Pairing[s]: Harry/Draco and others.
Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Length: 3000 words
Summary: You cannot have liberty in this world without what you call moral virtue, and you cannot have moral virtue without the slavery of that half of the human race who hate what you call moral virtue. [William Blake]
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
Interregnum - Chapter 25
Potter's eyes widened, and Draco took a step closer.
"I don't have to listen to this," mumbled Potter. He fled, managing to appear rather like he was late for an important appointment.
Draco's palm, still smarting from the photograph's crumpled edges, clenched into a fist. Why had he said that? Why did he want it? Potter's bedroom door slammed, hard. Not a minute later, there came the sound of Potter's shower running. Draco was willing to bet the water was cold. Oh, Potter wanted it, too. He was just too frightened to admit it; they all were. This was familiar, and Draco's unease about Potter's earlier behaviour began to fade. All he needed to do was wait, and Potter would come to him. He would be verbally abusive. He would get physical...
But Draco didn't want to wait. He could do nothing about Crabbe. Not until they went back to England -- Draco would find a way to give Potter the slip, he was sure. Until then, Potter would provide a source of entertainment, like they all did. Potter could think whatever he wanted. Draco wouldn't have to deal with him for much longer.
Draco removed his Muggle clothing and slid a set of robes over his head. He left his wand in his room and sauntered down the corridor. Potter's bedclothes were rumpled. His illegal jeans lay next to the bathroom door, the legs obscenely splayed. Draco sat down on the bed, facing the shut bathroom door. Before long, the water stopped, and Potter emerged, naked, towelling his hair.
Upon noticing Draco, he made a strangled noise and gripped the doorframe.
"You didn't answer my question," said Draco, staring at Potter's crotch. Had he wanked in the shower? One way to find out.
Potter covered himself with the towel, one-handed. His other hand still clutched the doorframe. "You've got a lot of nerve," he said, glowering. "Get out of here."
"Or what?" asked Draco, leaning back on his elbows. The bedsprings creaked. "Nothing's going to change if I leave. I sucked you off and you liked it."
"You tied me up," said Potter, finally letting go of the doorframe. He fastened the towel around his hips and crossed his arms. The swell of his biceps made Draco's breath catch a little. He always forgot how fit Potter had become.
"Forced you right into it, didn't I?" he drawled to mask his discomfort. "Held a wand to your throat when you stole that photo from my flat. Bullied you into buying FRAT BOY SMORGASBORD, or whatever. Why don't you blame me for the cellular explosions, too?"
"Nuclear," said Potter, in a resigned way that made Draco's heart ache for Blaise, who had used a similar tone when correcting Draco's mispronunciations. What was he doing here? And why didn't he want to leave?
"I think we did pretty well, considering," said Patrick, surveying Eva Kay's flat. The dust was back in all its rightful places. Even the sorry fur coats in the wardrobe were arranged exactly as they had been prior to Patrick's exploratory trip inside. The hapless Ace was back wherever he had lain in wait, under the full impression that there had been a false alarm earlier today. He certainly had no clue that he'd told some secrets to a couple of complete strangers, secrets whose escape, Patrick was sure, could get poor Ace killed quicker than he could say "wizards".
It was odd, that the Muggles here weren't aware of what had happened in England this summer. Hermione Granger had hinted darkly that other countries' Wizengamots were quick to react to the threat from the Isles, so that very few places considered the "news" from England real news. It was increasingly thought to have been the result of some mass hysteria, which was apparently being blamed on mad cows, of all things. Which was, of course, perfectly silly, since cows didn't even have minds to go mad with. Muggles had some delightfully odd beliefs.
"Considering what?" asked Millicent, sounding distracted. "What are we considering?"
"Considering, I dunno. Mad cows," replied Patrick, knowing full well she would ignore him utterly, so he might as well have said "dancing penises". Millicent was clearly formulating a Plan, and when that happened, Millicent Couldn't Be Arsed about anything. Upon reflection, it was likely a plan that boded ill for Patrick's personal safety, but he loved his wife anyway. "Or possibly dancing penises," he ventured.
"Yes," said Millicent, nodding. "We should go to Hogwarts."
Patrick brightened. "Hogwarts?" Hogwarts was in England. Hogwarts was safe and cosy. Maybe he'd overestimated Millicent's obvious death wish.
"If the woman is from England, she must have gone to Hogwarts. We don't know when, but she can't be older than two hundred."
"Process of elimination?" guessed Patrick.
Millicent beamed at him. "Exactly."
Patrick made a face. "That's a lot of elimination, even if we discount the Muggle-borns. How will we even gain access to student records? Hogwarts protects that kind of thing, you know."
"I have a plan," said Millicent.
"Look, Malfoy," said Harry. He couldn't believe the nerve of him, barging in here and demanding an answer to his inane question. His temples pounded. "I can't deal with you right now, I--"
"I'm not asking you to deal with me," said Malfoy, still reclining infuriatingly upon Harry's mattress. "Just drop the towel and let me deal with you. I'm bored, Potter, and you've got a gorgeous cock."
