This was written for hd_remix — 's second round, and is a remix of corvidae9 — 's truly awesome fic: Take What You Can Get
Title: Take Me Down (War Is Hell Remix)
Warnings: Mixed up timeline. That's it. Also not DH-compliant. (The original was written in a pre-DH world, and I decided to keep to that universe.)
Summary: Draco is practiced in the art of self-deception. He learned from the best.
Word Count: 3,500
Disclaimer: All for fun. Don't sue.
Author's notes Thank you to corvidae9 — for writing such an awesome story, sesheta_66 — for the beta, and coffeejunkii — for running the fest. Go check out the Masterlist here.
Draco suspects it’s the cup of tea that gave him away.
It wasn't supposed to mean anything. Not really. He was merely pouring himself a cup when, as an afterthought, he pulled an extra mug off the shelf and filled that one too.
That he left the tea on the counter expressly for Potter to drink, well… that complicates matters, doesn't it?
It’s not like they're friends or anything. Draco supposes he is just doing his part for the cause. At seventeen Potter already looks like an old man. It wouldn't do to begrudge the Boy Hero a hot beverage on such a chilly day. They are on the same side now, aren't they?
No, Draco is admitting nothing. Not to Potter, Weasley, and least of all, to Granger who is staring at him with an expression that can't decide if it's horrified or amused.
Potter ignores them all. Snow still sticking to his inky hair as he gratefully sips his tea, a well-earned look of peace on his tired face. No one says anything when Draco quietly slips out the kitchen door.
A week later, Draco limps into the kitchen, the week's intelligence still strapped to his leg. He finds a cup of tea waiting for him on the kitchen table, spelled to stay hot.
Draco is only a reluctant ally in the beginning.
Perhaps reluctant is too generous of a word. Under duress has a much more fitting ring to it.
Draco only becomes an ally of Potter's under duress. His mother is in grave danger. Of course, any woman foolish enough to invite the Dark Lord into her own home has to expect that there will be consequences. At least, that was what Snape tells him as the two walk the forested path to Dragons Cross, death masks covering their faces.
"So, there's nothing I can do," Draco snaps back, arms stiff with fury. "Be a good little soldier while he cuckolds my father."
"We are but his servants," is Snape's frosty reply, and Draco reluctantly decides it's best to let the subject drop.
It's just as well. Morsmordre's curse is already lighting the sky as a small cottage comes into view. Its occupants, a Muggle-born Ministry employee and his family, will not be surviving the night.
Draco's footsteps start to slow, his stomach flipping with revulsion as he recognizes Fenrir Greyback waiting for them at the front door. He has brief thoughts of fleeing, but Snape catches his eye.
"You will find there is more than one way to skin a cat," Snape tells him, his knuckles brushing Draco's hand, and a tiny scrap of paper flutters to the ground.
Draco waits until Greyback has disappeared inside the cottage before bending to pick the scrap up. He turns it over and sees an address scrawled on the other side.
Draco crumples the scrap in his fist and follows Snape into the cottage.
The Mudblood is waiting for his answer. Draco shifts around in his chair, inexplicably nervous. Be careful of her, his father told him once in a rare moment of candor. She's too smart for her own good. Draco's fists curl in his lap, the memory unleashing a fresh torrent of shame. He wouldn't be here, hat in hand, begging for Potter's mercy, if it weren't for his father.
"So, do we have a deal?" Granger's voice rings through the old kitchen. A fire is roaring in the hearth, setting to boil something savory on the hob, and Draco steals a furtive glance in its direction, his mouth watering.
The Weasel sniggers. "There's a soup kitchen around the corner if you're looking for something to eat. They'd love the looks of you."
"Hush, Ron," says Granger, now looking at Draco with something tantamount to pity.
Fuck, he really does look bad. Draco knows little of Muggle fashion, but even he can see the plaid trousers and the cable knit jumper he hastily scrounged from Snape's attic look ridiculous on him, and his knee is still bloody from his terrifying fall from the Escapator in the train station. But he is here, isn't he? Being treated like a trespasser in his Aunt's home after being laughed at by a gang of Muggles. (How was he to know Muggles had stairs that moved!)
Draco also recognizes that this is not the time to feel sorry for himself (there will be plenty of time for that later), so he draws himself back up in his seat. He is a Malfoy, after all, even if he is dreadfully underdressed, and a Slytherin on top of that. "What makes you think I'd do anything for you?" he spits, arms crossed in front of him.
