Chapter Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Chapter Summary: Wherein Seamus does not approve, Draco bargains, Harry is too impatient, Michael Corner speaks Latin, Moody lectures, Gaetano Sacchi and Harry Potter are not the same person, and something ends.
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
Chapter 11 - The Last Kiss
"Where's Harry, anyway?"
Potter froze, as did Draco. He stared through the Cloak at Finnigan and Thomas, who were seated on top of Finnigan's bed, looking around.
"Dunno," said Thomas with a shrug. "Ginny said he was up here, didn't she?"
"Yeah," said Finnigan, and cast a glance at Potter's bed. Draco bit his lip, not daring to move. Those two had been talking rather loudly earlier and, luckily, didn't seem to have heard anything aside from that one terrifying moment. But now...
"I should probably go and tell her he isn't here," said Thomas, rising. "He's probably sneaked out in his Cloak again--"
"And what do you care if he did?" Finnigan asked, getting up as well. "Don't tell me you're still carrying a torch for that girl, Dean, she dumped you--"
But Thomas was already walking out the door. Finnigan followed him, still saying something. A moment later, the door slammed shut, and they were alone again. Draco was suddenly aware of just what was nestled against his thigh -- Potter's cock, still hard even through the denim trousers. Draco panicked, thought about scrambling for his wand to cast a rapid-fire Memory Charm, and then a brilliant idea hit him.
"Look," he said to Potter, who seemed reluctant to move, even though Draco was trying to push him out of the way. "I think we can, uh. Help each other."
"I'd say," muttered Potter, and shifted so that his cock rubbed against Draco's thigh. Fuck.
"No, I mean. This is fucking ridiculous." Draco chewed on his bottom lip. "I-- uh. I don't want to remember this."
Potter, who had in the meantime slid the Cloak off them, froze. "I thought you liked--"
"I'll suck you off if you promise to Obliviate me afterwards," Draco managed. His face was burning. Had he really just said, I'll suck you off to a bloke? To Potter?
Potter's eyes were beginning to resemble giant saucers -- who bought green saucers, anyway? -- and he opened his mouth to speak, but Draco acted faster. He reached forward, pressed his palm against Potter's crotch and rubbed him through the denim. It filled Draco with a mixture of longing and self-loathing. He wanted to do this, wanted to touch Potter, to fondle his balls, to feel Potter's tongue in his mouth again. He couldn't just walk away from this -- he needed Potter to Obliviate him. Now that Potter knew that Draco had been lying about not remembering, there was no obstacle to asking him.
Potter looked like he was struggling to keep his eyes open, and Draco wrapped his fingers around his cock as best he could through the clothes. "Come on," he said. "You want me to do it. I want to forget this. We can help each other."
Potter's jaw tensed, and his eyes were alert once more, but he made no move to stop Draco. "Why can't you just do it?"
"Because I don't want to," spat Draco, and squeezed tighter.
Potter gasped and bucked slightly forwards. "You're not being very convincing--"
"Don't be such a fool. We both have girlfriends. We can't do this. You know we can't--"
Potter leant forward. "We can," he said. "You just don't think we should. Fuck, don't stop."
Draco stilled his hand, ignoring the frustrated noise Potter made. "No," he said. "I've told you my terms."
"This isn't business--"
"It is now." Draco's face still burned with embarrassment, but he could see hesitation in Potter's eyes, doubt and longing. He inclined his head slightly to whisper into Potter's ear. "Come on. It's either this or I walk away." As he spoke, Draco increased the pressure on Potter's cock, working his hand up and down the length, letting his thumb brush against the zip in Potter's jeans. "What's it going to be?"
Potter's breaths were laboured, jagged. "You're out of your mind."
"Am I?" Draco traced his tongue over the shell of Potter's ear, feeling at once wanton and desperate. His own arousal was threatening to return, somewhere deep inside his gut. He released Potter and tugged at the zip, careful not to let it come all the way open. Potter's chest heaved and he almost-moaned something unintelligible; all Draco could make out was "want".
"Say you'll do it," whispered Draco. "Say you'll erase my memory." He stuck two fingers into the gap in Potter's zip and rubbed Potter's cock through the fabric of his pants. His own forwardness terrified him, but he knew that Potter would stand his ground unless given a damned good reason not to. "Say you'll do it," he repeated, then drew Potter's earlobe into his mouth and sucked lightly.
