mildlunacy: (bam! harry time)
[personal profile] mildlunacy

Ginny refused to do it at home. They ended up taking the Tube to a cheap hotel in Telegraph Hill that Harry was familiar with from his college days. Normally they sat down together and  chatted, or Ginny read an article in the day's paper and they had an easy back-and-forth over the unfortunate state of the city, not to mention the country these days. This time she was tense and silent, and it was obvious even to Harry that she was having second thoughts.

She was dressed oddly, too: Ginny was a North country girl through and through, with the smudged cheeks and faded jeans that implied. He'd never seen her wear a skirt outside of work outfits, but right now she was full speed into the secretary look: sensible heels, a knee-length skirt and jacket, and a pale pink lip color. It was both wrong and kind of sexy, imagining this prim little lady, with her pinned-back red curls and pursed pink mouth, all breathless and disheveled with her hose tearing when her legs spread fast enough, the fabric of her skirt stretched and rucked up around her hips.

Knowing he wasn't supposed to touch her today was making Harry both horny and guilty; a heady combination. Here was his girlfriend in clear distress, all but trembling as she sat ramrod straight at the edge of the seat, and all Harry could think was that she'd probably worn a new bra, too. He could see edges of it peeking through her fancy silk shirt. It seemed pretty lacey, and Ginny wasn't a lace kind of girl either. To his horror, Harry realized he was enjoying her discomfort; he was seriously twisted. This was his girlfriend, not some arsehole bully from school. There was no way it was okay to push her like this. There was no way it was okay to take advantage of the crowding in their connecting train, just to brush across her nipples ever so lightly. She'd always been so sensitive there.  She'd be gasping and trembling harder, while she saw every expression on her face reflected in the blackened window. Harry's own nipples hardened just thinking about it. If only he could tell himself she wanted it; needed it. If only he could believe he had to be fantasizing the same way he was, getting wet off the whole thing.

They could duck into an alley and he could take her in her secretary skirt, her legs around his waist, moaning like a bitch in heat while the cars zoomed by and teenagers laughed around the corner, scratching his back, desperate. They could snog till they couldn't breathe, and ditch Malfoy to go home and shag more.

He was a sick pervert, wasn't he. His girlfriend was obviously quite out of her element, and had to be needing Harry's support.

He wrapped a hand around hers on the pole, squeezing lightly.  Ginny  tensed further, but didn't pull away. Her hand was unexpectedly sweaty, he thought.  He had told her she didn't have to do this, of course. In fact, he'd told her so just before they left, more than half-hoping she'd take him up on it. True, he wouldn't have wanted to answer who exactly did he not want shagging whom in this scenario. Regardless,  reckless stubbornness was one trait Harry shared with Ginny, so here they were.

Taking a chance, he sat down and propped his chin on her  shoulder, giving her a quick peck on the cheek. This time she did pull away.

"Not here!" she whispered, but she didn't blush. She scowled.

Oh. They were in public.

Harry had a weird swooping feeling, something like fear or a premonition. "Sorry. I mean… sorry."

"It's okay!" she said in that same tone, still not looking at him. "Don't worry about it."

"Okay. Sorry."

They lapsed into silence the rest of the way. Looking at Ginny's outfit again, Harry thought it had 'no' written all over it.

Malfoy was already waiting by the door when they got there. He wore a black trench coat and impressively sized boots, standing stiff and upright Roneath the building's overhang as he watched the cars go by.   Ginny had slowed her pace down drastically when they'd sighted Malfoy from a ways away, but then she walked faster, her heels clicking smartly on the sidewalk.  It started raining in a sudden burst when they were almost there, and Harry's hair stuck to his skull in moments.

There was a long, awkward interlude when they all stood in the same space, with no one willing to break the silence. Finally, Harry said: "Inside is warmer," and they piled in. Harry got the room from a friendly old woman who blinked at them behind round grandma spectacles.

The atmosphere in the lift was even worse: tense enough that you'd have thought their destination was bound to be an interrogation chamber. At that point, Harry was pretty sure it would all be okay as long as they could relax a little. Sighting the wine menu on the room's desk, he saw their salvation. To that end, he called downstairs and asked for their best vintage, and plenty of beer. He didn't want seize control of this thing, or it would never go anywhere. It was hands-off in every way once the booze arrived.

