Disclaimer: All characters from the Harry Potter universe belong to J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Scholastic Inc., AOL/Time Warner and associated companies. No offence, legal or otherwise, is intended by the online publication of this story. Neither is profit. Make love, not lawsuits!

Notes: Harry Potter bests Draco Malfoy in all things. Even hate. Written for Lazy Daze.


by switchknife


Draco Malfoy thought he knew what hate was. He thought he knew the ways of it, the burning trails of it, the ecstatic mixture of bile and bait, the vicious joy of it. He thought it was his birthright, as much as his father's name and his wealth and his arrogance--and yet it was also something he felt he had earned, after years of hating, so that he had taken what his father had given him and fashioned it into something of his own, a weapon whose blade blazed brightly, that he carried within himself, that strengthened him beyond reproof.

He thought he knew it, but he was wrong wrong wrong--because when Potter's fist crashed into him, the soft flesh of Draco's stomach giving way and giving way until Draco thought there was nothing left except the stone-burn of those knuckles and the crushed flutter of the Snitch--then Draco realized that he had never really known hate at all, because what he saw in Potter's eyes eclipsed everything Draco had ever felt.


* * *


Draco thought he knew what hate was when he got news of his father's arrest--he thought he knew what he was doing when he tracked Potter down before the end of school and hissed: 'You wait. I'll have you--'

He thought he knew hate, he thought he was sick with it, stomach roiling with it, but Potter's fingers had flown to his own wand faster than Draco's could have managed--the bastard, just like the Snitch the Snitch--and if Snape hadn't appeared Draco knew that he'd have been lying there, hexed, defeated, beaten again, and Potter's face would have been lit with rage again, burning with it, and Draco knew hate then.

'What are you doing, Potter?' Snape's voice had asked coldly--but all Draco could hear was the furious pounding of his own pulse, hating himself for the trembling of his hands--for the fear he felt at the sight of Potter's wand pointed at him--ashamed that this fear, this cowardly, fucking, stupid fear--had washed all his righteous rage away. He wanted to hurt Potter then, hurt him for the frisson of panic Potter's reply (I'm trying to decide what curse to use on Malfoy, sir) sent through him--but Draco knew now that it wasn't hate, it wasn't, because it was nothing compared to what twisted Potter's face.


* * *


Draco thought he knew hate when he came back for his sixth year at Hogwarts, his father still in prison. He thought he knew hate when everyone sidled away from him as he entered the Great Hall, the son of a known Death Eater--and even his Slytherin friends wouldn't sit with him, since associating with the son of an incarcerated criminal was poor a tactical move. He thought he knew hate when he glanced across the Hall and saw Potter glancing back at him--only Potter's eyes were cool, almost as though Draco were nothing, not even worth hating, and that's when Draco felt true rage of his own.

He thought he knew hate when Snape didn't give him points in Potions anymore--he thought he knew it when he was sneered at and spat at and dragged into niches by large, unnamed students to be kicked and punched and broken. He thought he knew hate when he felt the absence of the Prefect's badge on his robes, when the Slytherin team wouldn't let him play Quidditch anymore, when he couldn't go to sleep without healing his bruises, without warding his bed to prevent the accumulation of more. He thought he knew hate when he found himself going to the toilet only when he was sure no one else was in there, because he didn't want to feel the crack of a sink against his head. He thought he knew hate, he did, but Potter never came to beat him, Potter never came to save him, and that's when Draco really knew hate after all.

Draco knew hate so well that it made him desperate--he started following Potter, spitting insults at him, ignoring the fact that the Gryffindors staring at him in the hallway now would be the same people who cornered and bloodied him later--ignored the fact that Potter wasn't listening, that Potter didn't care, that Potter thought Draco was a little nuisance with a piping little voice, ignored the fact that McGonagall finally took Draco by the elbow and dragged him back, her face tight with something like hate too--but Draco didn't care to see it, this empty, stupid, mindless hate--and he didn't hear how many points had been taken from Slytherin, how many detentions he'd been given, because his eyes were fixed on Potter's back. Hate me, hate me, look at me, look at me, but Potter never did, not even when Draco screamed and struggled and frothed at the mouth, I'll kill you I'll kill you I'll kill you Potter and McGonagall had to immobilize him, silence him, and take him back to his dorm.


* * *


Hate was the only thing that kept Draco alive. He knew its contours so well--he knew it almost as though he held it in his hands, a sharp, bright, small flower, burning like acid and eating his skin away.

Hate was the only thing Draco tasted when he ate his breakfast--warm porridge and rough toast meant nothing to him, and he might as well have swallowed ash for all he cared. His body had become a machine that he was maintaining out of nothing but sheer habit--he didn't notice how much thinner he had grown when he looked in the mirror, he didn't notice the concerned looks Snape shot his way--the hypocrite why does he pretend to care why why why--he didn't notice how he no longer bothered avoiding fights, avoiding conflicts, and that he barely ever bothered healing his wounds.

