Warning! This story does contain slash. If you are unaware of what slash is or if it's just not something you have a care for, you probably clicked on the wrong link. Sorry. Life sucks, get a helmet. Anyway! Feedback and reviews are always appreciated and flames are mocked and the source of my endless amusement. All standard disclaimers apply. (What's mine is mine and what isn't, well, isn't.) This story contains spoilers for all four books. You have been warned.
The Losing Side
A Harry Potter Fan Fiction
Chapter Seven - It Doesn't Even Matter
"You've picked the losing side, Potter! I warned you! I told you you ought to choose your company more carefully, remember? When we met on the train, first day of Hogwarts? I told you not to hang around with riffraff like this." He jerked his head at Ron and Hermione. "Too late now, Potter! They'll be the first to go, now the Dark Lord's back! Mudbloods and Muggle-lovers first! Well- second- Diggory was the f--" Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
"I hate you... I hate you... I hate you..." Draco murmured, burying his face against his knees to muffle the words that had turned into a chant. He couldn't stop them from pouring past his lips. Lips which had not long ago been pressed against the lips of his worst enemy. He wanted to rip them off, maybe keep them in a box somewhere as a particularly gory souvenir. Use magic to replicate them and sell them at discount prices to the general public. For a limited time you to can own lips which have kissed the boy who lived for the low, low price of 11 gold galleons. What a deal.
Soft, half-mad laughter interrupted Draco's mantra at the thought of girls with pigtails lining up to fork over their parent's rent money for such an extraordinary item. Boys in school robes blushing as they mutter that they're buying them for their 'girlfriends'. Old men in business suits blushing as they mutter that they're buying them for their 'daughters'. Another soft giggle was choked off by a renewed bout of sobbing because it would be a one-time only deal, he would never kiss that particular boy again. Not that he wanted to, it was just... "I hate you..."
It was his own fault, of course. He'd brought this on himself. Such a bad idea, but he hadn't been able to stop himself. He'd wanted so desperately to know what it felt like to press his body close and feel Harry's lips against his own. The first had been fueled by violence and frustration, more an attempt to just shut off the endless prattle then anything else. He'd had to stop it. Stop the concern, kill the kindness before it weakened his resolve. He'd meant to simply hit him. Punch him square in the face and pray it led to blood and silence, but instead he'd let his lips do the damage his fists were meant to do.
He'd seen the confusion in Harry's eyes as he'd turned away, so certain that it would be enough. That Harry would hate him all the more, forget his foolish concern for his well being and leave. But things were never so simple with Harry Potter. He'd asked more questions, questions Draco wouldn't answer, couldn't answer. Too many questions. Then answers. The truth in the cruelest possible words. To push him away, lock him out, to turn him away for good. They couldn't go on as they were and there was nothing else. Then Harry's pain... so similar to his own pain and a true kiss. A kiss to say good-bye, a kiss to plead forgiveness, a kiss to end it all. A kiss to win and lose all in the same breath.
Push his fingers through dark hair and drive the terrible sword of reality through his chest all in the same breath. Drive the sword through them both so he wouldn't have to live in a world without him. Kiss him to kill him. Hurt him to save him. It was all the same. No choice, no way out, not now. Not now that HE knew. This had to be the end. Draco knew he shouldn't care, after all he'd won and what did it matter if Harry Potter hated him even more then he already had. What difference could it possibly make? It didn't change anything.
Draco laughed openly, tears rolling across his cheeks once more, "This changes nothing."
And it didn't. It didn't change anything because he was his father's son. He couldn't change what he was deep inside the black pit of his soul. Couldn't hope to become someone worthy of being held or touched or kissed. He was only himself and that was dark and treacherous and there was no way out. That was the only common ground between himself and the wonderful Harry Potter. Neither of them could escape from who they were.
Harry buried his face against his knees, his breath coming in struggling, startled gasps as if his lungs were surprised when he forced them to draw each labored breath. It hurt to breathe, to think, to feel. Everything hurt and there was no reason for it. That was the worst part by far. It shouldn't hurt. None of this should have surprised him or hurt him. Draco's quiet words, Draco's achingly soft lips, the warm press of Draco's body...
