hd_hols (hd_hols) wrote in hd_holidays,
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Happy H/D Holidays, emmagrant01! 2 of 3

Author: cutecoati
Recipient: emmagrant01
Title: Room with a View - Part 2/3.

Part One



Later that night, Arcturus was woken by the creaking hinges of the door. Straining his eyes in the darkness, he made out two or three indistinct figures moving over to Draco's bed.

"Who is there?" he shouted and took great pride in the ensuing yelps and the sound of cracking glass. Sneaking upon a Black, as if!

"Oh for fuck's sake, it's the old bastard!" he heard Potter swear, and smiled grimly.

A female voice commanded "Lumos", and the room filled with dim light. Potter, the bushy-haired girl, and - was he really spared nothing? - one of the Weasleys stood awkwardly in the middle of the room, the two boys glaring at him, the girl mumbling something along the lines of 'told you so'. Hadn't Draco mentioned that she was an insufferable know-it-all?

Draco! "Draco!" Arcturus yelled, but the boy had bolted upright already, squinting into the light.

"Potter," he mumbled sleepily, his eyes puffy and a lock of his hair tickling at his lips, and Arcturus' heart skipped a beat at how young he looked.

"What are you doin' here?" he slurred, yawning and rubbing his face, but within seconds, reality kicked in and he stared at Potter, both fear and hope flashing up in his eyes. "Is my mother-"

A twitch of pain flickered across Potter's face. "I'm sorry, Malfoy, but we can't wait any longer for you to see reason."

"What? What are you talking about? What are Weasley and Granger doing in here?" Draco jumped up from the bed, his glance scurrying to and fro between the three of them. "What are you up to?"

"Petrificus Totalus!"

Arcturus gasped. That girl had had the audacity to hit Draco with a Body-Bind Spell?

"You filthy Mudblood! How dare you-"

Weasley was standing before him, his eyes blazing with fury, his wand pointed at him. "Be silent," he hissed, "shut the fuck up or I swear I'll tear that painting of yours into pieces."

"Leave him, Ron," Potter said and walked over to the still rigid Draco. He gave a swish with his wand, mumbling, and Draco collapsed into his arms, clearly unconscious. "Prepare the Potion," he nodded towards the girl Draco had called Granger, dragging Draco to the only stool the room boasted. He took a step back and whirled his wand around Draco several times, tying him up firmly.

"You lot of impertinent, unworthy, loathsome-"

"Listen," Potter gnarled, placing a hand on Weasley's shoulder who had again withdrawn his wand. "It's either silence from your part, or we'll remove you, you get that?"

Arcturus nodded, slightly dismayed at the look on Potter's face. He'd always considered him a particularly touchy fellow, typical for such self-centred creatures, but the deep, genuine pain on his face somehow struck a chord in him. Irritating, really.

"Harry," Granger called out. "We need to wake Malfoy up."

"Let me," Weasley gnashed, hurried over and - Arcturus hardly believed his eyes - slapped Draco across the face with the back of his hand. He had to bite his lips to not voice his indignation but did not doubt that Potter would carry out his threat, given the determined set of his jaw.

"Ron!" Granger said. "Don't- There's no need for that. It's- it's not his fault."

"The hell it is!" Weasley raged, exchanging a look with Potter. "Had the bastard told us where the Horcrux is, You-Know-Who would be dead for good!"

You-Know-Who? Arcturus whined inwardly. He'd be damned if he knew who – they were joking, right?

"We'd still have to find out how to destroy it, plus find the remaining two," the girl said calmly.

"I can't believe you're on his side," Weasley snapped, causing the girl to flinch. "Oh, Ron," she said, and "Don't be silly, mate," Potter mumbled and ran a hand over Weasley's back.

A muffled sound from Draco aroused their attention, and Potter held a hand under Draco's chin, tilting it up. "Wake up, Malfoy," he said with a mixture of anger and iron resolve to his voice.

"Wha-," Draco gurgled, his head lolling back, and his hands strained against the magical ropes when he tried to bring them up to his face.

The shock of being unable to move seemed to make him come round. His eyes flew open, and an expression of utmost scorn settled on his face.

"Care to explain what you're up to?" he hissed, baring his teeth at Potter. "I knew you couldn't be trusted! What are you doing with me?"

"Guess what," Weasley interjected before Potter could answer, dangling a phial holding a translucent liquid before his eyes.

Arcturus held his breath. There were many Potions that looked like that, clear and innocent-looking as water yet dangerous and deadly. He had a distinct suspicion, though, as to what it was, and Draco's outraged cry confirmed his inkling.

"Veritaserum? You want to feed me Veritaserum?" he panted, and he reared up, tearing at the ropes which held him firmly in place.

Realising that there was no point in squirming and straining at the ropes, he sank back into the chair and lowered his head, gasping for breath. Arcturus peered hard, trying to catch a glimpse of his face, and was shocked to see him fight back tears.