"Will you be wanting any food brought up with that, Mr. Potter?"

Harry thought for a second. "Feeling peckish?" he asked the room. Malfoy rolled his eyes, and Ginny kept pacing in place a little. "I'll have bangers and mash."

"Coming right up, love."


He hung up to the sight of both Malfoy and Ginny giving him a Look. Naturally, Harry got a little defensive. "What?"

Malfoy had to come to the rescue. "Crisps, if they have them."

"I'll check," Harry said.

That  was the last thing they said for nearly ten minutes.

By that point, Harry was quietly placing bets with himself about how much he'd give so that none of this ever happened. He felt very British at that moment. This whole openness and frankness about sexuality business was too bloody hard, not to mention highly embarrassing.

Malfoy had the nerve to have ignored him completely after that one charitable contribution. He turned on the telly and plopped down on the edge of the bed with apparent satisfaction. Soccer was on: Spain vs. Romania. Harry held off, unwilling to simply sit down on the bed next to Malfoy, and the only other place was the armchair in the corner. Ginny, on the other hand, had no such problems.

"Woo!" Ginny's game face was on once the  Romanians proved their mettle with their first goal a few minutes later. She'd always been a sucker for the underdog.

It was Malfoy's turn to give Ginny a Look. "This is war, you realize," he said with an arched eyebrow. His lips twitched playfully, and Harry only gaped.  The rival commentary switched on near instantaneously, though Harry knew for a fact Malfoy thought the Spaniards were overrated.

When the beer came a couple of minutes later, they barely said thanks. They certainly downed it fast enough, though, so Harry found himself playing gopher, ordering another few bottles-- and then another.  He was left nursing the wine, his appetite gone.

He wanted to  say something, but wasn't sure what. He'd been watching them and not the game, though he'd been the team Captain back in school. He'd even played against Malfoy once or twice in school matches, and Harry thought he wasn't bad. Not really suited for the rough and tumble of the sport, but not bad. That wasn't to say Malfoy didn't play dirty, because he certainly did. All that wasn't on Ginny's radar at the moment, of course.

Seeing them so animated now, Harry couldn't help remembering those days. Did they remember he was in the room?

The way Ginny giggled and leaned over sideways meant she was well on her way to piss-drunk, and Malfoy wasn't doing much better.  Harry thought watching his girlfriend flirt with Malfoy was definitely not why he'd brought him here.

By the time the stupid soaps came on after the game, they were calling for more beer again, with Malfoy making his usual sarcastic comments on the silly show. Ginny ate it up with the loud, obnoxious laugh she saved for her friends.

It's good to get them to relax, Harry told himself grimly. Dragging her away by the hair was probably Roneath him. Bad idea all around. She was laughing non-stop.

Harry snapped. "Hey!" he called. Nothing. "HEY!"

Ginny's head snapped around, and she blinked at him owlishly. Then she smiled her silly wide, affectionate grin and began to crawl over Malfoy's lap. She leaned across the bed with her arm hanging off, reaching towards Harry. He distantly noted that Malfoy wore an odd expression. A little uncomfortable, maybe a little something else. Well, her tits were mashed into his crotch at the moment, and he hadn't always been such a poof. Harry thought he remembered overhearing some rumors about him and that loudmouthed bitch, Pansy Parkinson.

"Honey?" Ginny prodded, her nails  barely scratching his knee. They were pink today. "Are you feeling lonely?"

Malfoy guffawed, and Harry promptly glared at him, though Ginny only sent back a chastising look she might have given Ron. "Now, Draco. Don't provoke him. He's lonely. Aren't you, honey?"

"I'm not," Harry muttered.

"He's shy." Malfoy deadpanned.


Ginny reeled back. "You didn't have to yell," she said with a moue. "I heard you the first time. Well, what then? Don't tell me you're horny?"

"Why would I be horny?" Harry said, exasperated.

Ginny seemed to consider this, but Malfoy answered easily in his let's-be-reasonable tone. "You're always horny, Potter."