"Fuck..." Harry murmured leaning his head back against the wall as the memories of those brief moments consumed him, body and soul.
"Why? Why did he have to know? Why?!" Draco wailed into the thick fabric of his leather-clad knees. He'd thrown off his robe at some point. He didn't really remember when, but he remembered needing to get rid of it. He'd been suffocating within the warm folds of that robe. His father had bought it for him, just as his father bought almost everything for him. Whether it was compensation for the lack of fatherly affection in their relationship or just bought out of a need to see his heir clad in the best money could buy, Draco didn't really know nor did he particularly care. He hated it, as he hated the man who'd purchased it for him.
The pants and shirt he'd worn beneath the robe were good. Good because his father hated them. Good because they belonged to him. Only to him. As much a part of him as his skin and his scars. That brought another giggle creeping from between Draco's lips and he sat back against the wall, raising an unsteady hand to trace a finger across the scar that marred his pale cheek. "Why?" He whispered into the silent room, almost giggling again when he received no answer. He was going mad, asking questions of silence and expecting answers.
The silence couldn't tell him why his father had known. The silence couldn't tell him how is father had known. All the silence could do was listen to his quiet questions and shake it's nonexistent head in agreement with the unfairness of it all. Unfair that he should discover that he wanted the boy who'd held him in the dark to be... something he could never be. Unfair that he should discover a dream hiding within the nightmare of reality and be forced to rip it apart with his own hands. It was unfair, but it really didn't matter. Dreams had never been of much use to him anyway. Dreams couldn't change reality. All dreams could do was put a sweet mask against it's ugly surface and deceive him into thinking things were better then they were. A dangerous fantasy as best, a fatal mistake at worst.
Harry frowned up at the somewhat blurry ceiling. He'd discarded his glasses some time ago after they'd fogged over to the point where just opening his eyes was an annoyance. His tears had long since dried, but in their place had come the disturbing feeling of being numb. Totally and completely numb. He didn't care, didn't want to care, couldn't care that he was still sitting in the corridor outside the room where he had let Draco Malfoy kiss him and had every intention of sitting there until his body rotted away and faded into the stone beneath him. After he was gone some well-meaning folks would engrave the floor where he sat with some loving inscription stating the wonder and glory that was Harry Potter. Hogwarts could have fund-raisers by taking curious wizards through a guided tour of the area where he'd lived out his last moments:
'And this is the room in which the boy who lived became the boy who snogged the enemy. And this is the door, which leads from the room that he used to run from the room in which the boy who lived became the boy who snogged the enemy. And this the floor that sits under the door, which leads to the room in which the boy who lived became the boy who snogged the enemy. And this is the wall, which stands on the floor, which sits under the door, which leads to the room in which the boy who lived became the boy who snogged the enemy. And this is the spot on the wall, which stands on the floor, which sits under the door, which leads to the room in which the boy who lived became the boy who snogged the enemy. He died at this spot on the wall, which stands on the floor, which sits under the door, which leads to the room in which the boy who lived became the boy who snogged the enemy. Isn't that nice? Please buy a t-shirt and a bumper sticker on your way out and, don't worry, all proceeds go to the BWL Foundation which supports the re-furnishing of the dorms, towers, and classrooms once used by the boy who lived.'
Harry's head dropped against his knees once more, a tired laugh on his lips. It had finally happened. He'd finally lost his mind and it was all thanks to Draco Malfoy. "I hope you're happy." He muttered, closing his eyes against the dark material of his robe. "I hope you're fucking happy."
Blood red words on torn parchment spelling the death of something he didn't realize he valued. A newfound desire to be held by Harry Potter couldn't change his purpose. He shouldn't even want it to change his purpose. This... desire was an inconvenience, a weakness, that would fade with time. He would complete the task his father had set out for him and forget about the boy who's lips he could still feel pressed whisper soft against his own. It was only weakness and his hatred was stronger. Hatred for them both.
"It all leads back to you. Everything terrible in my life. It all leads back to you."
Words spoken in a darkened room. It was as true now as it had been then. Nothing had really changed, except now it was more real, more painful and he didn't want... didn't want...
