Title: Celle Qui Sais Vous Garrotter
Summary: “Two orgasms and Harry's hand resting tentatively on his hip and Draco still felt wound tight, aching somewhere too deep to rub away.”
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warnings: Established relationship, self-bondage, bondage, barely-there d/s.
Epilogue compliant? Not at all.
Word Count: 4,300
Author's Notes: For marguerite_26, a delightfully kinky lady. As you'll probably recognise once you read, this fic owes a great deal to your spectacular Burn, Burn. I'm afraid I've cheated a bit here and made this established relationship fic, I hope you don't mind! The title comes from Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations and translates to "the one who knows how to tie you up." It's prettier in French, n'est-ce pas? Many thanks to my beta readers, F and L, and especially to B. I can't thank you enough, my dear. ♥
Harry's bed smelled good.
Draco shouldn't have thought so. The sheets hadn't been laundered in a week at least and he harboured no fantasies of them being changed tonight. But the rumpled mess of sex and sweat wasn't disgusting so much as it was Harry, warm and soft and inviting. He was tempted to fall asleep.
Except he couldn't. Two orgasms and Harry's hand resting tentatively on his hip and he still felt wound tight, aching somewhere too deep to rub away.
"I've got to go," he said, extracting himself from the heat of Harry's body and gathering his clothes.
"You don't," Harry said, not a little bit irritated. "You can stay here, you know."
Draco stole a look at the bed, at Harry, tousled and naked inside it, and wrenched his eyes away. No, he couldn't.
"I can't," he said, and hoped it sounded like an apology. "I just-- I sleep better alone."
Harry's lip curled. "How would you know?"
A sharp pang hit Draco's stomach. He ignored it. "I just do, all right?" Draco pulled on his shirt, bent to give Harry a kiss that wasn't returned. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Twenty minutes later, he was home and ready to knock a hole in the wall. Gone was the post-coital relaxation, leaving only the exhaustion and the ache and a new, prickling irritation just under his skin. Fuck it all.
He stripped down to his boxers, shoved his clothes into the laundry bin, and knelt on the floor. One hundred push-ups followed by one hundred sit-ups and he felt better, but not enough. He turned the shower on so hot it scalded his skin, stood under the spray until he couldn't feel the heat. It helped.
He crawled into bed, opened the top drawer of his bedside table. Shut it again. The coils of rope lined up inside were softer, easier on his skin, but he could never tie them as tight as an Incarcerous. And tonight, he wanted the burn of the coarse rope.
He laid back and cast the spell, wincing as his wrists were crushed together and tied to the headboard. It was tight, maybe even tighter than he would have liked, but the knots would loosen by morning and besides, he could already feel the heat rushing through his body, erasing the bone-deep ache.
He woke when sunlight filled his room, a good half-hour before his alarm was set to go off. His arms were stiff and his fingers numb and he had to spend several minutes fighting the ropes, but he'd slept through the night. With any luck, the blister-red grooves around his wrists would fade by the time he saw Harry; the long sleeves of his robe would hide them until then.
Because his luck was rotten, and because there was no problem that The Boy Who Lived couldn't solve by barreling into it headfirst, Harry burst into his office at half nine.
"Malfoy," he said, as though he had a speech all prepared, "we need to talk."
Draco raised his eyebrows. "About how you're going to re-attach my door to the frame?"
"What? I didn't--" Harry turned to check. "Your door is fine."
"Perhaps. We'll leave the final diagnosis to maintenance." Draco sat back and folded his arms. They itched, and the rough edges of the standard Ministry robes did nothing to help. "What can I do for you?"
"You--" Harry started, then glanced back at the still-open door. He shut it and lowered his voice. "You left. Last night."
"Well-spotted. Two points to Gryffindor." Draco turned his chair away and picked a piece of parchment at random. Its contents were an indistinguishable blur. "Was there something else?"
Harry crossed the room in two quick strides and spun Draco's chair towards him again, gripping the armrests and leaning in close. "Will you be serious for once?"
Draco's chest went tight, as if his ribs were contracting against his insides. Harry looked-- he looked angry, and confused, and a little hurt. "All right," Draco said, licking his lips and meeting Harry's eyes, "I'm being serious."
Harry stared at him a second longer, then pushed off and walked around to the other side of the desk. He swept a stack of scrolls from the visitor's chair and collapsed into it, hands folded, forearms balanced on his knees. "You left," he said again, slower this time. "You always leave, and I can't-" He stopped himself, took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. For the first time, Draco noticed the dark rings under them. A knot formed in Draco's throat. Harry donned his glasses again. "I'm not asking for three kids and a crup. But I can't do it this way."