"I thought we had a deal, Potter," he said, defeat and exhaustion creeping into his voice. "My mother's safety in return for information."

Potter squared his shoulders. "We'd never agreed upon who's to fulfil his part of the deal first." A flicker of remorse passed his face, and he stuffed his hands into the pockets of his robes as if to shift off the responsibility for handling the Potion.

"We could still make a deal," Draco insisted, his eyes searching Potter's.

Weasley, who had been pacing up and down in front of the window, his hands clenching and unclenching, rushed over to the stool and shook his fist in front of Draco's face. "Charlie has been killed!" he yelled, the veins at his neck protruding and throbbing. "My brother's been murdered! No deal! No more time! You'll talk or, by Merlin, I swear I'll break every bone in your body!"

"Ron," the girl said soothingly yet was shoved away.

"You're putting my mother's life at stake!" Draco shouted, panic flaring up in his eyes.

"I don't care!" Weasley screamed, clearly beyond himself with rage and grief. "I don't care whether your mummy's next! She had it coming to her! She only gets what she deserves! She's as vile and evil as the rest of you, and I'd be happy if you'd be next! I will-"

"Ron!" Potter shouted. "Enough!" He clasped his face in his hands and exhaled with a gush. "Look," he said, turning to Draco, "I'm sorry about this but-"

"Take your pity and shove it," Draco said matter-of-factly, and closed his eyes. "You're killing my mother."

"Malfoy-" Potter said, and fell silent again.

"We have been looking for her," Granger threw in, and Draco turned his face at her, eyeing her coldly. "There's no trace of her, nowhere."

"And I totally believe you, because you'd never lie in my face," Draco nodded. "Now I can die peacefully, because Mudblood Granger has assured me that-"

"It's true," Potter emphasised, "actually, Snape has-"

"Snape?" Draco exclaimed, and a lump formed in Arcturus' throat as he saw the boy's eyes light up with hope.

"Are we done now with tip-toeing around the bastard?" Weasley hissed, and snatched the phial out of Granger's hands.

"Ron, no!"

Despite the yelp of protest from the Mudblood, Weasley clutched Draco's jaw in a steely grip, popped the glass stopper off the phial and poured its content down Draco's throat, clamping his hand over mouth and nose to force him to swallow.

Potter inhaled deeply and watched Draco with his breath bated. Slowly, Draco directed his gaze at him, and Potter flinched under the blaze of sheer hatred.

"How," Weasley gulped audibly and nervously wiped his hands on his robes. What a typical Weasley he was, with his acting on impulse and the inability of standing up for it, the need of a sanctimonious vindication. "How long does it take to show an impact?"

"About two minutes," Draco answered in a conversational tone, smiling obligingly. "I really do hope that it was you, Granger, who concocted the Potion, otherwise I'll be screwed. No, wait, thanks to you all I'll be screwed anyway, so-"

A sudden cramp in his stomach seized him, and he bent over, moaning.

"You didn't say it would hurt him," Potter said crossly, casting Granger a displeased and somewhat disappointed look.

If, Arcturus thought, he held his tongue any longer, his portrait might burst into flames out of pure rage. "Of course it hurts!" he hissed. "What did you think, that it gives him a warm and fuzzy feeling?"

"Oh, shut up, you," Potter said, sounding edgy. He worried his lower lip, nibbling and sucking at it, and biting down on it whenever Draco gave a moan. Hypocritical little twit, Arcturus raged, but the information he wants nevertheless.

Draco raised his head and looked at them, smiling eerily.

"Has it taken hold already?" Weasley mumbled.

"I don't know," Granger said. "Maybe we should, um, ask him something?"

"That's ridiculous!" Potter pushed himself off the wall and went over to kneel in front of the stool. "Malfoy. Can you hear me?"

"If I answer 'yes' now, is that a clue that the Potion's- ouch- affecting me already?"

Potter sighed. "Okay. Let's see. Who is the better Quidditch player, you or me?"

Draco's eyes went wide. "I can't believe that you- oh- asked that. It's- ohgod-" he cramped again, his legs twitching. "Krum, of course. Ouw!" He whimpered and craned his head back, squeezing his eyes shut. A muscle on his cheek was twitching repeatedly. "It's you!" Draco moaned, and the trembling subsided.

"It seems to work now," Potter said with a slight tremor in his voice. "Malfoy, where is the Horcrux?"

"I don't know."

"Come on, there's no point in lying. Where is the locket?"

The locket, Arcturus thought, momentarily distracted. What locket? Since when was there a locket involved? The last locket he'd seen had been in the hands of- he frowned. The flash of memory had passed by his mind so quickly he couldn't even tell if it had been for real.

"I don't- ah- know. Why do you think I know?"

