hd_hols (hd_hols) wrote in hd_holidays,
hd_hols
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Happy H/D Holidays, Punkimonki!

Author: kalichan
Recipient: auto
Title: How to Steal What You Already Own
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco {Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Draco/[OFC], Harry/Ron mentioned}
Summary: Whatever happens in Hades, stays in Hades.
Rating: 17+
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): angst, h/c, dream/hallucinatory-sex, hints of bdsm, cursing both wizarding and mundane, boys-and-their-wands, mind boggling amounts of mental instability, petty crime including but not limited to grave desecration, slash (of course), some references to het, infidelity, abuse of continental plates and a great deal of cribbing from mythological sources.
Deathly Hallows compliant? Yes, including epilogue.
Word Count: 8,168
Author's Notes: Happy Holidays, auto! I couldn’t quite fit in all your requests, but I hope you will enjoy the story anyway – it includes the boys at work, an ending that while not exactly hearts and flowers, I hope will not induce tears, slight kink – and as for realism, humor and in-character-ness, you will have to be the judge. Thanks to D. & E. for their help, beta & advice. Many bouquets to the mods for general awesomeness. Grateful acknowledgement is made to Homer’s Odyssey from which I stoleadapted many facets of the Land of the Dead episode. Some lines and passages are quoted in their entirety and freely transformed from Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince, as well as Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. At one point, Harry butchers a quote from Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic. Any errors which remain are entirely my own.


Part I: Another Cunning Plan

July 30, 2002
The Forbidden Forest


Part of the problem, Draco mused furiously, was that they always seemed like such brilliant ideas. Somehow, he never managed to perfectly picture the moment when he would be crawling through filthy thorn-bushes, spitting out sticky masses of cobwebs (and if there were cobwebs, then where, pray, were the spiders?), heart pounding at roughly five times its normal pace and threatening to leap out of his chest all together at any unnatural sounds that could be enormous spider claws clicking in the dark.

In order to keep from screaming, he decided to reflect on how much he hated this place. It was epic, really. Astronomic, prodigious, mind numbing oceans of hate for this entire portion of the country – and no place more than this bloody Forbidden Forest.

Get a grip, Malfoy, he thought. Some trees. Some centaurs. Some giant spiders. Whatever. He wasn’t eleven anymore; he’d seen worse. And he was almost at the edge now. One final push, and he’d be out in the open, having (hopefully) skirted the Whomping Willow. There was a dip in the forest floor, vaguely where he thought it should be, and if his arithmantic calculations were right – the centaurs would be passing through soon on one of their star-pattern loops. He’d wait for them to pass, and then make a break for it.

So he waited. After all, he had made it through this far, mostly unscathed – if he didn’t count the thirteen separate scrapes and bruises on his elbows, shins and face, the bramble-tears in his cloak and trousers, and oh yes, the shuddering, nauseating waves of fear which continued to wash over him. Still, not nearly as bad as it could have been. If he were feeling grateful, which he wasn’t, he supposed that would be something. Unfortunately, he was fairly certain that the worst was yet to come.

He peered through the shadows, wand clenched tightly in hand, twitching violently at every small rustling noise, and every stray wisp of air that hit his neck. The centaurs would carry torches with them, so they would be hard to miss. Glowing pinpoints of light first, and then the pounding of hooves. Unmistakable, surely.

Spider eyes wouldn’t glow in the dark, would they? If they did, it would be colored, surely – green or red, not the gold of torchlight. SHUT UP, he ordered his brain. Stop with the fucking spiders. Think about something else. Something nice and cheerful. He stared hard at the dip in the forest that he was hoping was the centaur-path. Was this where he had tripped when running from the horrible re-incarnation of the Dark Lord consuming the blood of the unicorn? Draco dug his nails into his palms as he remembered those moments of blind, wrenching panic. Nothing in his sheltered little life had prepared him for that sight.

He shook his head hard, trying to dislodge the memory. Was that a small dot of light in the distance? He blinked, trying to open his pupils wider. Yes, by Merlin’s bloody beard, it was! For the first time in several hours, Draco felt a rush of confidence. This was going to bloody work.
***


If anyone had been roaming the ground of Hogwarts at this hour, they would have been treated to the spectacle of Draco Malfoy running out of the forest like the hounds of hell were after him, chased, of course, by absolutely nothing at all.

Draco realized this much later than he probably should have – only after tripping over himself, and tumbling down the grassy knoll by the lake before coming to a stop in a disheveled, exhausted heap. For a few terrified moments he simply cowered there, knowing that the three-headed devil beast that had been right behind him was going to maul him, and there was nothing at all he could do about it - nothing in his arsenal of spells had worked – and he couldn’t run anymore.

After a while, he lifted his head and saw that he was alone on the field. He put his head back down with a thunk, too limp to even feel triumphant.

It was several minutes before he was able to wearily get to his feet. The moonlight was glinting on the waters of the lake, and it looked utterly peaceful. So too did the pure white marble of the great sarcophagus shining in the night. All these beautiful things that hold within them all his worst memories – the castle, the quidditch pitch with its flags waving bravely in the wind, and now this white marble tomb.

Fucking lunatics, he thought bitterly, as he had many times before. Who built a school next to a forest filled with beasts that ate people?