Granger smiles, laying her palms flat on the table. "You wouldn't be doing this for me," she replies, voice toffee sweet. She inclines her head ever so slightly toward the boy glowering at Draco from the kitchen doorway. "You'll be doing it for Harry."
Potter lifts up his head, messy fringe covering his eyes. He's grinning, the bastard.
Fuck. Draco arches his back and spreads his legs more, hands skittering along the mattress, trying to gain purchase against the slick sheets.
Potter's fingers still linger at his entrance, teasing, circling, waiting.
He is going to destroy you, Draco thinks, as he clenches his eyes shut. "God, yes. Please."
Granger corners him on the way to the toilet, wielding a toothbrush and a bath towel. Draco raises his hands in mock surrender, naked except for a pair of threadbare pajama bottoms, and still reeking strongly of sex.
Eyes furious, she pokes him with her toothbrush, its bristles still wet and smelling of peppermint, and Draco pauses to give a quick word of thanks to the deities above that her wand is somewhere else. Still, he gives her a grin, a cheeky one. Why not? It's not like he doesn't know what she is about to say, and he has no intention of denying it.
"Don't," she says, suddenly looking embarrassed and deflecting the snide remark perched on the tip of his tongue. "I don't care," she insists.
This Draco finds hard to believe. "Really? I would think—"
"Shut it, Malfoy. Just—" Her shoulders sag. "Be careful, okay?"
By sixth year Draco is already adept at hiding his secrets. His Aunt Bella taught him well, tutoring him in the ways of Occlumency, Legilimency and telling lies. Before he became strong enough to stop her, she gleefully invaded his head, sifting through every one of his deep, dark secrets. When she found his schoolboy fantasy of Potter, naked and tied to Draco's four-poster bed, she laughed and laughed, and Draco pushed her out of his head for good.
No one has been able to get inside since.
This arrangement Draco made with Granger is a disaster at first. Potter is furious, never missing an opportunity to make their liaisons as unpleasant as possible. He meets Draco at the door one night, arms crossed and eyes looking murderous.
"Don't trust you," Potter says as he snatches the week's intelligence out of Draco's hands.
"Good," Draco replies as he watches Potter scan the contents of his report. "You shouldn't."
Potter's face turns grim. "Lupin?"
"The werewolves are on to him," Draco agrees.
Potter curses silently, and then says, "Thank you."
It's just two words, but Draco doesn't know what to say. He finally mumbles, "You're welcome," when it becomes obvious he has to say something, and "I still hate you" sounds horribly inappropriate. He flees before Potter has a chance to say anything else.
Aunt Bella taps her wand against her ruby-painted lips as she greets Draco in the drawing room. There is blood under her fingernails. "You're late," she says finally. His mother sits rigidly in a chair behind her, not meeting his eyes.
Draco smiles back. "I made a detour. Visited some old friends." Out of the corner of his eye, he sees his mother turn her head toward him, her eyebrows furrowed. He ignores her. "I was neglecting them," he adds, showing his aunt some teeth.
Snape always told him that it's the lies that will give you away.
"I'm sure you were, Draco, darling," Bella replies, her fingertips grazing his mother's shoulder as she rounds her chair. "Draco, did I ever tell you what the Dark Lord does to bad little boys who miss their supper?" Her fingers stroke his mother's neck as she bends down to give her a kiss.
"Bella, you will unhand me," Narcissa suddenly snaps, jerking her head away. "And stop berating my son."
"Of course," Bella replies, standing up. She smirks, as Draco's eyes fall to his mother's face, an ugly blotch of red marring her perfect alabaster cheek.
Draco swallows. "It won't happen again."
That night, swaddled in the fine silk bedding of his four-poster bed, Draco tries not to think of the slick heat of Potter's mouth. He tries not to think of the wanton touch of Potter's calloused hands nor the slide of Potter's cock filling him, breaking him. The desperate sounds Potter makes when he comes.
Draco tries and fails, utterly and completely, waking the next morning with wet, sticky sheets clinging to the insides of his thighs.
He summons an empty Butterbeer bottle from the pantry, unscrews the top and pulls a silvery strand from his forehead. The wisp of silver swirls inside the bottle as he screws the lid on tight, and the memory of his assignation with Potter fades to a mere shadow. Not gone completely, but faint enough that Draco immediately feels bereft.
He will have to take what he can get.
He hands Potter the bottle a week later along with the news that Voldemort has plans to attack the Ministry. He then tells Potter that they have to stop this nonsense before something goes desperately wrong. Potter nods, and pours Draco a cup of tea. They sit in silence at the kitchen table, listening to the rain lash against the windows.
