December 31st, 2008
|dracofiend||11:30 pm - Indetermination, Chapter 7|
Title: Indetermination, Chapter 7
Pairings: Harry/Draco, Harry/Greg
Rating: NC-17. Please note the header info, except for the summary, relates to the entire chaptered fic, not to individual chapters.
Summary: Draco wrestles with Greg, and himself.
Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6
"Draco," Greg said after a tense moment of silence. It was, presumably, a greeting of sorts, but Draco's blood had stopped the instant he'd turned to see Greg's dark eyes, boring into him from under that heavy brow. He knew instantly that Greg was incensed. If they'd been eight years old again, Greg would be leaping, fists high and teeth bared, without a care for the hexes that Draco would be flinging in his way. Since that time, Greg had acquired a considerable degree of restraint, accompanied by a deliberately slow and plodding air--but Draco hadn't forgotten the streak of easy brutality that his childhood friend carried. Greg's father had once remarked that his son would've made a fine addition to their cause, and Draco's father, despite his laughter, had agreed.
"Greg," Draco returned, keeping his voice and stare steady. He didn't move aside and he could sense Harry before him still, in the doorway, watching him. Or perhaps it was Greg he was looking at--Draco couldn't stand the thought and let his head untwist quickly, to face Harry again.
Harry's gaze met his--uncertain, not angry, not the way he'd looked when he'd pushed Draco away. The relief pouring over Draco buoyed him into opening his mouth.
"Can I see you again?" he blurted out, because it was the first thing on his mind--Greg was going to barrel in and he could be so adept at comforting. "Tomorrow," Draco continued, heart going now wildly. Harry would have his comfort; Draco mightn't have his chance. "You don't have to tell me now," he rushed on, though he wanted nothing more than to see Harry's hardening eyes softened again, see the pale chin fall in a semblance of acquiescence. "But if--"
"I believe Harry would like his key back," a voice cut in coldly.
Draco's mouth froze around his supplication--he could feel the weight of a warning hand settle on his shoulder and he didn't need to look to know Greg had stepped up to the front stoop.
"Return it to him, please," Greg said, his eyes fixed on Draco's face, as if casting a silent curse. Draco's jaw tightened--he didn't relish the notion of coming to blows with Greg, but neither would he step down. If Greg were to injure him, would that win Harry's sympathy? He took a breath through his nose and swiveled, thrusting his face into his former friend's.
"Or else what?" he sneered, holding his eyelids firm, determined not to flinch.
Greg's left cheek twitched; he struck in an instant, shoving Draco back hard. Draco stumbled down the steps but found his balance in time, only to have the front of his robes snatched up in a paw-like grip. Greg's furious face was near enough for Draco to count pores.
"Do you know how long I've watched you torment him?" Greg muttered in a dangerous growl, so low that even Draco could barely make the words out. "I can't tell you how many times I wanted to hex that stupid smirk off your face when you used to talk about him at school--about how he was obsessed with you, how he'd never figure you out. Then he fell for your charms--I could've killed you for that." The flushed face creased as Greg gave him a gruesome smile. "I should've known you'd fuck it up on your own. Now I'll have that fucking key."
With that, Greg's free hand shot out. "Accio Draco's keys!" he cried, and Draco felt the jagged metal bits dart to respond. They would've torn through flesh, so forceful was Greg's summons; they only tore through robes before clattering into Greg's callused palm. Greg released him with another shove and the momentum had Draco stumbling, even as he reached in for his wand.
"Adur--" Draco shouted, but Greg's wand was out as well, and he was thundering "Expulso!" with grim intent. Draco couldn't help but flinch then as he prepared to be blown back several hundred yards into whatever trees or lampposts stood behind him--except there was a mighty crack! as another spell met Greg's, sending a brilliant blue flash soaring into the sky as Draco skidded back mere feet, skin burning where the hex had got him.
"All right?" Harry was asking, suddenly crouched around him. "You all right?" His chest was moving fast as he ran his hands up and down Draco's arms in light sweeping motions, skimming over the blistering welts on the underside of his forearms and wrists. Draco had raised his hands to shield his face from the spell; his sleeves had slipped down. "Fine," Draco mumbled, dazed from the curse but not seriously hurt. "Here," Harry said, hoisting Draco up.
