Title: The Danger in the Shadows
Summary: Draco Malfoy is being stalked, unable to get away from the person that shadows his every move. But without realising it, he puts his trust in the wrong man to save him.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s):Slash, Swearing, Sex, Stalking, Solo, Voyeurism, Angst
Deathly Hallows compliant? Yes, up to the Epilogue. Though there shouldn't be any spoilers here
Word Count: ~4500
Author's Notes: fireelemental79 you included a lot of possible prompts (request found here, but some of them spoke to me more than others. I hope you like this, and that it satisfies your prompt!
As always, thank you to my beta for the hand-holding, grammar-checking, and words of wisdom, and thank you to the Mod for setting this up! ♥
I know everything about him. I know where he shops and what he buys. I know how long it takes him to decide between branded and own-brand cereal. I know where he goes when he fancies a drink in a pub and where he shops when he fancies drowning his sorrows at home. I know the order that he takes his clothes off in before he takes a shower. I know how long he stands under the spray when he's just showering and how long he stands under the spray when he's masturbating.
I know what time he puts his bin out on a Tuesday and what time he visits his parents on a Sunday. I know what television shows he watches, what books he reads, and what music he listens to. I know where he works and who he works with. I know his friends and his acquaintances. I know the men he sleeps with, or used to sleep with, before he got too paranoid to let people in. I know his kinks and squicks, his hopes and fears, his dreams and nightmares. I know about the pretty peach lace that he hides under a pile of boxer shorts. I know how beautiful he looks when green silk cups his penis.
I know things about Draco Malfoy that he doesn’t even know about himself.
Harry looked up from the paperwork on his desk and shot a glare at Draco. "My my, only forty-five minutes late today! If you aren't careful, Malfoy, you might end up being on time to work one of these days!"
Rolling his eyes, Draco flipped a finger at his partner and tossed himself into his desk chair, picking up the pile of memos awaiting his attention. "Blow me, Potter."
"Nah, Merlin only knows where you've been."
"Classier places than you, that's for sure."
"Evidently you and I have different ideas of classy, Malfoy."
"Well, with such sub par intelligence, it would be much too difficult for you to look up a definition in a dictionary, so I can only assume you’re working from what Granger tells you. Which explains it all."
"Thought you wouldn’t sink to my level?"
Draco looked up, holding Potter's angry gaze and waiting to see if the hot-headed Auror would rise to the bait. Draco's weekend had been shitty, much as most of his life was, and he was itching to take out his frustrations on his childhood nemesis, regardless of the tenuous working relationship they had now.
But the anger in Potter's gaze was tempered, and the brunette smirked salaciously, "Even if I did sink that low, Malfoy, if the rumours are true I wouldn’t even touch the sides."
"Go. To. Hell."
"Already there, Malfoy, already there."
Sighing, Draco decided to do the mature thing. He had enough to worry about as it was, without making work hellish. In fact, sad as it was, his job was the best part of his life so far. Over the past few months his personal life had been shot to hell, and he hated it. Everywhere he went, Draco had the feeling someone was watching him, studying his movements, but no matter how hard he tried, he could never catch the person in the act. He was never fast enough to see who left the gifts on his doorstep, or who ruffled the bushes in his garden. He was never fast enough to see who was creating the footsteps that followed him everywhere, never smart enough to identify the breathing coming down the phone line, and it terrified him. If he hadn't been so proud, he'd have reported it, but unfortunately the well of Malfoy Pride that had kept him on the Dark Lord's side until he was too far in to get out, all in the name of saving face, was still running heavy through his veins. So Draco said nothing, just hoped that whoever was obsessing over him would give up in time.
Harry watched Draco, saw his partner's brow furrow with worry, and Harry felt bad for the mean banter that had begun their day. Standing up, he cleared his throat to get Draco's attention and tipped his head to the door. "I'm going to grab some coffee and one of those pastry things with the almonds. You want anything?"
Shaking his head, Draco shot Harry a slight smile before returning to the memos. "Nah, not hungry."
"Watching your figure?"
"One of us has to."
Harry snickered, and walked out of their office.