Hate was the only thing Draco felt when he went home for the Christmas holidays and finally knelt at Voldemort's feet--hate was the only pleasure he felt when the Dark Mark was burned into his arm, and Potter's face was the only face he saw on the trip back to school, back to Hell, and Draco almost didn't think of his father at all.

Hate was in the tenderness with which he wove the glamors around his arm--masking his Mark, keeping it safe--treasuring it because it pulsed with power, sang with it, finally a weapon that matched his rage.

Hate was what made him smile when Potter's head finally whipped his way when he entered the Great Hall--when Potter's hand went up to his scar, green eyes widening in knowledge--hate was what made Draco call out again, taunting the way he had before the holidays--but now his hate was cold and easily spilled, like blood, and Draco was used to spilling his own blood, after all.

Hate was what made him say Black's name when Potter finally cornered him in a hallway later that day--and Potter didn't even bother asking him about the Mark, about what it meant and why Draco had done it, because Potter knew, and then Potter's fist was in Draco's stomach again and Draco was falling, falling, and the wand he hadn't managed to pull out from his robe clattered to the floor uselessly, and his head was a bright spark of pain when Potter smashed it against stone--and Draco almost laughed, laughed, because Potter was looking at him, looking at him with that hate in his eyes, and this was what Draco had earned after all--hadn't he earned this now?--didn't he deserve it?--and when Potter dragged him up and bit his neck, blood welling into a mouth so hot and hungry against his skin, Draco only laughed, a loud, broken laugh, and got hard instead.

Hate was what made his hands claw Potter's back when Potter's mouth found his. Hate was what made him whimper when Potter reached down to rub him through rough cloth. Hate was what made him moan when Potter unbuckled his own belt with a trembling hand--hate was what made him kneel when Potter pushed his head downwards, hands raw and tight in Draco's hair, until Draco was on his knees, mouth bruised and bleeding and one eye swelling shut, face inches away from Potter's hard cock.

It was hate, not fear, that made Draco lean forward and suck it. Hate was what made him do this because this was power, it wasn't defeat, of course it wasn't, even though the floor was rough beneath his knees and his own cock jumped in his hands when he reached into his trousers to stroke it. Hate was what made Draco lick the salt from Potter's slit again and again, until Potter forced his head forward, and then Draco only sucked and sucked and sucked until Potter came, and when Potter's spunk hit the back of his throat he almost didn't notice his own slapping onto the cold stone floor, and the scent of come was all Draco could breathe, and the fierce white rush in his head disappeared into a dwindling darkness.


* * *


Draco thought he knew hate when he lay in bed that night, bruised and not caring to heal himself, his own hand tight around his cock. He thought he'd finally found a way to make Potter pay. He jerked himself off slowly, raising his hips and closing his eyes, imagining it--because Potter had finally shown him how he could be defeated--because I have something that Potter wants.

His hate blossomed in him just as his orgasm did--slow-building, hurting, beautiful--and Draco remembered Potter's hands on him.

His hate warned him not to tell Voldemort of what he had, of what power he had gained--because it would be best to weaken Potter first, as per his plan, before claiming any reward.

His hate led him to Potter again, in one abandoned classroom after another, the day after that and the day after that and the day after that.

His hate made him spread his legs and arch--made him bite Potter's ear viciously when he came--made him tighten himself around Potter's cock, made him close his eyes against the pain.

His hate whispered to him, just as Potter whispered to him in Parseltongue--soon, soon, soon--soon you'll have him, soon you'll destroy him, soon he'll be yours.

But Potter never did cave--he never did tell Draco anything about the Order, about Dumbledore--he never stayed afterwards to kiss Draco's bruises better, as Draco had known he would. No, Potter didn't act like a Gryffindor at all--he didn't place any trust in Draco, any trust that could be dashed--he didn't do what he was supposed to do, he didn't ask Draco if he were going back to Voldemort, if he would go back, now that Potter obviously needed him and wanted him here.

No. Potter did none of those things--he never even looked at Draco's Dark Mark, never asked if it had hurt when he got it, never said my scar hurts, too. He never asked him if Draco missed his father just like Potter missed his own--never said all the things he was supposed to say, never said will you speak to Dumbledore, Draco or will you join us, Draco or anything else--he never even called Draco by his name at all.

Draco thought he knew hate when the seventh year began and he'd already been out on his first mission for Voldemort--when he'd killed his first Muggle, a small brown-haired thing that fell silently to the floor, her skirt in a pale fan around her thighs. Draco thought he knew hate when he returned that year and let Potter fuck him again, but Potter didn't say anything.

Draco thought he knew hate when, no doubt after hearing news of Draco's first mission, the members of his house that had bothered him now left him alone. Draco knew hate when he saw Snape's eyes meet his across the classroom, just as they did from behind a white mask--when Draco gasped into Potter's mouth and came again and again and again, but Potter still didn't say a thing.