"I will," panted Potter. "Anything, just. Please. Something."
Draco ripped the button on Potter's jeans open, uncertain of the reason for his eagerness: was it because he couldn't wait to get it over with and forget? Or was it because he couldn't wait to feel Potter's cock in his mouth again? He began to push Potter's jeans off him, and paused -- he wasn't about to get on his knees, was he? Of course not.
"The bed," he said, and pulled them towards the nearest bed -- Potter's. Good thing, too -- Draco certainly didn't want Potter in his bed.
"There," he told Potter, nodding at the headboard. Potter climbed onto the bed and sat with his back to the wall, his eyes wide and anxious. "Well, what the fuck are you staring at?" Draco asked, irritated. "Take off your trousers."
Potter complied, a bit too quickly, and his wand slid out of his pocket and rolled across the blanket towards Draco. He picked it up and made the curtains around the bed close, plunging them into a comfortable semi-darkness, one where he could only see the whites of Potter's eyes shining but not the expression on his face. This way, even if Finnigan and Dean returned, they wouldn't see...
Draco thought about it and cast an Imperturbable Charm on the curtains, for good measure. He tossed Potter's wand aside and tugged on the collar of his robes in a futile effort to stall everything. Was he seriously going to do this? Was he? Nothing stopped him from changing his mind right now, but that meant he would remember this, and what had just happened moments earlier. No.
Draco felt his way towards Potter's cock; his fingers slid along the warm, soft, hairless skin on Potter's thighs. Potter exhaled sharply, and Draco felt a muscle twitch beneath his fingertips, which made him absurdly pleased with himself -- he'd caused that, just by touching Potter. There was nothing calculated or rational about this, not like with Daphne, where Draco was in control every step of the way, simply because there was no other way for him to--
His fingers brushed against something warm, silk-thin, delicate and familiar. Potter's harsh intake of breath turned into a desperate little wheeze as Draco curled his right hand around Potter's cock. This was familiar territory already; he'd done this twice before, even though Potter didn't remember the second time. But the previous two times had been confused and frantic; this time, it was deliberate. Draco's hand moved as though of its own accord, as though he didn't need to think about what he was doing.
"Keep it down," he snapped in an effort to distract himself. "Those two goons could come back."
"Why don't you get on with it then?" Potter whispered back in surly tones.
Where did the littler wanker get off, telling Draco what to do? Draco stopped jerking Potter off and squeezed the base of his cock cruelly. Potter grunted and moved one of his hands down to wrap it around Draco's. "Don't," he warned.
Draco moved back and released Potter's cock. Nothing was worth this. He'd find a way to forget this when he found a way to forget the other times. "Fine, I won't," he told Potter, and dove for the bed hangings. The handy thing about Imperturbable Charms was that they didn't impede those inside the protected location to leave.
Unfortunately, the bed hangings decided to be uncooperative, and Draco only got halfway out before Potter seized him from behind and dragged him back into the dark. "Where are you going?"
"To my own bed," said Draco, "and I'll thank you to unhand me immediately."
"What happened to the deal?" Potter's voice was laced with bitterness.
"Deal's off," said Draco. "Now let me go. I'm not going to do anything for you, so unless you're going to force me, like you did earlier--"
"I didn't force you to do anything!" Potter snapped. "Your dick was hard from just standing next to me, Malfoy. You wanted it--"
Draco twisted violently and freed his arms from Potter's grasp. "You know what, Potter? You can fucking justify it any way you want for yourself -- you're the celebrated hero, after all." Venom filled Draco's voice, and he saw Potter's eyes flash in the darkness. "But I didn't give you permission to touch me. If I were Ginny Weasley, you wouldn't fucking force yourself into her, would you? But because I'm just Malfoy, not one of your precious Weasleys, it's all right to use me--"
"Use you? I didn't fuck you! I jerked you off and made you come--"
"Fuck you, Potter. If you don't understand that I don't want any of this, that's your problem. But you stay the fuck away from me, or I'll tell everyone--"
"If you tell anyone about me, you'll have to tell them about you." Potter's voice was guarded now, low and threatening.