Ginny giggled, giving Malfoy's shoulder a light slap. "Aww yeah. That he is." She paused in the midst of something that passed as thought at the moment. "I know-- should I strip? Would you like that? You liked it before," she said, trailing off.  Before Harry could muster a proper response, Ginny slipped her blouse off one shoulder. "You know what? I'll tell you a secret. Do you want to know a secret, Draco?"

"Of course," Malfoy said immediately.

"This outfit is really bloody stuffy. I'll start to smell soon."

Malfoy huffed a laugh. "That's not good."

"No," Ginny said with a little smile. "It isn't." She slipped out of her skirt before either of the two men could react. With a sigh, Ginny settled cross-legged on the bed.  "See? Comfy."

"Ginny!" Malfoy squeaked, alarmed.

Harry relaxed, suddenly relieved.

"What?" Ginny mumbled, distracted by trying to unclasp her bra without taking off the blouse entirely. It seemed some sense of modesty remained to her.

Malfoy opened his mouth, then closed it. Giving up, he looked at Harry pointedly. "She's your girlfriend, Potter."

"Awww," Ginny whined, crossing her arms dramatically, which had the possibly intentional effect of pushing her breasts up. "Traitor!"

"I'm not the boss of her." Harry said faintly, then cleared his throat. "As you can see."

"Ah." Malfoy turned a light pink. "Well-- that is-- do you want some help?"

Harry decided that now was a good time to open the last beer.

Seeing Malfoy's blush, Ginny grinned mischievously. She took his hand and thrust it up her back, underneath her shirt. She practically beamed at Malfoy's dumbfounded, bright red face.

"Give it your best go."

Malfoy seemed frozen, oddly mesmerized. After a few long seconds, he did move, but instead of unclasping her bra, Malfoy's hand glided slowly up Ginny's back, as if she was a cat. Indeed, she leaned back into the caress, closing her eyes.

"Mmm, I could go for a massage."

His hand stilled. "You--could? You want one?"

"Yeeaahh," Ginny sighed. "I'd love one."

After a moment, Malfoy responded, his voice notably lower. "You'd have to take your blouse off and lay on your stomach."

They were ignoring him again, Harry thought, in shock. What the hell was this rubbish? What were they playing at? Were they daring him? Mocking him? Was she that pissed?

While Harry was frozen, Ginny simply removed her shirt and threw it over by the telly with a small grin, both eyebrows raised expectantly.

"Right, then. Lie down."

"You won't need any lotion?"

"You have some?"

"Of course. A girl is always prepared for chapping."

Malfoy laughed while Ginny dipped down to rummage through her bag, emerging triumphantly with a flowery tube. She handed it over for a sniff and waited. "Not bad," he said. "Apple and… freesia?" He paused, then gave another delicate sniff. "Faint notes of red currant too, I think."

"Oh, brilliant! That's it!" Ginny beamed. "Of course, it is written on the package."

"Please, that's so plebeian. This is a natural gift that needs no supplement," Malfoy said with his usual modesty, watching impassively as Ginny lay down on her stomach, face down into the pillows. He coughed lightly. "I'll need to unclasp your bra."

"I have had massages before, you know."

"Oh, good. I'm not a pro, mind you."

"Will you stop procrastinating?"

Malfoy chuckled, spreading the lotion on his palms, and rubbed them together briskly. "I hear and obey."

Ginny hummed. "That's what I like to hear."

They stopped the back and forth once Malfoy got going, though the silence had a different quality than before. Ginny gave off a constant low purr, squirming in pleasure when Malfoy gave a particularly strong squeeze around her lower back. Malfoy straddled her and moved up and down as the situation demanded. Harry was sure he wasn't on their minds anymore, but he was utterly unprepared for the heated lance of shock he got when Malfoy's hand lingered at Ginny's inner thigh.

That's when Harry reached for the remote control, switching off the telly. The background noise instantly disappeared, but neither of the people on the bed appeared to notice the sudden ringing quiet.

Ostensibly, Malfoy was only giving a massage, face serious and intent, but the telltale blush was obvious, as were Ginny's throaty moans. She spread her legs in small degrees, increasing access to her inner thighs.

