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New, Darkish H/D One-Shot. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
New, Darkish H/D One-Shot.

To Say Nothing of the Dog

_____________________

I do not blame the dog (contenting myself, as a rule, with merely clouting his head or throwing stones at him), because I take it that it is his nature. Fox-terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs are, and it will take years and years of patient effort on the part of us Christians to bring about any appreciable reformation in the rowdiness of the fox-terrier nature. – Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men In a Boat

______________________

The sphere was perfectly round, perfectly cold, perfectly polished.

Its polish did not reflect light, but seemed rather to absorb light, to suck light into the sphere’s smoky and ever-changeful depths, sphere of mutability that it was.

Its surface never warmed to the hand; not even dragon’s fire could warm it. In season and out, it remained the same, as corpse-cold as any stone.

It was preternaturally heavy for its size, a size suited to two cupped hands, so heavy that it could not be held in hands, so dense that it surpassed the heaviest elements that Muggle scientists could create, dense enough almost to tear the fabric of space and time.

Professor Trelawney did not own the sphere: it had been a part of the very fabric of Hogwarts since the memory of Wizardkind ran not to the contrary. Nor did she care to use it, fearing it, and not without reason. Like the Mirror of Erised, like precognitive dreams, it showed a myriad of possible futures, not a few of which would not come to pass unless those ensnared by them worked to make it so. It did not foretell, it but conjured a possibility amongst the infinite potentialities of each mortal choice, and not one in a thousand of its visioned futures was true. Nor could any Seer, be she a Seer more true by far than Trelawney, say which of the scenes that played out in the sphere’s murky depths was true and which false.

It was, perhaps, the most dangerous artefact now remaining in the Three Kingdoms, and she avoided it sedulously, and would have been rid of it if she were able.

Tonight, though, the sphere was agitated, its clouded centre roiling, and Trelawney was powerless to resist its summons, for all that she had attempted not to catch so much as a glimpse of the ominous device from even her peripheral vision.

_____________________

In the sphere’s deceitful visions….

The War had not been kind to any of them: War is not in its nature kind. Yet victory, at any cost, were better far than were defeat, and they had not survived only, but triumphed, as well.

Survived, and triumphed, and won through.

That was enough, truly. And they had had each of them a better war than most, had Arthur, Remus, and Harry. War had been less unkind to them than to far too many others.

Arthur was still harried and kindly, though now tempered in the fires of loss, this last being after all the second conflagration he had passed through. And Remus was Remus, still: as ever, the survivor, indomitable, who had simply, grimly, kept on living and fighting when more likely candidates than he had fallen: still seemingly frail, still with a core of steel.

And Harry? He was Harry, Who Lived, but a Boy Who Lived no longer, hardened and saddened, wiser and more tender and patient, annealed by the refiner’s fire, all that in him was dross now fined away, and freed at last of a parasite and a destined burden. He had grown at last into himself, but his eyes were ancient, having seen horrors beyond the ken of lesser Wizards.

They sat in the Minister’s office, Arthur the Minister, Remus a power in the land, and Harry the stay and linchpin of all, and Chief Unspeakable.

‘Well, then, Minister?’ Harry’s tone was neutral.

Arthur winced. ‘Harry…. Please. Am I not more to you yet, and by now, than simply the Minister for Magic? I didn’t – Remus and I didn’t – ask you to stop by in order to, to –’

‘– To give you a rocket,’ Remus said, quietly. ‘Or of we did, it was not by right of office, nor is Arthur speaking to you as him who holds the seals of office as HM Principal Secretary of State for Magical Affairs, but rather as your old friend, who loves you dearly. As do I.’

‘Harry…. I’m not Albus, I know that. I. Well.’

‘We are neither of us,’ Remus said, ‘James, and more’s the pity. Nor Albus. Nor even – Sirius. Would that any, that all, of them were here. Nor are we attempting to replace them or any of ’em – as if we could. And we know quite well that you are a man now, and a fine one at that, who may not wish or need a father figure in either of us. You may even resent the idea, and small blame to you if you do. But that cannot – you can’t – stop us loving and caring about you, as if you were Arthur’s son, or my godson, poor substitutes for James and Padfoot though we may be.’

Harry slumped back in his chair, and sighed. ‘I know. I’m sorry. I don’t mean, really, to be so, well, so … ungrateful. I simply – well. It doesn’t matter, really. What have I stuffed up, then, that wants correcting? I don’t imagine it’s in my department that the fault lies, so I suppose it’s personal.’

Arthur looked decidedly uncomfortable, and could be seen to be bracing himself to tackle the subject. ‘Well, no, it’s certainly not an issue of your duties here, that’s true.’

‘Look – Arthur. If this is about Draco – it is, I can read it on your face like Marietta Edgecombe’s hex-spots – damn it, Arthur, that’s off-limits even to you. Even to Moony.’

‘Right,’ said Remus, unwontedly crisp. ‘I’ll be excruciatingly frank, then, shall I? People who object to your relationship’s existing can sod off, we are agreed on that. But it is beginning to be talked about as more than simply a scandal or a “celebrity” gossip topic, Harry. It’s the character of your relationship that wants explaining, and don’t tell me it doesn’t: you’re damned fortunate, frankly, that Arthur – as the Minister – and I are talking with you unofficially, and like it or not, I’m afraid you must accept that you’re being given that much consideration simply because of who you are. No,’ he said, waving away Harry’s half-vocalised attempt at interrupting, ‘I’m not, actually, referring to the fact that it’s a relationship between two men, or to your past histories, when I say it’s the character of the relationship that is becoming a source of comment and concern. The fact is, the fashion in which the two of you act towards one another is troubling.’