There isn’t an ounce of spare fat on his body. Everything about him is sleek and streamlined; firm muscles kept healthy through thrice-weekly runs. He pounds the pavement, listening to music through the headphones of an ipod, something I'd never have expected him to have. He listens to rock music with a thumping beat to keep him moving quickly. Sometimes he has thrashing metal on, and he pounds the streets as if his life depends on it, sweat pouring down him, begging to be licked off when he finally gets home and strips off, standing in a cool shower and masturbating furiously.
I read in a magazine that exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good. And Draco always feels very good when he's pushed his body to the limit. His cock is always red and swollen by the time he's in the shower, and he never wastes time in stroking it, furiously up and down, up and down, twisting at the end, spilling himself on the wet tiles. I want to lick him clean, to lap at the sensitive flesh until he shudders away from me, unable to take any more of the sweet torment on his over-stimulated cock.
Draco quickened his step, unable to shake the feeling of being followed, He could hear footsteps, but every time he whirled around, the street behind him was empty. Why he hadn't agreed to go to the pub with his co-workers was a mystery – that way he would have been too drunk to care about being followed. Instead, he was walking home alone, acutely aware of the sensation of being watched, being stalked. And if he were honest with himself, he was terrified.
When he reached his home, he whimpered a little at the box on the front porch. His hands trembled as he reached out to the box, lifting it up and pulling off the lid. Gasping, he dropped the box on the ground, fumbled the door to his house open and stumbled inside, slamming the heavy oak behind him and locking it with as many charms and wards as he could remember.
Finally out of spells, but by no means feeling safe, Draco sank to his knees behind the door, forehead resting against the dark oak as his arms wrapped around him. Though he'd only seen the box's contents fleetingly, every part of it was etched on his mind, and when he closed his eyes he saw the bottle of Ogden's finest 1805 – his favourite year of whiskey – with the soft green panties tied loosely around the bottle neck. The note, addressing him just as all the others did – Get drunk tonight, my pretty boy, and give me a show – was burned onto the insides of his eyelids, distorted but not removed by the tears that were welling up inside of him.
Pushing his wand out of the letterbox, Draco incinerated the box on the porch with a whispered spell, retracting his hand back into the safety of the house and crawling into the living room. He curled up against the sofa, in the place where he could not be seen from any windows, and wracked his brains once more. He'd never confessed his fetish to any of his previous lovers, never mentioned the fact he liked to indulge himself in silk and lace. But then again, even if he had told them, none of his exes were unhinged enough to stalk him like this. None of them would bring such subtle terror into his life, and besides, it'd been them that finished with him, not the other way around.
Sure, he'd dated some bad guys, especially just after the war when he was looking for a way to self-destruct, a way to block out the pain and fear that engulfed him every time he thought of what he had witnessed in his life, of Charity Burbage crashing to the solid mahogany table in their dining room, of Albus Dumbledore falling over the edge of the Tower. Something to block out the things he'd done, willingly at first, then out of fear and coercion later on. But even those bad guys were more the types to beat the living hell out of him, rather than orchestrate this organised terror, this subtle infiltration of his life that every time he tried to explain it sounded bizarre.
So what if he was receiving unexplained gifts – he should be touched, not terrified. And hearing people walking behind him? Well, he was an Auror; he was paid to be suspicious. Every time he opened his mouth to say something, to tell Pansy or his parents, or hell, even Potter, Draco realised how absurd it sounded to an outsider, how unbelievable his fear seemed unless you were living this hell every day of your life.
Once again, Draco went to bed armed and warded to his teeth, sleeping fearfully and fitfully, his dreams full of corridors and bodies, snakes and flashes of green, all overseen by a man whose face Draco could not see.
I hate that he fears me, but there is no other way to make him understand. Draco makes sure he's always just out of reach of everyone around him. He doesn’t understand that he's my world, my reason for living. I want to possess him, to claim him and touch him and always have him in my sight. He's meant for me, and if he’d just open his eyes he'd see it.
Those other men, the ones he sullied himself with before, they were never going to be what he needed. I don’t think Draco himself knows what he needs, but I know. It destroyed me inside, made me so angry I couldn’t think straight, every single time he took one of those cheap whores into his home, between his legs. But most of them were easy to scare off; a few threatening words and they were soon dumping him, soon forgetting to return his calls. I know it must have hurt him, but we must all suffer a little pain in pursuit of true love. And truly, the pain I would have caused him had he kept seeing them would have been worse.
