Toward End Game

Chapter Two

By Libertine


Ron was thinking. Usually he didn't like to let his thoughts get ahead of him, so to speak – they had a tendancy to run around in circles and bite at each others tails if he let them off their leash. But right now, propelled through the air by his dragon companion, his mind was all over the place.

Do I want Draco? Was it good for me? Do I want to do it again? Does this mean anything? Is Ron the Rogue secretly Ron the Flaming Ass Pirate? And what about Harry..

Ron grunted, and glanced over at Draco, who was sailing past quite close now, close enough for Draco to yell over, "No regrets, right?"

"Yeah. None at all," Ron yelled back.

"Good to hear it. I was hoping you wouldn't get mopey on me. Sex is sex, right? Shit happens, as you'd put it."

"Yeah. Right."

Thankfully John veered away a little, and Draco's further shouts were lost in the distance. Ron waved, a small wriggle of his fingers. Then he realised what he was doing, and sat on his hand.

Nuhuh. No bloody Draco-isms for me, thankyou very much.

Your internal monologue is really rather fascinating, Sally said, into his brain. Sorry for prying – I couldn't help myself. You're projecting your thoughts rather fiercely at the moment..

..oh, crap, Ron thought.

I still think you're cute together, the dragon told him. But he's not really your type. You'd be much better off with a down to earth sort of girl. Someone who'd be able to whack you into shape – oh, I've triggered something there, haven't I? What's a dominatrix?

Never you bloody mind, dragon-lady. And no, by the way. Not Hermione. That is –not- going to happen. Not while I still retain some control over my genitals.

And those remarkable powers of restraint – they were what we saw last night, right?

"Draco and I figured we'd both do it. It wasn't, you know. An impulsive thing. We were just there, and both kind of down, and so we felt –"

You must be talking about some new definition of impulsive I've never heard about before.

"Oh, for the gods' sake –"

I'm just teasing. Hey, look. I think we're there. Ralph's stopped.

Ron peered over Sally's shoulder. In the distance, he saw a cleft in the rock, a hollow about the breadth of a man lying on his back. Ralph, small as he was, was perched on the very lip of it, his pale tail curving over the red rock like a worm, his legs tucked underneath him. As they flew closer, Ralph raised his muzzle.

I'm faster than you, he bragged. Even if I am smaller.

We were following you – oh, forget it, Sally replied, settling down by the crack in the rock. Ron hopped off, and stared down into the depths; he could see nothing but pitch darkness. Soon after, Draco was climbing off John's back, and Cindy, determinedly bringing up the rear, landed beside him.

"So. We're here," said Draco. "What is this? The Big Crack of a Lot of Blackness?"

Ron bit his lip to stop himself from making ass jokes. He looked away.

You'll have to cough up the medallion now, Sally, said Ralph. You're too big to get down there. While I – and he smirked, as much as a dragon could smirk.

Sally coughed, experimentally. How am I supposed to do that? she asked.

"Stick your fingers down your throat," suggested Draco.

"Listen to the Master," said Ron, and Draco hit him.

Sally wasn't listening to either of them. She bowed her head, and spluttered onto the volcanic ground, spitting up all sorts of biological nasties. The two young wizards stopped their half-hearted scuffle and jogged away to stand behind Cindy.

Ah. Got it, said Sally, finally. You'd better take it, Ralph. You seem to know what you're doing. Draco, Ron – come out now..

I don't think I need them any more, said Ralph. They've played their part, haven't they?

The three other dragons swivelled their heads to stare at him. Ralph edged backwards over the side of the hole, the medallion glinting between his teeth.

I'm joking, he muttered.

"Bad egg, that one," said Ron, quietly, to Draco.

"And that's no yolk," Draco agreed.

Ron stopped short, and stared at him. "That wasn't a pun, was it?" he asked, in a very calm voice.

"Of course not. I'm a member of the upper class, Weasley. We don't use puns for our entertainment. We prefer to laugh at poor people."

"That's okay, then," said Ron, unsure. "I think." He turned, and made towards Ralph.

Draco muffled a snigger behind his hand, and followed.

I hope you can carry them both, Sally said. Just make sure you don't lose them down there. And – good luck, Ron. Good luck the both of you, I mean.

Her mental voice sounded a little weepy as Ron climbed onto Ralph's back. He reached down to haul Draco up after him, and – as they had before, their fingers interlocked. This time, Ron chose not to pull away.