"The way you do everything! As if it doesn't matter. As if you're not..." Harry laughed, or at least it sounded like laughter. "As if you don't care."
"That's not--" Draco couldn't look away from the circles under Harry's eyes. He remembered them from his own face all through sixth and seventh years, knew they took longer than the rope burns to fade. "I've never done this before," he admitted.
It wasn't anything, not even a promise, but a slow smile spread over Harry's face. "I haven't either," he said, and for the life of him Draco couldn't fathom why Harry thought that was a good thing. "Not really. Not since Ginny, and you know how that went, with me being--" he made a gesture that Draco took to mean a flaming homosexual "--and all."
"Right," Draco said. "So, what, you'll only have sex with me if I stay the night after?"
Harry rolled his eyes, but his expression was fond. "No, you randy bastard. I don't want this to be quid pro quo."
"Oh, well said, Granger," Draco mocked. "So..."
"So say you'll try, arsehole," Harry said, rising to his feet.
"Hmm." Draco pretended to think as Harry rounded the desk. "I don't know. Can it be given in evidence?"
Harry came close, wedged one knee between Draco's legs on the chair. "Not if I coerce you."
Draco spread his legs wider to let him in. "Are you coercing me?"
"I'm threatening to withhold sex," Harry said, leaning over him. He didn't look angry this time.
"I thought you weren't interested in quid pro quo," Draco teased.
"Say it, toss-pot."
Draco threaded his fingers through Harry's belt loops and pulled until Harry fell into his lap. "I'll try."
Harry broke into a smile and surged forward to kiss him. Just as things were getting good, though, with teeth and tongues and the possibility of a good-morning ride, Harry pulled away. "You have to," he said, face stone-set. "You have to try."
Draco nodded. "I will." He would. It'd been ages since he tried. He ought to give it another go.
He just didn't like his chances for success.
Draco returned home that night feeling good, good enough to forgo the exercise and wank in the shower. He went to bed sated and lazy and pulled out the soft hemp rope without a second thought. It took only a handful of seconds for him to wind the rope around his wrists and cinch it tight, years of practice turning the simple pattern to habit. He attached the long ends to the headboard and laid back, waited for sleep to take him.
He was nearly there, just on the verge of dreaming when someone knocked on his door. Draco jerked awake, tried to sit up but was snapped back by the rope. Heart pounding, he rolled over and went to work on the knots -- they were tight, tighter than he'd tied them. There wasn't enough light to see and his fingers slipped on the rope, prickling with sweat. He cursed, prayed the knocking would cease. It didn't.
"Draco?" Oh fucking sodding buggering fuck. Harry. Draco took a breath. He had to stay calm. Had to get free. He couldn't- couldn't let Harry see.
"Draco? Come on, I know you're there."
Fuck. "One minute!" His wand, where was his wand? He usually--
"Are you all right?" Harry sounded worried, which he shouldn't have, because he shouldn't have been here.
"I'm fine!" Or he would be, if he could have just a few minutes to get out of this.
"You're not," Harry said, because he was apparently a sodding Seer now. "Open the door or I'm coming in."
"Don't you fucking dare," Draco warned, but it didn't matter because there was Harry, standing at his bedroom door: wand at the ready, incomprehension written all over his face.
"What--" he said, and his eyes went wide. "God, are you okay?" He rushed to the bed, took Draco's bound wrists in hand. "What happened?"
"Nothing happened, Potter," Draco snapped, and tried to wrestle out of Harry's grip.
But Harry wouldn't let him go. "Who did this?" he said, eyes darting around the room. "Did they--"
"For fuck's sake, no!" Draco flexed his fingers; he could barely feel them. "I did it, all right? Now will you put your worthless arse to use and get me out of here?"
Harry's face froze as though he'd been Petrified, but he managed to cast a Diffindo at the ropes. Draco worked the tension from his fingers, sighing as the feeling returned.
"You--" Harry tried, but stopped, as if he couldn't wrap his mind around it. "You did that."
Draco wiped his hands on his legs. He wished they weren't having this conversation while he was nearly naked. Or ever. "Yes," he said.
"But..." Harry wasn't any closer to getting it. He wasn't ever going to get it. "Why?"
"Because," Draco said through his teeth.
