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: Written for Isis, who asked for Remus/Draco. The quote that spawned the bunny: 'Trust not yourself; but your defects to know, / Make use of ev'ry friend--and ev'ry foe.' - Alexander Pope, 'Essay of Criticism' [l.214]
Shelter the Foe
Remus looked back to see the Dark Mark disintegrate into clouds of green over the rustle of the trees--he couldn't hear the screams from here, but he could almost feel the echoes in his mind, the stench of ash and blood in his nose.
But he felt no sense of triumph. This wasn't the last battle, after all--and he was exhausted, exhausted to his very bones, which ached with the chill of the night and the curses that had yet to fade from his body.
The forest grass gave off a strange, wet scent that half-comforted and half-unnerved him--comforting because he was far enough away from the battlefield to smell anything but blood at all, and unnerving because his senses were far too sharp. Cloud-cover hid the sky from him, but he knew it was only a week to the full moon. Already his sense of smell had begun to heighten. He stumbled towards the rendezvous point on legs nearly too tired to support him--the crack of wet wood beneath his feet too loud, too loud, calling attention to him. Prey. Wounded prey. See how it stumbles. He shook his head to clear it. No. No good thinking like that. If he was to be found, he would be found--but the hideout was warded anyway, and no one but members of the Order would find it here. He had to get to the hideout. He had to get there now.
When he saw the hut's silhouette against the black trees, glimmering around the edges with newly activated wards, his knees almost buckled with relief. Home. Home. He clutched his cloak tighter about himself as he staggered to the door--but just as his hand was reaching for the handle, just as, he heard the snap of a twig behind him.
A loud echoing voice sounded through the trees, and he realized that he had shouted 'Expelliarmus!' without even thinking about it--wand whipped out as he had turned around, just in time to see a dark shape fly backwards across the clearing.
Fuck, fuck, fuck! He didn't stop to consider if it was friend or foe--he couldn't take the chance--and before he knew it he had lunged forward to haul that figure up by the collar of its robe, smashing it against a nearby tree.
'Who are you?' Remus barked, fingers tightening cruelly around the neck of his captive. 'Tell me!'
The figure--who seemed to have gone limp with the shock of impact, began to struggle, snarling like a cat.
'Tell me!' Remus shouted again. No point in being quiet now--if this one was an enemy, there would no doubt be many behind.
'Let go of me!' Shouted a surprisingly young voice in response--and, as the wind parted the foliage above them, moonlight met and glimmered across blindingly pale hair.
It took a moment of shock to recognize those narrow features turned up to him--and Remus, hands still pressed against the boy's throat, found himself hissing in surprise. 'Malfoy!'
The figure stilled in response to its name--its eyes widening as they took in Remus' own features. 'Lupin,' Draco Malfoy spat. 'The werewolf.'
'How did you know about the hut? How did you know?'
'What hut?' Malfoy replied, no longer shouting. His voice had gone cold, all of a sudden, and his pale eyes were sharp. 'I only followed you, Lupin. You were too fucking noisy for your own good.'
'It's not my good that seems to be suffering now,' Remus growled. 'Are there more behind you?'
Malfoy's thin mouth curled in a sneer. Remus could feel the boy's heart beating frantically against his own. 'If there were, why would I tell you?'
'So that I can decide whether to kill you on the spot, or to take you hostage.'
'You won't kill me even if there is no one behind me.'
'Information. Would you give up the chance to interrogate a senior Death Eater?'
'There's nothing senior about you, Malfoy.' But Remus had paused--just for a second--and he saw something like victory flash through Malfoy's eyes. 'What if I can't afford to take you prisoner? I was rather busy, as you can see.'
Malfoy didn't seem to have anything to say to that. Remus became aware of Malfoy's breath coming in shallow gasps, heating Remus' mouth. Malfoy might keep his expression schooled, but he was terrified. He had lost his wand somewhere in the clearing when Remus had disarmed him--and Remus gave a quick glance downwards to see two pale hands clenching and unclenching uselessly, as if yearning for a weapon. His body was warm against Remus, as warm as the night was cold around them.
Something--Remus didn't know what--twisted inside him. Before he knew it he had hauled Malfoy around, back-to-front, so that he held Malfoy immobile against him, facing outwards, Remus' wand pointed at his throat.
'I've decided to take you prisoner,' Remus said quietly into Malfoy's ear. He felt Malfoy relax. 'Move, and I'll kill you.' Malfoy tensed again.
Remus nudged Malfoy's feet forward with his own. 'Walk to the left. Towards the door.'
'What door?' Malfoy asked hoarsely; and Remus realized that Malfoy really didn't know about the hut after all and, as someone who wasn't a member of the Order, wouldn't be able to see it.
'Just walk. Fifteen steps. No. Twenty.'
Malfoy shuffled forward awkwardly, Remus pressed tightly against his back, Remus' wand digging into his neck.
'Now. Now stop.'
'May the Phoenix rise again,' Remus whispered. He felt a shiver of magic as the wards deactivated. He nudged Malfoy again, who was beginning to look puzzled. 'Put your hand forward. No. Lower.'