He glared at the white tomb before him. And you most of all, he thought fiercely at his old teacher, Merlin, how I hate you. To his extreme irritation, the marble edifice just sat there peacefully under his rage. He thought about kicking it but decided that it would probably hurt, and also, was beneath him.

Besides, what he was about to do would be answer enough for Dumbledore, if he were still watching them somehow. Try and stop me now, he thought, and took a deep breath. Pulling his wand, he prepared to transfigure the tomb.

Marble didn’t transfigure easily – especially not funerary marble like this, huge solid slabs that had been magically sealed together which made it almost immutable. The Law of Syllogistic Transfiguration saw to that. Like must turn to like, and it was difficult to see a logic path from a giant slab of marble to anything else useful.

Draco grinned to himself. He was pretty sure he’d figured out how to do it. First he turned the smooth walls of the tomb into marble dry-stone walls, dovetailing neatly together without mortar. It changed slowly enough that Draco was at first afraid it wouldn’t work, but he continued to apply magical pressure until he felt the texture give in his mind, and the walls shifted to marble pieces tightly fit together. Like to like, Draco thought gleefully, almost wishing that old bitch McGonagall was here to see this.

Then it was almost easy. Now that he’d broken down the internal structure of the marble, he could change the rest of one wall into a light, pliable and pale wicker that fit around the layer of bricks he left on the bottom. Taking the knife out of his boot, he pried the wicker loose. Now he could pull up the wall of the tomb – without losing a single molecule. It would all fit back together to be changed back with no one the wiser.

He looked up at the sky and knew that he didn’t have much time. Soon the sky would begin to lighten with false dawn, and he’d need to be well away by then. If what he was looking for was here – and he made it back through the forest – Draco shook his head. First things first. He had to look.

“Lumos,” he whispered, and gritting his teeth, he pulled up the wicker and brought his wand closer so he could see the purple velvet upon which Dumbledore rested. The old wizard lay there, his grey hair spread out on his pillow. Draco caught his breath – despite knowing that wizards lay in their mausoleums unchanged if the spells were right – somehow he had expected bones and rot – the dissolution of death. He came closer and saw that Dumbledore’s face was unchanged – the corner of his mouth still quirked in a half-smile.

“Bastard,” Draco muttered, his voice catching in his throat. His eyes were stinging and he didn’t know why.

There it was though, clasped in Dumbledore’s hands – just as he’d seen it in his dreams. The Elder Wand.

“Got you,” Draco said, reaching forward and plucking it from the dead wizard’s grip. Nothing happened. No explosions or alarms or shrieking. Just the quiet sounds of the lake, and his own breathing, harsh in the darkness.

“It’s my mercy, not yours that matters now.”

Nothing like the top of the Astronomy Tower – with that lightning scarred night with the Carrows, Greyback and Rowle on one side and Dumbledore on the other – the battle raging below. Suddenly Draco noticed he was idly rubbing the raised scar on his chest – a nervous habit he had been vowing to eradicate for four years now. His hand was trembling, he observed as if from a long distance away.

“A rather feeble attempt, was it not? All these crude and badly judged measures?”

Go away, old man. You were wrong about everything.

“You are not a killer. It’s not so easy as the innocent would believe.”

He waved the wand experimentally and marveled at the way it seemed to fit into his hand as if it were indeed his own. Not so very picky are you, he thought. Let’s see what you can do – and for a lark, tried to do the multiple transfigurations all at once, just to see what would happen.

He gazed, mouth open in shock, at the tomb, which now looked as if it had never been touched. The voice had stopped, as if Dumbledore’s voice could no longer penetrate the marble surrounding him. Draco breathed a sigh of relief now that the memories had stopped flooding back before gazing down at the wand in his hand.

“Oh,” he said softly. “I see now why people want you.”

Part II: The Law of Magical Inertia

August 1, 2002
London


Harry woke up from a sound sleep to the familiar cracking sound of a house elf materializing at his ear.

“Master, Kreacher is here with the news you requested.”

“What?” Harry mumbled. Some small, fuzzy woodland creature had clearly died in his mouth in the night. He attempted to open his eyes, but one of them appeared to be hermetically sealed shut, and withstood all his efforts. He settled for cracking one, and then promptly wished he hadn’t as daggers of light were piercing into his brain stem.

“Oh God, I think I’m going to be sick.”

“Master Malfoy returns to his workshop in Paris. His habits are irregular. At breakfast, sometimes he eats a croissant while his assistant sorts through the mail. In the last year, Kreacher observes that he invents and perfects three new wand-cores of centaur tail hair, naga-skin and Pegasus-feather…”

Harry tried to pull the pillow over his head, but this was met with some resistance from the other side which appeared to be stuck underneath something. Upon closer examination, this turned out to be Ginny, who could be terribly stubborn, especially while asleep.

Harry groaned. “Kreacher, please, please stop.”

The house-elf’s creaky voice intoned, “Master demanded Kreacher tell him the Malfoy heir’s every move. He must know. He aches to know. Kreacher will tell him. Master must not worry. Master Malfoy has new…”

“I’m not worried! And I must NOT know,” Harry protested violently. “Please stop telling me!”

Finally, Ginny lifted her head from the pillow and looked balefully at Kreacher and Harry. “Is it that time of year again?” she asked, her voice ominously even.