Draco thought he knew hate when he saw Potter with that Weasley girl, who'd grown bolder and more loathsome with each passing year--he knew hate when he saw her wrapped in Potter's arms at the Yule Ball, and it became obvious that Potter's arms knew her body well.

Draco thought he knew hate when he returned to Potter anyway, not looking at Potter's eyes when Potter bit his mouth and fucked him--he thought he knew hate when he thought of killing Weasley, over and over and over again, but then he was coming and he saw the pale fan of the Muggle's skirt in his mind, and somehow, the next day, he didn't poison Weasley after all.

Draco thought he knew hate when school ended and Potter fucked him one last time, as though nothing had changed--and he still didn't say anything, his hands knowing and rough on Draco's cock, and he didn't even nod his head and say, 'Malfoy,' when he left.

Draco thought he knew hate when Snape tried to draw him aside after the Leaving Feast, but Draco only pulled his arm free and walked away--Draco thought he knew hate when he saw Potter leaving with the Weasley girl the next morning, climbing onto the Hogwarts Express with her and Granger and the Weasel, not even glancing his way when Draco climbed on behind them as well.

Draco thought he knew hate when he finally got home and embraced his mother--who was soft and silk and perfume in his arms, as always--he knew hate when she smiled and said: 'You must be tired, Draco,' and he said: 'Yes.'


* * *


A year passed. Draco did well for himself, even after he received news that his father had died in Azkaban--he made prudent use of his inheritance, investing it more widely and securely than Lucius had done, and spent all his time serving Voldemort instead.

He knew hate so well now that he almost couldn't tell it from anything else he felt--because he didn't feel anything but hate, day in, day out, working as one of Voldemort's strategists. He had long overcome any squeamishness regarding murder, although he valued the death of a wizard no more than he did a Muggle's--and when he wasn't out on the field he was surrounded by maps and numbers and wards, planning mission after mission after mission. Draco excelled at strategy, so much so that Voldemort gave him command of his own set of troops. They had the Order where they wanted them now, thanks to the strategists' efforts--and all Draco had to do was lead one of the many cadres of Death Eaters, cutting off the isolated Aurors from the north and the west.

Draco he knew hate when he ventured onto the battlefield, seeking out Potter as easily as he knew how to breathe--Potter, who looked not a bit different except for the bleeding gash under his eye, surrounded by Death Eaters and not giving in.

Draco thought he knew hate when he saw Longbottom die to one side, Granger to the other--he thought he felt hate when he saw Snape fall too, fierce and standing firm in Potter's path, white mask cast aside. The Death Eaters around Potter had also fallen, thanks to the fools who had stood in Potter's path--but Draco felt nothing but hate for them too, and a sense of satisfaction that they had paved his way.

Draco thought he knew hate when he himself stood in front of Potter, alone at last and willing to kill--and he thought he knew hate when he raised his wand, Potter already unsteady on his feet and almost mortally wounded--easy now for Voldemort to strike, as had been planned--but as Potter fell to his knees, dizzy with blood loss and unable to form the words for a spell, Draco found himself unable to move.

He could do it now--bind Potter, torture him, keep him here for Voldemort to fulfil the Prophecy--but Draco, who knew hate better than anyone, better than he knew himself, did nothing. He thought, for a moment, that he saw that same, fallen Muggle--but Potter was different, Potter was his, and he was sure he knew hate when he looked at that broken form now, fallen, bleeding, defeated.

But Draco didn't say: 'Who's the big man now, Potter?'

He didn't say anything.

His Master was coming, he could feel it in his Mark--but he didn't bind Potter, didn't say a single spell, when he saw Potter's injured arm move.

Draco thought he knew hate when Potter's hand rose--wand trembling--to point at Draco's face.

Draco thought he knew hate when he thought the words: Avada Kedavra. He thought he knew it when he remembered Potter's mouth on his, Potter's come in him, Potter's hands on him--when he recognized that he was beaten yet again, fallen yet again, and that Potter had already beaten him that first time, with that first kiss, and that Potter had known his victory long before Draco had ever realized his defeat. Avada Kedavra, Draco's mind whispered.

He thought he knew hate when he thought those words--but then he saw Potter's face, his mouth, and heard them die into silence on his lips.

He thought he knew it, but he was wrong wrong wrong--because when Potter's wand pointed at him, and when his mouth moved to form the words, Draco thought there was nothing left except the green, winding light and Potter's green, glittering eyes--and then Draco realized that he had never really known hate at all, because what he saw in Potter's eyes eclipsed everything Draco had ever felt.


* FIN *

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Note: The first two scenes are from OotP--the others are from my strange imagination. I also played with the idea of why the Prophecy came true, and why, in the final battle, only Voldemort and Harry were left to face each other. Suffice to say that the one man who could have killed Harry Potter before Voldemort even got to the scene failed to do so...