Chapter 1 : Blood
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“Your blood means more to me than meets the eye, Harry,” he said suddenly, spinning around, putting the line of his gaze directly into Harry’s, allowing flutters of hatred to cross his face, yet willing them away. He was far too close to give into his pride now… far too close, he had waited far too long –
“Harry?” Harry replied, surveying Draco’s face with contempt, and surprise at the random statement Draco had shot at him. He had no idea Malfoy even knew he was there. He had followed him into this bathroom, very suspicious – but he couldn’t register his surprise, “Makes a change. I’m usually used to you calling me “Potter”. And what do you want with my blood?”
Draco glared at him for a few seconds, holding his body from diving at Harry in a lapse of willpower. He couldn’t work out what he’d do if he dived at him. Smash his face in, really letting Harry see what he wanted with his blood? Or… or something else that he couldn’t comprehend right now…
“I want nothing more than to own your blood,” Draco seethed, “So I can show everyone that I destroyed you.”
He confused himself as to what his words meant; double entendres were never his style… yet here he was, spilling them out as though they came naturally to him. He couldn’t make up his mind about what he was saying meant yet, only time could tell. But time had passed long enough, and he’d waited long enough – why should he wait any longer?
A tap dripped in the empty boy’s bathroom, giving a watery echo around the dank surroundings, resonating off the low ceilings, lit by a single hanging oil lamp, which cast long shadows around the walls. He had come in here for some refuge from the school, and here, and here stood this Potter, following him like some common sneak. He was always far too nosy, and too arrogant, bigheaded for his own good. Peace and quiet was all he wanted, so he could hang over the edge of the sink, gripping its grimy white ceramic on his own, contemplating the horrific task he’d been given to fulfil. And here was this Potter, stopping the only peace he’d get all day –
“Destroy me, Malfoy?” Harry scowled, feeling anger steal into him, like a type of slow-acting poison, “You couldn’t destroy me. I know what you are, and it just shows your cowardice – ”
“I am no coward, Potter!” Draco suddenly whipped his hand towards his wand, pulling it out of his robe pocket, “You don’t know what I’ve done!”
Harry, with sudden reflex born of his Quidditch skills, leapt aside behind a line of toilet cubicles, as Malfoy’s curse gouged a chunk out of the grey tiled wall that he’d been standing in front of. His heart pounding with rage at Malfoy’s unprovoked attack, he pulled his own wand out and stepped out of his hiding place, pointing his wand directly at Malfoy’s face.
“STUPE – “”
But Malfoy parried the jinx, and the force of his shield charm unsteadied Harry for a moment, before a curse hit him with the force of an iron punch to the skull. He was slammed into the wall behind him, seeing white dance in front of his eyes, dazed and confused. Trying to regain focus he pointed his wand blindly to his left and yelled –
“Rictusempra Potter!” Malfoy laughed, with combined rage and contempt, “It’ll take more than that – far, far more now that I’ve learnt – “”
“A few tricks from Voldemort?” Harry finished for him, a sudden hot flush of anger clearing his head. The boy in the room with him, one of his classmates – as despised one, but a classmate nevertheless – was mixing forces with the man that killed his parents. It angered him beyond belief. How dare Malfoy!
“Don’t say his name Potter!” Malfoy screamed at him, his face contorted into rage, his profile reflected in many of the cracked, tarnished mirrors in the dank room, “Don’t you ever! You have no idea what – “”
“What it means?” Harry yelled, staggering as he tried to stand up, still feeling very unsteady “I know what his name means, Malfoy!”
Draco jabbed his wand at Harry, and Harry only just managed to dodge it, as a white-hot streak passed his face, and it hissed as it hit the damp tiled wall right next to his head.
“If you don’t be careful, I’ll give a you a scar that nobody will ever want to worship ever again,” Malfoy hissed, his grey eyes contracted into slits, glinting maniacally behind his lids. Never had Potter made him so – so mad. He was used to being in control, to taunting him, but what he was feeling now was fathoms deep rage, causing his heart to bound heavily in his chest and making him feel like no pain that he could inflict on Harry would ever be enough.
“What is it about me that you hate Malfoy?” Harry said, trying to stare at him in the face, but still needing to support himself against the wall. He should’ve run; he was in no position to fight, but his anger and pride preventing him from doing the sensible thing… he couldn’t have Malfoy telling the whole school that he’d beaten him a in a duel… he’d fight to the death if he had to… that was how he felt.
“Just – “” Draco struggled with himself and then let out a roar of frustration as he turned away from Harry, bending over and gripping his white blonde hair.
Harry was intrigued. Malfoy was losing control… and here he seemed to be dealing with a soul-deep rage that was rendering him incapable of reason. Harry had always been under the impression that their mutual hatred was down to the pure fact that they were from Gryffindor and Slytherin, and that Malfoy stood for everything that Harry abhorred. They were polar opposites – but, Harry suddenly realised with crystal clear clarity… did that make them more similar? Confusion muddled his brain for a moment, before he focused on Malfoy again.
