.
Harry Beaumont, age 17.
Draco blinked in surprise. 17 and not a SeeD?
"Wait." The command was authorative and soft-spoken, correctly assuming that Harry would listen, and he did, stopping out of habit.
Draco eyed him, mentally congratulating him for staring back unflinchingly at unwavering gaze, which was more than any of the cadets that morning had done, each wincing or flinching as if expecting a physical assault, pale with the dread and fear of the possibility of being picked to knight Draco. Draco found this highly amusing, and not a little insulting; that he would pick a terrified little boy for his knight was laughable, and he thought the choosers more pathetic with each group they showed up with. They were obviously running out of perfect candidates.
"Why aren't you a SeeD?"
Harry blinked, a little surprised at Draco's bluntness.
"Answer me, cadet." Draco put an undertone of ice in the command, and Harry snapped back to attention.
"I take the test tomorrow with the other candidates, sir. Is that all?"
Draco's eyes narrowed dangerously at the curt, almost disrespectful request to leave, and Harry's sharp intake of breath proved that he knew the error for what it was.
Draco gestured inside shortly, and Harry tentatively stepped in, only to have Draco order him to stay in the room until he got back.
Harry, having no choice but to obey, knowing Draco would see through any excuse, stepped further into the room, confusion surrounding him, and Draco smiled coldly, shutting the door and floating down to the headmasters office.
Both cadets and SeeDs alike moved out of his way as he floated, correctly assuming that it was a float spell, and fervently hoping that Draco hadn't gotten his wings yet, as wings were the symbol of an all powerful sorceress, unbeatable with the single weakness of his or her knight. Draco got a perverse pleasure in making them move away, staring at him in awe and terror mixed with horror as he went past.
Upon reaching the headmasters office, it was with no surprise that he greeted the commander as well, even considering the fact that she held a pistol pointed at his head. He blinked amiably at her, even as defensive mechanisms started burning in the back of his mind.
"Please sit, Draco."
He stood for a second longer than necessary, making it clear that he sat because he wanted to, not because he was asked … or rather told.
The headmaster and commander exchanged glances, and even though she had lowered the gun, Draco was still in a half mode for erecting shields at a moments notice. Given that he was slightly more receptive to the commander, despite the fact that she had just been pointing a gun between his eyes, she spoke first.
"Draco, it is a necessity that you choose a knight at once, and without delay. There has been an uprising in Esthar, and their sorceress has escaped with her knight …" she trailed off, aware of Draco's ice capped glare.
"Draco, you must accept one of the choices before she arrives here, even if it is temporary." Sighed the headmaster, fixing Draco with his piercing blue eyes.
Draco shot up indignantly. "I don't have to do anything!" he spat out, and paused. Both the headmaster and commander were eyeing him warily now, and she had her gun out and at ready again. He drew in a deep, shuddering breath, forcing himself to relax, to calm down, before he killed her. Even if it were in self-defense, he'd still be executed for it, whether he tried to fight it or not. He sat down again, still glowering at both of them, and with a little hesitation, the commander lowered the gun again and spoke.
"Draco, she wants to kill all sorceresses, convinced that they are the only ones who can stop her. And you are the most threatening, considering that one of the other known sorceresses is her twin, and the other is 5 years old. And yes, she will even kill rogue sorceresses, probably without difficulty, as she has a knight. And you, having no knight, are at a distinct disadvantage."
Draco resisted the urge to sulk, because he knew they were right. It was written that sorceresses who had bonded with knights were stronger, even as they were restrained, the knight's strength combined with the sorceress'. It was all there, proved, written and accepted.
He sighed, and stood up, still frowning, both in thought, and at the unfairness of it all. "Bring all cadets taking the SeeD exam tomorrow to my chambers this evening. I will decide then."
They both looked startled that he knew about the exam, and more so that he was showing a preference, but they agreed and Draco left, smirking, knowing that they'd keep true to the agreement. It was the way of SeeD, to keep contracts, written or spoken.
Draco glided back to his apartments, his toes just touching the floor, as he wondered what to do with the cadet that had better still be there.
Harry was there, and staring out of the windows when the door opened, and he turned to face Draco with something akin to sympathy on his face.
Draco, unsure of the reason for the sympathy, and letting his pride resent it freely, got straight to the point. "We're all going to die."
Harry started lightly, and turned to face him fully. "What? How do you know?"
Draco shrugged, half telling the truth. "I can tell the future."
Harry snorted in obvious and disrespectful disbelief, possibly forgetting just who he was with, and Draco narrowed his eyes, feeling them start to change into the non-pupil silver eyes he received and couldn't control when in emotional upheaval.
Harry started again, more jerkily this time, his eyes fixed on Draco's glowing silver ones bravely. "I'm sorry sir."
Draco noticed with interest, and some begrudging respect that Harry didn't try to excuse his opinion; he was only apologizing for his disrespect. Or was he? Draco had a disturbing notion that Harry's apology also had some unsettling connection with the sympathy he had noted a few minutes before. And that had Draco thinking.
"You may leave." He told Harry shortly, preferring to be left alone anyway. It was time Harry got ready to appear in his chambers that evening, and he had to complete the ritual as well.
Harry bowed and left, but Draco stopped him at the door with an impulse.
"Wait. Good luck for tomorrow's exam, Harry."
Harry blinked, obviously surprised, and Draco gave a bitter laugh.
Harry, wisely choosing not to comment, just gave a small half smile. "Um … Thanks."
And the door clicked shut behind him, leaving Draco free to wonder if he really came out as rude and scary as they said. He must do, if Harry was surprised at him saying good luck.
Draco heaved a depressed sigh, feeling the familiar beginnings of restlessness stir within him, and he stared out the one small skylight the room had, pretending he was a cloud, alone in the sky, and most importantly … free.