"I don't want to help them hurt you..." Draco whispered softly, silent tears falling on abused leather. "Just stay away from me, you bloody idiot. Don't come near me anymore, even to fight. I've won. That should be enough. Shouldn't it?"
"What the fuck are you still doing here?"
Draco glanced up, his eyes widening in shock and horror as he starred at the boy standing in the doorway. His tears had long since dried and for that small favor he could be thankful, but that didn't mean he was ready to see him again. He was anything but ready. "What.... what are you doing back here?"
"I left my books." Harry grumbled, forcing his stunned gaze away from Draco's form, a blush heating his cheeks. What the hell was Malfoy WEARING? And why the hell was he still here? Even if he hadn't gone to dinner there was no reason for him to still be in this deserted room. No reason at all that Harry could dare fathom.
"Then you'd best collect them and be on your way." Draco replied, giving a shooing motion which, caused the hair on the back of Harry's neck to rise. He hated that. Hated when Draco acted as if he were so superior to the average man. He hadn't wanted to run into Draco for a long time if he could help it, but now he had and Draco was acting as if nothing had happened.
As if it were a perfectly ordinary occurrence that he should be sitting on the cold stone floor, wearing leather pants and some shirt that could have been made of blackened spider's web for all it covered. As if they hadn't shared that terrible, heart breaking kiss only hours before. As if they were complete strangers, even more so then they'd been before this year. To be perfectly frank, it pissed Harry the hell off and he had ever intention of telling Malfoy exactly that, but what came out of his mouth was: "What ARE you wearing?"
Draco blinked in shock, sparing a glance towards his pants. When he returned his gaze to Harry it was ice-cold. "None of your damn business, Potter. Get your books and go."
"Fine." Harry replied roughly, snatching his discarded books from the table. "I hope you freeze to death on that floor."
"Oh, you'd love that, wouldn't you?" Draco remarked snidely, his lips curling into a smirk. "No one likes a sore loser, Potter."
"Sod off, Malfoy." Harry spat, storming from the room.
"Harry! Where have you been?!" Hermione exclaimed, darting out of her seat and practically bowling Harry over when he came through the entrance to the Gryffindor common room. "Did you see Malfoy? What did he say? What happened? Why weren't you in class? Why wasn't he? What's going on?"
"Slow down, Hermione. He's probably had a rough day," Ron commented pushing himself out of his own chair and crossing the room to where Harry stood with a bit less hurry then Hermione had demonstrated. "Okay, Harry?"
"I've been better," Harry managed, offering Ron a tired smile.
"Don't just stand there, come sit down." Hermione ordered, grabbing Harry's arm and dragging the reluctant boy to the chair she had recently vacated. "Tell us what happened."
"It's over between us," Harry murmured his eyes distant and his voice holding a note of regret that his friends weren't sure he even noticed was there. "Malfoy won and it's all over."
"What do you mean by that? Did you duel again?" Hermione pressed gently, concern darkening her features. "Did he hurt you?"
Harry laughed roughly at Hermione's question, earning a strange look from his best friends. "Yeah, I don't know why, but he did. I don't think anything has hurt this much for a long time and there's nothing to be done for it. It's all over."
Ron and Hermione exchanged a look before Ron patted Harry gently on the shoulder, "Bet you're tired. Why don't you go on up to bed?"
Harry blinked, startled by Ron's touch. "Umm... yeah. I guess so." With that, Harry pushed himself up out of the chair and meandered off in the general direction of his room, books still grasped loosely in his hands.
"What do you suppose that was all about?" Hermione asked in soft voice as Harry disappeared up the stairs to his room. "He looks terrible."
"I think I have to kill Malfoy," Ron grumbled, turning his gaze from the stairs to meet Hermione's concerned gaze.
"I think I have to help you, but I would still love to know what's going on."
"You and me both, love. I've never seen him look like that before. He didn't even look that bad after Cedric..."
"No, he didn't. You don't think he's shagging that repugnant little twit, do you?" Hermione asked casually, her gaze narrowing.
"Wh... what?!" Ron exclaimed, starting badly at Hermione's words. He'd never even considered that possibility. Sure, he'd made jokes about Malfoy being Harry's boyfriend last night, but he hadn't actually seriously considered such a thing. It just seemed against the natural order of things, but Hermione seemed serious. She leaned forward, her expression calculating.