"Oh yes," hissed Draco, inching away. "A lovely headline that would make, wouldn't it? Harry Potter Rapes Schoolmate, Claims Schoolmate 'Wanted It' Don't underestimate Rita Skeeter, Potter. And for the last time -- stay away from me."
"Before peace, there must be war."
Moody tapped the blackboard with his wand and the words he'd just spoken appeared on it, brilliant white.
The first Auror Fast Track class, held in a first-floor classroom with a view of the courtyard, was officially in session.
"What does that mean?" asked Moody, turning to face them.
There were seven students in the room -- Draco, Millicent, Lisa Turpin, Terry Boot, Michael Corner, and Ernie Macmillan. Draco and Millicent sat together near the front; the Ravenclaws and Macmillan spread out in the middle, and Potter sat at the back.
"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum," said Michael Corner. "Vegetius, Epitoma Rei Militaris."
"If you want peace, prepare for war," translated Lisa Turpin.
Moody shook his head. "Not exactly. Close, though. These words," -- he gestured at the blackboard -- "were said by Salazar Slytherin, one of the original Hogwarts Founders. What do they mean?"
"There cannot be peace without war," muttered Millicent. She cast a quick glance at Draco, who raised an amused eyebrow, and shrugged. "I read about it in second year, when we had to do that famous figures essay for Binns."
Moody turned to her. "You've just rephrased it. What does the phrase mean?"
Draco sighed. "One cannot appreciate the value of peace without having lived through war."
Moody nodded approvingly. "EXACTLY!" he nearly bellowed. "That puts you," -- he gestured around at all of them -- "at an advantage compared to wizards from, say, New Zealand. They haven't had a war in centuries. If a Dark Lord were to rise there, they'd fold and submit. Their bellies are soft."
Draco knew this side of Moody well: the drawn-together brows, the magical eye rolling about as though possessed by a spirit, the tensed shoulders. Service as an Auror had been Moody's life, and though he'd become unhinged by the time of his retirement, he still had the training, still believed in his work.
"Britain's Aurors," continued Moody, "are some of the best in the world because we're almost always at war."
Draco remembered the Sorting Hat's words at the beginning of the year and smirked. "So what you're saying is that Britain's Aurors are some of the best in the world because Britain's wizards are too stupid to learn from their mistakes," he whispered to Millicent.
Moody didn't seem to hear him. "Our Aurors know the price of peace. Who can tell me, in five words or less, what the task of the Auror force is?"
Lisa Turpin cleared her throat. "Fighting the Dark Arts?"
"Four words, very good. I'd give five points to Ravenclaw if I could," said Moody. "Fighting the Dark Arts."
The words appeared on the blackboard immediately below Before peace, there must be war.
Moody stuck his wand in his robe pocket and pointed his index finger at the students. "The war against the Dark Arts is one that will never stop. The Dark Arts are a shortcut to power, and they're seductive to anyone who wants power." Moody eyed Draco, who stared back at him but said nothing.
Moody turned to Ernie Macmillan. "During the course of your training, you will come to appreciate that power. Some of you will even be tempted by its charm. Being able to resist that temptation is what makes a difference between the real Auror and the never-has-been."
"Well, then, Malfoy here's a shoo-in," spoke Potter unexpectedly. "He knows all about resisting temptation." Potter's voice was quiet, but it seemed to Draco that he'd shouted, because suddenly, everyone was looking at him. Everyone except for Moody, who was frowning in Potter's general direction.
Draco's rage seethed beneath his skin, making him want to do stupid thing upon stupid thing, but he maintained a stony expression and ignored the questioning look on Millicent's face. Potter had left him alone since their encounter on Saturday, and this was the first time he'd spoken to Draco since then. If Potter thought that taunting Draco would change anything, he was in for a big surprise.
The cuckoo clock on Moody's desk came to life suddenly, announcing that their hour was up.
"You go ahead," Draco told Millicent. "I'm going to go for a walk before I go back."
Millicent eyed him with some apprehension. "What do I tell your girlfriend?"
Draco sighed and rolled his shoulders. "Tell her I have a dinner date with the giant squid. I don't care."
