The Dragon and the ButterflyAuthor: inamacCharacters/Pairings:
Charlie Weasley/Draco MalfoyRating:
body writing, dark wizards, alternate pairingOther Warnings:
Film canon (CoS, HBP, DH Part 2 (Spoilers))Word Count:
After the Battle of Hogwarts Charlie goes in search of a dragon – and finds more than he expected.Author's Notes:
Another Charlie/Draco fic from the help_japan
prompt. Thanks to lil_shepherd
for putting up with my agonising over this, and apologies to our mods for bothering them with requests for concessions on another fic entirely. The Dragon and the Butterfly
It was a month since the Battle of Hogwarts; longer since the desperate, tortured dragon that had been forced to guard gold not its own in the vaults beneath Gringott's had clawed its way out of its prison, out of London and, apparently, out of the world.
My initial fury on hearing the news had died long since, though not before Ron and Bill had received a tongue-lashing from me that made Mum's temper seem mild by comparison. Bill for knowing about the imprisonment of the beast in the first place and Ron (over his protests that it had been Hermione's idea), for abandoning it still half-chained in the middle of the Muggle countryside.
Countryside that I had been combing for any sign of the reptile for the past three weeks. It seemed that either the dragon's instinct for protection, or its weakness had kept it hidden from both Muggles and wizards. This was good news for the Muggles, but less good for me. I was beginning to think that it must have crawled off somewhere to die, it had vanished so completely.
Nevertheless, I kept hunting. The task, self-imposed, was something to do in the aftermath of the war. And I was fed up with funerals.
I'd been walking all day with no sign of the dragon, or of anyone who might have seen it. It was getting towards dusk, with a promise of a wet night ahead, and I was considering packing it in for the day and finding somewhere sheltered to pitch my tent when I came up over a rise in the track between ancient drystone walls and found myself looking down on an isolated house that was not marked on my Muggle map. The sharp sting of magical wards in the air marked it as a wizard's dwelling, and dragons could be drawn to magic. Though whether that held true for this particular dragon, which had been so abused by magic, was a question I refused to contemplate.
I started down the steep path, watching my footing carefully. The sky to the West was pearl-coloured with the setting sunlight reflected from a layer of cloud, and the air was close and warm, threatening thunder. I hoped for a welcome, and perhaps shelter for the night more comfortable than that afforded by my tent. By the time I reached the garden gate I was aware of faces watching from the windows. Yes, it was a wizard's house, and I'd obviously tripped the wards. Damn. People were still jumpy after the war, and there were still Voldemort sympathisers who had yet to be rounded up by the Aurors. I carefully adjusted my wand in its holster so that it was not obviously a ready threat (I'm renowned for having the fastest draw in Romania, but the occupants of the house couldn't be expected to know that), and reached out to unlatch the garden gate.
As I did so the door to the house swung open and a stocky, fair-haired wizard, a man not much off my own height and build, but a good twenty years older, stood there, beaming an unexpected welcome.
"Well, well," he exclaimed in a broad local accent, "If it isn't Charlie Weasley! What brings you to this neck of the woods, then?"
I hesitated, my hand still on the latch of the gate. "I'm sorry. Have we met?"
"Never been formally introduced, son, but I remember you from school. Great Quidditch player. You were in the same year as my daughter." His face clouded and the expression jogged my memory. Not from my carefree days at Hogwarts and the anonymous ranks of parents who were at Kings Cross, at prizegivings and inter-house quidditch matches, but from the Memorial Service, three weeks ago. Rows of the sad faces of the bereaved gathered to mourn their dead.
"You're Mr Tonks? I'm sorry..."
"No need son. We all did what we could. And we've all lost loved ones. Come on in."
I hesitated. "Are you sure? I only wanted to ask whether you'd seen a dragon around here recently."
The man's expression was unreadable, but anything he might have said was forestalled by a woman's voice from inside the house. "Who is it, dear? Don't leave them shivering on the doorstep. Show them in."
Thus commanded, I allowed myself to be ushered over the threshold and handed my backpack and coat over to Mr Tonks, who waved me through to the sitting room while he stowed them in the hall cupboard. "Through there. I'm afraid that we're a little crowded at the moment, the wife's sister and her family are staying with us, but I'm sure we can stretch supper..."
