Title: Without Reflection
Summary: Harry wakes up from the final battle a wee bit changed. Just when he thinks he's getting the hang of it, Draco shows up.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): vampireness, minor blood-play, light bondage, rimming, smut
Word Count: ~4040
Author's Notes: enchanted_jae said I like fluff, and I adore smut. I prefer bottom!Draco if you write sex. Humor makes me laugh, and I definitely would like a happy, or at least hopeful, ending. she also noted that she adores Quidditch player(s), Draco spying for the Order, Harry and/or Draco as Auror(s), creature!fics. I think I managed to get most of that in, with the exception of the Quidditch bit. And for some strange reason, Draco didn't get a chance to bottom. I had a bear of a time with this, hope it suits and Jae enjoys it. A huge thanks to my super speedy beta and to nqdonne and jamie2109 both for arranging the fest and their undying patience with my writer's block.
Harry wakes with a desperate hunger and unquenchable thirst. An abyss that yawns and gapes inside of him. Moaning, he struggles to move in an attempt to find something - anything - that will assuage the gnawing emptiness.
There's the sound of shifting fabric and before Harry can register much else a chalice of potion is being pressed to his lips. He opens his eyes to find Snape holding the ornate vessel and peering at him critically.
Surprisingly, Harry isn't at St Mungo's where he'd expected to be. Well, truth be told, he didn't really think he'd be alive after that final battle, but barring that small conviction, he figured if he were he'd be some tragically marred figure among the endless white of the hospital. Instead, the room around him is the dingy grey of Grimmauld Place.
Drinking the rest of the potion that Snape has given him, his all-consuming thirst abates and he begins to understand why he's where he is. Everything in the room is in crisp detail. The lines sharp and clear despite the dim light and the fact that his glasses still sit on the bedside table. He can smell different ingredients on Snape, the dust of ancient tomes on Hermione. Ron's scent is filled with the grass and leaves and fresh outdoor breezes making Harry suspect he's just been flying.
And underneath it all is the redolence of their magic, like a metallic tang in the back of his throat.
His body feels strong and whole. He'd be tempted to use the term healthy, but he has no heartbeat so he supposes it doesn't really apply. Of course Harry doesn't notice the most telling clue until he's almost finished draining the cup. It's then he realises the blood in the mixture has caused his fangs to descend.
Licking the tips of them clean with his tongue, Harry dazedly contemplates what he'll do as a vampire.
Like Remus Lupin before him, it's Hogwarts where Harry finds sanctuary, with only a few of his close friends, the Hogwarts' Head and the school mediwitch that know, and keep, his secret. And Snape of course, only this time no one has to coerce Snape into having him keep it too. Headmistress McGonagall gives Harry the vacant Dark Arts position and if anyone wonders why the classroom has been moved into the dungeons they know better than to ask.
Harry learns to live within the confines of his new condition, taking Snape's potions, staying out of the sun and adapting to his more acute senses. If he also feels an intense longing for someone that instinct tells him should be at his side, he writes it off to his dead sire that Ron slay as Harry was being turned during the battle. He's sure that the ongoing emotion must be the loyalty that the texts imply is usually felt for one's maker.
The months go by without much to note. The Ministry finally stops trying to get him to be the figurehead they desire. The wizarding public accepts that their saviour is a recluse. Finding the routine of teaching calming and reassuring, Harry takes to it easily. The children adore Professor Potter, scrabbling for seats near the front of the class. Harry has quiet dinners with Hermione or Ron or sometimes other friends who have no idea they are eating with a vampire. They laugh and talk just like they used to.
Things have become nearly normal.
However, lately Harry's been feeling restless, like he's misplaced something important. He's had to stop himself from pacing around his quarters like a caged animal and even odder than that is the amount of times he's found himself picking up the correspondence that he's been having with Draco Malfoy over the past few days.
Sure, it's the first contact he's had with the Death-Eater-turned-spy since that blurry moment during the final confrontation when Harry and the Order broke into Voldemort's compound and found Malfoy gasping on the floor, apparently mid-torture - but the communications themselves are nothing interesting. Official business. Auror Malfoy arranging a meeting with Dark Arts Professor Potter to get a professional opinion on a suspected dark item found at a murder scene last week.
