Chapter Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Chapter Summary: Wherein there is too much running, Luna waits for Fleebles, Draco has an epiphany of sorts, women interrupt absolutely everything, Ginny is looking for answers, but the Bloody Baron (and Harry Potter) wait for no one.
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
Chapter 10 - Tomorrow Neverending
Without bothering to acknowledge Potter's reaction, Draco bolted. He ran faster than he ever had in his life, even faster than the night he had almost killed Dumbledore. Faster than the day Moody had told him they'd found his mother. Draco rushed through the castle, up and up and up until he doubled over next to the Owlery entrance, panting and clutching at the left side of his chest.
Going back to the Tower was out of the question; Ginny would surely be transporting Potter to his dormitory right now, and Potter was the last person Draco wanted to see. Maybe he could go home. It was Saturday; none of the professors would miss him until Monday, and he could just write Daphne a note. Yes. He'd write her a note right now and send it with one of the school owls. Draco straightened up and walked inside the darkening Owlery. The only source of light here was from outside, and dusk was gaining steady ground there.
Draco stopped next to the window and looked down; despite his best intentions, his eyes cut to the courtyard. Potter and Ginny were still there. He was sitting in the same arch, legs drawn up. She sat next to him, and one of her hands rested on Potter's knee. Draco's chest felt tight, though he didn't know why. Ginny said something and flipped her hair to the side. Potter shook his head and glanced in the direction of the castle. The direction Draco had gone.
"He's like a broken toy soldier, isn't he?"
Draco yelped and spun around. Luna Lovegood stood behind him, wearing that look of surprise that seemed permanently etched onto her pale face. A tawny owl sat on her shoulder, its eyes as round as Luna's.
"What are you doing here?" he asked. "You startled me."
"I didn't mean to," she said. "I was talking to the owls and I saw you looking at Harry."
Draco resisted the urge to glance out at the courtyard. "How do you know I wasn't looking at Ginny?"
"Oh, were you? A lot of boys look at Ginny. She's very pretty."
"Yeah," said Draco. Luna had the knack of saying very simple things in a way that made them sound strange; he'd noticed that long ago. "So why are you here all by yourself?" he asked.
"Waiting for the Fleebles," she said very seriously.
Oh, not another one of Luna Lovegood's famous mythical apparitions. The magical world wasn't magical enough for this girl. "Fleebles," Draco repeated.
She nodded. "Owls keep them under their wings when they're home, and let them out to play when night time comes."
"What are Fleebles supposed to do?"
Luna considered him for a moment. "I'm not sure. But I'd like to see them. Would you like to see them, Draco?"
It was such a simple thing -- his name. His given name, used matter-of-factly by Luna Lovegood. The girl regarded by many as mental and therefore to be avoided. But somehow, after everything that had happened, it felt like the most normal thing Draco had experienced for a century: standing in the dark, surrounded by owl shit, talking about Fleebles.
She'd merely said his name, but Draco felt a tug in his chest, like a reed snapping underwater. "I-- I don't think so," he told Luna. "I'm afraid I'm allergic to Fleebles," he added, and glanced down at the courtyard. Potter and Ginny were gone, and the grey stones shone with virgin rain. "I have to go," he said, suddenly finding that his voice was cracking.
It was as though a shroud were lifted from Draco's eyes. He realised that he'd been hoping for life to go back to normal now that the war was over and the dirges had all been sung. He'd been hoping that one day he would wake up and feel normal once more. Now he realised that nothing could ever be normal. Not in a world where Draco Malfoy and Luna Lovegood conversed about Fleebles on a Saturday evening. Not in a world where Draco didn't laugh at Luna or hex her for getting under his feet. The world had changed. Draco had changed.
Draco hated change.
He stumbled out of the Owlery, leaving Luna alone with her Fleebles. He wanted to run again, but he didn't know where. At Malfoy Manor, his mother was no doubt entertaining someone highly placed or influential, or both. Only now, instead of being her husband's most beautiful accessory, she'd be doing all the talking, because the world had changed. Going home would only remind Draco of that even more.