Daphne was still not speaking to him -- after Saturday's blunder, Draco really couldn't blame her -- and it wasn't even certain if they were still going out or not. Knowing that Millicent and Draco were friendly, Daphne would interrogate Millicent about his comings and goings, but she refused to speak to him directly. She would probably work herself into a jealous frenzy by the time Draco got back from his walk -- what was it about women that made them so fucking possessive the minute you kissed them?
Draco told himself to stop worrying about Daphne. He needed to clear his head before he sat down to write the damned essay on rare potions for Slughorn. It was due first thing tomorrow morning, and Draco had written a staggering five sentences, all of them rubbish, over the past week. He glanced out of the window and then around himself -- Moody was leaving, carrying the cuckoo clock under his arm. Draco waited for him to disappear from sight, unlatched the window, and climbed out into the courtyard. Fucked if he was going to walk all that way to the proper door.
Draco ambled along the winding cobblestone walkway, muttering. "The Appendicus Praestans Potion was invented in 1632 by a down-on-his-luck smuggler named Gaetano Sacchi, who knew all about resisting temptation--"
No, that was wrong. Draco kicked at a loose stone and ran a hand through his hair. The wind was picking up, and it would get cold soon.
"Harry Potter was a smuggler who--"
Draco told himself to focus on the subject matter. He'd read the books. He could do this. He just needed to make a clear outline, or something. Draco walked on, measuring his steps and reciting the material to himself.
"The Appendicus Praestans Potion turns the drinker's appendix, an otherwise useless organ, into a temporary storage area. Once the potion is ingested, anything swallowed for the following six hours will go directly to the appendix. Once the smuggler is past the wizarding security checkpoints, he must have the appendix removed in order to extract the smuggled goods. The potion never became popular because it could only be used once in a smuggler's life, and only for smaller objects, but the British goblins of that age used smuggled emeralds to imbue the weapons they forged with special abilities--"
There were footsteps behind him, rapidly approaching as though at a run. Draco drew his wand and turned around to find Potter catching up with him, out of breath and looking cross. "I thought I told you to stay away from me," called Draco.
Potter stopped. "I was just getting a bit of exercise."
"I won't keep you, then." Draco stepped off the walkway and onto the grass.
Potter didn't move. "Malfoy, can we at least talk about this?"
Draco clenched his teeth. "I thought you said you were getting a bit of exercise."
Draco snorted. "Thanks for the clarification. But no, we can't talk about anything, and I wasn't bluffing about telling everyone, Potter. Don't fucking talk to me, don't try to get a rise out of me in lessons, and for Merlin's sake, stop following me around."
"I just want to know why you're being such a priss," said Potter, frowning. "I'm not asking you to marry me and I'm not asking you to hold hands with me in the Great Hall. That night, at Grimmauld Place--"
"Don't talk to me about that night!" shouted Draco. "I don't want to remember it. I don't want to remember Saturday, or that night behind the greenhouses--" He bit his tongue, but it was too late.
Potter frowned and tilted his head sideways. "What night behind the greenhouses?"
"That was with someone else," blurted Draco. "Not you."
Potter's eyes flashed. "You've been with someone else?"
"Yeah," said Draco casually. "What are you going to do, divorce me?"
Potter said nothing, but the look on his face was murderous. Relief flooded Draco's chest. Better to let Potter think Draco had done it with more than one person than tell him about the Memory Charm. He watched Potter's nostrils flaring as he breathed, and was struck by the realisation that in another universe, he might've even been flattered that Potter was clearly jealous. How fucking absurd was it that Potter was jealous of some hypothetical bloke, but not of Daphne?
"I'm just surprised you did it with someone else," Potter managed. "Since you won't stop saying how freakish and unnatural it is."
"It is freakish and unnatural," said Draco. "I was off my head on coltsfoot behind the greenhouses," he improvised. "With you, I was drunk. Wasn't myself."
"What about Saturday. Who were you then?"
"You forced me--"
"I didn't force shit," said Potter, and took a threatening step towards him. "I didn't rape you--"
"You might as well have," Draco bit back. "I didn't want you to touch me. I don't ever want you to touch me. I refuse to be a freak. Don't you fucking understand?"
Potter's eyes were sceptical. "You want it just as much as I do. No one has to know, Malfoy."