He was watching closely,  but Harry wasn't sure when they crossed the line between massage and caress.  All he noticed with certainty was the moment he knew: Ginny was squirming that little bit too much. Malfoy's strokes had gotten long and silky, and Harry thought his breaths sounded loud in the small room. He could even hear the small, constant rustling noises as Ginny unsubtly ground her hips into the covers. Harry was sure she would be biting her lips the way she always did when she had gotten wet enough. He couldn't see, but he knew.

Ginny had always been unselfconsciously sensual, so the reason Harry could hardly believe his eyes was Malfoy. His hands were noticeably jerkier, his thumb rubbing circles barely inches from the line of Ginny's knickers. He'd seemed to notice and snapped out of it, gliding his palm back down around her knee or up to her waist, only to be drawn back to the same spot. Both his thumbs worked in unison now, working in and out slowly. He kept kneading until he was essentially tracing the fold of Ginny's buttocks, his mouth partly open.

She had gone really still, though her hips were more obvious in their tiny squirming wiggles. Harry's own mouth went dry, falling open when Malfoy's movement naturally brought his palm between Ginny's legs, with the heel pressing firmly in the familiar motion he'd used on her upper thighs. He pressed in and she pushed against it, her back slightly arched.

Malfoy's look of concentration never wavered, nor did the heavy silence. He pressed the tip of his tongue between his teeth, now switching between a slow glide with two fingers and a press with the heel of his palm. His hand rocked back and forth slowly, then gained speed, and the heavy huffs of air Ginny took grew impossible to mistake. At this point, Harry almost felt he should leave, but some remaining blind stubbornness kept him glued to his seat, though he sat rigid and shaking.

Suddenly the tension changed in quality: Ginny moaned loudly, then gave a low grunt. "Yeah!"

She bucked up against Malfoy's hand and arched sharply, then moaned again in several waves.

Malfoy shuddered, crying out softly. He sounded half-surprised, and this seemed to urge her on. Ginny's movements intensified, and Malfoy was openly panting. At last, he gave in and grabbed at his bulging crotch with his other hand, hissing through his teeth at every breath. He was shaking as hard as Harry was, almost as if he was in shock himself. His whole body spasmed and he gave a pained moan, slipping a finger in under Ginny's knickers with a tortured, half-disbelieving, half-frenzied look.

This drove Ginny's hips entirely off the bed. She was twitching and coming hard, almost silent now that her face was buried deep in the pillow, and Harry's eyes squeezed shut. He didn't want to see.

He quickly realized he heard them instead: Malfoy's wheezing breaths, the quick slick noises of his fingers slamming in and out, and the moment when Malfoy started to make noise himself.

Harry's eyes snapped open in time to see him pull his hand out-- all four fingers had been in, and it seemed Malfoy was on the verge of fisting her when he'd quit. Ginny panted, her hips shaking, the muscles spasming in her thighs, while Malfoy scrabbled to undo his trousers with clumsy, shaking fingers. It took several tries to undo enough buttons, and while it wasn't unexpected by then, the sight of him actually taking  out his hard penis was obscene. Impossible. Wrong.

Malfoy hadn't bothered to actually take his trousers off, and Ginny still had her knickers on: they'd only been pushed aside. Hell, her stupid secretary hose remained stretched between her lower thighs. Observing it, the whole thing was so obscene it was almost funny.

With a pained grunt, Malfoy gripped his cock and clumsily leaned over Ginny's back. He pushed her down into the covers, an attempt to stick it in. After a moment, it had become all too clear that wasn't going to happen naturally. Ginny arched her waist, pushing him off her a bit as she reached back between her legs with her hand, spreading herself open.

Malfoy was impassive again, staring at the open, swollen red hole before him wide-eyed, hand locked around his cock. He seemed to be at a loss for a moment, kneeling behind her and pressing his erection down between his legs as if he could make it disappear. He appeared equal parts aroused and horrified. Ginny gave in to impatience and started to thrust her own finger in repeatedly, moaning as if neither of the two men were in the room.

Harry's own mouth had long ago gone dry, and he hadn't bothered paying attention to his own actions much as the others had been ignoring him. He only really noticed he'd been rubbing himself once the action had stalled, and his frustration mounted. Seeing Malfoy freeze like that had provoked an uncomfortable, swirling mix of emotions, from relief to sheer dismay.  Now, it was as if he was pulling at his dick harder in retaliation, growing ever bolder by the fact that they simply weren't looking.