‘To everyone else, you know,’ Arthur interjected, ‘Mr Malf- – Draco – acts as we’ve come to expect, a modified and tolerable, but still proud and independent, version of his old self. Clever, proud, if no longer arrogant and racialist, sometimes caustic and always suffering fools but poorly, if at all. To you, however, he clings, all but fawning on you, and frankly, Harry, people are beginning to suggest either Imperius or some cognate potion.’

‘WHAT?’

‘My revered ministerial predecessors, particularly Scrimgeour and particularly in wartime, could hardly have managed to give a two-Knut dam had you been keeping Draco under Imperius, not least because they never had faith in his loyalties. But I am not they, and quite honestly, were I not who I am and were it not for Remus, and, especially, were you anyone but who you are, you’d be having this conversation formally, after being suspended pending enquiry, with a team of Aurors, all on suss. The war is over. Draco’s loyalties are past question. The law is the same for everyone, even you, Harry, and I intend to see it enforced impartially. And most importantly, while no one thinks you’re much of a candidate for turning Dark, both Remus and I care enough about you personally to be concerned about the effects on your character if you’re treading close to the line of what’s lawful.’

‘Right, then.’ Harry spoke through clenched teeth. ‘Then I suggest you want to be asking Draco about this. And I damned well wish him in on this before we go a step further down this road. I also –’

‘Harry.’ Remus was clearly attempting a warning note. ‘You’re hardly in position to be setting conditions –’

‘Leave it, Remus,’ Arthur said. ‘If Harry is suggesting that the answers lie with Draco, then there must be more to this than appears – or so I dearly hope. Harry?’

‘I will submit to questioning under Veritaserum if needs must. I will share my memories in a Pensieve. And after you’ve satisfied yourselves that this accusation is complete and utter balls, you can make a note to that effect and then submit to a memory charm. Because this is an outrage and deeply sodding personal, ta ever so.’

_____________________

The scene within the sphere shifted, queasily.

After the War, after the victory, Harry and Draco had led a blameless life together, straddling the Muggle and Wizarding worlds, Draco having, with a convert’s zeal, become as much a collector of Muggle curiosities as ever was his distant kinsman, Arthur Weasley.

Most of those who’d survived had had their fill of adventure and adrenaline, although there were a few who were addicted to it as a result of the War, and who continued to seek danger as a man might pursue a lover. Not so Harry and Draco. Like most of the victors – and they had seen and done and endured more than most – they had sunk into the quiet of the peace as into a warm bath.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

As the two remaining heirs male of the House of Black, as combining the lineages, traditions, and riches of the Potters and the Malfoys as well (as Sirius had said, long ago, all the old families are intermarried to the point of entanglement), they found themselves with ample with which to occupy themselves, in rebuilding and recovering, in the preservation of property.

They’d two houses in town in addition to Grimmauld Place, one on Wilton Crescent in Belgravia for when Draco was feeling the call of Society and one, to which the finger of taste had last been applied in the days of the second George, as Unplottable and hidden away as Grimmauld Place itself, tucked away somewhere between Long Acre and Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, Westminster WC2, for when Draco was being a theatre and arts queen.

They’d Walliston House near Houston in Renfrewshire, at Kilpeter, with its Stud and its gardens, its grazing and its shooting and its near access to the Wizarding links of Old Ranfurly.

They’d Fording Cottage outside Turriff, with its salmon, grilse, and sea trout fishing, the revered Inverkeithy fishings.

They’d a snug farm, Wester Duncolm Farm, in Fife, its arable worked by hand, hip deep in Wizarding barley that Ogdens’s – now in partnership with the Potter dominance in Wizarding cider and perry – reserved for its finest singlemalt firewhiskies.

They’d an elegant Adam town house, Cowie House, named for the last Witch of the burgh, Auld Meggie Cowie, in Montrose, and a trim, chastely Georgian town house, rebuilt from a XIVth Century town mansion, in Elgin, the Garden of Scotland, backing upon the Oakwood to the West of the burgh.

They’d interests in Staffs and the Black Country – the true Black Country, centred on Atrum Old Hall, the country of the House of Black. They’d interests in Wales as well, in the Vale of Morgan that had known both the steps of Harald Hvalpuf, Harald Whale-Spout, and his daughter Helga, and the long and blameless line of the Evanses.

And most of all, they’d Pottersfield House in Somerset, with its ancient orchards. They’d Wyvern House and Godric’s. They’d the Manor, now purified and lustrated by their magics, with assistance from Nev and his connexions with the magic of the natural order and from Tonks as incarnating the female principle of the Black bloodline. They’d the ancient Potter interest in Bowman Wright’s Sons plc, the Potter cider and perry interest, and the Potteries that made the mortars and pestles, the trenchers and teapots, the firkins and flagons, half the magical small wares of the Wizarding world.

Especially, they had their own small manor, under the eaves of Grovely Wood and the Great Ridge, one to which they were both tied by remote ties of blood: as Sirius had said, long ago, all the old families are intermarried to the point of entanglement.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

Draco’s trained acumen married to Harry’s innate power and good instincts made for an exemplary match, a partnership of equals; if anything, when it came to G.s.k. – Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts – Draco took the lead in their partnership.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

They were not idle, but the days of peace were days of leisurely enjoyment, and although they did not disregard their duties, they indulged themselves when duty was done. They lost themselves, happily, in the vulgar crowd at the Wizarding seaside, at Hambourne-On-Sea, of which the chronicler once wrote,

The Wizarding seaside resort of Hambourne-On-Sea was a riot of colour and movement (and odours) that sprawled along the strand, serried its ranks along the Parade, spilled across the flats into the water and the bay, ran up to the cliffs, hills, and combes that marked the inland line and the start of farming (and Muggle) country, and scrummed, jostled, crowded, larked, shoved over, queued, and made room for a little ’un at the Pavilion and the Pier (both named in pious memory of the great Tilly Toke).

