Disclaimer: Is there any cross-dressing in Harry Potter? No? Then I still don't own it.

Notes: I have no idea what the dark mark actually looks like. I just made this up to suit my own preferences, so don't think it's canon. I will write more of the 'M' series (for lack of a better title) soon, but this scene was * stuck * in my * head * and I had to get it out.

Feedback: Worshipped and craved. PLEASE!

Special thanks to Michi! <mondoglomp> The best beta on the net! Give her praise.

A Gash of Colour

By Kick Flaw


He had done this so many times. An awful thing -a wretched, horrible thing. One that defiled everything his father's final gift had been bequeathed for. A thing that corrupted everything he was meant to represent. A thing that betrayed everyone who'd ever placed faith in his virtue. But god, he couldn't resist. Even with his immaculate soul, there were moments when the light became too blinding, and he had to cool himself in the thick waters of darkness. Just a dip, a little touch of bad, to stop the burning within.

It was nothing new, the soft slip of fabric over his head and shoulders. Three o'clock in the morning, awoken from a dream of burning light, and there was nothing else that could tear him away from his purity.

For the first time, tonight, he could claim he had a legitimate reason for this voyeuristic escapade. They'd seen something: a small, black mark. Of course it could have been a misunderstanding. Maybe it was a bruise. But as the boy had reached for his fork across the dining hall, they'd seen it. He had an obligation to investigate. So what if it catered to his depraved need at the same time?

The familiar fabric and strange, unnatural scent of the invisibility cloak slid around him with ease. It drifted through the layers of his nightclothes, permeating his skin, bringing memories of the many times he'd fallen this way. Fallen through the floors of Hogwarts, plummeted straight to the dungeons, to a room where a boy slept and was cold to the touch. He knew that physically he walked, waited, wondered, but inside it was a passing he scarcely noticed. One instant he was crouching over his trunk, the next he was perched on the edge of a green and silver bed merely heartbeats away.

Draco wasn't beautiful asleep. Draco was never beautiful. His form was too sharp for beauty. All angles and slashes of pale muscle. His hair fell in blades of slick silver across his face, cutting out geometric shapes that looked anything but yielding. His eyebrows and lashes were thin and distinct; too blonde to frame his eyes the way beauty necessitated. His mouth more like a gash of colour than supple and his cheekbones only served to cast a heavy shadow of gaunt. He looked more like some modernistic sculpture that had come from the mind of a bitter twentieth century artist than a masterpiece of the Renaissance. Either way, he was art.

Sleep did nothing to give an impression of vulnerability to his features. Except.except when he slept his mouth parted for ease of breath, and that never happened while he woke. During the day it remained primly closed in the way of an aristocrat -save when he spoke. He always watched the movement of Draco's mouth, wanting to see the soft red hues of his inner lips, the brief flash of his tongue in motion. Just that gash of colour proved that he was more than an illusion or the figment of some dream. Black and white and shades of gray. That's why he came. Why he did this despicable thing, this thing that tainted his existence, the sick viewing of his enemy's most assailable state. He needed to know that Draco was tangible to know that he was tangible as well.

He had to taint his existence to know it still remained.

He sat on the left side of the bed, observing Draco intensely. The boy didn't toss or turn or flutter his eyelids -- he remained quiescent. Cold. And cold to the touch. Gentleness was in his movements as he cupped the sharp hand in his own and examined it from every angle. Dragging the long sleeve up with him until it bunched at the elbow, he let his fingers travel upwards slowly over the inner wrist. And it was not a bruise.

It was a small black tattoo.


He was not surprised.

The hood of his cloak fell back as he bent his head to consider the mark, this being the closest he'd ever been to one. It was pretty. Not beautiful or gorgeous or intricate, just pretty. Pretty like calligraphy or lace was pretty. Calligraphy and lace and black poetry on ice-pale skin.

He lingered in his unwavering observation until a set of knuckles bumped roughly into his knee. At the light rap, he looked up to see Draco's intense eyes torn open and looking directly at him.