"Going to-- come!" Harry whispered,  disbelieving.

"Nn, fuck!" Malfoy thrust his own finger back in along with Ginny's own, and she gasped.

Harry's hips bucked forward and he bolted upright, feeling prickles bursting at the top of his scalp as he got close enough to come all over them if he tried. Too close.  Flushing, he gritted his teeth and fell back into the armchair, breathing hard through his nose. He couldn't. Couldn't--

He whimpered and curled over his knees when he came, his fist squeezing hard at the base, though it wouldn't stop.

Malfoy had apparently lost his self-consciousness, and his hand moved in sync as he kept watching Ginny, though he must have heard. He must have listened, though Harry's fading grunts were swallowed by the wet sounds of their wanking, and Malfoy's tiny gasps. He moaned in those familiar soft hiccups, making excruciating wet slapping noises in counterpoint to Ginny's. He'd started to thrust into his own fist and he was sweating visibly now.

Harry couldn't believe his eyes. He'd come sure enough, but his stomach felt leaden and every muscle so tight it hurt: he didn't think it could get worse, but it did.

"I want to come! I want to come!" Malfoy gave a sudden low groan. In a sharp movement, he grabbed Ginny's hips and thrust forward. His eyes squeezed shut, and he shouted when he slid in as if by accident, though both of them were wet enough that it must have been all too easy.

He thrust frantically at first, rutting like a thirteen year-old virgin, and at that moment, Harry remembered they'd both forgotten to use a condom, but he couldn't speak. Malfoy's head was thrown back and he stared at the ceiling as his hips worked, and he was audibly trying to hide sniffling. Then something seemed to snap in him, around the time Ginny shouted and convulsed for the second time that night. He slowed, twitching, eyes wide open and his hands clasped tight around her waist. Malfoy gave a moan and pulled out in a single jerk, rolling onto his stomach and biting down on the pillow while his cheeks clenched. A tear trickled from the corner of one eye, and he shuddered silently.

Harry couldn't move-- literally couldn't move, could only focus on the pale white of Malfoy's skinny arse. Malfoy restarted thrusting in a diligent, slow rhythm, getting almost all the way out before sliding slowly back in. Ginny's breath caught and she gasped each time, her neck exposed and her red hair fanning out around her. She was beautiful, but she was almost a stranger, somehow.

He couldn't help fixating on that incongruous juxtaposition of Malfoy's pale cock and the flaming red bush he slid up against between Ginny's legs. Malfoy seemed curious: he looked at the place where he fucked her, finally holding himself up by one arm while pushing the other down between them. His eyes squeezed shut, holding Ginny open while he slid in between his own fingers. Ginny was totally lost in her own little world, making little kittenish noises that Harry had thought were for him and him alone. And Malfoy-- he made no noise whatsoever anymore: there was only the squelching in-out in-out sound his dick made as it penetrated Harry's girlfriend. It was like he'd automated it.

Harry wasn't sure what he wanted himself at that point.               The fact that he'd switched places with Malfoy from the party that time didn't escape him. How must Malfoy have felt, watching Harry flash him everything he wasn't supposed to have?

He could have broken in, taken Malfoy's arse just to smash this-- whatever this was. He could see how fast Malfoy would come with his arse spread open.

In the end, Harry didn't move. For once, he simply wasn't hard.


When Ginny owled him to say she needed a "break", Harry was mostly relieved. She probably wanted to go back home; she had only lived as a Muggle for Harry's sake, and had never actually gotten a regular job. She'd be happier like this.

Malfoy going for an extended vacation was a bit of a surprise, though quite warranted. Harry only found out from McAllister when he visited him a few days later. The man was doing well; the nurse had told him he'd be out by the end of the week. Apparently, Malfoy had been in every day, and had confided his plans to McAllister but didn't bother informing Harry.

"Where did he say he's off to?" Harry asked, rather casually.

McAllister turned his face away, clearly not comfortable but sticking to the line. "Can't say, Sir. He must have informed the Captain, so if you want to ask him, that would be your best bet."

"That's not very cooperative of you, McAllister."

"Sorry, Sir." The thing of it was, the man did sound sorry. This whole situation had so much wrong with it, it grew mold on its mold, but McAllister was always about the straight and narrow.