Draco wakes up the next morning in Potter's bed.
Potter's skin tastes tangy sweet like the gingerbread Potter's elf has been slavishly baking in the kitchen. Christmas is two days away and Grimmauld Place smells of puddings and pies; the old house has never been so warm and inviting. It's almost as if the war roiling outside stopped the moment Draco stepped over its threshold.
If only this weren't a pathetic fantasy.
"MALFOY! What the fuck?" Weasley is standing at the front door, his hand held out as he rests against the doorframe, effectively blocking Draco's entrance inside.
"Piss off." Draco grits his teeth and barges on through, knocking Weasley against the wall. "Potter here?" he barks, shaking the snow off his cloak.
"No, and you'll be giving your report to me," Weasley says, holding out his hand again.
"Right," Draco says as he pulls off his cloak. He suspects he's doing a very poor job masking his disappointment given the way Weasley is looking at him. Draco is not even sure why he cares whether Potter is here or not. Has Potter shown any interest in him at all? Anything beyond hatred and distrust? Draco's gloves come off with a snap.
"What are you doing?" Weasley asks, his eyelids slitted.
"Oh, this?" Draco feigns surprise. "I'm taking off my outer garments, and then I'm going to hang them up. And then, I'm going to spell my boots dry so I don't track snow into the house. It's the polite thing to do." He caps off his performance with a grin.
If Weasley were a train engine there would be steam blowing out of his top. " I mean— you're not staying," he thunders.
Draco brushes a speck of lint off his robe collar, and then smiles again. "I am."
"You can't just barge in here uninvited."
"I'm uninvited, am I? Even when I'm risking my neck—"
"Harry's not here," Weasley interrupts, looking smug.
"You've said, which means I'll wait. Now if you'll excuse me." Weasley is still gaping at him when Draco steps around him to get to the kitchen stairs.
There is silence and then, "Malfoy," Weasley calls after him. "Give Harry a break, okay? I mean, for once… can you?"
Draco hesitates halfway down the stairs and wonders why he just doesn't turn around and go home. Fuck them all.
He doesn't. He continues on to the kitchen, finding it cold and dark and smelling faintly of spoiled milk. Draco points his wand at the hearth, spelling it to light, and the room immediately brightens. Takeaway boxes litter the giant table, and he banishes those to the rubbish bin. He summons a kettle of water next and places it on a hob. A few minutes later he is measuring tealeaves into a teapot as a gust of wind rattles against the kitchen window. A storm is brewing.
He takes a mug out off the kitchen shelf as he hears Potter's voice atop the stairs, and as an afterthought, reaches for another.
Draco scowls. "Nothing."
"Something is wrong," Potter insists. "You suddenly went stiff on me, and now you won't look me in the eye."
Draco glares down at him. "Better?"
"Much," Potter replies with a roll of his eyes as he lifts his hand to brush the fringe off Draco's forehead. They're lying in Potter's bed, both naked except for the y-fronts Potter has thus far refused to remove. Potter may be the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One, the One Draco Always Wanted, but he is also a virgin. It figures.
Draco flicks Potter's hand away. "This means nothing," he says through gritted teeth.
"So you've said."
"Do you want me to leave?"
"No," Potter says, pulling Draco back down and kissing him deeply. The y-fronts fall to the bedroom floor.
There are now a dozen bottles and jars lined up behind Potter's bed.
One contains their first fumbling kiss, both of them pressed against the kitchen wall, their heads spinning with the heady combination of caffeine and lust, and not just a little bit of shock. In another, Draco is on his knees, his hands braced against Potter's angry thrusts. Potter apologized after, looking shy, and Draco told him to piss off. Still, it didn't stop Draco from coming back for more.
In a jam jar Potter's nervous fingers probe Draco's entrance for the first time. And then there is another container, no larger than a pot of mustard, of Potter only saying two words: thank you.
Draco swears as he taps his wand against his forehead, an empty bottle in his hand, while Potter sleeps soundly beside him. This will be the last time.
He is such a liar.
"I know a secret," Bella crows, before dissolving into a childish fit of giggles. She touches her wand to her forehead, and then bursts into laughter again. The Dark Lord sits at the head of the table, Draco's mother beside him.