I've never been any good at controlling my jealousy.
But none of that matters, because he is mine now, even if he doesn't know it yet. I watch him sleep, smiling that he thinks he can ever be separated from me by magic or weapons. The thought of him in the green panties, drunk and provocative as he dances for me, erection straining the delicate fabric, gets me hard and wanting, and I rub myself firmly through my trousers, imagining it's his willing mouth I'm spilling into, not cotton and denim.
No matter… soon he will realise that we belong together, and soon he will offer me his mouth, just as he'll offer me a place in his life for all to see.
It was getting worse. Draco couldn't sleep at night, too paralysed with fear to do anything but lie in his bed and pray that he'd be safe. He was jumpy and twitchy, drawing his wand if someone so much as sneezed. He knew that he looked thin and gaunt – such necessities as eating and bathing properly seemed to pass by the wayside. But still he could say nothing, still he dared not admit that he was so terrified of what amounted to being his own shadow most of the time.
Things came to a head when he walked into the office he shared with Potter and saw the neat green package, black ribbon holding the expensive paper in place. That someone could break into the Auror department for the Ministry of Magic and leave a package on his desk without being noticed or prevented, proved to be Draco's undoing in more ways than one.
The door opened and Draco hid his face, digging his knuckles into his eye sockets, trying to force the unshed tears back in. He was successful, but he knew that however dense Potter may be, the man was trained to spot everything and weigh it into his decisions. Draco just hoped that Potter's decision would be to keep his mouth shut.
"Nothing, Potter. Feel free to help keep the situation this way."
Undeterred by the sarcasm, Harry leant on the edge of his desk, keeping his gaze just to the right of Draco's head – no use antagonising the blonde unnecessarily. "You've been jumpy for weeks. Months, even. You mutter to yourself when you think no one can hear you. You jump when people enter the room. We're trained to always know where everyone in a room is positioned, but you're scoping out rooms when the rest of us are just trying to unwind. There is something the matter with you, and it's bleeding into your work. If we get called out into active duty it is my arse you will be watching, but right now you're too preoccupied with your own shadow. So spill. And who's the gift from?"
The reference to the gift made Draco shudder, and he knew that even the dense Potter from their schooldays wouldn't have missed it. Bringing his arms up, Draco ran his hands through his hair before pressing the heel of his palms against his temples, needing the pain to try and ground him, to try and corral the skating thoughts that engulfed his mind. "I think… just… you'll laugh."
"Damn right I will if it's some of your usual primadonna bullshit. But if it's a serious problem, I'll save my laughter for a more appropriate time."
Shaking his head, Draco began to pace, casting fearful glances at the box as the words came, haltingly, up his throat and out from between his lips. "I don't know… this isn’t the first… it's someone, and I don't... I don't know who, but it's… it’s all the time… everywhere I go…"
Pushing up from his leaning position by his desk, Harry crossed to Draco and rested his hand on his elbow. "Draco, are you trying to tell me you think you're being stalked?"
Draco nodded, and as his head swung back up he saw the laughter in Potter's eyes. The brunette shook his head, and the words seemed to hurt Draco in a way that none of the barbed insults between them over the years ever had.
"Very self-centred. Someone sends you a gift and you turn it into a damn drama."
Turning on his heel, Draco couldn't find the words to verbally destroy Potter, so he just left. This was why he hadn't said anything, and now Potter would tell everyone and Draco would be a laughing stock.
It kills me, to be so cruel to him. But my Draco is clever, so very clever, and I need to be sure that he'll never connect me. I have to be careful, and that means hurting him just a little, in order to save him. He needs it to be difficult, needs it to be something that takes time. Draco is too broken to believe in love at first sight, or any other cliché. If I offer to help him, he'll smell a rat. So I must wait until the perfect opportunity presents itself.
Or until I create the perfect opportunity. Whichever my impatience demands first.
It had been almost a week since Draco had haltingly told Potter what was going on with him, and had his face laughed in. Surprisingly, Potter hadn't told the rest of the office – hell, the rest of the world – what Draco had confessed, but that didn't take away the embarrassment. Or the conviction to say nothing, because if even the hero of the Wizarding World doesn't believe you, then there is nothing else to be done but stay quiet.