I was vaguely aware of him chattering on, but I didn't hear a word. I was too shocked by the identities of the occupants of the room. There were two women, one brown-haired and sharp-featured, the other with dark hair streaked with white, standing with wands in their hands in the centre of the room. A blond boy was lying on the rug in front of the fire reading a book, and a man with the same pointed features and white-blond hair dosed in a chair by the hearth. He appeared to be holding a bundle of something in his lap, but I moved to fast to register more than his identity.
The last time I had seen these people was in the Great Courtyard of Hogwarts, at the height of the battle – and in the ranks of the followers of Lord Voldemort. They were Death Eaters.
With reflexes honed not only by war, but by years of dealing with dangerous dragons, I drew my wand and fired off a quartet of Stunning hexes that would have felled a Chinese Fireball in mid-flame.
Ted Tonks gently reached out to push my hand down. "Fast reflexes, son, but you're under my wards here. Only the family can use wands in this house."
"But..." I realised, too late, that the smiling brown-haired woman who had been the target of my first hex was not – could not have been – the witch who had fallen to before Mum's wrath at the height of the battle. Bellatrix Lestrange was dead, and this must be... "Mrs Tonks! I'm so sorry. I thought..."
She nodded. "You thought I was my poor, mad sister. You are not the first."
The woman at her side nodded. "But I hope he may be the last. We all find it hard to put the horror behind us. But we must try and start anew. " She sheathed her wand and held out a hand to me in greeting. "Mr Weasley, I am Narcissa Malfoy. My son, Draco, and my husband, Lucius. I assure you, you have nothing to fear from us."
Her gesture encompassed the two men, who nodded their agreement as I bent over her hand in the formal greeting that she seemed to demand. Mrs Tonks also relaxed, and completed the introductions.
"The baby, despite appearances, is my grandson, Edward."
It was only then, as he shifted the bundle on his lap to his shoulder, that I realised Mr Malfoy was holding a child whose pointed features and white-blond hair so mirrored those of the Malfoy men that I would have thought him a son rather than a cousin.
"Teddy is a metamorphmagus," Mrs Tonks explained. "I'm afraid that he's rather obsessed with his Uncle Lucius at the moment. But at least it's an improvement on his obsession with the cat. I was beginning to think he would still have the furry pointed ears when it was time to send him off to Hogwarts."
"Meanwhile," said Lucius, "It's time to get him off to bed." He rose and, with a nod of acknowledgement to me, swept out with the child in his arms.
I found it difficult to believe that this was the same person who had been Voldemort's right hand man. But none of the Malfoys were what I would have expected from Ron's descriptions and nightmares. Especially the son, Draco, whose casual sprawl had drawn my eye to appreciate the curve where his breeches emphasised a very attractive arse. From the expression he had given me as he acknowledged his mother's introduction I suspected he was aware of the direction of my thoughts, and he did not appear to reject them. Truly the war had changed us all, some more than others.
Over the promised supper of nettle soup and cottage pie I managed to relax, and learned more about my fellow guests, while sharing the story of my own hunt to find the missing dragon.
By the time the meal, and our discussion, was over it was full dark and threatening rain. I didn't object too hard when Ted Tonks offered a bed for the night - albeit a transfigured sofa in the guest room occupied by Draco.
If I hadn't been so tired I might have suggested dossing down in the living room, but as it was, as soon as my head hit the pillow I was asleep.
I woke suddenly in the dead hours of the night. It was a moment before I realised what had disturbed me, and then the steady swish of the rain past the window, and a thud of overhead thunder confirmed that the promised storm had broken. And, from the proximity of the flash and thunder, was almost directly overhead.
"Protego!" The exclamation came from the bed on the other side of the room, and was accompanied by a flurry of sheets and blankets as its occupant rolled out, onto the floor, and was half-under the bed before the panicked motion stopped abruptly.
With reflexes honed by years of dealing with volatile dragon-pups, I suddenly found myself kneeling beside the shivering Draco with no clear memory of how I'd had got there. "It's okay. It's just a storm. The Tonks' will have weather-wards up."
Long fingers locked around my arm in a bruising grip. But my words did have some effect. "A storm? I thought... I must have been dreaming."
I nodded. From the fact that Draco had woken with a powerful protection spell on his lips I reckoned that the dream had been prompted by the memories of the late war. "We all have bad dreams," I said.
Draco shook his head. "Not as bad as mine." His fingers gripped more tightly, and then he looked down and noticed, apparently for the first time, who he was holding. And what.
"You've got a tattoo." He released his grip and turned his hand to allow his fingers to trace the outline of the Horntailed dragon that writhed up my forearm.