Draco leaned gratefully into him, murmuring his name because Harry was holding him, close--how long he'd stayed away! Draco couldn't help nestling into Harry's weight but Harry stiffened beneath him--Draco knew he'd rushed it. He'd started too soon; Harry's hands turned ungentle. Draco's arms throbbed. He bit down on his lip and tugged himself free, sick from the smell of singed skin and the look in Harry's eyes. He shouldn't leave Harry with Greg leering and sneering and lurking at that open door but he hadn't any choice. Harry's blank face told him.
"I'm sorry," Draco said, distinctly, regaining his feet, awkwardly. Harry only looked at him, and his lashes didn't flicker. Draco turned around and walked as quickly as he could, his sleeves fluttering painfully over his burns, until he reached the street and could Disapparate away.
That night he stared sleeplessly at the Dark Mark on his arm, unevenly raised by the healing charms, and he thought of Harry, curled up in the good bulk of Greg Goyle.
"Pansy," Draco called again, into the unresponsive flames. "Pansy!" She was there, he could sense it--but she wasn't taking his call. Draco stifled his urge to shout his frustration. "Pansy!" He'd tilted too near the fire; his eyes were watering with the heat and he sat back, wiping them.
"Please, Panse." The fire crackled, but nothing more. Draco dropped his head to his chest with a vaguely hysteric sigh. His life was in pieces; surely he could get used to being ignored.
The shape of Pansy's face made a shadow in the fire; the next moment she had thrust herself far enough in for Draco to make out her cross expression. Draco's head had shot up at the sound of her voice and he scrabbled forward, near to the grate.
"I don't know what to do," he began, "I saw Harry yesterday and Greg showed up and he--I think--" He broke off, his gaze falling to his knuckles, orange in the firelight and bunched into knobs. "I'm--I'm worried. I'm worried Harry's in love with him."
He was feeling light-headed at having said it; the thought had occupied him all night, and even when he'd dozed off he had forced himself awake so as not to dream poorly again. He's only a friend, Harry had said. Only a friend. He'd repeated it too many times to be true, as if he were testing the sound of it aloud. Draco didn't believe it.
"If he is, you've only yourself to blame," Pansy said in an unsympathetic tone. Draco shifted his shoulders, raising his head to deny it. Harry had always been so ready to suspect, to disagree--it was Harry who had been inconstant in his sentiment, declaring to everyone that Draco loved him while insisting, privately, that Draco ought to somehow feel more. "You should've taken better care of him," she finished bluntly.
Draco's mouth had opened--was she right? She was. "That isn't the point," he sniped back. "Greg's no good for him and we both know it."
"I don't think you're in a position to say such a thing," Pansy retorted, "and I'm being perfectly on point. If you'd paid more attention, he wouldn't have broken up with you, and you wouldn't be calling me at all hours of the night."
"You don't know what it was like!" Draco protested, in high aggravation once more--but Pansy's expression turned icy and began receding from the flames; Draco promptly changed the next words out of his mouth. "I'm sorry; you've heard it all, I know. But Harry doesn't know Greg the way we do. He's--he thinks Greg is just a friend. He must know Greg wants more--but I don't think he sees just how much Greg wants it. And that concerns me."
Draco looked earnestly at Pansy, willing her to understand. She had pursed her lips; her forehead flexed as she glanced away.
"I don't know what to tell you," she said at last. "You can't control him. You'll only make things worse if you warn him against Greg. And maybe--have you even thought of this?" She turned back to Draco with a skeptical brow. "Maybe he'll actually be happier now. Maybe he was being difficult, as you say, because he actually wanted a way out, and now he's got it. I know it's hard to hear, but that's what I'm--"
"I've thought of it," Draco cut her off. He could hardly form the words, and he couldn't begin to explain that this was the quietest, truest of thoughts to cross his mind in recent days. Perhaps Harry wouldn't come back because he simply didn't care to. Perhaps Draco loved Harry--and that was all.
"That's not what I'm talking about," Draco continued over the whirling in his chest. "I want your advice, even if you think this whole situation is my fault, because--well, you said so yourself. Greg has a tendency to love things to death."
Pansy held his stare for a moment, then blinked away and sighed. "Did I tell you that? Stupid of me," she murmured, pushing back her hair.
"Come on, I already knew," Draco continued impatiently. "But you have to agree with me that Harry has no idea what he's getting into. If Greg cares about him, that's one thing--but he's fixated on him, Panse. He's got Harry singled out in his mind as the one, the one he's got to take care of--and you've been through it yourself, you hated--"
"He was never obsessed with me," Pansy put in harshly. "Okay? It just--things never reached that point. And I'm not going to side with you on this, especially not over Greg, because Harry might be perfect for him. All right? You're both my friends and I don't appreciate your bloody arm-twisting, and I am not going to intervene on your behalf."
