Despoiling Harry

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The characters and the situations within these fanfiction stories are not my property. They are the property of J.K. Rowling, Warner Brothers, and others, and are used without permission; challenge to copyright is not intended and should not be construed. No profit is being made from the use of these characters and situations; these written-down imaginings are only presented in an internet forum for the interest of and consumption by the like-minded individuals who enjoy them and recognize them as unauthorized fanfiction only, and are not in any way meant to be confused with the originals NOR presented as authorized materials of these owners.

A Little Touch Of Harry In the Night
by Amanuensis

A Potterverse take on Shakespeare's Henry V with an AU Harry who's not really as nice as we remember him. Bit of a bastard, actually. That's okay; I got to write more sex that way. Shakespeare purists will just freak.
Pairings: Harry/Ron/Hermione, Harry/Colin, Harry/Snape, Harry/Draco (plus a bit of Slytherin debauchery)
Categories: AU, Drama/Angst
Notes:  Conceived and mostly written prior to Book 5; therefore, there are no OotP spoilers. Deliberately, none.
The title, and chapter titles, are taken directly from the text of Henry V.
Thanks to wonderful, incomparable betas Fabula Rasa and Isis.


Henry: What are you?
Pistol:     As good a gentleman as the Emperor.
Henry: Then you are a better than the King.
Pistol:     The King's a bawcock, and a heart of gold,
A lad of life, an imp of fame,
Of parents good, of fist most valiant.
I kiss his dirty shoe, and from heart-string
I love the lovely bully. What is thy name?
Henry: Harry Le Roy.

-Henry V, Act IV, Scene i

I: A Merry Message


"May I respectfully request that your suggestion that the Heirs of Slytherin abolish our mandate, our abode, our principles, and give over all to your so-called authority, be folded until it is all sharp corners, and then inserted quite, quite roughly into the body cavity of your choice, of which the eye socket, bereft of its formerly intact orb, would not at all displease us, contrary to the usual expectations of selecting an orifice of insult. You speak of peacemaking. We do not understand what need there is to speak of peace, when we have no war with you. Do as you will, treat as you will, with the Muggle population. The Heirs of Slytherin are an independent assembly, and those who choose to reside with us, concur with us, and accept our philosophy that Muggles are no better than chattel, will find their interests protected here. The death of Lord Voldemort was, you believe, a boon. The Heirs of Slytherin mourn his passing, for he was bold enough to give order to our cause in this century, though his intemperate methods ultimately served us less usefully than he wished. Yet his creed was, is, ours. Do not seek to sway us, or claim that we have any such duty to submit. In this we are resolute.

"I send particular word to one of your number whose glory shines with pretended brilliance: like that of a counterfeit galleon. We find it laughable that he is considered even a figurehead, let alone a member of your governing council, and suggest that he pursue, instead, the sort of activities suitable for a fledgling wizard boy such as himself, and which will undoubtedly be enough to burn off that infantile exuberance of his. The accompanying gift should serve him well. Let him remember to keep to such light distractions.


"Lucius Malfoy,

"Chief Warlock,

"Order of the Heirs of Slytherin."

Sirius folded the parchment back into threes. There was silence. Then:

"Well, at least he used the word 'respectfully.'"

"Shut up, Snape." Remus didn't bother to scowl. "So much for the peaceable end that Voldemort's death was supposed to bring."

"What's the gift?"

It was said so quietly that all of them turned to look at Harry.

Harry's face was quite expressionless. All of them in the room were familiar with that look, and there was not a one of them who did not feel as though something cold had brushed the hairs on the back of his neck.

Though all of them thought it, none would ever voice it: it was still unnerving to see him without his glasses. It should have been merely different, or odd at worst. But instead, it was unnerving.

Sirius held the small chest that the owl had borne along with the replying parchment. It had a catch to prevent it from accidentally opening, but was unlocked. All of them could hear the little knocking thuds that came from within, patternless and tentative.

"Open it," Harry said.

Sirius palmed his wand, raised it over the chest.

Harry waved his hand impatiently. "Just open it, Sirius."

Sirius read Harry's look, and then-- not putting his wand down, just in case-- thumbed the catch on the chest. The lid swung back smoothly, and the chest's inhabitant came free, fluttering on its little silver wings, gold surface shimmering as it shot up to the ceiling and began to perform loop-de-loops, as if eager for the exercise after having been shut up for so long.

Harry's eyes were on the Snitch. But all other eyes in the room were on Harry.

Who did not change expression, even now.

Snape's voice was almost airily dismissive. "Rude, I'll grant you, but less so than, oh, say, a pair of severed grindylow's testicles."

Harry still hadn't spoken.

And when he did, it was not to any of the men in the room.

They heard him chuckle. "Look, Hedwig...Malfoy thinks I'm fit for Quidditch and nothing better." He beckoned to the white owl, who left her perch near Sirius and flew the short distance to Harry's arm. He stroked the owl's head lovingly. "He wasn't content with one insult in that letter; no, he went out of his way to direct one at me personally. And he made my own owl carry that thing; really, I think it's just beyond rude, Severus. Poor girl, you must be so tired. Let's see if we can't find you something to eat, shall we?"

He stood, his attention still on Hedwig, who was content to be carried on his arm, reaching her sleek head out to touch Harry's lips with her beak as he continued to murmur at her as he made his way around the table. "No, they're not fit to associate with decent wizarding folk, are they, Hedwig? Which is funny, since they think that they're the only decent wizarding folk...Well." He stopped and looked at the others at last. "I suppose that's that, isn't it? We're going to have to show them that our definition of 'decent' doesn't mean 'powerless,' does it? Doesn't mean we're going to sit here and wring our hands in terror, does it? Doesn't mean we aren't going to bring them to heel like bad puppies, does it? No offense, Sirius."

Remus had risen, stood against the wall with his arms folded. "No, Harry, there's no dissent. We will not allow the Heirs of Slytherin to stand, exempt from the laws that forbid wizards to prey upon Muggles."

Harry smiled, not pleasantly. "Get another owl to tell them that we are coming. I'm not having Hedwig make another trip. We.. are coming, yes? Just so we're all clear on that."

Sirius and Snape exchanged a look. "They have asked for a battle. A battle it shall be."

"Good." Harry let his own wand fall into his hand, glanced at the ceiling. "Accio Snitch."

The golden ball smacked into Harry's hand as if it had been shot from a crossbow.

Harry had still been able to tuck his wand away and stand ready for it, hand open, in that minute amount of time.

Snitch in hand, Hedwig on his arm, Harry left the room, still crooning appreciatively at the white bird as he went.

"I thought that particular move was illegal in Quidditch, " said Snape.

"Oh, shut up," said Remus.

II: Three Sworn Brothers

"Get that, would you, 'Mione?" said Ron, fishing a string of spaghetti out of the pot of boiling water. No matter how many times he'd tried it, a Deprehendo al dente charm was just no substitute for the flinging-it-on-the-wall-and-seeing-if-it-sticks method. And it was more fun, besides.

The knock sounded again at the door before Hermione got there; Ron heard the soft click as she turned the knob.

Softer still was the sound of her inhale. But he heard it, all the same. And knew who had to be standing at the door even before she said, "Harry?"

He possessed enough rational thought to turn the cooker off before he left the kitchen.

Hermione was already wrapped in his arms, and Harry in hers; it was like that, every time. She was so quick to be understanding, so quick to forgive. Even if she ached inside, as Ron knew she did.

Because he bloody well hurt, all the time.

And then Harry turned his face away from Hermione's hair, just enough to look at Ron, and that was it, that look, it was all all right again, of course he forgave Harry, how could he not, this was Harry, after all, and too many choices had been made for him, it wasn't his fault. Wasn't all his fault, anyway.

And it was Harry.

Hermione released him so that he could go to Ron, and Harry didn't shake hands, didn't give him a friendly punch on the shoulder either; Harry didn't do that with Ron. Nor did he embrace him and kiss him on both cheeks like some Euro-continental affectation; no, what he did do was always enough to make Ron's mouth go dry without being the least bit girly or odd or pretentious. He simply reached out with one hand and put it on Ron's shoulder, though not exactly on the shoulder; it wasn't anything remotely paternal. No, that hand always came to rest exactly on the side of his neck, Harry's thumb rising just above as if to stroke along the side of his neck, but only as if; he didn't stroke, just rested it there, and yet the feeling of it alongside his neck, and the look Harry always gave him when he did that, never smiling, but never looking away from his eyes either, was more intimate than if he had caressed him, more knowing than if he'd kissed him.

"Ron," Harry said, and again, it was enough.

Ron swallowed. "It's good to see you," he said, trying to reach some level of normalcy.

Harry nodded. He was already reaching out for Hermione's hand, pulling her close without taking his eyes off Ron. "It's started."

That was the sort of thing that let Ron forgive him, each time. Harry never said, "I've missed you," or "I wish I had more time to come see you." Not that he didn't miss them-- he did, Ron hadn't stopped believing that. But Harry didn't waste time with it. He'd made a decision to be part of the inner circle, when they had needed him, and needed so much of him. Needed him in a place Ron and Hermione couldn't go. And Harry had agreed to that, and not asked Ron and Hermione's pardon, so that they would never have felt that they had to give it.

That was why he forgave Harry, every time.

Ron made himself process what Harry had said, just now, instead of dwelling on his gratitude for what he hadn't. "What has?"

But Hermione had already gotten it. "They won't back down, then."

Ah. Bloody Malfoy and his ilk. "No chance of compromise, is there."

The look in Harry's eyes changed, and suddenly Ron knew that no, he didn't forgive Harry, he couldn't ever forgive Harry, not for becoming someone who could look at him like that. Someone who could give him a look that said, "You sad ignorant fool, you don't get it, and you'll always be one step behind because there's no place for you at my side anymore, there can't be. I don't do sidekicks, my former hanger-on."


No, Harry didn't say that with that look. Ron just...couldn't help but feel it, that was all.

It... wasn't completely false.

But it was Hermione who was saying, "They can't compromise, Ron, you know that. There's no place for compromise in this. Either the Heirs of Slytherin disband, agree to abide by the laws, or they've got to be put down. You can't have one faction in Wizarding oppressing Muggles and saying they live by different rules."

"I just meant-- oh, forget it."

