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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.
The Sea and the Shore
Summary: A Potterverse retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid .
Pairings: Draco/Harry (primarily)
Notes: Immense thanks to betas Fabula Rasa, Cluegirl, and Sparrowhawk.
So you think you know the story. You who are wizards, and know the names, even though the names and the war have fallen into legend and history, so long ago did they happen--you think that names and war make a story, do you?
Listen, and I will tell you what I know.
There was, in those days, a hierarchy among wizarding Purebloods--yes, far more rigid than the small details of class and status you know today. And those at the pinnacle of that hierarchy were those who were monied, and distinguished, and of very old blood indeed, and none so rich and elegant and well-bred as Lucius Malfoy.
And his son was a prince among Purebloods, and knew the privileges of that position, and nothing else...until the day he was denied something that no advantage of his lofty background could attain.
It was a boy, one who had no elegance, no breeding, but was already a curiosity of the Wizarding world, and might become a prince of it in his own right, if he earned favor. And this boy declined Draco Malfoy's friendship, as if Draco's heritage counted for nothing.
And Draco could not understand the rejection. And it grew bitter in his heart, for was Draco not gently-reared, and well-spoken, and was his friendship not a thing to be coveted?
"Give it no more thought," said his father. "The so-called Boy Who Lived is a half-blooded bumpkin who is not worthy of you. He was not chosen for the house of Slytherin, either, was he? Think no more on him."
And Lucius would draw his son to him, and soothe him, not with words but with kisses and touches that were nothing familial, for the Pureblooded royalty have their own rules, and both father and son were beautiful, and Draco knew his father loved him dearly, and with much tenderness.
And Draco would lie in the embrace of his father's arms, the fall of his father's long pale hair draped over his body in sensual abandon, and was both sated and not sated, for his heart was troubled still, when he thought of Harry Potter.
But he hid his ache, and disguised it as scorn. His Slytherin peers made much of their elite company, and sneered at those judged unworthy of their house. And Draco sneered loudest of all, and at Potter most of all, for he would not lower himself to any attempt to seal the rift, as if he had been in the wrong.
But the ache did not leave him.
Draco made himself Potter's rival in all things, thinking that if he could best him, he would have that triumph as comfort. And in a secret way, he thought it could bring him closer to Potter, for Potter defeated would be a pitiable, humbled creature, prime substance for Draco to approach, all charity, and offer forgiveness. And friendship, once more.
But Potter was not easily bested. Not in sport, not in academics, and not in becoming a favorite to those in power, who mattered most of all to one's status in the Wizarding world.
And Draco grew ever more bitter, for he knew that his own accusations--that his rival was a proud, foolish dunderhead, eager for attention and glory--were of his own invention, and not the truth that he would have liked to throw in Potter's face.
Had they been true, the ache that plagued Draco Malfoy might have withered, and troubled him no further--no more than an old, unhappy memory. But Potter became ever more extraordinary, and his friendship ever more sought-after, and this was not lost on the son of Malfoy.
And he was heart-sick of it, and knew no peace.
Now it came to pass that the allies of Malfoy named Harry Potter an enemy, for his alliances ran counter to the house of Slytherin. And these Death Eaters laid a solemn sentence on him: that he be marked for capture, and afterwards for death, when he was of no more use to his enemies.
Draco's coming of age, and his induction into the Death Eaters' ranks, took place just prior to Potter's capture.
And the Death Eaters tortured Harry Potter, and took what information from him they could (which was not as much as they wished, for the boy had more courage than they had patience), and when they were done, they made him the center of their dark revels--in which Draco was not permitted to engage, for his father had thought him too inexperienced just yet.
And when they were glutted with their play, and stuporous with the surfeit, or had fallen into drunken sleep, Draco, who had observed all this, went to the helpless figure of his rival, and, while none were watching, took him away from their circle of dreadful debauchery.
He carried off Potter--who was also in a stupor, charmed that way by the last Death Eater who had used him, to prevent his escape-- to a secret place, and his thoughts roiled at this betrayal, for surely so it would be called by his father.
Much injury had been done to Potter, and Draco looked at his still, unclad form, and the bruises and bites of the abuse and bedsport that had been inflicted upon him, and the marks of the whip, and the cane, and the knife, and did not know if he was sickened or aroused by them, and he was dazed by that thought.
He kissed Potter, because it was what he wanted, what he had wanted, and none were there to taunt him for it--not even Potter himself, senseless with spells. And Draco touched the hurts of his body with fingers, and with lips, and with tongue, all unknowing if he did this to savor the wounds or in a semblance of healing them.