Remus saw Malfoy's hand move forward hesitantly, starting back in shock when it brushed the cool metal of the door's invisible handle.
'That's the door,' Remus said. 'Open it.'
Malfoy reached out again, more surely this time, curling his fingers around the handle and twisting it. The door swung open. Remus felt Malfoy gasp in surprise at the dimly lit, unfurnished room within.
They did; and Remus reached backwards with one foot to close the door behind them. It clanged; Malfoy jumped.
Remus loosened an arm from around Malfoy's waist in order to step back--but the moment he did Malfoy whirled around, sudden as a snake, fist lashing out in the direction of Remus' face. Remus jerked back in surprise, but Malfoy's knuckles brushed against his lips anyway, splitting them against his teeth and drawing blood.
'Fuck!' Remus grabbed Malfoy's arms and threw Malfoy against the wall, wand once again pressed against Malfoy's neck. Malfoy continued to kick and snarl at him, body surging against Remus', spitting at Remus' face.
'Stop it!' Remus yelled. 'The hut is warded; you can't leave without me!'
But Malfoy didn't seem to be listening, desperate as an animal now, scratching and clawing. It wasn't until Remus pressed his wand even harder against Malfoy's neck--almost hard enough to break skin--that Malfoy stopped, chest heaving, mouth pulled back in a snarl.
There were a few moments in which they just stared at each other, panting. Malfoy's eyes were wild with hate and terror.
'Let go of me,' he said feebly, irrationally.
'No,' Remus replied calmly. He could taste blood in his mouth. His split lip pulsed.
'I can't get out of here.' Malfoy seemed to be stating a fact.
It was. 'You can't.' Remus jerked his chin in the direction of the door. 'It's warded so that only members of the Order can deactivate it.'
'I could say the words. What... what you said.'
Remus felt his own mouth curl in a smile--but judging by Malfoy's flinch, it turned out to be more feral than kind. 'You could. But they wouldn't do anything.' He shifted so that his knee pressed between the boy's; Malfoy's eyes widened. 'You can only leave if I say the words; and if I choose to let you through. Which I won't. Face it, boy. You have no wand. I have a wand. You have no password. I have a password. You,' Remus flicked his wand upward so that it brushed Malfoy's cheek, 'are trapped here. And I,' he leaned close, smelling sweat and fear, 'am your jailor.'
Malfoy was trembling--and trying hard not to show it. 'What will you do to me?'
The words caused a strange spike of heat to pierce Remus' body. His senses were suddenly flooded with little bits of information that coalesced into a kaleidoscope of sound, touch and smell--the soft brush of the hair at Malfoy's nape against his knuckles; the flushed, moist heat of Malfoy's skin; the scent of blood and fear and young, perversely clean sweat--the loud beating of Malfoy's pulse, the warmth of his suddenly fragile body against Remus' own.
Remus wrenched away from the boy, gasping, knowing that his eyes were glowing the way they did before a full moon. Malfoy looked terrified now, practically pressing himself back against the wall--and Remus, watching that horrified confusion being slowly, painstakingly masked by Malfoy's determination, felt a wave of withdrawal-induced nausea wrack him. Fuck. Now was not the time for this.
He kept his wand pointed at the boy.
'Wh-what are you?' Malfoy's lips barely seemed to move.
As Remus' pulse calmed, he felt the muscles around his eyes relax, his face returning to normal. 'A werewolf,' he answered shortly. 'As you well know.'
'A werewolf only a week away from the full moon.' Slivers of panic managed to make their way through Malfoy's tentatively built facade. 'How long will you keep me here?'
He felt his mouth curling again. 'Not long. My friends will be here in three days. I'm not equipped to interrogate you here; but when they arrive, you'll be handed over to the Ministry. Where you will be interrogated.' He paused. 'And Kissed.'
Malfoy jerked involuntarily at the mention of the Kiss. 'I'll have a trial.'
Remus gave a bark of laughter. 'You think they'll try you? You think they'll have time for a trial? Azkaban is in ruins. All they need to see is your Dark Mark, Malfoy--and you'll be dead.'
A bead of sweat left a glimmering trail, much like a tear, down Malfoy's face. 'I thought your noble army didn't believe in executing without trials.'
'You trial has come and gone, Malfoy. The night you took that Mark. There's nothing more to it.'
Malfoy's expression didn't change--but there was a strange shift in it, under the surface, that made Remus realize how young he was.
'How old are you?' He found himself asking.
The boy glanced at him sharply. 'The same age as Potter, of course. Nineteen.'
Nineteen. Remus wondered what he'd been doing at nineteen. Getting sloshed, probably. Getting shagged. A brief memory flashed through his mind: Sirius' mouth, hot and bitter with beer, opening under his own.
He realized he'd been staring at Malfoy too long; the boy looked uncomfortable.
Harry's age. He's just Harry's age.
Nevertheless, he felt his expression harden. Malfoy's family had killed James and Lily, had been involved in Sirius' death--and Malfoy himself had killed so many members of the Order; had tried to kill Harry himself.