Draco very nearly shouted back. Fine, he wanted to tell her. Then you're taking Greg's side. But Greg trusted Pansy in a way he trusted no one else--and even if Pansy declared neutrality, Draco wasn't about to burn the only bridge he had left.
"You're right," he said quietly. "I'm sorry." He waited for her to meet his eyes again, to repeat it. "I'm sorry," he said softly, then he offered her a sliver of a smile. "It's getting easier to say that, what with all the practice I've had lately." She responded with a snort and a slight smile of her own.
"Can I just ask..." he trailed off for a beat before forging ahead. "I wanted to talk to him--Greg, I mean, after yesterday. We had a bit of a--disagreement, at Harry's. But I don't think he's been around since then...did he--you didn't happen to see him, did you, after yesterday afternoon?"
It was by no means a lie--Draco did want to talk to Greg--to afflict him with a permanent curse--and he really did suspect that Greg intended to stay with Harry for as long as Harry would allow. He wanted to get a hint, though, of how long that might've been.
Pansy's features were rigid; she obviously wasn't taking Draco's words at face value. But she replied nevertheless.
"I haven't seen him," she said stiffly.
Draco's heart tumbled. His mind raced back to the way he'd clung to Harry when Harry had pulled him up from the ground yesterday. It had been a thoughtless courtesy; a show of Harry's generic kindness--and Draco had soured it with his anxiety to draw from it something more. His expression must've shown the nature of his thoughts, because Pansy added, more gently, "Greg doesn't come to me with everything."
Dizzy, Draco nodded. He could see Greg reaching for Harry; he could see Harry yielding. Greg would be persistent, and Harry, keen for affection. Your desire for 'love,' Draco had sneered once upon a time, is consumptive.
Harry had spun around, if Draco remembered correctly. I can't wait to get the fuck over you, he'd said.
"Cheers," he mumbled to Pansy, rising unsteadily from the heavy fireplace rug. "Sorry to wake you up; I'll try not to bother you so late next time."
"It's okay," she said. The fire didn't crackle, so Draco knew she was still watching him as he fumbled for his wand buried somewhere in his robes. "If you'd like, come over tomorrow. We can have tea."
Draco nodded again, and immediately forgot what she'd said. "Night," he murmured, and waved his wand to end the call. The flames sparked and dimmed. Draco moved to the great staircase and ascended, to go to his room, to lie down on his bed.
An hour later it was midnight and he thought he would surely go insane. He rose from the sheets and threw on a cloak--he'd never bothered to undress--and Disapparated to the high street near Harry's house.
I'll make him see sense, he thought frantically. A small part of him cautioned that he was exhausted; he shouldn't be doing this, not now, not when Harry had refused him outright, and only yesterday--it was too early, this was not wise...but that part was very small and Greg loomed large in his brain, growing more adept at pleasing Harry with each step Draco took across the black pavement. The night was clear and the air was near-freezing, illuminated sparingly by widely-spaced street lights and their dull white glow. But Draco had tripped his way along this route many times before, sometimes with a lesser grasp of his faculties than even this.
He hastened soundlessly over the curb, passing familiar lawns and wrought-iron fences, and turned unhesitatingly at the stone owls guarding Harry's walk. There, he stopped, and the small part of his brain, the admonishing part, turned smug, for in the front doorway where Harry had pushed Draco back not so very long ago, stood Greg. Just past him was Harry, partly hidden from view by Greg's outline. Yellow light dazzled from in the house, framing Harry in a bright rectangle, showing off the untidy tops of his hair and the jut of Greg's shoulder as he folded his arms. For a moment, it was fine.
Then Harry's silhouette dipped forward, as if he'd fairly lunged, and the line of his form met the line of Greg's, and Draco couldn't see well from where he stood at the edge of the walk but he could see well enough, and what he could see was Harry kissing. He could see Greg's shoulders unhitch; he could see Greg's hands slide out.
The next thing Draco saw was the spinning of his feet, for he was Disapparating, seeing Harry kissing Greg, seeing Harry fucked by Greg, circling and circling in him as his body turned, as his stomach turned, and when he fell onto the carpet beside his bed, he wasn't sure anymore what he was seeing at all.