Weasley snorted. "Maybe we should, um, kind of warm him up? What was the most embarrassing moment of your life, Malfoy?"

"Ron," Granger chided. "That's not a game!"

"Should be one, actually." Weasley flashed Draco a vicious grin. "Come on, Malfoy, we're waiting."

"P-Potter. He. OUCH! He saw. Oh god!-"

Don't fight it, boy, Arcturus longed to shout, it's in vain, and the pain will only get worse if you fight it.

"When Potter came across me- OH- saw me- oww-" he bent over again, tearing at the ropes and panting heavily.

"It's okay," Potter interrupted. "I know what he means. It's- it's okay. Malfoy-" he caught Draco's jaw in his hands and held it, "which side are you on?"

"No side," Draco panted, whimpering. "I want Mum to be safe. Dad too."

"Are you afraid of Voldemort?"

"Y- Yes."

"Where is the Horcrux we are looking for? Where is Slytherin's locket?"

Slytherin's locket? A golden locket, dangling from a long, thick, golden chain. Images, memories, flashed through Arcturus' mind. A hand, cramping so tightly around the locket that the engraved S left an imprint on the palm, marking the hand. Arcturus shook his head, willing the memories to fall back into place.

"I- I-" Draco writhed and panted, and kicked at Potter.

"Where is it?"

A panicky voice, young and somehow innocent, murmurs and hushed words, and sobs. Feet rustling up and down the staircase. Where to put it? the voice gasped, and Arcturus winced.

"-don't know- why should I know?"

"Malfoy!" Potter shouted, his temper flaring. "Where is the Horcrux? Where is Slytherin's locket?"

It needs to be safely stored away, the voice sobbed, he shall never find it. Fluttering, jittering hands, bustling through drawers and cupboards, and he knew, he knew where-

"I don't know!" Draco screamed, and sagged deeper into the stool; and another voice screamed too, equally young and desperate, and Arcturus reached out but it had vanished from his mind again.

"Harry," Granger said, a grave expression on her face. She placed a hand on Potter's shoulder and tugged him away from the stool. "Harry, he's telling the truth."

Breathless silence fell upon them for a few moments, interrupted by a low moan from Draco.

"But, Hermione-" Weasley gaped at her and then shook his head. "We just have to question him harder."

"Ron, Harry, stop it! He can't not tell the truth now. He does not know!"

"I don't know," Draco repeated, the words catching in his throat in a half-sob.

"How can that be?" Potter whispered. "That's- that's simply not possible, the letter said unmistakably that Malfoy knows where the locket is."

"We could still get some vital information out of him, the Potion's bound to work another few minutes." Weasley narrowed his eyes at the still panting Draco, and Arcturus hissed at him.

"Despicable creature! Have you not tortured him enough?"

"What? Oh, it's you again. Harry, can't we get rid of all of these nags? No, really, we should grab the chance, don't you think so, and have our Death Eater boy talk a bit."

"I'm not a-"

Potter nodded. "It's worth a try," he conceded. "Fine, Malfoy, what-"

"What in Merlin's name is going on here?" a deep, sonorous voice thundered through the room, and Arcturus had never thought he'd live to see the day when the sight of greasy Mr Snape's robes would fill his heart with joy.

"Professor," Potter, Granger, and Weasley gasped in unison, jumping up, and stared aghast at Snape and the werewolf who'd entered the room at his heels.

"They have forced Veritaserum down my throat to make me tell them where that Horcrux thing is but I don't know it," Draco babbled, and hiccupped, his eyelashes fluttering.

"It's okay, Malfoy," Potter said hastily. Arcturus cast him a vindictive glance.

"I can't help it." Draco gasped. "I'm sorry that your brother's dead, Weasley, I- oh! He was cool, what with his dragons- oh god."

Lupin, who'd rushed over to the stool and cast a Finite Incantatem at the ropes, gently patted his shoulder only to be shoved away violently.

"I'm afraid of the likes of you," Draco said, and winced. "Granger, I'll kill you for that!"

"I can't believe what you've done," Lupin muttered, barely looking at anyone, and was Arcturus the only one to note the deep creases between his nose and mouth, the deathly pallor of his skin? Wait - full moon wasn't due soon, was it?

"Step aside, Lupin. Stay seated, Draco, you'll very likely feel giddy for a few minutes." Snape reached for Draco's shoulder only to find his wrist seized by pale fingers.

"Is it true that you went looking for Mum?"

"Yes," Snape answered curtly, and Draco beamed at him.

"I trust you," he said, and for a sickening moment, Arcturus thought he would lean his head with the bright, shimmering hair against the filthy dark cloth. "I didn't, for a long time, but now I do."

"Yes," Snape said again, going rigid as Draco curled his fingers into the collar of his robes and pulled him closer. "That's, ah, very nice, Draco. Miss Granger, I take it for granted that you weren't so careless as to use Brugmansia vulcanicola instead of aurea."