“At least we’ve got him down some. It’s been six months or so, hasn’t it?” Harry said wearily, over Kreacher’s voice, as the house-elf droned on with his recital of the various meals Malfoy had ordered in for dinner in his curiously penetrating voice. “Can’t say for sure as I don’t really remember my own name at the moment, much less yours, or what we were doing six months ago.

Ginny looked at him, and then laughed. “I think all hope of sleep is lost – I’m going to take a shower. Should we get Hermione to talk to him?”

“Don’t get up, Gin. This horror’ll be done soon – won’t it? – Stay in bed. Please?” he said, attempting to look tempting and seductive – but probably failing considering that second eye still wouldn’t open all the way.

“Yeah, right,” Ginny said, her smile taking the edge of her tartness. “That was before your past sins caught up with you. Your hangover combined with the ins and outs of Malfoy’s existence don’t make me amorous – whatever they might do for you.”

At that, Harry tried to find something to throw at her, but she was much too quick and darted quickly out of reach. “Be nice! It’s my birthday!”

“Over as of midnight, my lad – which you may or may not remember as the moment you kissed Ron, took off your shirt and got up on the bar.”

“Oh, God,” Harry said, as memory came rushing back.

“I don’t even want to know what you said to Percy to make him run screaming out of the pub like that. Although I guess I’ll find out. You do know George recorded the whole party, right? I’m sure he’d be willing to play it for you...”

“Oh God,” Harry moaned again. “Have some compassion, woman!”

“And on that note, I’m going to take a shower,” she said, still laughing. She pulled a robe about herself and went into the bathroom.

Harry pulled the pillow over his head and tried to forget some of the more humiliating moments of the previous evening which were slowly gaining alarming amounts of clarity. He wondered if there was any hope of going back to sleep as Kreacher continued on talking, having now moved on to Malfoy’s newly acquired dress robes.

“Sodding Malfoy,” he mumbled into the pillow, thinking wistfully of waking up gently and then having slow, lazy, hung-over love with Ginny. “I fucking hate that bastard.”

Part III: Gone But Not Forgotten

September 3, 2002
Paris


There was a knock at the door. He wouldn’t answer it. No. He had to stay here and figure out how this worked. What was inside it? Why couldn’t he figure it out?

How could it be dupli-

Are you acting alone?

Draco tried the silencing spell again, but Dumbledore’s voice kept on coming as if the memories, once uncorked could no longer be restrained.

He’ll always be alone.

Draco’s head jerked up in surprise. This was a new voice – he’d never heard before: clever, arrogant and sharp. Was he hallucinating now too?

He looked down again at the wand, lying innocently on the scale where he had left it. He picked up the tuning fork, and realized he wouldn’t be able to use it. As he ended the silencing spell – useless anyway – the knocks kept coming as if whoever was at the door had been pounding away this whole time.

“What?” he barked, as he cast another glance at the wand, before covering it and flinging open the door.

His assistant, Pléiade, stood hesitantly in the doorway, just as if she hadn’t been knocking to wake the dead a moment before. He permitted himself a grim smile at the thought. It didn’t look like he needed any assistance on that front, at least.

“Monsieur Malfoy, vous avez été fermé à clef-”

“Speak English, damn it,” Draco shouted.

Manners, my dear boy,” Dumbledore said in a voice laden with irony, as Draco tried to shake the voice out of his head.

Pleiade looked shocked at his gyrations, before attempting again in English, “You have been – how do you say – closed here for, but one week, Monsieur. Can I not assist you?”

“No,” Draco said shortly.

No one can help you,” someone said in a thick Bulgarian accent.

I thought I could, but it was far too late,” he heard Dumbledore say.

From the moment he was born,” the arrogant voice said.

“Just stop,” he shouted, putting his hands on his ears. “Stop talking.”

“But I have stopped, Monsieur,” Pléiade said, bewildered. “Let me help you.”

Draco laughed a horrible, dry laugh. “Didn’t you hear them? No one can help me.”

He shut the door on her troubled face, before sliding down in front of it and sitting on the floor with his head in his hands.

Weak – like all the Malfoys,” another new voice said.

Okay, he thought, getting up and starting to pace. Must adapt to changing circumstance. This isn’t going to work. Okay. It was just an idea. It didn’t work, now we move on.

You let your friend die in his own fire, didn’t you? What did that feel like, I wonder?

He wasn’t my friend, Draco thought, as he felt his skin heat and blister. He was an idiot. I caught the other one, didn’t I?

Oh God. He looked down at his arm, but it didn’t look any different, even though he could smell the smoke, and the horrible smell of roasting meat.

Okay, he thought feverishly. It must be the wand. If I can’t remake it – I can break it, can’t I? That’ll make them stop.

The thought was barely into his brain before he was leaning over the wand, bootknife in hand. He brought it down as hard as he could, and then recoiled in shock as it landed instead on his own forearm, slicing it to the bone.

The knife clattered from his suddenly nerveless fingers, and he watched, seemingly divorced from the proceedings, as blood began spurting out.

You’re in trouble,” someone else he didn’t recognize said, as the second voice began to laugh.

When he heard screams, he was actually rather surprised to realize they were his own.

