Ch. 9- "The Wizard's Duel"
Notes: This fic will probably be kind of long... bear with me if there are lapses between chapters, as I do have a career that exhausts/frustrates me quite often. I have never written HP fanfiction before, either, so sorry if I do the characters OOC or something.. ok, scratch that, there will be OOCness. This IS a slash fic, after all. =p And I think this is my first non-anime fanfic, too... o_O scary...
Thanks to Mami-san for beta-ing the fic- goddess knows I'm too damn lazy to spellcheck my own junk. @_@
I got the title frum the song of the same name from "Fushigi Yuugi"- it's Soi's song, I believe.
Warning: This is a Draco/Harry SLASH fic. Don't like that, bugger off. -_- And for those of you who despise Draco, I understand.. ^.^; He IS quite the shithead... but I can't help but like this couple. Also, if you haven't read all 4 current HP books, this fic will most likely contain spoilers. You've been forwarned.
Harry crashed through the Forbidden Forest, almost forgetting its dangers as he raced after the shadowy figure always just ahead of him, gritting his teeth in frustration at the mocking laughter that echoed back at him. He had his wand clenched tightly in his right fist, batting away overhanging vines and branches with his left arm. His breath was ragged in his throat, and he was getting a stitch in his side. To make matters worse, it was starting to get dark, making it difficult to see. His foot snagged a gnarled root and he fell heavily onto the loam, grunting. Pushing himself up, he held forth his wand, muttering fiercely, "Lumos."
The tip of his wand glowed brightly, and he gratefully followed its light as he strove to catch up with the ever elusive kidnapper. He had lost sight of him, so he headed in the general direction he had seen him last, hoping to hell he wouldn't get lost.
An eerie howl caused him to halt, leaning against an enormous tree as he caught his breath, glancing around warily. What if he was attacked out here? He'd be in deep trouble if it was something he couldn't handle. The faint sound of laughter stirred him into action once more, and he took another big gulp of air before rushing in the direction of the sound. What was Kyle planning? Why run off with Draco? Was he going to hurt him?
Harry ground to a halt, whirling with his wand aloft.
The large creature that had been advancing from the side stopped instantly. "Put that down."
"Firenze?" Harry exclaimed in surprise, panting as he lowered his wand hastily.
The big centaur moved closer, looking down at him impassively. "I told you the Forbidden Forest is dangerous," he said in his rumbling voice. "What are you and your friends playing here for?"
"That boy isn't my friend," Harry explained. "He knocked out Draco Malfoy and ran off with him. I'm trying to get him back."
The strong man-horse raised a bushy eyebrow, looking off into the shadows of the forest for a long moment without speaking. Finally he turned back to the boy before him. "Get on," he offered curtly. "It's better that none of you are out here."
"Thanks!" Harry scrambled on as the centaur knelt to make himself more accessible.
"Hold on tight," Firenze warned, and Harry just had time to grab him around his waist before the big creature was thundering through the trees with frightening speed.
Harry clung on tight and scrunched down as far as he could as the centaur leapt easily over roots and brush, ducking overhanging branches almost carelessly.
"He's headed towards the Dead Oak," Firenze called back after a few minutes. "What could he want there?"
"I don't know," Harry admitted loudly. "I just have to get Draco back!"
The centaur gave a horse-like snort and kept going.
The travel was scary and rough, but it saved a lot of time. When Firenze finally skidded to a halt, Harry slid off with shaking legs. Firenze glanced over his shoulder as the howling from earlier began again. He frowned before turning back to Harry, who was wincing as he stretched, trying to work out the kinks. "I'm going to have to leave you here, Harry Potter. If I don't fend off those werewolves they'll find you and drag you down."
Harry gulped and nodded.
"I'll be back," Firenze promised, before whirling and galloping away.
Harry quickly straightened his robes and looked around. He could hear faint noises just ahead and walked towards them carefully, wishing fervently that he had his invisibility cloak with him.
He stepped out of the trees and instantly spotted it.