In the South Tower, Gryffindors and Slytherins lived under the same roof. Just this Thursday, Draco had overheard Finnigan telling Nott that he knew how to smuggle Firewhisky into the common room "for the party". Two years ago, Draco would've assumed the Gryffindors were staging a prank. Two years ago, Finnigan would have only talked to a Slytherin as part of a prank.
You are still such a boy, his mother had told him. And he was. By Merlin, he was.
Draco didn't know any places beyond Hogwarts and his home, and running someplace unknown felt too dangerous and fraught with even more changes. He felt like he didn't fit, like the world was a shoe a few sizes too small or too big, depending on the weather. The only familiar eyes were his own, but he could hardly spend the rest of his days in front of a mirror just to avoid facing the rest of the world.
"Where do you think you're going?" a woman's voice interrupted.
Draco stopped and stared at the Fat Lady. His feet had led him back to the dormitories.
"Well, are you going to tell me the password or are you just going to stand there?" the Fat Lady demanded. "I am starting to hate Saturdays, you know -- first drunk people, and now vagabonds. It was much better when there were only Gryffindors--"
"Poinsettia," said Draco. "Shut up."
The portrait swung forwards, apparently at a loss for words. Draco felt a little better: he hadn't completely lost control yet.
However, the evening's trend of being startled by women continued as soon as he walked into the nearly empty common room. Daphne nearly sprang off the sofa to walk towards him, carefully sidestepping Lolita, who was attempting to eat her own tail on the hearthrug.
"Where were you?" asked Daphne after giving Draco a quick kiss.
"Out," said Draco, and glanced around. "Where is everyone?"
"Hogsmeade, where else? It's Saturday."
Draco detected annoyance in her voice, which dovetailed nicely with the mild panic he felt at realising that Hogsmeade on Saturday was apparently the "normal" thing in this alien world. "Why didn't you go?" he asked, just to fill the gap in the conversation.
"I didn't want to go without you."
Draco frowned. "We're not exactly attached at the hip, Daphne--"
He barely had time to acknowledge the hurt look in her eyes -- he'd said something wrong, hadn't he, well, it wasn't his fault that he was distracted -- when Ginny barrelled down the boys' dormitory staircase. The look on her face told Draco nothing good.
"A word, Malfoy?" Ginny muttered, stopping a few feet from Draco and Daphne.
Fuck. Where Ginny was, Potter couldn't be far behind, and somehow Draco reckoned that he wouldn't like whatever it was she was about to tell him. Potter had been completely off his head; he'd probably told Ginny all about his... perverted little problem.
On the other hand, if he told Ginny he was busy, he'd have to deal with Daphne, who was wearing a "scandalised wife" look, one that all women must've practised since birth -- eyes narrowed, nose seeming slightly longer, chin wrinkling ever so slightly. Draco thought of frying pans and fires, and nodded to Ginny. "Yeah," he said. "Sorry, Daphne. Weasley and I have something to discuss."
To be perfectly honest, he'd rather have spent the whole evening with Ginny, because at least she wouldn't try to shove her tongue down his throat. He followed her out of the portrait hole, past an unusually subdued Fat Lady.
"Where's the fire?" he asked, and leant against a tapestry, causing a grey hare to scarper towards a tree. "You realise that my girlfriend is not impressed--"
"She'll survive," said Ginny. "I just want to know what you did to Harry, Malfoy."
Draco crossed his arms and glared down at her. "I didn't give him the Firewhisky, if that's what you're implying, he found that all on his own--"
"I don't mean the Firewhisky," said Ginny, her voice steely.
"You shouldn't interrupt people," Draco observed. "It's rude."
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Sorry. But you know perfectly well I'm not talking about the Firewhisky."