And yes, Malfoy has been known to show up in an erotic dream or two of Harry's - okay, maybe more often lately - but it's not like he hasn't been dealing with that for years. Yet still Harry can't shake the feeling that somehow today's impending meeting is important.
He's shuffling the papers on his desk, unable to concentrate, and about to cast another tempus, because surely Malfoy must be late by now, when he feels it. An unerring certainty that something, no, someone, has just arrived in the castle and they belong to him. Fighting the siren's call to go find whoever this is, Harry shakily tries to sort through the other images crowding his brain, images of pale skin and soft hair and belonging.
The sensation is so confusing Harry doesn't immediately register that the reason his drive to search for them is lessening is because they are approaching him. And it's not until he catches sight of Draco Malfoy in the doorway that he realises his newfound need to claim involves both his fangs and his suddenly hard cock.
Malfoy acknowledges Harry with a curt nod. "Afternoon, Potter. Let's get right to it, shall we?"
It takes Harry a moment to remember what exactly Malfoy wants to get to and even longer to figure out what to do about their current predicament. The presence of Malfoy is fogging his mind and when Harry detects the scent of Malfoy's magic, it's all he can manage to will his teeth not to change.
"It would be best if you left, Malfoy," Harry finally grates, knuckles white from gripping the desk so tightly.
"I think not, Potter. You agreed to meet with me. It's no secret that you still don't like me, but this case is important or I wouldn't be bothering you." Malfoy barely glances up from the official folder he's riffling through. "Look, it'll only take a minute. Just think of me as some generic Auror in these oh-so-fashionable robes."
Malfoy seems completely oblivious that it's taking all of Harry's willpower not to leap over the desk between them and rip said robes away from Malfoy's slender neck. Harry can sense his heartbeat even from this distance. Is battling warring desires to taste, claim, submit, protect.
Unbelievably, Malfoy saunters even closer.
Harry knows he's lost. Knows his fangs have descended, feels them aching to pierce the flesh so near. Shaking with the effort of maintaining his control, Harry roars, "Get out!"
Malfoy freezes, eyes focused on Harry's fangs.
Turning away, Harry chokes out, "Now would be good."
A moment later Malfoy appears to regain his equilibrium. "Quite," he tosses over his shoulder as he moves towards the door. "I appear to have come at an unfortunate time."
Trying to regain control, Harry curses the universe when he discovers that Malfoy's absence is not helping. That, if anything, it's exacerbating the problem.
Gritting his teeth, he firecalls Madam Pomfrey.
In an ironic twist of fate, it is neither Hermione with all her books, nor Snape with his study of Dark Creatures who identifies what the issue is.
"He's got to be your Vjestica, Harry," Ron states calmly.
"His Vjestica!" sputters Hermione, "But that would mean -"
For once it's Ron giving Hermione a warning glare.
"My what?" Harry asks.
"Your Vjestica. It's sort of a -" Ron starts to explain before Hermione breaks in again.
"Honestly, Ron -"
"You've done as much or more reading about vampires than any of us, Hermione." Ron's patience is obviously wearing thin. "You have to admit it's the only thing that fits."
To Harry's astonishment Snape is nodding in agreement. "It would give cause for a number of issues that Mr. Potter has been dealing with, especially since his unfortunate encounter with Mr. Malfoy. If Mr. Malfoy is Mr. Potter's Vjestica, then he will most likely be exhibiting similar symptoms as well." Snape looks thoughtful. "I'll arrange -"
Hermione cuts him off. "You two can’t be serious," she practically squawks. "If Draco were Harry's Vjestica, then Harry would have to be a Vedarec." She holds her hand up to stop Harry's questions. "And if he were, he shouldn’t have been able to survive six months without his Vjestica, let alone more than a year."
"And we all know how well Mr. Potter follows the rules that the rest of us mortals, or in this case immortals, live by." Snape interjects, voice dripping with sarcasm.
Ron snorts. "Harry, a Vedarec is kind of a special vampire."
"A mythical kind," Hermione mutters under her breath.
Resolutely, Ron continues, "They have different traits and requirements from the generic sort. Like the need for a Vjestica. A predetermined bondmate. Your problems with the potion, your reaction to Malfoy…" Ron shrugs. "It's what makes sense, Mate."