Which was what Draco was trying to do now – stay quiet as he walked home in the dark, afraid of every shadow. He hated the Ministry for decreeing that all Auror houses must have anti-Apparition wards. It was a draconian tactic from the days after the war when it wasn't unusual for lingering Death Eaters to attempt to kidnap and extort Aurors and their families. And it meant that Draco had to walk for a full ten minutes. Considering he lived only twenty minutes from his place of work, he had been denied a pass charm to get him through the Ministry's own anti-Apparition wards, which meant he had to walk home, avoiding the danger that seemed to lurk all around him.
He was sure that he could hear footsteps behind him: every time he quickened his pace, they quickened theirs. Without caring about how it would look, Draco broke out into a run. He could hear the footsteps behind him, but didn't dare look back in case he fell and became easy pray for the sick predator making his life a living hell. He was so focused on getting to the relative safety of his home that he didn’t notice the figure turning onto the pavement in front of him until he'd collided with a warm, solid body.
"Hey! Watch where you're… Malfoy?"
Bouncing backwards, Draco drew his wand and held it up in the face of his captor, uncaring of Ministry regulations or common decency, just needing to be armed until his heart slowed down enough to allow him to hear his thoughts. "What the fuck do you want?!"
Holding his hands up in front of him, Harry stepped back and gave the panting, dishevelled man space. "Draco, I was just walking home from Seamus'. You barrelled into me like Satan was snapping at your heels. What's wrong?"
Remembering the rejection, Draco shook his head and took another step back, lowering his wand slightly but not completely. "Like you care…"
"Draco, you're white as a sheet. Dammit, you weren't joking last week."
Laughing mirthlessly, Draco shook his head, managing to quash most of his flinch when Potter stepped forwards and held his hand out. "Draco, take some deep breaths. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Calm down before you have a panic attack."
He didn’t think it would work, but it did, and Draco found himself calming down as he breathed and Harry took out his wand, casting a Lumos and scanning the streets around them. "Let me walk you home. Tomorrow morning you'll file a report and…"
Looking at Draco as though he were insane, Harry scratched his head with his free hand and questioned, "No?"
"No. After you laughed? After the Boy Who Lived told me that I was a liar and…"
"I never said that!"
"YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO!"
His raised voice was joined with an outburst of magic that set off the six nearest cars' alarms. Harry glowered at him and silenced the alarms with a wave of his wand, turning back to Draco when he spoke again, this time in a softer, more controlled voice.
"You didn't have to say it, because it was in your eyes and your expression. You think I don't know how insane I sound? I doubt my own sanity already; I don't need everyone else chiming in with doubts of their own."
The sheer panic in his eyes and his voice was enough to prompt Harry forward, and he held his hand out again. "Then what if I look into this, off the books, to see what I can find out? It's the least I can do by way of an apology."
His eyes flickering between the shadows looming at the edge of Harry's Lumos, and the calm, steady hand held out to him, Draco felt his resolve and defences crumble. Nodding tersely, he stuffed his hands in his pocket, still clutching his wand, and began walking. "This way."
They walked in silence, and Harry almost bumped into the back of Draco when the blonde stopped walking halfway up the path. Stepping around the prone figure, Harry saw the package on the doorstep and sighed softly. "I can sleep on your couch, if you like."
Too tired and scared to question or argue the offer, Draco nodded and incinerated the parcel on the doorstep, heading into his home and leaving Potter to set wards as he climbed the stairs and collapsed face-down on his bed, trying desperately not to cry.
He's upstairs in his bed, asleep. I could do anything I want to him, and he'd be powerless to stop me. But it has to be his choice. I need him to open his eyes and realise that he wants me, that he wants to choose me to be his. So I bide my time, sat on the fine leather sofa with my cock in my hand, stroking it over and over as I focus on the sights and smells and sounds of his home. I already have the perfect plan, the perfect candidate.