Harry's cock was evidently flattered, but his heart thudded heavy against his ribs. How could one person be maddening enough for eight? "I'm warning you."
"What are you going to do, boy wonder?" Malfoy tilted his head to one side and looked at Harry with something like pity. "Manhandle me back to my bedroom, take my wand away, lock me in another one of your fancy cages? None of that will get you off, unless you're stranger than I thought."
A dull roar filled Harry's ears. He crossed the distance between them in three strides and pulled Malfoy up off the bed. Malfoy's hips shot forward to meet his, and Harry hissed involuntarily at the unexpected friction. He had to get Malfoy out of here. He could have just left, but he'd already run away from Malfoy once today, and this was his room, damn it, Malfoy had no business being here, making indecent propositions, affecting Harry this way. He tried to shove Malfoy away, but Malfoy slid an arm round Harry's naked waist and held him fast, too close, too close, cool fingers burning against the small of Harry's back.
With his other hand, Malfoy tugged at Harry's towel, which all of a sudden represented his last defence against something he couldn't even name. Malfoy leaned forward, his mouth close to Harry's ear, like before. "It's not gay to get your dick sucked, you know." Oh, bastard. He'd planned this, every moment of it. He'd just wanted Harry like this, so close he couldn't deny what was going on underneath his towel. "It's really only gay if you're sucking it," continued Malfoy, in a breathy sort of whisper that made Harry's knees weaken.
Malfoy slipped a hand under the towel and slid it down the back of Harry's leg. "Come on," he murmured against Harry's neck. "Come on." He flicked his tongue out, solid and wet and not even a little bit forked. Harry's defences were crumbling. "No," he said, unsteadily. "No, don't." Malfoy's lips warm against his neck. "You can't." Malfoy's tongue at his collarbone. "I shouldn't." Malfoy sat down on the bed, fingers trailing down Harry's hips.
The towel fell away, as did the last of Harry's self-control. Malfoy's mouth engulfed him, and Harry wondered why he'd fought this so hard. Like before, it felt far better than he'd imagined, and he wondered why revulsion always welled up in him at thinking about this, why, when the experience felt so good. This wasn't... God, Malfoy wasn't just sucking him off; he was making love to Harry's cock. Harry's hands hung uselessly by his sides; it was all down to Malfoy's lips, soft and eager. Down to the obscene sounds Malfoy's mouth made. Down to Malfoy's thumb pressing gently against his balls. Down to that terrifying blink-and-you-missed-it occasional scrape of teeth. It felt like walking a tightrope with no safety, but knowing you'd survive no matter what. It was fucking brilliant.
"Oh fuck," breathed Harry, unable to look away from Malfoy, eyes closed, licking the underside of Harry's cock as though it were a lolly. One of them was making tiny, whimpering noises; Harry suspected himself. His brain was elsewhere, and for once he didn't miss it. Malfoy took him in again, obscenely deep, his mouth stretched tight, so tight. Harry rocked forward, wanting to feel those lips against the very base of his cock, wanting to be swallowed whole by that sinuous heat. With a grunt, Malfoy gripped Harry's arse, pulling him in -- soon, Harry didn't need any encouragement; he fucked Malfoy's mouth like he'd wanted to for weeks, the fevered thump deep in his groin intensifying with every thrust, mounting. His balls tightened violently, and release came like a whip-crack at the base of his spine, pulsing into Malfoy's mouth, filling Harry with that overwhelming sense of grateful loss, and then weakness. His knees buckled and he lost his balance, but Malfoy held him up, turned him around, let him go down on the bed, shaking. "Fuck," moaned Harry, closing his eyes.
Then he realised what he'd done, and his eyes flew open again. Malfoy stood at the foot of the bed, smirking down at him. His robes were oddly misshapen in the front, and pure, horrified disgust filled Harry. Malfoy had enjoyed doing that. Sucking a man's cock. A part of Harry insisted he return the favour, somehow, but it was a very small part. He wasn't touching Malfoy there even if Malfoy spent the rest of his life doing this. He tried to say something to that effect, but all he could do was shake his head weakly. Malfoy rolled his eyes and turned away. Leaving. He was leaving. He was gone.
If not for Harry's liquefied insides, he might've thought it all an elaborate daydream. He almost wished it could have been. For the first time, he had this nagging idea that he was the world's biggest hypocrite.
Wednesday, September 17th, 2003
Hermione stood in the back row of a small crowd inside a Diagon Alley shop whose sign advertised Ye Olde Vittle Shoppe. No shelves lined the walls, and no vittles, Ye Olde or otherwise, were evident, but Zacharias Smith stood behind a podium near the back, surveying the cloaked and hooded midnight "shoppers". He had just finished calling them all to attention, and he seemed rather pleased with himself at the noticeable hush in the whispers and murmurs. He hadn't changed much since Hogwarts; still the same vaguely haughty expression beneath a dirty-blond forelock, the same stubborn set of shoulders. Hermione guessed he was in love with the idea of being a resistance leader, though she doubted his ability to actually fight. Most people may have forgotten that Smith had been one of the first people out of Hogwarts on the night of the battle with Voldemort, but Hermione remembered.