"Malfoy can be stubborn," Harry said finally. "I can find out, though. I'm not a detective for nothing," he smirked.

"Thank you for understanding, Sir."

Harry sighed.

It was pure chance that he caught Malfoy leaving the building the next day.

"Hey, Malfoy," Harry called. Catching sight of his back, his burgeoning acceptance disappeared. Wasn't he owed something besides this slinking out the back door?

The sound echoed oddly in the station lobby, mixing with the tinkling gush of the fountain's tinkle outside and people's murmurs. The everyday mellow hum made a farce out of Harry's indignation.

Malfoy stopped, his head turned in profile. "What."

"Nothing," Harry said. "Just--" He actually blushed. Harry was vaguely horrified at himself, in spite of everything. He rubbed the back of his neck, almost sheepish when Malfoy glared at him.


Harry took a step closer. "What."

"You are a colossal... there aren't words for how dense you are. I hope you got what you wanted."

He didn't  actually wince; this was Malfoy. "Yeah."

"Well." Malfoy paused, squinting at him a bit. "Jolly good, then. See you around."

Harry's stomach twisted, but he nodded. "No doubt," he said, but Malfoy had already gone. In the end, he'd forgotten to actually ask Malfoy where he was going.

After a few minutes, Hermione had come up to him and laid a hand on his forearm. "Harry?" she said. "We still on for lunch?"

A part of him wanted to tell her everything-- ask her to explain it, just like in the good old days. He was pretty sure he was supposed to figure this out by himself, though. Maybe he could bring up the gay thing as a conversation starter one of the evenings Ron was gone: Hey, by the way, you were right. I think I'm gay. She may very well bust out a self-help book, just like the good old days.

"Sorry. Um. I have a question. Bear with me. This may seem a bit off." Harry coughed a little. "Do you think I'm an idiot?"

Hermione choked, hand flying to her mouth, but to her credit she didn't actually laugh. "Is that it?" She huffed another stifled laugh. "Your question?"

"No,"  he said sulkily.

"You can ask me whatever you like. Don't you know that by now?" She raised both eyebrows, an amused light in her eyes.

"I guess... yeah. So, uh--" He mumbled, trying not to think and just say it. "Right. What would you say love is?"

"Oh, is that all." Her brows knitted for a second. "That's pretty simple, Harry. Honestly." She looked at him, probably hiding a smile. "Love is simple. Love is us."

"Us? Don't you mean-- you two? You and Ron?"

Her eyes widened at him reprovingly. "Harry! How could you! Of course not. It's us.  It hasn't been that long since it was the three of us against the world, has it?"

There was a pause. "Well, no." He smiled a bit. "I mean, yeah,  it can't be that difficult."

"This isn't a conversation we can have in two minutes standing in the station lobby, you know. There aren't any magic answers this time. We're all kind of figuring it out as we go along."

"Yeah, probably not," Harry said, taking her by the elbow. "Some people aren't as rubbish at it as I am, though. Well, it doesn't matter, does it. Good riddance to bad rubbish, all that." He went on before Hermione could chastise him. He was sure she'd heard all about it from Ginny herself. "Hey, want to have lunch? I hear a Pakistani deli opened up by the twins' place that's supposed to have kosher pickles.... "

They both laughed, and Hermione threaded her arm through his. "I'm holding out for egg danishes today."

"Lead on," Harry said, and followed her out.

It was another grey, overcast day in London, and that suited Harry just fine. Watching the constant stream of pedestrians as he perched on a  window stool, he felt a state of Zen calm was within reach. It wasn't that he'd reached it, but it was within his grasp, he thought. He simply didn't care that much anymore.

He took another meditative sip of his latte. Mm, pumpkin. The bitter tinge of 'healthy vegetable product' left something to be desired, but it had high caffeine content. Plus, he'd gotten his way with the pickles. "Right. So you know Ginny's left me.  I'm not going to make a fuss."

"You know Ron is going to kill you," Hermione said promptly, sipping her smoothie.

"That's a given."

She cocked her head to give him a closer look, and Harry appreciated the effort she made to ease off the lecturing instinct and level with him.   "I don't blame him," she said flatly.