'What will you do to me?' Malfoy asked again.
Remus flicked his wand in an up-and-down gesture. 'Strip.'
'What?' Malfoy's eyes were wide--and in them Remus saw such a storm of panic, revulsion and hate that he nearly didn't say what he had to say next.
'I said: strip. I've seen you Death Eaters carry vials of poison and little armies of knives in your robes--you've lost your wand, but that may not mean I've disarmed you. Not completely.'
Malfoy's expression flickered oddly--and suddenly Remus saw agreement, even a flash of grudging respect, in those eyes. Pale hands rose to the collar of Malfoy's robes; and Remus, for reasons he did not care to analyse, found himself stepping back.
Malfoy's fingers--as white and thin as a pianist's--undid the string-and-button that held his top robes in place. They slid to the floor with a sibilant slither that made Remus think of snakeskin--and then those fingers worked at the inner robe until it, too, fell.
There was a thin clink that made Remus raise his eyebrows--apparently there was a vial or two in there--and Malfoy looked away. He worked more surely now, undoing the buttons of a white, finely tailored shirt, slipping it easily off his shoulders.
Remus realized that he had stopped breathing.
Prey, some distant part of his mind was hissing. Young prey. See how it glistens.
For in the dim room lit only with the orange glow of a few Naphthal bulbs*, Malfoy's pale skin glistened--sweat again, glimmering like a transparent sheath around a weapon. For Malfoy's body was sharp, almost spare--muscles too thin to be born of strenuous exercise, but wiry and sleek nonetheless.
Malfoy wasn't looking at him--which was a good thing--he was looking at his hands instead, currently busy undoing his trousers. He didn't hesitate, not even once, which Remus had to appreciate--but all thought fled Remus' mind when Malfoy finally ceased his work and the trousers fell completely to the floor, leaving him nude. Malfoy stepped out of them with a peculiarly awkward grace--knees bending, genitals bobbing--before standing up again, face tight with controlled embarrassment, even though his blush gave him away.
For a few short moments, Remus didn't know what to say. The scent of Malfoy's body was clearer now, almost louder--like a sound when all barriers are removed. That clean sweat again, young and bittersweet, combined with the suppressed, sharply-edged musk that signalled fear. Milk and salt and terror, that's what Malfoy smelled like. And his body... was new, clear, unscarred, line after perfect line of symmetry--his legs and arms long and white, torso slender yet fully-formed. His cock was small, similarly pale and delicate--shrivelled with fear and cold, the balls lightly furred and soft. Beautiful.
Remus moved his wand so that it pointed just beyond Malfoy's shoulder--Malfoy jumped--and said: 'Accio spare robes, one set.'
Malfoy must have nearly got whiplash at the speed with which he turned his head--there was a smaller door behind him, leading to another room, which flew open at Remus' spell. In that room were several haphazardly arranged chests of drawers, racks of clothes and mattresses. A set of grey robes extricated itself from one of the racks and flew past Malfoy's ear, almost hitting him in the face, before landing much more gently on Remus' outstretched left arm.
Remus gathered up the robes and threw them at the boy. 'You'll be wearing these from now on. They're self-cleaning.' He pointed to the puddle of dark fabric next to Malfoy and said: 'Aboleo,' and the old clothes simply disappeared with a popping sound not unlike that of a house-elf's.
The boy was shrugging on the grey robes, a faintly disgusted expression on his face. Remus felt amusement quirk his mouth--obviously the grand Draco Malfoy was used to finer fabrics than these.
'At least they're clean,' he said, which caused Malfoy to glare at him--in a way that almost indicated that he'd forgotten who had the wand.
Remus didn't chuckle--it wouldn't do to let his guard down--but his eyes lingered helplessly on the sweat-moistened hollow of Malfoy's throat, jumping with pulse and so very, very inviting to a wolf's hungry mouth.
He looked up to see Malfoy's sharp eyes fixed on him--but unlike the expression of terror he had had earlier, with Remus pressed up against him, Malfoy looked almost... bland. No. Enlightened. Putting two and two together. Remus' earlier actions. His propensity to watch.
Malfoy didn't look frightened. He looked...
Remus almost glanced away--realizing what he'd given away, and what a Slytherin like Malfoy could do with it. But, while Malfoy's eyes glittered with new-found knowledge, he didn't say anything, didn't care to barter. He didn't say: If I let you fuck me, will you... He didn't say: You filthy old pervert.
Instead, folding his arms in a way that signalled that he had, in some strange way, won back his confidence, Malfoy said: 'So. My jailor. Where do I sleep?'
* A wizarding light-bulb, consisting of a tube of glass around a bud of the ever-blooming Naphthal plant. This plant has phosphorent qualities and gives off a golden-orange glow. It needs to be replaced approximately every six months, as it starts to age and loose its shine. My own invention, so don't bother looking for it in canon. Some of the spells, such as Aboleo (Latin for 'to destroy, abolish or obliterate') are also my own.