"Ironic, isn't it," boomed Smith, "That for all our magic, for all our supposed freedom, we must meet in secret. That we must skulk about in shadows whilst our so-called government crushes our way of life."
Hermione tuned him out. She didn't want to listen to his rhetoric; she just wanted to know if he could be convinced to work for them -- for all his personal failings, Smith now commanded quite a following. Like with Eddie Carmichael, Hermione intended for it to seem as though she were bitter about losing her job -- and who wouldn't be? At barely twenty-four, she had been the Minister's right hand in all matters. Few would fault her for turning against him: he had sacked her because of blood status, plain and simple. It was the perfect cover.
Ginny still hadn't brought Eddie on board, and whilst Hermione understood that it wasn't so simple to ask your boyfriend to essentially betray his employer, she knew time was running short. She had explained the situation to her parents, who had agreed to take an extended holiday in Australia. Eva Kay's reach would have got long indeed if she managed to get at them there. For now, Hermione didn't worry -- Eva Kay had few reasons to go after the Grangers specifically. Still, they couldn't stay away from their dental practice forever -- out in the Muggle world, life continued mostly as normal, if one didn't count the marauding Obliviator crews. The Muggles couldn't count them; they had no idea who -- or what -- the Obliviators were.
With Kay's associates having presumably moved their base of operations inside the Ministry instead of the Conference Globes, Hermione and the others had little more to go on but the Daily Prophet's gossip columns. Harry was coming back tomorrow, and they didn't even have a plan. Threads, loose threads held in too many hands: that was all they had. It wasn't enough. They weren't enough, even with Robards on their side -- he had the entire Auror Department at his command but couldn't even use it. Something needed to change, and Hermione hoped Smith could be manipulated into helping that along.
She heard Harry's name from the podium and glanced up sharply. A frisson of nasty laughter rippled through the crowd, and Hermione wondered if it would be rude to ask her neighbour what Smith had just said. It probably would be. Smith raised a hand to quiet the hubbub.
"At some point, no one asked the witches and wizards of Britain what they wanted any more. The Ministry became a government, a legal entity with its own Gringotts vault, where it collects our hard-earned Galleons and uses them to sustain itself."
And what's so terrible about that? Hermione wondered. Considering those Galleons are used to maintain the way of life you seem to think is threatened by the Ministry's existence.
"We didn't always have to pay taxes for occupying space beneath Britain's sun, for working here, for doing magic here. You must all have heard of the upcoming levy for exceeding a certain number of spells cast per household. They're going to spy on us in our own homes."
Hermione couldn't disagree with him there, but it wasn't the Ministry's doing. Would that she could tell these people what was happening, but that would put everyone in even more danger.
Smith drew himself up. "Meanwhile, they lie to us. Who doesn't remember the disasters that were the Fudge and Scrimgeour administrations? Our friends and neighbours whispered of missing relatives whilst the Daily Prophet, muzzled by the Ministry, happily reported gossip from Celestina Warbeck's weekly coffee klatsch. Kingsley Shacklebolt's no different--"
A figure separated from the front row, its cowl falling to reveal Bill McKenna. McKenna? Since when were Aurors doing Hit Wizard work? His wand was trained on Smith. "Zacharias Smith, you're under arrest for sedition, by special order of the Minister for Magic."
"Somebody stop him!" cried a woman not far from Hermione. "This is proof Smith's right! They're taking our freedom!"
Smith looked shell-shocked. Hermione watched him, eyes narrowed. Something wasn't right. From what she knew of Zacharias Smith and his ilk, they were the sort of people who either bowed or ran when faced with superior strength. Smith seemed disinclined to do either; he just looked confused. As though this wasn't supposed to happen. As though he knew something -- or thought he did -- that made this whole situation impossible.
And then she had it. Malfoy had been right; Eva Kay must have been the one to unleash Smith in the first place. Hermione just hadn't thought she would still be using him -- but that was clearly it. Smith was flabbergasted because he obviously thought he could go on doing this with impunity, thanks to his powerful protector whose reasons were her own. He hadn't expected this any more than Hermione had.
But why would Eva Kay do this? Why continue with what could be nothing but pure indulgence -- she had uninhibited command of the Ministry, what did she want a resistance movement for? And why did she suddenly decide to unseat Smith? None of this made any sense. If only they knew who Eva Kay was. Trying to discern the motivations of a blank space was as useful as counting grains of sand on a beach.
McKenna, now behind the podium with Smith, turned a blank face to the crowd. "The shop is surrounded by Hit Wizards," he said. "Try to interfere with us, and you'll be spending the next six months in Azkaban. If you value your freedom, you'll leave quietly. My men have instructions not to detain anyone who walks away in an orderly fashion."
No one tried to stop him as he pushed a bound Smith through the throng. Hermione turned aside as they passed, not wishing for McKenna to recognise her. So much for Plan D.