"Exactly," Snape concurs. "As I was saying, I'll arrange to meet with Mr. Malfoy. It will afford an opportunity to impress upon him the need for the secrecy of Mr. Potter's condition as well as to attempt to determine Mr. Malfoy's status."
Draco's not overly surprised when Severus Snape requests a meeting with him after less than a week has passed since his abruptly aborted interview with Potter. He's been expecting a visit from one of the Wizarding Saviour's lackeys for days now. A visit to ensure that Draco will be silent about what he's inadvertently discovered. Not that he'll ever consider Severus anyone's fawning fan. Well, he supposes, Someone has to be brewing the complex potions that keep Potter from having to snack on the students. It's not as if one can pick them up at the local apothecary.
He's only half listening as Severus lists the various reasons Potter's condition is best kept quiet and Draco's getting ready to offer some placating remark about understanding the value of maintaining Potter's secret and usher his old professor out, when Severus more or less says just that.
"Mr. Malfoy, I'll not insult you by implying that you do not realise the worth of this information." Draco merely lifts an enquiring eyebrow. "Experience has shown that you are long past the age to foolishly run to The Daily Prophet and divulge something of such significance even if it will make Harry Potter's life miserable." Severus continues, "In addition, I believe these past few years have impressed upon you the folly of exhibiting behaviour that would antagonise an undeniably powerful wizard. Especially one that is a touch less than mortal."
Severus stops and Draco wonders if his Head of House is waiting for some sort of confirmation that Draco has finally come into his Slytherin heritage. That he now understands how to use the years of Malfoy training and is no longer prone to childish fancies and tantrums.
The thought makes him want to knock the delicate china cup out of Severus' hand and watch its contents spill down his always pristine robes. "Well, I assume you're not here for the tea," Draco responds instead, his vocal tone just this side of respectful.
Severus examines him for a long moment and Draco attempts not to shift under the penetrating gaze. "You appear to be more irritable than usual, Mr. Malfoy," he states after a moment, "And your colours off. Lingering effects from the final battle perhaps?"
Narrowing his eyes, Draco attempts to out-glare Severus with little effect. "The family mediwizard thinks it's residual effects of some of the dark curses." Draco shrugs unconcernedly. "It's nothing I can't cope with."
"Have you required any of his specially designed pain potions yet?" Draco opens his mouth to answer, realises what he's about the reveal, and closes it with a scowl. "No matter, I'm sure he's giving you the best treatment he can. We both know he has had years of practice dealing with such things for your late father. I've had to modify Mr. Potter's potion from the standard vampiric formula, several times. He seems to be having some ongoing aftermath from his change."
Draco knows this isn't idle chitchat, but can't figure out where Severus is going. "Why am I not shocked that Potter can't even turn into a vampire normally?" he says distractedly and is surprised by how quickly Severus' eyes snap to his.
"What do you know about the Vedarec?" Is the sharp reply.
The sudden change of subject leaves Draco even more lost. "I wasn't aware tea was going to include a dark creatures test. I would have studied up," he says crossly, trying to weave together everything Severus has told him so far. At the continued silence Draco gives an exasperated huff, hoping any answer will lead to more information. "I know enough considering they died out long ago."
Severus snorts. "You may shortly find that you wish to revise that statement. Understand that Mr. Potter has never had a problem controlling the darker aspects of his condition. Not even when he first woke up after the battle. Not once. Not until you arrived last week." Another weighty stare. "Were you aware that a Vedarec can sense his Vjestica from a considerable distance? Mr. Potter knew the exact moment you Apparated away from Hogwarts. He had to ask Madam Pomfrey to sedate him to prevent him from following."
Suddenly Severus' disparate topics click into a whole and Draco feels his entire future shift.
There's really no question as to whether Draco will bond with Potter despite the many unknown factors and the possible risks to his mind and magic. Even though most knowledge of the Vedarec and Vjestica and their bond could be classified as mythology at best, there's no doubt that the Vedarec are incredibly powerful and were often leaders of a sect of vampires. All of the vampires that ever held positions of rank within the wizarding world were Vedarec, the only of their kind who wielded any amount of authority or influence. Nor is there a question that the Vjestica is truly a mate of equal standing and privilege in the relationship.