And whichever of the two was the truth, Draco had stripped his own clothing off, and entwined himself about Harry, kissing, caressing, taking what he might in these stolen moments. And despite his enchanted sleep, Harry was not unresponsive to Draco's touch, flesh rousing to the caresses of his mouth and hands, breath quickening between his lips. Draco brought him flushed and erect to match Draco's own arousal, and Harry's body answered it, quietly burning in contrast with Draco's fever pitch, but incapable of resisting. And Draco clung and kissed and stroked and took no more than he gave, and he was replete with it, even as Harry seemed no less fulfilled by his attentions.
Yet he never once woke.
And when it was done, and Draco lay gasping, and then heavy-lidded, over Harry's body, he thought that he must return Harry to the circle of the Death Eaters' rituals, and knew beyond all knowing that he could not do it.
He bore Harry away, caring only that Harry be found by his friends and that he himself not be discovered in the doing of it. And so Draco left him on friendly ground, waiting until he heard the voices that approached, and knew them for Harry's dearest companions, who would be able to remove the sleeping charm and heal Harry's wounds. And Draco apparated away before he could be seen.
And when the Death Eaters found their captive flown, they were furious, and blamed each other for their carelessness, and some suffered mightily at the hands of their leader for the error...but suspicion never once fell upon Draco Malfoy.
His betrayal was not discovered.
But once tasted, betrayal flavors all, and the taste thereof is bitter. And Draco had tasted of fruits forbidden, and those too have an overwhelming memory.
And he knew that he could not live as he had, in his realm, for much longer.
It was the most dreadful thing he had ever contemplated. It meant that he would no longer be a Slytherin prince, his father's son. But he knew that he had already lost that at his core, and was wearing but the shell of it now. And that shell would not, could not last.
And all this for a half-blooded, Muggle-raised boy.
And at last Draco went to the one person that he thought could help him, and would help him, because he had the skill and because he might be bought. For he was rumored to live in favor of both factions of the Wizarding world, and to play one against the other for his own benefit. Furthermore, he was not kind. Draco did not want someone who would be thinking of him with kindness, nor care a jot about Draco's best interests.
"I know what you would have, for it is written on every surface of you. Your father is a fool not to see it," said Severus Snape. "You wish to leave the Death Eaters, and join with Dumbledore's forces, and all this because there is one whose favor you crave more than your father's. Yes, I can give you this, and you will give me no peace until I do, so I may as well agree now."
"Is there a price?" Draco asked, and his voice was full of loathing.
"There is always a price," said Snape, and he smiled a yellowed smile, and it was not pleasant. "But not for my services. If you would leave the Death Eaters, I must first remove your magic."
And Draco flinched and could not believe this, and Snape said, "Yes, yes, there is no other way. For that sigil on your arm marks you as one of them, and links you to their power, and they will use it to bring you back and kill you if you leave them. Only the loss of your magic can remove your Mark. And if you go to Dumbledore and plead your case and ask for sanctuary, he will remove your magic for you, both because of this and to insure that you are not a danger. If you let me remove your magic first, he will believe you are sincere, and will not turn you away."
"You still have your Mark," said Draco.
"Because I am careful to be of use to both sides," said Snape with another unpleasant smile. "It is your decision. I do not care."
And Draco despaired, unable to imagine life without magic, but knew that he was crumbling away bit by bit within his ever more-fragile shell, and that he could make no other choice.
"Then I shall remove your magic. And as for price, my part in the ritual will be payment enough." And Draco did not like the Potion master's leer, but he could do nothing about it.
And Draco was required to shed his clothing, and lie upon a surface of stone, and to be still as Snape worked the ritual upon him. And he endured the cut of a blade and the taste of foul mixtures, but none were so difficult to endure as the salacious touch of the Potion master's hands and lips upon Draco's most intimate parts. For Snape was clearly gleeful to have the opportunity to work over his young flesh, coaxing moans of humiliation, and then discomfort, and soon arousal from Draco's throat. Had it been any other than Snape, Draco would have thought it all sham, and merely an excuse to subject him to the other's carnal desires.
But because it was Snape, Draco knew that he would never have used such excuses, but would have asked for it as payment, and baldly. And because of that--and because he knew he would have paid it, so great was his need to escape--Draco endured. He groaned as he was kissed and stroked to hardness, and then kept there with small leather straps and hissed threats and nothing so kind as a charm, while Snape worked the ritual and the tenderest parts of his flesh with obvious enjoyment, until Draco fair arched into every touch and begged for release, and knew that the memory of this would sully every passionate thought, every stirring of the flesh he would ever feel, and knew that it was fair payment for what he had done to Harry Potter's helpless, unconsenting body.