"Just because." There was no way to explain it, no way to make Harry understand. Draco shuffled off the bed and pulled on the first pair of trousers he could find. "I think you should go."
"Go. Or I'll report you for unauthorised entry without cause." Draco glared at him, put all his anger behind it. "Don't think I won't."
Harry's mouth fell open, then flattened to a hard line. "Fine," he said. "I'm gone."
And then he was.
Draco waited for him to reappear. Harry Potter did not give in without a fight; he knew that better than anyone. But after a half-hour had passed, he had to admit-- it looked as though Harry really wasn't coming back.
Fine. That was fine. He couldn't expect anything more. He pushed his trousers to the floor and crawled back in bed. The ropes Harry had severed still hung from the headboard. He reached up, took one in each hand, and circled them around his wrists until all the slack was gone.
He closed his eyes and tried not to move. It was going to take him forever to fall asleep.
He spent the next day trying to hide from Harry, which went swimmingly until he decided to leave the sanctuary of Pansy's office and brave the canteen for lunch.
"Is it a kink thing?" Harry said, appearing from nowhere to drop into the chair next to him.
Draco nearly choked. "What?"
"Because if it is," Harry pressed on as though Draco hadn't spoken, "I could, you know." He ducked his head, flushed a brilliant red. "Do that."
"Do what?" Draco snarled, hoping his voice wasn't carrying through the room. "Tie me up and have your way with me? The great Harry Potter likes a bit of rough, is that it?"
"Um," Harry said, tearing the crusts off his sandwich, "if that's what you, I mean, if you--"
"Forget it, Potter." Draco stood and prepared to walk away. "Forget everything. This isn't your problem."
"Wait!" Harry took hold of his sleeve as he walked past. People were starting to stare. "It is a problem, then? You do-- do you need help?"
God damn it. God damn Harry for being so sodding earnest and helpful. Draco looked around, tried to decide how much of the truth he was willing to tell to have this be over. "I don't need your help, Potter, all right? It just--" he took a breath, lowered his voice. "It helps me sleep, is all," he said, and shook his arm out of Harry's grasp. He didn't look back as he walked out of the room, and Harry didn't try to stop him again.
He worked late that night, stopped off for a drink with Pansy, and was not at all surprised to find Harry waiting on the steps to his flat.
"What," Draco said, "no breaking and entering this time?"
"I didn't break anything," Harry said glumly. His skin was pale and the circles under his eyes shone like bruises in the moonlight.
"Only because I pack away the breakables when you're around," Draco told him. He crossed his arms over his chest. It was late and he was sore all over and going to need at least three sets of push-ups before bed. "What do you want?"
"I want you to talk to me. I want to know what's going on. I want--" He scrubbed his hands through his mess of hair and looked Draco in the eye. "I want to know if this is why you never stay."
Well. He could give Harry that much at least. "Yes," he said, rocking back on his heels. "That's why."
"Yeah?" Harry said, a hint of a smile playing at his lips, which was the wrong reaction. "Okay."
"Okay?" Draco wanted to scream. "That's okay?"
"Better than leaving 'cause you hate my morning breath," Harry said, that infuriating smile still on his face. "Or because you don't want to stay."
Draco swallowed. He hadn't actually thought of that. "I suppose."
Harry nodded. "So can we talk about this?"
Draco turned his head away, squeezed his hands tighter around his arms. It didn't ease the ache. No matter how he tried, he couldn't reach deep enough. "What do you want me to say?"
"Whatever you'll tell me."
Draco needed to go inside. He had to go to bed. His fingers were going to leave bruises soon. "What if I don't want to tell you anything?"
"Draco." Harry's voice was sharp. "You said you'd try."
He had. He'd said that. He'd meant it. "I claim mitigating circumstances."
"What, that you're a stubborn git?" Harry climbed to his feet, stood close enough his chest bumped Draco's arms. "Come on," he said, with a gentle tug on Draco's robe. "I'm trying."
He was, the bastard. "All right," Draco said. He dropped his arms and let Harry take his hand. "Come in."
"So," Harry said, focussing intently on his cup of tea, "when you said it helps you sleep, you meant..."
"I meant I can't. Without it."
"Oh." Harry's eyes flicked up to his, dropped back to his cup when he saw he was being watched. "Why not?"
Wasn't that the thousand Galleon question. Draco took a sip of his tea; it was flavourless and going cold. "I don't really know," he said. "It's-- it hurts, sort of. When I try. And I can't ignore it, can't relax, no matter how tired I am, not since--" He stopped. Harry probably didn't want to know everything.