Part IV: Where They Have To Take You In

September 4, 2002
London


Harry was not having a good day. In fact, he thought, he might go so far as to put forth a motion to the Wizengamot to excise this day from the calendar in order to avoid all possibility of anything like this day being repeated ever again.

It wasn’t the stupid squabble with Ginny in the morning over whose turn it was to get breakfast that had kicked this day into such monstrous levels of disaster, nor yet the staggering amount of paperwork that Harry had had to file that afternoon, only to discover that his partner had already filed for the same case yesterday without telling him, making his four solid hours of work completely redundant. No. It was none of those things, or indeed any of the other items of a long list that he had spent his walk home totting up, that made Harry want to erase this day from human memory.

It was the fact that he had walked home from the office, fuming, and found sodding Draco Malfoy sitting on his stoop.

He raised his head when Harry approached, jaw dropping in disbelief.

“Potter,” he said. “I need your help.”

***


“Okay, let’s start again, from the beginning, Malfoy,” Harry snapped. “Why are you here?”

Unnervingly, Malfoy continued what he’d been doing, which was staring off into space abstractedly, and didn’t reply.

Harry shook him. “Malfoy, have you gone crackers? What the hell are you doing here?”

“That was you?” he said, sounding surprised.

“No, it was me,” Harry yelled. “Of course it was, you nitwit – you see anybody else here?”

He shook his head angrily. “No, I don’t see anyone else. But I hear them.”

“There’s no one else here, Malfoy.”

“I know. But I hear them-”

“I don’t really think I can help you with that,” Harry said, wondering if this was some sort of elaborate scheme or plot. “St. Mungo’s have got a branch for that sort of thing though, so if you want to use my floo-”

“I. Am. Not. Insane,” Malfoy screamed, and Harry reached for his wand.

“Right,” Harry said, thinking rapidly. “Look, I don’t know what’s going on here, but either you’ve gone crazy or…actually, there is no or. Let’s just take a deep breath, and then we can-”

“Shut up,” Malfoy ground out before Harry could finish, and then looked him straight in the eye. “You too.”

“What?” Harry sputtered, but before he could continue, Draco was going on.

“No. We’re not going anywhere; I am not crazy; and you, Potter, are going to help me. I’m hearing voices-”

“That’s pretty much the text book definition of crazy, Malfoy,” Harry couldn’t resist saying.

“Very funny,” Malfoy said in that drawl that made Harry want to punch him in the face. “Are you done now or shall I wait while you dredge your tiny little mind and try to find something that might pass for wit?”

Harry was revised his opinion of Malfoy’s sanity a few marks upward, and did the same, only in the opposite direction, for whether Malfoy was going to get out of the house without getting his face rearranged in some pleasingly painful fashion.

Possibly Malfoy, who always had a keen eye out for his own self-preservation, could sense this because he continued without waiting for a response.

“I’m haunted, Potter.”

“You’re what?”

“I’m haunted,” he repeated. “Like ghosts. Only they’re in my head and they won’t go away, and I need someone to help me.”

“O-kay,” Harry said. “Even if I believe you, I’m not seeing why that someone is me.”

“Aren’t you an Auror? Aren’t you supposed to help all and sundry who need it?”

“Not if sundry is you, Malfoy. I’ve helped you enough, don’t you think? I really don’t think I need to do it anymore.”

Malfoy smiled a strange and bitter smile. “But you will. If not for me, then for this.” And he drew out a familiar wand and showed it to Harry – who looked at it, and thought how nice it would be to strangle Malfoy by the neck till he was dead.

***


After a long time, as Malfoy kept getting distracted by the various voices he was hearing, Harry managed to extract out the story of the grave robbing from him.

Horrified at the thought of someone rifling through Dumbledore’s tomb again, Harry somehow managed to control his rage enough to ask Malfoy how he had known the wand was there.

“I dreamt it,” he said, simply. “Over and over.”

After Harry pressed him further, Malfoy told him how he had done some research, and then mixed up the Aletheoneiros potion that told you if your dreams were true. Finding out that they were, he’d decided to break into the tomb and take the wand.

“I wasn’t going to use it, really,” he said, as if that improved matters any. “I wanted to find out how it was made, so I could duplicate it.”

“Duplicate the Elder Wand – you?” Harry said, furiously. “You didn’t even finish at Hogwarts-”

Malfoy said, looking almost hurt, “I make wands now, you know,” before trailing off, and staring into space in a way that sent chills down Harry’s spine.

“Yeah, I know,” Harry said, almost relieved that Malfoy couldn’t or wouldn’t hear him so he wouldn’t have to either lie, or explain why he did know not just that Malfoy made wands, but the average number of times he’d had steak frites for dinner in the previous year, and that his under-drawers were made of the finest cotton, but never silk.

“Why did you come to me?” Harry finally exploded, after he had got the whole stupid, ridiculous story out of Malfoy. “This is the most idiotic thing you’ve ever done, and I’ve seen you do plenty! And I hate you.”

“They tell me no one will help,” Malfoy said angrily. “But you’re Harry fucking Potter. You have to do something, don’t you? You always do.”

***

later the same evening

“I can’t believe you’re doing it again, mate,” Ron said, glaring up at the ceiling where Draco rested under the four dangerously large doses of a dreamless sleep potion that had been necessary to subdue him. “What is it with you and this arsehole?”