"They won't back down, and we can't reach a compromise." Ron wondered how he could have ever seen what he'd thought he'd seen in Harry's expression. There was no trace of contempt, of unkindness. This was Harry. How could Ron have ever thought that of him? "So it's going to be war."

Hermione nodded in an of course kind of way.

"You'll be there, both of you, won't you?"

Ron froze. He waited for Hermione to speak up, to say what she'd just nodded.

But she didn't.

Harry looked between the two of them. "I need you."

And this time Hermione did speak. "Oh, Harry. No. No, you don't." She dropped his hand and stepped back.

Absurdly, Ron wanted to reach out to her and bring her back to them. Absurd because what he should have done was step away from Harry, towards her, to be with her and her alone.

But he didn't, couldn't step away when he said, "She's right. You...don't need us for this, Harry."

It wasn't hurt on Harry's face. No, not hurt. And certainly not bewilderment, for if Ron had seen that look in response, he not only would have pulled away... he very likely would have decked him.

No, Harry was quite calm. "Do you know what we are going to do?" he said softly, looking at neither of them now, but somewhere in between. "We wanted the killing to stop. Voldemort had to be stopped, and that meant he had to die. And he did. He died, and it stopped." Ron knew that Harry would not say I killed him, not because he was ashamed or avoiding it, but because it would have been using it for sympathy, and Harry would never do anything so... obvious. "And now it's going to happen all over again. The Heirs of Slytherin will pick up right where their master left off. So we aren't done yet, after all. And it's not going to be one death that will end it this time. Wizard against wizard, there will be fighting, and there will be more death. And even among those who believe that the Heirs of Slytherin are wrong, there are still those who think that Muggles aren't worth it. Not worth wizard against wizard." He looked up. "How can you say I don't need you?"

Hermione bit her lip. Ron always thought she looked beautiful when she did that; she did it often in concentration, and more than once he'd had to interrupt her concentration to kiss her. But right now it hurt to hear her voice break as she said, "Because you don't, Harry. You haven't needed us for a long time. The council has all of you, and you made yourself into someone who doesn't need anyone outside of them. Not that we don't still love you... not that you don't still love us. But you don't need us."

"What is it you think you need us for?" said Ron, and his own voice was raspy.

Harry looked at him. "I need you, Ron, not because you're my past. But because you're my constants. I... How do you expect me to do this if you don't believe we're right? You, of all people? That's what you are to me. My voices of right. The council plots and plans, and I plot and plan... and then come the times when plotting and planning don't mean shite and I need to know that what we're doing is really the right thing, all of it."

Damn him. Damn him for doing this. For telling them the truth.

Harry couldn't lie, no. Couldn't tell them something they wanted to hear instead, something to make him less vulnerable after all, or something that could make them feel glad about how he needed them.

No, he told the truth... knowing they would not be able to turn away from it. Or from him.

Because Harry was necessary. To everything.

Hermione had turned away; she felt it too. "I... hate that you never came to Hagrid's funeral. That you didn't, and you never apologized for it."

Ron winced inwardly because he knew that Hermione was grasping at straws of justification for her anger. None of that mattered, and they all knew it.

And yet Harry didn't try to avoid that point either. He pulled Hermione back to face him, setting his fingertips lightly under her jawline. "If I could have done anything, anything to make Hagrid not die, or bring him back to life, I would have, and I know you know that. Hagrid wasn't at his funeral, Hermione. I couldn't honor Hagrid by being somewhere that he wasn't, that day. I couldn't, and I'm not sorry that I didn't go... I'm only sorry that it hurt you that I wasn't there. But don't use Hagrid this way, if it's me you're angry at. He wouldn't like it."

Ron could see what was happening to Hermione's mouth. She was suddenly on the verge of tears. "I hate this all the time. And sometimes I hate you. Even though I love you and you're right and being used like this, being your foundation without being able to really be your friend anymore, is necessary, is bigger than we are, I hate you for it, sometimes."

Harry used the fingertips that he had under her chin to lift her face and draw it to his. He kissed her, once, at the corner of her mouth, and then on the mouth itself, and Ron could hear the sound she made, the little whimper as her tears spilled over, and her arms lifted to encircle Harry's neck as she let him kiss her, coaxing her lips into responsiveness with those small, repeated kisses that were like little segments of poetry, each one drawing you along to the next, and the next, until you finally got the message of what they were saying and were too moved to hide your response.

Harry wouldn't put an apology into words, no. He knew how they felt, knew they wouldn't be able to hear it and forgive him. Instead he gave them all that he had left to give: power over him. They could break him if they chose, refusing to wait for him like understudies-- no, less than that, much less, more like dressers, preparing the actor to mount a stage they'd never see.

But Ron knew they'd never do that. Because, as Hermione had said, it wasn't about them anymore.

And Harry had never wasted time lamenting the loss of his parents, his childhood, and now his right to an ordinary existence, the kind of existence that had friends and mundane pleasures and all the moments that make up the definition of life... not a cause that transformed him into a symbol instead of a person.

It was what was needed of him. What the world needed of him. And he'd agreed to pay that price.

And so had they.

The kisses were passionate now; Harry had his hands at the small of Hermione's back, bending her back slightly, Hermione clinging to his mouth with hers, and the whimpering noises were coming with each kiss. At last Hermione turned her head to the side with a gasp, and Harry let her, kissing her at that juncture of jaw and neck and ear where, Ron knew, he would feel that soft brush of fine hairs that she had there, which Ron also loved to kiss, and then gently down her neck to her collarbone, so that she arched into his arms even further.

One of which, Harry unwrapped from around her, and extended to Ron as he looked up from Hermione's neck.

Damn him, but he always had the timing for that down perfectly.

This was the other thing that he gave them, this other bite of power: he was so vulnerable like this; they could have rejected him in this as well, told him it was manipulative and avoiding the issue and not the kind of intimacy they wanted from him at all, but they knew he wasn't doing it to get around any of these things. It was the way he wanted them to be, this little piece, this little moment that made the loss of all the other moments a little less painful. That meant that none of them could forget that they had been three parts of a whole, because you don't forget what it's like to spend the night wrapped around your two best friends like this.

It was the way that Harry made them feel that there could never be this same kind of closeness with anyone else. No matter that Harry had other lovers; no matter that he and Hermione had each other. It took this, the three of them together, to make something that seemed indescribably right, in a way that nothing could threaten.

It always ended this way. And they let it.

Wanted it.

Ron let himself be pulled in to the twin embrace of Harry and Hermione, Harry leaning in to kiss him first, using his lips to gently catch at Ron's lower lip in that way that he had, that moist little caress that had Ron torn between returning the motion and staying very still so as not to miss a moment of it. His mouth opened, and Harry pressed his own mouth more firmly against his, his tongue licking at Ron's lower lip yet not doing more just yet, never hasty, never rushing.

Always perfect.

Hermione had his hand, and was leading it to her breast, and he knew without looking that Harry was doing the same thing, caressing Hermione's other breast through her jumper with one hand even as he was sliding his other hand to the back of Ron's neck to pull him deeper into the kiss. Now his tongue was seeking out the inside of Ron's mouth, stroking, tasting, and Ron had his free hand on the side of Harry's face, his fingers transmitting how utterly right it seemed to have Harry's cheek under them like that, and then his hand cupped around Hermione's breast and squeezed, feeling its softness give into his hand and he thought he might be overwhelmed right there and then.

Harry broke the kiss and turned and Ron did not need to be told what he had in mind. Ron dropped to his knees in front of Hermione; it seemed a natural moment of relief for legs that were already threatening to give way for him. Harry did the same, next to him, and his hands were rising to Hermione's waist, seeking to trap her there, one hand sliding around to her back as if to brace her. Ron heard Hermione inhale as his hands rose to join Harry's; then, in an unspoken coordination, both of them moved one hand from about Hermione's waist to slide under the bottom edge of her jumper, stroking along her belly until they'd reached her breasts, one at first trying to dive over the cup of her bra while the other was trying to work his way underneath the band of it, and the resulting awkward tangle only seemed to take Hermione even further off guard as she gasped, twisting under their hands, and oh, that was good, wasn't it, watching her mouth fall open as they each got a handful of her flesh, managing between them to work her bra up her chest, squeezing, fingers softly digging in so that she moaned.

She tried to take a step back, for balance, and that was when Harry took his hand away and reached down to encircle her ankle instead, leaving his fingers there just long enough for Hermione to feel that constricting circle, but then his hand began to stroke up her calf, over her knee and on to the inside of her thigh, and Ron saw Harry's hand disappear underneath Hermione's short skirt even as Harry kept his eyes on her face, and Hermione rewarded them with another gasp, yes, so sweet, and Ron made sure he was holding her at the waist securely enough to balance her as Harry pushed the hem of her skirt up and began to touch her with both hands, fingertips pressing the crotch of her knickers into her--Ron fancied he could hear the dampness as he did so-- still keeping his eyes on her face, which was flushed and starting to pant and absolutely beautiful.

When Harry reached up with one hand and began to tug at the waist of the knickers, Ron couldn't wait any longer, he slid his arm around Hermione's waist and used his other hand to push her jumper above her breasts, the elastic band of her bra pushed up across her chest just above them and making them jut out even further, and he pulled one nipple into his mouth, sucking and licking and feeling the nipple harden against his tongue, using his fingertips to catch and play with the other, and Hermione shuddered into him, and he was aware of her drawing her legs together as Harry pulled her knickers down to her ankles so that he could get them off, and then she was being made to spread her legs into a wide stance as Harry began to stroke her cunt with both hands, and Ron wanted to do that too, wanted Hermione to feel all of their hands fondling her, and by wrapping the arm that had been about her waist down around the back of her arse and thigh, he was able to do so, feeling his hands joining with Harry's at Hermione's cunt even as he continued to suck at the sweetly hard-tipped breast in his mouth.

Again, the coordination seemed inborn. Harry used his fingers to spread the lips of Hermione's cunt wide, so that Ron could quest between them, stroking the silky wet folds, softly pushing into her vagina with one finger, withdrawing wet and seeking out the almost hidden focus of her clitoris, pressing into it with a small, circular motion. All this he could do without looking, and a good thing too, because he still had no wish to leave off tonguing Hermione's breasts.