… As was typical of the Wizarding world, this Wizarding version of a seaside resort was a super-saturated, hallucinogenic version of its Muggle counterpart, making the latter look pallid and tame by comparison. The Winter Garden, with its riotous profusion of magical plants under acres of gleaming crystal – and it was paned, not in glass, but rather in tissue-thin and iron-stout panes of transparent crystalline minerals, each lightly tinted in jewelled colours – the famous Winter Garden seemed like something out of a paradise concocted by John Bunyan working with a committee of pre-Raphaelite painters. … The Pier, adamantly disdainful of Muggle physics and engineering, held up by magic and sheer custom, ran crazily, drunkenly, out to its terminal island, encrusted with shops, stalls, pubs, and arcades as its posts were with barnacles, teeming with Wizards and Witches. Every so often, someone would fall off, and hit the wards a few scant inches above the sands or the sea, and be flipped lazily back onto the boards of the pier.

In a flawless sky, in perfectly charmed weather, children and not a few of their elders, some of them their considerable elders, shrieked with delight as the Bludge-’Em brooms collided and reversed, only to collide again.

The Pavilion, the pride of Hambourne, resembled nothing so much as what might have emerged had Wizards kidnapped Chambers, Lutyens, Nash, Pugin, Ruskin, and Wood, plied them with firewhisky, had them stung into delirium by swarms of Billywigs, taken their resulting designs for the most outré building each could conceive on a bet, torn the blueprints in pieces, reassembled them in the dark as a single drawing, and entrusted the resulting incomprehensibility to a team of drunken and colour-blind house-elves, with an unlimited budget and no Clerk of the Works, to erect.

By moonlight.

In three nights’s time.

And yet, even the Pavilion’s famed Neo-Mongolian-Rococo annexe faded almost from one's notice when one confronted the sheer scope, sartorial eccentricity, and strangeness of the Wizarding world, en masse, at peace, on holiday, and resolved to enjoy itself to the hilt.

And over all, the redolence of butterbeer and firewhisky, fish and chips and mushy peas, Fizzing Whizzbees, Scotch eggs and bangers-and-mash, bubble-and-squeak, toad-in-the-hole, gallons of tea, buns, strawberries, ices, curries, candyfloss, ice mice, Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, cakes, and – gladdening Harry’s heart and weighting his purse – a quite acceptable trade in cider and perry alongside the pumpkin juice. Over all and underpinning all, the ozone and the tar, the sand and the sea, the turf and the banked heaviness of over-spilt plantings of flowers, and the jostle of humanity. Over all and behind all, the thump of the brass bands, the occasional boom of an Exploding Tuba, and the squeals and shouts and laughter and occasional screaming fit of innumerable children.

… In all its innocent vulgarity, its fat and sometimes fatuous self-satisfaction, this peaceful world, freed of the threat of the Dark, was, in its own rather common, malt-vinegar-sprinkled way, their monument and achievement….

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

They regularly visited the Burrow, and Hurstholme Thorpe at Long Bottom, and Dean and Seamus at Killderg and Justin and Blaise in East Anglia, and their friends in turn called to visit and stopped to stay with them, Tony and Eleanor, Tonks and Remus, Ginny and Colin, Luna and Nev, Hermione and Ron (who exchanged the same laughing, Cranfordian greetings every time with Draco, ‘Cousin Ferret’ and ‘Cousin Weasel’), and all the rest: if defeating a troll makes for bonds of friendship, winning a war together makes a family. That Draco had not been able, in the crux of the hour, to do the evil that he was assigned to do, even with the threat of his own parents’s fates over him, was accounted to him as a virtue now – no matter that, had Snape not disembarrassed the post-War world of his presence by dying in battle, not even a signed set of instructions from the Headmaster (and until their generation was dust, that title standing alone would always refer to none but Albus) requiring Snape to have killed him, would have saved Snape. There was no place in the post-War world for the man who had slain Dumbledore, no matter under whose orders.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

They were not idle, but the days of peace were days of leisurely enjoyment, and although they did not disregard their duties, they indulged themselves when duty was done. They were occasionally, and reluctantly, drawn up to town by duty, by social obligation, by a sudden wish on Draco’s part to binge on High Culture. But mostly, they hewed to their quiet life in the country, and entered fully into the simple amusements and interests of their Muggle and Wizarding neighbours alike.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

They played village Quidditch in the Wizarding world. Amongst their Muggle neighbours, they played on the village’s fourth XI, immaculate and impeccable in flannels on long cricketing afternoons. They played on the village green, the parish church anchoring one end, and the WI and the Mothers’s Union competing for gustatory honours in setting out a summery cream tea on long, trestle tables.

As Wizards, they were the joint masters of the Norn & Wytchley Wyvern Hunt.

Amidst their Muggle neighbours, they put their hands to village fêtes and village shows. The Coronation Hall, newly remodelled for the Golden Jubilee, adjoining the village green, a centre point of village life and amusement, and a refuge from sun or any rain, knew well the sound of their laughter as they assisted those in charge of the evening jollifications: arranging for a band in the dimpsey and an illumination all ’round the green as the twilight deepened on the land; knowing that the glow-worms in the churchyard would provide their own lumiè re show later on.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

On any summer Saturday afternoon, they were there, a seamless part of village life, its rhythms immemorial….

