Fan Fiction - Harry Potter - Povídkové cykly
Need is necessary. Want is liberating. Desire is…
There had been a mirror once that showed not what was, not what would be, but the sweetest, and yet the most torturous of images.
The sweetest, because it showed the fulfillment of one’s innermost desires.
The most torturous, because, more often than not, the images it showed were as unreachable as a reflection in an ordinary mirror.
The mirror stood in the center of the Room of Requirement, the tall golden frame taking up most of the small circular chamber, which looked nothing like the room engraved in Draco Malfoy’s memory after countless hours spent inside it in his sixth year, nor did it resemble the room he had grown accustomed to during his more recent visits.
He had come to Hogwarts looking for… Draco was not quite sure. Sanctuary, perhaps, because his name was blackened and linked to darkness despite the unmarred skin on his forearm, and the wizarding world did not forgive as readily as its Golden Boy had. Solace, maybe, because his wounded pride could no longer bear living among Muggles, drowned in their alcohol or intoxicated by their drugs. Purpose, most likely, because he needed to give his life a course lest he go insane.
Living at Hogwarts was not easy, with each hallway and every corner tainted with memories, but it was easier now that those who remembered him from their schooldays were gone. Living at Hogwarts was more bearable an option than any of the others currently available to him. And yet it was not enough, this silent kind of existence in the seclusion of the castle, half-teaching, half-studying in the sections of the library he had never before deemed worthy of his attention. Nothing seemed enough anymore, as if a part of his life had evaporated during and after the war, a part he would never get back.
He came to the Room of Requirement regularly – it held a strange fascination that Draco did not dare examine too closely, this room where his short-lived dark glory had begun and ended, the room both he and Potter had been obsessed with, each in his time. However, this was the first time since Draco’s arrival in Hogwarts that the room contained anything but a brooding silence and a chair for him to sit in, or a bed to curl up in when he was very tired.
He ran his fingers over the gilded frame, walked around the mirror to inspect it; it was an old habit – during the war one could never be sure that death wouldn’t leap out from seemingly harmless objects. No traps here, though, no nasty surprises. Satisfied, Draco stood in front of the mirror once again, and for the first time looked at his reflection. And gave a start when, instead of bleach blond hair, he saw unkempt dark locks, when his eyes crashed into a bespectacled jade-green gaze, with the infamous lightning-shaped scar marring what should have been a reflection of his – Draco’s – perfectly smooth forehead. Standing in the place of Draco’s reflection was Harry Potter.
Several moments passed while Draco stared, blinking in puzzlement, at the man in the mirror, an odd feeling taking root inside him. Eventually, he shook his head and rubbed at his eyes, then turned away and left the Room of Requirement with its strange new addition.
“Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi,” read Draco, chanting out the words emblazoned along the upper part of the mirror’s frame as if it was a spell. He had tried this before already, brandishing his wand in sync with the incantation, but nothing ever happened, nothing ever changed.
Nothing aside from the fact that, with increasing frequency, the mirror now showed both Draco’s reflection and Potter, the two images standing side by side, Draco with the grim, bemused expression he wore in reality, Potter with a challenge in his eyes, a flame burning behind those glasses, which reminded Draco of the way the Fiendfyre had reflected in Potter’s eyes when he had come to offer Draco a rescuing hand.
It had been two weeks and still Draco found the mirror in place every day, without a clue of what it was, or what the images it showed meant. The library had let him down – he could not find any mentions of a mirror like this in any of the books he’d consulted. He dared not ask anyone about the mirror, either, not until he could be sure that the mirror was not some dark artifact; it would not do much for Draco’s reputation if he was found fiddling with some dubious object, especially one that seemed to have a connection with the savior of the wizarding world.
“Is this my punishment?” he yelled at the mirror one evening after another day of fruitless lingering in front of the mirror’s silvery surface, with nothing but a Potter-mirage for company. “Is this some kind of torture? Haunting me with your face until I go crazy, Potter?!”
He gave the mirror one last glance before stomping off and out of the room. He was angry and it was easier to blame the mirror than face the truth. He did not have to come back. He did not have to deal with the mirror. He could forget its secret, forget Potter.
But Draco knew he’d be back the following day. He couldn’t rest, couldn’t sleep soundly, couldn’t give up until he solved the mystery and made Potter leave him alone.
“We could have stayed in Hogsmeade, you know,” Potter pointed out while they trotted up the slope towards Hogwarts’ gates. It was quite a walk, but it was the only way to enter the school now. In addition to apparating, flooing and portkeying in and out of Hogwarts was now impossible, too – the security was tighter than ever, though Draco thought it kind of pointless now that Voldemort was long dead and all of his followers either locked up in Azkaban or in their graves as well.