Which Harry obviously also thought was a good idea. He rose up on his knees to get his mouth over Hermione's other nipple, and Ron heard both his raspy exhale and Hermione's sigh, and it made him press harder against her clitoris, and Harry's hand was joining his in pressing against it, finding the slickness dampening her cunt and moving back to explore the cleft of her arse, trailing that wetness all along it and around the hypersensitive crinkled opening, and both of them spread her apart, cunt and arse both, so that she could feel herself held open like that from stem to stern, open and wet and exposed in their hands for anything, everything they wanted to do to her. And Ron felt her hand clutched in his hair, clinging and using him to stay upright as she whimpered, utterly inarticulate, her thighs trembling under his and Harry's hands.

Yet they wouldn't let her lie down. Harry's hand found his and the pads of their index and middle fingers pressed against each other as they pushed those fingers inside of Hermione, into the slick, soaking opening of her vagina, widening her as they went, twining their fingers around each other at one point so that she could feel it. Ron was overwhelmed at that, pulled his mouth away so that he could press his face against Harry's, and Harry didn't hesitate but gave up the sweetness of Hermione's breast momentarily so that he could kiss Ron, forcing his tongue into Ron's mouth with no hint of gentility this time, and Hermione shuddered even harder and Ron knew it was not just because of what their hands were doing to her but the feeling, the sight of the two of them kissing each other just in front of her belly, and then both of them broke the kiss and dove for her open, fragrant cunt,  shoving the edge of her skirt higher out of the way as both of them kissed her, licked her, sucked at her clitoris in turn, their tongues and mouths encountering each other as frequently as they rubbed against her salty folds, the wild, wiry hair outlining them, and Hermione almost fell forward as her legs tried to go wider, to give herself balance as she panted, "Oh, god, Harry... Ron...", and Ron was so blissful at feeling the shudderings of her legs and belly and cunt that he didn't give a bloody goddamn whose name she'd said first.

They relented and pulled her down, laid her out on the floor, making her spread her legs wider, wider for them, their fingers never leaving her depths throughout this as they did so, starting a slow rhythm of thrusting them inside her, and Ron took in the details as he leaned forward to bring his mouth to her cunt again: the flush over her breasts that rose all the way up her chest to be one continuous pink blush with her panting face, turned to the side with her eyes slitted closed, how one of her hands clutched at the rug at her side while she lifted the back of the other to her mouth, biting at the skin on her knuckles, how she'd lost one shoe and he could see her toes curling.

And then both he and Harry were licking her again, no longer trading licks to Hermione's clitoris but working it with their tongues at the same time, rolling that tiny nub of flesh into a rhythm that matched the thrust of their fingers, and Hermione's hips were jerking up to their mouths in their own rhythm, and Ron reached one hand up to clamp over one of her breasts even as Harry's free hand snaked beneath her to squeeze one arsecheek, and she was so wet, wet as she'd ever been, Ron could taste her and feel Harry tasting her at the same time and it was so fucking wonderful, and she was whimpering and clenching around their fingers, her thighs wide, arching her spine so that the only contact her lower body made with the floor was at her heels and at the small of her back, and Ron sucked and bit at her and Harry was doing the same until she screamed and fell back against the floor, her cunt clutching at their twined fingers, and both of them knew what to do from experience, they eased back from the fierce rhythm of licking her, stilled their fingers inside of her, until each movement of their tongues was a mere flicker along the folds surrounding her clitoris that caused her to shudder and be still, shudder and be still, again and again.

Because of the way their fingers were curled about each other, they withdrew them from her cunt at the same time, and Harry was slithering up her to kiss her on the mouth, his hands knowingly dexterous as he unhooked the catch of her bra so that it no longer bit across her chest. Then he was combing his fingers through her hair, heedless of how wet they were with her own juices-- or, as Ron knew, because of it; Harry had told Hermione that the idea of covering her with her own scent drove him wild-- and he was kissing her sweetly enough to make her whimper as steadily as if he were bringing her back to orgasm again.

Ron found the button on her skirt and unfastened it, drawing the skirt down her legs and getting her other shoe at the same time. Harry was pulling both bra and jumper over her head, and the two of them left her clothing in a pile as they gathered her up, lifting her into their arms between them, Ron kissing her open mouth because the way her head fell back like that against his shoulder was too good to miss, and they carried her between them to the small bedroom. Hermione had brought her hands up, but didn't quite seem to know how she wanted to caress her two lovers, touching first Ron's cheek and then his hair, Harry's shoulder and then his waist.

They set her down on the bed and both began to kiss her on the mouth, together, without enough duration between each kiss to be considered to be taking turns. And when she was breathless, without knowing it was the cue he'd been waiting for but knowing it was right all the same, Ron took Harry's chin in his hand and began to kiss his mouth, tasting what Hermione tasted like on his lips, reaching for Harry's belt buckle at the same time, pushing Harry's hand away when he would have helped, and punishing him just a little for that by letting his fingers graze over the stiff head of Harry's cock, which was tenting his trousers quite noticeably.

Not that his own cock wasn't craving attention. Feeling, watching, making Hermione come like that, not the least of which was having Harry there with him doing it, had left him hardly able to believe that he hadn't released already.

He could see, peripherally, Hermione watching the two of them now, languorous yet beginning to be aroused all over again, the tip of her tongue just visible between her teeth as he pressed himself to Harry and kissed him harder, the belt open now, Harry's hands on his shoulders and his breath coming rapidly, exploding against Ron's lips every time he released him from a kiss. Ron had opened Harry's trousers and was reaching inside, into the fly of his boxers to take hold of his stiff erection, and Harry pushed his mouth against the side of Ron's neck to stifle the groan, and all that moist heat on his neck was too much for Ron, he let go of Harry's cock to seize Harry's face between his hands and kiss him on the mouth again, and again, biting at his lower lip with an intensity that almost frightened him.

Not surprising. Everything about the way he felt about Harry frightened him at times, though he never wanted to admit it.

He felt Harry's hands at the edge of his shirt, pulling it up to the center of his chest, and Ron obliged by pulling one arm back and getting it free of the sleeve. To do that, he had to release his hold on Harry's face, and Harry ducked down to lick at the center of his chest, beginning to work his way downwards, and suddenly it was Hermione's hand that had crept between them, to the snap on Ron's jeans, undoing it and tugging his zipper down, and Harry needed no more cue than that; his mouth was down at Ron's navel, and then lower than that, his hands spreading the opening of his jeans apart and working the waist of his boxers lower with both hands and mouth. And when he'd teased Ron's cock free that way he let his tongue linger over his aching, purple cockhead for just a moment before drawing it into his mouth. "Fuck..." Ron moaned.

He was going to come too quickly this way. He let his fingers close slowly about a fistful of Harry's black hair and drew his mouth away-- not easy to do that-- gasping, "Wait..." Harry looked as though he could not make himself obey that, so Ron pushed his shirt the rest of the way off his torso and took hold of Harry's shoulders, turning him around until he had Harry on his knees next to Hermione, and he himself was kneeling behind him, his arms about Harry's waist so that he could reach his cock again, stroke it so that Harry groaned and pressed his back against Ron's chest, and Ron closed his fingers about Harry's cock and reached under with his other hand to cup his balls at the same time, and then it was Harry's turn to hiss and moan, "Wait..."

Ron relented only long enough to get Harry out of his trousers and underclothes, and get himself out of his jeans and boxers after that, and Hermione took advantage of that second of the two processes to rise up over Harry, who'd been deposited on his back, and unbutton his shirt with careful fingers, kissing each inch of newly exposed skin as she did so. Ron kissed her mouth, and then kissed Harry's, and Harry moaned into his mouth as Hermione continued to kiss her way down his chest, and his belly, along the line of dark hair that grew more thickly the lower she went.

She was avoiding his cock, though, mindful of his earlier warning-- no matter how much he might be regretting that now, thought Ron, watching the way Hermione was kissing her way about Harry's thighs and groin. She let her fingers move over it once, in a feathery little touch, and Harry shuddered and Ron shuddered as if it had been him.

He licked at Harry's ear, and Harry's hand on his arm tightened to the point where he could feel fingernails digging in. Hermione was lying on her side now, next to Harry, her hand still making those light little motions over Harry's cock, her other hand pillowed under her head as she watched them. Ron almost drooled down Harry's neck to see the look in her eyes.

Getting his hands, and a knee, under Harry's side, he pushed him, pushed him towards Hermione so that Harry could not mistake his meaning. Harry reached out to Hermione's shoulders and in turn pushed her onto her back, kissing her hard but only briefly as he put his hands between her thighs and made her spread them to accommodate him between them. Hermione let her head fall back and moaned as Harry's cock touched her cunt; Ron knew that she would be sensitive after her climax but more relaxed for it to go inside her. Harry would remember it too, but Ron planned not to let him forget.

He licked a finger and slid it into the crevice of Harry's arse, finding the tight ring of muscle and penetrating it to the depth of his knuckle. Harry hissed, froze where he was, his cock just starting to push inside Hermione, who was moaning herself, reaching about to clasp Harry's arsecheeks in her hands, which worked just fine for Ron, who bent his head to tongue his way about the base of his finger, knowing that he'd need more lubrication than this but wanting to hear Harry's reaction to being licked.

Harry didn't disappoint. He gasped and moaned, "Oh, fuck-- yes, god, yes...", still unable to move as Ron did that, and finally he reached back, took hold of Ron's free hand  and drew it to where his and Hermione's body were almost joined, and pushed Ron's fingers into the moist flesh that was her cunt, and Ron caressed her as he gathered that wetness on his fingers, and Harry's cock was still poised to enter her and he groaned as Ron's hand grazed over his cock as he did so, but that was nothing compared to the strangled sound he made as Ron withdrew the finger in his arse and smeared Hermione's juices about that opening, using what was left to grease the head of his own cock, mingling with the glaze of precome already there.

His hands went to Harry's hipbones, near to where Hermione still clutched at Harry's arse, and he set the head of his cock at Harry's entrance, and the feeling of that ring of muscle convulsing just about his cockhead was enough to make him come right then. How he controlled it he never knew, but he pushed into Harry, just that deep, deep enough to encompass the head entirely, and it was so tight and the heat wasn't a pleasant warmth, no, it was searing, it was a desert, it was a desert with a fucking sandstorm, the sensation was so impossibly intense.