"Professor, your nose is abnormally huge from that angle. I mean, even more than usual." Draco nodded and giggled, and slapped his hand across his mouth in shock. "Granger, make it stop!"

"Miss Granger!" Snape bellowed, and not even Arcturus would've thought of grinning, being shamefully reminded of the day when he, an innocent boy of five, caught sight of his father dismounting his horse and slipping on an icy patch. Whatever, he'd learned on that day, the circumstances may be, no one laughs at Phineas Nigellus Black. Had there, he pondered now, squinting at the scowling, grim face, ever been a Snape marrying into the family, because the resemblance-

"I couldn't get hold of the aurea," Granger said, raising her chin defiantly, and "We're not your students any longer, Professor," Weasley rushed to her aid.

The corners of Snape's mouth went down almost imperceptibly, and Arcturus could see him file away that impertinence.

"What's the matter with him?" Potter asked, eyeing Draco with a mixture of worry and amusement added to the usual disgust.

"It seems that thanks to Miss Granger's carelessness, Mr Malfoy is experiencing the after-effects of Veritaserum more severely than usually." Snape grabbed the phial and held it before his eyes, twirling it in his long, bony fingers, and then turned to gazing at Draco as if he were a test object under close scrutiny. "Potions experts do not entirely agree upon as to what triggers the statements, but since the dose was small, I doubt he will-"

"Potter says he isn't gay but I don't believe him," Draco said.

The declaration hung poignantly in the air for a few seconds. A muscle twitched on Snape's cheek, Weasley grew pale, causing his freckles to literally blaze on his face, whereas Granger gazed at Draco, a pensive glance in her eyes.

Arcturus couldn't suppress a grin, taking greatest delight in watching Potter, who looked as if he were to suffer an aneurysm immediately. "W- what- I'm- I'm not- I-" he stammered.

"I'd like to kiss Potter." Draco stated, yelped and flushed deep crimson, along with Potter. "He's a complete twerp most of the time, but his arse is nice. Oh god, let me die."

"Harry," Lupin said, his voice trembling only ever so slightly, "perhaps you'd better move out of his sight?" He dragged Potter, who was still sporting an alarming shade of red, behind Draco's stool and sighed. "Well, erm. Despite the indisputably wrong action you have taken, ah, what I mean-"

"He really doesn't know the first thing," Granger interrupted, and Arcturus had to concede that the rumour he'd heard about her being a bright girl might not entirely be based on pure invention of these pro-Mudblood supporters.

"Doesn't know-?" Lupin echoed, aghast. "But-" He pressed his fist against his mouth and mumbled, "All in vain? All-" Drawing a deep breath, he straightened up and glanced at Weasley, briefly locking eyes with him and sending him a shaky smile.

Snape gave a low groan and Arcturus, whose ears were but a scant inch away from his mouth - no, he was not kneeling on the floor to eavesdrop, he was merely, um, adjusting the collar of one of his Crups - thought he heard him mutter something that sounded suspiciously like 'thought so'.

"I don't know," Draco said, sounding unhappy and defeated. "You're going to let my mum die now, aren't you, you won't care any longer. What-" he ran a hand across his forehead as if to wipe away the fear and trouble, and Arcturus' heart twitched with sympathy. "What I asked before - what made you think I knew?"

"A letter was Owled to us." Snape said, gesturing Potter and the others into silence. "It says that you know where the Horcrux in question is. The locket." He snapped his fingers, and Potter eagerly fumbled a crumpled piece of parchment out of his pocket, handing it over.

Draco frowned. "Someone's been pulling your leg, Potter." Hesitatingly, he took the parchment, unfolding and straightening it with the side of his hand.

Arcturus swore under his breath and crawled into the utmost right corner of his frame to catch a glimpse of the script. A large, forceful handwriting that swept impatiently across the page, with generous spaces between the lines, the words clearly set apart, was visible, yet suddenly, it began to blur before his eyes. Arcturus squinted, rubbing his eyes, but judging by the others' reaction, it wasn't a problem of his eyesight.

The script was disappearing before their very eyes.

Draco gasped. "I didn't do anything!" Holding the sheet at one corner, between the tips of his fingernails, he swished it through the air. "It's been jinxed! It's-" Anger spread across his face like flames, and he hissed, "You've kidnapped me because of a jinxed sheet of parchment? You reckless bastard! You didn't even take the time to examine it closely enough to discover-"

"Don't be silly, of course we did," Potter shot back, and "Rest assured that all relevant measures have been taken," Snape said, nevertheless casting a scathing look at Potter.

"Fine," Draco snapped, and chuckled. "I believe you. Oh hell, this is annoying! Professor, please promise me that if we ever get back to school, Granger will fail at Potions!"