Thanks Sally. I'll see you in Africa, okay?  Ron said.

Sure thing, Ron the Rogue.

Don't push it. Just remember who cleans up your shit, right?

It seemed as if this would be a long goodbye. Ralph, apparently aware of this fact, stepped off the edge of the void, into space.


There wasn't much room in the circle. Harry held onto the edges of his chair, and tried to drift off into sleep. But every time he felt himself slipping, he had to wake up and catch himself before he fell out of the bloody rim of the circle.

I'm turning into a neurotic freak like Lucius, he thought to himself, annoyed.

All day Lucius had been flicking through various shelves of his books, searching for some way to dispose of Voldemort – without the presence of his precious son. It was rather sad to watch him, frenzied. Lucius had lost control of the situation – and he didn't take this well. Harry had begun to understand why Narcissa wanted to drink herself into oblivion. She couldn't handle seeing Lucius freak out.

Harry guessed that once all this was over – if it was ever over – Lucius would probably retract all statements of affection, as slighting as they were. And continue on to retract any other favourable things he'd ever said about Harry. Still, it did feel nice to know that Lucius had appreciated him, for all those years, even if it was only because Harry managed to satisfy his son.

Harry wriggled. Beside him, the cousin-of-Malfoy was snoring slightly in her sleep. Apparently Lucius had drugged her, so that she wouldn't find the whole ordeal overly stressful – which wouldn't be condusive to sustaining the Malfoy-offspring growing inside her.

Kaylena looked rather like Narcissa, Harry thought – then, all Malfoys tended to look alike, whether they had been born a Malfoy or not. Harry had trouble coming to terms with the fact that Draco had slept with her. Not because he didn't understand that Draco had been forced into it, but because – well. She looked like his bloody sister. It was wrong, on so many levels.

He stared at her toes, sticking out from under her blanket.


So very, very wrong.

"Potter – are you awake?"

Harry started. "Er – Lucius?"

Lucius rose from his chair. "Come with me."


Outside, Harry and Lucius stared at the hole in the ground where the medallion had once been.

"Well, bugger," said Harry.

"Extraordinarily powerful magical amulet. Gone. Just at the time when it would have been most useful. Just at the time when the Dark Lord has decided to raise his ugly head again. Yes, Potter. I think bugger quite sums it up."

"You don't have to be sarcastic – ow."

Lucius had cuffed him soundly over the back of his head. "Either Draco has the medallion, or Voldemort does," he said, absently wiping his hand clean of Harry-germs on the hem of his robe. "Which means that we might have a chance. Or, conversely, we might not."

"You think that dragons might be able to destroy Voldemort?" Harry rubbed his skull.

"I'm saying that if Voldemort gets his hands on that thing, he'll be virtually unstoppable. I mean – even I barely know how powerful that thing is. I know it can summon dragons from all over the globe. I don't know what else it can do. Damn this. I feel so – what is that word, Potter? When you should have done something earlier, but couldn't be bothered, and now you regret it?"

"This isn't about your syphillis, is it?" Harry said, cautiously.

"No. No – there's a word for it."

"Responsible?" Harry suggested.

"Yes. I feel – responsible." Lucius frowned. "How utterly – common."

"We could tell the Ministry," said Harry. "They might know what to do."

"If they haven't worked out what's happening by now," said Lucius, "they're a bunch of fools. No, we don't have half a chance with them. I need – this is impossible." He glanced up at the sky. "I sacrificed goats to you, you bastards," he said, in a louder voice. "Feel inclined to toss down some inspiration?"

"You what?" Harry began, then thought better of it. Some of the things that went on in the Malfoy household he felt he'd rather not know about.

"We may as well go back inside," said Lucius, turning to Harry.

They were walking up the path to the manor when a sudden roll of thunder crashed above them, and a bright light breifly illuminated the garden. Lucius continued to walk, unphased by the incident, but Harry turned back.

"Um, Lucius," he said. "Lightning just struck that bush over there – right where we were standing."

"This place is prone to sudden lightning strikes," said Lucius, shrugging. "What's your point?"

"The bush seems to, um. Be burning. But it's not really catching alight, if you know what I mean. Just – um – on fire, but not."

"I'll have the house elves put it out."

"But, Lucius – it's – and what you said before, and –"

"Come on, Harry."

Harry sighed. "Fine. I'm coming."

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