Toward End Game
I don't feel guilty, Draco thought. I wonder why that is. Because it didn't mean anything to me? Because I didn't try? Because Ron doesn't care, not in the way he should care – if he should care at all. I don't feel the slightest ounce of guilt; I might as well have spent the entire night fast asleep.
Below him, caverns in the rocky floor yawned, red toothless, tongueless mouths. Draco laid himself flat against the back of the dragon, the air fluttering his lashes against his cheeks.
I don't give a damn. I'm starting to feel like Ron, maybe, perhaps. Is this what the world is like to him? With nothing to tie you down, with no commitments? I could get used to this..
Harry's face rose in his memory, an unbearable grimace of misery painted on his phantasmal features. Draco sighed. Or maybe not, he reflected. I don't think I could ever be quite like Ron. I think I need someone to go home to, after it's all be done and gone. I couldn't – I can't stand an empty bed.
It was too easy – that was the crux of it. Slipping in against Ron had been simple, natural to the extent that Draco had momentarily forgotten where he ended, where Ron began. There wasn't any need to perform, no pressure, nothing tantric or esoteric about it. Just plain, simple sex, with the flourishes cut off at the corners.
I needed that, Draco thought. I really did. It was – cathartic? Perhaps. Fun? Definately. A little light hearted romp in a dragon's cave did good things for the spirits. Draco felt decidedly pleased with himself, for no morally viable reason.
He glanced across John's back toward Sally. The dragon's body shimmered in the sunlight, and Ron's red hair was visible as a direct counterpoint to the blue of its scales. Draco chuckled, quietly. Ron had a severe, concentrated expression on his freckled face.
Perhaps he's regretting it now, Draco thought. I wish he wouldn't. Shit happens, right, Ron? He willed the catchphrase towards the other man. Shit happens.
So, we fucked. Get over it.
Harry doused Lucius in water. It seemed to be the only way to get the man out of his catatonic state. And, as Harry upended the bucket over Lucius' head, he found it was kind of – enjoyable, too. This is to get you back for the Veelas, Harry thought, and only just managed to twist his face into a more acceptable concerned set before Lucius looked up.
"Lucius – you're okay?" Harry asked, clasping the bucket to his chest. Inside he was feeling giggly. In a hysterical way. Something about pouring water over his boyfriend's father and the fast approaching end of the universe had that effect on him. Once, Draco had convinced Harry to snort some powder off his bedroom dresser. Harry felt much the same after that as he did now.
Stupid, hopeless, hysterical, and desperate to hug something.
Harry hugged the bucket tighter.
"I'm going to give you a minute to tell me why you poured water on my head," said Lucius. He was dripping – from his hair to his robes. He tilted the thin oval of his face up to Harry, and glared. "Then, I'm going to set the Veelas on you. And this, I might add, does not depend on whether you provide a suitably chastised response or not."
Lucius seemed back to his old self. He rose, imperiously, and began to wring out the edging of his robe, all the while treating Harry to his cool glare.
"I want the full story, now," said Harry, simply. "About Voldemort, and what he's going to do. Narcissa is drunk – she's no bloody help. You've been keeping things from me, and as your almost-son, I think I have a right to know them."
"End Game," snapped Lucius. "I told you, didn't I?"
"You had a plan. What happened to that?" Harry asked.
"I'm taking a raincheck. Without Draco, it isn't going to work." Lucius squeezed droplets out of his hair. "I am not going mad," he added, in a disjointed fashion, as if he wasn't quite sure of the fact himself. "Not at all."
"Four wizards or witches, to oppose the Armaggedon. Myself, Narcissa, you and Draco. There has to be four." Lucius grimaced. "If I'd had time to plan it – if I'd stopped to read the signs – it might have been different. All I've had is the one bloody day."
"We could still do it. I could – Hermione is feeling better."
"And what would she do? Spank Voldemort with a riding crop and ask him to kiss her feet? I don't think so, Potter." Lucius shifted uneasily – something Harry had never seen him do before, though he'd seen Draco perform similar motions, a sort of unconscious sidestepping. Like father, like son.. "Perhaps he's chosen them already," Lucius muttered. "At least I have the circle."
"Will that hold him out?" Harry asked.
"Yes. The problem is, I don't know what will be left by the time he's finished. It'd be rather ironic, to find ourselves stranded in a small circle in the middle of nothingness. That's provided, of course, he manages to do it. Perhaps I should bring up some canned meals with us – I think we still have some tinned caviar somewhere, left over from that party we had with the Borgias. It might be a little on the salty side, but if the world's about to end, I suppose we can hardly be picky –"
"Don't be so damn defeatist!" Harry stamped his foot; and then accidentally dropped the bucket on it. He ignored the ache in his toes. "Listen – you're a powerful wizard. Maybe even as powerful as Dumbledore and Voldemort. Can't you stop him on your own? I mean, you said before he didn't have many supporters left.."
"And I have you, and your magic forehead," said Lucius, with a sneer. "For some reason, I don't think that trick will work twice, Potter. This time round, he might have the sense to duck. I need – I need my son." He looked desperately around him, as if he imagined that Draco might pop out suddenly from a cupboard.
"More like a French maid," Harry muttered aloud. He'd had his own share of finding Malfoy sex slaves scattered throughout the house. Lucius gave him a blank stare in response, and then scrabbled again across the floor for the photo-album. Harry had forgotten all about it. Lucius flipped through the pages to the centrefold.
Draco was flying.
"Dragons again," Lucius said. "He still isn't even in the right sphere of existence. Not that that will save him."
"Not that anything will save his ass when he gets back," said Harry. "Ron Weasley. The little bastard –"
"Shut up, Potter," said Lucius, and Harry obediently closed his mouth.
Lucius closed his eyes, and began to massage his own temples. Harry wondered whether Lucius was trying to focus himself, or if this was just a side effect of the sudden plunge into weirdness Lucius had taken.
For some reason, Harry had started to feel deceptively calm. He'd survived a threat by Voldemort before – more than one, actually. This one couldn't be any worse than anything Voldemort had done before. Lucius was flipping out – but wouldn't anyone who'd chosen to switch sides in the heat of battle? Serverus was probably sitting in his hell, shitting himself – or not, as Harry felt it was highly unlikely that word of Voldemort's approach had reached Serverus' ears.
"So – you asked me to be your son, why?" Harry said, quietly. "Because it would prove to Voldemort that you were going to fight against him? Because you needed to use me to make sure Voldemort would come to you? Because you'd gain kudos if your plan worked, and we four managed to save the world? Or just because you like mind-fucking me? Sir."
"All of the above," said Lucius, with his hands still pressed to his forehead. "And also because – you're part of the family. Or hadn't you noticed, Potter?"
Harry felt a funny warm feeling. "Oh. Yeah," he mumbled.
"Picking someone's underclothes out of the couches in one's lounge room rather does change the light in which one views them," said Lucius. "And if this truly is going to be the end of the world, I'd rather you die a Malfoy."
"I'd rather die a Potter."
"I'd rather you die a Malfoy, Potter," said Lucius, with a sharp note in his voice.
"This is going to be one of those unwinnable arguments with you, isn't it?" said Harry, wearily.
"Either you agree, or you sleep outside the circle tonight," Lucius agreed.
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