The Dead Oak.
It was HUGE. It towered above all the other trees, its massive limbs and roots leaving a space clear of other trees all around it. It was leafless and dead, riddled with the holes of insects and animals. There was a rope hanging from one of the thicker limbs, and dangling from the end of it, trussed up and swaying a good five feet off the ground, was the unconscious Draco Malfoy. Kyle was nowhere in sight.
"Draco!" Harry stumbled over a few weeds before dashing over to the limp body. He stood on a nearby root and tugged fruitlessly on the thick rope bound about the boy's waist before grasping the pale face hanging by him. "Draco! Wake up, dammit!" He pointed his wand at the rope, opening his mouth for a spell to snap them.
A low hiss caused him to stiffen, and he looked up quickly.
An enormous serpant was coiled around the branch right by the rope, peering down at him balefully, tongue flickering in and out. It looked like a boa. Harry felt sick.
He retreated a step to look up at it more fully. "Get away from him," he commanded, the snake language rolling instinctively from his tongue.
The snake just hissed louder.
"Welcome to the party, Potter."
Harry whirled around at the teasing voice. "Kyle!"
The tall boy stepped from around the tree, grinning at him, his robes discarded. He crossed his arms over his chest, dressed only his slacks and undershirt. He smirked at Harry triumphantly. "Don't bother. That snake won't listen to you or anyone. He's too hungry." He glanced towards the snake. "He won't let you interrupt his meal."
"Let him go, Kyle," Harry shouted, putting himself between Draco and the other Slytherin. "What are you doing?"
Kyle's grin widened. "Do you remember the Triwizard Tournament from your fourth year? Do you remember the second test?"
Harry felt a bad feeling stir in his stomach. "Yes.."
"I heard about it-- what wizarding student hasn't?" Kyle brushed flaky bark from the tree trunk carelessly. "Where you had to go underwater to retrieve what was most important to you." He grinned again. "You think you deserve to have Draco, Harry Potter?" He jerked his chin towards the blond boy's inert form. "Here is your test. Retrieve that which is most important to you. Otherwise this snake friend I found is going to have a rather heavy meal this evening."
Harry stared at him incredulously. "You're insane," he blurted.
Kyle sneered at him. "Insane? Insane is such an ugly word, Potter."
"It suits you then," Harry said venomously.
Kyle seemed unaffected by the biting remark. "How do you think dear daddy Malfoy is going to feel when he finds out his snivelling son- a future Death Eater -has fallen for his master's greatest enemy? That he has been watching him now for years?" He laughed cruelly. "You think YOU should have him? A Gryffindor? An enemy of Lord Voldemort? Don't make me laugh." He gazed at Draco with a hooded, possessive look. "That one isn't for you, Potter. You'll only make things miserable for the both of you."
"I don't care what his father thinks!" Harry shouted, clenching his fists. "He can go rot! And I don't care what anyone else thinks! That has nothing to do with it. Do you think Mr. Malfoy would let YOU have him, anyway? He wouldn't want his son to be gay!"
"Draco? Gay?" Kyle threw back his head and laughed. "You naive little twit. Draco's not gay. Being gay or straight has nothing to do with his attraction to you." He jeered at the smaller boy. "'Love is love', isn't that what they say?" he said mockingly. "People can't help who they're attracted to. It just happens. He doesn't look at any other boys, Potter-- just you. I hope you feel special."
Harry flushed, almost thrown off at the other boy's clever manipulation. "Even if that were true," he snapped, "then that leaves you SOL, doesn't it? He would never want to be with you if he isn't gay. And he didn't look too happy when you tried to force yourself on him the other day, either."
Kyle shrugged, unconcerned. "He doesn't have to love me, Potter. He doesn't even have to like me very much. I don't care. But he's going to be mine, nonetheless. And not even his father will be able to stop me. Voldemort won't care too much- as long as in the future I lend him to a girl to produce more little Voldy-fans." He laughed again.
Harry blanched. "You talk about him as if he wasn't a person," he accused hotly.