“Ron,” Hermione said warningly, while flipping through a book. “We can’t just let the wand float about with Malfoy who’s gone all nutters. It’s not safe.

“I didn’t think leaving it in Dumbledore’s final resting place was leaving it lying about,” Ron shouted. “It’s his own fault. Why not just turn him over to the Aurors and let them have at it?!”

We are Aurors,” Harry said. “And Draco sodding Malfoy is one too many people who know about the wand and where it was. We have to get rid of it.”

Ginny placed a soothing hand on Ron’s shoulder. “Harry’s right. We can’t just wait about for Harry to die of natural causes. It’s going to be way too long a time-”

“Not the way you’re going,” Ron muttered.

Giving her brother a quelling look, she continued. “We have to get rid of it somehow, right now. Malfoy’s just…incidental.”

“Why’s he gone all crazy then, anyway? It didn’t happen before.”

“I don’t know,” Hermione said, her voice troubled. “There’s not much to go on. I think maybe the wand’s got confused. When Harry took Malfoy’s wand and defeated him, he didn’t take it magically – although it obviously transferred over the mastery of the wand anyway. But somehow, it still thinks it belongs to Malfoy too. It’s like physics – Magics set in motion tend to remain in motion, unless acted upon by some externally imposed force. The trouble is, all of the Hallows are sort of Dark Objects- not in themselves maybe, but they tend to get imbued with all of the owners’ darkest desires and fears. And now, I think those imprints are…well…I think they’re haunting Malfoy.”

***


Harry slung an arm around Ginny, while he waited for Hermione to finish jotting down her last note before looking up to tell them the plan. For some reason, he was pretty sure he wasn’t going to like it.

Hermione looked up and smiled grimly. He was sure she knew what he was thinking, and she nodded at him slightly before beginning to speak.

“The three Hallows,” she began, “belong to Death, Harry. You’ve given up the Resurrection Stone, and we’ll simply have to hope it will never be found. You’re keeping the Invisibility Cloak, and that is your choice. But the third Hallow – well, I think you’re going to have to give it back.”

***


“Tell me again why we can’t all go, Hermione,” Ron said emphatically. “Harry’s going to need us. Even if this works at all, which frankly, seems very unlikely to me.”

“I wish we could,” Hermione said, looking at Ginny who hadn’t spoken, but was gazing at Harry with worry in her brown eyes. “I don’t even know if this is going to work for Harry – but I’m almost positive we won’t be able to pass through.”

“Harry’s passed the threshold of death once already,” she went on. “If anyone can, he can get there – at least to the borderlands. And Malfoy – he’s the other master of the wand now – and he’s carrying the ghosts with him. They belong there anyway. That’s how Harry passed through the first time – he was carrying a piece of something dead inside him. Malfoy’s the only other one who I think has a shot of getting in.”

“Well, he’ll be very useful,” Ron said with biting sarcasm. “If danger threatens, he can scream and run away very effectively, like the little pure-blood coward he is.”

Harry gritted his teeth. Why was it always him? Hadn’t he done enough? It was supposed to be over.

“Mate,” Ron said, “Look, just say the word, and we’ll drop the little blighter over a cliff or something. That’ll cure this right up, won’t it?”

Harry and Ron exchanged a rueful glance as Ginny looked at them and said, “No. We can’t. It’s not all his fault. I mean, I was...People get caught up in things sometimes but-”

“We know, Ginny,” Ron said, sighing. “I wasn’t serious. Okay. How is this all going to work?”

Part V: Hell is Other People

September 6, 2002
Uunartoq Qeqertoq


“Can I just say that this is a ridiculous plan?”

“No,” Harry snapped. “You don’t get to show up on my doorstep, demand I save your reason and probably your miserable little life, and then quibble about the quality of my plan. Malfoy! Are you listenin- Draco! DRACO!”

Feeling faintly ridiculous, Harry seized Draco by the shoulders, and watched as his eyes came back from whatever horror they’d been contemplating to focus again on Harry.

“Your plan, is it? You’re the brains of the operation, are you?”

Harry let him go in disgust. “Whatever, Malfoy. Do you have a single atom of gratitude in your body? Or is it all just cowardice and entitlement?”

But Draco had gone off to wherever it was that he went while the ghosts were singing their little poisonous refrains into his ears.

Harry tried to figure out what the next step should be. Hermione’s portkey had taken them to the shores of Uunartoq Qeqertoq, off the eastern shores of Greenland.

“You know, I’ve got better uses for all this leave I’ve accumulated than haring off to Greenland with you of all people as a vacation-buddy,” Harry said, carefully planting the return portkey in a memorable rock formation. “Hiking through snow and ice and being cold. I hate being cold. And camping. Have I mentioned I really, really hate camping. And now I’m talking to myself. It’s hard to imagine hating anyone more than I do you, right now.”

“You’re right though,” he went on, looking at Malfoy with dislike. “I don’t actually believe it’s going to work either. Get to the Land of the Dead through traveling to Greenland for God’s sake.” Harry opened his enchanted Hold-All and removed the firewood.

Before setting it ablaze, he turned to look for Malfoy who was abstractly looking off into the grey distance. Moving before he could think about it too much, he manhandled him into sliding down on the ground before the campfire.

He was kneeling in front of him, trying awkwardly to settle the other man against a rock formation, when Malfoy suddenly said, “Did she have some logical train of thought behind this little jaunt?”