“I thought you’d enjoy the fresh air, Potter,” Draco said, his breath coming out in frozen puffs. The walk was good exercise; his heart was beating vivaciously in his chest and he felt pleasantly warm despite the biting winter cold. “Besides, I told you I need your opinion on something. And that something just happens to be in the castle. So shut up and try to keep up,” he said and glanced over his shoulder towards Potter, who was lagging behind; his shoes may have been good enough for London’s streets, but he kept slipping on the snowy path.
He heard Potter let out an aggravated huff and smiled to himself; it had been way too long since he’d had a chance for a bit of verbal teasing.
“We’d forgiven each other, Malfoy, and I came because you need my help – “
Draco snorted. The only thing he needed from Potter was for him to be out of his head, which meant out of that tantalizing mirror that fed Draco’s mind with images and coaxed dreams out of his subconscious that Draco could no longer tolerate.
“I came because you asked civilly, and I am prepared to be perfectly civil, too, but if you can’t – “
“I get it, Potter,” Draco interrupted. “I wasn’t trying to fight,” he added, letting his voice soften. “I just really need someone to – “ Draco stopped himself right there, but Potter was already grinning, that self-righteous grin that made his eyes twinkle and rippled the skin around them with crow’s feet. Draco had spent more hours staring at that smile in the past few weeks than he could count.
“I will try my best, Malfoy,” Potter said and it actually sounded like he meant it.
Potter gasped when he walked into the Room of Requirement after Draco had willed it into existence. Draco turned to him to see him stare at the mirror, eyes wide and his mouth forming a small red O. He quirked an eyebrow – the mirror was nice, sure, but it was not that spectacular. Unless… Draco’s heart skipped in excitement when he realized what Potter’s reaction could mean.
He stepped towards Potter, stopping by his side so they both stood in front of the mirror. He kept his eyes trained on Potter’s face, though, the real Potter’s face, carefully avoiding the reflection in the mirror. It was not difficult. Potter had a few almost invisible freckles scattered on his nose, and his lips were chapped, probably from the cold.
“I haven’t seen it since my first year at Hogwarts,” Potter said. “I didn’t even know it was still here.” He turned towards Draco, a small dreamy smile on his face. Draco wondered if this was what he looked like when he woke up from a pleasant dream. If Harry Potter knew the luxury of pleasant dreams at all.
“You know what it is, then?” Draco breathed. It had been a desperate move to call on Potter, but it had seemed the only option left, and the option that made most sense. And, judging by the lack of outrage on Potter’s side, the mirror was nothing bad.
“Of course. The Mirror of Erised.” Potter’s smile saddened as he reached out towards the mirror and traced the edge of its frame with a finger. Then he looked back at Draco with a curious expression. “How did you know that I’d know, though?”
“I think that should be obvious,” Draco said, struggling to keep his eyes from rolling. “Did you look into it?” Not waiting for an answer, he grabbed Potter’s arm and tugged him forward so they both stood in front of the mirror once more. He avoided the reflections and focused on Potter again, then started to explain: “It shows you whenever you look into it – I mean, not just when you look, that would be normal, but it shows you when I look into it, even when you’re not here. And that is a little suspicious, don’t you – what?”
Potter had gone pale, and was gawking at him as if Draco had suddenly grown a second head.
“You – you see me in the mirror?” Potter stammered.
This time, Draco couldn’t help himself. He rolled his eyes. “Yes. Just look if you don’t believe me.” He reached for Potter’s shoulder, positioning him so that he was by the side, out of direct view for the mirror, while Draco stood face to face with the surface. “It shows you, or me and you, it depends, and – OH GOD!” he shrieked, because in that instant, he finally glimpsed the reflection in the mirror. It was not accurate, as usual, showing not reality but something else. “What are you doing with it, Potter?!” he inquired with a glare.
Potter stood observing him quietly, shaking his head in confusion or disbelief, as if he didn’t know what was going on, as if he hadn’t just seen what Draco had seen, the image of them entwined in an embrace, lips joined and hips flush against each other, Potter’s hand on – oh no, he was not thinking about that! It was too wrong, too intimate. Everything about the image was, and while it was maybe tolerable to see himself snogging Potter in a dream or two, this was different. This was too dangerous, especially with the real Potter so temptingly close; it was not a good idea to –
“What did you see?” Potter asked, seemingly unperturbed and looking almost amused now.