"Well, no, actually, I don't," said Draco, relaxing a bit. So Potter hadn't told her. This was a plus. But he'd let something slip; that was a definite minus. "I thought I'd do a good deed by sending for you when I found him flailing about in the courtyard, and here I stand before the grand Weasley inquisition."
"Alas, how the mighty have fallen," said Ginny, smirking a bit. "I was thinking maybe you said something about Hermione or..." She trailed off, lowering her gaze, her face suddenly pensive.
"I prefer not to speak ill of the dead," said Draco. "They're much more unpredictable than the living." He winced at the unbidden flashback of Snape's reanimated corpse reaching for Longbottom's throat. The memory alone seemed to darken all colour around him.
"What did you talk about in the courtyard?"
Your dick in my mouth. Fuckin' loved it. "Nothing important," said Draco, grateful for the torch-lit darkness that hid his flushing face. "He was too drunk to say much."
"He was sick all over the Entrance Hall floor," said Ginny, her mouth twisting.
Draco made a face. "Spare me the sordid details, please. I've exceeded my limit of good deeds for the day."
Ginny snorted without amusement. "Don't change, do you?"
You have no idea. But Draco said nothing.
Draco was relieved to find Daphne gone when he re-entered the common room. He'd had enough drama for one evening. Ginny had gone to the hospital wing for more Sobering Solution, which meant that Draco couldn't even go up to the dormitory, as Potter would undoubtedly try something vile, considering the state he was in. He stayed in the common room, played with Lolita, and pretended not to listen to three sixth-year Hufflepuffs gossip about the Ravenclaw girl in their dormitory. After hearing everything from the poor girl's nightgown to her toothbrush discussed in minute detail, he wondered idly if women were always this vicious or if it was something they grew out of.
After Ginny bustled in, carrying a large stoppered bottle, Draco picked Lolita up and carried her to the chess table, depositing her in the chair opposite. The kitten peeked up at the chessmen and swiped at the black knight with her paw. The horse reared and the knight turned around, lifting his visor. Draco could almost picture the annoyance on his face.
"I see you've not been taught the rules," he told Lolita.
A transparent, disembodied head slid through the wall behind the kitten, who yowled and scrambled off towards the fireplace. The Hufflepuff gossip queens cooed as one.
"Your Bloodiness," acknowledged Draco, watching as the rest of the Bloody Baron made its way into the room.
"He-- He's not allowed in here!" exclaimed one of the Hufflepuffs.
Draco turned and glared at her. "Where's that written?"
"I'm telling Professor Slughorn!" said the girl.
"Good luck," said the Bloody Baron acidly. "He's in Hogsmeade, putting Honeydukes out of business. Peeves told me"
"Well, if he's allowed, then I'm going to invite the Fat Friar," said another Hufflepuff.
The Bloody Baron snorted. "He's in the dungeons, playing hide-and-go-seek with the first-years."
"Just ignore them," said Draco. "Fancy a game of chess?"
"Don't mind if I do," said the Bloody Baron with dignity. Inwardly, Draco chuckled. The old fox had probably been stalking the common rooms all night, waiting for a Slytherin or two to sit down to a chess table.
After Draco won three games in a row, the Bloody Baron was not amused. "Pernicious, beetle-headed miscreant!" he proclaimed, not unkindly. Draco, who had already been a "craven, iron-witted whipster" and a "rank, paunchy ruffian", merely grinned. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Ginny walk towards the sofa and plop down with a heavy sigh.
At the same time, a gaggle of Ravenclaws fell through the portrait hole, arguing loudly about something called "radio".
"I'm telling you, Wizards' Wireless is not the same thing!" said Marcus Belby, puffing out his chest.
Luna Lovegood floated in behind him. "Of course not," she told Belby. "Wizards' Wireless is powered by an infinite number of Laffreys on wheels. But Muggle radio--"
"Luna!" shouted Ginny, and patted the sofa beside her.
A smart move, Draco thought, because he could already see Belby's lip curling. He wouldn't dare insult Luna in front of Ginny, though; a certain Bat-Bogey Hex continued to be well-known throughout the school.