Poor Blaise doesn't realise that a fumbling experiment in a long-forgotten Slytherin dorm room will lead to his incarceration for stalking and terrorising an Auror. I've already memorised his routines and I know exactly when I will strike. A powerful Oblivate, then the re-creation of memories in his mind. By the time I'm through with him, Blaise will remember stalking Draco for months through jealousy and unrequited love. He will confess and be imprisoned for the Dementors to feast on. And my name will ensure that the case is kept out of the papers, that Draco's pride is kept intact.
And oh, how he will thank me.
It was nearly three weeks later when there was a knock at Draco's door. After that evening Harry had said nothing else about the matter, giving no outward sign that he was doing any kind of off the books work. But every so often a small note would appear on Draco's desk, asking him to confirm if he knew of this restaurant, or that bookstore. But no words were said, and Draco wondered if Harry would be able to make headway where he himself had failed.
Walking down the corridor, he opened the front door cautiously and found Harry stood dishevelled and black-eyed on his doorstep. "What the hell?"
"Blaise took the option to not come quietly."
Ushering Harry inside, Draco sat him at the table and demanded to be told everything as he washed out the brunette's cuts and healed the black eye. When the tale was finally done, Harry reached up and brushed the tears of relief from Draco's cheeks with his thumbs. "I'm sorry, Draco."
"For putting you through all this. For not making you feel like you could ask me for help, for not believing you when you did ask me for help, and for taking so long to find the arsehole who's been making your life a living hell."
It could have been one of many things – the rush of relieved endorphins, the genuine sorrow in green eyes, the soft words, or the warm hands cupping his cheeks. It didn't matter what it was, because Draco was free and happy and Harry had saved him, in a way.
Leaning forward, Draco rested his hands on Harry's shoulders and kissed the brunette softly. Their tongues met in a teasing touch and Draco pulled back slightly, lips parted and eyes wide as he studied Harry's face closely. "Don't be sorry. Thank you for helping me. I can finally live my life again."
Harry nodded, following suit as Draco stood up. But, instead of being asked to leave, Draco's hand closed around his wrist and led him out of the kitchen and towards the staircase. "What are you doing?"
Stopping on the first step, Draco turned around and cupped Harry's upturned face in his hands. "Thanking you. Come upstairs and let me thank you."
It was the most stupid thing he'd ever done. Harry was attractive, but Draco didn’t hold some secret flame for him. Taking his partner to bed was the most ridiculous, illogical reaction to being stalked for months on end that Draco could think of, and yet when Harry nodded hesitantly, Draco could think of nothing but how good the brunette would feel in bed with him.
Their clothes marked their path up the stairs, and Draco keened when Harry's fingers skimmed across his bare skin for the first time. All pretence was lost, and Draco dragged Harry back onto the bed, straddling the brunette's waist and ravaging his lips, greedy hands moving everywhere to touch as much as he could. It felt so good, to finally have someone else touching him, and Draco whimpered as gentle fingers fluttered over his entrance. He needed this, and the details could be worked out in the morning with a level head.
Yelping as the cool tingle of a lubrication spell washed over him and he was flipped onto his back, Draco drew his knees up and out, marvelling at the look on Harry's face. He'd never thought of his childhood nemesis as a potential sexual partner, but spread open beneath him, able to see hard muscles and tan skin and a thick, bouncing cock in all its glory, had Draco convinced that Harry was laden with potential.
There was nothing smooth or sweet about the coupling. Harry positioned himself and drove into Draco with frantic need to be seated in tight heat. Draco nearly screamed, he was so tight from months of nothing but his own fingers and the occasional toy, from the lack of preparation for the hot, thick member splitting him open in the most delicious, most carnal way.
They found a fast rhythm and worked to it, neither speaking much except for the occasional word – 'more' and 'harder' and 'good' – intermingled with moans and grunts. Draco came first, his cock spurting between their bellies as Harry pistoned into him, fucking him just the way he liked and leaving him helpless and writhing on the crumpled, sweaty sheets. When Harry did come, Draco was mesmerised by the pleasure on a face that was so often turned to him in scorn or irritation.
Wrinkling his nose as Harry slid out of him and moved next to him, Draco offered no protest when the brunette spooned around him, warm arms encasing Draco protectively. He was almost asleep when he heard Harry's words, whispered on the last breath before sleep claimed his emerald-eyed lover.
"My pretty boy."