"Go-- you--" he gasped, and somehow Harry knew what he meant; Ron felt his hips move forward, heard Hermione moan, knew Harry had slipped just that far into Hermione's waiting cunt, knew she was enveloping him in all that warm wetness that he could never get enough of either. He pushed deeper, felt Harry move that much further, heard Hermione sigh that much sweeter.

When he was sheathed balls-deep into Harry's arse, he let himself press forward, letting his weight take him, draw him down until he knew Hermione was all but pinned under their combined weight, thought he could feel her moving on Harry's cock through the shudders in Harry's body, pressed his face into the space between Harry's shoulderblades and only then withdrew and thrust back in, not far, but enough to drag Harry with him for most of it, forcing Harry to move in and out of Hermione at the same pace or risk a near-painful mismatch of Ron's rhythm as he stroked in and out of Harry's arse, and Harry choked on the sounds in his throat as Ron fucked him and drove him to fuck Hermione, and those sounds, those sounds were the best part of it all for Ron, he couldn't believe it, all this and what was going to reduce him to a puddle of his own come were those cries of Harry's, lost and helpless and so, so very much theirs.

He never knew which one of them came first, him or Harry, but he had collapsed over Harry and was shooting his sperm into his arse with a howl of his own, feeling Harry convulse beneath him, around him, and Hermione was sighing like a princess kissed awake as they bore down on her; Ron didn't think she would come again like this, she rarely did, and not so soon, but her hands were grasping at both Harry and him, one hand about his shoulder while with one hand on the back of Harry's head, she pulled Harry's mouth back to hers to absorb the remainder of his cries against her own open mouth, and Ron felt her thighs close about Harry's hips and her knees close about his as well, and as his cock continued its seemingly ceaseless twitching deep in Harry's arse Ron felt that the world could have ended in that very moment and he would never have minded.

But the world didn't end.

However, they managed to keep it at bay for the remainder of that night, entwined in each other, and in what they did and what they said and in what they didn't say.

And in the morning, Hermione told Harry that of course they would come, and the only thing for which Ron could bring himself to rebuke Harry-- aloud, in any case-- was for ruining his spaghetti carbonara.

III: O Let Us Yet Be Merciful

"There you are," said Colin, as Harry pushed the door open. "Kept you a bloody great time, didn't they? What's that?" He indicated the box in Harry's hand.

"Some rubbish. I'll find a place for it later." Harry deposited it on the table. "So, you missed me, then."

Colin grinned at him. "Missed you? I can barely stand letting you go off to that council some days, that's how bad it is." He crossed to the dark-haired young man and slid an arm about his waist. "Sometimes all that gets me through is thinking about you in those meetings, thinking about me..." The arm about Harry's waist moved lower, hand sliding down the plane of his hip to his thigh, slowly crossing to the midline. "...imagining what I could be doing to you under that table...especially with all of them there, watching you but not knowing that I'm there..."

Harry gently stepped out of the circle of Colin's arm. "Yeah, well, that'd certainly be a lot more pleasant than the crap that goes on in the council. Have you eaten?"

"Earlier." Colin, undeterred, stepped close to Harry again. "Food's not usually the first thing on your mind when you leave those meetings." He leaned in and kissed Harry on the neck as his hands settled onto the other man's arms. "I could get something up here if you're hungry now."

Harry looked at him. "No, that's okay," he said slowly. "You're right. Food's the last thing I'm thinking about."

Colin smiled, kissed him on the mouth this time. Harry's mouth opened under his and their tongues met with a wet dual exhale, pushing against each other as if each was trying to keep the other person from falling.

Colin broke the kiss at last, kissed Harry's neck again, and began to work on the buttons of his shirt. "So, go on," he said.


"Tell me about it. What you did in the council. I know you need to unwind." As he said "unwind," he was already dropping to his knees, hands sliding down the front of Harry's half-bared torso with a lascivious, knowing expression.

"Oh... we discussed what to do with Zabini."

"And?" said Colin, working on the buckle of Harry's belt.

"No punishment."

Colin stopped. "You're daft."

Harry raised an eyebrow. "I'm perfectly serious."


"Because it's not a crime to talk about compromise."

"But he's winding everyone up with that kind of talk! And he means to. There'll be a riot soon, that's what you said."

"Well, we may have quashed that, by bringing him in. But I'd rather let him go, to say what he wants, than to terrify the public by punishing him and making us look like a bloody police state. It can't be a crime to say what you think."

Colin shook his head. "You're... oh, look, don't mind me." He resumed his work on opening Harry's trousers. "You're the one on the council. It's just... I get so furious, thinking about the things he said about you."

"You always have my best interests at heart."

"Can't help it. Oh, hello; like this one, for example..."

Colin leaned forward and took the length of Harry's semi-erect cock into his mouth, his lips enveloping him to the root. Harry leaned his head back and groaned, his hands going to Colin's head, curling into his hair.

Colin backed off after a moment, releasing the cock to begin lapping and teasing at it, running his tongue over the head, dipping into the slit at the end. Harry's groan was louder; Colin made an appreciative noise, and a little chuckle.

"Mm," he murmured, between licks, "that's what you need... just to unwind..." As he continued, he began to unbutton his own shirt, shrugging out of it once done and then pushing his shoes off.

"You want to come like this?" he said, breathless. Harry's breathing was harsh; Colin took this silence as acquiescence, and quickened the pace of his tongue over the head of Harry's cock.

But then Harry said, "Not--not like--"

Colin backed off with practiced expertise, not stopping abruptly but slowing, changing to teasing little licks along the sides of the shaft. "That's fine, Harry, that's just fine. Believe me, I'm ready."

He stood, made short work of the fastenings on his own trousers, and pushed them and his boxers down and off. Pressing himself to Harry he kissed him again hungrily. "I've been waiting all bloody day for this. Come on."

Hands sliding down Harry's arms until he had the dark-haired man's hands in his, Colin scooted backwards, graceful as a dancer, pulling Harry after him to the bed. Climbing onto it, kneeling, he grabbed the bottle of charmed self-warming oil off of the bedside table. "Go on," he said, pushing it into Harry's hands, then turning, sinking down on his knees until his face was just above his hands, pressed against the surface of the bed, arse presented. He was starting to pant in anticipation.

Harry stood there, holding the bottle. "No, " he said after a moment. "Not like that. Not tonight. Would you think you would..."

Colin lifted his head to stare at Harry. Shyness or awkwardness was something few had seen on the Boy Who Lived for years. "You...want me to top? Really?"

"I-- could you? Would it bother you?"

Colin's expression mingled surprise and thought, but not displeasure. "I... yeah, I mean, no, it'd be fine. I mean, I'd love to, anything you want. C'mere. Get those off." He took the bottle from Harry, moved aside on the bed as Harry discarded his own trousers, underclothing, and footwear and climbed up beside him.

Harry laid himself prone on the bed, hands folding over each other as he turned his face to the side and rested his cheek on them. Colin had the bottle open, murmuring, "We need to get more of this; it's almost empty," as he tipped a stream of lightly amber oil into his palm, setting his hand on one cheek of Harry's arse as he let it drip down the fingers of the other hand, massaging it into the cleft, penetrating him with one finger, then two. Harry groaned.

"You look so fucking gorgeous, you know?" Colin breathed, using his slick palm to grease the head and the length of his own cock. "Want to fuck you right into the mattress..."

He pushed Harry's thighs apart and knelt between them, spreading Harry's arsecheeks again with his thumbs and setting the head of his cock at his entrance. A little pressure, a little more, and he was inside him, just that much. "Okay?" he said breathlessly.

Harry groaned again, his hands separating to lie just under his shoulders, palms pressed flat against the bed, the tension in his arms highlighting each muscle under his skin. Colin grinned and reached down with one hand to cup Harry's balls,  "How about now?"

A louder groan. Colin massaged his balls, not too gently, as he pushed deeper inside Harry, watching that tension for signs that he might be hurting him. Harry lifted his hips in response, giving Colin better access to his balls and also his stiff cock, which Colin was only too quick to take in his other hand. "Oh, yeah, " Colin said, sinking further into Harry's arse as he worked both handfuls of flesh, "Gonna fuck you so deep my come'll come out your own cock..."

Harry was fisting the bedclothes, hips caught in the rhythm that Colin was setting up as he began to thrust, pulling out and driving back in, murmuring something else, a steady river of words that was a combination of similar, familiar dirty talk mixed with affectionate terms, that neither Colin quite edited nor Harry quite heard.

Harry's cock was pulsing in Colin's fist, leaking over his fingers as Colin fucked him and stroked him, and Colin leaned down and bit Harry's shoulder, pushed his mouth close to the back of his neck to moan humidly against it, thrusting faster and faster until at last he cried out, pressing deep into Harry as he came, his hand on Harry's cock squeezing fiercely as Harry obligingly shuddered and erupted copiously over his fingers, gasping as he did.

Colin kissed the back of Harry's neck after a minute. "Christ, Harry, that was...well." Slowly he withdrew, lifted his hips and slid a hand under Harry's shoulder to prompt him to turn over. He kissed him more fiercely on the mouth, and Harry lifted a hand to stroke through Colin's hair. "You're amazing," Colin sighed.

Harry kissed his temple. "The feeling's mutual."

"Let's get cleaned up, and then we can get something to eat if you want. My wand's on the table..."

"Don't let's worry about it. I'm actually... well, actually, yeah, now that I think about it, this does seem like the right time. Go look in that box. It's for you."

Colin's eyebrows lifted, and then he smiled. "What is it?"

"Go look."

Giving Harry another quick kiss, Colin separated from him and rose, went to the table upon which the box lay. The box was cardboard, rectangular and unadorned, and not much larger than a pack of cigarettes.

Colin opened the flap on the end and tipped the contents into his hand.

"What's-- oh, it's-- wow, Harry, what--"

He stopped, at last seeing the shape of the silver cloakpin properly.

"Harry? Um, where did--" Again, he stopped.

"You recognize it, Colin." Harry's voice was without emotion. "Parkinson was wearing it. When she paid you."

Colin was standing very still.

Opened his mouth as if to say something. Closed it.

Looked at Harry, who now had his wand in hand... and also Colin's.