"Hi, Draco," said Luna. "Did you find what you were looking for?"
Everyone turned to stare at him. Draco looked to the Bloody Baron for encouragement, but the ghost had made a hasty exit in the meantime. "I didn't," he said to Luna. "Maybe tomorrow."
"Tomorrow is a good time for plans," said Luna. "Because it never ends."
Belby sniggered, and Ginny glared at him. To his own endless surprise, so did Draco.
It was definitely time for bed.
He didn't risk asking Ginny if Potter was asleep or still sicking up the Firewhisky. Whatever he was doing, he wouldn't be very likely to want to talk to Draco, not after what Draco had said to him.
"Didn't think you'd show up," said Potter before Draco even had a chance to shut the door. He stood with his back to Potter, clutching the doorknob, and wondering if he could still run away.
He couldn't, not without Potter drawing Merlin knew what conclusions, and so Draco opted to play deaf. He locked the door, then remembered that for once, he wasn't the last one here, and unlocked it again. He crossed the distance between the doorway and his bed unhurriedly, trying diligently to ignore Potter's figure looming at the edge of his peripheral vision.
Draco pulled the bed hangings open and then crouched down next to the drawer of his bedside cabinet. Where had he put his toothbrush? Maybe Potter would get the hint if Draco ignored him for a while. Maybe Draco could storm out if Potter didn't get the hint. Where would he go, though? Where was his fucking toothbrush?
"In the bathroom," said Potter.
Damn it, had he said that out loud? Hopefully he'd only said the toothbrush bit, not the Potter bit. Draco pulled a fresh towel from the bottom drawer and straightened up, turning towards the bathroom, but his way was blocked. Potter leant one-armed against one of the bedposts, head tilted sideways, as though he were a Herbologist fascinated by some rare plant.
"Get out of my way," said Draco. He'd meant to sound threatening, but instead the words came out shaking, stumbling against one another. He couldn't say he was frightened, but the cool look in Potter's eyes didn't mesh with his earlier drunken state.
"We got drunk," said Potter, as though Draco hadn't said a word. "I mean, really trollied. I told you I wanted to kiss you. And you told me to do it."
Draco was shaking his head. "No," he managed. "I don't have to listen--"
"Shut up." Potter took a step forward; Draco backed up on pure instinct. He was almost trapped in the cone-shaped alcove between his and Potter's beds. There was a window on the opposite side of the dormitory, and Draco wondered how far it was to fall from here. If he ran for it...
"I'm not sure when the clothes came off, but I remember it was hot in the room," Potter continued. "I had your dick in my hand, and you had mine;" -- Potter exhaled through parted lips; Draco smelled stale Firewhisky, Sobering Solution and something sourly unpleasant -- "it was your idea to um. Go down and--"
"I'm going to be sick," said Draco, trying to look the part. "Let me through--"
"You wanted to suck me off that night, and I'm the freak?"
Draco backed up another step. "I don't know what you're talking about."
Potter advanced. "Bullshit, Malfoy, don't fucking lie to me. I may not be as cunning as you, but I'm not stupid."
Draco squared his shoulders and stared into Potter's eyes. He'd only now noticed that Potter wasn't wearing his glasses. The last time Draco had seen him like this -- that night -- those eyes had seemed darker, larger. Now, they were like cold green points of ice, bright and sharp in the dark room, a cat's eyes
"I told you," said Draco weakly, "Keep your fantasies to yourself, I--"
"Fuck. You," Potter spat, and shoved him roughly. Draco stumbled but kept his balance, arms shooting out to seek purchase behind him, meeting nothing but air. His blood surged hot and furious; Potter had attacked first. Draco reached for his wand.
"Expelliarmus," muttered Potter, and stowed his own wand back in his pocket as Draco's wand rolled underneath his bed. "You'll always be slower than--"
Draco lunged at him, intending to shove him out of the way and run, run until he found someone who would appreciate the gravity of this situation: Potter had gone stone-cold crazy. Potter, however, was stronger, and he pushed Draco until they were in the alcove.
