I’ve dipped my toe into the vast ocean that is fanfic, thanks to an odd dream I had the other night. I don’t often dream myself as other characters, but it happens sometimes. I think this was my first Harry Potter dream though. Either way, I hope you all enjoy it!
I climb the stairs to his private suit at the top of the tower. I wonder what made him change his mind, what drew him up out of the dungeons. The tower is just as dark at this hour, an endless expanse of stars fill the double windows of the far wall.
Draco greets me with a smirk. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Potter.” I swear, he’s learned to spit intentionally when he exaggerates the percussive pop of my name. Flecks of it pepper my cheeks as I finish my ascent into the room. He rises with me, always looming, always above me. “And where shall we start today? Feet or mouth?”
I’ve never quite understood exactly what he gets out of our longstanding arrangement. Neither one of us particularly cares about the galleons exchanged when either of us wins or loses the bet. That part is merely a formality, a way to keep score. No, when I told Hermione I was going visit my “sugar daddy”, she and I both knew the real commodity I was after. I need information, and perhaps a favor. What he needs from me, I cannot begin to guess.
He is on me almost before I have completely exited the stairwell. He stuffs a red silk handkerchief in my mouth, hardly bothering to contain his glee. I’ll have to tread carefully tonight, then. He’s in a mood.
“Actually,” I say sloppily through the gag, silk adhering instantly to my lips and tongue, “feet, if you please. I feel like doing the talking tonight.”
And that is the nature of our bargain. If I say mouth, he will begin to slowly bind me from there down. He will do what he pleases with my body along the way, and if I am lucky, his ridiculous villain’s monologueing will reveal to me something interesting, or needed.
It is easy to detach in those sessions. To let him do whatever he thinks is needed to satisfy the exchange between us. It is what I choose when I have less information than I do now, when I am looking for a lead. Or, when I’m just looking to let go. To stop being the famous Mr. Potter for just a few hours.
Tonight, I know what I need. It’s just a matter of convincing Malfoy to give it to me.
He is in a mercurial mood, and that will make this a challenge. His eyes shift from blue to an almost icy white as they flash in the candlelight as he turns to me. Is he pleased by this unusual turn? I do not often choose this route. Then again, I do not often have much to stay to him. But tonight I am feeling playful, and more than a little cocky from the edge Hermione discovered in the library. Tonight, I really think we can beat this thing. We can get out ahead of the monster, instead of arriving at the scene of an all too stoppable crime. It will be a welcome change.
Hermione urged me not to go. She said we didn’t need Draco’s help. That we had enough to win this one on our own. But traces of the Felix Felicitus still move through me now and again, a wizard’s intuition, sharpened by the kiss of liquid luck. When my gut tells me something, I listen. And I have a feeling that whatever is going to happen to night, we need him. We need the Dragon.
Draco whips the damp silk from my mouth, changing it effortlessly into an equally crimson cord with a careless flick of his wand. It twines about my feet, and with one almost indifferent shove, Draco sends me sprawling backwards. A chair is there instantly to catch me, and the living red rope coils itself about the wicker, both moving sinuously beneath me to take the shape Draco desires. Tonight, I am bound reclined, a relaxed and easy position. Draco, too then, is in the mood to play. Maybe this will go better than I thought.
He crosses the room to me, liquid grace in his careless stride. It seems both impossibly slow and lightning fast, the strange physics of the spell he is building between us. I am unfamiliar with it. As I said, I don’t often take this route. By now, I am usually gagged and blindfolded, trying to relax into the unknown. But he seems pleased that I’ve elected to do some talking this evening, if his smug smirk is more than just familiar habit. Maybe, even, pleased enough to actually be helpful.
“Well,” he says, suddenly right before me. He straddles my legs and leans in over crossed arms, resting on the arms the living chair now provides him. Tendrils of the wicker lace around to keep mine in place, while the rope continues its steady progression up my legs. “Talk.”
It doesn’t take long to catch him up to speed. What he knows I cannot guess. What I know, he doesn’t rightly care. He’s never had any interest in helping us stop his father’s evil work. I know that much. What I don’t know is how to get him to play along just this once. How to make annoying his father more appealing than annoying me. Or whatever capriciousness motivates him. It’s anyone’s guess really.