“WHY CAN’T YOU EVER JUST LEAVE ME ALONE?” Draco suddenly screamed at Harry, turning his face towards him, yet not advancing. He looked possessed, so angry that Harry believed that if the thought had crossed Malfoy’s mind, he could’ve killed him.
“Kill me then,” Harry told him calmly, “Kill me. Like you tried to kill Katie. AND RON!”
Rage roared in him before he could finish his sentence, and his eyes flashed at Draco across the gloom of the bathroom. The piercing green of his eyes reminded him of the equally fearsome red of his master’s… suddenly, he felt fear… Harry seemed to know more than he expected – but then he always did, that irritating busybody who had that habit of showing up in places that no one wanted him, finding out more knowledge than he was ever entitled to.
“You – you don’t know what you’re talking about,” Draco suddenly remembered that Harry could never find out, and the fear of his master drove all the rage from his mind, as though a cloth had been wiped across a blackboard. All his thoughts were written in chalk, impermanent, easily removed, just in case they ever jeopardised his mission. Emotions were far too self-indulgent to have right now, he’d never given into them before –
Yet he sensed his mind was losing control, giving up and becoming unhinged, so all the things he’d suppressed over the years were spilling out over into anger. And here – here was the boy, nearly a man – who was causing the most of his grief – Harry Potter. Nothing else mattered, he didn’t care anymore, all he knew was that it was he was who he wanted –
“You’re despicable,” Harry hissed at him, “YOU’RE SCUM!”
Harry suddenly ran at him, his fist pulled back. Draco barely had time to stagger backwards when he felt Harry’s fist collide with his forehead, and he was knocked back into the floor. The damp stone floor whacked into the back of his head, and he swore he felt nothing but black for a few seconds, until a heavy weight sank into the side of his torso – Harry was kicking him – for some reason, it wasn’t the pain that suddenly caused tears to prickle his eyes –
“Don’t hurt me,” the words passed his lips before he could control them, and he hated himself. He hated his weakness, and the breakdown of the façade he’d worked so hard to maintain his entire life. He was showing Harry the most disgusting part of himself, the vulnerable, weak part that gave into such terrible things – such as – love.
Harry was stunned. Malfoy was pleading. Tears were falling down his face, and his lips were saying silent pleas… moving but no sound was coming out. His usual cold grey eyes had been replaced with watery, wide eyes that showed petrified fear and innocence. Harry could only assume that… Malfoy was out of his depth. His usual smarmily slicked back blonde hair was dishevelled, and looked like he had just gotten out of bed, showing a vulnerability that Harry had never seen before. He didn’t feel contempt for Malfoy as he lay there, on the floor at his feet crying silently, his eyes wide open with fear, and looking as though they couldn’t see anyway. Harry had felt enough pain in his life to understand what real pain looked like – and, as much as he despised and hated Malfoy, this was it.
“You all right?” Harry grunted, not wanting to give into the pity that was creeping, unwelcome, into his brain.
Malfoy shook his head, burying his face into the damp water on the cold stone floor. He lay on his side, hugging his body as he stared underneath the cubicle doors, at the bases of the tin toilets – but never really seeing them. Harry had just kicked him, punched him, tried to curse him and now he was asking him if he was OK. If only he knew the extent to which his fears and worries went to… far beyond anything he’d ever had to deal with. His perfect life was now in tatters… his father in prison, his mother not coping with the lack of a husband, and now he was being watched by the most evil man he’d ever met, like an dark shadow… having received an impossible task that, unless he completed it, he would be killed. He needed help, he wanted help. He wanted out, he wanted to lose and forget everything –
Draco tried to stand, turning onto his front, and pressing himself up on his hands, shaking as his wasted muscles struggled to support his weight. Without understanding why, Harry helped him to his feet, heaving him roughly under the arms, surprised at how light he was – despite him being taller than himself… his fragility gave birth to a shocking feeling in Harry: tenderness.
In horror, Harry flung Draco from him, his eyes looking away from him in shock. He would slip out of the bathroom, and he would forget about this – feeling anything other than hatred towards Draco – no, Malfoy – was not something he wanted to endure… but as he saw Malfoy standing there, wiping tears from his grimy face, his skin grey beneath his white blonde hair, his grey eyes watery and fearful – he looked like a diluted version of himself, colourless, and looking exactly like Harry felt when everything ever got – too much… but he never let himself cry like Draco was doing… he couldn’t give up, yet Draco was showing him a tantalising glimpse about what “losing control” could be like… bliss, at never having to worry.
“Harry,” Draco croaked, feeling every essence of his self-control slip away, leaving the most human aspect of his character behind, giving way to his pride and everything he thought he stood for.
“Don’t,” Harry suddenly snapped, not looking at him, “Don’t come near me.”
The scale of Draco’s crying increased.
“Please, Harry, please,” Draco begged him, turning his distraught face towards Harry’s, who forced his green eyes to look into the watery depths of Draco’s, “Don’t do this to me.”