One sees it, the timeless picture: the village cricketers on the green, the spectators in the Coronation Hall shaded and cool. The British Legion branch have kindly provided ice-cream, and the children’s choir are getting stuck in before going back outside. They and the hand-bell choir will be a part of the evening's festivities, along with the band, after Evensong.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

Across the green, the pub, a free house, is doing a brisk trade in cider and real ale. It’s jolly to see the green filled with folk, rather than with ponies and cattle: they’ve not had a day like this since the Pony Club gymkhana, last month, or even the Flower Show back in the Springtide. Mind, the Colonel has already been in deep consultations with Our Jovial Landlord, a sporting publican of the old sort, regarding the Village Show and Fair upcoming, so there is that to look forward to. Beside the pub, a marquee has been set up to afford extra shade, and those intent on conversation are clustered there. The village fire brigade are running a tombola, which seems to be heavily supported by several of the young Muggle women, who appear to be rather more interested in the firemen than in the prizes on offer. The Vicar’s wife and the Colonel’s lady are keeping keen eyes on the smaller sproglets, one of whom has already been sent home with strict instructions to change clothes, into something that does not look like the outfit of a Whitechapel harlot, scaled down. There will be none of that sort of thing here, by God.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

The sky is perfect, as blue as the butterflies that adorn each sunny surface fit for basking; the breeze is gentle, and the air murmurous with the hum of bees and the drowsy susurrations of wood-pigeon and stock-dove. There are shy, largely unseen bullfinches in the ancient hedge that bounds the pub’s back garden, where it slopes down towards the winterbourne. The turf, immemorial, is sweet underfoot, and God is assuredly an Englishman today. Passing Yank and Aussie tourists stand at gaze, realising that here, at least, There Will Always Be An England. A wicket falls, to polite applause and no unsporting gloating. Just beyond the peaceful, quiet churchyard, the village trails away into countryside: white horses in the chalk, and larks, above, ascending. Sand martins are on the wing above the river and the quarry, thrushes and meadow pipits dart and flutter. Local JPs and the district medico are talking of roses and wall-fruit: the good doctor is complaining of his never-ending war against a nearby sett of badgers who have taken his garden’s bulbs as a buffet supper for the third year, now.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

The Ringer’s Guild are hosting their opposite numbers from a Southwold parish and a Berkshire parish; not a few once served in the same regiment, the old RGBW, and its forebears.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

Some of the village youths are trailing back, muddy, damp, and chuffed, with the trophies of a day’s fishing, their long poles casting shadows in the afternoon’s long slant of light that recall the spears of Alfred's army when Wessex fought the Dane.

Thus do Harry and Draco spend their days in peace, slipping seamlessly between the Muggle and Wizarding worlds.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

And just outside this charmed circle, where the countryside begins, the Ancient is, that they with Wizarding eyes behold: the land everlasting, sacred with circles and henges, horse-carven, stream-scrolled and fluted, rich; otters and voles slide into the waters and play in the wild cress, dormice sleep in coppiced woods that are carpeted with bluebells, foxes and deer, nightingales and woodcock, make them their homes in ancient woods of oak and ash, beech and silver birch; and the great bustard once again makes the downs its home.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

It is thusly that Harry and Draco spend their days in peace, slipping seamlessly between the Muggle and Wizarding worlds, as the church bells ring, from Salisbury to Marlborough, from Downton to Pewsey, all across the county in the eventide.

It should be a perfect idyll.

People talk. People will always talk. The Wizarding world is smaller and more insular in many ways than any Muggle villages, and there is talk in it. Aurors and Unspeakables, Muggle policemen, all alike rely on there being talk. Nine and ninety times in a hundred, there is nothing in it, nothing in the incessant Talk, the lowered voices, trailed-off sentences, eloquent silences, significantly raised brows. It is the hundredth time, always, that makes the headlines, crowns policemen’s careers, is printed and bound as the newest volume in Famous Trials.

There are those who talk. As the memory of the War fades, there is talk. Talk of Harry and Draco. Zacharias Smith may have served on the side of the angels, but he remains himself, waspish, envious, maliciously gossipy. He despises and resents Draco. He envies and resents Harry. He thinks himself slighted by their prominence, among other things. He is one who passes on the talk, fans the flames of talk. There are many Witches, not all of them Old Slytherins by any means, whose gratitude for the victory won and their own sour fates averted, cannot overcome their resentment and distaste, their jealousy of Draco’s having Harry or Harry, Draco. They talk, incessantly, increasingly.

People talked. The Victors, those who did bestride the post-War world, the heroes of the War, did not hear the talk, could not warn Harry and Draco. Since the War, they’d grown more than a trifle sloppy, careless: no one, after all, wished to live the way Mad-Eye Moody had done.

And so people talked, and the whispers grew louder.

Not that anyone wants the old Malfoy back, but….

Oh, on his own he’s still – well, no, he’s not as bad as he was, but – still arrogant….

I never thought I’d see Ferret Boy look to Potter for approval….

It’s as if Potter owns him….

It’s as if he – he, well, it’s more as if … he hesitates and seems to want Potty’s permission before he moves or speaks or what have you, I hate the git as much as anyone, but this is bloody unnerving, eerie….

It’s as if he’s enslaved….

Enthralled….

Bound….

Under the Imperius curse….

Used like the little bitch he is – Potter’s bitch….

Potter always has thought himself above the rules….

Potter’s always been allowed to get by with absolute murder….

I never did trust Potty….