"Harry..." His voice cracked on the word.

Harry shook his head slowly. With his wand, he gestured in the direction of the door. Which opened.

Remus was the last of the three in the door. It was he who spoke: "Mr. Creevey. Come with us, please."

Colin looked at the faces of the men surrounding him. But it was not to them that he spoke. "Harry..." He choked on it again.

Sirius lifted his wand.

From the bed: "Sirius..."

Sirius looked at Harry.

"Let him get dressed."

And the four of them watched, quite wordless, as the young man did just that, barely able to get his shirt buttoned for the trembling of his fingers.

Harry stayed on the bed, and made no move.

Remus and Sirius escorted Colin from the room, but it was Snape who lingered, glancing at Harry.

"Well, that's one unpleasant bit of business dealt with, then."

Harry wasn't looking at him.

Snape picked up the skull-and-snake cloakpin from the table. "You aren't likely to be needed to testify at the trial. Just thought you'd like to know."

"I couldn't tell."

Snape arched an eyebrow.

"I couldn't tell," Harry repeated tonelessly. "They bought him... what, a month ago?...and it was never any different. Any different."

Snape let the silence rest for a minute. Then he turned to go.


He looked back.

Harry reached towards the bottle on the bedside table. "I'm almost out of that oil."

IV: Bloody Constraint

"I find the predictability of it is what chafes the most."

Lucius Malfoy ran his hands through the pale silk swath of his hair and sighed.

"Do they really think we would abide by those terms of surrender? Would agree to them, frightened like bleating lambs by their threats?" He snorted.


"I'll have no one say that we dishonored Salazar's memory," Lucius said, selecting a thin ivory cane from the rack upon the wall, replacing it, and choosing instead a double-tailed tawse. "We shall go down bleeding, or not at all. And they shall bleed with us."


"You don't sound nearly so enthusiastic as I expect you to, Nic, " Lucius said, turning back to the other man in the room. "Oh-- of course, how silly of me."

Using thumb and forefinger, he picked the ball gag out of Nicolas Lestrange's open mouth. "There, was there something you wished to say?"

Nicolas licked his lips and swallowed. "Only to agree, Lucius," he panted as soon as he had the ability to close and move his jaw again. "And-- do you think you might use the leather lash for a bit?"

Lucius arched an eyebrow. "I hadn't planned on taking the clamps off just yet."

Again Nicolas licked his lips. "I was hoping you hadn't."

"You're such a good little plaything, Nic." Replacing the ball gag, Lucius stepped back to the display and found the weapon in question. Nicolas pulled at the restraints that held him to the wall, groaning as the movement tugged at each one of the metal clamps that covered his torso like malignant insects.

It was to Lucius's credit that nearly five minutes of work with the lash had not dislodged more than two of the clamps from Lestrange's exquisitely pained flesh. Nicolas was not trying to disguise his agony in the sounds he was making. Neither of them would have wanted that.

"Lucius, darling." Narcissa's honey-sweet voice came from just inside the door, where she stood smoothing an invisible wrinkle from the blue folds of her gown. She never bothered to knock. "Do you have any more of those lovely muggle children in the dungeons, dearest? The one you gave me doesn't make any pretty noises any more and she's gone all squishy."

Lucius sighed. "My dear, you do go through them so quickly."

She tried to deepen her pout, but it turned into a mischievous smile instead. "I know."

Lucius gave her a stern look. "I expect you not to get so caught up that you forget to use a healing charm somewhere in the middle of all those Unforgivables. For now, you'll just have to wait."

The pout was back. "But, darling..."

"No buts, Narcissa. That's three this week. The rest of us want to play as well, you know."

"Mm?" Nicolas voiced, trying to get attention back to himself, unhappy at the interruption.

"Yes, yes, in a minute, Nic." Lucius obliged him by twisting one clamp, placed in a particularly sensitive area, until Nicolas came near to blacking out, his scream choking off as his throat cracked. "I'll have to see what Walden can find for us," Lucius said to his wife. "Another girl, or would you prefer a boy this time?"

"Can't I have both?" Narcissa wheedled. "A boy and a girl? Perhaps a brother and sister this time? Neither older than eleven?"

Lucius rolled his eyes, but ended up smiling, so his disapproval was somewhat muted. "Greedy woman. But I suppose one cannot have caviar without champagne. I'll speak to Walden."

Narcissa kissed her husband. "Thank you, dearest. You can join in if you like." Her voice dropped to clandestine tones. "Did you know that if you put Elixir of Nine Excruciating Lusts into strawberry pop, it can hardly be tasted?"

Knowing his reaction would please his wife, Lucius graced her question with a small wince.

V. Mots de Son Mauvais, Corruptible, Gros, et Impudique


"Yes, young Master Malfoy?"

"If you call me that again, I'll bloody hex you. I know you do it deliberately. Will you please go and tell my parents that, despite what they seem to assume, the stone walls of those rooms make for excellent sound conductivity, and I can hear ever single bloody thing they're doing in those chambers. Merlin on a fucking broomstick, you think I want to hear ANYTHING that reminds me that my parents have sex?"

"I really don't think it would be wise for me to interrupt them at this point, young M-- Draco. Your mother just might decide that I should be invited in to her-- what does she call them again?-- tea parties."

"Oh, Christ, now I have to imagine YOU having sex in addition to all the rest."

"On the other hand, I am a bit older than she likes them..."

"I'm not listening... La, la, la, la, la..."

"Perhaps you might prefer it if your rooms were moved to a different floor."

"La, l-- oh, right, you sick pervert, where were you going to suggest, right next to yours?"

"Draco, you have nothing to fear from me. It has nothing to do with inclination or loyalty; I simply know better than to risk six forms of slow, skin-peeling torture, that have nothing to do with sex, at your father's hands."

"It's a good thing you put that 'inclination' in there too. I'd be all over you so fast with a 'And just what's not to like about me?' that you'd have to try and seduce me just so that I didn't decide to flay you."

"It wouldn't be the first time I've been accused of being far too careful of my own skin."

"And to think you used to be a Gryffindor."

"Oh, I still am a Gryffindor. There's no expiration of term on what the Sorting Hat says."

"Oh really? Let's see, courage, loyalty, chivalry...  somehow, Pettigrew, you just aren't holding up here."

"Ah, but how does one actually define courage? Is it brave to go to one's death? Or is there more courage in examining one's motives, accepting them honestly, refusing to do the expected?"

"Oh, I like that."

"So what is traditionally thought of as courage by a Gryffindor..."

"Could just be rashness."

"And loyalty..."

"Might be blind sheeplike stupidity."

"And chivalry is nothing but behavior, isn't it? It says nothing about your inner nature. So long as one acts courteously and respectfully, it doesn't matter if you actually think that everyone around you is a snot-nosed pathetic git, does it? It's like disguising the flavor of pudding by setting a really overwhelming meringue on top-- all you notice is the meringue."

"Your metaphors are starting to lose me, Pettigrew. And making me hungry. I'm going to get something to eat."

VI: What Watch the King Keeps

"What are they saying, Sirius?"

His godfather shrugged. "They're here, Harry. They believe in this, and they came."

"But what are they saying?" said Harry, not leaving the window.

"I don't know, Harry. I'm not sure I want to know and I'm not sure you should, either."

"I don't need to be protected."

Looking away, Sirius said, "Why do you think they have to be speaking about you?"

Harry snorted. "Really, Padfoot."

Sirius didn't look back as he headed towards the door. "Get some sleep."

Harry waited. Waited until Sirius's footsteps had faded, and then for a long minute after.

And then he fetched his Invisibility Cloak.

Hedwig already slept on her perch, Harry's only companion in his room that night. She was dear to him, but Colin's absence had not become easier to endure, these past days. Harry simply was not used to the solitude, let alone the hurt of the betrayal.

And yet he would not visit Ron and Hermione. If he went to them tonight he would have been using them to ease his loneliness, and Harry would not do that to them. When he went to them it would be because it was he wanted the two of them, not just physical comfort from someone.

He wouldn't hurt them that way, no.

He cast a silencing charm on his shoes, and, swathed by the cloak, left his room.

And it wasn't the people he knew well that he wanted to visit, in any case.

Even at this time of night, the Great Hall wasn't unoccupied. It had been set up as a canteen, and many were there fetching tea or coffee, late-night sandwiches or snacks, or simply to gather with other company, fortifying both body and soul for the fighting which was to come.

Strange how it always came down to Hogwarts, in the end. There was no reason several hundred battle-ready wizards and witches could not have used, say, the offices of the Ministry of Magic to gather and prepare.

But Hogwarts was the place Albus Dumbledore had called home, and he had been the only one Voldemort had feared. Which had proved ruinous, for it had not been Dumbledore who had killed him in the end.

And Hogwarts was the place that had made Harry Potter a wizard.

Symbols counted for a lot, to which Harry could attest.

He drifted closer to a cluster of murmuring individuals, and recognized Neville Longbottom amongst them. Despite obvious differences, he and Neville had one thing very much in common: they had no family to be here with them.

He looked towards where Arthur and Molly Weasley stood, farther away, and reminded himself not to be so strict about the definition of family. As much as they were here because they knew it was right, they were here because of him.

If he had to be a symbol, he had decided long ago that he would add that to his power, and not waste time trying to break free of that image.

"...'f not for Dumbledore..."

The sound of the name brought Harry's attention back to those grouped about Neville.

"Don't say that."

"It's true. Potter doesn't ever stop trying to make up for it. Potter had to take down You-Know-Who himself..."

Old habits died hard, thought Harry.

"...but he still doesn't think he can ever make up for not being able to save the old man. He'd never be such a Muggle-lover elsewise..."

"Don't use that word! Ever!"

Neville's voice was loud enough to make most of the others in the Hall look in his direction. Neville didn't seem to notice, continuing, "How can you be here and use that word?"

Now Harry recognized who had spoken. Davies. He'd not exchanged more than a few words with him since they'd been at school together.

Roger Davies said,  "Look, Longbottom, I'm here, so obviously I don't mean it in a bad way, all right?"

"There's a good way to mean Muggle-lover? Get away from me, Davies."

"Oh, don't do this." Mrs. Weasley had stepped closer to the group. "Please, boys, not now. Not before all this."