Harry felt empathy and sympathetic feeling crawl into his heart, and the essence of his good nature threatened to override everything – he could, he would comfort Malfoy. It was the least he could do… he couldn’t leave him like this…
Draco moved a fraction closer, so subtly that Harry didn’t notice. He was within his arm’s reach, so Harry stretched out and tentatively put his hand on Draco’s shaking shoulder. Holding it there, Harry felt distinctly awkward, his mind still racing with underground feelings that were stirring within him, and dormant anger still lay within him, threatening to burst free at any moment. And hatred towards himself, for comforting, comforting, the man that nearly killed his best friend –
Harry couldn’t look at where his hand was, it disgusted him so much… but then he felt something wet and soft lay itself against it. Draco was laying his face on his hand. A flare of horror leapt in him, but he couldn’t withdraw his hand… there was something about the illicitness of the situation that awoke every fraction of curiosity that played host in Harry’s body. Forcing himself to look at Malfoy, Harry saw that his eyes were closed, twitching slightly beneath the closed lids, his mouth open slightly as it gulped in oxygen after the onslaught of crying – but that wasn’t what disturbed Harry so… it was the comfort and contentment that seemed to be reflected on Draco’s face. As though he hadn’t felt such good feelings in a very long time – Harry felt like that too. It was a long time since he had ever felt truly contented, and here was Draco, feeling it right in front of him. He wanted to feel it too –
He moved closer to Draco, ignoring the rationality in his brain that was begging him to leave, and cupped his hand around the back of Draco’s neck. Their bodies weren’t touching, but Harry’s extended arm shook as he felt the soft skin that covered the hot, beating pulse in Draco’s neck. The rhythm of Harry’s heart suddenly increased to match the race that was Draco’s… and Harry had to open his mouth to take in the sudden demand of oxygen that his body seemed to need –
As though he were aware of it, Draco placed his hand on Harry’s arm, gripping onto it, still not opening his eyes, but his face tightened slightly, as though he was suddenly hurting – maybe he feared opening his eyes and realising that nobody was there comforting him, and that this was just all such a pleasurable dream that it almost hurt. A black bruise on his forehead started to blossom and Harry felt sudden shame. He removed his hand from Draco’s neck and gently stroked the bruise, brushing away the blonde fringe that covered it. The tenderness of his hands made hot tears spill out from beneath his lids, and he finally opened his wet eyes –
They met a pair of green eyes that were gazing at his face with an unbroken intensity, and played host to anger, curiosity, and pity. Harry’s mouth was open slightly, taking in slightly more air than one normally would in normal circumstances. Draco could still feel Harry’s hand brushing his fringe from his face, and a frown was slightly knotted between Harry’s eyebrows, showing his confusion.
Their faces were centimetres apart, and Draco moved a millimetre closer, so that they could feel each other’s breath on their faces. It was difficult to keep their breathing even now, and an irregular rhythm was put into place, each inhale taken in a jagged stroke, each exhale done quickly, so another inhale could be completed.
The softness of Draco’s breath fell on Harry’s face like dust, and Harry had no choice but so close his eyes in order to savour every single physical feeling that his body was experiencing. Suddenly, he wished he were a more hesitant person – but, he wasn’t, so he moved his face forwards, so that the sides of their noses were touching, and each other’s ragged breath was going into the other’s open mouth –
Draco felt a sudden contraction beneath his torso, and he took this as a sign – a positive and unforgettable sign – to place his hand on the back of Harry’s head, so that he could push it ever so slightly forwards –
As Harry’s lips touched Draco’s he didn’t move. They were dryer than he was used to, much like his own – he could feel chapped skin grazing against the sensitive nerve endings that his lips were filled with.
The moment was held suspended – both were far too scared to go any further. They didn’t know what they were doing, and it all felt unnatural – but Draco’s mind was far beyond any of this rational thought, so he pushed his mouth into Harry’s feeling a sudden hotness that contrasted with the rest of the cold that his body was experiencing, due to being damp and a mite thin. They gripped each other’s hair, and repeatedly pushed their lips against each other, pausing only to take ragged breaths –
When Draco tried to move his hand down Harry’s back, Harry didn’t stop him, until he brought it around to the front –
“Stop,” Harry pulled away, breaking everything, destroying a moment that could never, ever be retrieved or replicated, “No, stop. I can’t.”
Draco stood stock still for a moment, stunned, still the scared man that Harry had felt pity for – until it all changed back. His cool grey eyes forced back into slits, and he hand sought his wand once more.
“You – spineless – ” he couldn’t think of words strong enough to hurt Harry with, nothing would hurt him enough – unless –
Harry flung himself sideways onto the stone floor, feeling his cheek graze, and he tasted a salt tang of blood –
Draco’s curse smashed a toilet cistern, and water gushed everywhere, soaking Harry as he lay upon the floor.
Furious Draco turned him wand on Harry again – but this time he was ready –
Anything that lay between Harry and Draco was now abolished. Abolished in the streams of blood that now spurted from Draco’s body, as he fell, with a splash onto the waterlogged floor, as his blood continued to run into the water.
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