Warnings: some s&m, death, suicide, dark, general disillusionment with life and existence by main characters
Summary: The wizarding world, caught up in the hell of war, has no idea what it’s done to its young hero and what he will be driven to do. H/D slash. Planned dual-suicide. Very bleak and angsty.
Challenges: Part of the Ebony and Ivory Fuh-Q-Fest (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HDFQF/)
#58. Draco finds Harry crying. (Minnie)
#60. The Mirror of Erised. (Minnie)
#79. Harry finds out what Draco sees when he's near a dementor. This is an educated guess, but I suspect it has something to do with his father. (Aeowen)
#110. Last battle: War is hell, physical and emotional. Hell has no stable footing other than hate and suspicion, bridges collapse easily... Harry is a bit quiet and snappier than usual. The tension makes them all need to lash out at someone. Who better than their hero? Bridges burn and ties are cut, but the light are sure such connections can be rebuild after the war... after all, Harry has a fine life, right? Harry doesn't need help or support, the hero doesn't want to *talk* about anything... Everybody expected him to kill Voldemort, and he did. Nobody expected him to kill himself, but he did. Laughing. And in the midst of shocked silence, as the Golden Boy's body falls, a single voice joins him. Draco Malfoy, bastard extraordinaire, the only one who had bothered to listen, laughs at them and with Harry. A blonde suicide note, made to follow its love into oblivion after singing its last song. Planned dual-suicide, angst, slash. HPDM/DMHP. Length and Draco's explanation/way of kicking the bucket up to you. (Aoi)
Disclaimer: JRK is God. She owns all.
Author’s Notes: Whee! My first, actually completed fic! I was definitely chanelling existentialism when I wrote this, since my mind was fresh from just reading The Stranger by Albert Camus. (which is an excellent book, btw!)
And thank you Aoi for kindly allowing me to use your words in their suicide notes. Ever so grateful! It just wouldn’t have been the same otherwise. Also, the story is written with the scenes greatly out of sequence and can therefore be potentially confusing– you need to do a little thinking to get it all, but please bear with it and don’t give up! Please? And feedback too?
War is hell, physical and emotional. Hell has no stable footing other than hate and suspicion, bridges collapse easily...so what if Harry was a bit quiet and snappier than usual? The tension made them all need to lash out at someone. Who better than their hero? Bridges burn and ties are cut, but the light are sure such connections can be rebuild after the war... after all, Harry has a fine life, right? Harry doesn't need help or support, the hero doesn't want to *talk* about anything... Everybody expected him to kill Voldemort, and he did. Nobody expected him to kill himself, but he did. Laughing.
~ Signed, Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. Goodbye.
“It’s over…” The awed whisper echoed ghostily over the ruins and dead bodies and devastation on the battlefield that had been shocked into silence by the implosion of Voldemort until all that remained was a small obsidian bead glinting in the brightness of the sunlight—a black pearl. (Ironic how the sun was shining brightly over the Last Battle – the sun always seemed to have been shining through those final months of death and anguish, and oh, why, why had it continued to shine throughout the rest of that fatal day when the darkness had also swallowed the most light of them all?) The once immaculately-kept grounds of Hogwarts had deep gashes laced across them, as did the scarred bodies strewn all around it; the grass on the battlefield was parched and wilted yellow, then stained black with blood, and the sun beat down mercilessly on the few who were left alive. “…he’s gone,” Ron had been the first one to break the silence following the death of Voldemort and the subsequent deaths of all the Death Eaters. Voldemort had felt that if he was going to die, he was going to bring as many others as he could down with him– the Dark Mark had a self-destruction mechanism that would suck the life force out of their occupants once their Master had passed.
