Author's Notes: Of course, thanks wholeheartedly to my lovely three betas V.V, Mindy, and Jayne ^^. One of my fave chapters!
WARNING: This is SLASH. M/M. Don't read if you don't like.
Not All Sugar and Spice
Chapter Three: The Boy of Two Faces
By Lilyria Ali
"You're a song
Written by the hands of God...
Won't get me wrong cause
This might sound to you a bit odd
But you own the place
Where all my thoughts go hiding
And right under your clothes
Is where I find them"
They were dropped most unceremoniously on a patch of poor grass.
"Mmmph," said Harry, standing up. "Need a hand, Malfoy?"
Malfoy glared at him before rising from the ground. "Never," he said.
"What is wrong with you?" asked Harry. "You were looking like some lonely orphan back in Dumbledore's office, and now..."
"I refuse to answer any vague questions like that," said Malfoy imperiously. "You sound like an uneducated hippo."
Harry raised his eyebrows. "Why a hippo?"
"I thought you were a Death Eater," said Harry.
At this, Malfoy's frown turned into a bitter smirk. "My father disowned me," he said very simply, in a tone that did not invite conversation.
"You were what?"
"No need to rub it in, Potter. It's too bad Granger and Weasley aren't here to hear this. They'd be very goddamn pleased."
Harry looked at the blonde boy searchingly. "Well," he finally managed. "I'm...I'm sorry."
"I don't want your pity."
Harry had a feeling this little talk was not going to last very long. "So," he said, looking around him. They were in the middle of a plain, long, dry, and wide. The grass was yellowed and a few distant trees were scattered about in the scenery.
"Just beautiful," muttered Malfoy disdainfully. "This is a disgrace to the wizarding world."
"Let's just go," said Harry, shouldering a little cloth bag. "Now, which path?"
"Isn't there supposed to some ceremony about the heroes of the Light?" said Malfoy sarcastically. "Oh, hail the great champion who will overcome Darkness?"
"This is really why I wonder why you, of all people, were chosen," said Harry. "Don't really tell me you were misunderstood."
"Perhaps I am," said Malfoy, and, before Harry could object, he swept off in a northerly direction, his black-green robe billowing elegantly after him.
//He looks so...//thought Harry, //well, *elegant* and *graceful*. Unlike me,// he added, but quickly hurried after the other boy.
"You know, Malfoy," said Harry, catching up as Malfoy stopped to sit on a rock. "You could be more popular if you were nicer."
The same flicker of something Harry couldn't decipher peeped through Malfoy's mask of indifference. "Perhaps," said Malfoy. "But I've already chosen my path." He spat his words like they were venom.
"'Some things have changed'," said Harry. "Nothing has changed if you're still the same little Death Eater you were last year."
Malfoy grabbed him by the shirt collar. "Shut up," he hissed. "So maybe I looked so wonderfully innocent back in Dumbledore's office, but that was nothing. I was thinking."
"You do admit you were innocent," said Harry triumphantly.
"I. Was. Thinking." said Malfoy. "What is it, Potter? Want to turn me to the Light Side?"
"I just wanted to know why you're suddenly so different," said Harry, trying to ignore a little shiver of...something...he felt where Malfoy's fingers brushed his neck.
"Dammit, Potter," said Malfoy, letting go of Harry. "Why can't you let it go?" he sounded almost pleading.
"You were fine last night, too," said Harry. "So something must have happened today."
"Look at Potter's mind go," muttered Malfoy.
"You just don't want to look bad in front of me," said Harry, feeling pleased. Usually Hermione pieced the clues together. He could get used to this; it had been a long time since he'd felt pleased...especially around either Hermione and Ron.
"Just leave it, Potter," said Malfoy, his voice starting to waver. Something was melting behind his eyes, the wall he stood behind was beginning to disintegrate. Unconsciously, he reached around his neck and stroked the chain around his neck.
It spurred a memory in Harry's mind.
