||[Jul. 14th, 2004|04:32 pm]
|||||Yellowcard - "Gifts and Curses"||]|
Alright, ladies, I've coughed up another AU (and have another in the works! haha!) in result of excessive time spent on planes on a trip to Oklahoma. And, I'm working on part II of Potter's Parts. Hooray.
AUTHOR: F. Madox
RATING: PG, thus far
DISCLAIMER: Not mine, property of J.K. Rowling, I just borrowed the characters and put them in another setting entirely. Oops.
Harry shrugged, attempting to move the scratchy fabric of his tunic to a more comfortable spot, away from where it had rubbed the back of his neck raw. He was taking up residence in the herb house, putting together sachets of lavender and saffron, rosemary and aniseed, tying them in neat little bags and piling them on a nearby table. He’d been in the cool darkness of the small room for most of the day, having managed to evade his jousting lessons by complaining to the castle nurse, Pomfrey, of a hurt shoulder. He raised his arm to toss another bag onto the table and grimaced: there again was his tunic, chafing against his sensitized skin. He glanced out the open door and, seeing no one, pulled the tunic over his head and flung it to the floor. It landed in a heap amongst the mint, the silver ‘M’ that was stitched across the chest of the fabric glinted in the rays of afternoon sun that slanted through the doorway. Despite the shade, it was unreasonably hot, and sweat beaded along his hairline, dampening the tendrils and rolling slowly down the smooth skin of his back. He glanced around him and smiled - now that Draco had abandoned him for doing things more appropriate for a soon-to-be-knight, he’d find solace in few things. He no longer found joy in quail hunting, the twang of his bow reminding him painfully of sun drenched afternoons spent racing through the golden wood with Draco, ruthlessly bludgeoning fowl from right out of the sky. Harry was always quick to snatch up the dead bird, rip out the arrow, and stuff it into a hunting bag. Draco, somehow, managed to be more gracious about it. He’d kneel softly to the ground and gingerly pick up the bird, petting it’s feathers softly before removing the arrow as carefully as possible and placing it ceremoniously in the bag. Harry thought this was silly: the bird had no idea that such respects were being paid, but he admired Draco for doing it.
Harry no longer snuck stealthily through the halls and down to the kitchen, because the hog turning on the spit, fat crackling and juice dribbling down the heat-taut skin, reminded him of his early years as a page, when he would sit behind an old target, soaked in water, to avoid burning himself while he turned the crank. Draco used to race down the steps as fast as he could once his lessons were done, and Harry would hear him coming down the stone steps, feet stomping out a loping rhythm. He’d rush into the room, cheeks flushed and breath coming in short pants, so eager to tell Harry everything that he had learned that he often wasn’t able to catch his breath until he’d exhausted himself of all his new found knowledge. Harry was a good listener, patiently turning the spit and nodding his head, asking questions when he thought of them. But that was all when he had been a young lad of 10. Now seven summers had passed, and he was supple in his transition from youth to manhood, growing a full head taller than Draco and broadening out in the shoulders. His dark hair was kept relatively short, because of his social status, and was often unruly, sweeping over the lightening shaped scar on his forehead, a mark that he had always had but that had never been explained to him. Due to the countless hours he spent swimming in the moat that surrounded the Malfoy Castle, he’d developed quite a tan, and posed immediate contrast to the pale Malfoy son, whose silvery blonde hair had grown quite lengthy, and whose quicksilver eyes were cold and calculating, while Harry’s were warm and green, like the leaves of the maples and oaks of the Savage Forest in the summer.
A long shadow fell across the strewn herbs and Harry snatched up his tunic, throwing it on before turning to see his tutor, Dumbledore, leaning against the door frame and looking decidedly amused.
"Well, Harry, my boy, you seem to have made yourself quite busy,” Dumbledore said, gesturing towards the mountain of scented satchels. Harry shrugged, the tunic chafed, and his sleeves rode up to expose his tan wrists. He’d long outgrown the tunic but felt bad about asking for a new one, due to all the expenses that would be incurred with Draco’s approaching knighting.