_________________

The interior of the sphere clouded, like a blazing building’s smoke, then cleared….

Draco was with them now, with Harry and Arthur and Remus. He was as angry as Harry was.

‘TALK? GOSSIP? A lot of poison-tongued old women of both sexes – I’m perfectly certain Smith is amongst them – and the sodding Minister is moved by mere rumour and scandal and poison-pen letters, I suppose, to intervene in my, our, personal life? Sod that for a game of Aurors!’

‘Draco –’

‘Belt up, Harry!’ Draco looked sidelong at Lupin. ‘What, you believed I was too submissive to the Man Who Wanks to tell him off? That I’m his bitch? How dare you be so presumptuous. I damned well ought –’

‘Mr Malfoy.’ Arthur hadn’t called Draco that, or used that tone with him, in years. ‘I’ll thank you to realise we are trying to set this to rest without open scandal, in your and Harry’s own interests, and I’m damned if I’ll sit here and let you barrack me and Lupin over it. I’ve called in every chit I hold, to rein in the Aurors’s suspicions and to keep the Prophet from running a leading article demanding that Harry be investigated for suspicion of keeping you under Imperio as a means of securing abstruse sexual favours from you, and I really don’t particularly care to be met with bald ingratitude for my forbearance. Accordingly –’

‘FINE!’ Draco’s answering snarl, like Arthur’s severity, was a throwback to the worst days before the War. ‘I’ll sick up my brains into a Pensieve for your perusal, then, and be damned to you!’

_________________

The scenes the sphere showed came and went with dazzling rapidity, like images flashed briefly on a screen: fragments of memories from Harry’s perspective and from Draco’s, jumbled, inchoate, within the silvery liquid of a Pensieve in a possible future….

Draco throwing down the Prophet. ‘Apparently, we spend all our time “plundering” each other’s bodies. Sounds like the sort of purple prose one used to find in those awful robe-ripper romances Mummy used to devour, the ones from Bills and Moon. “Billing and Cooing”, we used to call them. Malfoys don’t “plunder”, I don’t think – I mean, in bed? What’s sexual “plundering”, then, when it’s at home?’

‘Dunno. I always associated plundering with looting and pillage.’

‘Oh. Well, Malfoys do do that. But not in bed, only when sacking someplace.’

Draco spread upon the counterpane like a banquet of erotic delectation, arching with need, wanton. ‘Please, Harry, please. We ought to’ve considered this plundering business long ago – ohhhh!’

Draco, pertly posed, his eyes half-lidded, his voice throaty. ‘I was bad today. And I’m going to keep being naughty until you punish me properly….’

Draco on his knees, his hands bound behind him with Incarcerous. ‘You could make me be anything, do anything. You could force me, make me choke on it – mmmph….

Draco on his knees, his hands bound behind him with Incarcerous, deep-throating a furiously thrusting Harry, Draco’s own neglected erection achingly hard, engorged, untouchable, Draco’s pelvis making helpless, needy, hunching thrusts into thin air.

Draco kneeling, naked, before a leather-clad Harry, open to his every whim, shuddering as Harry’s gloved hand toys idly with Draco’s left nipple.

Draco, wrists and ankles bound to the corner-posts, writhing beneath Harry.

Draco shuddering, convulsing, spasming with release, without any touch – save the slow stroking of Harry’s hard hands upon Draco’s enflamed and well-spanked arse.

Draco begging, with tears, to be caned, spanked, to be made penitent and granted absolution for all his past.

Draco moaning, inarticulate, coming slowly apart as Harry rims him into delirium.

Draco’s delicate mouth dripping with a slur of words, begging, babbling mindlessly, slut bitch use pet need want fuck.

Draco goading Harry.

Draco weeping as Harry soothes him.

Draco naked, eyes downcast, posture submissive, before an elegantly clad Harry, a Harry instinct with power and control.

Draco stammering as he asks to give over control to Harry, and Harry taken aback, still so very young, so naïve.

Harry gathering Draco in his arms and soothing him, murmuring comfort, pledging to grant Draco whatever it is he needs to have to work through his burdens, no matter what discomfort the scenario prompts in Harry.

_________________

The interior of the sphere cleared….

‘Well,’ Lupin said, flatly, his face impassive. ‘They do call it the English vice, after all. You’d’ve made quite the public schoolboy, Draco.’

‘Don’t goad me, Remus!’ Draco’s eyes were blazing. ‘Only Harry is allowed to do that. Allowed, by me. People have the damnedest idea of where the power truly lies in these matters, it’s quite laughable, really. I don’t expect you to understand! None of you ever have, after all. Even you, even Albus, even those of you who did love and care about Harry! Even you were content to hone him into an edged weapon, and his wants be damned.

‘This is not all of who we are, this isn’t even the most of it, even in the bedroom, much less in our lives as whole – and we do have lives outside the bedroom, damn it all! But we wanted this, it’s still a part of our play sometimes, by no means the whole of it, but – a part. And why? Because I used to hide behind the pretence of not having choices, not having control, when I had too much, no limits, the spoilt child who is spoilt because no one cares enough to discipline him. Because when I did have control, made what I thought were my own choices, I chose so badly it doesn’t bear thinking on. Because I needed absolution. Because the only time Harry ever had control was when you lot finally let him loose to kill or die against Voldemort, a threat none of you would face! It’s what Harry was in want of and I gave it, I gave it because I wanted to, needed to! It was my choice, and it was about my need. We needed it, I shan’t apologise for it, and I’m damned if a sudden run of prurient rumour is going to dictate how we deal with our demons and live our lives! I don’t expect either of you to understand –’

‘Don’t be so certain,’ Remus said, quietly.