"Since when?" Or maybe he did.
"Fifth year." Draco waited for Harry's reaction. There wasn't one. "I had that growth spurt, remember? And it hurt, all the time. I couldn't sleep at night, and it wouldn't go away, and I--" He what? What words were there that would make this make sense? "I don't know why I tried it, but it was late, and I had my school tie, and..." He shrugged. "It worked."
"Oh," Harry said again. "Um."
And this, this was why Draco didn't date. Letting someone in just enough to matter and then giving them a reason to run. At least Harry wasn't taking the piss. "It never stopped," he went on, the words heavy on his tongue. "I always thought, when I was done growing..." He shook his head. Those nights had been the worst, when he'd been so tall and lanky and yet still aching. "But it never stopped."
Harry didn't say anything, and Draco didn't expect him to. There was nothing to say to the realisation that your boyfriend -- or whatever he was -- couldn't sleep without tying himself down. Nothing good, anyway. Draco's wrists throbbed. "You should probably go," he said quietly.
Harry's head snapped up. "What? Why?"
"I've just told you why," Draco said, enunciating each word.
"But--" Harry said, looking a little lost. "Yeah. You've told me."
Draco set down his cup, rose to his feet. He couldn't do this, couldn't just sit here and wait for Harry to cotton on. He needed-- "I need you to go."
"But why?" Harry stood as well, stalwart and strong and so fucking ready to fight any enemy.
"Because it hurts, all right?" Draco dropped the facade and wrapped his fingers around his wrist, relieving the pressure enough for him to think. "It hurts and it's not going to stop because we had a share and care moment." He wanted to cry. He wanted this to be over.
Harry stepped closer, pulled Draco's hand away from his wrist and replaced it with his own. "I know," he said, though his words didn't matter because his touch was like bliss. "I want to stay anyway."
He was asking for permission and Draco was near ready to beg, anything so long as Harry didn't let go, and it occurred to him they wanted the same thing. "Yes," he said, even though he wasn't sure there'd been a question.
"All right," Harry said. "Come on." He was smiling as though Draco had just given him the moon, and Draco sort of knew the feeling. He risked a quick flex of his wrists. Harry only held them that much tighter and led him down the hall, into the bedroom.
"I, er," Harry stammered when they were standing at the foot of Draco's bed, "I don't know how you-- do this."
Draco stared down at Harry's hands, watched him massage Draco's pulse points with his thumbs. He'd been planning to use the spell, but that pain seemed so far away now, so trivial. If it were an option, he'd spend the night just like this, Harry's hands wrapped tight around him. "I've got rope," he said, not looking at Harry.
"Yeah?" Harry said. "Okay." He released Draco's wrists, slid his hands down Draco's until they were no longer touching.
It took a moment for Draco to remember how to move. Only the cold, the deep-down chill that set in in the absence of Harry's warmth, reminded him.
He stepped back, shook off his robe and shirt, let them fall in a heap somewhere to his side. He hesitated at his trousers, all too aware of Harry's eyes on him, but after a moment he pushed them down as well. Harry had seen it all before.
He opened the drawer, picked a coil at random and unravelled it before he could change his mind.
"This is, um," he began, but he didn't know what he wanted to say. The heft of the rope was so familiar; he could have it tied in place in seconds if he wanted. He let it hang limp in his hands.
"Here." Harry left his spot at the foot of the bed, moved to Draco's side and caught the slack end of the rope. "Can I?"
Draco nodded, let Harry slide the rope from his hold.
"All right," Harry said, no longer so sure of himself, and fuck. Draco shouldn't have put this on him. It was too much. "Should I just do this, or..."
"What," Draco said, voice catching in his dry throat. "They don't teach you to tie a knot in Auror training?"
Harry laughed a little and his cheeks went pink and if Draco didn't know better he'd think Harry was happy. "They did," Harry said. He fiddled with the rope, looped it around his palm a few times. "I just didn't know if there was a way you, um. You liked it."
Draco's face burnt, he flushed so hard. "Oh. Yeah," he said, and reminded himself that however Harry tied him, that was how he was spending the night. He went hotter at that thought; stuck out his wrists before he could examine his reaction. "You want to, uh, start at the middle. Leave the ends long."
"Okay." Harry did as he said, measuring the centre of the rope and draping it over Draco's waiting wrists. "What now?"