When it was done, and he was spent, and both his Mark and his magic had left him, Draco clothed himself, while Snape lolled, contented, in a chair and said, "Go now, and throw yourself upon Dumbledore's mercy, and seek the eye of him you cannot live without. You are a fool and more than a fool. Before you had me remove your magic, you should have sought some way to insure he would return your devotion. But your kind always thinks that contemptible. You think your sacrifice alone will be enough for him."
"And if not?"
"Then you will die of a broken heart, no doubt. Your kind always makes it a point to do so."
And Draco went to Dumbledore, and spoke truths that were more than half-truths, even if they did not reveal all. And Dumbledore and his allies tested him with intense suspicion, but found that he was indeed magicless. And as the Potions master had predicted, this did the most to sway them and convince them of his sincerity. And Draco Malfoy was brought under their protection, and left his father's world behind him.
But he had not left the Wizarding world, and to be magicless in the Wizarding world, when one remembers what one has lost, is burdensome enough to crush the bravest spirit. But the desires that had driven him were stronger still, and though he had not spoken of them to Dumbledore, the old wizard gave Harry Potter the duty of overseeing Draco Malfoy.
This did not please Harry, who seemed determined to spend as little time with Draco as possible. But he could not shirk the duty entirely, for he was mistrustful of Draco's conversion, and determined that he should cause no harm, particularly while he was Harry's responsibility.
And the habits Draco had formed in his speech with Harry--who had not been "Potter" in Draco's thoughts for many a day--were ingrained, and Draco, bitter at the loss of his magic, knew that if he could not speak insult then he would fall dumb. And so he could not begin to heal the breach, not with words, which were just as angry towards Harry as they had ever been.
And Harry answered in kind, and he was cruelly mirthful over Draco's loss of magic. For in many things Draco was now even more helpless than a Muggle, having no experience with a non-wizard's way of existing. It was not merely the lack of wandspells; Draco had grown up without knowing even how to operate the simplest Muggle cookstove, and was at the mercy of his new allies' kindness for all these needs.
And when Harry perceived this helplessness, he was surprised to find himself ashamed of his gloating. He had wished to see Draco Malfoy laid low, but had not thought it would be in order to extend his benevolence to him; but Harry was no more immune to such tricks of the heart than Draco had been.
And Harry could not relish Draco's fall once his own shame confronted him; his own Muggle upbringing was precisely why Dumbledore had turned Draco over to him, and he knew he must not be unworthy of Dumbledore's trust. And though Harry owed Draco no first gesture of kindness, he gave it, for Harry was of that nature. And that is what it took for Draco to swallow his bitter words, and fall silent, so that Harry could teach him what he had to learn.
And his tongue worked its way free from bitterness, just enough to speak the words thank you. And Harry answered with equal politeness, even if warmth had not yet come to cushion their speech.
And the night after that promising beginning, Harry slept near, though not with, Draco, that he might be close by if Draco had clandestine plans to do them harm...and, in case the other boy was disoriented by awakening in unfamiliar surroundings. And Draco began to believe his trials might prove to be worth it after all.
Harry taught Draco what he needed to know to live magicless, and Draco learned from Harry, and their words were civil, and the secrets of Draco's heart began to loosen. Though he was not ready to speak them yet, they were there to be read, if one was perceptive. This was a new Draco to Harry, a disarmed Draco, one that he had never seen.
One that he liked better, much to his surprise.
Now, Harry's best friends had equally forgiving hearts, yet they too had loathed Draco Malfoy, and their mistrust was not so easily put aside, especially as they had not such close exposure to him during this time. One was Muggle-born herself; she had suffered much invective from Draco and his former circle, and her thaw would be slow. The other had borne no fewer insults, and he resented that Harry had been asked to be courteous to Draco, for the former Slytherin prince had done nothing to be deserving.
But Harry was a bit drunk on his own beneficence, and this new, more likable Draco seemed to thrive on it. Nor was Draco slow to seize on Harry's pleasure in this; he was clever, but for once there was nothing devious in it, except in the way that all those in love are devious.
Came the night that Draco dreamt the Death Eaters had come to take revenge, and he woke with a cry. And Harry too woke at the sound, and was instantly by Draco's side. And Draco was not beyond exploiting that, pretending to be more distressed than he was to gain sympathy.
The rest of that night he slept with, not near, Harry.
Though he felt too remorseful to feign further nightmares, it proved to be unnecessary. Harry made no move to have Draco leave his bed the next night, nor the next.
And not that night, nor the next, but not too long after that either, Draco reached out across the bed with a hand that was not bold at all, but terrified of rejection, and made to clasp Harry's hand, if he would allow it. And Harry did. And clasped back.
And not that night, nor the next, but most definitely the next, Draco's hand was more daring where it reached. Though he touched nothing that could not be displayed in public, his meaning was clear. And Harry did not turn him away, but allowed the touch, and soon--returned it.