"Well, I've been thinking, ever since he brought Malfoy in last night, about their relationship. It's very strange, don't you think? Neither has ever really had a girlfriend to speak of. Well, I suppose Malfoy dated Pansy for a while, but that couldn't have possibly been serious for him, I mean have you seen her? She's positively repellent and she has a positively odious personality. Malfoy, on the other hand, is gorgeous. He could have any girl he wants, but he doesn't seem to want anything to do with them. Harry, on the hand, has only ever liked Cho and that was merely a passing fancy. Malfoy goes out of his way to make Harry's life miserable, like a little boy pulling the pigtails of the girl he likes. He never does anything to truly hurt Harry, he only does enough to annoy him thoroughly and gain his notice. Well unless you count those rumors from last year, but I don't think he knew the damage they would do. And the way Harry talks about Malfoy, as if they understand each other on a level that makes friendship sound cheap in comparison. Then there's the way Harry was looking at him last night, almost fondly. It was actually sort of sweet."
"Sweet?! This is MALFOY we're talking about here! I mean, it's one thing if Harry fancies boys, but MALFOY?! No way, not a chance. Harry is not shagging the ferret." Ron exclaimed, quieting only when Hermione took up the book she'd discarded earlier and threw it at him. "Well, it's true." He grumbled, barely managing to dodge the heavy book as it whisked past his head.
"Oh, shut up, Ron Weasley. I'm not saying a relationship between Harry and Malfoy is sweet, I just meant the way Harry was looking at him. He looked at Malfoy as if he cared for him. Why do you think I allowed him to keep Malfoy here with him last night? I, unlike you, take my prefect duties seriously, however Harry's happiness always comes first. Though now, I wonder if it wasn't a dreadful mistake to allow Malfoy to stay here at all. A relationship between those two couldn't possibly be healthy and obviously if there was a relationship there, it's over now. It's really all very annoying. I have a good mind to go down to the Slytherin dungeons and shake the life out of that arrogant little spat." Hermione finished, her fists clenched against her robe. "Hurt my best friend will he..."
"Calm down," Ron commented, patting Hermione's knee and feeling very strange. He was usually the first one to lose his cool when it came to Harry. Hermione hardly ever lost her temper.
"I will not calm down, Ron Weasley. Go fetch Harry's cloak and the Marauder's map. We are going to go give Malfoy a piece of our mind!" Hermione stated, standing up and stomping her feet angrily.
"Herm, I really think you should think this..." Ron murmured, rising to his feet slowly.
"Go! Hurry up!" Hermione shouted, shoving Ron in the direction of the stairs. "Move it, Weasley. We don't have all night."
"Jeus, you're bossy," Ron grumbled, but he was a little scared of Hermione when she was angry so he turned and practically ran up the stairs to fetch the items from Harry's trunk. When he arrived in the room, Harry's curtains were shut and for all he knew the other boy was already asleep. He crept slowly to the truck, opening it as quietly as he could and retrieving Harry's cloak and map from it's depths before closing the truck and tip-toeing out of the room.
When he returned to the common room, Hermione was busy pacing a rut in the floor. She practically pounced on him as the moment he appeared at the bottom of the stairs, snatching the map from his hands and studying it intently, her brow furrowing. "He's not in the dungeons. He's in a classroom on the first floor. That's strange."
"We're going to walk in on him shagging Crabbe, I just know it." Ron grumbled, draping the clock over his shoulders. "They'll be moaning and grunting and I will traumatized for the rest of my natural life."
"Oh, he is not and that's a terrible mental picture. Malfoy would never let that clod touch him." Hermione mumbled, grasping Ron's hand as Ron pulled the cloak over his head and vanished from sight.
"How would you know who Malfoy would let touch him?" Ron's disembodied voice asked, earning a glare.
"Well, it's simple logic. He's far too sexy to be paired up with that monstrosity of a human being." Hermione replied irritably, dragging Ron towards the portrait.
"You think Malfoy's sexy?!"