Draco guided him through it, told him how to layer the turns of the rope and how to cinch it snug without closing off his circulation. Harry followed his instructions with care, and the result was neater and sturdier than Draco could ever manage, even though this was only Harry's first time. First. Draco shuddered.
Harry tied it off with his own knots, out of reach of Draco's fingers, and Draco's stomach lurched.
"How's that?" Harry asked, soft and breathless. "Is it all right?"
Draco twisted his wrists. He could move them, but not much. Not enough to get free. "Yeah," he said, feeling a bit lightheaded. "I don't think I could get out on my own."
Harry gave him a crooked smile, as though he wanted to feel proud but didn't know if it was allowed. "No?"
"No." Draco pulled on the ropes again, swallowed when they didn't give. "You'll have to stay the night."
"Yeah?" Harry said, and then he was full-on grinning. "I can do that."
He tugged on the ropes ends to bring Draco in for a kiss, and Draco's cock twitched. It had been slowly filling while Harry worked, a heavy weight between his thighs, but now it was there, hard and undeniable and Draco had no idea what to do about it.
"Lie down," Harry told him, before he had to ask. He did, climbing onto the bed and under the sheets Harry turned down for him, his movements slow and awkward with his hands bound before him.
Finally in position, he licked his lips, raised his arms over his head, and gave Harry a nod. "Okay."
Harry nodded back and leant over to fix the ends to the headboard. Draco closed his eyes as the familiar wave of-- not heat exactly, he was already too warm, but something sweet and soothing that washed away every last measure of pain.
When he opened them again Harry was there, staring down at him with an expression that made Draco remember just how close to naked he was, how little his pants hid.
"Harry," he said, nothing more than throaty whisper.
"What?" Harry looked nervous, as though now, now, Draco was going to toss him out. "What can I do?"
Draco didn't know. There was no more hurt, no more ache, and yet he still needed, needed something the ropes couldn't give. His heart was pounding and his body thrumming and he needed. "Please," he said, and rocked his hips, hoped he wouldn't have to say it aloud.
"God," Harry said, "yes." He knelt on the bed and climbed on top of Draco, pushing him down and making the ropes pull taut, but that was okay, that was good. Draco couldn't move but it didn't matter: Harry was right there, giving him everything he would have asked for.
"What--" Harry panted, every time he stopped kissing and tried to catch his breath. "What--"
"Mouth," Draco said, panting with him. "Your mouth." Harry's hands were Heaven, and his mouth was better. "Please."
Harry sat up to pull off his jumper and then he was back again, kissing his way down Draco's neck, his chest, his stomach, hands touching the skin his lips couldn't cover. He fumbled Draco's pants down his legs, laid his palms over Draco's hips, and pressed a reverent kiss to the tip of Draco's cock.
Draco's hips shot up, forcing his cock into the wet heat of Harry's mouth, and Harry's hands clamped down on his hips. Harry took him in, mouth slippery-hot, and it was like nothing Draco had ever felt, lying still while Harry did this -- took his time, made it good. He thrust up, searching for something more because this couldn't be it, it couldn't be this easy.
Harry raised his head. "Stop," he said, voice thick. "Let me."
Draco did. He melted against the mattress, let his eyes fall shut. There was nothing for him to do. His hands were tied and Harry was there and he didn't have to worry about anything.
He tested the ropes again, not to get away, just to feel them, strong and sure. Harry slid down so his lips circled the base of Draco's cock and swallowed, throat so tight, and that was more than Draco could take. He cried out and came, ropes holding him fast as he tried to arch up.
He could hear Harry coughing, hear him unfastening his belt and wanking off, but he couldn't find the energy to watch. Within seconds, hot stripes of come were spattering Draco's legs and stomach, and then Harry was on him again, pushing salty kisses into Draco's mouth. Finally he stopped, and pulled back enough for Draco to see his face.
"I thought you said it wasn't a kink thing," Harry said, looking far too pleased with himself.
"I thought you weren't trading me for sex," Draco shot back. He probably should have been angry, but he couldn't remember feeling this good. Ever.
"I haven't yet," Harry pointed out. He rolled off of Draco, found a pillow and covered them both with the duvet. "You're still awake."
"So, what, you're going to watch me until I fall asleep?" Draco shifted, trying to find the most comfortable position. "Weirdo."
Harry snorted. "Says the bloke who ties himself to the bed every night."
"Well," Draco said, "not every night." Harry's eyebrows lifted. "Sometimes I have help."