No Malfoy would give up a chance at that kind of clout. Besides, he's wanted in Harry Potter's pants for far too long now, and he's never dared hope that he might be invited for an exclusive all-you-can-eat buffet of him.
Granger, Severus and Draco waste no time in pooling their knowledge and resources to study and subsequently recreate the ritual for his and Potter's joining. Potter helps when he's able, but it's quickly discovered that he and Draco can't even be in the same castle let alone the same room unless Potter is chained up or drugged or both. It's becoming increasingly apparent that they need to move rapidly. Draco more than once curses the confiscation of the Manor's library especially when Potter starts requiring sedation frequently even when Draco isn't anywhere near. The Vedarec can't survive without his Vjestica.
Severus would like another day or two to perfect the ceremony and despite Potter's worsening condition Granger suggests that they really should have more time. Draco will hear none of it. Knowing they've already taken longer then was wise and unwilling to risk Potter further, he declares that it's time. They bond today.
Oddly enough the first thing Draco notices when he enters the chamber that Granger and Severus have somewhat hastily prepared is the carefully drawn runes of the protection circle. He eyes them critically, examining the order and placement of them, sharply aware of what he is about to do and why he needs them to be correct.
A low moan draws his attention upwards across Potter's bare buttocks, back and shoulders, to the muscles that flex and shudder there. Potter's facing the wall, cheek flattened against it, mouth open and panting. There's the quiet clink of chain as Potter shifts slightly, another quiet whimper. Draco had argued against the restraints, but Severus had been worried and Potter had insisted, both afraid that the crazed Vedarec would do Draco harm. Standing here now with this stark-naked, spread-eagle, gorgeous specimen chained to the wall in front of him, Draco's glad he lost the fight. Because while he's still positive that Potter - Harry - would never hurt him, he's also never seen anything so erotic.
"Oh god, Draco… I can't… I…" Harry's body is rigid as he visibly struggles with nature and magic and want. "Draco, please…"
Unable to deny himself or Harry any longer, Draco moves forward. When he places the flat of his hand against Harry's lower back, Harry arches away from the wall and keens. The sound pulls at Draco, calling to him, demanding of him, erasing completely the carefully studied steps of the ritual. All he knows is the fire between them and the ancient magic heavy in the air.
Draco removes his ceremonial robes without care or conscious thought. Presses his body flush against Harry's. His mouth finds salt and skin. Trails between shoulder blades and down the spine. Nips and whispers words into hot flesh. He glories in the body writhing in front of him and gasping incoherent sounds. A body that is his and his alone.
He drops to his knees wanting to taste more of Harry, wanting to give everything and take it all. Spreading him wide, Draco runs his tongue from Harry's perineum in a broad swipe up and across his hole, then seals his lips over it and continues to lap at the muscle, swirling around, gently probing, persuading it to give way.
Harry howls as Draco pushes in, thrusting his tongue deeper and deeper, opening him up, preparing him. Draco paws frantically for his discarded robe, finds the lubricant that Severus supplied and coats his own throbbing cock as saliva trickles down Harry's cleft. Standing, Draco grasps trembling hips, and plunges into the heat of his mate.
Draco can't concentrate on anything but their rhythmic motion, Harry beneath his hands, their flesh slapping together. Harry is saying his name over and over again like a benediction ohdracodracomydracominemydracodracodraco. Reaching around, Draco grasps Harry's neglected cock and fists it, eliciting an unintelligible whine.
In the midst of their spiraling arousal a hazy corner of Draco's mind is aware of the magic that eddies thickly around them, prods against their separateness, pulls them towards one another. Feels it seeping into every movement, heightening every sensation, dragging him closer and closer to the brink. And then his orgasm rushes through him like a fucking freight train and it's as if all of his thoughts and emotion and magic are pouring out of his cock along with his semen. Shaking violently, he comes longer and harder than he ever has in his entire life.
Draco's gasping for breath when Harry's answering magic floods back into his system, burning white-hot and searing onto his own wherever they touch. It's excruciating and perfect and more than his already exhausted body can reasonably be expected to cope with.
As reality dims, Draco has the abstract thoughts of, Bugger, we didn't calculate for this, and, I hope I don't crack my skull open when I hit the floor.