Kyle offered him a bland look. "You feel too much."
"It's better too feel too much than not at all," Harry shot back. "You can't have him."
"Oh-HO," Kyle chortled. "Aren't we possessive. You honestly think you deserve him?" He tilted his head invitingly towards his unconscious prize. "Prove it."
Harry glanced over his shoulder and was horrified to see the boa curving lazily around the limb of the tree, already lowering its head to flicker its tongue testingly against the limp body swaying below it.
"Get that which you hold dearest to you," Kyle ordered loudly. "That which you most desire. The one who is most important to you."
Harry turned away from the horrible scene with a supreme effort, glaring at Kyle and standing stiffly. "You're wrong."
Kyle arched an eyebrow at him. "What?"
"You're wrong," Harry repeated, louder. "Draco isn't the most important thing to me. I care for too many people."
"There's that 'feeling' problem of yours again," Kyle drawled.
But Harry wasn't finished. "I have a lot of people that are important to me," he said in a low voice, trembling a little with anger and fear for Draco. "That mean more to me than anything. Ron and Hermione. Hagrid. The Professors. Who do you think you are to judge who I should save and who means most to me?"
"So if I were to bring along your freckled-faced little pal Weasley," Kyle sneered, "you would rush in like a knight in shining armor once more to save him?"
"Yes!" Harry shouted furiously. "He's my friend! And I know he'd do it for me."
"Don't be so sure," Kyle purred. "Aren't you two fighting now?"
"That doesn't matter," Harry snapped. "What matters is he's my friend. And now Draco is my friend. But that doesn't make him more important to me than Ron and Hermione."
"How postively sickening," Kyle said with a bored look. "You really are a handful, Potter."
"I try," Harry bit out, and turned quickly as the boa hissed.
It was leaning down even further, its flat head hovering just by Draco's face.
"Get away!" he shouted quickly in parsel tongue.
The snake barely even looked at him.
Harry whirled, lifting his wand. "Conjunctivitis!"
The snake gave a loud hiss of fury and pain, jerking its head back and shaking it back and forth madly.
Kyle's eyes narrowed. "You little git," he muttered furiously, drawing his own wand from his waistband. "You blinded my snake!"
Harry stepped forward to grab Draco, but was struck as the snake's heavy neck struck him in its thrashings. "Aaa!" He tumbled backwards and tripped over a root, sprawling on the hard ground heavily on his back. "Oof!"
Kyle laughed, a mean sound. "Can't even save your friend, Potter?" he jeered.
Harry scrambled to his hands and knees, but before he could rise to his feet, Kyle was already waving his wand. "Expelliarmus!"
Harry's wand was snatched from his hand and clattered to the ground several yards away. He scrambled to his feet, but Kyle was advancing in long strides, wand upheld.
Harry's legs snapped together, and he wobbled for a moment, spinning his arms frantically before collapsing heavily.
Kyle laughed loudly, standing over him with a sneer. "What kind of protector are you?" he demanded. "Can't even have a proper wizard's duel." He snorted, turning slightly to look up at Draco and the snake that was hunched on the branch, hissing furiously and tossing its head every now and then. "You managed to stop the snake, but there's no stopping me, Potter," he said triumphantly. He raised his wand, his eyes gleaming. "And now," he breathed, "to do Lord Voldemort a favor..."
"What!" Kyle cried sharply as his wand flew from his grasp to land near Harry's. He whirled around, and Harry pushed himself up on his elbows to gape at the figure that appeared literally out of thin air by the trunk of the tree.
"I heard every word you two said," Ron Weasley said, glaring at Kyle with his wand upraised. "Get away from my friend."
Author's Notes: Mwahahaaaa! I love being in a writing mood. ^_^
**Spells here were taken with much gratitude from "The Harry Potter Lexicon" at http://www.i2k.com/~svderark/lexicon/
Almost done, folks. ^_^ Just one or two chapters to go. whee~
Back to Amiko's fics
Chapter 12 + Epilogue