Harry gave a derisive grunt to himself– of course it would take Ron Weasley with his slow, oafish self to state the obvious and break the enchanted moment of beautiful, pure silence– the first he had experienced in several long, long years. He checked himself all over. Nope– no hurts, no injuries anywhere. He was surprised that killing Voldemort had caused himself no pain whatsoever, just as the Olde Magicke book had promised, but he still hadn’t expected how unscathed he had come out. The dark curse he had used would only protect its casters if they too were also doomed– the next time he used his wand, the hate energy resulting from the previous spell cast would turn the death curse onto himself…
Hermione picked up the piece of parchment Harry had been clutching when he died, not ten minutes after he had killed Voldemort. He had indeed been laughing. “But why…why?” She whispered, not believing it, as tears started to well up.. “Oh, Harry I know we’ve been hard on you and the war has been hard on all of us, but there was no need to do this.” She crouched down by the small, pure white diamond that used to be his body, so pure white that it glowed blue, mechanically noting how the diamond was in fact the ideal representation of Harry who was just as pure as it was. And as it caught the sunlight, a white blade of pain flashed right into her eyes, slicing straight through her heart, glinting just as those glasses of his had done, and then she became overwhelmed as memories started to flood over her and she couldn’t hold the sobs back any longer. “I’m sorry…I’m sorry…” she gasped out. “No…Harry…no…I loved you Harry…We all really did…”
It had been building up for years. Just like he had written, war was hell, of course, both physically and emotionally, even if you were on the “good” side. The physical part of the pain at least he could deal with, with no problem at all– it wasn’t as though he wasn’t routinely being put through it. But the emotional part he could hardly bear any longer. The pressure was constantly being put on him, always him, only him. Everyone assumed he would fulfill their every expectation and, when he didn’t because he couldn’t– he wasn’t some god or something, he was only human, only a little boy whose childhood had been stolen from him and now a young man whose rest of his life was being stolen away too– they blamed him. And threw bitter comments at him that only made him see their own weakness and insecurity. And were incredibly ungrateful and extremely forgetful of the thousand and one other times he had saved their worthless hides if this current time he was unable to fill the latest mold they made for him.
Good side, my arse, Harry had thought one day, finding himself starting to question the cause. Who said Voldemort was wrong, what if there was no good or evil, what if there only was power? Harry didn’t know, and he didn’t care. He found that it actually didn’t matter to him. Little did, anymore. All he knew was that he was starting to resent this war. And he was starting to resent the people who were on his side of the war.
Maybe that was why he turned to Draco. They had had a few trysts back in school, but those had been brief encounters, characterized as opportunities to blow off stress and bring their rivalry into another playing field and ultimately as the need to achieve dominance. But Harry knew he did not hate Draco anymore. The reason they had hated each other in school was that they had each been caught up in championing various causes that happened to oppose the other’s. And at the end of the day, all of it really wound up meaning nothing to either of them. Nothing at all. Just a bunch of rubbish people with no lives had made up in order to add significance to their otherwise meaningless existence. And they had dragged such superior souls as Harry and Draco down into the muck with them. But Harry knew better now. And, apparently, so did Draco. And Draco listened, and he understood, and he would empathize, and Harry would return the favor by letting Draco bitch about his life to Harry as Harry had to him. And afterwards, Draco would go back to Voldemort and continue taking orders. And Harry would go back to that fool Dumbledore and continue killing Death Eaters.
Same thing, really, for the two of them, same stupid war, same stupid fighting, there really wasn’t much difference between the two “sides” with the same and utterly stupid hypocrisy that made Harry just want to scream with exasperation (couldn’t they see how dumb they were being, making the war drag pointlessly on and on forever like this, with more people dying or, worse, losing their sense of self-meaning after being used so much) and gash a bloody canvas of careful, sweet lines across his chest, up and down his legs, all over his arms, even though he knew no sort of physical display of frustration could come even close to expressing what he was feeling inside. Same stupid everything, with the only difference being the mascots. In the end one way to live and side to support was just the same as the other. And they both sucked. And Harry wanted out.
“But why not…why can’t we tell anyone? Why do we have to keep it hidden it to ourselves, pretending to be someone else…pretend to hate each other? Do you realize how painful it is for me to pretend to hate you? We’ve had enough years of that…why do we have to continue in some cruel parody of the six years we missed out on with each other? Why do we have to be the ones to be unhappy?” He looked his lover plaintively in the eyes with his own still-ironically-sparkling-bright-after-a
“Hush, love. It can all be over soon. We can make it be over soon,” Draco said in a soothing voice. “We’ll kill that fucking bastard, the one I call my master. And we’ll kill as many of those fucking bastards you just as much are a slave to– your so-called friends and admirers and blind-followers-of-all-things-on-the-goo
“Ohhhh,” Harry sobbed out, kissing Draco’s Dark Mark. “If only…if only…please, please tell me that that is what’s gonna happen…that it will be over…and that we will be the ones to win finally.”