"Malfoy, you obnoxious-"

"Oh, please, don' make her start-"

So typical, Arcturus sighed, caught in their petty rivalries yet totally missing the point! "The script is back," he shouted, noting with deep satisfaction that he had, for once, their full attention. He nodded impatiently at the parchment which was still clutched between Draco's fingers and sporting a new hand, graceful and delicate, and with a distinct loop to the D.

"Oh god," Draco whispered, all giggling and forced serenity gone. "This is my mother's writing."


***************


To Arcturus' immense annoyance, Draco was out of the room most of the time during the next couple of days.

Actually, he had expected Draco to go home, and had seethed at Potter and his henchmen for still holding him captive, until he had learned from various snippets of conversation he overheard and pieces of information his fellow portraits had gathered that, in fact, there was no home left for Draco to return to, that this ominous Dark Lord Voldemort had taken up residence there.

Rumour had it that Draco had insisted on going back and trying to outwit Voldemort, and that a particularly tempestuous row between Potter and Draco had ensued. Draco had not taken well to being questioned afterwards, he'd merely snorted and mumbled something about 'that nitwit Potter and his hero complex'.

The only witness to that scene had, alas, been his brother Cygnus, and Arcturus sighed, his heart twitching with pain. His youngest brother, the one dearest to him, had given up fighting shortly after his bodily death, surrendering to the temptations of forgetting, and had long ago drifted into oblivion. Arcturus usually shied away from meeting him, dreading the pain of seeing that once brilliant, vivid mind reduced to a giggly shadow, uttering nothing but inane trivialities.

Nevertheless, Arcturus gave it a shot but it had been useless, as expected. It had taken Cygnus more than an hour to recognise his brother to begin with; and his sorrowful babbling about dark-haired boys, about their tasks that had so cruelly been inflicted upon them, and, most irritatingly, about their jewellery, had left Arcturus both none the wiser and oddly lugubrious.

"You do realise that you're in no position to order me around, don't you?" The door banged shut after Draco, only to be torn open again by a rather furious-looking Potter, and Arcturus pricked up his ears. Eventually!

"I'm not ordering you around," Potter yelled, "I've merely been pointing out that this is the craziest, most stupid idea-"

"I can do that!" Draco snarled. "I, unlike you, can master Occlumency!"

"Malfoy," Potter said, exhaling deeply with a groan, "we've been through with it, haven't we? It's too risky, are you too thick to grasp that? Plus," he raised his voice to drown out Draco's protest, "you'd be endangering Snape!"

"As if you cared! Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot - Great Harry Potter, who's been chosen to be responsible for each and everyone, and their Kneazles!"

Potter fumed. "At least I'm not being selfish by endanger-"

"You? You, not selfish? As if that hero complex you're sporting were anything but! 'Oh, let the whole world look at me and my woes, am I not the most selfless person, please come all and pat my shoulder and kneel at my feet for being such a poor little orphaned-‘"

With a scream, Potter lunged at Draco, pushing hard against his chest.

"Don't-" Draco raised his fists, "don't you dare-"

Potter grabbed Draco by the shoulders and slammed him against the bedside table, and Arcturus gasped at the cracking sound. Yet Draco didn't seem to mind, he kicked and tried to shove his elbow into Potter's stomach, pulling Potter closer in a swift motion.

With a low groan, Potter grabbed Draco's arms and shook him, driving him up against the wall again with his full weight. He pressed his body against Draco to keep him in place, panting heavily.

Arcturus stared at them with his mind racing. More than he'd hoped for, plus there was something going on between the two of them, something beyond their usual fighting and throwing insults, yet he couldn't put his finger on what it precisely was.

The boys seemed to feel it too, though, for they stood transfixed for a few seconds, neither of them moving a muscle.

And then, it happened all at once. Draco, whose hands had been pinned to the wall by the firm grasp of Potter's hands, somehow got free again, yet instead of shoving him away, or hit him, he clasped Potter's head, his hands building a cage for his face, and dragged him closer so violently that Potter almost lost his balance.

Arcturus almost hiccupped with surprise, and bristled. Granted, the tension between the boys hadn't been strictly platonic of late, and siding with the Saviour of the wizarding world (although he had yet to see proof of that!) was all very well, and Potter's arse was nice, but - Arcturus heaved a deep breath, trying to recollect his thoughts - that boy was still a half-blood, a Muggle-lover, a blood traitor! With, Arcturus grumbled, a very nice arse.

The boys' mouths collided with a loud clank of their teeth, and a groan was audible across the room. Draco's slim, long hands curled themselves into Potter's ridiculous mop of hair, dishevelling it even further - if that was possible at all - and holding Potter's head firmly in place as he planted his mouth on him again.

Not as if Potter showed any intention of protesting, or pulling out of it, to the contrary. He reached for Draco's shoulders, his thumbs digging into the mould between neck and collarbone, stroking the exposed skin there.