Harry took a step back, closer to the wall, so as not to be discovered.

"I want him to apologize for talking about Harry like that! And about Professor Dumbledore!" There was that slight tremble to Neville's lower lip, that was trying to belie the backbone he'd managed to grow in just the past year.

Davies shook his head. "Look, I don't mean anything by it. It's...just a word. We all think the Heirs of Slytherin are bloody lunatics, right, or we wouldn't have come together like this. I'm just saying that we shouldn't be wrapped up in the idea that the worst thing that they can do is to hurt Muggles. I mean, isn't the important thing that the wizarding world not be divided? Isn't it? Is it wrong to think that Dumbledore's agenda got Potter focused on a ...lesser issue?"

Mrs. Weasley opened her mouth to speak, closed it, looked at her husband. Arthur Weasley looked awkward, as if he had failed to prepare for a formal debate.

But, like the sea before the prow of a ship, the group had suddenly parted before the black-clad figure of Snape, who had extended his arm towards Davies, fist closed, as if he held something within it.

"Take this, Mr. Davies."

Roger stared at Snape, who had appeared so abruptly he seemed not to have processed it yet.

"Take it."

Not taking his eyes off of Snape's penetrating gaze, Roger put out his hand. Snape let his fist fall open and the object dropped into Roger's palm.

A single black button.

For a moment, Harry thought Snape might have given Davies a portkey. But no; Davies remained where he was, now staring at the button as if he'd been wondering the same thing.

"Would you like to know what that is, Mr. Davies?" Snape waited only a moment-- Harry recognized it not as a wait for a response so much as a dramatic pause-- before answering: "That, young man, is a button from a child's shoe. It has been placed into my care because I am in charge of the memorial grave sites of the otherwise unhonored victims of the so-called Heirs of Slytherin, and that is all that we have of her to bury."

No one in the room was even breathing.

"She was not, as I expect you are thinking, Mr. Davies, a Muggle. She was, in fact, of wizarding family. Pure-blooded wizarding family. She was a twelve-year old squib whose parents have sworn themselves to Lucius Malfoy's ranks."

Roger Davies kept staring at his palm.

Snape's voice grew quieter, yet for some reason, it seemed to carry even further for that. "There is, you see, a bit more of an agenda among them than just a spot of Muggle-baiting now and then. Or had you missed that?"

Harry felt something stir in the pit of his stomach, something fiery and golden, that he had not felt in a long time.

Snape made as if to take the button back, then stopped himself. "No. You keep that for now, Mr. Davies. I'll ask for it back another time."

And with a perfect swirl of his robes, Snape turned and strode from the Great Hall.

Harry did not stay to watch the reaction after his departure. One heartbeat, two heartbeats, and he pulled himself away from the wall and maneuvered his way through those gathered to follow those black robes.

Snape did not slow his pace, and Harry was glad of the forethought of the silencing charm as he caught up to him, keeping closely behind him so that when Snape opened the doors to his quarters, he could slip inside before the door closed.

He watched as Snape removed his outer robes, fastidiously handing them to a self-grasping hook next to his wardrobe-- which took it-- prior to sinking into a hard-backed chair, a hand rising to cover his eyes, elbow propped on the arm of the chair.

Harry stood nearby and did not move, watching him in this quiet, private moment.

Nor did he start when Snape said, "Take that bloody thing off, Potter, and tell me what the hell is it you want."

Obligingly Harry swept the cloak off. "I knew it. I knew you were censoring yourself."

Snape still had his hand over his eyes. "If you're going to stay and babble at me, have the decency to make yourself useful and make some tea."

"What would you have said if you hadn't known that I was in the room? Would you have gone to one knee in front of everyone and declared your undying devotion to me?"

Snape pulled the hand away from his eyes, scowling. "I don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about."

"No. I won't let you pretend any more." Harry slid down until it was he who was on his knees, next to the chair. "Dear gods, Severus, you love me. You do."

"Fatigue. The stress of his position. Pre-traumatic stress disorder," Snape said to no one but the ceiling. "It's hit him at last. The Boy Hero of the Wizarding World has finally cracked under the strain. Whatever shall we do?"

"There's no such thing as pre-traumatic stress disorder, you bloody prat." Harry set one hand on Snape's arm, and the other on his thigh, and for a moment, was terribly afraid he'd made a mistake. If what he was saying was true, he'd have expected Snape to push him away in feigned outrage, the sign that he'd really hit the mark. But this was Severus he was dealing with, who would be expected to be one step ahead of his thoughts even there. Harry brought his face closer to Snape's. "You're not going to deny it this time. You do care. You've cared all this time."

"Apparently I can allow myself to be quiet and allow you to perform both sides of this dialogue that you have invented. Do go ahead, Potter, it'll be easier on my throat. Speaking of which, I still don't see any tea."

"You defended me."

"Nonsense. I was correcting Mr. Davies."

"You did it in a way that didn't sound like you were defending me directly. Because you knew I was there."

"Really, Potter, I don't need the excuse of defending you to make that sheltered, unthinking moron see the error of his ways."

"You did it and you know it. For you, that's as close to a declaration of love as I'll ever get." Harry rose up on his knees, leaned in, and kissed the Potions Master on the mouth. Nothing long and passionate; he wasn't quite ready to risk that much just yet. But it was direct and sure, and there was no splutter from Snape, no kiss back either, but Harry knew he was not wrong. And that golden fiery thing surged within him once more.

He pulled away, challenging Snape with his eyes. Snape sighed. "Potter..."

Harry seized one of Snape's hands. "Don't. Please."

"Potter," Snape repeated, "please stop delighting in your cleverness at my expense. It's rude, not to mention annoying."

"And am I likely to get you into bed without it?" Harry said, kissing the hand in question.

Snape lifted an eyebrow. Then he sighed. "Ah, to be young again, and to think that the world revolves around me. Except that I never was young enough to believe that, and you... the world does revolve around you, Potter. How you are not more of a monster than you are, I shall never know. I can only hope that my influence in your formative years had some contribution."

Scrambling like a boy, and not slithering like a snake, no matter how appropriate the other simile would have been, Harry got himself onto Snape's lap and twined his arms about the man's neck. "How long, Severus?... You've never lied to me, never. I won't let you avoid this one. How long?"

Snape regarded him with something like regret-- Harry knew he had him-- and then sighed. "Potter, you have been so long in my thoughts, and never, ever tied to anything but the strongest of emotions-- should it be within the realm of human capacity that I should know how to distinguish between those emotions?"

Harry leaned in closer. "I'm going to kiss you again."

"You feel I should be allowed some warning this time? How interesting."

"You're going to kiss me back."

"I'm not yours to command, Potter." It had lost its resigned tone, was just slightly harder.

"Wasn't a command." Harry brushed his lips over Snape's lightly. "Was a statement of fact."

And when he kissed Snape again, at first there was only a groan, and then Snape's fingers were closing on the thick hair at Harry's crown, and the kiss was answered, so slowly and so reluctantly, as though it were the most involuntary of actions, and yet no less inexorably for all of that.

This time Harry only broke the kiss to make contact with other parts of Snape's face, kissing his cheeks, the tip of that hooked nose, the lightly fluttering eyelids. Severus looked much better in shadowed light, Harry decided.

And the heat from Snape's body, where he sat atop it, was soothing and pleasant and comforting. All the things that Snape himself typically was not.

Harry realized that at some point Snape had placed his own hands on Harry's arms. "Whoever thought," Harry heard him mutter, "that at the end of the day I should find myself with a lapful of boy savior. This was not in my horoscope."

"You don't believe in those things anyway," said Harry, opening Snape's collar to nip at the white throat beneath.

"I certainly don't now."

"Don't tell me you're sad about it."

"Sad?" Snape made Harry sit back a bit. "Of course it is sad. You are insufferable. You're going to be even more insufferable now, and that seemed a completely impossible thing, I shall tell you."

Harry grinned. "But I'll make up for it in other ways." Damn, but Severus's clothing had way too many buttons. He was hardly down to the middle of the man's chest, and this was just the frock coat.

Snape scowled. "You think that a bit of sex is adequate payment for having to put up with an egotistical, smug, knows-he-can-do-no-wrong, pain-in-the-arse brat day after day?"

"I wouldn't have used such harsh words to describe you, Severus, but since you insist, yes, sex will do nicely."

Snape rolled his eyes, "Dear gods, it's started already." Interestingly it was this that had him showing distress, and not the fact that Harry had divested him of his frock coat and was now working on the shirt beneath.

Which task seemed to have exhausted Harry's patience for buttons, in all forms, tonight. His wand dropped into his hand and he lifted it. "Divest--"

Snape's hand shot out to catch his as if he possessed Seeker's reflexes himself. "Don't... you... dare," he said, his eyes narrowing. "You will not, on top of all things, spoil my fantasies of you undoing every one of these buttons on my clothing. At the least, my impertinent little creature, you will leave me that."

Harry felt his mouth open, and he laughed. Leaning in to kiss Snape again, he renewed his attack on the shirt buttons, using one hand this time as his other curved around the man's face. This time the kiss was hungry, and he continued it greedily, pushing Snape's mouth open with his tongue and learning the taste of him, and the textures of his teeth and palate, and the answering push of Snape's own tongue against his.

Of course the trousers had buttons too. Not only at the fly but at the cuffs as well, over the rise of Snape's boots, and didn't those have even more buttons for him to contend with. Harry wondered if he'd find them on the man's underwear, but the fantasy apparently didn't extend that far.

Harry hitched his fingers into the waistband of the underclothes. "And do I peel these off you slowly or tear them off of you in one motion, in your fantasies?"

"What you do," said Snape, leaning forward in the chair to cup his hand beneath Harry's chin, "is shut up for once." And Harry all but flung his arms about Snape's neck delightedly as he was kissed and kissed hard, Snape's free hand fisting in the material of his pullover, yanking up so that Harry was forced to take his arms away again as the shirt was lifted above his head and off of him in just that little amount of time.

It startled Harry, how quickly Snape got Harry to his feet and got his clothing off him, almost as quickly as if he had used a Divesto charm himself. And Snape had Harry's wand, and was pushing it into his hand. "Your wand, Mr. Potter. They shall be kept close by," and Harry saw that Snape had his own in hand as well, "even on a night such as this. Particularly on a night such as this, I shall say."