He had a faraway look in his eye, and Harry, at least, knew enough to know he was remembering Sirius, at least, and … perhaps …. thinking of another lover from the House of Black as well.

Not even Harry could imagine that Arthur, also, was reflecting upon echoes from the past, of how wars and losses creep into one’s very bedroom, of fights and quarrels and making up, and needs grown raw under the stress of war and threat; of protectiveness gone mad, and issues of control, and even of an accusation of mollycoddling and a threat in return of a hex with a case of the collywobbles – a quarrel that had in the end led to hysterical laughter, tearful and slightly tipsy reconciliation, and an infamous, portmanteau pet name.

‘I think we can consider the matter closed,’ Arthur said, quietly. ‘I’ll minute that –’ he scrawled a few brief words on a scrap of parchment – ‘and if you wish, you can memory charm us now.’

______________________

Trembling, stricken, a Seer who wanted not to have seen, Trelawney tears herself away at last from the sphere, released from its thrall, and staggers from the room.

When she is gone, unregarded, unmissed, the sphere, glowing with a sickly emerald light, shows one last scene….

They have resumed their blameless public lives. Harry cherishes Draco’s independence, is aroused by his public confidence and swagger, and Draco no longer betrays dependence, submissiveness, in public. The talk is stilled. Their lives are quiet, respectable, indeed edifying: the repose of the warrior; the fruits of peace.

All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making.

They are in their bedroom. The idyllic public world, and Draco’s public confidence and swagger, that is so piquant a contrast to what goes on behind these doors, has no place here. Draco adverts to the meeting with Remus and Arthur, now some months past, and smirks. It is a seductive and corrupting smirk, a smirk indeed at once corrupting and corrupted.

‘Wasn’t I your good little boy. Wasn’t I clever with them? Your cunning little Slytherin, your dragonlet, your pet….’

Harry’s smirk is the mirror of Draco’s own. With an incantation, wandless and wordless, he divests Draco of his clothing, leaving him naked, hard, his nipples as tumescent and engorged as his heavy, hooded erection, his eyes hungry, and not his eyes only. With an incantation, wandless and wordless, Harry transforms his commonplace country tweeds into a few scraps of leather. He is as hard for his good little boy, his cunning little Slytherin, his dragonlet, his pet, as Draco is for him.

‘Yes,’ Harry says. The terminal sibilant is almost a hiss. Draco keens, low, in his throat, flushing all over with desire. ‘You deserve a reward, you’ve earned it, my little dragon, my sweet, wanton pet. Yes: you may touch.’

Draco falls fluidly, gracefully, to his knees, and with the swiftness of a darting snake, pulls Harry’s member free and swallows him whole. Harry permits him a few deep strokes, then administers a light slap to Draco’s forehead. Draco pulls his mouth away, with agonising slowness, reluctantly. Harry nods towards the bed. ‘On your back, pet, for your reward.’

Draco moves avidly to the bed, but he is not quick enough. Harry administers two swift, stinging slaps to Draco’s inner thighs, prompting him to spread his legs apart, hastily, eagerly. Draco whimpers as Harry’s head dips, Draco writhes under the sure assault of a tongue that seizes and takes and demands.

‘Please,’ Draco begs.

‘What do you want, pet?’ Harry is smirking, still.

Draco, mute, pushes his spread and wanting arse forward, in needy little half-thrusts.

‘Does my little pet dragon want a reward?’

Draco whimpers, again.

‘So pretty, so cunning, my little pet. So wanton. So wanting.’

Draco is moaning now, rocking slightly.

‘Do you want to be mine, pet?’

Draco squeezes his eyes shut, afraid to answer, afraid almost to move, afraid to look lest this all end too soon.

Harry’s chortle sounds dark and rich, like chocolate and port wine. Draco is already prepared for him: Draco is always prepared for him, always ready and wanting and prepared. Always.

With one smooth and powerful thrust he enters him, hooking Draco’s legs over his shoulders, seating himself in with a quick shove. Draco is moaning loudly now, hunching back, his heels on Harry’s back drumming a plea for more more more.

‘Mine,’ Harry says, in Parseltongue, and Draco comes apart at the seams.

________________

END

________________

I hope that was worth staying up for.

Tags: , ,

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Comments
From: balfrog Date: August 29th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Why is it the end??? Just when I'm in my D/s kick for all sorts of slashy reading, why does it end there? A series! that's what it should be - such a yummy long runnign series it'll be too!
:D
:D
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 29th, 2005 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Good Lord.

... I've enough to be going on with, with annotating GIGH and writing a sequel to that.

Thank you, though, for your kindness.
From: balfrog Date: August 29th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Good Lord.

but you made all these pronny Harry icons - and he needs a workout!
hehe- maybe I'll just sit here and read it again.
:D
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 29th, 2005 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Darling....

Judging by those abdominals, he needs a workout rather less urgently than does anyone I know.
viverra_libro From: viverra_libro Date: August 29th, 2005 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoa. Reading this was like finding an authentic Dior bag at Target: delightul, and wholly unexpected. This was exceedingly well-written, and I love, love, love the twist at the end. But I have to add my pleas to those above: More, please!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 29th, 2005 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank You.

You're far too kind. ('My blushes, Watson!') I'm glad it pleased and amused.
simmysim From: simmysim Date: August 29th, 2005 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)
That was amazing! I adore this, would you consider posting it on bottom_draco? I know a lot of people there who would love to read porn as eloquently written as this. X3
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 29th, 2005 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Lor'.