Draco had nowhere to go. Behind him was a stone wall. In front of him was Potter, whose hands rested on Draco's chest now. He could smell Potter now, and that was his undoing. The heat that had coursed through him not a second ago diverted its path towards Draco's belly and lower, up and forward, and his cock began to swell even though Draco could barely breathe. He had to get out. He realised he'd do anything to make Potter back off him, and so he did the most Gryffindorish thing he could think of.
"Fine," he muttered, not looking at Potter. "I remember what happened. I have all along. But I don't fucking want to remember it. None of it. Do you understand? I'm not a-- I'm not some-- I'm not like that!" He looked up into Potter's face, defiant now. He felt curiously better for having let it out, even if it was to the only person who already knew the secret anyway.
Slowly, Potter moved one hand down Draco's chest. Draco began to shake his head in protest, but in the next moment, Potter's fingers brushed against the bulge in the front of Draco's robes. "Why don't I believe you?" breathed Potter, and pressed harder.
Draco fought not to lean into the touch, pressing himself as far back into the wall as he could. "Don't--"
There was a burst of raucous laughter somewhere below them, steadily approaching laughter that could only belong to Dean Thomas -- he had a tendency to snort a little with each guffaw. Draco was saved.
"Accio!" Potter whispered urgently, and a small silver cloud rushed up towards the alcove. The Invisibility Cloak.
Before Draco could protest, the Cloak covered them both, and the door was banging open.
"How's he going to explain it, I wonder?" Finnigan's voice was drunken, loud.
Thomas chuckled. "I don't think he's worried about that right now, mate. I wouldn't be..."
"Too right!" There was a creak of bedsprings. "But seriously, d'you think Moody's going to notice if Zabini's not at breakfast?"
Under normal circumstances, Draco would've been interested in what they were saying, but the current circumstances could only be called "normal" on Opposite Day.
Potter held the Invisibility Cloak over them with one hand, pressed to the wall. His other hand was pulling Draco's robes up and off him. Draco tried to move aside, away from Potter's searching fingers, but he dared not make sudden movements, dared not make a noise of protest. If that Cloak came off and the other boys saw them...
Potter shoved his hand into Draco's pants. "Remember?" he whispered at Draco's barely suppressed gasp. Potter's grip was surer now, firmer than it had been that night in June. Like he knew what he was doing. Like he knew what Draco liked. Potter squeezed Draco's cock lightly at the head and quickened his strokes.
That's all I think about. Making you come. Like this.
Draco felt his mind cloud over, felt his hips arch off the wall and into Potter's touch. He lifted his head and met Potter's gaze, trying to glare, to tell him to back off, to make him stop. Instead, his eyes fixated on Potter's mouth, slightly open, his breaths shallow and warm against Draco's face. Their eyes met, and Potter bit his lip in a way that made things inside Draco unravel helplessly.
"Kiss me," Potter whispered -- it was a command, not a request, and Draco thought it wasn't wise to refuse a man who had your dick in his hand.
The dormitory was suddenly too quiet. "Did you say something?" asked Finnigan.
"Nah," said Thomas. "Must've been someone downstairs."
In the alcove, Draco barely heard them; he was fucking Potter's hand like it was the last thing he'd ever do. Potter's mouth tasted of Sobering Solution -- cloves and ginger -- but Draco no longer found it revolting, not when Potter's lips and tongue were making him remember, making him want to moan, and to hell with Thomas and Finnigan. His right hand had somehow ended up on the back of Potter's head, fingers threading through thick hair, pulling, making Potter grasp him harder, move faster, kiss deeper.
Draco tore his mouth from Potter's and threw his head back as he came, silent and powerful and wet. For a gloriously long split second, the world felt right to him again. He didn't want to open his eyes and let reality back in. But just as usual, he had no choice.