"Oh, don't be jealous. I think you're far sexier then Malfoy." Hermione smiled, visualizing the tomato-like color Ron was most likely turning at the comment. She did so enjoy teasing him. He was cute when he blushed. He was cute when he did pretty much anything, actually. "He's just sexy in a different sort of way. Almost pretty, really. I do wonder where he got that nasty scar, though. It suits him, but it's what really made me wonder if perhaps he hasn't got his own reasons for being the way he is."
"What scar?" Ron mumbled, his embarrassment evident in his voice.
"Oh, tell me you're joking. You can't not have noticed it. It's like someone took a knife and ripped it across his cheek. Wouldn't surprise me if it was that bastard father of his. Nasty man, that one. Now, be quiet." Hermione murmured, heedless of the fact that she was the one doing the vast majority of the talking. Ron debated pointing that fact out to her, but it really wasn't worth the pain of getting another book chucked at his head. Never mind the fact that Hermione didn't have a book with her at the moment, she'd probably just wait and clobber him within an inch of his life once they got back to the common room.
They crept down the hall in silence, Ron hidden beneath the invisibility cloak and Hermione studying the map at intervals as she lead them down the stairs to the first floor and down the deserted corridor to the room in which Malfoy was hiding. As they reached the door Ron's eyes widened. Someone was crying. Sobbing, actually and it could only be one person. Hermione opened the door a fraction of an inch, allowing them both to peer through the opening.
Draco Malfoy lay on the stone floor, his quiet sobs echoing through the empty room. His head was pillowed on his robe and he was certainly not dressed for laying on cold stone floors. Hermione felt her heart soften and anger fade as she starred at the sobbing boy for a moment longer before quietly shutting the door and turning about to face Ron. "Ron, stay here."
"Huh? What are you going to do? Oh, no. No, no, no. You can't go in there, Hermione. You can't help him. Whatever his problem is, there's nothing you can do. It'll just make things worse if you go in there." Ron swept back the hood of the robe so he could meet Hermione's gaze. "You're not the only one who notices things, Herm. I'm practically a ferret boy expert and he will not thank you for walking in on him when he's like that. If you manage to walk back out of that room with your legs and arms still attached you'll be lucky. That isn't a wounded puppy we're talking about here, Herm. Malfoy is the most dangerous kind of animal."
"All right," Hermione murmured, stunned by Ron's observations. All she'd seen was a crying boy, she'd forgotten who it was. "Let's go back." She stated finally, casting a last glance towards the closed door before tightening her grip on Ron's hand and beginning the long walk back to Gryffindor tower.
Harry starred up at the red canopy that hung over his bed, trying to make some sense of the events of the day, but having no real success to speak of. Just lying in the bed was confusing and he caught himself glancing too often at the pillow beside him, debating whether or not to pound out the dent Draco had left behind as an unintentional reminder of his presence. Harry had rolled towards that side of the bed more than once with every intention of pummeling the pillow just to spite the blond, but each time he raised his fist towards the hapless object, he'd lowered it once more without doing the intended damage.
Even if he ripped the pillow to shreds, it wouldn't change the memory of Draco burrowing against his chest. Wouldn't erase the image of Draco's awful case of bedhead. It wouldn't even rid him of the scent of Draco, which seemed to cling to the bed. That strange scent of darkness and magic, which seemed to be uniquely Draco. He'd noticed it first when he'd pinned Draco against the tower wall. That unique, exotic scent which still made his stomach tighten even in memory. Draco had only spent a few hours in his bed and now he couldn't seem to lie in it without the memory of those few hours haunting him. The way Draco had thanked him, so quiet and uncertain. The strange innocence that came over him as he slept. He could remember every detail, no matter how small, of the time Draco had spent beside him and it hurt.
He'd hated Draco Malfoy for years, how was it possible that everything could change so drastically seemingly overnight? Of course, if he were completely truthful with himself, he'd admit that it had been changing for a long time. So slowly and so gradually that he hadn't even noticed that it was happening. Even while they were wishing each other to the bottom of the Atlantic, they understood each other on some basic, unconscious level. Not that any of that mattered now. Draco's soft lips and the hateful words they uttered had made sure of that.