Well, that's quite the compliment, and I'm duly chuffed. And honoured, and shall do as you so kindly ask.
aquatryst From: aquatryst Date: August 29th, 2005 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Most definitely worth staying up for. This was a sensory delight. I loved:

" . . . stream-scrolled and fluted, rich; otters and voles slide into the waters and play in the wild cress, . . . "

" . . . and it was paned, not in glass, but rather in tissue-thin and iron-stout panes of transparent crystalline minerals, each lightly tinted in jewelled colours . . . "

" . . . summery cream tea on long, trestle tables."


The whole passage about the seaside resort was brilliant - the wizards falling off and hitting wards two inches from sand and water, the exploding Tuba, and how the Pavillion was conceived.

The way the italicized rumour passage shifts from suspicions of Draco to indictment of Harry. The text, itself, dwindles then grows!

The sex was hot. I'll leave it at that. :)

How deftly they played those two wounded war veterans and how Trelawney emerges as the true Seer, yet again. My prediction on Trelawney? She goes all-the-way-mad or Harry sics Draco on her.

If you have no objection, I'd like to save this to memories.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 29th, 2005 07:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank You, Vy Much.

You're awfully kind to say so.

And I also expect, as Ollivander wd say, great things of Syb in the final volume.

I'm vy honoured that it pleased you so, and don't ever feel you need ask to pay me such a compliment as saving something to memory. It's an honour.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: August 29th, 2005 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
{whew!} You scared me with that warning of darkness. I thought somebody was going to die horribly or turn evil. So, what, Trelawney ODs on gay SM porn?
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 29th, 2005 07:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Well....

It's subtle, or is meant to be, but I did imagine some wd find this dark-ish.

And I'd think Syb by now wd have a tolerance for slash, I'm quite sure she reads it in that dratted draughty tower of hers.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 29th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Right You Are, Duchess.

Because 'midday on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday' is the proper time for reading cricket slash. (Late Wednesday nights are for snooker slash.)

Despite which, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and chuffed that you said so, O My Mentoress in All Things LJ, Mistress of the Far Slashed Horizons, and She Who Must Be, If Not Obeyed, At Least Agreed With.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 29th, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

'Is There Cricket Slash', Asks Fran. HAH!

'Course there is, love.

playingstraight.
From: seneska Date: August 29th, 2005 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was wonderful. I'm over the moon that you've managed to write us a story when I know you've got a sequel to write, the Ashes to watch and so on.
Thank you so much,

Sen
xx
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 29th, 2005 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well, Thank God for Hols.

So long as you're pleased, m'dear.

Thanks for the kind words and - I see - the 'plug'.
From: seneska Date: August 29th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well, Thank God for Hols.

Least I could do.

And you managed to mention the cricket slash community in the comments list, so I feel I should write somewthing in payemnt for the advertisment.

xx
centricity From: centricity Date: August 31st, 2005 09:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I am appalled--no, really, appalled--that it took me two days to read this. I've had it open on my desktep, awaiting time enough to sit and slash, which hasn't been plentiful of late. I am appalled that I didn't shuck off any other plans I had.

And I'd love to leave a more meaningful, in-depth review; I have no few words to describe my admiration for this, and for you. (No, really. I don't fangirl lightly, but... My God.)

I am a fairly well-read English Literature major. I do not balk at Hemingway, or Faulkner, or Marlowe. I have more books than pieces of clothing, socks, panties, and eight pairs of black high heels included, and I've read them all at least once; most, twice; and dozens, dozens. I own books on words, books on books, and books on grammar. I say this because I want you to understand my full meaning when I say this: Your vocabulary boggles my mind. Sedulously, annealed, dross... hewed, gustatory, immemorial... insular, abstruse, rapidity... inchoate, piquant... The interesting use of the word, 'barrack...' That someone could use these, use these judiciously, and use them correctly, consistently, impresses me. I do not, even in my chosen field of study, often find someone so saturated in a love of words. And, my lovely, you obviously have a love of words. I appreciate that on a level so deep as to be visceral.

"All perfectly natural. All so idyllic as to be sick-making."
The repetition of this statement, in varying rhythms, as a staple in the piece, as a benchmark, as a column to support the pantheon, is stylistic in a way I haven't words to describe. It's poetic, in the very best of ways.

if defeating a troll makes for bonds of friendship, winning a war together makes a family
What a lovely analogy to draw, and the parallel construction underscores the comparison.

(and until their generation was dust, that title standing alone would always refer to none but Albus)
Oh. Oh, my. This hit home in a way that no few statements in fanfiction, HP canon, or literature have done, not the least of which was, "I am not worried, Harry [...] I am with you."

I know that this comment, this reply, has been long--perhaps too; I do have a tendancy to ramble when I'm excited, or feel strongly about something. I hope you will excuse my exuberance. It isn't often that I find a gem such as this, and I can only hope I have conveyed a portion of my regard.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 31st, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank You, Vy Much.

I am, I assure you, always glad to hear that something's worked (or, of course, when it hasn't). I am still more gratified when I find another who, like me, can get drunk on words. I am vy pleased that what cd have been donnish and contrived (because, you know, I rather often am) was, for you at least as reader, spot-on. I am more pleased still that you so kindly wrote to tell me so.

Lovely to hear from you, and I'm honoured by yr praise.
avus From: avus Date: September 5th, 2005 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've read your one-shot, and found it entirely characteristic of your wonderful use of words. You really are a virtuoso at creating a marvelous feast of pastry which hides the knife & the point. But as this has been well-commented on -- and I particularly like that lengthy review; says it better than I could -- let us agree that I've said that, too, and move on to Other Things.