Arcturus swore under his breath. The boys were standing rather unfavourably as far as he was concerned - he could hear them kissing, and the low sighs and smacking sounds were really unmistakeable, yet he couldn't see a thing apart from Potter's lean backside.

As if they'd heard him, and Arcturus flinched briefly at the idea, they shifted their position a few inches so that Draco was propped up against the bedside table, and Arcturus got a more than satisfying glimpse of their mouths.

Draco pulled out of the kiss, gasping for breath, and Potter gave a grumbling sound in the back of his throat at the loss of contact. "Malfoy," he moaned, and there was just so much feeling - hatred, scorn, passion - in his voice that Arcturus felt the void inside him with renewed force. What would he give for a second, a moment, however fleeting, of genuine sensation on his skin!

His eyes glued to the two boys who had resumed their ardent kissing, Arcturus inched to the left, hoping that- yes. The new angle allowed him to see Draco's face which was a tad screwed up as if he had to concentrate hard, and the graceful curve of his neck for he had to bow his head a bit, being some three inches taller than Potter.

Draco had his eyes closed, tiny moans escaped his lips every now and then, and his hands were busy tousling Potter's hair and running up and down the length of his back. They kissed for several minutes, as if both were eager to explore as much of the other's mouths and tongues as possible and anxious about what to do next.

Eventually, Draco withdrew his head, his lips pulsing and a bright red, his cheeks flushed. Tension was crackling between them, and for a few moments it was on a knife-edge whether they'd start kissing or fighting again. Not, Arcturus thought, amused and strangely touched by their passion, that there was a huge difference.

It was Draco who broke the ice. He grabbed the collar of Potter's robes and dragged him none too gently onto the bed, cleaning it in a swing of his books and pyjama trousers. His hands scurried down the front of Potter's robes, unbuttoning them in one go and pulling them off his shoulders.

Potter remained surprisingly passive during that onslaught, willingly allowing himself to be shoved onto the bed and undressed, all he did was taking off those hideous glasses of his and put them carefully onto the bedside table. He squirmed a bit when the corner of an overlooked book pressed into his spine, and Arcturus had to bite back a chuckle at his annoyed glance at the disruptive element. If the boys only knew that he was watching them- he'd better take care and not betray his presence.

Draco bent over Potter, his face contorted with a million conflicting emotions. He tore at Potter's shirt almost angrily but when Potter's hand came up to assist him he slapped it away. "Mine," he hissed through clenched teeth, a declaration of conquest and capture, and Potter tensed briefly.

With a swift movement, Draco took his own robes off, revealing his lean body.

"You're naked under your robes?" chuckled Potter, uneasiness forgotten, his eager hands already on their way to explore the pale skin. "Some kinky pureblood thing, that?" His breath hitched a bit, and Arcturus grinned. Kinky? He wouldn't exactly call some of the traditional dressing styles kinky, although, on second thought- Merlin, he had to take care not to get lost in memories now.

"No, a dirty shirt and no spare clothes," Draco deadpanned, kissing Potter's reply away.

"Nnngh," Potter said, and yelped with surprise and delight when Draco lowered his mouth on his body. He sucked eagerly at the other boy's throat, and when Potter tried to shove him away, mumbling something about "too clearly visible tomorrow", Draco gave an angry hiss and grabbed Potter's hands, pinning them down on the mattress.

"I'm leaving my mark on you," he growled but when he was about to nibble at Potter again, Potter jerked up and clasped Draco's shoulders in a steely grip.

"You are?" he snarled and took hold of Draco's left arm, dragging it up as if to inspect it closely. Draco, who'd been fighting against the grip on his shoulders, suddenly ceased wiggling and held very still, only a zig-zagging blue vein bulging across his temple betraying his tension; and what in Merlin's name was that about? Arcturus shifted uneasily. What were the boys doing? Why had they stopped?

"You know that already," Draco said, his voice cool and even yet with a tiny, hardly audible hitch, and Arcturus could have screamed with frustration. Potter knew what? That Draco's left arm was equally pallid as his right? That the skin on his arm was so light it was almost translucent, that the beat of the pulse, the rush of blood through the bluish veins was clearly visible? What was that, some kind of modern mating ritual? What had the times come to, really!

Potter nodded severely and brought Draco's arm to his face, pressing his lips against the slender wrist. His tongue described tiny circles at the juncture of hand and arm, and slowly moved up along his underarm. Now that Arcturus could see the merits of, and so could Draco, judging by the low sounds he made at the back of his throat.

Slowly and carefully, Potter kissed and licked his way up Draco's arm, halting to whirl his tongue in the soft dent of his elbow. Draco kept very still, only his toes were twitching and his eyelashes fluttered.

Potter had reached Draco's neck, nuzzling his nose into the curve of throat and shoulders and wrapped his arms around Draco's torso to pull him closer.

