Summary: About magical humanoids, and their reluctant lovers. Set in the Pandora's Box universe.
Pairings: Sirius/Remus, Lucius/Narcissa, Draco/Harry. slash and het.
After the Sun Sets
Sirius adjusts his neck and shuffles a bit under Remus's lean body. They are both naked; Sirius's legs are still flung up in a bent circle around Remus's bust. Remus is still inside him. Their breaths are rapid and shallow.
At this point Remus may be feigning sleep. The air is full of embarrassment, building into something tense, even after their united orgasms only so many moments ago. There is no euphoria here, just exhaustion, and if Sirius dare speak - dare move, even - Remus will not talk to him again for weeks. Sirius suspects this anyway, but his judgement may be impaired.
The bed curtains are red velvet. Sirius stares up at them and embraces the temporal static. The drapes flap in the breeze in crimson waves, rivers of blood, jingoism for brave, stupid, homosexual Gryffindors. He tries to latch onto a slower, simpler, single brain wave. With a flutter of eyelashes he thinks about the future: at the moment, his legs are a little sore. In ten minutes, Moony will move, and will turn his head away and purposefully not look at Sirius as he pulls his pyjama trousers on. In twenty minutes Sirius will get up and go to the toilet. Five minutes after he will seek out Moony, who would by then have moved back into his own bed, and just to talk. Moony will cut him off. In a day Moony will be able to talk to Sirius again, but only monosyllable answers to monotonous questions. In three days Moony may accidentally look him in the eye, but will quickly look away again. In a week, Prongs will tell them both to 'pack it in' and be friends again. Sirius will say he is sorry. Moony will say he is forgiven, but Moony will not mean it.
Moony shifts slowly, pulling out. He ducks through the shadows and slumps his way over to his bed, closing the curtains, still naked, face concealed by a veil of brown hair.
The next day he wonders about the future. He is in a bush with James, spying on Lily Evans as she and her friends paddle in the shallows of the lake. In a fairy tale the prince and princess walk hand-in-hand into the sunset, but no real future is revealed. Does the prince invade a land? Does the princess knit little woollen baby shoes as her belly swells? Does the castle get a rat infestation? What? What happens?
James shivers. "Someone just walked over my grave."
"You're not dead, dickhead."
"Hey, that rhymed!"
They go back to staring. Evans's hair is red waterfall against the pale skin of her back. She crosses her arms over her breasts and dives into the lake naked with her friends. The drifting sun tinkles on the shifting water surface like a silent bell, the light is a little dazzling.
"I have something to tell you," Sirius begins mournfully. "I've done a really, really stupid thing."
James does not pull his eyes away from Evans, who is splashing water at Cynthia Garside playfully. "Oh right," he answers blithely, "what you do this time?"
The casualness of this question stings Sirius somewhere near his throat, but James's question is not without cause. Sirius is a trouble-maker, and his last escapade nearly cost Snape's life and Remus's trust.
"I'm going to marry that girl," says James, during Sirius's hesitation. "Mark my words: I'm going to marry her."
"I had sex last night," Sirius replies.
James turns to him, excited. "Did you really? Boss!"
Sirius frowns. "With Moony."
"You - " James's expression has snapped into horror. "You are having me on."
James grabs him by the front of his shirt, and snarls. "You've really done it this time, how stupid are you? You - I can't believe you, I can't!"
Sirius grits his teeth and shoves him away. "I thought I owed him something, you know, from last time. And - it's not like I forced him, and it'll never happen again."
James holds up a finger and closes his eyes, taking a deep breath. "Firstly, not that this matters at this point, but I don't want to know how you did whatever you did - you're both blokes, is that even normal? I mean, you could go to Azkaban for what you did."
Sirius is worried. "I - I can?"
"It's illegal, but it's not the first time you've risked Azkaban - oh well anyway." James stares him straight in the eye. "It's not Moony I'm worried about, okay? It's you."
"Oh yeah? Why's that then?"
"Don't you remember reading about it when we found out what Moony was?" He lowers his voice. "Werewolves mate for life. You can't say what you two did will never happen again - it has to happen again, do you understand?"
Sirius does. He slowly closes his eyes.
"Just pack it in," says James, "and talk to him."
He will plan now: take money from his father, look for an apartment, perhaps… then disown himself from the House of Black and leave, and get employment, look after his new lover.