And as if for a dance or a duel, the two of them made their way to the bed, though Harry later could not remember who had led whom there. He set his wand on the table by the bedside-- Snape did the same-- and then Harry returned to the pleasurable task of removing that last article of Snape's clothing, dropping to his knees and pulling the underclothes down. He was aware that Snape might very well insult him for overexuberance if he began with fellatio immediately, the urge for which was all but overwhelming, so he settled for a kiss to the tip of the man's half-erect cock before rising to his feet again.

Once again Snape slid a hand into Harry's hair, and pulled him closer with that one hand, but didn't kiss him yet, merely bore down on him with that gaze. It was suddenly too much for Harry, and he dropped his eyes to the one piece of adornment Snape was still wearing: a cast silver pendant of a rayed sun, hung on a silver chain about his neck. "What's this for?" Harry murmured, cupping the pendant in his fingers.

"Please allow me to retain some secrets, Potter."

Harry dropped it and allowed his gaze to look up to Snape's again, and this time there was a kiss, and Snape's hands were travelling below his neck now as well, following the planes of his back muscles until they were at his waist, pulling the two of them together against each other, and Harry groaned as he felt his chest, his thighs, his cock pressing into Snape's, all at once, and it was too much; he thought he might fall, and found his hands clinging to Snape's shoulder blades as Snape pushed his mouth into the curve of Harry's neck, the sound he made a cross between a sigh of pleasure and an ah of triumph.

Harry wasn't sure which left him shuddering harder: Snape's hand moving from his waist to clutch, splayed-fingered, at one cheek of his arse,  or the thumbtip of his other hand grazing over the head of his cock. Either way, both of those were all but eclipsed by the soft murmur of "Needy boy," that Snape breathed into his ear. Harry felt his vision blurring like his permanent eyesight charm had somehow failed him.

"Severus," Harry said raggedly, clinging to his shoulders, aware, but barely, that he was already starting to pant. Snape obliged Harry's acute distress-- Severus obliging anyone? Harry thought, startled at the miracle-- by folding an arm about his waist again and pushing him back so that he was laid out upon the bed. Snape also followed him, crawling over him as they both went down, 'til he was lying by Harry's side, face-to-face with him.

Snape had propped himself up on one elbow, and the look on his face was strangely neutral, all of a sudden. "And here, I am sure, is where it ends." he said.  "Here is where you come to your senses, wondering, what in the world am I doing in bed with my ugly old Potions Master, even if I was caught up in the delight of rooting out his darkest secrets. I must have been mad to let it get this far. Well, fear not, Potter, I'm quite used to rej--oof!"

The last was the startled noise that escaped Snape as Harry, much amused, followed his earlier instincts and, only sparing a moment for regretting that he had not done so when it had first occurred to him, dove at the inviting protuberance that was Snape's cock, a careful hand curving about it so that he could draw the entire length into his mouth, or at least close to the entire length. (It never hurt to make a man feel that his most prized possession might just be a bit too much for his partner to handle.) He did not try to disguise a chuckle as he lapped his way up the underside of the shaft, rewarded with a sigh from Snape and another hand clasping into his hair.

"Ah," Snape moaned, and again as Harry let his teeth graze ever so gently over the head of his cock. "The devil gentleman after all, I fear; you are... most unkind, my young fiend, to make me believe...that you in any way--"

"Severus." Harry took his mouth away momentarily. "You'll stop this particular train of complaint now, d'you hear me? Or I'll hex you. I won't go away, but I'll make you think you're a daisy I'm trying to pollinate."

"You do have rather creative threats. Oh, my..."

And Harry was treated to the rare event of Snape rendered speechless, for a time, as he worked over Snape's cock with lips and tongue and mouth and teeth, in patterns and rhythms as intricate as if there were a code to be drawn into Snape's flesh that would unlock the rest of his many secrets. And it seemed that that was so, after all, for every gasp he got out of Snape was to be marveled at, and every sigh to be catalogued, and the taste of his flesh and sweat and come were almost too intricate for Harry to interpret. As it should be, when dealing with Severus, Harry thought. As it always was.

The voice was controlled when it finally said to him, "I should like to be granted the...same pleasurable opportunity here, if you don't mind."

Harry didn't even have time to voice What? before he found himself borne back, away from the delightful exercise of wringing so many satisfying sounds from Snape, and suddenly had Snape's mouth at his throat, and Snape's hands lower than that, finding places on his body that Harry hadn't known were such intense pleasure centers, and he'd hardly spent a night alone for years. Snape's mouth followed his hands, and Harry found himself unable-- in fact, unwilling-- to keep his cries back as he was touched and tongued and teased to the point of bleating out, "Fuck, Severus, who have you been doing all this time?"

Snape, whose mouth was at Harry's navel, paused long enough to say, in fragments: "That, too... will remain my secret... for now." And as if to waylay further questioning in that direction, he sucked the head of Harry's cock between his lips like a cherry he was trying to pit. Harry keened.

The world was turning blurry again, as that mouth, diabolical and tender by turns, licked along Harry's cock, nuzzled against his balls, and reduced Harry to whimpers as he tried to stave off the rushing pressure building at his groin. When one spit-soaked finger parted his cleft and dove into his anus with one smooth thrust, Harry screamed and, the fight lost, came into Snape's mouth like a sacrificial victim pouring forth lifeblood. Though he doubted any such altar-bound sacrifice would have been thinking Hooray! at the time, unless large amounts of mind-altering drugs had been involved.

When he could breathe again he found himself pressed against Snape's chest, held quite firmly there in slender but by no means powerless arms. His head was tucked under Snape's chin.

"You haven't come yet," he murmured in a sleepy, happy voice, trying to get himself awake enough to remedy this observation.

"We have all night," came that low baritone, almost but not quite free of its usual dryness. "And I am not nearly so young and...revivable, shall we say, as you. Rest, now. I shall wake you. I shall wake you, in fact, in a way that you might find novel."

"What, cold water over the head?" Harry managed, still fading into post-orgasmic bliss.

"I shall reserve that for the morning, and then only if you refuse to get out of my bed."

"Want to fuck you. Want you to fuck me."

"I expect we can manage both of those things before morning comes."

"Mmm." Wrapped in the circle of Snape's arms, and with nothing to dissuade him from staying there, Harry had enough residual alertness for just one further question.

"Severus... that button... 'd it really belong to that little girl?"

He felt lips brush along his cheekbone. "It might have, Harry. It might."

VII. Warriors For the Working Day

"I thought I saw Trelawney amongst us."


"You wish, don't you, that she'd have one more of her bursts of true prophecy just now, don't you? Tell us who was going to win this thing?"

"Prophecy could be more convenient at times, yes. Where is Harry?"

Remus made a gesture towards the parapet. "Gone to scout. Don't look at me like that, Sirius, you know perfectly well I couldn't stop him if he wanted to go."

It was then they noticed the mote in the sky becoming larger and larger, until the outline of a black-haired young man on a broomstick was visible, and shortly, was just overhead.

Harry was laughing. "They think we're planning to engage them on this side of the Forbidden Forest! It'll be a bloody rout!"

Remus could not help but allow himself a small smile. He knew that Harry's surety would be infectious among their side, and that Harry would make sure every last combatant saw him, and heard him.

"You and I alone could take them, Padfoot! Go on, send everyone else home!"

Despite himself, Sirius's mouth twisted up into a grin. "Even if it were just the two of us today, Harry, you could make me believe it could be done."

Harry grinned, turned the broomstick, and streaked off.

"Be--" yelled Sirius, but Harry was already well away. "I was going to say, 'Be careful.' I suppose he didn't want to hear it."

"He knows, Black," murmured Snape, uncharacteristically without a trace of sarcasm in his voice.

VIII. As Arrant a Piece Of Knavery


He heard it, above the other cries. He pulled up short, turned, saw Hermione, her face streaked with dust and sweat. He was aware he must look very much the same.

"Harry, the Owlery! Oh, god, I think they were aiming for it!"

He looked.

He did not scream, did not cry out. He needed the breath to be able to fly, and fly he did, at top speed towards the smoke-shrouded West Tower.

Where a very directed blast of magefire had exploded within the Owlery.

Lupin had seen it as well. It took him a minute longer than Harry to get there.

At which time the smoke was already beginning to clear in the charred-walled room, which reeked of burnt feathers and flesh, the corpses of numerous owls littering the floor. Harry was visible in the center of the room, on his knees, broom by his side, and a white limp-winged form splayed on his lap, over which his head was bent. Remus stopped, unable to come forward, unable to say a word.

"I wasn't angry." It was a whisper, but it reached Lupin's ears. "I wasn't angry when they got to Colin. I thought I was, but I wasn't. I didn't know what anger was." He looked up, and Remus wanted to imagine that he saw tear tracks cutting through the soot on Harry's face, but there were none. There was only that terrifying dry-eyed rage.

As Harry stood, Remus saw his face compose. Harry stepped forward, slow pace by slow pace, and when he got to Remus, his expression was a mask of calm. He might have been a carving of a religious saint.

"Take care of her for me, please, Remus," he said, placing the dead owl into Lupin's hands. "I have Slytherins to kill."

IX. Our Capital Demand

"You have placed yourselves at our mercy," said Remus.

The Great Hall had been restored to its former grandeur, and the wizards gathered at its center were making a point of ignoring the exits, and the individuals guarding those exits. 

"We will explain to you what your unconditional surrender has cost you. May you see it as mercy, for I fear otherwise you will have none."

"Get on with it, you bloody mongrel," said Lucius Malfoy, his sneer not a whit tempered for all that he was a defeated man, and a prisoner, and his new-made empire was no more.

Remus did not change expression. "That you will live magicless. That no man or woman who named themselves a member of the Order of the Heirs of Slytherin will touch a wand again, on pain of death. Moreover, that all your estates are confiscated. They become property of the Ministry of Magic, who will designate living allowances for each of you and for each of your families. Not generous allowances either."

Little exhalations, like hisses, came from individual prisoners. Lucius Malfoy was not one of them, nor did he change expression.

Nor did he nod. It had been made quite clear that this was a sentence, not a treaty nor a settlement.

