Summary: What is love? 'Tis not hereafter.
Rating: R. This fic was written pre-Book 5 and is therefore AU.
Archiving: You must ask for this one. email me for permission.
Disclaimer: The character portrayed in this story are the sole and entire property of J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers. Any and all resemblance to any other work of fiction is entirely unintentional and coincidental on the part of the author.
Dedication: to lunacy and sylvertongue, who both wanted so much to see this fic again.
What is love?
'Tis not hereafter.
The deaths of Severus Snape and Sirius Black are especially tragic once the news gets out that Black has died trying to save the professor’s life. Suddenly the infamous criminal is a war hero, exonerated, martyred, and everyone is beside themselves with grief. You don’t notice too much of a change in the other Slytherins, but then they’re all quiet and solitary, like you. The communal bonding isn’t for your house. Mourning for the lost is the job of the Gryffindors. They do it in typical noisy fashion, except for him—he just sits there staring dully into space. Then after two weeks he goes to breakfast, eats his meal, and says, “No thanks, Hermione,” when she suggests they go to class. He does not move for the rest of the day, though he eats with regularity when the meals are served, and at the end of the day, late, late in the evening, when the others have despaired of his giving any signs of motion, he calmly wipes his chin, leaves his napkin on his plate, gets up, and goes to bed.
He proceeds to do the same thing for the next thirteen days. For the most part he sits silently, perfectly well-behaved and completely unmoving. Whenever anyone reasons with him, he assumes the appearance of listening, blinking at them quite pleasantly; and then when they ask him if he will at least think about going to class, he says, just as pleasantly, “No, I don’t think I will, thanks.” The teachers fuss over him daily; everyone stares at him. The students wonder if he’s cracked; you don’t think he’s cracked so much as gotten a bit lost. Dumbledore insists he is to be left alone, no doubt assuming he could help the boy personally more than any of his friends had yet been able to; but when Dumbledore attempts to have the tried-and-true person-to-person talk with him, he just lets out a loud peal of giggles in the middle of Dumbledore’s speech, and waves him away, still laughing.
On the twelfth day you notice Weasley trying to tempt him to move by placing his Firebolt beside the table, propped up against the wall, just out of his line of vision. This does not work, and you see clearly that he looks at it in the same bland unseeing way he looks at everything and everyone else. On the thirteenth morning, Granger says despairingly, “I brought you a cushion,” and he sits on it with a grin. That night they shut the Great Hall doors as usual, the house elves clear the plates, leaving the massive assortment of get-well-soon cards, cheer-up toys, stuffed animals, balloons, candy hearts, and motivational posters that have accumulated around his section of the Gryffindor table. You de-lurk, shove a giant teddy bear out of the way, and sit on the table in its stead.
He blinks at you as if you were a funny curio object on a shelf. You eye him, trying to decide whether you’re in fact angry enough with him to punch him, and he blinks at you some more. Finally you decide to go for shock value rather than cater to his comfort zone, so you take your fingers and run them through his hair, faintly jolted by its soft thickness. He stops blinking, and keeps looking at you, and you let the caress move to his cheek. He has smooth skin, healthy and soft, and he doesn’t seem to mind you tracing it with your fingertips, moving down over his jaw, the curve of his chin, the dainty pink lines of his mouth.
“Come here,” you say after a moment. He stands up, still with that expression of mild interest, and lets you pull him onto the table beside you. He stares at the gifts the two of you have now scattered, and tucks his legs beneath him. When he looks back up at you, you lean in and kiss him. He doesn’t respond but his lips part automatically, surprising you with their warmth. It takes a moment before you realise he’s not going to do any more, and you push off his robes, watching him steadily. He lets you undress him, shivering a little as the cold air reaches his skin. You put your hand over the flesh of his arm, where the goose bumps have appeared, and he looks at it, then you, and then lets you push his trousers down the rest of the way. He isn’t as soft in other places, nor as pale, as you would have expected—you can tell that he’s been long used to working out in the sun. But then, he never seems like the skilled athlete you know him to be, not whenever he’s on the ground. He looks just a little klutz-like still, even though all he’s doing is lying there beside you. You figure it’s the glasses, and reach up to remove them. He gasps when you touch them, and you decide to leave them there.