“As if you needed to ask, you pervert!” Draco accused. “I should have known it was all your fault!” he yelled, even angrier because he could feel the blush on his face. “I asked you to come here so you could help me get rid of it, not make it worse! It’s not very easy, you know, Potter, seeing your face every day in the goddamn mirror, and now seeing you kiss me. It’s driving me insane, so if you could just stop the – “
Suddenly, Potter’s lips were on his, chapped and warm, swallowing his words. A hand curled around his nape to keep him in place, with nowhere to escape, trapped between the mirror reflection and the real – very real, solid and oh damn, hard – Harry Potter. Draco felt life rush through him, making him dizzy as if he was in the air on his broom, reaching for the Snitch with Potter straining towards it right beside him. It had been ages since he’d last made out with anyone, since he’d last wanted a real – available – person enough to go through with it. It was too much, the sensations slamming into him as Potter’s tongue pushed into his mouth while Potter’s thigh wedged itself between his, creating delicious friction. It was what Draco had dreamed about in the past weeks or even longer, much longer. It was all that and more.
And then it was over.
Potter let go of him as suddenly as he had seized him and stepped back while steering Draco towards the mirror.
“What do you see now?” he panted.
Draco stared at him in confusion for a second – he had forgotten about the mirror, and the Potter-mirage usually lurking on its surface. Then he complied and peered into the Mirror of Erised. He saw –
“I see myself,” he breathed in astonishment. “Just myself.” His hair was tousled and his lips puffy, vividly red. Excited, he looked at Harry.
“How did you – was that some kind of a charm?” Draco inquired, moving towards Harry. He felt light-headed, and his stomach fluttered. “I didn’t quite expect the method but I must admit that it worked.” He let out a laugh; a peculiar warm glow was taking over him, one that Draco couldn’t quite pinpoint, with a hungry undercurrent of desire. He craved – wanted – needed more. “It worked quite well, even,” he gave a feral grin.
He was standing in front of Harry, who had his back pressed against a wall now. Harry’s eyes were wild, burning, and Draco reached out to remove the glasses; they would just get in the way.
Harry batted his hand away, then pressed a palm against his chest to maintain the distance between them. “It wasn’t a charm,” he whispered, looking anywhere but at Draco. It was irritating – after all, Harry had just kissed and groped him, and while that had been a surprise, it had felt kind of right. There was no reason to play the shy virgin now.
But Harry gave him an almost anguished look. “It was – The Mirror of Erised shows you what you want most. Your heart’s most –“ he took a quick breath, blinking a few times, “– the most desperate desire.”
Draco froze as the information penetrated through the daze. Then he relaxed again. The hard part was over – now that they had kissed, there was no point in denying it. He did desire Harry. The insistent tension in his trousers was proof enough. And as Harry seemed to be fine with the situation, too – he’d taken the first step! – there was nothing in the way of a long, hot –
“I’m afraid I can’t help you.”
“What?” It didn’t make sense. They had just – “Wait, Potter – Harry.” Draco clasped his fingers around Harry’s wrist just as Harry started to move away, shuffling along the wall in the direction of the door.
“I’m sorry. I can’t do anything for you, Draco,” Harry sad, his gaze trained on the door.
“But you just –“
“It wasn’t real!” Harry exclaimed, jerking his wrist away.
“Right,” Draco said wryly. “And the bulge in your trousers is your hankie.” He eyed Harry’s crotch ostentatiously.
“It’s not –“
“What did you see in the mirror?” Draco demanded.
Harry mumbled something, a low, irritated grumble in his throat.
“What did you see?” Draco raised his voice. It had an unpleasantly hysteric pitch about it. What had he gotten himself into? He reached both arms out and planted his palms on either side of Harry’s shoulders, trapping him against the wall.
“That’s none of your business,” Harry sighed and gestured for Draco to release him.
“Tell me,” Draco insisted, moving closer, close enough to feel the heat emanating from Harry’s body. He wanted to delve right back into it. When Harry winced, he groaned in frustration: “What did you SEE, Potter?!” he yelled.
“NOT YOU!” Harry bellowed and roughly pushed Draco out of the way. In the next instant, his wand was out and pointed at Draco. “Don’t make me hex you,” he muttered and quickly proceeded to the door. “Goodbye, Malfoy,” he said and slipped out of the room.
Draco’s first instinct was to run after him. His hand was already on the handle when the truth slammed home. There was no point. He let his hand, and then his entire body, sink, sliding to sit on the cold stone floor. At least, he told himself, at least the mirror would leave him alone now.
But when he caught a glimpse of the reflection on the surface of the Mirror of Erised, Draco Malfoy wailed in pain. From the mirror, the Boy Who Lived was smiling at him.
Desire is the sweetest torture.