|The Black Road Extra: Love in Death
Author: Guede Mazaka
“A person doesn’t die when he should but when he can.”
* * *
It was a small but well-appointed room, apparently meant to be a kind of small study. The furniture was of dark exotic woods and heavy brocade, while the shelves were lined with thick books in expensive-looking bindings and the window dressings could have given Versailles a lesson in extravagance.
After the first half-hour—according to the ornate enamel clock on the mantel, since time passed very differently here—Lucius ventured off the sofa and hesitantly explored the room. No one had entered since he’d been escorted in here, and that was unusual. Hell generally kept a very intimate eye on its inhabitants. The apparent lack of it made him assume that something worse than what he’d already been through was lurking behind the curtains.
Those made him smile. Unpleasantly, and painfully; the art of hell was driving one mad with torment while leaving just enough comprehension intact to appreciate the little jokes like that. Of course there wasn’t anything behind those heavy folds, save for perhaps a landscape of eternally incinerating souls.
He had on clothing, for the first time in a very, very long time—a few centuries, he thought. Time passed so oddly…or perhaps it didn’t pass at all, and its illusion was just another trick used to twist the knives. But the illusions were very good. His suit, for example, was a near-perfect copy of one he’d owned when he was just graduated from Hogwarts: medium-weight weave, with the coat and vest and trousers the color of sea-washed pebbles, and the shirt a fine white linen. Black suspenders kept the shirt perfectly flat against him, and black arm bands made sure that when he finally stripped off the coat, the sleeves didn’t billow awkwardly.
It was always too warm down here, but any kind of protection was not to be taken lightly. The only reason he had taken off the coat was because he’d needed something to occupy his hands. Newly healed, they were full of sparks and nervous twitches, and twisting them in fabric seemed as best a way as any to keep them from trembling.
He’d rounded the room a second, faster time when the door opened. Lucius hastily turned about and instinctively backed up at the same time. The back of his heel struck a footstool, which was too solid to rock. But he did, and his hand came convulsively down on the top of an armchair as he stared at the doorway. He dropped his coat.
Harry looked more or less the same as the first time Lucius had met him—after his death, that was. He’d mended his glasses so both lenses were whole, but he still wore black and his skin still was pale as ice and his eyes green fire. He saw Lucius right away and his mouth twisted in a familiar angry smile. “This looks like something out of a Victorian brothel. I hate Lucifer to begin with, but Christ, I really hate his sense of humor.”
The walls rippled dangerously and Lucius glanced anxiously at them. His eyes inevitably went back to Harry. “You’ve been talking to him?”
“Negotiating,” Harry corrected. He came all the way into the room and closed the door behind him with a careless twist of his hand. “If you can call it that. It’s more like trying to stab a snake with a needle.”
“Negotiating.” Lucius put both hands on the back of the chair and squeezed hard, feeling the leather sink deep beneath his fingers. His voice sounded raspy and he willed it not to crack. He couldn’t help staring pathetically as Harry sauntered across the room to him. If this was another illusion, it was the most intricate and hurtful yet. “What on earth for? I understand Sirius Black went to a…better place this time around.”
One of Harry’s eyebrows arched. He looked casually around as he stopped before Lucius, then leaned against the side of the chair so Lucius could sense his body heat. “They told you that? Not that they’re not right, but…huh. You sound like they’re really enjoying what they do to you.”
“We generally aren’t permitted to speak. I’m out of practice,” Lucius said. He was vaguely surprised—vaguely, because most of his attention was elsewhere—at how steady his voice still was.
“I can’t say I feel sorry for you about that. You were a fucking bastard. And even when you did turn around, it wasn’t because you suddenly got a conscience.” Harry rested his arm on the top of the chair less than a finger’s-width from Lucius’ hand. His eyes wandered over Lucius, warmth traveling wherever he looked, and eventually paused at Lucius’ throat.
He suddenly lifted his hand and ran his fingertips down Lucius’ jaw; Lucius didn’t quite stifle his gasp. The touch awakened all kinds of fire that radiated outward in agonizing, wonderful lines, and that only intensified when Harry turned his hand to cup Lucius’ jaw. His thumb swept over Lucius’ lower lip and Lucius opened his mouth just in time to catch the tip of it before it stroked over his cheek. It dipped to tip up his chin so Harry could look at something. Lucius couldn’t see what that was, but the angle was right for the base of his throat and the flesh there obligingly flushed.
The sudden flood of sensation painfully singed his nerves, already over-sensitized from the ministrations of his jailers. He tightened his grip on the chair, but had to sway anyway to maintain his balance.
“You’re in sorry shape, no matter how nicely they cleaned you up,” Harry muttered. He lessened the pressure so Lucius could lower his head. His hand dropped a little so it loosely circled Lucius’ throat, the fingers tickling through strands of hair while the thumb moved slowly over the pulse. “I wasn’t quite this done in.”