Harry had been eating a dinner of sandwiches and pudding, chatting with Ron and Hermione. His eyes kept straying towards Malfoy, still unsure about last night's little encounter. Suddenly, a gray, moldy-looking owl swept in and landed in Malfoy's lunch. Uproarious snickering could be heard around the Slytherin table and Malfoy closed his eyes, defeat etched across his face, before taking the parcel.
Then Harry had thought perchance he wasn't seeing correctly, but Malfoy was holding something in his palm, and the chain he always wore with the little crystal ball at the center snapped open, and something fell out.
//Huh?// thought Harry. //Where's the letter?//
But that had been all, besides the fact that somehow Pansy's robe had caught on fire. Malfoy had put something back into his crystal ball charm and continued eating dinner as if nothing had happened. It seemed that only the Slytherins knew what had happened; everyone else was looking at Malfoy quizzically before returning to their turkey sandwiches.
"The letter," said Harry. "Something was in the letter."
This didn't have the effect Harry was expecting. Malfoy stared at him blankly.
"The parcel, at dinner,"
Malfoy said nothing.
"You were acting strange from the time you came to get Ron and Hermione and I," pointed out Harry. "What happened?"
Malfoy closed his eyes, his lips quivering. Harry felt, well, uncomfortable. He wasn't used to this kind of Malfoy; he was used to the smirking, spoiled Malfoy, his nemesis. No one could get under his skin like Malfoy did, and Malfoy had abused that power throughout their years. This year wasn't much different, but the lack of support he had from the Slytherins had been...well...unexpected. Malfoy had been caught by himself more than once, and he hadn't come off better.
"Do you know Dark Magic?" asked Malfoy suddenly.
The question caught Harry off-guard. "What?"
"Do you know Dark Magic."
"Some," said Harry. "What we were taught in our fourth and fifth years, and seen some other, more advanced types." He added darkly.
Malfoy opened his eyes. "Of course you wouldn't," he said. "Potter can't blemish himself with un-pure magic."
"You forget I was blemished ever since I was one," snapped Harry.
Malfoy looked him directly in the eye. "You may have been blemished," he said slowly, "but you were always good weren't you. Everyone wanted to keep you unblemished and pure. But I was born to be blemished. I'm alive because I'm supposed to be blemished." His voice was soft, but Harry felt a chill in the air. Even the gentle breeze that had tickled his hair a moment ago now felt freezing.
"I don't know what you mean," said Harry, starting to step back.
"Let me tell you a story," said Malfoy. "The Weasleys and Malfoys were best friends once, but a Weasley cheated on one of the Malfoys, and the Malfoys condemned the Weasleys to be hot-headed, poor, and unable to settle down. In response, the Weasleys condemned the Malfoys to be forever evil in their ways." Malfoy held up a hand to silence Harry. "That was 4000 years ago. And it still flows in our blood. The same as when you save another wizard's life, when another wizard or witch condemns you, it will flow in your life."
"Ron..." whispered Harry.
Harry stepped into his dormitory, and almost fainted from the sight. Tears sprung into his eyes, rolling down his cheeks. The boxed ring dropped from his fingers.
The two didn't seem to notice, until Ron looked up. His eyes were burning with desire until they landed on Harry...
"Over the years the original condemnation grew. Malfoys were condemned to never love, to never be able to love, to be hurt by love, and the Weasleys were condemned to cheat."
"Why are you telling me this?" asked Harry, his voice hollow.
"Because you wanted to know," said Malfoy simply.
Underneath your clothes there's an endless story,
There's the man I chose,
There's my territory...
And all the things I deserve
"I wanted to know why your attitude changed so suddenly," said Harry. "Not...about this."
"There's more," said Malfoy, and Harry's didn't argue. "The Malfoys have been devious all their lives. If they were to be hurt by love, they would never love, and they would make sure of that. That's where Dark Magic came in. There's a ritual to make sure you can't love. Loving someone is a kind of energy; it can make you stronger, or it can break you until you only want to die. The Malfoys decided they didn't want the strength, and the generations always performed the rituals on their fifteenth summer." Malfoy stopped and sat back down on the rock, blonde hair falling in front of his eyes.