You don’t kiss him much, not really. He lets you run your hands over him, sighing appreciatively when you stroke him and hissing in pleasure when you place your mouth on him. You almost let him come like that, but then figure that if you’re going to do the thing you might as well do it properly, so you quickly grab the tube you brought, throw your clothes onto the bench, and hoist him on top of you. “Oh,” he says as you squeeze the lubricant onto your palm and slide your hand over him, and then you try to relax as he awkwardly finds his way inside of you, stopping with annoying irregularity to push his glasses back up onto his nose. He comes with a grunt and a few short thrusts inside of you, and then he sits up and grins. You dust yourself off and casually remark that he could come back to your room and help you take care of your own erection. “Thank you, I don’t think I will,” he says, and you leave, and some time later that night, you have no idea how late, he wakes you up by peering at you through the curtains of your four-poster. This time you can’t seem to stop kissing him.
The next morning you see he’s gone, and when you go down to breakfast he’s already there, sitting in the same place. You notice him staring at you for the rest of the meal. That night he comes back, and makes a little noise—of surprise, mostly—when you kiss him on the mouth. He isn’t really all that noisy otherwise; he’s really into moaning but it’s a soft, quiet moan. You don’t tend to make much noise at all. You know by the third night that your roommates both know but you know they don’t intend to make an issue of it. Besides, by the third night you’ve gotten him to make little coos of appreciation when you touch him, so you figure it can’t be too long now.
The fifth night you pull him on top of you and he does nothing. Through the dark you can’t read what he wants, you can only glimpse his eyes glinting at you when he blinks, and uncertainly you roll him over and press against him. He sighs happily. You fuck him.
The eighth night he suddenly pushes you off of him where you were lying with your head on his chest, and rolls on top of you, and then his hands are all over you, running, touching, feeling, and he’s never touched you at all before, and you don’t know what to do so you just lie there, stunned. “It’s mine?” he asks you, almost fearfully, as if he thought you might say ‘no,’ and then he’d have no reason to talk ever again. So of course you nod, and he spends the rest of the night with his hands on your body, until he falls asleep and the weight of him against you keeps you awake all night long.
His housemates have no idea where he went at night, you know, because you’ve overheard them; they figure at this point they should be glad he’s going anywhere at all because at least that way he’s moving. You know Weasley wants to follow him so you tell him to hide his cloak. You have no idea whether he does as you asked or not. You have no idea of anything except that you keep your door unlocked for him at night now, and that he has claimed his half of the bed and tends to scoot as close to the edge as possible when he sleeps, grabbing only a tiny corner of the blanket as if he were afraid to take any more. You hate that, and keep trying to give him more of your half of the blanket, but he always whimpers in his sleep and shivers and refuses.
The tenth night you keep your fingers tangled in his hair as you kiss him, and you’re so focused on the softness, the feel of it right there under your fingertips, that you almost don’t realise he is moving his mouth slowly beneath you, vaguely returning the pressure of your lips, until he erupts in a short, tiny gasp of pleasure when you nudge your tongue against his. And then you forget about trying to help him find his way out of the maze because you think he has pulled you into it, and he is kissing back, anyway, and for the first time in your life you make noise.
The eleventh night he fucks you unrelentingly, and you think he moans as he comes inside of you, but you’re not sure because you are screaming his name over and over, and as you pour sperm and devotion out onto his chest he sinks his teeth into your shoulder and breaks through your skin.
The next morning he is just stepping out of the shower when you awake. He’s got a towel, your towel, wrapped around him, another towel rubbing his hair. He smiles at you, says, “Thanks, Malfoy,” and dresses while you watch. He tosses the towels on his side of the bed and ruffles your hair right before he leaves. When you go down to breakfast he is not there, and the Firebolt is missing. On your way to Arithmancy you notice a number of students crowded around the bay windows in the West wing corridor, and you know they are gathering to watch him fly.
It takes him little time at all to catch up with his schoolwork. He doesn’t acknowledge you much beyond a civil word now and then. You don’t really acknowledge him either, mostly because you aren’t sure you could stop talking once you start. After a time you notice he’s fucking Oliver Wood, this year’s DADA professor. You watch them staring at each other one morning at breakfast. You have to admit they look good together. As you pour more orange juice you feel a twinge of pain and realise that the bruise on your shoulder has yet to heal. “Pass the muffins,” says Goyle. You pass the muffins and sit there.
When the house elves come to clear away the dinner plates, you're still sitting.