Title: Us
Author name: earthquake
Author email: earthquake1906@yahoo.com
Category: Slash
Sub Category: Romance
Keywords: Harry Draco fluff angst Sirylu
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: My own fics, Hedge of Thorns and Only Castles Burning

Summary: This is a tribute to Siry's ficlets "Medusa" and "Ashes" at TDA, and it contains colossal spoilers for them. And The Armchair has a cameo!

DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Author Notes: When I missed Sirylu's birthday, I rashly promised to write her a ficlet. I hope it's true that it's the thought that counts. Happy belated birthday Siry, and keep writing! *kicks your computer*

This has all the problems my fics normally struggle with: too meta, contains an annoying science fictional premise, and so on. At present the only H/D I can access as a writer are the guys from JaneEyreWorld, so this features them (and you can read their longer story if you want an explanation of the your way/my way remark in *cough* detail...), about six months after the conclusion of Only Castles Burning. All you need to know now is that this Harry started out with Jane Eyre's personality, an odd mix of meek naive and fierce, but he's grown a bit since then. He's an artist and musician who lifts weights (though not as obsessively as he used to, thanks to Verdant). This Draco (-Rochester) was first in his class at Durmstrang and he works with dragons.





In the smallest of the three dining rooms at Malfoy Manor, candlelight shone on Draco Malfoy's white-blonde hair, turning it to burnished gold. As Hopkins cleared the dessert plates, Draco frowned and fiddled with his coffee spoon. "That'll be all," he said brusquely.

Hopkins held her tray steady as she leaned back against the swinging door that led to the pantry, meanwhile raising her eyebrows at Harry Potter, who sat sprawled at Draco's right. Harry answered with a slight shake of his head, and she vanished smartly.

Unlike Draco, who had dined in his work robes, Harry wore comfortable Muggle trousers and a thin cashmere jumper that matched his eyes. Draco's troubled gaze seemed to trace a line across Harry's collarbone, down his broad shoulder and along his arm, to light finally on his left hand. Draco's frown deepened.

Harry sighed. "So far we've established that it's not us, it's not the boys, it's not your mother, it's not anything to do with the Manor, it's not your work, and it's not some idiot at the Ministry."

Draco was silent.

"You're going to tell me." Harry was quietly adamant. "You promised. No more secrets."

After a long moment Draco sighed and stirred. "In a way," he said quietly, "it is us." Harry sat up. Draco raised his hand. "And it is work. But it started with the dragons."

"The dragons?" Now Harry was frankly puzzled. For as long as he'd known the dragon-tamer, his...colleagues had been a source of adventure, challenge, and delight, never instigating the kind of mounting frustration and sorrow that he now saw in Draco's eyes.

"They're playing a game with me," Draco said through clenched teeth. "How dare they? Even if it is true."

"If what is true?" Harry's voice was patient and quiet and determined. Its tone said, Whatever you need to tell me, I can handle. I'll be here to listen if it takes the rest of the year. The rest of our lives. At least, that's what Harry hoped it said. He took Draco's right hand in both of his own.

"I guess you'll have to read some of them," Draco murmured. "I must have known that all along I'd have to tell you, because I brought these home with me." Fumbling in his robe pocket with his left hand, he brought out two small scrolls and tossed them on the table. "When you're done, I'll be upstairs." He pulled harshly away from Harry's grasp and stood up, striding angrily out of the room, his robes almost snapping behind him.

Now thoroughly puzzled, Harry drew one of the scrolls towards him and opened it. He pulled a candlestick forward so it cast its light directly on the parchment. At its top was the word Medusa.


Still carrying the scrolls, feeling almost like a character in one of his own dreams, Harry walked slowly upstairs. He paused in the doorway of the suite of rooms where he and Draco shared their most private moments. His lover sat in an armchair with his feet up, his strong lean body wrapped in a russet-colored dressing gown, drinking brandy from a snifter. Draco looked every inch the lord of the Manor, Harry thought. Even through his sorrow and confusion he rejoiced to see the new lightness with which Draco had begun to carry his many responsibilities, since his father's death.

Draco turned and spoke harshly. "Well?"

Harry looked down at the scrolls. "Two lovers who...could almost be us."

"In a way, they are us." Draco's voice rasped with uncharacteristic bitterness.

"You don't know that!"

Draco sighed. "We've known for some time that there are...other worlds besides our own. The dragons can reach into them. But the things they've brought back to me have never been as...disturbing...as these stories."

Harry stretched out his hand to give the scrolls back to Draco, but Draco waved them away. "But these two men met at Hogwarts. You didn't go to Hogwarts."

"In most of the other worlds, I did, apparently. And you...in most of the other worlds, you're someone special. Just as you are to me. Except in those other worlds, everyone knows it."