Draco mewled like a baby Kneazle and rubbed his naked chest against Potter's. A thin layer of sweat glistened on his skin, and when he bent his head back to grant Potter better access to his throat, Arcturus drew in a surprised breath at the rapt expression on his face.

He quelled a grin. Teenage boys! Getting all worked up simply by pressing naked body parts together, and not even crucial ones! Memories flashed through his mind, of him and his cousin getting it on in the stables, with straw pinching their buttocks and the threat of their respective parents stumbling upon them looming over them. In hindsight, it had not been the most satisfying encounter ever, yet, he grumbled, it had at least been with an adequate partner and not some gauche half-blood.

Eventually, Draco's groping hands reached for Potter's trousers, undoing his belt and fumbling with the zip, whereas Potter tugged at the waistband of Draco's underwear. With his breath held, Arcturus stared at the scene in front of him, at the two slender bodies, covered in sweat, at the fumbling, clumsy hands, biting his lips at the mounting tension, and almost sighed with relief together with them as their remaining clothes finally fell.

Potter gave a loud moan and pushed Draco onto his back, aligning himself with his body and rubbing against him, kissing his way down Draco's chest, awkwardly halting when he reached Draco's scar. Tentatively and oddly gentle, he let his tongue run along it, his lips nibbling and picking at the rims of the faint line, more like a caress than a foreplay, although one of his hands sneaked down and wrapped around Draco's pulsing erection, stroking it.

Draco whimpered and panted, his hands fisting in the blanket, his hips arching off the bed only to be shoved back impatiently. "Ow," Potter complained, rubbing his jaw where Draco's hipbone had hit him. Draco dug his hands into Potter's hair and hauled him up, bringing his lips back onto Potter's.

"I," he ground out of the corner of his mouth, "I want to fuckyouPotter." His eyes went wide at the uttered demand, as if he hadn't even been conscious of what he'd said.

Potter stopped mid-kiss. His eyes too widened, and a fervent blush crept up from his neck and spread across his face. Arcturus could see him swallow nervously, yet his cock throbbed keenly, starting to leak at the head.

"I still hate you," he hissed, biting his lower lip almost to the point of drawing blood and narrowing his eyes at Draco.

"See if I care," Draco shot back. "Or do you think that body of yours is that mind-blowing that the mere sight of it eradicates all my past memories of your idiocy and impertinence?"

Please, Arcturus groaned inwardly, no distractions, you both want it. Don't start being prissy now. With a rush of shame he realised how desperately he wanted the boys to go on, how much he wanted to witness their actions. These boys were so much alive, and whether it was hatred, fear or lust that fed them was secondary to him. Feeling alive again, even if second-handed, was worth a bit of abashment.

The two boys glared at each other, a deadly challenge in both of their eyes, the air between them prickling and brimming with emotions. Draco's chest was heaving rapidly under his ragged breathing, his face screwed up angrily.

"Don't you dare run away from me now, Potter," he ground out and snatched Potter's shoulders, twisting and twirling him around, and throwing him face-down onto the mattress. Potter hissed with surprise and opposition yet put up no physical resistance, reconciled and silenced by Draco's eager hands and lips on his back. He twitched and writhed, almost falling off the bed when Draco's one hand sneaked under his body and grabbed his cock, pulling it not too gently and the other dug into the cleft between his buttocks.

"Stop wriggling like a bloody virgin," Draco hissed, and Potter's wriggling stopped on the spot. Draco groaned. "I should've known. Damn, I guess now it's too late to accept Blaise's bet!"

Potter growled at that and kicked, freeing himself from Draco's grip long enough to turn around, his eyes blazing.

Draco chuckled. "Like that? Fine with me! Now you're going to remember forever how you surrendered to Draco Malfoy!"

With an angry cry, Potter heaved himself up, but before he could even utter a word, Draco was pressing his body down on his in earnest, kissing and licking and biting and holding him steadily in place, his legs squirming and digging their way between Potter's. Potter gritted his teeth, his hands up and yanking Draco's hair, and for the love of Merlin Arcturus couldn't have said whether the boys were fighting or fucking now.

Draco's cock pressed against Potter's balls, and both boys gave a loud groan. Rubbing and grinding their groins together, they worked themselves up, and Arcturus feared they might push themselves over the edge before- well, he grumbled, the main part of the show hadn't even begun yet.

Draco seemed to worry about the same. He paused, and, kneeling above Potter, let his gaze wander through the room, an edgy expression on his face. Lubrico, Arcturus sighed and had to bite his tongue in order not to shout it out loud; honestly, did his offspring not even manage to get things like that fixed?

Potter raised his head, staring unblinking at Draco for a few seconds, then reached for this trousers. He withdrew his wand from his pocket and handed it over to Draco with trembling fingers.