"I know," Harry said, and took another swig from his mug, wincing. He really should have stuck with the places that put whiskey in their coffee drinks. "Ginny won't tell him if you won't, though."

Hermione pursed her mouth. "That's a little… optimistic."

"No one's accused me of that lately. Delusional, maybe. Optimistic, no."

"Oh, Harry. Of  course Ron will give you a hard time, but we're completely on your side. You know that. What's going on? I've been hands-off about this, but I want to help. It certainly looks like you need our help, too."

"I'm not sixteen anymore," Harry mumbled, cringing at his own tone. He hoped he looked simply looked like yet another naff bloke in beat-up beige trench coat. It wasn't that Harry didn't have the money to buy new clothes anymore, but stuff he'd had since he was fourteen was comfortable. Not that he had much to be nostalgic about.

"I think you're confusing being an adult with becoming a social recluse, Harry."

"I'm not a recluse! I'm busy."

"You forget I do know you a bit, dear. Unless it was some other boy who'd made a habit to keep things to himself till the last minute, pretending he could do everything on his own."

"You forget I have lunch with you twice a week." So there. The truth was, it was sort of funny how often he went out to lunch with Hermione as compared to Ginny. Still, they did work together on a consistent basis, with Hermione being a solicitor attached to the station, so lunch was convenient, really.

Hermione raised an eyebrow. "Once I come up to remind you, you do." She cracked a small smile, though it came and went. "Feel free to feel a bit guilty, but mostly please let me know what's wrong."

Harry sighed, staring intently into the foggy middle distance. Truthfully, it wasn't excruciating to talk to Hermione; he was simply at a loss for words.   "Just-- I don't know. Nothing is the way I thought it would be."

Hermione chewed her danish slowly, then pursed her mouth.

"Oh, honestly! Don't say that as if you're the only person in the world who's  having trouble living up to their teenage dreams. This is why it pays to talk about it, Harry. You're far from the only one dealing with this. And I'm certain you'd have a better outlook if you took care of your diet and went to bed at a reasonable hour. You look like hell lately."

"I told you I'm fine!" Harry snapped, using his cop voice somewhat. It gave him a guilty twinge, but why did Hermione always have to push? "I'll admit the Ginny thing is a mess, but I just don't want to talk about it, all right. On the bright side, Ron probably wouldn't either-- he'd just go straight for the thrashing. I wouldn't mind it, really." He ran a hand through his hair, mouth twisting.

"When did you start running away from your problems, Harry?" Hermione said quietly.

Harry stared at her, disbelieving. This was Hermione! Didn't she just make a big spiel about being on his side and acceptance and all that bullshit?

"That's not fair! Can't I not want to deal with it right now? Give it another week before you sit on my neck, at least. I don't really have a bloody clue, Hermione! I couldn't give her what she needed, so-- it's better this way."

"And that's different from what the rest of us have to face how?" Hermione said dryly. "You shouldn't feel bad about it. Getting a real clue takes ten, fifteen years-- it's a long-term process."

"Hermione. I've made my decision."

She brushed hair out of her face, a quick gesture, and laid her hand on top of his. Harry froze.

"I'm not challenging it, Harry. Not now. All I'm saying is that you're not alone."

Harry stared at the place their hands touched, unmoving. If anyone else had said it, he'd have laughed, but this wasn't anyone else.

"I know," he said in a low voice. He turned his palm around and squeezed.  "I'm sorry, Hermione."

She looked at him through a sheen of tears. "It's been so long since we--" Her lip trembled suddenly. "We missed you."

He swallowed, self-consciously tugging his hand back. The two of them looked like a straight couple indulging in a little PDA, but Hermione was a married woman. He had a good reason to feel a twinge of guilt.

"I don't want to ask her to wait again," he said quickly, trying to get another sip out of his empty cup. Somehow, he'd managed to finish without noticing. "She should see other people. We both should." He hoped he wasn't as transparent as he felt he was.

Hermione cocked her head thoughtfully, considering. "You have been oddly sheltered, Harry. You may be right-- more experience may help clear things up," she said after a while. She gave a rueful chuckle. "You know it helped Ron in sixth year, though I'd nearly killed him by the end. It's best to explore without strings attached, if that's what you need."