Harry pulled a hassock next to Draco's chair and sat down on it, heavily. "I'm not sure what you're talking about."

"Celebrity, Harry." Harry shrugged, still puzzled. Draco leaned gently forward and lifted his hand to caress Harry's forehead. "And in all those other worlds, you have this same scar. The one you got when you tried to die for me." He smiled at the memory, but Harry looked gravely down at the scrolls in his hands.

"In this second story, I think you're going to die for me. At least, you say you can't kill me. You're waiting for me to kill you. I can't believe...but it looks like I'm going to." Harry's face was a mask of anguish. "Now I see why you've had that look in your eyes. I'm glad you finally told me."

"So am I." Draco tossed back the last of his brandy and set down his glass.

"If this is real, then that explains..."


"Why...the moment I saw you...I felt it was meant."

Draco leaned forward. "You mean...?"

"Us." Harry blushed. "As if we're meant to be together, no matter which world we meet in. Maybe that's why it's always felt so...uncontrollable."

Draco smiled wickedly. "That's how I prefer it."

But Harry didn't match his mood. "Reading this...makes me sad. They had such a short time together before..."

"It made me feel anger, at first," Draco murmured. "Anger that they didn't have even the short time that we've had together so far, let alone the years I hope to have with you. And now it makes me want you." He shook his head. "It doesn't make any rational sense, but I want to make love, because they can't. Because they're dead."

Harry looked alarmed. "That's kind of...ghoulish."

Draco stood up brusquely and pulled Harry to his feet. He took the scrolls from Harry's hands and threw them violently into the chair. "Sex, Harry. Now."

Harry turned away. "After reading those tragic stories? I'm not in the mood."

Draco's wand flashed from his left pocket; the door to the hall slammed shut and Harry heard it lock. At the sound, Harry turned around with alarm to see his lover approaching, like a sleek panther coiled to spring. Draco grabbed Harry's arms and tried to push him backwards.

"No, Draco." Harry was the stronger of the two, and he refused to give an inch. For a moment the two men glared at each other, until Harry spoke calmly. "No bullying."

Abruptly Draco seemed to relax. He took Harry's left hand in both of his own and lifted it to his lips. "I know," he murmured, as he licked down Harry's fingers and across the ring that was the outward symbol of their bond. "No bullying, and no secrets. I promised." Meditatively, as if he had all the time in the world, he kissed and sucked the inside of Harry's wrist. "Look, Harry. The Wizarding War ended when we were both in second year."

"Sort of." As Harry watched what Draco was doing, his shoulders seemed to relax. "Actually we fought its last battle here, at Malfoy Manor, last winter."

Draco looked up. "Right. We did." He smiled wryly as he stepped forward and pulled Harry's body close against his own. Now his lips were on Harry's neck. "Well, imagine if that war was...endless. If you and I were on, say, opposite sides."

As Draco's tongue caressed his collarbone, Harry shivered. "Mmm. Don't stop!" He wrapped his arms around Draco's shoulders as Draco continued to kiss him, deliberately, masterfully.

"...Imagine if we wanted each other the way we do now...but we knew we could never...ever...touch again?"

Harry sighed as he buried his lips in Draco's hair.

Draco's voice was insistent now. "Wouldn't it be a comfort to you to know that somewhere, in another universe, another Draco and another Harry were fucking each other's brains out?"

Harry pulled his head back so that he could look into Draco's face. "Not particularly," he said frankly. "No."

Draco pulled him forward again. "They're dead, Harry, but we're not."

Harry felt Draco's hands on his back, along his sides, inflaming him even through his clothes, weakening his resistance. "You feel..."

"For all the Dracos and Harrys who didn't have our...chance." Draco's voice was low and hypnotic. "As you said, it's uncontrollable. So don't try to resist."

Harry felt almost all of his muscles relaxing, except for the one that had always had a mind of its own... He leaned against his lover and murmured into Draco's shoulder, "Perhaps there's something in what you say."

Draco smiled wickedly. "In the mood, are you, after all?"

Harry smiled, coloring slightly. "Your way or my way?"

"Every way." And Draco pushed Harry forward, trapping him against the door, crushing their bodies together. And this time, Harry let him.


Much, much later, Harry stirred and drew the covers over Draco, who had kicked them off in his sleep. He stood and stretched, glorying in the way his body felt. That was intense, he thought. Draco's always amazing, but tonight...

Struck by a sudden thought, he stood up and walked over to the armchair and picked up the two scrolls. He weighed them in his hand for a moment and then put them carefully in the top drawer of the bureau next to the bed. That one called Ashes, he thought to himself. Maybe next time I'll read it to him, out loud...

happy birthday to sirylu from earthquake
october 2002