And as Draco sobbed his pain out against the floor of the abandoned classroom where they'd held their last battle, Harry pushed thoughts of the Slytherin seeker to the back of his mind and locked them away. Whatever had changed between them in the hospital room where Harry had confessed his memories of fourth year. Whatever had changed between them as he'd held Draco in the darkened tower. Whatever had changed within him as he watched Draco sleep. Whatever had changed between them in the quiet exchange of morning. Whatever revelations were revealed by that single quiet kiss. It was over.
~to be continued~
Another fairly dark chapter. I'm rather fond of this one though, don't ask me why. But, even though I do like it, this chapter was a bitch to write for some reason, more so then any other chapter with the possible exception of 'Alone'. Probably because of all that pov switching, everything is going to hell in a handbasket nonsense. Pain in the ass. (Ignore me, I'm just grumpy. It's been a REALLY long week.) Anyway, the next chapter will be up either late Monday night or early Tuesday morning at the latest.
I hope the time lapses weren't in this one weren't too hard to follow. The leather pants made a startling reappearance in this part. I really wasn't planning on mentioning them again anytime soon, but it worked in this part so I just went with it.
Hmm... Harry's language really
does tend to get worse the more upset he is, which is true with
anyone really. When we're in pain all thoughts of propriety and
manners just sort of fly away. It's human nature.
I really enjoy writing Harry and Draco. (Standard Disclaimer: From this point on are notes on my take on both characters and thus my own personal opinion.) Harry's character is that even after he has gone through all these horrible things, he still retains this trace of innocence and vulnerability, which makes him a rather tragic sort of character. Things happen to him, people hurt him, but he somehow heals and survives such betrayals and ends up stronger for it, even if he does get progressively more distant as a result. He still clings to this idea that all people are essentially good, which is one of the things that Draco finds the most irritating about him. After all, Draco's worldview is very nearly the opposite of Harry's. He has seen the darker half of life and believes himself to be essentially 'bad'. He's developed all this thick stone walls around his emotions as a result of his upbringing and the things he's been through the during the past few years and as a result he comes across as being far colder and more aloof then Harry. He's also far more disciplined and it takes a lot more for him to completely lose control of his emotions and when he does it's a far more violent display then any you'll see from any other character. He usually lashes out with verbal assaults which are usually carefully planned attacks, demonstrating his control even in stressful situations. He's a talker. He talks a huge game, but rarely will back it up with physical violence unless he is pushed beyond his carefully defined limits. Basically, when Draco is at his most dangerous is when he shuts up. ^-^ (I have so many pages of character analysis lying around my room and computer, it's rather frightening. That's what I was doing when I had that really long break between the writing of Chapter One and Chapter Two.) ^^;;
The Boy who Lived Tour monologue is a take on the rhyme "This is the house that Jack built", which I'm convinced everyone has heard in one form or another at some point in their lives and is the basis for all insanity. (These notes were done while I was writing this chapter, so if they seem sort of disjointed, that's why.)
Huge thanks to Mai Mai Suu, Kitty, SoulSister, chrisseee667, Unicorn*angel, ShinigamiStar, megan, Avada Kedavra, Youko Gingitsune (Here you go. ^_^), oracle, Antigone, Han (Thank you very much, I was rather proud of that whole pillow scene. :p), laura, DaZeD, Jivanna, no one, laura, Zipporah, Crys Clouse, Dala, qggg, Mirekisa Tekisale, Pisces, Angelic Dragon, Sandra Solaria Dees, Rubicon, Celeste, Ari, Lady Ash, Raquel Lily, Jessica, Domino Nermandi, and Abaddon.
Special thanks to
She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named: Your pen name gave me a five-minute
laughing fit. Thanks so much for your kind words. ^_^
Special thanks to until strawberry sherbet: Thank you for the detailed review and I'm glad to know I've done justice to the characters. ^_- (Ps... that's a great pen name :p)
Special thanks to Klee: Thank you so much for recommending my little story to others. I really appreciate it and I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far. (I especially liked the dancing analogy. That was very clever. ^-^)
Special thanks to Demeter: Thank you so much for your kind words and I found it incredibly funny that you should mention Lucius.... ^_^
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