“You didn’t come in with my record, I suppose.” Lucius winced at how breathless he sounded. He was quite positive now that Harry, at least, was real, but he doubted that this meeting was intended to improve the conditions of his stay here and he wanted very much to delay the onset of the unpleasant part.
Harry laughed a little. His hand dropped farther, sliding away to hook two fingers behind Lucius’ tie. He pulled the knot loose, then left the ends to hang while he smoothed down them with the back of his hand. “No. Have you seen Voldemort?”
“I heard him screaming for a while. They let him talk—he was rather amusing.” If anyone was watching, they had to be noting the feelings of obvious pleasure washing through Lucius. Noting and turning it into more agony later, but he couldn’t keep himself from leaning in to Harry’s hand. He dug his nails so deep into the chair that he felt one of them begin to lift away from the flesh. “What are you doing here?” he half-moaned, half-hissed.
He startled Harry, who actually stepped back, and then Lucius was thudding down on his knees and desperately clutching the pain of absent touch to himself. He shuddered, doubling over. His nose almost hit Harry’s shoe as it slid forward and Lucius jerked back, then pressed his face hard against Harry’s shin. Knee. Thigh.
There he was stopped by a hand on top of his head. It slipped fingers into his hair and moved downward before he could turn into it, and suddenly, oh, Merlin, Harry was kissing him. After becoming accustomed to so much pain, Lucius found the edge of bliss had turned just as sharp, but he threw himself against it anyway. He brought up his hands and clutched at Harry’s arms, yielded up his mouth. He was shaking when Harry’s hands pushed over his belly and snapped the vest buttons, slid beneath the suspenders and twisted them off so his arms were forced back behind himself.
He flinched when they snapped tight about his wrists. Harry noticed, mouth pausing where it’d been sweetly torturing soreness to life in the corner of Lucius’ lip. Then he fisted his hand in Lucius’ hair again and took Lucius’ mouth so savagely that blood was smeared over Lucius’ chin when they parted. “Bloody fucking Morningstar. Likes to fuck up everything for everyone,” Harry snarled.
“Please—it doesn’t matter. Please…oh, please, one time…” Lucius begged, pressing forward again. He pushed his face deep into the curve of Harry’s neck and licked at it, bowed as best he could into the run of Harry’s hands over his back and buttocks and thighs. He was nearly weeping by the time Harry came back and softly sucked the blood from his face.
Harry stood up, and Lucius was on the verge of finally cracking—this, and not the whole of Hell, could break him. But then Harry’s fingers were cupping the back of his head and pulling him forward so his cheek rubbed over Harry’s trousers, felt the heat pooling up in the tense flesh beneath the fabric, and Lucius was relieved he was glad he was already kneeling, else he would’ve collapsed. He heard Harry talking in a fast, low, ragged voice, and the sound of it was so beautiful that he completely missed the words. He only knew the sense of touch: nails digging into his scalp, the bite of metal as the side of Harry’s fly scraped his cheek, the hot silken warmth of Harry’s skin sliding over his lips. This would be taken from him later, inevitably, but he was empty as he was now and the chance to fill himself up, however briefly, was too much to resist.
“Not out of—practice—with this,” Harry muttered, and the words were like slaps. But thumbs stroked over Lucius’ cheek immediately afterward and soothed that away, soothed the strain as well. They tipped up his head so his throat ached with the effort of accommodating, but he could stare at Harry’s eyes and watch the sweat give a gleam to that white skin, the hot flare of the pupils, and he counted it a good trade.
He felt like it was a dream. The hyper-awareness of every moment, in a place where one never was allowed to sleep or seek out the numbness of unconsciousness, had faded and it was all so miraculously good that he sought out the dullness as a safeguard against the cut of reality. He buried himself in the blur of cradling hands and snapping eyes and didn’t even realize it’d ended till Harry had dropped to the floor in front of him again, Harry’s taste an odd sweetness coating the inside of his mouth.
Lucius woke a little when Harry’s hands pushed at his legs, yanked the suspender clips off the front of his trousers and pulled at the waistband. He shook his head and Harry abruptly curved to catch his mouth, and he sank distractedly into the play of tongues and lips. The hard prick of teeth temporarily roused him—Harry was saying to hell with it and then his nails were sliding in through long rips to caress Lucius’ thighs. He slipped them under and pulled so Lucius rose, and somehow the cloth was stripped away, but still remained scratching against Lucius’ skin.
Then Harry breathed out so it whipped past Lucius’ jaw, and the world suddenly crashed back into focus. Lucius pulled at his bound hands and twisted, scraping his prick against the rough cloth of Harry’s trousers. He tried to push himself further up, press their bodies together, but got nowhere till Harry put a hand to the small of his back and shoved him. His knees left the floor and Lucius was haphazardly straddled over Harry’s legs, balanced on his toes, till Harry’s fingers curved over his buttocks and thighs.