"No," Draco insists. Still, he can feel the Dark Lord pushing into his head. He tries to concentrate and think of the last time he flew his broom; the last time he truly felt free. It doesn't work and the images come fast. His father taunts him for letting a Mudblood best him in marks. A pug nose little girl in pink ruffles punches him in the stomach. Potter stretches his arm, gaining on the Snitch, catching it. Suddenly, he is a scared little animal, scampering across the courtyard. The man with the whirling eye laughs at him. Potter laughs. Everyone is laughing. Dumbledore talks about mercy, and Potter turns him into a slug.
Potter. He is lying naked in Draco's bed, his hands and feet bound. He is begging for Draco's mercy. For Draco's cock. For Draco.
Potter kisses him tenderly on the lips.
"Draco is a fairy boy. Draco is a fairy boy. Draco is a fairy boy."
Draco wakes up on the dungeon floor and Bella laughs.
He was supposed to meet Tonks at the Hogshead, his blond hair hidden by a heavy cloak; she was to be disguised as an old woman.
He never made it inside the pub's door.
"You love him."
It's not a question, but Draco says no anyway. Then he tells her he's not sure, and then he says he might.
Narcissa purses her lips. There are no more secrets between them. There's little point. "It will be over soon," she says, watching Death Eaters lay explosive charms around their feet.
They are sitting in the Ministry lobby, bait for the coming attack.
Draco strains against his bonds, suddenly panicking. He was such a fool. "They're going to kill us all," he cries.
"You have very little faith in your Gryffindor hero," Narcissa tells him.
Potter's skin tastes tangy sweet like the gingerbread Potter's elf has been slavishly baking in the kitchen. It's intoxicating. Draco laves his tongue across Potter's collarbone, down his chest, and around his nipple, sucking and biting, as he stretches his legs over the bed. A glass bottle falls to the floor. Draco is too preoccupied to care.
"Did it break?" Potter gives Draco's shoulders a gentle shove and sits up. "You don't want to lose your memories," he scolds, scooping the bottle off the floor. There are dozens of bottles and jars, already opened, littering the bedroom. This one, thankfully, seems to be still intact.
"No, I suppose not," Draco says, and he grins as he picks up a gingerbread man off the plate next to the bed. It's not Christmas. It's June, in fact, but it might as well be. The war is over, surely that's as good of an excuse as any to get crumbs in the bed. Besides, if Potter doesn't get that Christmas is the best day of the year, then there is no point in trying to make this work.
Making this work. Draco is still getting used to the idea. He suspects Potter is too.
Draco holds the bottle up to the window, tipping it over in his hands. Silver dances inside, ebbing and swirling. If he narrows his eyes just a little he can almost make out the image of two bodies writhing against each other, or maybe it's just a trick of the lighting. "It looks like a good memory," he says, sounding disgustingly giddy. God, if Snape could see him now.
He would call you an idiot, and then tell you to put some clothes on.
"Well, open it." Potter is practically bouncing on the mattress.
At least Potter is as idiotic as he, Draco consoles himself, and for that he leans over and kisses Potter once on the lips, lingering only long enough to lick the gingerbread crumbs off his chin. He's still grinning when he uncorks the bottle.
Potter's tongue is bitter with the taste of tea and whisky, but Draco sucks on it greedily, both hands cradling Potter's face, his thumbs pressing against his cheeks. Potter lets out a strangled sound of a man hopelessly lost as they stumble across the kitchen, their mouths still connected. They finally land near the larder, Draco's head smacking against the wall.
"I always knew you were mad," Draco remarks, head throbbing and out of breath. The teakettle whistles on the hob, unheeded, as Potter's cloak falls to the floor.
"Shut up," Potter barks back, lips latching onto the narrow curve of Draco's neck as he yanks Draco's shirttails out of his trousers.
Draco widens his stance, and Potter stumbles between his legs. "I knew you were queer, too," he crows, feeling the bulge in Potter's trousers press against his groin. "You never fooled me. Even—" he gasps, eyelids fluttering, giving in to the sensation of Potter's cock pressing against his. "Even when you were with that… that girl."
"Shut UP!" Potter lifts his head and glares at Draco. "You need to stop talking," he says, his hands continuing their restless journey across Draco's body, tugging open buttons and snaps.
Draco nods, feeling agreeable for once. Being groped by someone you've wanted to fuck for weeks will do that to a person. "All right, just don't stop."
Potter finds Draco's cock through his flies, wrapping his fingers around it. "You like this?" Potter says, burying his face in Draco's shoulder. He sounds surprised. Odd that.
Draco peers downward as Potter's hand slowly starts to milk his cock. It has to be the most fantastic sight Draco's ever seen. "God, yes."
Draco can feel Potter smirking against his neck. "Good," he says. "Get used to it."