The afternoon sun is bright behind Sirius's eyelids.
Lucius is sitting between his parents in the west sitting room overlooking the rose garden. Across from them are Lord and Lady Black and two of their three daughters. The youngest is sipping her tea in absolute silence; her back is straight and her eyes cast down in good manners. To look her superiors in the eye would take great daring should she risk offence.
Lucius had noticed her immediately.
The scent of her came first. In the moment she walked into the room his Veela heritage sensed her beauty and health and wanted her, and now he cannot keep his silver eyes away from her striking, yet too-young face. Surely she must sense him staring, and she must sense his Veela powers also. He is exuding them at her with such force at this point - it is costing him vast amounts of energy. Of course, their parents must have had a discussion about him prior to the assembly, during which the Black family had been informed of Lucius's heritage and had taken a repellent potion preceding the meeting.
Lady Elladora Black is a stiff-backed witch with sharp features and an uninviting frown. She is speaking. "Of course the dowry with be extensive. However, our daughter is no ordinary young lady, as her school work is in top form and she is in perfect health. As you can see, she maintains the beauty of our great and pure-blood family."
Lucius believes the daughter of whom Lady Black is speaking is not all that beautiful. Of all the Blacks she seems the 'black sheep'; her hair is the plainest of browns and curly, and her manners are wavering. She is glaring hatefully at the floor, her lip trembling with the effort to suppress a snarl. She is slouching in her seat between her parents, and she has not touched her tea nor taken a bite of biscuit. It is obvious to Lucius that her personality would be a bothersome one, should she be his wife.
The youngest girl's name is Narcissa. Lucius notices her blue eyes as they slide away to the piano and then snap back to the front again.
His father, too, notices. "Would you like to play, my dear?"
Narcissa quickly gets up and curtsies. "If only to give you and your family pleasure, my Lord."
"Indeed, I am sure your music is quite pleasant." He gestures to the piano. "You may play us something sweet yet playful."
Narcissa curtsies once more and hurries over to the piano. She is eager to play and she commences immediately, pushing notes into the air with her delicate fingers. The music she produces is like Heaven to Lucius's ears. He feels he could listen to her play and sing every day for the rest of his life.
Andromeda, the other daughter of the Blacks, is hateful of her young sister. She bites the inside of her mouth and her nostrils flair. In turn Lucius is hateful of her.
"Your youngest daughter is wonderful," says his mother politely. "How many years mature is she?"
"She is only thirteen summers, my Lady. Yet many a time she has received the attention of men. But as she is my youngest, and I must selfishly say, I wish to keep her a little longer before she must marry."
The women titter at this. Lucius is trying to keep his composure. With the mention of the attention of men, he felt a peculiar surge of utmost jealousy. His mind was speaking in a harsh and evil whisper: mine mine mine!
His father leans forward, looking Andromeda in the face. "You shall tell us more about yourself, my dear. Why, you have not spoken since your arrival! I wish to know who shall be my son's good lady."
Andromeda abruptly snarls at Father. "I don't want to marry Lucius!" There are gasps from the women as Andromeda abruptly stands up. "I'm so sick of this shite! I don't want to marry him, Mother!" She is speaking the language of the New World; a gesture greatly frowned upon by the Old World families.
The music comes to a halt and Narcissa watches with, surprisingly, amusement.
"Sit down this instant you ungrateful child!" Lord Black booms. "We have taken you here to save you from your unruly behaviour of late - "
Andromeda runs out the room. Her heavy footsteps can be heard thudding up the stone corridor and down the stairs into the main Hall. Her parents follow quickly, with Lucius's own parents not far behind. They stop to argue in the Hall, the men shouting Andromeda down now, and Elladora Black is weeping as her daughter spouts curse after curse word.
Lucius and Narcissa stay on the second level, leaning against the banister, looking down on the flittering people.
She is smirking. It looks peculiar on her - she is a small Miss, about six summers younger than Lucius himself. He feels ashamed of himself for admiring her small limbs, skin smooth like a child's, her breasts merely budding like young flowers. Her womanhood is just stepping up and yet Lucius lusts for this girl, wants her in his arms.
"Shall I tell you a secret?" Her smirk seems too mature on a face so young. "I do not much like my sisters and cousins. They are demons, unbridled, rash."
Lucius nods, still staring at her rather than the commotion below. "Your sister will not be married into the Malfoy family."