"Here," he panted, his voice catching in his throat. "Will. Ohgod yes. Willthat- aaahh. Work?" Draco shook his head, stretched out his palms and ground out, "Lubrico," while running his thumbs over Potter's hard nipples. At the second attempt Potter managed to control his voice sufficiently to articulate the spell clearly enough, and a glob of a translucent liquid appeared on Draco's outstretched hand.

"Let me," Potter mumbled and dipped his fingers into the liquid, spreading it across his palm.

"Could you, um, think of speeding things up a bit?" Draco sighed, and yelped when Potter brought his hand onto his cock, sliding slowly and thoroughly up and down its length, a lewd smirk playing at the corners of his mouth that quickly changed into an almost pained expression of lust when Draco introduced one, and then a second finger into Potter's opening, stretching him carefully.

Not a complete idiot, then, Arcturus nodded approvingly.

Potter let himself fall back again and spread his arms wide apart, moaning. His eyes were screwed shut, his face twitched convulsively, and Draco gazed at him with a closed expression on his face, positioning him eventually between Potter's legs, and pushed forth.

Arcturus watched with bated breath as Draco entered Potter, to his surprise going slow and gentle. Potter made small, almost sob-like sounds at the back of his throat, and hissed once, a sharp intake of breath which caused Draco to pause and stroke Potter's thigh in a strangely caring manner.

But obviously, that hadn't been what Potter had in mind, he wriggled impatiently, his legs curling tighter around Draco's waist and pulling him deeper inside, unheeding of the pain he for sure must feel. Draco moaned and went all the way in, halting again and taking a few deep, steadying breaths. His forehead was shimmering with sweat, a bead running down the bridge of his nose and dripping off the tip. Potter was equally covered in sweat, the hairs at the back of his neck wet and curling, and Draco ran a hand through them, smiling.

With a grunting sound, he moved back a bit and started thrusting into Potter, his hips slamming against Potter's buttock. Potter's legs began to quiver, his ragged groans intensified the more speed Draco picked up, and his clenched fists beat onto the mattress. Draco shifted a bit, altering the angle, and Potter yelped.

"Oh. Do. DidIhurtyou," Draco groaned yet continued pounding into him, and Arcturus had to smile at his eagerness.

Potter's face had gone slack-jawed, but when he tried to answer, the words that left his mouth were unintelligible, sibilant sounds, a hissing more than spoken words. An icy trickle ran down Arcturus' spine, and out of a reflex, he wiped non-existent goose bumps off his underarms, a menacing yet languorous feeling uncurling in the pit of his stomach.

For Salazar's sake, that incongruous half-blood was a Parselmouth!

Draco didn't seem surprised, although the odd sounds Potter was uttering clearly had an effect on him too. He stopped briefly, his eyes widening, and contradicting emotions - fear, almost panic, hatred, passion - were mirrored in his face until they were washed away by an overwhelming rush of lust. He cried out and grabbed Potter's shoulders, leaning forward and bending him almost in half, pinning him down with his hands and thighs, and Potter's legs wrapped themselves tighter around Draco's waist, pulling him even closer.

His thrusts were almost violent now, and his moans turned into little outcries, increasing in volume and frequency. One hand let go of Potter's shoulder and clung to his neck, hauling his head up to a searing kiss. Potter groaned and kissed back, biting down on Draco's lower lip, drawing blood and eliciting a suffocated cry from him. With a last forceful thrust, Draco yanked up, his head thrown back, and came with a scream, his fingers digging deep into the muscles of Potter's neck. Potter didn't heed, though, he tore at the blanket, his hips jerking and arching off the bed, and he shouted Draco's name when he ejaculated onto both of their stomachs.

Arcturus found himself breathing heavily, his fingernails pressing into the palm of his hands and leaving half-moon marks behind. Oh, the boys. His loneliness washed over him like a gigantic wave, and for a moment, he felt downright angry at them - how could they dare show him what he was still yearning for but had lost forever? He squeezed his eyes shut, desperately trying to evoke the real sensation of Lysandra's hands and mouth on him - for he had loved his wife -, or, perhaps, his cousin Titus', come to that.

Peering over at the bed, he found the boys lying next to each other, panting exhaustedly and showing all the typical signs of post-coital embarrassment.

"Um," Potter said, crawling up and reaching for his clothes. "Right. I gotta be going, then."

"Right," Draco said, and not for the first time that evening, Arcturus had to fight the insane urge to laugh.

Potter donned his robes hastily, as if staying here for one more second would somehow harm him.

"Potter?"

"Mh?"

"Hate you."

Potter turned around and scowled. "Hate you too, Malfoy," he said, heading for the door, and only Arcturus saw the tiny, almost imperceptible smile that played around the corners of his mouth.


***************



Part Three
Tags: [fic], [long/chaptered fic], genre: war fic, rated: nc-17, round: summer 2007
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