The Dark Arts
Harry Potter/Lucius Malfoy
Harry Potter Lucius Malfoy
Angst Slash
Harry and Classmates Post-Hogwarts
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 08/11/2003
Updated: 08/11/2003
Words: 1,041
Chapters: 1
Hits: 1,403

Between the Dead and the Sleeping


Story Summary:
Sometimes, you'd be better off dead - but life is rarely that easy. Especially for the Boy Who Lived.

Author's Note:
Originally intended as a dictionary drabble ('demote') for the Harry/Lucius list, and slightly grown out of proportions... too long for a drabble, extremely short for a fic. Title has been filched from

Sheets of magical glass melt off Harry's face, proceed to drip from his body like a brittle layer of ice dissolving into perfect, crystalline drops. He slumps to the ground, limbs numb, then whimpers piteously when the pins and needles turn him into a miserable wreck. He writhes in the arms that carry him, despair mingling with the pain.

Not again! Please, not again!

His protests are unintelligible as he is submerged, carefully, in scented water. The warmth of water and hands soothes his muscles, the lemongrass his mind. Nothing, however, soothes the misery that permeates his being, leaving him sick and barely able to hold back the tears.

When he opens his eyes, Lucius Malfoy has not changed at all. In fact, Harry suspects that perhaps he is beyond change, as if time could not touch that ice-sculpted perfection. Outward perfection. Of course he is utterly insane, Lucius Malfoy, but then, who is Harry to judge. And madness does not make him an ounce less determined, or cruel.

It's the fate Voldemort has designed for his nemesis - encased forever behind glass, like a life-sized trophy, immobile but conscious, and Lucius upholds that sentence meticulously. Only that Harry has learned enough Legilimency to submerge himself in his own mind and float on a tide of memories and imagination. He would prefer to be dead, but dreaming isn't so bad. It's the shock of awakening he rails against.

The towel around him is large and fluffy, pleasant enough to make his eyes flutter shut again. He feels himself being lifted, carried out of the bath, placed on crisp, pristine sheets. Feels cool, smooth skin covering his heat-flushed body. Wraps his arms and legs around that body, merging warmth with coolness to create a different kind of heat.

He never dreams of this, which means it can't be so bad, because behind the Dark Veil happy memories evaporate like water drops on desert sand. As effective, and far more subtle, than an army of Dementors. At first, he fought Lucius every step of the way, only to learn that having orgasm wrung out of his body against his will is the most insidious form of defeat of all.

Now, he lets Lucius arrange and rearrange his body on the sheets, glad that nothing more is required of him than weak-limbed compliance. Sometimes, Lucius calls out a name - his wife's, his son's, which Harry finds vaguely disconcerting, others he can only speculate about. But never Harry's. He suspects it's bad enough that sheer loneliness forces this embodiment of pureblood wizardry into the arms of one who is halfblood, killer, loathed enemy.

'You burned my son to death.' The only words Lucius ever speaks to him, and each time he does the reply sparks in Harry's mind, and dies on his lips.

'I wanted to burn you.' He never articulates it. He's not that cruel, and Lucius knows, anyway. But he remembers Draco Malfoy, proud and eager in his new Death Eater regalia, stepping with terror-filled eyes into the path of the curse about to wipe out the only person dear to his spoiled, selfish heart.

Lucius keeps Draco's body in a glass shrine that disconcertingly resembles Harry's. He has healed the scorched chest and even restored the molten eyes, so Draco looks very much his old self. Except that he's dead, of course.

Harry remembers the day when the Order of the Phoenix stormed Voldemort's lair. He remembers straining to reach Pettigrew's discarded wand, one wrist still chained to Voldemort's throne. Remembers Vanishing the restraint and throwing the Conflagratio Curse at the Death Eater bearing down on a defenceless Remus Lupin, and sees again the slender figure stepping forward to take the impact. Remembers a shaking Neville Longbottom, flanked by Dumbledore and Snape, casting the Killing Curse at Voldemort with bloodless lips and burning determination. Remembers the Dark Veil falling shut around the Inner Sanctum at its creator's death, effectively cutting off the would-be-rescuers, never to open again. Remembers Lucius Malfoy kneeling there with the burned body of his only son clutched in his arms, the only living thing trapped in this eternal prison besides Harry himself.

Harry remembers laughing hysterically for what seemed like hours. Demoted from saviour of the wizarding world to decoy. So brilliant, so Dumbledore, so intricately cruel.

He remembers crying hopelessly, shredding his fingers clawing at the nothingness that is the Veil, and then nothing. And finally, he remembers waking inside his crystalline sarcophagus.

Harry reaches for those long-fingered, precise hands that rove over his body, and places them against his throat. Feels them hesitate, then clutch with enough force to make him light-headed. He throws back his head into the pillow and arches up against the body invading his. Hope is a powerful aphrodisiac.

'Please!' his eyes beg.

'No,' is the unvoiced answer.

The grip loosens and the hands slip around Harry's neck to tangle in his hair. Harry reaches up, arms thrown around Lucius' neck, draws that merciless face down to his and drowns his sob in Lucius' mouth.

He cannot even hate him - Lucius has damned himself the moment he has condemned Harry, and every moment that Harry dreams away in his glass prison, Lucius spends awake. Harry wonders if Lucius really hopes for his Lord to return in yet another incarnation, or whether his dedication to Harry's torment keeps him from killing himself. Or whether his mind is dead to anything but the routine he has fallen into. A routine that is suffered until isolation becomes unbearable and taking the body of his prisoner like a toy out of its box is the only thing left to do.

How could Harry deny him that? No, he will give Lucius whatever is in his power to give, and one day, however far in the future, there will be no one left to disturb Harry's dreams, and he will dream until dream turns, gently, unnoticeably, into death. And then he will tell his parents that he loved them, and Sirius that he missed him, and Draco that he is sorry, and perhaps then he will tell Lucius the same things as well.

One day, however soon - there is peace enough in that.