Sirius Black spoke. "That if any activities are performed in the future by anyone who claims they represent, honor, or work in the spirit of the Heirs of Slytherin, you are the ones who will suffer for it. Each act of terrorism to Muggles, Squibs, or Muggle-born wizards will result in the imprisonment of one of you in Azkaban, the individual and the term of imprisonment at the discretion of this council."

There was not so much drama in the way Severus Snape stepped to the forefront, yet he commanded the full attention of the room no less. "That the parents of Theodora Eugenie MacNair, who murdered their Squib daughter in the hopes of showing their devotion to the Heirs of Slytherin, both receive a Dementor's Kiss."

Both Walden and Heloise MacNair were present, yet neither of them made any outcry, and neither expected the others to protest for them. They did not so much as look at each other.

Pettigrew had escaped similar sentencing by conveniently getting himself killed in the battle.

The youngest member of the council had purposely waited 'til last. There was an angle to his head as he looked at the prisoners in front of him, as though he had not yet decided what he was going to announce. And, given the way the other council members were watching him, perhaps he had not.

"That there will be a hostage," he said, "to insure the continued good behavior of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy."

An intake of breath, not quite inaudible, from one individual within the prisoners' ranks.

There was a slow nod from Remus as he looked at Harry, as though, indeed, Harry had kept this provision to himself until now.

"Severus," said Harry, not taking his eyes from Draco Malfoy, "I'll want the use of the dungeon for a bit."

X. Nice Customs Curtsy

"You fucking bastard, Potter!"

"I've missed you too, Draco," crooned Harry, his smile wicked.

Draco scrambled backwards. "Get. Away. From me."

Harry was advancing on him. "No, I don't think so. Not this time."

"You're a brave man, aren't you, hiding behind your wand."

"And I don't believe that's going to work either. No one said this was about fair, Malfoy." Still smiling, Harry held his wand away from his body, lightly between thumb and forefinger. "You can come and get it, you know. Use it if you like. You just have to be willing to accept a death sentence. That's fair, isn't it? All about choices, y'see."

"You little half-breed prick."

Harry tch-tched. "Really, I must do something about that language of yours." His wand slid away, up his sleeve. "It'll reflect badly on me if I don't."

Somehow, Harry wandless and equally confident was a more chilling sight than if he'd had his wand out. "Don't touch me," hissed Draco.

"Don't? What do you think this is all about? You're mine, Draco."

Draco tensed like an acromantula ready to spring. "The hell I am."

Harry, conversely, assumed neither an offensive nor defensive position, but spread his arms wide as if to embrace a long-missed brother. "Come here and let me show you."

It was too much of a goad. Draco leaped.

Harry caught him, let the momentum carry them around so that he could crash Draco against the wall, his arms about him. "Give us a kiss, Malfoy," he leered.

Draco snarled, tried to push away but his arms were trapped by Harry. He realized Harry was quite serious as Harry's face, inches from his own, pushed closer, and he had to turn his face to the side, making a noise of outrage.

Which was doubled in volume when Harry drew his tongue from Draco's chin to brow in a slow, obscene lick.  "You...sick...fucker!"

"What you will come to understand," said Harry, kissing Draco on the temple in a way that, removed from everything else, would have been sweet, "is that I broke you from the moment I claimed you. The rest of this is just follow-through."

He pushed Draco's shoulders against the wall and took advantage of the skull-jarring moment that went with it to cover Draco's mouth with his. Draco's hands lifted reflexively to try and push Harry's away, but suddenly Harry's hands were no longer on his shoulders; Harry was pressing him against the wall with the force of his body upon Draco's and his hands had moved lower. Much lower. In fact, they nearly had his trousers open before Draco could work out what he meant to do with his own hands.

Which, of their own accord, decided that stopping Harry's from their task was the most logical route. But his hands had no sooner touched Harry's than one of Harry's shot upward, grabbing him by the throat and squeezing. Choking, Draco tried to pry it away, as Harry broke the kiss and bore down on him with his gaze.

"You little liar," Harry said, each word distinct. "You want this. You know that you've found your master at last and it's making you weak-kneed. Every minute of time you ever spent goading me, hounding me, was leading up to this, your oh-so-clandestine hope that I'd lose it at last, get my fists full of you because you couldn't actually come out and say Use me, use me, Potter, I need you to stop playing the good little Gryffindor and conquer me like I want."

He had released Draco's throat, but Draco hadn't started to breathe yet. He was frozen against the wall, the look of horror on his face saying that he'd heard Harry's every word... though whether he was terrified because Harry was exactly right or inventing inanities, no one could say except Draco Malfoy himself.

And perhaps not even him.

Taking in a great gulp of air, Draco tried to push past Harry. Harry seized him and they both went down on the stone floor together. Draco wasn't trying to fight but was still trying to get out of Harry's grip on his waist.

"Do I... tie you down for this, Draco?" Harry said, breathing hard. "Use magic and body-bind you? I've got no qualms about using magic." Draco was still trying to get his breath back and didn't waste it on answering. Harry went on: "But I don't think I need to. Let's see, I was about to prove that-- oh, yes..." He shoved one hand into Draco's half-open trousers. The blond froze as if struck. Then groaned.

Fumbling with buttons and cloth with one hand, but never taking the other away from where it was curled about Draco's erection, Harry pushed both trousers and underclothing down Draco's thighs. "There we are," he said, not disguising the glee in his voice, "at least part of you knows when to give up and be sensible. Malfoy, you slut, I'm going to make you into my pet, you know that? You'll whine when I ignore you and pant when I smile at you, and you'll bloody well present your belly when I so much as enter the room you're in, do you hear me?" And he engulfed Draco's cock with his mouth, sinking on it to the root, and Draco, who had managed to get his hands to Harry's shoulders with the intention of shoving him away, now bit into them with his fingers and hung on and threw his head back and screamed.

Harry sucked him, moaning, all hard suction and fierce lashings of his tongue over Draco's cock, and then abruptly pulled away. "You're so ready for it you're going to come any second. Well, you'll wait, you hungry little whore."

It was hard to say whose clothing Harry tore off faster, Draco's or his: for all that Draco was not exactly helping him, he seemed powerless before the onslaught. "You don't come," said Harry, "until I'm inside you." And, as he had said, not so long ago to someone else, it was no command, but a statement of fact.

Draco, retaining some measure of self-preservation, tried to throw himself sideways and crawl away, but Harry, laughing, didn't even bother to grab for him. Instead he stood, and, in three stalking strides, was over Draco and had seized him by his hair. "No, you're not going anywhere." Draco refused to cry out as Harry knelt behind him, hand still knotted in a fistful of his hair, but when Harry kicked Draco's legs apart and his other hand took hold of his balls and squeezed, his resolution broke quite readily.

Harry set his mouth to the crack of Draco's arse and began to tongue him, Draco crying out over and over as that sensation, twinned with that of Harry's hand tightening and relaxing about his balls, left him inarticulate. "This is... all you get, " said Harry between licks, "so I suggest you cooperate. Because you don't get healing magic unless I say so."

Draco had his eyes closed. His hands were spread out to either side of him, clutching at the cracks in the stone floor. He was biting his lower lip hard enough to bruise, and yet it was not exactly fear that radiated from him, not completely. The odor on his sweat was not that of panic but of arousal, and though it could not be said that his lack of resistance implied consent-- it was quite clear that fury lay fully uppermost in the sum of his emotions--it did appear that something had made him give up the fight, and what it was was not fear.

Harry's hands went to Draco's hips and dug into him, as Harry got up onto his knees between Draco's spread thighs. "Don't think that this is all of it," he said, panting. "Me fucking you. That isn't what makes you my slave, makes you my pet. No, I'll be under you soon, screaming for more, and you'll know you belong to me because even in that position, you will never, never doubt that I'm the one in control."

Harry breached him. Draco howled; he was woefully unprepared for it, and yet still made no effort to move away as Harry sank balls-deep into his arse, snarling behind clenched teeth. "Goddammit, Malfoy," he gasped, starting to thrust into him, "you are never going to be free of me. I'm going to have a metal band made that reads 'Property of Harry Potter' and if you're good, I'll let you wear it on your ankle and hide it under your trouser cuff, and if you're not I'll make you wear it around your fucking neck and I'll make damn sure you never wear anything that covers it."

There was no disguising the way Draco's hips were rising to meet Harry's thrusts. "Fuck, Potter...!" he moaned.

"I think you'd fucking like that, if I kept you naked and on a leash one hundred percent of the time, you'd think it was the best thing that ever could have happened to you, wouldn't you? What will your family think of you, you slut-- ahhhh--" The tirade came to a halt as Harry came, forcing himself so deep inside Draco that the blond could feel the abundant warm flow of it trickling into him, and he too came, the gush of come from his own cock so copious that it seemed he was lying in a molten puddle in the space of a heartbeat.

He lay there, utterly stuporous, as Harry pulled out of him and rolled him over onto his back. "Don't expect me to be lenient with you, ever, Malfoy," he said, his mouth quite close to Draco's. "This isn't about love. As a matter of fact, I've recently realized who I'm in love with, and I have every intention of sharing your tasty arse with him as well. And you like the idea of that, too, don't you, whore?"

Harry kissed him on the mouth with an affection that belied his words. By the end of it Draco's tongue was twining quite voluntarily with his.

Harry sat back on his heels. "Get up and get dressed," he said. "Don't make too neat a job of it, and if you try to fix your hair I swear I'll get a leash for you after all."

A leash was not necessary. No one, least of all the Malfoys, was in the smallest way doubtful as to what had happened between Draco and Potter, when the two re-entered the Hall. And their dishevelled appearances were quite superfluous in the telling of that, actually. 

Harry did not pay attention to what Remus was saying. They were coming to the end of it, and it was all just knuts and sickles at this point. Instead he edged away from Draco slightly so that he was standing close to Snape.

Snape was aware of him doing so. "You missed the part about the memorial for the owls," he murmured. "It was suggested by one of the Weasley brats."

"I'm glad of it. Maybe something with a garden; that would be nice." He leaned in closer, so that none could overhear. "I think we're going to have a very agreeable relationship with our hostage."

"Are we."

Harry smiled at the slight displeasure he heard in Snape's tone. Snape would never admit to being jealous, of course. "Oh, yes. He's going to be good. Very, very good. We'll make sure he shows us just how good, Severus."


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