Harry started, but didn’t let go. “You’re back, are you?”

“What do you think?” Draco said shortly. “Hurry up and tell me again while I can still understand.”

Harry looked evenly back at him, before saying, “I don’t completely get it, but-”

“There’s a surprise.”

“Do you want to hear this or not?”

Draco sketched out a mocking little bow, and Harry continued, “Hermione traced the mentions in all sorts of ancient texts, which agree that we’re looking for the entrance to the land some place called Kymmerios or Cimmeria, across the Atlantic Ocean, and yet next to the Ukraine, in a land of mist and fog. She did some more research and discovered that Greenland used to be on the Cimmerian continental plate – next to Russia – when the continents of the world used to all be one.”

“Oh,” Draco said thoughtfully. “Maybe not so ridiculous after all. We’re retracing a ritual journey.”

When Harry didn’t say anything, but simply looked at him, he continued, “Like is drawn to like, Potter, remember? We find steps that resemble those we want to take, and tread them out, and as we do, we get to where we’re going.”

Harry nodded, and leaned back, letting go of him. “That’s the idea.”

***


It was cold, Draco thought. Very, very cold. The thin, clever voice that someone – was it Ginevra Weasley? He couldn’t remember – had told him was Gellert Grindelwald, and the thick brutish voice of Egbert the Egregious told him that Malfoy blood was thin, and weak.

Remember your father cowering before the Dark Lord. Not such a proud peacock then, was he?

Draco felt tears sting like ice in sharp trails down his cheek. Someone was shaking him, and he choked and sputtered as fire trickled down his throat.

But then the voices receded, and the blur before his eyes resolved into Potter leaning over him, trying to force the lip of a flask between his teeth.

“What are you doing?” he said, as he tried to get back his breath.

“Hermione thought liquor might help,” Harry said, briefly. “And you seem to come back easier when I – when someone touches you.”

Draco laughed a short, humorless laugh. “Liquor, eh? I take back everything I’ve ever said about her,” and taking the bottle from Harry, downed an enormous mouthful.

Harry raised his eyebrows, but didn’t let go the hard, painful grip he had on Draco’s shoulder.

“Not really,” Draco gasped, after he handed the bottle back and Harry was taking a drink, himself.

“Yeah, I didn’t think so. That would require that you had some good instincts, buried deep, deep down.”

“Wouldn’t you despise me more if I did? If I were gracious and kind now – when I need something?”

I cannot pretend you don’t disgust me a little,” Dumbledore said from somewhere very far off, and Draco recoiled. Harry pulled him back so that Draco was lying against him now, in some terrible parody of an embrace.

“Maybe I’d just think you were being sensible, for once,” Harry said. “Instead of your usual trick which seems to be somewhere along the lines of climbing up on a mountain-top, dressed in plate armor and screaming all gods are bastards – and then being surprised when you fry.”

“That’s pretty clever, Potter,” Draco said, with some admiration.

“I got it from a muggle novel,” he said.

“Oh,” Draco said. “And here I was about to be impressed. Besides, you’re one to talk.”

“Why did you come to us anyway?” Harry said, curiously, and took another drink before passing the flask back to Draco. “You could have gone to your parents.”

Draco shook his head, and drank some more.

After a long pause, and another lengthy swallow, Draco pulled away, and this time Harry let him.

“Can you still hear them?” he asked. “Is it helping?”

Draco smirked, and raised the flask in a mock-toast. “Oh, I can still hear them. But now I’m kind of drunk, so I don’t really care as much.”

***


Harry dreamed.

He was fucking someone faceless and unknown. He kissed their neck with wet sucking kisses, he tried to fight inside knowing somehow that everything he’d ever wanted was only moments away, but he could get no purchase, he couldn’t hold on, they were dissolving, and he had to- he needed- it was right here- he wanted to-

They were spinning in dizzying circles, water swirling up over him, and he was hard and aching. They were caught in lakeweed, and he ripped it away from them, needing flesh against him, white and taut and-

Wrapped around his cock like a vise, burning and twisting-

He was inside, but not deep enough- not tearing- to have forever- to kill as he came- but it was slipping away and he

Shoved them into the pillow and struggling and writhing beneath him. Couldn’t let them get away. He needed it. Now. He ground himself, throbbing, into it as something kept touching, touching, all over his chest and cock.

He scraped a nipple between his nails, and he heard a groan – a strangled exhalation, raw and scratched. And now finally, it was rushing him away, it was coming – ripping out of him hard and he was-

-Awake. And Draco was struggling underneath him, who must be trying to get free.

“Fuck,” Harry said succinctly as he rolled off of him and Draco was looking at him wide-eyed in the dark, as their harsh breathing filled the tent.

***


Draco gritted his teeth as Harry stumbled out of the tent to the fire. No doubt planning on castigating himself for whatever that had been, while Draco lay here, while waves of humiliating, aching want washed over him, and waited alone for the voices to descend upon him again, and he wouldn’t be able to tell which were the real ones; what was happening; his thighs were bruised and sore and his cock was hard and this couldn’t be happening but it was and he wanted more- oh how he wanted more-

Little whore,” one of the voices said.

On his knees like his father.