You came close to enlightening me. I mean that, and I value that. Though to explain, I fear I may offend. But as we've always been able to patch up my clumsinesses, in the interest of honesty, I'll try.

It's the BDSM. First, egotistically, two points about me: 1. That's not in me; I'm tonedeaf to it, both in fantasy & in RL. I've certainly worked w/ clients where BDSM sex was involved -- not, I hasten to add, to change them -- what for? -- but around other sexual issues. And I've always been conscious that.... I could understand them, but I didn't understand them at any fundamental level. Does that make sense?

2. It's not only that I'm BDSM tonedeaf, but.... And this is harder for me to describe, and I'm concerned about offending, which is not my intent. I've been leary about it, the combining of violence, even consensual violence, even make-believe consensual violence & sex. I've spent so much of my career cleaning up other people's messes around violence & sex (non-consensual). Can you understand that, while I understand & understand there is a vast difference here, by background... well, it's more than predisposes me to that leariness? Let me assure you, it's nothing about it being "unnatural" or anything like that. But the link between violence & sex at any level is, for me, a bit unnerving even.

Now, if that's poorly said, please say so, and correct me or ask me to redo it. If not, we can go on.

I have read some fanfic around BDSM. And, frankly, it's so often seemed like the slash fanfic I've read -- written mainly by women who, speaking as a male, don't seem to quite get it. In the same way, I freely confess that I need a Britpicker, I would suggest to most authors of the admittedly not large number of slash fics I've read, that they "gaypick" it, or at least "malepick" it. (Graceless sentence, wasn't it?) I've had that same sense around the BDSM, though, again admittedly, I've read even less of that.

Your BDSM had none of that at all. Bravo. More, that enlightenment piece -- it's not that I could say that I understand, and certainly not that I could replicate it authorially. But I sensed something there other than the violence which, combined w/ sex, makes me so uneasy. Yet more, it came close to putting that violence into a context that altered it -- not quite out of my uneasy zone, but in that direction. And for that, I thank you. I probably need to reread & think about this more, to be more precise. But I wanted to share that w/ you, afraid that I'll be driven away by the busy RL that's all around me.

My wife is telling me it's time to leave. Grandchildren await! I'll get back to you on the rest of my review.

Good job!

Respectfully,

avus
wemyss From: wemyss Date: September 5th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank You.

I'm not one for violence, per se, with sex: not in the least.

Domination play, control issues play: yes. Because, really, who has the power here? The one who has access? Or the one, allegedly submitting and submissive, who grants or withholds?

(Mind you, I'm quite 'good plain cooking' in my actual private life: I mean, there have been a handcuffed scene or two over the years, but that is all, really. The point is that these are indeed as they are called: 'scenes', and all is acting, all the world a stage and all the men merely players.)

I await yr further insight, with gratitude.
avus From: avus Date: September 6th, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank You.

I fear the wait my be long for my response -- I'm off w/ my wife to do Dreaded Billing, a monthly experience a bit like the flagelants, or at least the Penitentes. (This after a glorious time w/ the grandkids.) And the wait, I know, will be even longer if you're expecting insight -- that just might be eternal.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: September 7th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

When You Can, Dear Fellow, When You Can.

I'm certain my patience shall be rewarded.
jennavere From: jennavere Date: September 5th, 2005 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just wanted to let you know that I thought this was wonderful. Your prose is elegant and a joy to read. The tale was captivating. Draco's impassioned speech to Remus and Arthur at the end was spot on as well. I especially liked his line about the spoilt child who is spoilt because no one cares enough to discipline him. I thought that was a very apt way to describe how Draco's childhood might have been.

I also liked Draco's discussion of power and where it truly lies in a D/s relationship. I don't know if you will consider this praise, since I will readily admit to not knowing that much about D/s sex or lifestyles, but your story seemed to illustrate it beautifully.

This was excellent, I really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for sharing!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: September 5th, 2005 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Praise From the Dragon-Tamer is Praise, Indeed.

Thank you.

That means a great deal, coming from the creator of DLM III. I'm flattered. Indeed, honoured.
jennavere From: jennavere Date: September 6th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Praise From the Dragon-Tamer is Praise, Indeed.

*blinks in shock*

You read Dragon Tamer? Really? Wow...now I'm outrageously flattered, I would never have expected you to have read it. Your story is so good, so lyrical and well-written and moving, and mine was...well, the terms "man-bag" and "chock-full of appalling Americanisms" come to mind.

But thank you so much! I'll be sure to check out your other story, Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: September 7th, 2005 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

All Vy True.

Americanisms, anachronisms: all that.

But it is also screamingly funny, and the humour, better still, derives from the comedy of manners and similar wellsprings. Even thus early in yr writings, you did not fall into the mistake of equating OOC with 'funny'.

So, yes, I've read it, and will always cherish the image of Harry's cranky little dragon finding that his death glare doesn't work on mornings-after.
From: ex_ella_bane358 Date: September 20th, 2005 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Better late than never . . .

I'm sorry I took so long to respond to this piece! I've read through the comments above and I have nothing of importance to add other than this: I enjoyed reading your story very much. I especially admire the structure and exquisite language. Wonderful!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: September 20th, 2005 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not Late At All. Thank You.

I felt that way about Hall of Mirrors: after the first twenty superlatives, there was nothing I cd add.
bonfoi From: bonfoi Date: October 4th, 2005 08:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, that most definitely was worth blowing my alloted eight hours of shut-eye for!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 4th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank You.

Though I must apologise for cutting into your sleep. There's nothing more important, at least at my age, than a decent kip.

Lovely icon, by the bye.
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