"Ah. So there you are, Potter." Draco murmured wryly as he tapped his knuckles on Harry's invisible knee once again. "Do you know how disconcerting it is to wake up to the sensation of your arm in a vice? Not to mention the disembodied, floating head, of course."

Harry shrugged the rest of the cloak off haltingly. It rippled as it went, revealing his boxer and tee-shirt clad figure in soft folds of falling fabric.

"No," he said carefully, dragging the blonde's wrist up to eye level and regarding it from there. Draco established himself on his side, snuggled beneath blankets and upon pillows, content to allow Harry his speculation. Neither spoke.

Then Harry tentatively whisked a fingertip over the fresh tattoo, wringing a flinch and a hiss from him. "Please don't. It's very painful."

Harry looked at him steadily, wordlessly, and touched it again. Harder.

Draco managed to suck in one pained breath before Harry delved his fingers into the mark, scratching and scrubbing so roughly that the blonde's head fell back against the headboard. Eyes cramping shut, breath hitching, he fought back waves of tears and sobs. Harry watched his distraught face with interest, intrigued. Was this why he'd turned? For this sight, this climactic power? If so, where was the exultation?

To cause pain did not hold the rapture he assumed it held for Draco.

Harry stopped suddenly. But instead of letting go he splayed the fingers of his left hand above the pretty mark, and curled the fingers of his right below it, keeping it securely in his grip.

But maybe.

He leant down, knowing that Draco's gaze was burning on him. The scent of the other boy's skin was smoky, like a campsite after fire. No, it did not beget the sense of flame, but the sense of everything left when the flame had died.

Driven by some desire he refused to elucidate, he skimmed his lips downwards and across the dark mark. Once, twice, three times, and settled firmly into the flavor of it, not moving away, his mouth stirring only with his in-drawn breath. Draco was still. Cold. Cold to the touch.

It seemed a long time before Harry felt angular fingers trip through his hair and serenely grasp the back of his head.

He felt the shift of skin and tendons beneath his lips as the other boy leaned closer to him, and the heat of that cold body fueled his heartbeat.

Draco dragged his head harshly away from the dark mark and slammed their mouths together in one sharp motion.

He gave Harry the softest, kindest, most emotional kiss the dark-haired boy had ever had the luxury to take possession of.

That's the way evil works, Harry thought blindly. It seduces you. Not like good. Good forces you to obey it; it doesn't give you a choice. If he'd had his way he would have shoved Draco down onto the mattress and broken his skin to get his point across. Draco simply butterflied their mouths together briefly, just enough for Harry's eyes to close. Just enough for him to be inebriated with the taste of it. Just enough for him to tremble.

His world tightened into a knot revolving around the moment. It entrenched him, scouring through his every defense to the secret place where he desperately wanted evil. He could have let it take him then. He was so close to stumbling into a spiral of eternal darkness. He wanted it. He wanted to fall.

Draco retreated just enough to speak but so infinitesimally that a word would brush their lips together once again. They shared a lingering breath, eyes closed. And he spoke, his searing words barely a whisper away.

"I regret nothing. It's a good kind of pain."

Harry shuddered as Draco's fingers released him and Draco's arm twisted out of his grasp. A draft of colder air and colder pain lit his body. The other boy seemed to completely forget his presence, lying down, turning over, and pointedly exposing his back.

That was it. A simple rejection tempered with the smug knowledge that Harry would not take advantage of his vulnerability.

It was very hard to breathe around the explosion in his heart.

Harry bent achingly to pick up his precious cloak, stumbled as he stood and swirled it back around his body. The familiar feel and scent and memory returned. All the times he'd fallen to this room swirled with it. But that fall was not enough. He would burn it tonight.

Something arrested his departure. Harry stood invisibly at the entrance to the dorm room, watching the gash of color he'd kissed. It was closed. Almost gone.

"I regret everything."

Yes, he would burn it tonight.


* * *

As usual, reviews pasted within my binder, on my walls and in my journal -- forever to be captured as a brief moment in my memory where I was loved and lauded. Oh god, I'm waxing poetic about feedback.

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