The rocks bit into his knees as he trembled violently; he was crawling out of the tent; the palms of his hands scratched and bleeding on the rocks. Or no, there was the marble floor of the Manor; he was shaking in terror as his mother looked down at the floor and the mark burned; snakes hissing.

He heard someone moan and realized it was him. He was cowering at the Dark Lord’s feet; red and gold snakes twining around him like poisonous, burning creepers of fire.

“Draco!” He felt something slap his face, and there he was, back to himself, and it wasn’t the Dark Lord – it was Harry; he’d crawled to Harry’s feet like a good dog. But the snakes, the snakes, eyes red and burning like embers of coal, were still holding him down, and he realized he was saying this out loud.

“Make them stop, please,” he begged shamelessly. “I’ll do anything. Anything. I want to. I’ll make it good for you, I swear. Just touch me again.” He was panting; he pressed his lips, dry with cold, against Harry’s feet and felt his cock swell impossibly harder.

But the snakes, still wound about him, and he could hear them, scales writhing against each other, as they spat venom.

Harry was whispering to them in Parseltongue, and they were winding about him like cords, and he couldn’t move, could only beg wordlessly to be wrenched open and broken till the pain would tell him he was real again. Till there was only him, crouched at Harry’s feet before the dwindling fire, rocking back and forth, pliant and broken like a punished child as Harry pushed him down, down, down.

***


September 7, 2002
Greenland Ice Cap


Of course Harry had noticed that Draco had been strangely silent all day. He had even been grateful for it as they woke up, awkwardly sticky and sex stained; it allowed Harry to continue to hold on to him in an effort to keep the ghosts at bay without too much embarrassment. The odd silence went on, broken only by necessary, curt exchanges as he shrunk the tent, and then grew and thickened between them as they traveled across the water in their enchanted boat. As time passed, he realized that he didn’t quite know what to say to break it, or even if he should. For one thing, Draco hadn’t spoken to him, but he also hadn’t spoken to anyone who wasn’t really there either, which could be considered a sign of improvement.

They certainly hadn’t discussed the night before, which was good, because Harry didn’t have the slightest idea what he would say about it. Sorry I molested you in my sleep? I was drunk? I thought you were my girlfriend? Is it wrong that I got hard again when you cowered at my feet? Fucking you felt way too hot to be right. And probably dumbest of all: I really thought I was straight.

Harry hated the way his brain kept coming up with answers to his own rhetorical questions. (True, true, false, probably, definitely, and oh God.) He wished he could tell himself to shut up, or at least stop obsessively examining the previous night’s events over and over.

But he couldn’t.

He kept adding to his list of incredibly stupid things to ask or say: Did you know my friends (and my house-elf) have thought I was obsessed with you for years? I still hate you? What else could I have done?

If Harry wanted to, he could probably come up with a decent excuse for the first part in the tent. He was asleep. Not his fault. Later though…outside by the campfire. Harry’s cheeks burned.

It was probably better not to talk about it till he figured out something sensible to say.

After disembarking from the small boat on the deserted shore of the mainland, and reshrinking it, (which was harder than it should have been, since Harry had to keep hold of Draco while doing so) Harry realized that he could no longer feel his toes. This was probably not a good sign.

Perhaps the numbness would help with this, he reflected ruefully, as he and Draco prepared to slice their hands open, and summon the spirits with their blood.

If he were going to pick a place on earth to house the Land of the Dead, he thought, this would be it.

When they came, it happened quickly.

***


Hermione had warned him that familiar ghosts would come first, drawn by his blood-sacrifice. If they’d done it right, called up the journey properly – it would be his beloved dead who he would have to see first.

And who he would have to fend off.

The blood had barely touched the ice, and Draco had just drawn the Elder Wand and touched the blood with the tip when mist swirled around them and shapes assembled out of the fog.

Harry and Draco fell immediately into back to back stance, as if somehow in some alternate universe, they had made a habit of such a thing, instead of constantly getting in each other’s way.

Lily and James were the first to arrive, and their appearance was like a fist around Harry’s heart. Somehow, he nodded to Draco who brandished the wand against them.

Harry felt his eyes sting, as his parents looked at him with betrayal in their faces. I can’t do this, he thought, I have to talk to them. He felt Draco against his back, trembling in anticipation, and wanted to wrestle him to the ground, snap the wand in half, and run to his parents and feel their arms around him.

He didn’t understand how it was possible, but somehow he stayed silent and unmoving as their eyes pleaded with him.

Sirius and Remus, Cedric and Fred– they all came in turn.

Draco quivered furiously when Dumbledore arrived, but Harry was dry-eyed and adamant again by that time. His insides felt like frozen stone.

When Antioch Peverell made his appearance, he was ready.

***


Draco saw the parade of ghosts appear, one by one, and felt Harry hold himself tighter and more rigidly as they each came, until he was standing as still as a marble statue.

He himself was trembling so hard that he was afraid he would fall over, and when Dumbledore appeared, looking at him with those kindly, piercing eyes, Draco thought he might actually expire with the force that staying silent took.

When Peverell came, drawn to the blood on the ice, he could not muster up the ability to speak.

Luckily, Harry could, and he spoke in a cold, even voice. “Antioch Peverell, we are the two living masters of the Elder Wand, and we have come to give you back what belongs to you.”