Draco smiled sadly and nodded, “I promise you. They will lose. They will,” then flicked open Harry’s lion-head switchknife and started cutting him with it, Harry crying out as Draco carved the familiar snake and skull into Harry’s forearm, tracing over the by-now scarred-over evidence of countless previous times in which he had done so, and Harry reciprocating with Draco’s snake-head one directly over his Dark Mark, their pants being yanked down un-gently to midthigh, Draco proceeding to fuck Harry hard into oblivion, driving him up against the wall, giving him for a few moments the only escape from reality that Harry, worn down from years of war, was able to get. It was the only thing Draco could do for him, as they grunted and sweat and bled together, working a little magic of their own, just as they had done innumerable times before, each time strengthening their bond a little more, and weakening Voldemort’s bond with Draco through his Dark Mark a little more, banded through cum and blood, and just for a little while helping Harry to drive to the back of his mind stuff like power struggles and politics and public relations and everyone else’s expectations and bullshit good and evil and who’s on whose sides, which had otherwise consumed Harry’s every waking moment for several years, stupid stuff that didn’t matter to them, not the important stuff that was still pure, like sex and trust and love.
Later– Harry didn’t even need to have to think about it– he had never had any doubt in his mind that that was what he really wanted. My, wasn’t his Draco brilliant? In fact, there was never anything he was more sure of. He was more sure about it than he ever was about his alliances and the “cause” and the whole damn war in general. He knew. And all the signs in his life, everything he had bothered to remember, it all summed up to that one final, fatal moment– his final reckoning with the world and his cursed life and his damn cursed existence in general. And he couldn’t wait.
He remembered once, in the attic of Malfoy Manor, he and Draco came across a boggart in a drawer of an unused vanity that had belonged to Narcissa. It, as usual, turned into a dementor when it saw Harry; even after all the years and all the Patronuses he’d conjured, he still felt that cold, gripping fear go through his body and devour his heart and threaten to crush him, and that feeling of desperation that he was going to crack and finally give in to fear, especially now that he had much more horrible, tortuous memories– so many that he rarely had a nightmare about the same thing more than once, since there were too many things from his life that his mind could choose from to replay in his head every night. Harry was about to cast Patronus when he saw Draco collapse to his knees, cradling his head and moaning, “Father! No! No…father…stop that!…nooooo…” while his breathing became more and more erratic and Harry was afraid that Draco had started hyperventilating. Harry shouted “Riddikulus!” instead, and the dementor was suddenly dressed in polka dot robes with a red ball nose and big floppy shoes. He had tried to turn it into a clown, even though he knew Draco didn’t know what one was, but had just hoped that now the boggart would conjure up the brightest and happiest memories in Draco’s head instead. Draco had stopped whimpering and a smile started to appear on his face at which the boggart shattered into a thousand wisps, but it still took a good ten minutes for him to stop his shaking, even after Harry had cast a soothing charm on him and held him tightly in his arms.
“What did you see?” he asked Draco, kissing the top of his blond locks lightly.
“My father, getting Cruciatius until he died from it from Voldemort. Getting Cruciatius because he had dared tell the Dark Lord to use a healing charm on me when I was an inch away from life. I had just come back from one of those mandatory stupid get-togethers of his to torture and kill as many Muggles as we could, to try to keep up our reputation for the Ministry, when the Order met us and just about cursed me to death. No, he was violating the Dark Lord’s entertainment for that night as his crazy fucked-up self enjoyed the aesthetic beauty of my pain and suffering, admired the loveliness inspired by my battered and gashed and hemorrhaging body. It was the first time my father or anyone had spoken up to Voldemort for a couple of years since his defeat over Dumbledore had established him as the most powerful wizard in the world, and he became so furious, he just let his rage out completely unchecked, forgetting that it was Lucius Malfoy. Lucius Malfoy who, first of all, is a Malfoy and second, had served him faithfully for years and was his most powerful supporter– except for Snape, but Snape doesn’t really count in the end. I didn’t dare protest out loud, because the same fate would befall me, even though I was screaming inside my head,” Draco spat his story out bitterly. “And then, after Father had stopped his last cries ever, he turned to me and pursed his lips. As if daring me to make the same mistake. And then he nodded his approval and smiled disdainfully when I did nothing, as he knew I would.”
“I’ll get that fucking bastard, I promise you, we’ll get him. I can’t believe he did that to you. Hurt one of the things you loved the most, something you actually care about when pretty much everything else means nothing to you. And no, you don’t have tell me that this is what you asked for when you became a Death Eater, I don’t care, I’m not trying to recruit you to my side anymore. I’ve given up trying to recruit people to my side, I actually think it’s better for their mental health if they don’t join my so-called side.” Harry breathed out the words sadly and wearily, “This isn’t even about sides anymore– it hasn’t been about sides to me for a long time ‘cause I don’t even bother to care anymore about who’s right or wrong or bother to care who wins or loses, because I know it’s always going to be us who’d have lost more and suffered the most. It’s about hate now. And fuck, do I really hate Voldemort.”
Draco looked at Harry with haunted grey eyes, “And to this day, I’m still screaming inside my head for what he did to my father. And it never goes away. And yes, we are going to get his sorry arse back for this, if it’s the last thing we do.”