I couldn't help but grin. "From what I've heard, so do you."
Draco's hand stilled, his expression closed. "Not like yours," he said, shortly.
"Not now," I pushed myself up on one elbow, the tensing of muscles sending the inked dragon wriggling in response. The wings spread open, displaying black blotches on the underside that formed the blurred, but unmistakable outline of a human skull. I was watching Draco as intensely as the blond youth was watching the dragon and saw the interplay of expressions: rejection, interest, and dawning understanding.
"You mean... you used to be a Death Eater? You!"
I closed my free hand around Draco's bicep, holding him in place. The muscles were hard under my fingers, and I tried to ignore the automatic response of my body, This was neither the time nor the place. "Merlin, No! But it was a fashionable design back in Ireland, and I was... well, I'd just left home and I wanted to fit in with the rest of the team. And I wanted something edgy. Of course, as soon as Voldemort came back it was a bit of a liability. I had Horace here tattooed over the original design. But, as you saw, if you look carefully you can still see the skull design on his wings, and the snake fangs are the horns on his tail."
Draco's gaze followed the design as I described it. Then he bared his own arm and held it alongside. Thus matched, there was no doubt.
"Could you..." Draco's grey eyes rose to meet mine, and again I clamped down on my response. He really could not know what he was doing to me. "Would it be possible to cover mine?" he asked.
The desperate hope in his voice moved me. This was no longer a hated Death Eater, but a frightened young man. And I'd had always found it hard to resist a request from a young man, particularly one so attractive.
"Let's see," I said, looking around for a distraction. There was a packet of coloured crayons on the floor, presumably the baby had been playing with them. I reached for the pack and flipped it open, pulling Draco's arm to me, and began to sketch over the lines of the tattoo.
Draco tensed. He must have been half expecting the touch to burn, but I was letting my imagination have free rein and the blunt tip of the orange marker moving in small circles to allow the colour to obliterate the lines of the hated Mark must have been soothing. Realising that, I moved the crayon deliberately to deliver a gentle massage from the sensitive inside of his elbow to the pulse-point in his wrist and back again. A pulse that beat faster as the drawing progressed.
I was concentrating on my work, selecting colours with care, head bent over the design so that occasionally my long red hair brushed over the work. Draco drew in a breath at the touch, his own blond hairs prickling to life, goosebumping the canvas of his flesh. I had to hide my own response to that. It made me concentrate even harder on making the design worthy of its wearer. When it was finished at last I drew back to allow us both to inspect the result. Where there had been an image of horror, a Mark of possession and shame, there now fluttered a bright butterfly emerging from a chrysalis to spread its wings in a riot of colour and pattern against Draco's pale skin.
Draco's eyes widened in surprise. "I expected a dragon," he said.
I smiled. "Sometimes," I said softly, "When you've lived with dragons all your life, you need to be reminded of gentler things. Like butterflies." Taking a risk I bent my head to put my lips to the point where the dangling chrysalis, split like the tongue of the snake which it had usurped, trembled on Draco's wrist.
He sighed, and threw his head back, making no secret of his response. I had been right about the way he'd been flaunting his body at me earlier, though I hadn't expected him to follow through.
By the time my lips reached the hollow of his throat he was responding in kind, and with more force than I had expected, taking control that I was only too willing to concede. I spend most of my days mastering dragons, I prefer to spend my nights being mastered. And Draco seemed only too willing to accept that role. His teeth released their tug on my earring, his tongue moved up to swipe around the top of my ear, and then he whispered something so deliciously filthy that I knew it was true what they said about Slytherins.
My cock rose in anticipation. I turned my head and whispered back, "For that we'll need lube." I reached for my wand and cast the preparation spells automatically.
Shit. I'd forgotten Tonks' wards. Only a member of the family could use a wand inside the house.
"We'll need your wand," I said.
His expression closed and he drew back. "Problem," he said. "I don't have one. And I'm not going to borrow Mum's for this."
Shite. I was too far gone to stop now. "Isn't there something Muggles use? Oil? In the kitchen?"
He frowned, and thought for a moment. Then a wicked grin curved those delectable lips. "Got an idea," he said, rolling off me to pad across the room and retrieve the book he'd been reading earlier. I recognised the cover, Advanced Potion-Making
, a seventh-year textbook. We hardly had the time or the facilities to brew the necessary potion, and I said so, forcibly. He shushed me.
"Yes, I know. I saw it in here somewhere. Ah, yes."