But he is feeling playful, and that alone feels like it is to my advantage. And that I am also feeling playful can surely only help matters. I go with my gut, teasing here, hinting there. Pressing my luck always seems to amuse him, so I play into it, stroking his ego in whatever way I can. If I can keep him happy and playful, we could win this. Tonight, it could all be over.
“I need a favor…”
“Do you now?”
His voice is a low purr, a kiss of breath against the shell of my ear. By now, the ropes have climbed well up the length of my torso, slipping in between the places where his body is pressed against mine. I have only until they reach my neck to win him over to my cause. After that, the game is over. Unless one of yields and calls it off first. I don’t intend to yield.
I can feel the heat between us like a living thing. Chemistry has never been a thing we lack. I lean into it now, trying to forget the scenes of so many nightmares, the faces of so many needless victims that could have been spared. If only he would help us…
“I can’t do this on my own. You know that. I need you.”
My hips rise to meet him, the ropes a biting tease between us. I can feel him shift to match me, his body molding against mine. His lips part, eyes going soft for a moment as his face presses closer, closer to mine…
“What do you think you’re doing?”
I freeze under him, but it’s too late. I’ve taken the game too far.
The wicker snaps taunt beneath me, forcing into a long, stiff plank. Draco’s arm is against my neck, pressing, pressing, and the chair starts to tip.
Panic seizes me, but I cannot struggle. The ropes are too tight. They squeeze against my chest but it is nothing compared the the pressure of my terror, the paralyzing grip of fear. I am bound up to my shoulders, and his arm against my throat tips my head back, back…
I can see the stars of the Draconis constellations, twinned in the black mirror of the lake below. Its icy depths are nothing compared the fathomless dark of Lucius’s eyes.
No! That is not his name. I must not call him by his father’s name, not in this tenuous moment. But in the grips of my terror, it is the only name that will come to my lips. Not Lucius, not Lucius my brain repeats frantically. I must call him by his own name, Malfoy will not do…
The silver flashes again in his eyes, and I wonder how I could have thought of him as anything but the mighty dragon that he is. His body presses long and hot against mine, but all I can feel is the horrible gut dropping agony of fear, and the hooks of cruel gravity, pulling us backward, backward…
“Draco don’t. We’ll both drown.”
The ropes squeeze around my chest, making it hard to talk, hard to breathe…
Instantly he is off me. All four feet of the chair touch the ground, the ropes and wicker alike returned to lifelessness. The press of his spell is gone, leaving the air cool and empty around me. Still, my chest rises only in shallow pants, unable to gasp in the much needed breaths. All I can do is stare, eyes wide, searching from some hint, some clue, as to what he is thinking now. Because the danger is far from over. Not when he’s like this.
He stares back, eyes cold and emotionless, face a porcelain mask. It’s no wonder my panic mistook him for his father. He’s grown up, in ways I hadn’t understood until now. I know so too have I, but this…
This was not the shape I would have hoped for him.
I realize suddenly that I wish I could have saved him from this. That I wish I had seen it sooner, so I could have stopped it. Did I push him to this, always casting him as the villain in my own private dramas? Could he have been something different, if anyone had let him? Something more?
The sneer returns to his face, making it boyish and playful. But the lie is over now, shattered by our brush with death. I cannot keep playing this most dangerous game with him. Because some day soon, one of us is going to have to lose.
“All you had to do, Potter,”
My name in his mouth is empty and hollow. There is no venom in it, no emotion in anything he says or does. I can see it all now for the play acting it had always been. And he knows I see it, so he doesn’t waste the effort.
The rope slithers across the room, dancing gracefully through the air as it snaps back up into his wand. He turns his back to me and the window, putting distance between us, retreating into the more private half of his already private suite. The part where I know I am not welcome.
He is almost completely covered by the shadows of that other half when he stops, turns, smiles. His teeth are like pearly daggers in the dark, and I know something wicked and cruel is about to come out of that lovely mouth.
“All you had to do… was say please.”