Harry catches Draco as he falls, blinking in confusion. He's unclear how he got from chained-so-heavily-even-a-powerful-vampi
He tries to remember what's happened in the chamber so far, but his memories are blurry and feel more like those of a wild beast than his own. However when he moves to settle Draco more comfortably on the floor, his body suggests that his shadowy flashback of frenetic, almost animalistic coupling is probably accurate. His thoughts are a bit more lucid currently, but Harry's still being driven by the necessity to complete the bond.
Overriding that, however, is his concern about Draco. Wishing he knew what was wrong, he considers seeking out Hermione and Snape, only to have the idea quelled by the certainty that leaving the chamber before the ritual is finished would be dangerous to both of them. He's just cursing the lack of a wand, when he senses Draco stirring.
"Harry?" Draco queries blearily. "Why am I - Wait, how did you -"
"You passed out, I needed to catch you, so I did." Harry shrugs. "I've a feeling the bond engenders some capabilities we'll want to look into later."
Now that Draco's alert and talking, Harry's finding it much more difficult to focus on anything but the partial bond and the final steps left to consummate it. Helping Draco sit up does nothing to alleviate the problem. Harry's entire world shrinks to the thrum of the blood whispering just under his skin. Try as he might, he's unable to tear his gaze away from the base of Draco's throat. From the pulse beating there. "Are you okay?" he manages.
Draco nods, though Harry only registers this by the way his jugular shifts with the movement. "I'm fine." Draco pauses, then tilts his head to the side. Harry nearly lunges forward. "Granger and Severus want me to use the wrist, but that's not what you want, is it?" Harry barely registers the amused words. "It's all right, you won't hurt me."
And then Draco's straddling his lap, guiding Harry to his neck. Harry breathes in the scent of Draco, runs his tongue along the vein and finally, finally, sinks his fangs into the willing flesh. As the rush of warm liquid fills his mouth, the bond magic flares up, cocooning them, weaving them together.
Draco's quivering his in arms, one hand clutching desperately to the back of Harry's head. There's a stream of sounds spilling from him that sometimes form themselves into words like yes and Harry and ohgoddon'tstop, but mostly devolve into inarticulate moans as he grinds his pelvis down repeatedly, crushing the hard length of his cock against Harry's.
Harry can't think past the friction and the flavour of Draco. It's at once both too much and not enough and Harry doesn't know how he ever lasted so long without this. His orgasm slams through him moments after Draco starts to climax, spurting gouts of come across their stomachs.
Collapsing in a graceless heap, Harry somehow succeeds in mumbling a healing spell as he gulps for air. Magic simmers in the air between them, settling into their minds and bones.
Harry's feeling more like himself than he has in months. Well, aside from the fact that he's lying here entwined with Draco Malfoy having difficultly trying to suppress the urge to nuzzle against him and run his hand through his hair. That, and the insight that a Vedarec's primary focus is always protecting his Vjestica. Harry understands without a doubt he would destroy the world if it were required to safeguard Draco.
It's an odd feeling.
He wonders how they're going to cope with it all. They didn't have a chance to talk about what this ritual would mean before they actually performed it, didn't discuss arrangements for after. They've never been friends and though they're not strangers, they really know very little about each other these days. Yet now they're lovers. Bondmates. Tied together forever.
Giving into the impulse, Harry sifts his fingers through the fine strands of Draco's hair. Draco closes his eyes, humming contentedly. Intrigued by the sound, Harry repeats the motion and is rewarded by a pleased sigh.
"What happens now?" asks Harry.
Draco smiles. "If you give me five minutes we could shag again. You're topping this time, though." At Harry's amused snort, he adds, "After that I figured we'd just take things as they come."
"Okay," he agrees before Draco captures his lips, igniting the newly formed bond between them.
Though there's still a lot to work out, being bonded to Draco, Harry decides, is going to be a lot more enjoyable than he ever anticipated.
A/N: I ran across the words Vedarec and Vjestica while I was doing some cursory research on vampires. On page 57 in Children of the Night - Of Vampires and Vampirism by Tony Thorne, I found this quote, "Another set of words - including … Serbian vjestica, Slovene … vedarec … are all based on the root ved- meaning 'to know' and were originally applied to shamans, wise-folk, wizards or witches but later … were absorbed into the composite vampire figure." I drafted them to mean a certain type of vampire.