“Yes, I suppose I have. Not much else to do, really,” Harry said, worrying the edge of his tunic in his lavender scented hands.
“My boy, you need to cheer up. Draco is just busy doing the things that he thinks he needs to do right now. He’ll snap out of it eventually, once all of this knighting business is over, and then the two of you can return to being the little terrors you’ve always been.”
Harry smiled, but it immediately faltered and slipped from his mouth. “What does the ceremony entail? No one will tell me, but Draco has mentioned to me twice already this week that I’m involved.”
Dumbledore took a seat on a vacant stool and sniffed at the air.
“Is this saffron?” His long, aged fingers grazed the front of a canvas bag, and Harry nodded. Dumbledore deftly picked up the bag and slipped it into a pocket of his robe. He fished around in another pocket and withdrew a bag of taffy, rooting through the bag for a pink one before popping it into his mouth and offering the opened bag of sweets to Harry. Harry declined and leaned back on his hands, rosemary crushed under his fingers.
“The Knighting Ceremony,” Dumbledore went on after a few moments, “is a peculiar one. On an upcoming afternoon, you will lead him into his bedroom, wear a bath will be drawn with certain symbolic curtains hung around it. You’ll be expected to undress him in preparation for his bath.”
Harry’s stomach turned at the thought. Over the last few months, he’d felt his feelings for Draco slipping into something else entirely, and he’d never felt that way about anyone before. He was still at odds with the strange emotion, and it had added a whole new sting to the thought that Draco didn’t want to spend time with him. On a few occasions, the thought of Draco swimming the moat with him, or hunting in the golden wood, had led to a new chain of thoughts, most of which revolved around Draco naked and writhing. These thoughts often resulted in Harry needing to sneak away to some place quiet for ten minutes so that he could rid himself of the inevitable stiffness. He wasn’t sure that he’d be able to hide his body’s traitorous reaction if he was actually expected to undress his friend.
Dumbledore chewed a taffy thoughtfully. “Then you lead him to the bath, where he is bathed by two respected persons in affiliation to him. In Draco’s case, that will probably be Sir Severus Snape and Sir Thomas Riddle. They will impart their wisdom to him and then leave the room. You will be expected to dry him and clothe him and lead him to the dinner that will be held in his honor.”
Harry swallowed roughly. That made two instances in which he would see Draco naked and be expected to interact with his glorious body. He felt a stirring in his trousers and surreptitiously adjusted his tunic to conceal his arousal. Dumbledore seemed not to notice. “After the dinner, he will be presented with a sword.”
“Is that it?” Harry could hear that his own voice was gruffer and hoped that Dumbledore hadn’t noticed. If the wizened tutor had, he gave no inclination.
“Of course not, dear boy. You then lead him to the chapel, where he will present his sword to the vicar and spend the night praying to God and fulfilling his spiritual requirements. During this time, you will stay with him, as well as Sir Severus and Sir Thomas. In the morning, his sword will be returned to him with the vicar’s blessing, and you will lead him back to the castle. He will be knighted with the sword. The following week, you will be transferred from Sir Lucius’s estate to Draco’s. And then the ceremony will be complete, and you will have no more use for me.”
“What?” Harry looked up sharply at the old man, who smiled dolefully.
“Once Draco is a knight and you his squire, there will be no need for an old tutor. Besides, I have other things to which I must attend. We will meet again shortly,” Dumbledore reassured him, closing the bag of sweets and putting them in a pocket. “Thank you for the saffron, my dear boy. Fawkes has taken a liking to it, and gets rather puckish if I don’t line the bottom of his cage with it.”
Harry could only nod. If boys had been permitted to cry, he was sure that he’d have been drying his eyes on the corners of his tunic. As it was, he could only watch sullenly as Dumbledore left the herb house and picked his path through the courtyard and into the castle. Harry shut the door so that he could tend to his arousal before he went to enter the castle for supper.