by Ishafel

He should have known better, of course, better than to trust his father; he should have known that when Lucius smiled that feral madman's smile it meant trouble for someone. But obedience was a habit like any other, a difficult habit to break, and he had grown up doing what he was told. So Lucius said, do this, Draco, for me. Run this way little boy, and keep smiling while you do it. Fuck Snape. (Uncharacteristically blunt, but Lucius was nothing if not unpredictable.) Lucius had often said that if one lay down with Death Eaters one risked far worse than fleas.

He had been right about that. Draco could wish for such small annoyances; there was no way to scratch the wound Snape had given him. But, do this, Lucius had said, is it so much to ask, and Draco was nothing if not a dutiful son. If only duty had not developed this troubling habit of interfering with what he wanted. Duty had him lying flat on his back while the Potions Master came into him faster than was really necessary. It was his own fault that he liked it.

Draco came to him like a penitent child, though it was not forgiveness he begged. Fuck me, he breathed, and Snape almost came in his pants. But it was wrong, he knew it was wrong. One did not bed children. Not if one was a decent human being. Not if one was a Hogwarts professor, a former Death Eater reluctantly assigned to a position of trust. One protected the children and was grateful to be allowed the opportunity. Sometimes Snape was tired of gratitude.

Children did not behave like this, ordinarily. Children were seen and not heard, though this had never been especially true of Draco. The Malfoy line were entitled to certain--privileges--lesser mortals were not allowed. But it should not have come to this. Snape had betrayed trust after trust; he had never meant to betray this one. Dumbledore had, in every way, made him who and what he was, and Snape had come to admire the man, to desire his good opinion even. It made him feel a little ill, all those years of good behavior thrown away, and for what? Yet he could not bring himself to regret Draco, because that, too, would be a betrayal.

Trust, such a fragile thing, easily broken, discarded, thrown away, shattered. Draco trusts no one, least of all himself. He was brought up to know better than that. A man walks up to you and says - "everything I say to you is a lie." Is he telling you the truth or is he lying? Sometimes it is very lonely, being Draco Malfoy, and sometimes he chooses to trust even though he knows it is foolish. He trusts Snape this way, and his father, not because he does not know what they are but because he does.

He does what Lucius asks, and it is easy to do; it is what he wants to do, after all. He owes Snape very much, maybe too much, and this is an easy way to return the favor. He has always been taught that his body is a tool, just as his mind, his sword, are tools. He has been taught to use every resource at his disposal, and so it is not really a surprise when his father commands him to have sex with a much older man. He does not even ask why.

Snape did not even ask why. He was utterly lost the moment Draco came to him, offering himself like a not-quite virgin sacrifice; resistance was futile. Oh, he made token protests--trust was mentioned, and honor, and Voldemort. Perhaps even Lucius. They both knew how things would end, as if there were another option. The bait had been nicely calculated, the one weapon guaranteed to slip underneath Snape's armor.

Dumbledore asked why he had done it, searching for a way to excuse Snape like a father explaining away the sins of a beloved son. Might it have been Imperius? No, Snape answered, albeit reluctantly; there was no point in lying when he was sure to be found out. Not a spell, no magic at all but the oldest kind. What was his career, his sense of purpose, his very life, against that beautiful stolen hour? It will have to last him forever.

He owls his father when it is done and Lucius storms the castle, sending children flying. He uses words like sodomite and catamite and rape and rips Draco's shirt half-off to show the bruises. Draco had not realized there were so many; dark fingerprints on his arms, on his collarbones, bitemarks on his neck and the hollow of his throat. Lucius lies so well that Draco almost doubts his memory, almost feels violated.

Then, of course, Snape is called in: all he can do is stammer uselessly and defeatedly that he is sorry, that he never meant. Draco had not realized this was what Lucius had in mind, which shows what a fool he was to trust his father. Dumbledore blinks sorrowfully all around, and shares out the sweets. Snape, of course, is sent packing--what else could he have expected? Even clemency can go only so far.

Sleep with a student, and you get sacked, it was only to be expected. He had not expected it to be so hard to leave, though Hogwarts had been his home for nearly twenty years. He had not expected that as he turned to go, Draco Malfoy would whisper an apology, or that his body would quicken at a half-heard word. He had not expected that Malfoys were capable of apology.

Now he was thirty-eight, and he had no job, no future, no home, no lover, no prospects. No one would hire a pedophile, and in any case he did not deserve anyone's trust. For a man without hope he felt surprisingly cheerful. For the first time since the Dark Mark had burned its way into his arm he had a choice. He could go anywhere, do anything; he was no longer a dog to walk tamely at Dumbledore's heel.

He thinks of Draco as a child, of course, but Draco is no more a child than any of his generation. They all know about choices, they all are old before their time. Watching Snape across the bar, he wonders for the first time if he has made the right choice. But he is a Malfoy, and he knows that only poor men can afford to doubt. He watches Snape grow pleasantly drunk, watches him stumble toward another man's arms. He trusts that this will not happen in future.

At the perfect moment he slides to his feet, catches Snape's elbow. He cannot not call him Professor, not anymore; he dares not call him Severus. Instead he presses a kiss just behind the man's ear and draws him out into the night. The cold and the snow seem to sober Snape: he stops laughing, turns to see whom it is he has followed so trustingly. When he sees who it is his eyes narrow and Draco whispers an unprecedented second I'm sorry.

Sorry, of course, wasn't enough. At the end of the day everyone was sorry. Snape was sorry--but he wasn't going there, not tonight. And maybe after all it was enough that Draco had come to him. Maybe it was enough that he could push Draco up against the wall and kiss him until their lips bleed. He was so drunk he thought they might end up spending the night there, in the alley behind a rubbish bin. It was Draco who peeled them gently away and whistled for a cab and got them into the hotel room.

Somehow under the bright fluorescent lights Draco looked older; there was a sadness to him not visible by torchlight. Snape watched him, wondering if he could send him back to his father. What kind of life would he have, cut off from his family, his world? What had compelled him to choose this, when he had such a destiny awaiting him? It seemed that Draco had sensed his doubt; he put out a hand as if to steady himself. There was no going back, then. And somehow, he did not want to. "Just trust me," he said.

A man walks up to you and says - "everything I say to you is a lie." Is he telling you the truth or is he lying? He's lying. Even though he's lying when he says "everything" he says is a lie, some of the things he says can be lies, and this is one of them.
(Source Unknown)


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