"I would know," said Draco bitterly. "That's enough for me. I don't expect you to understand, Potter. But don't think you can tell me how to live my life. I don't owe you anything."
Feeling himself dangerously close to breaking point, Draco took off at a sprint. He glanced back a few times on his run back to the castle, but Potter wasn't following. He was standing at the edge of the lake with his head bowed.
Draco's essay was finished by one in the morning. The common room was completely empty by then, save for the cats, who had found a skein of yarn and were now busy covering all bare surfaces with bright purple string.
"The house-elves will take it all away by morning," Draco told Lolita, who ignored him utterly.
Sighing, Draco stuffed his essay, quill, and ink bottle back into his bag and headed upstairs to bed.
He fell asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow, and dreamt of long, winding corridors, their walls covered with purple yarn. Draco was running again, looking for something. He ran into a yarn spider web, and the fuzzy strands filled his mouth, making it difficult to breathe. Eerie whispers rang in his ears, filling his head with a buzzing noise... wake up, Malfoy, wake up... MalfoyMalfoyMalfoy, wakeupwakeupwakeup... Draco?
Draco opened his eyes and felt a hand over his mouth. He jerked upwards, trying to sit up.
"Shh," whispered Potter. "I'm not going to force you into anything. I just." He stopped and bit his lip. He was kneeling over Draco, his free arm resting next to Draco's head. If Draco made a racket and any of the others came running, this would look awful. Draco stayed put, but his mind was already turning over various scenarios for making Potter pay. He tried to bare his teeth and bite Potter's fingers, but Potter removed his hand.
"I'm sorry it's all gone a bit pear-shaped," he said. "I never meant to force you. I just thought you wanted the same thing I did. I suppose you don't."
"No," said Draco, cautiously. Better not to point out that Potter was straddling him on a bed, which hardly qualified as "not meaning to force" things. Maybe this was some sort of weird Gryffindor apology ritual, though. "And I'd say that a bit pear-shaped is rather an understatement."
Potter sighed. "I'm going to tell Ginny," he said, as though to himself. "It's not fair to her."
"You're going to tell her-- what?" Draco asked quickly. His heart began to hammer in his chest once again: this was Potter, he'd gone touched in the head after the war, how could Draco have forgotten that?
"That I can't be with her because I'm, you know. I like blokes."
Draco hadn't expected that sharp stab in his gut. "Blokes?"
Potter didn't seem to notice the tone of Draco's voice. "Yeah. Well, I just wanted to apologise. I don't want to be your enemy, Malfoy. I'm tired of having enemies."
Draco inhaled, wishing that the smell of Potter's skin would stop distracting him. "So you'll not accost me any more."
"I give you my word," said Potter.
And then he bent down and pressed his lips to Draco's, slowly, carefully. Draco's heartbeat pulsed rapidly in his chest, but a weak, traitorous part of him stopped him from shoving Potter away, because deep down he knew this would be their last kiss. Draco let his lips part and swept the tip of his tongue across Potter's lower lip. Potter made a funny noise and pressed closer, his tongue meeting Draco's.
This wasn't the frantic, haphazard, wet sort of kiss they'd shared before -- it was slow, unhurried, quiet, bittersweet. Potter was kissing him goodbye, and despite himself, Draco wanted it to last forever.
Potter pulled away and climbed off Draco awkwardly, then disappeared behind the curtains without a glance back. Draco stared at the curtain until it stopped billowing, wondering why he felt so disappointed. He'd got what he wanted, hadn't he?
The lingering warmth of Potter's lips on Draco's refused to dissipate, and the more often Draco pressed his fingers to his mouth to rid himself of the feeling, the stronger his memory of the kiss became. Draco turned over onto his stomach, grabbed handfuls of his pillow and screwed his eyes shut, trying to think of anything but Potter, failing. Potter would keep his word -- of that, Draco was certain. He wasn't sure why; something about the way Potter had looked at him, the determined set to his jaw, the quiet finality in his voice.
The certainty brought no comfort. Draco had to face it: he wanted Potter more than anything. Knowing that he couldn't have Potter was making Draco beyond miserable. Even worse was the knowledge that Draco was denying himself something. He'd never denied himself anything before, and he supposed that was a part of adulthood, too.
The only way out for him would be to forget all this. There had to be a way; there simply had to be.