Another flash of lightning outside illuminated him, standing in naked, tousle-haired triumph. He brought the book across to me and I saw that the margins of the chapter on 'Personal Potions' were black with annotations in a small, precise script.
The printed instructions on making the combined lubricant and prophylactic potion were prefaced by a note to the effect that such a potion could be used 'where a wand is not available'. The word 'wand' had been underlined and a terse note added in the margin. If it's hard, more than four inches long, and can be pointed at the target, it can be used to cast sex charms.
I looked up at Draco. He had his hand curled around his cock, which was certainly longer than the required size, hard, and aimed directly at my arse. I elevated my hips, just to make sure he'd got the angle right, and tried to relax.
He used an incantation I'd never heard before, Greek rather than Latin, and the effect was incredible. I was soaked, smoothed and stretched in one instant, and far more efficiently than I had ever been before by a lover's hands.
I opened my mouth to scream my pleasure – and he was instantly on top of me, one hand over my mouth to silence me and the other pinning my arm to the floor over my head.
"Sssh!" he hissed. "Don't want to wake the baby."
The storm hadn't already done that, so it was unlikely that we would. Nevertheless I nodded and flicked my tongue out to taste his palm.
It tasted of sex and magic.
I was aroused now, beyond reason. Lying as he was, his cock was hard under my balls. I shunted a little backwards, as much as his grip would permit, hooked my legs over his shoulders, and whispered into his palm "Fuck me."
So he did.
The storm had abated, and there was a faint glow of dawn beyond the curtains when I woke for the second time. Draco was still plastered across me, which was hardly surprising since his bed, on which we were sprawled, was a single.
We had made a bit of a mess of the room, and I wondered whether Draco would be able to borrow a wand to clear it up – unless liberally spread come and sweat counted as sufficiently sexual for him to be able to use his personal 'wand' for a cleaning spell.
Somehow I doubted it. Curious, I wriggled my arm from underneath him and reached for the book that he'd discarded on the floor. The annotations, and not just the ones on the sex charms pages, were certainly interesting.
My movements eventually woke him, and he rolled off me with a groan to sit on the edge of the bed, head in his hands. My eye followed the line of lovebites up his torso, and the smudged riot of colour which gloved his left forearm. My cock stirred slightly in reminiscence and I waved the book at him by way of distraction.
"Where did you get this?" I asked.
He shrugged (and I damn near jumped him, the movement was so sensual) "I picked it up in Hogwarts," he said.
I was pretty sure he hadn't found it in the library. Madame Pince would've had a fit if she'd seen so much as a pencil note on the flyleaf, let alone this level of vandalism. I'd seen her weeping over the wreckage of the library while Filch, of all people, attempted to comfort her. But I didn't want to pry. I remembered Ron telling me that Malfoy was lightfingered when it came to taking other people's property and if he said he'd picked the book up in Hogwarts it had probably been during some lull in the fighting when its rightful owner was looking the other way. However he'd acquired it, it was certainly a treasure. I smiled. "I look forward to trying a few more of those annotated sex charms," I said.
He looked at me sharply, as the implications of that comment sank in. "I thought you were busy hunting this dragon," he said.
"I am. Doesn't mean that I couldn't use some company. Nights get lonely out on a hunt. You're welcome to join me. If you're free. I could even introduce you to my tattooist – make that butterfly permanent, if you like?"
Maybe I was moving a bit too fast, and laying it on a bit thick, but I look after dragons for a living, and I didn't want to lose this one. He looked at me thoughtfully, and then glanced at the closed door, behind which we could hear the sounds of the household moving in their morning rituals.
"Mother's got her sister," he said,, slowly, " and Father's got Teddy, but I... I haven't got anyone. And after what happened... back there... I dare not.... Everyone hates me...." Tears gleamed in his eyes.
I looked at him critically. "They don't, you know. Everyone who was there could see that you didn't have a choice. And when Voldemort welcomed you..." I hesitated, then continued, "What did it feel like? Being hugged by the Dark Lord?"
Draco shivered. "Creepy."
"It looked it. Believe me, he couldn't have done more to get you the sympathy of everyone who saw that if he'd Crucio
ed the lot of us."
"Really?" Draco's eyes were wide now, incredulous.
I smiled. "Really. You're never going to be flavour of the month at the Ministry, but not everyone hates you. You just need something to do. So, d'you want to come and hunt this dragon with me?"
His eyes met mine.