"Ron always loved you, Hermione. He was just being dense."

"And fifteen."

"That too." Harry hesitated. "Thanks. So. Can I have a bite of egg?"

"Even love needs limits," Hermione said with a smirk,  tugging her plate closer. Harry laughed.


In the dream this time, Malfoy wasn't naked.

Harry lay still and cold on white sheets, and he felt with the absolute certainty of dreams that he was old; he was dying. Fretfully, Harry wondered if he might be in St. Mungo's, because something about the dimly lit empty room reminded him of visiting Longbottom's parents.

This was how it ended, then, Harry thought blankly. His friends were nowhere to be seen, and he wasn't going with a bang, battling bad guys. Not even an accident in the middle of some heavy-duty assignment. No, Harry Potter lay alone. He felt like the white sheets might swallow him; the moonlit silence smothered everything until only his fading heartbeat remained.

Suddenly, a white door opened in empty space, showing an adjoining room. An old man leaned against the doorway, smartly dressed in a dark grey jumper and slacks. His pure white hair fell across his forehead in a parted fringe. Harry could tell the man was his own age, but he stood ramrod straight, not a hair out of place.

Harry's mouth dried up, but under that gaze, he couldn't accept any weakness. He sat up, his cheeks warming. The bed gave a loud creak as he leaned over to turn the light on, fumbling for his glasses. He needed to see.

"So," the man said, and it was him. Of course it was him; no one else would look at Harry like that. No one else would drawl something like, "Where are your friends, Potter?"

Harry gasped as Malfoy walked toward him. He sat down by Harry's bed, head cocked as he studied him. Harry's own gaze lingered on the well-hidden crotch.

Malfoy smiled dryly, as if he knew, and then he turned off the bedside lamp.

The next moment, Harry felt a dry, papery hand wrap around his fist, squeezing. He shivered, both afraid and exhilarated, as if this was the moment before a leap off the Astronomy Tower during one of those crazy games of chicken back in school. How fast can you summon your broom?

His heart raced: he felt-- alive. Every future moment was a dangerous secret. He could feel it pressing down on him from all directions, but he didn't have to be afraid anymore.

"I love you so much I could die," said Malfoy's old, raspy voice.

Harry gasped awake.

It was 3:01am.

Five months since he woke up alone every night.

His heart raced, and cold sweat was dry and itchy on his arms. His skin tingled madly all over, and he couldn't lie still. Harry got up, paced his way to the kitchen, filled a glass with cold water from the tap. Then another, and another.

Finally, he breathed out several times and leaned over the sink, trying to return his heart rate to normal. He couldn't think. Suddenly, he felt flushed with purpose. He had to get out. He tugged on his trousers, slipping out of his sweaty, damp underwear, and pulled on a shirt and coat. Slipping on some shoes, he ran out the door, forgetting his socks and barely remembering his keys.

After running blindly for about ten or fifteen minutes, he ended up panting with his hands gripping his thighs. He stood by a bench near  the entrance to Kensington Gardens. The trees loomed dark and forbidding at this time of night. Perfect, he thought. Why not.

He collapsed on the bench without thinking, burying his head in his hands and not looking up when some loud, drunken tourists passed by.  Of course, they were all too happy they ran into him.

"Excuse me, Sir!" A girl giggled, and her companion shushed her. "Wait, no, this is perfect! We just wanted to know how far to the nearest Tube station. Siiiir? You know where you are, right?"

Harry looked up. His old instincts were too strong where the ladies were concerned. He looked around him and blinked. "Ah, what? What did you want again?"

The blonde knitted her brows in concern, while the brunette was preoccupied with leaning on her friend and keeping upright. "I'm sorry for bothering you." She looked him up and down critically, noting his messy clothes and settling on his face.  The birds really had really gone for the face once, he thought blearily. "Is there anything you want?" she went on. "We're on our way to a good party, if you like…."

"What I like is a good piece of arse," he said, instincts having given him up for lost. "And your tits are in the way, love. No offense."

The blonde flipped him off, tossing back her hair before she strode away. "As if you're God's gift! Loser!"

"No kidding," he muttered, alone again.

part 4


mildlunacy: (Default)
the artist formerly known as lunacy

October 2012

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