"You didn't perform the ritual," said Harry. "But...why?"
"I don't know," said Malfoy. His voice was spiteful, hateful. "I don't know. And I lost everything because of my uncertainty."
"Condemned to cheat," repeated Harry. "Condemned to cheat..."
"No, Harry...it's not like that."
"I thought you were made for me," Harry said brokenly. "I thought..."
"I'm sorry." The reply was so fast it cut off Harry's sentence.
//She doesn't care//
It was so obvious, and Harry had thought everything had been okay. He thought perhaps now he could face the Wizarding World again. Perhaps now he could be whole again; perhaps she could patch up all his wrongs and his scars, visible or unseen. He had thought he had his life back.
But he had been wrong.
"What is it to you?" asked Draco. "Hero Potter can have everything and everyone he wants."
This affected Potter more than any of his insults ever had.
"I never had anything," snarled Potter. "I never did. I never do. I and I never will."
"Do you think I'm better off?" Draco asked, tears threatening to spill. "How much do you think I want to go back and perform that ritual. To have my life back? At least you're still the love of the entire wizarding world, Hero of Hogwarts. I'm nothing to the Slytherins. I had been their King, but now I'm just a toy, something everyone wants to push around, and can push around." He looked down and could see his hands were trembling.
"How much do you think I wish I was never born?" shouted Potter. "How many lives do you think would have been saved if I wasn't born?"
Because of you
I forgot the smart ways to lie
Because of you
I'm running out of reasons to cry
"You saved people, Potter," said Draco, starting to regain his composure. How could he be so stupid, to show his weak side to Potter of all people? But the letter, the owl...it had meant everything was over. Everything he knew as a boy, as a teen...was over. He had just wanted to think, and he couldn't help the emotions that came alongside that.
"I. Killed. People," said Potter through gritted teeth.
"This is not the point of this little mission or ours," said Draco. "We're not here to discuss the virtues and terribleness of Harry Potter."
Potter sucked in his breath. "Do you...love anyone Malfoy?"
Draco stopped dead in his tracks. "Do I what?"
"Do you love anyone?"
"I'm cursed, remember?" said Draco, trying to avoid answering the question.
"But you didn't follow through the ritual," persisted Potter.
No one knew how to make Draco feel as awkward as Potter could.
Draco stalled as he scanned the area for the trail. "No," he said finally. "I don't want to get hurt."
Potter bit his lip. "I know," he said.
The silence that hung between them wasn't formidable, or tense. It wasn't awkward or uncomfortable either. The silence was full of understanding, as if each side knew or understood the other.
Potter got hurt...
"Let's go," said Draco, pointing to a hazy brownish sign. Potter nodded agreeably.
Call the news reporters. "Potter and Malfoy have a civil conversation".
"So, Malfoy," said Potter, conversationally, obviously trying to direct their talk into another direction. "How many girls have you shagged so far?"
Draco almost smiled. "How many do you think?" he asked breezily.
Potter seemed to be counting his fingers, which, strangely, Draco found very...adorable. He shook himself. I did *not* just think Potter was adorable, he thought to himself crossly. But then, Draco hadn't had a very *normal* childhood...
"Be a man, Draco."
"But Daddy, I wanna go play outside!" whimpered the little six-year-old Draco. "But-but-but..."
"How will you ever get anywhere in life without studying?"
"Then I *won't* get anywhere in life!" shouted little Draco triumphantly.
Lucius slapped him, his razor-emblazoned gloves biting into Draco's cheek.
Draco stared at his father in horror. His father had hurt him...his father who always said Draco was his own flesh and blood-he'd never hurt little Draco...he'd never...