The next night nothing was hesitant. Both touched, and stroked, and if their hands had a rather single-minded and obvious intent--well, they were both young, and not given to affectionate declaration so much as libidinous purpose.
On that night, and on the many others that followed it, Draco was too blissful even to long for the affectionate declaration.
But that was to change.
It was Harry's best friend who caused the strife. He saw how Harry shared such easy company with Draco, though he had not yet attempted to include Draco in the small circle of his best friends. But Ron knew that was out of respect for the two of them, and not out of any dislike for Draco.
And he grew more and more resentful. He could only bring up past histories so many times; Harry listened, but seemed determined to move on from such history, and they had little power as arguments.
Draco at times found himself clandestine witness to these confrontations, and his heart was glad that Harry was not swayed, but even though he did not care if Ron ever accepted him, he did not want Harry to be assailed again and again by such quarrels. Who knew if he might not be worn down, after so much time?
One day it reached ugly proportions. It was the old history again; how could Harry forgive Draco's vicious taunts and slurs, both to himself and his friends, and Draco's status as a former Death Eater, and how could any of them be sure he was not truly still one of them? And Harry would not hear it, and would not hear it, but then Ron flung a vicious taunt of another sort--one that proved that Ron had been a clandestine witness himself to some proceedings to which he had not been invited. Namely, Harry and Draco's bedroom intimacies.
And Draco almost rushed from his hidden observation to come to blows with Ron, but Ron's next words stopped him in surprise. Ron did not vilify Harry for the trysts themselves, nor for his choice of bed partner. Instead, his voice broke, and he laid forth a naked, anguished lament that Harry could have looked elsewhere than his own best friend, had he wanted someone to share his bed and his touch.
And Draco watched, his internal voices crying a chorus of no, no, no, over and over, as a stunned Harry drew Ron into his arms, and kissed him wonderingly, as he had never kissed Draco, not even when the two of them had lain together, sweat-damp and climax-flushed, in the dark sweet nights.
And as Ron returned the kiss, and Harry did not pull away, but sought his mouth again, and again, Draco fled, blind to everything but the great rent that was opening inside his chest. And he ran until he was far from anyone's hearing, and yet still he was unable to scream the sound that he wanted to scream: the sound that would break the world in two, as he had been broken.
And some say that it was coincidence, and some say that the moment was carefully chosen, but what is true is that Draco's father appeared before him then, with his face drawn in sadness, and his hair close-cropped, so that Draco almost did not know him.
Seeing his son's eyes drawn to the shorn hair, Lucius Malfoy grimaced. "Gone," he said, "to pay that wily bastard Snape, who alone could give me what I asked and keep silent. No doubt I shall be reported performing highly uncharacteristic and undignified acts in the years to come, as he will be profligate in his use of Polyjuice, just to plague me. He may go rot. I will have you back, my son; he has told me how. You will have your magic back, and when the other Death Eaters look to see, your Dark Mark will be restored. We will tell them you planned it all secretly, to bring Dumbledore's secrets to us. See what I have for you. You must use it to kill he whom you love. Snape says you did this for him, and so that love must be the cost of your return. No, no, there is no other way; do not look at me so; I cannot bear it. And when he is slain on this, you will be a wizard once again, and Marked, and I will take you from here and back into the realm where you belong."
And Lucius Malfoy extended to Draco a blade that once belonged to Salazar Slytherin...or else it had not, but was surely a magical blade...or was no such thing, but was mere honed steel yet no less deadly, for the magic was in the killing and not in the steel.
For this is where the ending of the tale begins to unravel. No two narrators of this story can agree on what happened in the end.
For some say that Draco took the blade, and entered Harry's chambers, and found him asleep and entwined in the arms of his best friend, and that he slew both of them with the blade, and returned a wizard to his father's side, but so long in the healing of his heart that he was never whole again.
And some say that when he saw them together he could not slay them, for his love for Harry was too great, and that he fell on the blade himself, and became a ghost, keeping vigil over Harry until Harry himself died, and only then choosing to go beyond the veil of death. And some scoff, and say that is impossible, for how can one without magic become a ghost? And those who believe only smile sadly and tell them not to think they know all the answers, for love is strong as death.
And there are those who say that Draco entered the room to find Harry alone, for the kisses with Ron had been Harry's awakening, but to show him that it was not Ron whose love he craved, but Draco's. Those believers say that Harry sat up, and extended his arms to Draco, and that Draco fell into them, and that they lived together in as much joy as two people in love are permitted, until the span of their days was exhausted, which happens to all, even those who are in love.
But all this was long ago and far away, and none now live who remember it, so none can say for sure. And my throat has grown weary with the telling.
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