And then Harry thought back to some other day in the attic of Malfoy Manor, where he and Draco had come across the Mirror of the Erised stashed in one corner. How it had gotten there he had no idea, and he didn’t care enough to stop and ponder it. Just like at that point he didn’t care about anything long enough to stop and ponder about it, except for maybe the wondrous miracle that was his Draco, without whom he would probably have been lost and quagmired deep in bullshit by now with the others, just like the others were, could they be called his friends, perhaps? Had they ever been? Since when had he had friends, real true friends that actually listened. And cared. About him, that is, him as a person, not him as an action figure or superhero. And didn’t bother to adjust him to their own notions and expectations.
Harry grabbed Draco by the hand and pulled him to stand in front of it. “So, what do you see?” He asked coyly, fluttering his eyelashes. “Does it involve a certain delectable lover of yours chained and spread out on your four-poster bed dripping chocolate syrup and honey?” Draco widened his eyes and wrung his hands before mumbling distractedly, “No, we did that last week, so that wouldn’t be my most deepest and unfilled desire.”
He said nothing for a long time and bit his lip before turning to Harry, hesitant to tell him. “I saw a grave. It had both of our names on it. 1980-2004. And the inscription ‘Now the world can finally see them lying together’.”
Harry raised an eyebrow and chuckled. It didn’t even surprise him that Draco’s thoughts had taken such a morbid turn, although Draco appeared to be startled by it even though he shouldn’t have been. It seemed to him that the two of them had long gone down that path.
He went to stand in front of the mirror, expecting to see about the same thing, but he too was at first taken aback by what he saw. Nothing. The mirror reflected the dusty attic with the sunshine playing in patches on the floor exactly how it was, except with empty space where he and Draco would be standing. And then he realized with understanding that it was indeed what he wanted– not to just stop existing, but to simply not have even existed in the first place and thus not have to suffer like he was.
And so they researched and read and experimented all through the hours of the night while doing their respective and much-despised obligatory duties during the day; they never really bothered to get sleep anymore, since what was the point of being perky and alert only to feel the pain of existence even more acutely. And in between, they screwed even more, with a desperate urgency that wasn’t there before. And so they perfected the spell for use and completed preparation. It wasn’t dark magic, it wasn’t light magic; what difference was there, really? Those were only the mad, deranged conceptions of poor, deluded souls. Harry knew better. And so did Draco. And they would show ‘em. Let their misguided morality try to explain that. Or let their minds, eaten away and slowly decomposed by fear, try to explain that. Because it was love and sacrifice in the purest form. And yet they knew that no one else at all would be really able to understand.
Laughter. Hermione had heard someone else start laughing when Harry had laughed. “No, you didn’t,” Death Eater Draco Malfoy’s voice sneered to Hermione– interrupting her mid-sob, still professing everyone’s devotion and love for Harry– who started at seeing him still alive. The only Death Eater not destroyed by the Mark. She didn’t know it, but Draco belonged not to Voldemort, but Harry. Sex magicke was stronger than Evil Overlord Magic anyday, the bonds strengthening just a little bit every time they fucked like they did, as slowly but surely Voldemort’s hold on Draco was subverted. “None of you loved him, not at all. Nobody loved him. Nobody except me. All of you just loved to use him; you just loved the idea of having him…his image, his prestige, his power, instead of actually him. And trust me, he knew.”
And with that he laughed again and picked up the diamond and kissed it mockingly out to all the blood-drenched survivors and tattered remains of everybody else as though he was on stage and they were his audience– still the drama queen, even after all these years, Ron thought dully– flicked his wand, and disapparated to who-knew-where to die in peace without the curious gazes of the revolting, annoying-as-hell, “good-side” imbeciles that had driven him to this end and had more significantly driven Harry to this and made Harry’s years on this earth a living hell, as though his life weren’t hard enough without their bullshit.
A scrap of parchment fluttered to the ground in his wake, feathering down like a petal in slow motion and glowing warmly in the light of the afternoon sun.
And in the midst of shocked silence, as the Golden Boy's body falls, a single voice joins him. Draco Malfoy, bastard extraordinaire, the only one who had bothered to listen, laughs at them and with Harry. A blonde suicide note, made to follow its love into oblivion after singing its last song. Planned dual-suicide, angst, slash. Draco's explanation/way of kicking the bucket up to you.
~Signed, Draco Malfoy, the only person who truly loved Harry for himself. Farewell.
The magic world had had three of its greatest wizards stolen away in one day. The sun continued to shine.