Harry lifted him up, and then let him down just far enough for the tip of Harry’s prick to tease at Lucius. He whined and threw his weight down, but in the end it was Harry’s decision and Lucius was left at his mercy. Before he finally eased Lucius down, he made Lucius suffer through wicked fingers and the sharp slice of a nail over the thinnest skin, and a hot mouth sucking Lucius’ throbbing lip in time to the rubbing of a thumb over and never in. By then Lucius’ cheeks were, in fact, damp with something besides sweat and Harry licked that up with every evidence of pleasure as he allowed Lucius to slide down.
His prick opened Lucius wide and deep—more so than any of the torture had, though they had had greater physical means at their disposal. But when Lucius was finally seated, knees clamped to Harry’s hips and body shaking, he’d been cracked and splayed so that every inch of him seemed to be on display for Harry’s perusal. He moved at Harry’s pleasure, stopped at it. He needed only a graze of a fingertip to moan and when Harry began to fuck him in earnest, he honestly thought that he—whatever he was now, whether that was merely soul or something else as well—wasn’t going to survive it. If Harry breathed on him in the right way, he’d shatter.
And he did, and Lucius did.
* * *
“You weren’t supposed to enjoy that that much. Shit. He’s going to fuck with me that much more before I’m done this time.” Harry pulled on the other half of his shirt, then raked his hand through his hair. The motion shook hot drops of sweat from his head onto Lucius, who was resting his head on Harry’s shoulder. “I can’t believe it. You actually missed me. I think both he and I thought I’d have to talk you into it.”
He absently stuck out his tongue to lap up a drop. Then he heard Harry, and looked quickly up. “What?”
It was a while before Harry answered. He glanced at Lucius, then looked away, his expression unreadable. His hand dropped to Lucius’ back, skated over it and then settled over Lucius’ hip. “I made another deal with Lucifer. You talked Voldemort into making you a Horcrux, so technically…well, it’s trickier because you would’ve gone here anyway. The Dark Mark actually stamped you lot property of Hell after you died—bet he never told you that.”
“No…wait. If the Dark Mark worked like a witchmark, then—Draco?” Lucius rasped.
Harry glanced at him again, then grinned sourly. His hand flexed deep into the flesh of Lucius’ thigh so Lucius winced, then relaxed and stroked over the spot. “Well, you’ve not changed that much. No, he lived long enough for Voldemort’s pact to be broken, so he’s not got the Mark now. It’s just up to however he chooses to live his life.”
Good. Then Lucius had actually done all he could for his son, and could let that concern rest. He laid back down and half-closed his eyes, concentrating on the feel of Harry’s fingers dancing about the first wavy hairs that led down between his legs. “So you made another deal. I thought the first time would have put you off for good.”
“Yeah, you’d think. But it’s an awful job, being a death. Awful and so…you never see anyone except when they’re dying, and then it’s only a second. I thought Hell was bad, but at least you always had company,” Harry pensively said. Then he shook his head, his mouth twisting again. “That is so twisted. But it’s true. True enough for me to bother going to Lucifer, so I swear to God—” the room rumbled “—you’d better be worth it.”
Lucius stared at him. The room spun lazily, then settled back into place, and still Harry was looking back with eyes so clear that every particle of hatred and rage and lust and warped wistfulness could be seen. He wasn’t lying.
“I’m about halfway through, and the Morningstar invites me in for a ‘conjugal visit.’ I think he’s just trying to butter me up again, but that’s his problem.” Harry put his hand beneath Lucius’ chin again and lifted it. There was a sharp, slicing pain along Lucius’ jaw, and then Harry was licking a trickle of blood off his fingernails. After a moment, he pressed his thumb to Lucius’ mouth and let Lucius suck off the rest. “I’ll be done in another week, I think.”
“A week.” So that was the razor’s edge. It cut so Lucius dropped hard against Harry and curled in, trying to extract every last sensation he could. “That’s months here.”
Harry shrugged. “Yeah, well, you’ll just have to deal with it. I did, and nobody came back for me.”
He kissed Lucius before a reply could come, and when he was done, he was on his feet and leaning over Lucius. He let go and stepped back, his mouth moving. But he cut off whatever he’d been about to say and instead simply turned sharply on his heel. He walked towards the door and so didn’t see Lucius’ hand move convulsively towards his ankle, but he looked over his shoulder once his hand was on the knob. He still looked a little incredulous, but his glance carried a last trace of warmth and Lucius drank it in till the door blocked it out.
Lucius slowly sank back to the floor. He buried his face in some of his clothes, which were strewn about the room, and pressed his fingers against the cut on his jaw till it sang.