The shade looked up at them with such anguished desire, that Draco flinched.

“Go on,” muttered Harry. “Give it to him.”

Draco looked down at the wand. It had all the power in the world, and he was about to let it slip out of his hands.

He looked up at Dumbledore, at Harry’s ghosts, at Harry himself who stood, rock-still and waiting, as if there was no universe in which he could imagine Draco not doing as he was ordered.

Neither could Draco. He let the wand slip out of his hands, and it melted into Peverell’s grasp, as they dissolved away.

Draco slid bonelessly to the ground, as Harry turned and looked at his beloved ghosts again.

“Mum?” he said, and Lily came towards him and he moved as if to enfold her in his arms.

“You can’t hold me, Harry,” she said. “I have to go. It’s too hard.”

“I know,” he whispered, and closed his eyes.

“We’re always with you, Harry. Don’t forget that.”

As Harry’s parents dissolved into the mist, Draco looked at Dumbledore.

“I’m sorry,” he said simply. “For everything.”

Dumbledore looked at him. “It’s better to be alive than dead, Draco – but not enough to trade your soul for.”

“I know that now,” Draco said, before placing a hand on Harry’s shoulder and saying shortly, “we have to go.”

Harry nodded, but didn’t move. He was looking at the mist, where another shape was forming.

A tall, black robed man, with a hooked nose, and piercing black eyes.

Harry started violently.

“Sir,” he said. “I just – I wanted to say I understand.”

Draco looked at his old teacher, who simply stood there, staring back at Harry with iron in his eyes.

Harry tried again. “And thank you. I…I think Mum would have been proud of you. I’m sorry I couldn’t see...”

“Please,” Harry went on. “If you could just say you forgive me, it would…”

Snape dissolved into the shadows without saying a word.

Harry turned and looked at Draco; his face drawn into harsh lines of anger and sadness. Draco met his eyes, and was about to speak, although he didn’t know what he could say, when a strange wailing seemed to come from the mist about them.

“Harry,” he said through his teeth, “we have to get back to the boat NOW.”

***


They ran. Slipping, sliding, falling. Until finally they were back off the ice-flot and Harry could sink to the ground, weeping his heart out in painful, racking sobs as Draco held him in his arms, and pressed his lips to Harry’s hair.

Part VI: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

September 9, 2002
Uunartoq Qeqertoq


“I want to use the portkey first,” Draco said, abruptly. “You wait a while before you use it, all right?”

“What, right now?” Harry said, bewildered. “Let’s talk about this.”

“What’s there to talk about, Harry?”

“I don’t know! Life! How – what we should do? Everything’s different – we had this adventure- and the, you know-”

“Sex?” Draco finished, a little sneer playing around his lips.

“Well, yeah.” Harry knew he was blushing and he couldn’t help it.

“You didn’t have an adventure, Harry,” Draco drawled, with that knowing smirk playing around his pointed features that made Harry want to kill him. “You had me.”

Harry glared at him, and Draco looked back consideringly before dropping the affected tone and saying without any inflection at all, “You love Ginevra Weasely, don’t you?”

“Of course! It was just-” and he trailed off.

After a long pause, he said with difficulty, “Of course I love Ginny. And I’ll never forgive myself for what I- we…I just. You’ve always been there. I don’t know why.”

“Don’t tell her,” Draco said seriously. “There’s no need. We won’t be seeing each other again.”

“I can’t exactly imagine my life without you in it,” Harry said, and laughed bitterly.

“For what it’s worth, Potter, you have me. You always did, and you always will. But now we’re not rivals or opponents. We’re not friends. We’re not…lovers. There isn’t a word for what we are. And there isn’t a world in which we need to see each other to be it.”

Harry stared at him and swallowed.

Draco bent and seized him in a final, fierce grip. “I am that I am because you made me so,” he said. “You don’t have to keep what you create for it to belong to you.”

Harry watched him walk away, getting smaller with each passing moment, until finally he was gone.

Part VII: Coda

September 1, 2017
King’s Cross Station


Catching Harry’s eye, Ron nodded covertly to a point some fifty yards away. The steam had thinned for a moment, and three people stood in sharp relief against the shifting mist.

“Look who it is,” Ron said.

Harry said nothing. It was Draco Malfoy who was standing there with his wife Pléiade and child, a dark coat buttoned up to his throat. Draco’s son resembled Draco as much as Albus Severus resembled Harry.

When he caught sight of Harry staring at him, Draco looked back, nodded curtly, and then turned away again.

Harry shook his head. Still stubborn as ever, he thought, as Ron and Hermione argued about young Scorpius Malfoy.

He felt Al tug at his elbow. “Who’s that, Dad?”

“Just someone I used to know,” Harry said, remembering Draco’s demands on the shore of the island fifteen years ago. “Before you were born.”

“His son looks a bit scared,” Harry continued thoughtfully, and smiled as he watched Albus Severus become distracted from his own fear for a moment to look consideringly at Scorpius with a flicker of interest.

Harry put a hand in his coat pocket, where the only note that Draco had ever owled him – dated the day after Scorpius was born – rested. It was unsigned.

Our fathers were indifferent foes. We were beloved enemies. Perhaps someday we might live in a world where our sons will be true friends.

end
Tags: [fic], epilogue compliant, rated: nc-17, round: winter 2007
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