Narcissa laughs. "No. But I already knew that even before you came here." She looks at him closely, giving him her full attention. "You see, my sister Andromeda is as much an imbecile as my cousin Sirius, whom has left home, as you must know by now, if gossip travels as fast as I believe it to." She leans forward a little and lowers her voice. "She fell in love with a Mudblood boy and is currently carrying his illegitimate child." Narcissa's smirk grows. "My parents do not yet know. But they will, soon. I will strike with this news when the time is right, where the blow will cause the most damage."
Lucius's chuckle starts low and continues on as he admires her cunning. "My, my, you are the little snake. And such a beauty, too."
She demurely averts her eyes, a blush on her cheeks. Over her head Lucius sees his pet dragon, no bigger than his hand, fly over to him, and puffing smoke in delight. It is a good companion, green and silver like Slytherin. It lands on his shoulder.
Narcissa watches it flex its wings with curiosity. "What a lovely pet. What is his name?"
Lucius lifts a finger and tickles it under its chin. "I have called him Draco."
She laughs. "'Draco'? Old Speak for 'dragon'?"
He too laughs. "Not very original, is it? But I found it… fitting."
They laugh together, ignored still by the people below. Soon, Lucius's smile is quickly fading, and he is staring at her in admiration again. "You are divine; you make beautiful music, and you are such a lovely creature." He takes her hands in his. "I must have you; I will take you as my wife."
Narcissa is smirking still. "Indeed, you are the most handsome man I have ever made acquaintance. But I do not think my mother will approve."
"Why, because she cannot stand to see you go? No, I will not have it. I must have you, even if we are merely betrothed, I will wait for you until you come of age."
She looks at him a moment, and then smiles, and nods. "Very well then. A betrothal, but I will not be able to marry until I leave Hogwarts, and that will be some time yet."
Lucius straightens and lets their hands unclasp. He turns and walks down the stairs to the arguing families, to tell them of his and Narcissa's decision.
Potter has Draco up against a stone wall.
They are kissing.
Up the corridor the music wafts muffled, straining to be heard by the two almost-men. It is the Valentines Ball, a night where the witches are dressed in white and the wizards in dark shades. Draco and Potter have abandoned their dates.
Their kisses are fast and hard; Potter has his tongue in Draco's mouth, and their lips are slick and rosy, sliding together in sexual bliss.
Harry Potter is Draco Malfoy's mate; Draco knows this now, has finally decided to believe after months of denial. Deep down, ever since his Veela powers surfaced he has known; but to have Potter - Harry Potter - as his mate is the scariest thought he has ever had.
But now Draco wants Harry very badly. He pushes his hands into Harry's robes and grabs his hips, pulling Harry closer to himself. There is never enough skin, never enough kisses. Draco wants to drink in his mate like wine, lick his lips like juicy fruit, eat his skin like breakfast ham - Draco has thought over many different ways to eat Harry Potter. Harry is a buffet of sexual pleasures and delights.
They have never slept together, though. This is what Draco fears the most. Should they sleep together, there is no going back. Harry would be his in his Veela eyes; but rejection after the fact would be torture, promising death.
Harry abruptly pulls away. His lips are swollen, his eyes bright, hair messy, in the dim light. Draco wants to swallow him in one bite.
Harry says, panting, "Let's go to your room."
Draco is so surprised his fingers clench around Harry's waist, fingernails digging into his mate's skin. He quickly pulls away. "No," he replies.
Harry's face falls abruptly into despair. Draco's heart contracts painfully. "N - no?"
"No," Draco says again, "I can't. We could - something bad might happen."
The Gryffindor looks confused. "Something bad…? Let's just - it's cold out here. We don't have to - to, you know."
Draco composes himself. He smirks invitingly, the way his mother used to, to get her way with his father. "Why, don't you want to?" Oh no, Draco, don't go there; you could destroy him!
But Draco does go. He takes Harry by the hand and brings him to the Head Boy Quarters.
They make love under the white sheets, Draco's Veela magic is both palpable and visible, swirling around them. Afterwards, as Draco lies still between Harry's thighs, he thinks about what to do next.
Draco Malfoy knows that he and Harry Potter will never walk into the sunset and live happily ever after. Should they ever survive this war, the betrayal of friends and the sins of the generation before them, the best they will ever get is to glimpse the splintered sun across the battle field.