Draco fled the room, the little droplets of blood dribbling from his cheek. Walli, the house-elf, quickly fetched him disinfectant, and little Draco rubbed the clear paste onto his face, tears still flowing openly.
How could his father slap him? He said...
The medicine stung his cheek, making it hurt more than before. Draco threw the tube across his room angrily. How could he...he said he loved him...
"That's what I've been saying Draco. You're nothing close to a man yet," Lucius said, entering Draco's room and neatly ducking the flying tube.
"I don't wanna be a man-I-"
Lucius pulled him close by his collar.
"Don't forget this lesson today, Draco," he said very softly, looking into Draco's eyes. He could still see the pastel blue rubbed into his gray. A soft, kind, blue. It shouldn't be there.
Draco watched his father's eyes. They were only gray; piercingly and shockingly so. Suddenly, he didn't want to be like his father. He wanted to be...Draco. Just Draco. Little Draco.
Lucius let Draco go.
"Just remember, Draco. To love someone will hurt you, and when they turn their back on you, you'll be crushed; and they always turn on you. Love hurts. Remember that, Draco."
Lucius swept silently out of the room.
And Draco remembered his lesson that day.
Draco turned away. When he was six he wanted to be a Draco, nothing more. But what was he now? Merely...another Malfoy.
"Er...is that a yes or no?"
Oh yeah. We were talking about people I shagged. "What?" demanded Draco.
"I said, er, twenty?" asked Potter, almost timidly.
"I'll make a deal with you," said Draco very suddenly.
Potter looked taken aback. Draco could just see the thoughts whizzing in his head: 'Malfoy, making a *deal* with me?!'
"Er, okay Malfoy."
"I'm not a Malfoy," said Draco.
"You were born a Malfoy, Malfoy. You are definitely a Malfoy," Potter raised his eyebrows. "Besides, you act like one."
Potter never saw Draco reach into his pocket.
They walked for a while in silence before the brown side came clearly into view. The temperature was mild, and Harry thought it was...well, a nice walk. The breeze cleared his head, and Malfoy was...almost comforting to walk with.
That so does *not* work, thought Harry, annoyed, before turning to Malfoy. "So, the deal..."
"I'll tell you how many girls I shagged, if you tell me how many girls you shagged," said Malfoy dully. Harry noticed he was wincing.
Harry sighed and closed his eyes.
"I didn't want to hurt you...you know, last night..."
"Don't worry. You didn't."
"I wanted to tell you-"
"Oh! Ron's coming!"
Their conversation was abruptly broken off as Ron joined them, smiling happily.
"Could you excuse us Ron?" asked Harry nervously, his stomach full of butterflies.
Ron regarded him suspiciously. "Of course."
He turned back to her again. "I just wanted to say-"
She turned away. "Don't say it, Harry."
"Why not? I-"
"NO!" she screamed at him before running back to the Tower.
He remembered the utter confusion he felt. He had thought perhaps he really did hurt her during the night. He remembered how desperate he'd been to talk to her during classes, mealtimes, breaks; but she'd coldly ignored him. He was going to give up before he thought: she must think I don't love her. Quickly disengaging himself from the game of Exploding Snap with Seamus, Harry got out his invisibility cloak and walked into Hogsmeade with only one thought on his mind.
Song by Shakira, "Underneath Your Clothes"
*A/N: First of all, thanks to ALL the reviewers!! I love you guys! I've got the plotline somewhat jiggled into shape, and I know the last paragraph too! ^.^ So anyways...
Second...be prepared FOR THE ANGST!!!!!!!!!
Remember, rituals/amulets/bands are very important. Pay special attention to Malfoy's little necklace *wink*
(it's not kinky, by the way)
But anyways, yes. Thanks so much to Jayne & V.V. and Mindy for her lovely support and betaing, though I could finally do with another ^.^ and thanks to all people who reviewed for The Last Tear and When He Just Won't Wake Up.
Y! Post - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lily_and_lily/post
Email - glassy_reflections @ hotmail.com
Return to Archive | next | previous